Academy of Science Night for Grown Ups

It has all the science, but none of the noise of little kids.

51 photos
Josh Keppel
A drink with a view. NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences mixes cocktails with science in a nightclub atmosphere.
Philip DeFalco
The California Academy of Sciences opens up each Thursday night for "NightLife" an adults-only evening of music, drinking, and science.
Josh Keppel
Inside, no rugrats are running around between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to tempt the T-Rex at the entrance, just 21-and-over buzzed party-goers.
Josh Keppel
Each week multiple bars are set up around the museum, serving libations for all pallets.
Josh Keppel
The bars are often set up at picturesque locals, like this one atop the alligator swamp.
Josh Keppel
Claude, the albino alligator, lounges above water as the snapping turtles and fish swim below him.
Philip DeFalco
Museum volunteers were cruising around the building with examples of alligator and snapping turtle skulls for people to see up close.
Telemundo San Antonio
A giraffe takes watch over another bar in the museum.
Josh Keppel
The 4-story rainforest was open at the beginning of the night for people who got there early enough to get inside.
Telemundo San Antonio
The planetarium was also open for early birds, with tickets to the showings getting snapped up quickly.
Josh Keppel
Redhead Kat Gallegos checks out some fish in-between sips of a cocktail. She said she and some friends from the East Bay came to the city Thursday for a night at the museum.
Josh Keppel
The California Academy of Sciences is offering free admission to NightLife in 2010 within seven days of your birthday to celebrate the first year of the Thursday night gatherings.
Philip DeFalco
Taking advantage of the offer, local artist Isabel Samaras decided to let the Steinhart Aquarium host her 2010 birthday party.
Telemundo San Antonio
Boom Wanvisa strikes a pose for a photo taken by friend Kit Kittinant. Wanvisa said she likes NightLife because it's a "different type of crowd. We can all mingle and at the same time see something knowledgeable."
Andy Jones
At times the museum looked like a singles bar, with people everywhere sharing drinks and some conversation.
Josh Keppel
NightLife organizers invite DJs to supply beats for the evening helping to transform the museum into more of a nightclub vibe. Jeff Stallings took to the buttons for the February 11, 2010 one-year-anniversary party.
Josh Keppel
Hearing the music, Hilary Pedigo took to the dance floor after enjoying a "really tasty" meal downstairs at the Moss Room, a fine dinning experience below the aquarium.
Telemundo San Antonio
These guys don't only drink on Thursday nights...
Philip DeFalco
But these guys only serve booze at the museum on Thursday nights, and they were very busy throughout the night...
This is a cool exhibit where you step on projected elements on the floor.
Josh Keppel
The February 11, 2010 NightLife was called "Romance and Reproduction" to coincide with Valentine's Day. Here people watched a display of different animals and insect pairings in their more intimate of moments.
Josh Keppel
Throughout the night, people gathered to watch and enjoy the video display.
Josh Keppel
Josh Keppel
Taking a cue from the airplanes, Mark Aronica goes in for a Valentine's smooch from Natasha Lavine.
Josh Keppel
A few familiar exhibits from the old Steinhart Aquarium are back on display at the new museum, like this time telling pendulum.
Josh Keppel
Mina Farr takes a picture of a fish swimming in the alligator swamp. Farr said NightLife is "cool, really nice and relaxing."
Josh Keppel
Farr's friend (who chose not to give me her name) takes a photo above water of the albino alligator.
Josh Keppel
Large lines gathered around most of the bars throughout the night. Some, like this one here, had better views than others.
Josh Keppel
Friends (from left) Rebecca Fiduccia, Inigo Montoyez, Pickles Labrador, and Brielle Darynn enjoy a drink with some sharks.
Josh Keppel
"Hey there... Come here often?"
Josh Keppel
NightLife is a perfect time to see the museum without a ton of other people clogging up the place. It seems most of the people who go on Thursday nights spend more time around the bars, than the exhibits.
Pretty fishes.
Josh Keppel
Not a bad view to soak up while slurping down your cocktail.
Josh Keppel
Paul Kleinschmidt and Nina Arevalo were getting married in less than 48 hours. Arevalo decided to have her bachelorette party at Nightlife, and her fiance and his friends were invited as well.
Josh Keppel
Jessica Espinoza two-fists it with Alex Nunez up from Redwood City for their first time at NightLife.
Josh Keppel
The museum looked very cool at night.
Josh Keppel
I'd imagine office holiday parties are held here in a similar fashion to NightLife, which sounds awesome. Too bad lavish office holiday parties aren't as prevalent these days as they used to be.
Josh Keppel
A giant whale hangs over one end of the museum.
Josh Keppel
Christina Torres and A.J. Viray came from Hercules with a group of friends for a birthday party, the new best place to celebrate another year.
Philip DeFalco
The rooftop has a whole new look at night. Unfortunately I didn't make it up in time to see the light from the Rainforest beaming through the portholes. Next time...
Laressa Watlington/Telemundo Denver
Rebecca Pfeifer-Rosenblum (left) with friend Ashley Cownan shoot the breeze upstairs shortly before closing time.
Josh Keppel
I think his is my favorite spot in the museum (although I didn't do the best job of capturing it).
Philip DeFalco
Sporting matching red outfits for Valentine's Day, Jeanne Hogg and Rev. Regnaldo Woods take in the museum after a dinner in the Moss Room... Hogg's treat.
Josh Keppel
The cute pair stop to look at an ostrich skeleton and egg.
Philip DeFalco
Madison Elowitt gets dwarfed by one of the largest hair dryers ever seen.
Josh Keppel
As the night was winding down, the dance floor swelled.
Josh Keppel
Birthday girl Isabel Samaras (right) danced with friend Pamela Hobbs and others until the music was cut.
Philip DeFalco
This was definitely the spot to soak up any last moments before the staff started to kick people out at 10 p.m.
Samaras takes a bow as her friends serenade her with "Happy Birthday to You" at the end of the night. Samaras said NightLife was a perfect place to have her party because she was freed of any pre or post cleanup, booze buying, or food prep. Yup, sounds pretty perfect!
Josh Keppel
Across the Music Concourse, the another nighttime program called "Friday Nights at the de Young" happens each week and is similar to NightLife. Across town the Exploratorium competes on the first Thursday of the month with "After Dark."
Josh Keppel
One last look at the California Academy of Sciences during NightLife, a fun, inexpensive way to see the museum with locals only.
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