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California Academy of Sciences
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Reviewed 5 April 2018

The California Academy of Science does "Night LIfe VIP Tours" on Thursday evenings.
On Thursday evenings, there is both a VIP tour, and a General Admission for over 21s as they have pop up bars. (Drink while you explore the exhibits is the best way I can describe it).

Here's some tips:

*We were on vacation and didn't have a car so we caught the 5pm Red Double Decker bus into the Golden Gate Park (where the Academy is) and walked around until 6pm opening. This was fun and recommended. (NOTE the very tall Observation Tower closes at 5pm)
* The doors to the Academy of Science close at 5pm, but reopen at 6pm.
* Prior to 6pm, you'll see people lining up. If you have a VIP ticket, ensure you check the ticket for your "Entry Door" number and line up behind that exact door. (there are several numbered doors at the entry and not everyone lining up on Thursday Night is going to the VIP tour).
* Ours was Door 3, the shortest line (about 30 people), Door 1 had a very long line, about 100 people. This place is popular on Thursday nights.
* While in line, but before the doors open, an attendant will check your ticket and stamp your hand. When they stamp your hand, make sure you say "where do I go when the doors open" because the general door with all the other people also opens and you don't go with them!
* When the doors opened, we moved over to the Right Hand Side and an attendant confirmed we were in the right place. (The ticket says wait near the TRex, but there was no one near the TRex! - There were many people moving about and the academy attendants were not immediately identifiable to us.
* We found the correct attendants and the attendants exchanged our tickets for two drink coupons and a wrist band (identifying us a VIPs) then when there was enough VIP Guests to fill an elevator, we were ushered into an elevator and went to a mezzanine floor.
* At the mezzanine floor was a bar and nibble food.
* Our TIP - no need to drink both drinks in the 30 mins you're on the mezzanine floor, overlooking the lobby (Yes to eating, Yes to one drink, but don't rush to get your second drink before the tour starts, I'll tell you why soon).
* The attendant we had was brilliant! She had to project her voice over a noisy environment, she was informative, she was attentive and gave us a few minutes to finish our snacks before the VIP tour starts.
* During this time, 'hundreds' of other people are entering the lobby to move through the general exhibition area/s
* Our tour started by going back to the same elevator, but going up to the living roof, and for the next 30 to 45mins, we were taken into the 'back stage' (back rooms) of the Academy and saw some awesome stuff.
* As we toured around, most of the time we were above the lobby / ground level where the 100's of other people were. From time to time I'd look down and see other bars serving drinks.
* At the conclusion of our tour, I asked one of the other bar attendants would he honour a VIP drink coupon? He said absolutely, So there is no need to rush your 2nd free drink upon entry, you can sip that one, and have your other free drink after the tour if you wish!
* At the end of our tour, we headed for the gift shop and then outside.
* There were no taxi cabs, no buses, but it was UberEverywhere out there.
* We had a 3 day Muni ticket (cable car, Tram, Bus) and decided to walk the 200 metres to the Golden Gate Park entrance and caught the "5" back into Down Town. So easy!

Summary - it was fun, lots of young people, lots of bars, lots to see.

I hope this has helped you!

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Slider W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

Needed an activity to do while on Easter break. Was supposed to go to Sausalito Discover museum but changed plans.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank PickyPickyTracy_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

This museum combines many different activities: natural history, aquarium, planetarium. Museum is one of the eligible activities in the Go Card Explorer Pass. We enjoyed the planetarium show which is included in the admission price.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank RenYVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

I spent several hours exploring this wonderful attraction. I enjoyed the planetarium and watched the presentation there, experienced the feeling of what being in two different San Francisco earthquakes would have felt like in the earthquake exhibit, and spent over an hour in the rain forest enjoying the amazing assortment of birds and butterflies. The docents are knowledgeable, friendly and assist in planning your visit as to not miss anything of your interests.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank cerric0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Who would of thought that the Academy of Sciences would have such a great aquarium!! They have sooooo many tanks and a whole ecosystem that connects it to there rainforest above. This place is fun for all ages!! They have penguins, an albino alligator, tons of fish, jellyfish, birds, bugs, and a ton of beautiful butterflies in the rainforest exhibit!! This place is a must see for anyone that loves fish!! They also have a living roof which is also an amazing site to see!! I don’t know why there isn’t more living roofs all over the world!!

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank TaraToni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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