NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences is, without fail, one of the best weekly events to attend in the city. If you’ve ever wanted to take out-of-town friends somewhere that is truly “SF” but not totally predictable, or want to pick a fun date night with lots of stress-free conversation ops, or were looking for something more exciting to do than “just hit the bar” with friends, then this is your spot.

The museum is known for their ever-changing themed nights and collabs with an extensive list of musicians, artists, art galleries, special guests, and local partners to keep these nights as unique and diverse as the museum itself. As if that was not enough, starting in May, the Academy will up the ante with their much-anticipated third annual NightLife LIVE series, which features a new live music act each month, through October.

This special NightLife LIVE 2016 series kicks off on May 19. Enjoy the open skies and have your mind expanded by a synth-heavy live music set by Chrome Sparks on the outdoor West Garden stage. Chrome Sparks is a solo project of Jeremy Malvin, a Brooklyn-based artist signed to Sydney record label Future Classic. FADER Magazine has described his music as “form-shifting beats [that] seem to resonate with spaced-out chillers and hyperactive party kids alike.” Experience the music for yourself, and show up early for Planet Booty, plus DJ sets by Dials and King Most.

As soon as you get to the museum, there’s a good chance you’ll be instantly pulled one way or another by immersive experiences and cutting-edge science exhibits. There’s a magic to this place, where you’ll just get this sudden urge to explore…go for it…forget the map! In the meantime, (before you’re fully immersed in child-like awe,) here’s a list of ten not-to-be-missed activities, vendors, exhibits, and happenings. Be on the lookout, as there is much to be seen and experienced throughout the entire museum!

1. We’ll start with a no-brainer. Find yourself a drink! There are delicious signature cocktails on hand every week, plus you can try NightLife’s exclusive craft beer, Magnolia Aliciella Bitter (which is actually brewed using plant types found on the museum’s Living Roof.)

2. Take some time to check out the museum’s exhibits—did you know the Academy’s aquarium is home to more than  38,000 live animals? True story. Plus, be sure to say hello to Claude the albino alligator (he’s my personal favorite!)

3. In between live sets, discover new featured artists and galleries each week, including curated works from the Bay Area’s most popular art collectives and studios including ArtSpan, The Midway, Roll Up Gallery, Muse Gallery, Root Division, B4BEL4B, Paint Pens Collective and more. Art curated by Betty Bigas.

4. Head down music-memory-lane at Amoeba Music’s pop-up record shop.

5. Get in on some live screen printing with San Franpsycho. Pick up limited edition prints inspired by NightLife LIVE.

6. Discover the latest and greatest music releases from local record labels via BARF (Bay Area Record Fair.)

7. Grab some new reads—browse new & used books at Green Apple Books’ pop-up shop.

8. Make nature-inspired crafts with Julia Jane Moore.

9. Impress your pals (or that special date) with your coloring skills at Paint Pens Collective’s coloring-contest booth—and yes, there will be prizes!

10. Nerd out while exploring a different “science side show” each week, featuring pop-up displays of scientific curiosities from the Academy’s collection and partners from around the Bay Area.

Tickets for this event are available online. Be sure to check out this exclusive NightLife LIVE playlist.

+++ Ticket Pricing: Member Tickets: $12, Non-Member Tickets: $15

Here’s a preview of the full NightLife LIVE 2016 Calendar:

MAY 19
Music by Chrome Sparks (live band)
with Planet Booty
DJ sets by Dials and King Most
Presented by DJ Dials

Lower Dens
with Tamaryn
DJ sets by
Presented by Noise Pop

with Mass Gothic
DJ sets by Aaron Axelsen & Omar Perez
Presented by Popscene

Presented by Outside Lands Music Festival 

White Fence
with The Tyde
DJ sets by DJ Freaker (Alex Bleeker of Real Estate) and Britt Govea
Presented by (((folkYEAH!)))

Dan Deacon
with Mt. Si
DJ sets by
Presented by Treasure Island Music Festival