San Francisco Museum Nightlife

A few years back, some forward-thinking museum administrators across the country sought creative ways to improve foot traffic at their facilities and create new revenue streams. Many museums, public aquaria and other cultural institutions had been available to rent for wedding receptions, corporate events and other after-dark soirees for years but administrators sought a younger and more regular clientele for their nighttime events. They began offering regular weeknight gatherings, featuring DJs, cash bars, cool lighting and live performances to attract their audience and keep them coming back on a regular basis. In San Francisco, a small handful of museums offer regular weekly after-hours events that are definitely worth checking out for residents and visitors alike. These include:

  • Thursday Nights at the California Academy of Sciences
    Each Thursday night, the vast and impressive California Academy of Sciences opens its doors after hours and features a different academy within the Academy. Some Thursdays are Steinhart Aquarium nights, where visitors can drink, dance and dine among the aquatic animals and exhibits and speak with the biologists who care for the life support systems and animals. Other Thursdays are theme nights that feature the Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum or another part of this marvelous facility. Definitely check out one or more of these.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    For art lovers, Friday nights at the de Young are not to be missed. These after-
    hours events usually offer live music, guest lecturers, film screenings, panel discussions, artist demonstrations and workshops and many other cool events. Guests can see and speak with a wide range of different artists and gain keen insight into their creative processes.
  • The Exploratorium After Dark on Thursdays
    If you like your vodka tonic garnished with a twist of real science, then Thursday nights at the Exploratorium are definitely for you. You can drink, dine and mingle with scientists, musicians, local artists, designers, programmers and many other people who make this unique facility such an innovative learning center. Each Thursday features a different topic, which keeps people coming back to this after-
    hours event.

So if you’re looking for a truly unique San Francisco experience that will allow you to see and experience these cultural institutions in a whole new way, check them out during the day, then go back at night and have a drink, a bite and perhaps a dance or two. These events may not be good for the whole family, but they are excellent places to take a date or perhaps meet someone dateable. Hours and admission prices vary by event and facility, so check out each facility’s website and get ready to have a really cool experience!