Discover Whales: Giants of the Deep, a new exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. It’s too big to miss!

Plunge into the Underwater World of Whales 

Opens April 3 - Thanksgiving

Dive deep below the ocean’s surface and explore the fascinating biology of some of the Earth’s largest and most elusive creatures. In this immersive and interactive exhibit, learn about the evolution of whales, explore their role in ocean food webs, and find out how scientists and global communities are working to protect their future. Discover the story of whales in all its fascinating complexity, including the cultural significance of these magnificent creatures to the people who know them best.


Whales Opening Weekend Family Festival
Friday to Sunday, April 3 to 5 from 10 am – 4 pm | Piazza

In honor of the Whales exhibit, the Academy and visiting Maori dignitaries will host a family festival during opening weekend. Visitors can experience the excitement and wonder of traditional Maori culture, including an interactive weaving demonstration with Maori cultural ambassador and master weaver Kohai Grace, traditional haka demonstration and talk by Maori cultural ambassador and language expert Kahu Ropata, a harbor porpoise articulation, a whale sound activity, whale-themed programs, and more.

Operation Whale Rescue
Daily at 11:00 am | Piazza

Help save the day! Join an exciting, on-stage whale rescue based on the real-life experiences of local marine mammal heroes, and discover how rescue workers untangle animals caught in fishing gear.

Harbor Porpoise Articulation
April 1 to 19 (except Mondays)
10 am – 4 pm weekends, 11 am – 2 pm weekdays | Piazza

World-renowned “bone builder” Lee Post returns to lead a special harbor porpoise articulation in the Academy’s Piazza. Visitors can look on as the group carefully pieces together a skeleton from the Academy’s marine mammal collection bone-by-bone. Post and Academy volunteers will be on-hand to engage with the public and answer questions on Tuesdays through Sundays through April 19.

Naturalist Know-how
Sundays at 11:15 am | Naturalist Center

Become a naturalist-in-training and learn a new skill each month.

  • April 5 and 12 - Baleen, Blowholes, and Blubber: Explore the ways whales have adapted to life in the ocean.
  • April 19 and 26 – Skeleton Stories: Find clues about how whales evolved using real specimens.
  • May 3 and 10 – A Tale of Two Fisheries: Investigate how humans, fisheries, and ocean life intersect.
  • May 17, 24, and 31 – Past and Present Peoples: Dive deeply into the Maori and other human cultures. 

Developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.