‘Tis the Season for Science returns to the California Academy of Sciences

After severe wildfires to the east, The California Academy of Sciences reopens its doors so visitors can once again revel in the wonder of ‘Tis the Season for Science, the museum’s annual holiday exhibit that explores the science behind the winter season.

Explore a new twist on the Academy’s annual exhibit with our planet’s polar regions—from the North Pole to the South Pole—and the animals that call them home. Interactive displays will educate visitors on the adaptations that allow polar bears, Antarctic penguins, and other polar-dwelling animals to survive and thrive in frozen ecosystems. Plus, the Snowman Theater, a suite of hands-on daily programs, and a dynamic line-up of live performances on select dates will return to delight visitors of all ages this holiday season.

Wintry Wonderland Complete With:

  • Indoor snow flurries twice an hour

  • The “Snowman Theater” —an immersive digital dome shaped like a giant snowman playing Science of Snow , a 7-minute, family-friendly show that illustrates how snowflakes form

  • A suite of new, daily programs for all ages: from winter-themed puppet shows located in the Academy’s Curiosity Grove for little learners to a hands-on ice lab where curious visitors can feel the fascinating properties of ice, and more!

  • Life-size models of polar bears and Antarctic penguins that invite guests to learn about and examine these fascinating animals up close

  • A stage for special programs including polar-themed quiz shows and live performances

NEW This Year: Ice Rink

This year, the Academy will debut a brand new holiday ice rink in the museum’s East Garden, inviting visitors to skate in the heart of Golden Gate Park this season. Ice rink tickets are available online in advance or can be purchased on-site at the museum. 55-minute skate sessions are $12 per person ($10 for Academy members) and skate rental is included. Sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis and advance ticket purchases are recommended to secure desired date and time. 

See below for a schedule of daily and special programs:

Daily at 11:00 am, Piazza
Find out why African and Emperor penguins are perfectly suited for their ocean homes, from their tuxedo-like feathers to their super swimming skills. Waddle over and show us your best penguin bray! This interactive program is recommended for children 10 and under.

Daily at 1:00 pm, Curiosity Grove
Take a seat and join an Academy educator for a fun, winter-themed puppet show perfect for all ages.

Daily at 1:00 pm, Piazza
Team up for this friendly game show-style trivia contest. Work together with the help of a presenter to explore the winter survival strategies of animals from North Pole to South Pole.

Performances at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm on November 23-26, December 9-10, December 22-24, December 26-January 7
Live on the Academy’s Piazza stage, enjoy fun performances by musicians, cultural groups, and more on select dates this season. All performances are free with Academy admission.

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education—all under one living roof. Admission to the Academy is: $35.95 for adults; $30.95 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages 65+, and students with valid ID; $25.95 for children ages 4 to 11; and free for children ages 3 and younger. Admission fees include all exhibits and shows. Hours are 9:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Saturday, and 11:00 am - 5:00 pm on Sunday. During peak periods, including holiday and summer weekends, extended hours and peak pricing may apply. The Academy will be open 10 am – 3 pm on November 23 (Thanksgiving Day) and 11 am – 5 pm on December 25 (Christmas Day). Visit www.calacademy.org or call (415) 379-8000.