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Behind the Scenes Tour

1 hr
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Explore the lesser seen regions of the California Academy of Sciences. Discover the hidden jewels and treasures at the venue and get additional perks with your behind-the-scenes ticket.

Behind-The-Scenes Tour Highlights

  • Skip-the-line tickets to the California Academy of Sciences
  • Guided tour of the Academy/Aquarium (depending on your choice)
  • Behind the scenes access to the California Academy of Sciences
  • VIP entrance to Osher Rainforest
  • Express entry to the Earthquake simulator
  • Reserved space in the planetarium
  • 10% discount in Academy dining and shopping venues.
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Your Behind the Scenes Experience

Explore the Academy like never before—choose from two Behind-the-Scenes Tours for a closer, more intimate look at our animal residents, scientific collections, incredible green building, cutting-edge scientific research, and more!

Aquarium Behind-The-Scenes Tour

Venture behind the scenes at the Steinhart Aquarium and learn about its 90-year-old history. Learn about the 40,000 animals at the aquarium and learn about these creatures from trained biologists. Discover the food prep kitchen and see the alligator feeding here. The tour is an hour-long immersive experience and you’ll learn all about the sea creatures with this behind the scenes tour.

Timings: Monday–Friday at 1:00 pm; Weekends at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm

Academy Behind-The-Scenes Tour

Discover the lesser explored areas of the Academy and take in the sights and exhibits which are rarely seen by the majority of the visitors. Spend an hour learning about the 160-year history of the venue which currently houses 46 million specimens. Visit the research collections and discover the ‘library of life’ where you will be able to look at the rare specimen of fish, insects birds and more. Step out into the living roof and examine the specimens in the private vault. Experience a side of the museum you haven’t before with this tour.

Timings: Monday–Friday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm; Weekends at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm

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  • One-hour guided tour *Behind-the-scenes access
  • Express entry into the building
  • VIP entrance to Osher Rainforest
  • Express entry into the Earthquake simulator
  • Reserved space in the Planetarium
  • 10 percent discount in Academy dining and shopping venues

Know Before You Go

  • Please carry a valid photo ID.
  • Ages: Guests must be minimum 8 years old to partake in the experience. Guests between 8-17 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The tour is only for an hour. However, you can explore the museum at your own pace before of after the tour.
  • This is a walking tour. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate for indoor and outdoor experiments.
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Cancellation Policy

Tickets cannot be canceled once booking is confirmed. No refunds/reimbursements will be provided in case guests can’t partake in the tour after booking.


California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco

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