California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences Coupon

Cal Academy of Sciences Discount Tickets $5 Off + Skip The Line. Free Days.

Discount Tickets — California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, has so much to offer we want to go again and again. Maybe that’s why Conde’ Nast Traveler named it one of the “New Wonders of the World.” The Cal Academy ticket discounts listed below include admission to everything at the museum, and that means all the amazing special exhibits, too.

California Academy of Sciences Ticket DealYou’ll find even more fun things to do ant Cal Academy now that we’re into the holiday season. Special exhibits are included with the general admission ticket deal below, including Roaming with Reindeer featuring two live six-year-old visiting reindeer Yukon and Willow; the Scuba Santa Dive Show; and the Giant Snowman Theater.

Here’s what you’ll find on this page. Click the links to skip down the sections:

  1. Skip The Line Deal (daytime tickets)
  2. Combo Passes that include Cal Academy
  3. Nightlife Skip The Line & Birthday Comp
  4. Cal Academy Free Days (Local & Visitor)
  5. Cal Academy AAA Discounts & Transit $3 Off
  6. Address/Hours/Parking
  7. Savvy Tips for enjoying your visit.

You can get the best deal on tickets from a few different ticket sources with better prices and perks than when you get them at the door. Cal Academy works with these sources to draw in visitors to the area, but locals can use them two. The best price right now is the California Academy of Sciences coupon code that saves you a dollar per ticket — $6 per ticket on peak days. Another deal lets you skip-the-line, and you don’t need to choose your visit date in advance. Just follow the links (below) straight to the two different sources of these special offers. Plus, locals have special free days available. Not a local? The Academy of Sciences offers quarterly free days for everyone.

Cal Academy is home to an aquarium, natural history museum, planetarium, and world-class research and education programs, all under one living roof. Exhibits include a four-story living rainforest, live coral reef, state-of-the-art space show, interactive activities and programs for all ages, exhibits on climate change and evolution, thousands of live animals, and more.

California Academy of Sciences Discount Tickets

Get Tickets

DEAL: {Best Deal} California Academy of Sciences Skip-The-Line Any Day Tickets — $27.95 (reg. $29.95, $34.95 during peak holidays). During peak days (around the holidays and summers), this price is cheaper than you’d pay at the museum. Senior/Student/Youth/Child tickets also available for less via this link. No coupon code needed. Skipping the long line outside during busy days. And if you change your plans, you can just use these tickets later. (When you get tickets elsewhere you have to choose the date of your visit when you order.)

NOTE: These prices are only available here and not on the Cal Academy website or at the gate.

  • Adult $27.95 (reg. $29.95, $34.95 during peak days)
  • Senior (65+) $22.95 (reg. $24.95, $29.95 during peak days)
  • Youth (12-17) $22.95 (reg. $24.95, $29.95 during peak days)
  • Child (4 –11)  $17.95 (reg. $19.95, $24.95 during peak days)
  • 3 & under – Free

WHEN: Open Daily 9:30am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. Closed Christmas Day.

  • Cal Academy HolidayScuba Santa Dive Show — Dive shows are daily at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm from December 17-24.
  • Giant Snowman Theater — Shows every 15 minutes, starting at 9:45 am.

WHERE: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118 (in Golden Gate Park).


FOR COMPARISON: If you got your tickets directly from Cal Academy, you’d pay their Holiday and Summer Peak Season Prices which are — Adult $34.95 | Senior (65+) $29.95 | Youth/Student $29.95 | Child (4-11) $24.95. Like many museums and attractions, they bump up admission fees during their busier seasons (summer and holidays). This makes our deals (above) even savvier during peak season.


  • San Francisco CityPASS: A discount card that provides free admission to six Bay Area attraction including the California Academy of Sciences. Saves you $57 overall.
  • Go Select San Francisco: Save 15% on Cal Academy of Sciences tickets when you bundle with one or more other SF Attraction (like SFMOMA or Aquarium Of The Bay). You have 30 days from the time you use the first ticket to use the second. Card comes with free 365 day cancellation insurance.
  • Go San Francisco Card: This discount card provides free admission to 55+ Bay Area attractions including Cal Academy. Best when you’re coming in from out of town.
  • AAA Discount — If you’re a AAA sometimes offers a discount. Check with your CA AAA representative.
  • Public Transportation Deal — Get $3 off anytime when you take public transportation or ride a bicycle to the museum. Simply show your public transportation ticket or bicycle.

NIGHTLIFE at California Academy of Sciences

NightLife-discountEven if you missed the recent $2 off Nightlife deal, you can still get skip-the-line tickets and go hang with the animals and the party animals without waiting in the horrendous line with the rest of the crowd. Nightlife admission is only $12 (less than have the price of daytime tickets). You can get tickets for this price at the door. Better yet, you get them online here via our link and skip the long line out front.

DEAL: Skip-The-Line Nightlife Tickets — $12. Cal Academy holds adults-only evening mixers every Thursday. These are theme parties with DJs and drinks. Download your voucher, and go. Just look for the sign out front for speedy entry.
BIRTHDAY DEAL: Nightlife is free within 7 days of your birthday. The birthday offer is good for a single, non-transferable entrance to NightLife. You’ll have to get this one at the door (and that means waiting in line, so bring good friends). Bring a Valid ID with your birth date on it to the ticket window to receive one complimentary ticket.
WHEN: Nightlife is every Thursday night 6pm – 10pm.

FREE DAYS at California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences Coupon

The California Academy of Sciences offers free days four times a year on Sundays, and on certain days for SF locals by zip code. 

Note: California Academy of Sciences changed its free day policy to target more working families, who found it difficult to make the previous Wednesday free days. Cal Academy now offers quarterly Free Sundays.  Details below, along with the new dates for free Neighborhood Days by San Francisco zip code.

QUARTERLY FREE DAYS (for everyone): Here are the quarterly California Academy of Sciences free days coming up. Anyone can go, but it fills up fast so get there early (they open at 9:30am).

  • Free Quarterly Sundays — June 1, 2014 (future dates not yet posted).

SAN FRANCISCO LOCAL FREE DAYS: Cal Academy offers local free days by San Francisco zip code. Each visiting adult is limited to six children for free entry. You’ll need to show proof of residency.

  • Next Free Sunday is February 22, 2015.


To make your visit easier and even more fun …

  • When to go: Open daily in 2014 except for certain holidays. REGULAR HOURS: Daily 9:30am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day. Nightlife is on Thursday nights from 6pm – 10pm. See closed and blackout days on the ticket page.
  • Getting there: California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park is located at the following address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118.
  • Where to park: Parking is easy in the parking garage next to the museum, but is far from cheap. You can usually find free parking on the side streets near and behind the museum.
  • The Planetarium: Book your time as soon as you walk in the door!  You’ll be sorry if you don’t.  It’s free with your tickets, but you need to reserve your spot, first come first served.
  • How long to stay: Most people spend about four hours in the museum. You can take a lunch break on site in the museum’s restaurant or snack area.
  • Download the free App: Just before you go, download the free Cal Academy app. Called the Cal Academy Insider, this free iPhone app helps you navigate the museum, provides supplemental exhibit info, suggests self-guided tours, and makes sharing easy (via email, Twitter, Facebook).
  • Did you know: A little trivia to share with your friends and family — California Academy of Sciences has been called the ‘Greenest’ Museum in the World and is Platinum LEED certified.

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  1. mimi says

    I want to know how to use the coupon code for the 17% ticket price. Do I use that on their site when I purchase the tickets?

    • says

      Heads Up: If you’re following this California Academy of Sciences discount tickets thread, check out the new Holiday ticket deals and save $6, or save $5 and skip the holiday lines.

        • says

          Hi bb — I just checked and both deal sources in my post do still show cheaper prices. What may be confusing is that these are about what the full price tickets were earlier this year.

          But if you check, you’ll see that Cal Academy now charges Peak Pricing for summer (one of their busy seasons). For example, their adult tickets are now $34.95. The two ticket sources featured in my post both have cheaper prices than that (until further notice). And one of them lets you skip the peak season line out front. Take another look.

        • says

          Yes, that is currently the best deal for Cal Academy, unless you want to go for the custom card, with two or more attractions to save 15%. My contact at California Academy of Sciences says they are gearing down the discounts except for the CityPASS and Go Card offers where the discount is nonspecific. Actually we were surprised to even see this 10% off deal still out there.

  2. Brian Kang says

    When I was younger I visited the old California Academy of Sciences. It was one of the most enriching, fun, educational moments in my youth. I am now mentoring a middle school youth living in East Oakland. I want to be able to share what I experienced when I was younger with him as well as see the new California Academy of Sciences and experience something new together. It would be a great chance to fuse our generations together in an educational environment. As a bonus he would be psyched to know that we won the tickets and I would too!!

  3. Rachel says

    I love the aquarium exhibits. So many different fish from all over the world. It’s amazing! The rainforest area is also great.

  4. Sakura says

    We are new to the Bay Area and everyone we’ve met here says we should go to the California Academy of Sciences, but we haven’t had the opportunity to make a trip up there yet. My son is turning 10 on St. Patrick’s Day, and this would really make a wonderful, very special birthday surprise trip!

  5. Joe Perez says

    We have not had an opportunity to go the California Academy of Sciences but have always wanted to! I would love to take my family to experience the entire museum.

  6. Adrienne Beronilla says

    We had great times last year when we received a one year gift membership from the grandparents. This year we do not have membership (just too expensive for the budget) but my kids keep asking for the rain forest and the spiders. We have many great memories of the Cal Academy and wish that someone gives us a special gift again! Please, pretty please!!!!!

    Thanks, Adrienne

  7. Lisa says

    Last time we visited CalAcademy, my daughter didn’t want to leave the toddler room. We need to go back so we can see the other exhibits!

  8. Rachel Templin says

    My best memory was on Mothers day two years ago; we took a big family trip and went and saw the rainforest, all the butterflies were amazing! Now that my son is walking and able to appreciate i would love another family trip.

  9. Connie says

    My favorite exhibit is the rainforest. I remember standing there as still as a tree with my arms extended and having the butterflies land on my hand. I would love to win tickets so I can visit and also bring a friend with me.

  10. Rebecca says

    I haven’t been since I was a kid. I always loved checking out the alligators. I have not been yet since it was re-done and have been wanting to go for a long time. I would love to win tickets so I could take my niece and nephew. :)

  11. Tere says

    Being able to look up and down in the different levels of The Rainforest is an outstanding memory for me. We’d love to win.

  12. Molly Loughran says

    One very small thing that sticks in my memory, but I love the jellyfish that swim upsidedown. I would like to be entered to win the tickets.

  13. Sabrina Krauss says

    I have been wanting to visit the new California Academy of Sciences since it opened but have been unable for two reasons: $ and, one time we went after it just opened and we couldn’t get in, it was all sold out! We live a good hour away, so it takes planning to go. But I have so many memories of the original Academy: I used to love the planetarium shows and the dinosaur and Savannah exhibits with the sounds of the terrain. I used to also love looking at the Geological exhibits of rare stones. Thanks!

  14. cheryl says

    We really want to go! We tried to go the first winter but the lines were crazy. Now, we just can’t afford to go so free tickets would be a welcome treat. (we are in school on Wednesdays now)

  15. Alyson says

    We haven’t been to the new Academy of Sciences yet, mainly because of the cost. We would love some free tickets!!!

  16. Will says

    I still remember the two headed snake when I visited the Academy as a teenager so many years ago. I haven’t visited the new Academy since it was redone.

  17. Sam Torchia says

    We’ve taken the kids once & we all had a great time. Cal Academy is world class and really like 4-museums-in-1. The rainforest and the aquarium underneath are unique and amazing. We’d love to go back.

  18. Miho says

    We can spend ALL day and would love to – soon! Your butterflies are dreamy and all the reptiles are so colorful & amazing. Claud was so great as Santa Claud during Christmas time. Please keep up the good work and continue reaching out to the community – more people need to have access to your site!!!

  19. Irene says

    I have a fascination with natural sciences as long as I can remember. I have dreamed of having the chance to see the Academy of Sciences. I regularly go on their website to see the latest information. I would love to win this contest!

  20. sfdee says

    I haven’t been to the new Academy of Sciences because it’s on the expensive side – winning tickets would remove that excuse!

  21. Rubyred123 says

    My infant is always mesmerized by the fish at the aquarium!! Never too young to visit….He loves it there!

  22. Heather Jackson says

    Going to get my tickets today!! My daughter loves this place – going to take her and a few friends for their birthday! Would love some free tickets!!

  23. Bonnie Frey says

    I haven’t been to the newly designed Academy of Sciences yet, can’t wait. Here it is wonderful, especially the rainforest. Hope to win tickets.

  24. Joe Perez says

    I would love to take my wife and daughter to this. We have never been to the new Academy but have been trying to get there!

  25. Sherry says

    I love to take my parents and grandmother and aunt to see the new Academy.
    They haven’t been back to the Academy since they first immigrated to the U.S. It’s been about
    25 years now. It would be great to show them the changes since then.

  26. Kevin Silva says

    God I’d love to take my daughter and Mom to the California Academy of Sciences. I just haven’t been able to afford it. Hopefully this museum experience will prompt them to seek out other similar places. Thanks!

  27. Kris Saad says

    I will be unemployed in 2011 and would like to see the upside of that — which will be having time to visit the best Bay Area sights! I would love tickets to the California Academy of Sciences!

  28. Diana says

    I’ve been good this year, and asked Santa for free tickets to the Cal Academy! I’d love to see the Yukon reindeer graze on the Living Roof and maybe catch Santa climbing through a Rainforests of the World window!

  29. Teresa Jones says

    We have two young, budding scientists. They both want to be veterinarians; it’s what they have talked about – every day – for two more than two years. They are our adopted (former foster) children – ages 4 and 7. They love the California Academy and would like the chance to visit again. They need to see and study animals to help their dreams come true.

  30. Mishell says

    My sweetheart is moving here from Malawi, Africa next month – I would love to be able to take him to the Academy as part of his introduction to the Bay Area!

  31. Hannah C. says

    As a day-care teacher, I took our class to the Academy every summer, as it offers soo much for kids of all ages! I’d really love to take our grandkids now, for the same reason as always. Thanks for this great opportunity, Hannah.

  32. Jenny says

    I love the California Academy of Sciences and what it has to offer! Perfect choice for family outing or a romantic date!

  33. Linda says

    We took our 6yr son there last January for the first time as his birthday treat and he hasn’t stopped taking about how great it is,so it would be wonderful to win and take him again for his 7th birthday treat. Here’s hoping :))

  34. Audrey Ceja says

    My family & I would love to be chosen to receive these tickets!! I haven’t been to the CA Academy of Science since I was in grade school…..on field trips!! LOL I’ll keep my fingers crossed!! Thank you & Happy Holidays :-)

  35. Greg Poulton says

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing for the tickets! I am a science educator in California, and could spend SO much time with my family there…if I could afford it.

  36. joan g says

    My 2 year old would love to win four (4) complimentary tickets to the Cal Academy of Sciences!! He could bring his favorite grandma and grandpa! Happy Holidays!

  37. Debbie says

    ♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥
    Hope to win the passes to take our granddaughters!
    ♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♥

  38. Bonnie Frey says

    We would love the Cal Academy of Sciences Tickets. We have not visited yet since they remodeled the museum. Happy Holidays.

  39. boB says

    Wow!!! a Family 4pak of tickets to California Academy of Sciences would make a super Christmas Present!!!
    Thanks California Academy of Sciences and Bay Area on the Cheap…Merry Christmas to you too…

  40. Chad Tungate says

    Have been wanting to go for a while but have not been able due to unemployment. Would like to see the live reindeer!

  41. Marilyn Pearson says

    We are new to the Bay area and have used this site many times with excellent results. We rely on Bay Area on the Cheap as a way to get acquainted with our new community. Thanks a bunch!!!

  42. Jennifer says

    I want them so bad, I’ve tried to take my niece multiple times but the line was too long for her! Please pick us. Happy holidays

  43. Toshiko says

    We visited the Cal last summer for the first time and my son got fascinated! We still talk about how fun the visit to Cal was, but never had a chance to go there again since then. Please enter four of us to win the complimentary tickets! Happy holidays!!

  44. Ed says

    As a kid, I came to the museum full of wonder and now I return with my 3 kids to return the favor ! I would appreciate the tickets so……

  45. David Christensen says

    I’ve been trying to get to the Academy of Sciences since it re-opened. I would love some complimentary tickets. Thanks.

  46. Irene says

    Please enter me in the Academy of Sciences Giveaway. I have dreamed of going there sometime as I am fascinated with science! Thank you Bay Area on the Cheap staff for sending me all great emails with discounts. I have really appreciated it. Happy Holidays, Irene

  47. peace says

    We never visited the museum since it opened because of the financial situation (could not afford) . Hope our family of four will win the tickets.Thanks

  48. Mamie Lai says

    Please enter me in the contest to win the complimentary tickets. I love going to the Academy, however, It’s been difficult in this economy to maintain an annual membership. The first year I was given a membership for my birthday, I visited 4-5 times. It’s a great place to visit, and the Cafe has many great eating options.

  49. Winona Lamb says

    I would LOVE to take my daughter back to the Academy of Science. We went when it first opened and due to being unemployed, it’s not likely I’ll be going anytime soon.

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