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California Academy of Sciences

San Francisco Wedding Venue
Golden Gate Park
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, California 94118

Contact: Special Events Department
Phone: 415/379-5868
www.calacademy.org/visit/plan_an_eve…
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Why We Like This Place

There’s only one place on the planet where you can get married in front of a coral reef, dine in the company of penguins, and stroll through a rainforest. We’re talking about the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco’s world-renowned, eco-friendly natural history museum. Whether you’re hosting a private dinner for 30, a wedding for 300 or a corporate extravaganza for 3,000, it will be as green as it is memorable.

The California Academy of Sciences building is one of the most innovative and environmentally conscious structures in the world. Not only does it house an aquarium, planetarium and rainforest, but it also has a living roof, whose undulating contours mirror the seven hills of the city and are covered with millions of plants. Hosting a wedding here is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You have access to the main floor as well as the Aquarium on the lower level, and you can even pose for pictures on the roof before your family and friends arrive. Your coordinator will help you choreograph your celebration, while top Bay Area caterers create your menu—featuring organic, sustainable foods, of course.

With a dozen areas to choose from, your event can flow seamlessly from one part of the museum to another. You might serve cocktails in the elegantly columned Swamp, famously inhabited by an albino alligator, then move on to a gourmet five-course repast in the African Hall. Here you’ll be flanked by 21 meticulously crafted dioramas depicting wild animals like lions, antelope, baboons, leopards and mountain gorillas in their natural settings. The best spot for the head table has to be at the end of the room, where permanently “tuxedoed” penguins frolic in the water, observing the festivities from their glassed-in habitat.

Several exhibits offer immersive and interactive activities that will engage your guests. Just add a bar and cocktail tables throughout for a unique social hour. Or serve hors d’oeuvres in the Aquarium itself—the popular “touch tidepool” provides an unusual icebreaker.

Have your ceremony here, too, and prepare to be dazzled: There’s nothing like exchanging vows against a 25-foot-high backdrop of turquoise water, filled with a glimmering confetti of neon-colored fish…unless it’s saying “I do” with the misty greenery of the four-story Rainforest dome behind you. If you prefer an outdoor option, the East and West Gardens are lovely during warm weather. For an intimate rehearsal dinner that’s literally out of this world, reserve the Planetarium anteroom, which can be transformed into a starry galaxy by the state-of-the-art media system.

At the California Academy of Sciences, the “décor” often flies, swims or grows before your very eyes. Let the museum take your guests to beautiful and amazing places they’ve never seen and inspire them with wonder. An event here is so much more than an event—it’s an adventure.

Capacity

Ceremony

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 280
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 0

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 280
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
  • Max. Standing Indoors: 3000
  • Max. Standing Outdoors: 0

Meetings

  • Max. Seated: 300

CEREMONY CAPACITY: The site accommodates 280 seated guests indoors.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The museum holds 280 seated or 3,000 standing guests indoors.

MEETING CAPACITY: The facility accommodates 300 seated guests.

Fees & Deposits

50% of the rental fee is required to confirm your date. The balance is due 30 days prior to the event. For your wedding event, you’ll have access to the entire Academy, including use of the following spaces: Rainforest, Aquarium, Swamp, Piazza, African Hall, East Pavilion, West Pavilion, Forum and Main Lobby. Also included are a Wedding Ready Room with adjoining restroom, plus additional services such as security for the museum, coat check, custodial services, and docents for the Academy living exhibits (as available). Please contact the Special Events Department for details. The all-inclusive use fee is $18,500 for up to 3,000 standing guests.

Location Uses

Ceremonies
Wedding Receptions
Special Events, Parties
Business Functions/Meetings
Rehearsal Dinners

Services/Amenities

Catering: select from list
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Tables & Chairs: through caterer
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: CBA
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: CBA
Parking: garage nearby
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: pay phone
Outdoor Night Lighting: no
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer or renter
View: cityscape, park, landscaped grounds

Site Views

Cityscape
Forest/Wooded Area
Garden
Hills
Landscaped Grounds
Mountains
Panoramic
Park
Valley

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Museum

Restrictions

Alcohol: BYO licensed server
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required

Some Essential Info
Catering

Choose From List

Alcohol

BYO

Amplified Music

Indoors
w/ Restrictions

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Accessible

Availability

Year-round, 7pm–midnight, every day except Thursday.