Oakland Wedding Venue
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, California 94619
Looking for an out-of-this-world location to celebrate your wedding? Let the stars smile on you at Chabot Space & Science Center. In the evenings, this state-of-the-art science education center perched high in the Oakland hills makes a unique setting for private events.
The Center is surrounded by 13 wooded acres in Joaquin Miller Park, and its architecture takes full advantage of that fact: Numerous floor-to-ceiling windows, a glass skyway, and a catwalk-like loggia hugging the exterior, really make you feel like you’re up in the trees. The two main buildings, the Spees and Dellums Buildings, are linked at the second floor by the skyway, and at ground level by an amphitheater and a courtyard with gardens. Exposed ceilings, black floors, and architectural details in green glass, aluminum and blond wood create a smart, polished look throughout the center.
Event spaces in the Spees Building include the Tien MegaDome Theater, where you can project your own slides, DVD, VHS, or PowerPoint presentations; a café, which provides a handy reception site; and a surround-sound planetarium featuring one of the world’s most advanced immersive visualization systems. This allows them to take their audience on real-time jouneys to the edge of the known universe and back again. We were particularly taken with the idea of a celestial ceremony in the planetarium: Imagine getting married on a spot-lit stage beneath a 70-foot dome of gorgeous night sky thick with stars, while your guests sit spellbound in comfortable tiered seats. If you want to go all out, you can even make arrangements with the projectionist to create a sky that changes throughout the event.
Another appealing ceremony option—and one that will give every guest a great vantage point—is the semicircular amphitheater surrounded by trees. This is a particularly appropriate place to mark an important moment in time, as the amphitheater also functions as a nifty clock. At the top level of the amphitheater, the Pleiades Courtyard stretches back to the Spees Building café. Together, the two spaces make a convenient indoor/outdoor spot for serving post-ceremony refreshments. After dining, guests will enjoy strolling through the adjacent EnviroGarden, designed to showcase native plants.
You’ll also want to consider serving cocktails in the sleek open spaces of the Spees Building. Although the Spees is a two-story structure, there are several areas where you can stand on the ground floor and gaze up unobstructedly to the top of the building. The most striking of these is the Rotunda, an atrium-like space capped by a huge octagonal skylight. During the day, light flowing in from the skylight illuminates a decorative green glass compass inlaid on the first floor. If you set up musicians or a DJ on the Rotunda’s circular “balcony,” the music floats down to your guests mingling below.
Indoor receptions can take place in the exhibit spaces of the three-level Dellums Building, but the size and configuration of your event will depend on the current exhibits. The top floor of the Dellums opens to the outdoor plaza of the observatory complex. This is the highest point of the Center, and from here the sweeping bay views over the treetops are sure to wow your guests. The three domes house telescopes named “Leah,” “Rachel” and “Nellie.” You can arrange for access to the domes, and can actually hold a small sit-down dinner inside the larger of the two.
Chabot Space & Science Center is a stellar (sorry, we couldn’t resist) location, not just for weddings, but for private and corporate events, too. And even if you aren’t an astronomy buff, you’ll delight in the sunset over the bay and the dazzling nighttime panorama of city lights twinkling below.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Obsevatory Complex and the Amphitheater each seat 150 guests, the planetarium seats up to 241, and the Dellums Building accommodates up to 200 guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The facility can accommodate 150–500 seated or 200–1,000 standing guests indoors, and 100–150 seated outdoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: Galileo, Kepler and Copernicus can each seat up to 45 guests. The planetarium holds up to 241 seated theater-style, and the Tien MegaDome holds up to 205 seated theater-style.
50% of the rental fee is required to reserve your date. A $1,000 refundable cleaning deposit, along with the balance of the rental fee, is due 30 days prior to the event. The rental fee ranges $1,500–15,000 depending on the space(s) rented. There is a discount for 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: select from preferred list
Kitchen Facilities: full kitchen
Tables & Chairs: tables provided, BYO chairs
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: built in or BYO
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: ample free parking on site
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: limited
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: some provided
View: panoramic and bay views
Other: use of exhibits, some event coordination provided
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: extra liability required
Other: no balloons or confetti
Choose From List
Year-round. Monday and Tuesday, 6am–midnight; Wednesday–Sunday, 5pm–midnight. Some seasonal restrictions apply, call for details.