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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: 415/379-5497

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.



  • Max. Seated Indoors: 350
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 0

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 350
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 3000
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 0


  • Max. Seated: 350

CEREMONY & MEETING CAPACITY: The site accommodates 350 seated guests indoors.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The museum holds 350 seated or 3,000 standing guests indoors.

Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.

50% of the rental fee is required to confirm your date. The balance is due 30 days prior to the event. For your wedding, you’ll have access to the entire Academy, including use of the following spaces:Rainforest, Aquarium, Swamp, Piazza, African Hall, East Pavilion, West Pavilion 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). A choice of several wedding packages includes:a ceremony-only in one of the event spaces; the rental of individual event spaces; or the rental of the entire museum. Please contact the Facility Rentals Department for pricing and details.

Location Uses

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


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
Outdoor Night Lighting: no
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer or renter
View: cityscape, park, landscaped grounds

Venue Views

Forest/Wooded Area
Landscaped Grounds

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Late Night


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

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