Oakland, California 94619
We'd love it if you would mention that you found Chabot Space and Science Center on the Here Comes The Guide website.
Why We Like This Place
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 Skybridge, 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 two levels of exhibits for a reception or cocktail hour. You may also want to consider serving cocktails in the building's sleek open spaces: there are several areas where you can stand on the ground floor and gaze all the way up to the top of the second floor. 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.
The Spees Building is also home to a 241-seat planetarium that features one of the world's most advanced immersive visualization systems. It allows you to take your audience on a real-time journey to the edge of the known universe and back again. We loved 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.
Astronomy Hall in the Dellums Building is perfect for an indoor banquet-style reception. It opens to the outdoor plaza of the Observatory complex, the highest point of the Center, where sweeping bay views over the treetops are sure to wow your guests. If you like, host your ceremony and cocktail hour on the plaza overlooking Oakland, before stepping into the Hall to dine. Later in the evening, guests are invited back to the Observatory for viewing the night sky with Chabot's astronomy team.
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.
- Max. Seated Indoors: 350
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 150
- Max. Seated Indoors: 650
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 250
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 1200
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 600
- Max. Seated: 350
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Observatory Complex and the Amphitheater each seat 150 guests, the planetarium seats up to 241, and Astronomy Hall accommodates up to 350.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The facility can accommodate 650 seated or 1,200 standing guests indoors, and 250 seated outdoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: The Hauben room holds up to 35 seated. Galileo, Kepler, and Copernicus can each seat up to 45 guests; Kepler and Copernicus can be combined to accommodate 90 seated. The planetarium seats up to 241 theater-style, and the Tien MegaDome seats up to 205 theater-style.
Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.
50% of the rental fee is required to secure your date. A refundable $1,000 cleaning deposit, along with the balance of the rental fee, is due 30 days prior to the event. The rental fee ranges $1,500–20,000 depending on the space(s) reserved. There is a discount for 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: select from preferred list
Kitchen Facilities: full kitchen
Tables & Chairs: BYO
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: built in or BYO
Bride's Dressing Area: yes
AV/Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: ample free parking on site
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: limited
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: renter or caterer
View: panoramic and bay views
Other: use of exhibits; some event coordination provided
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: licensed server required
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: extra liability required
Other: no balloons or confetti