Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes Tour
- Skip the line
- Small group ensures personal service
- Ideal choice for families
On this insider-access tour, explore the ‘world’s greenest museum’ from a science and research perspective. With your museum guide, learn about the institution's 159-year history and how its scientists are tackling critical questions about life on Earth. Visit the research collections and a working laboratory, get closer to the living roof, and see breathtaking geology specimens in the vault.
With this option, learn about the history of Steinhart Aquarium and how biologists care for the 38,000 animals – including butterflies, fish, penguins and even an albino alligator – that live in the building. Visit the food-prep kitchen and see the complex water filtration system.
Both options include general admission to the museum, so you can visit all of the exhibits at your leisure before or after your tour. You’ll also receive a reserved seat at Morrison Planetarium and express entrance to Rainforests of the World, a 4-story rainforest exhibit that takes you through many of the planet’s eco-systems.
Recent Photos of this Tour
Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.
9:30am-5pm Monday to Saturday
- Academy Tour: Monday–Friday at 11 am and 2 pm; Weekends at 11am, 2pm, and 3:30pm
- Aquarium Tour: Monday–Friday at 1 pm; Weekends at 10am, 1pm, and 3pm
Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.
Academy 11am Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Academy Tour at 11am
Academy 2pm Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Academy Tour at 2pm
Academy 3:30pm Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Academy Tour at 3:30pm
Aquarium 10am Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour at 10am
Aquarium 1pm Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour at 1pm
Aquarium 3pm Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour at 3pm
Guide on the Living Roof
- General admission
- 1-hour behind-the-scenes guided tour
- Express entry to the Rainforests of the World exhibit
- Reserved Morrison Planetarium seat
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Gratuities (optional)
- Guests 8 years and older
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Passes to special exhibits are handed out daily on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability
- Maximum of 14 people per tour
- Morrison Planetarium shows take place throughout the day; you will receive a reserved ticket to the show of your choice
- Wheelchair accessible; wheelchairs are available at Coat Check on a first-come, first-served basis
- Adult pricing applies to all travelers
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
Reviewed by: mst529, January 2016
I felt like a kid again! Getting to go behind the scenes was the way to go. You learn so much about what it actually takes to run this place. Hats off to all the employees that keep this place going from day to day! They are the real unsung heroes. My favorite for the day was the planetarium. Second, was the rain forest exhibit. It's definitely a must see if your visiting San Francisco.
Reviewed by: Amberley P, November 2015
This was great value for money. No queuing and a very interesting and informative tour behind the scenes! The only way to do it with a Skip the line, behind the scenes tour ticket! Thank you