Cal Academy of Sciences
One of our favorite places to get lost in the city is the California Academy of Sciences deep in Golden Gate Park, because sometimes we need to be reminded there's a whole world out there beyond all the concrete and automobiles. Inspired by their committment to opening the public's eyes to life on Earth beyond our immediate micro 'hoods, they're kicking off their second annual LoveLife photo competition, in which they ask you to submit your best photos of the Academy and the natural world for judging by top photo experts.
The Cal Academy of Sciences has amassed quite a motley crew of lovable mascots — Pierre the wetsuit-wearing penguin, Claude the albino alligator and Lemondrop, the 15-foot long (also albino) python, who's been slithering around the museum as the star of its latest exhibit, Snakes and Lizards.
Start shopping for jungle-themed pajamas. On June 4th, the Cal Academy of Sciences opens its doors for an after-hours sleepover for adults-only (this is the only sleepover night that you don't have to be with a kid to get in) — a chance to get all Night at the Museum with the Academy's creatures—both taxidermied and alive.
This Saturday, the new-and-improved California Academy of Sciences celebrates the one-year anniversary of its reopening. First established in San Francisco in 1853, the dressed-up 100,000-square foot space in the middle of Golden Gate Park is completely eco-friendly and now encompasses an aquarium, planetarium and museum all rolled into one—it’s the only institution of its kind in the world. Even the top of the building is utilized to further the recurring theme of sustainability and diversity: The Living Roof comprises two-and-a-half acres of 1.7 million native species carefully planted and picked for their ability to flourish in the park’s climate.
We can't believe it's already been a year since the new Cal Academy first opened its doors. But alas, the anniversary is upon us, and they're celebrating big time with the Big Bang Gala - dinner, dancing and a live performance by Chris Isak inside the museum. And we've got two tickets (valued at $400 each) and a hotel room for the night of the gala at the Laurel Inn in Pacific Heights (a Joie de Vivre hotel) to give away to the reader who tells us...the name of the museum's albino alligator (email us your answers here and we'll pick a winner!)