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Adults Only (18+)
Note: The Tactile Dome and some programs have limited capacity and are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
It’s no trick—just a refreshingly nerdy Halloween treat. Join us for a night filled with fun and spooky Bay Area favorites: Nerd Nite, Awesome Orchestra, and Odd Salon will be teaming up with Exploratorium scientists for an utterly eerie evening. Costumes highly encouraged.
Lose yourself in thought-provoking programs and mind-bending experiences at adults-only After Dark Thursdays—including more than 650 interactive exhibits exploring perception, art, and science. Grab some friends, stash your stuff in our musical lockers, get a drink at one of our pop-up bars or food at Seaglass Restaurant, and start exploring. You may find that things look different after dark.
Face Your Fears
With Nerd Nite
7:00 and 9:00 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum
What are you scared of—fear itself, or something more specific? Come witness volunteers facing intensely frightening situations and learn some of the science behind our fears (and what it takes to confront them) with Nerd Nite and Exploratorium biologist Alex Pinigis.
7:15, 8:15, and 9:15 p.m. | Gallery 4
From creepy minor keys to the “devil’s interval,” let Awesöme Orchestra serenade you with spoooooky symphonic sounds—including favorites from The Nightmare Before Christmas and more. Want to play along? Awesöme Orchestra sessions are open to any musicians who want to join—all you need to do is sign up first.
Odd Salon: SPECTER
With Odd Salon
7:30 and 8:30 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio
Dive into strange-but-true spooky stories from the odd corners of history, science, art, and adventure with Odd Salon: SPECTER. Join us as Odd Salon's community of experts and enthusiastic amateurs regales us with weird, true tales of mysteries, paranormal illusions, and the science of things that go bump in the night.
Curated by Kate O'Donnell, featuring:
Mark Linsey – Portraits and Poltergeists: The Trial of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer
Seth Rosenblatt – The Demon on Your Chest: The Science and Fear of Sleep Paralysis
Lin Lawhn – Galactic Ghostbusting: Vera Rubin and the Hunt for Dark Matter
Martin Strauss – The Schumanns' Ghosts: Music From the Other Side
Annetta Black – Antarctic Visitations, Poking Ghosts & The Strangeness of Sensed Presence
Leonard Apelstein – Are You Psychic?: Tricks and Tests for Extrasensory Perception
With the Tinkering Studio
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 2, Tinkering Studio
Do you ever wonder what’s inside your toys? You’ll make some ooky-spooky discoveries about their inner parts when you don safety goggles and start dissecting an old stuffed animal, remote-controlled car, or singing Santa. Channel your inner Dr. Frankenstein and hack taken-apart toys into your own custom creations!
With Classroom Safari
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6
Get ready for a creature feature—minus the popcorn. Stop by Classroom Safari and get up close and personal with some wild animals...if you dare.
With UC Berkeley’s Evolab, Tsutsui lab, and Will lab
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 4
It wouldn’t be Halloween without creepy-crawly critters that come out at night—spiders, scorpions, beetles, and ants, oh my! Come meet these creatures of the night and learn more about how they’ve evolved special abilities to live and thrive in the dark. Join local experts from Evolab at UC Berkeley and explore the rich diversity of nighttime organisms that can be found right in your backyard.
6:00–9:45 unless noted
Various locations throughout the museum
Ticketing at 6:00 p.m., first come, first served
Osher Gallery 1
Draw hypnotically flowing patterns with a swinging table, and watch friction cause the patterns to slowly shrink along a spiral path. Pick up a ticket to reserve your spot in line for this popular activity.
Bechtel Gallery 3
Tune in to surrounding sounds by experimenting with strings and vibrations, and use electromagnets to build a basic speaker. Learn how to listen with your bones, and explore the workings of the inner ear.
Van de Graaff Generator
With the Explainers
Bechtel Gallery 3
Get ready to have your hair stand on end (literally). Experience our electrostatic generator firsthand—with high-voltage direct-current electricity turned down to low current levels, our Van de Graaff generator both will, and won’t, shock you. Please keep your hands on the sphere until our Explainers tell you to let go!
Cow Eye or Flower Dissection (alternating)
Do cows see color? How does a lens work? Examine the intricate structure of a cow eye to learn about similar structures in our own eyes, as well as some key differences.
Stigma, stamen, pistil, anther, style: Uncover the beautiful architecture of flower anatomy, and gather some surprising strategies that plants use to reproduce.
Osher Gallery 1
Everything is not as it seems—at first. Pick a card, any card, and watch the Explainers reveal some surprising aspects of human perception.