After Dark: Living Things

Thursday, July 22, 2021 • 6:00–10:00 p.m. PT

Not a member yet? Join us and get free admission all year long!

Adults Only (18+)

Note: The Tactile Dome is currently closed.

Sometimes life is hard to observe because it’s too tiny or too fast, or hidden underground or in the ocean. Tonight at After Dark, we’ll turn the spotlight onto our Living Systems gallery (Gallery 4), where you’re invited to use scientific tools to investigate living things of different sizes, the ecosystems they inhabit, and the processes they share. Explore exhibits that explore the phenomena of the natural world—from marine organisms like phytoplankton to human cells. And don’t miss special demos from our Bio Lab team: catch a close-up glimpse of the often-invisible aspects of living things.

Food and drinks will be available to purchase in our Seaglass Restaurant and at the outdoor bar in Gallery 5 to enjoy in those designated spaces during After Dark. Please note that there is no drinking or eating allowed elsewhere inside the museum at this time.

Just for Tonight

Cell Phone Miniscope
6:00–10:00 p.m.

Tonight we invite you to open your eyes to the amazing world of the ultra-tiny! Be sure to grab a cellscope kit and directions—and then convert your cell phone into a portable, picture-taking miniscope using a simple plastic lens from a laser pointer. Use it tonight to see the Exporatorium at its smallest scale, then take it home to continue exploring new environments!

Cellular Cinema
With Zeiss

6:00–10:00 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3, Phyllis C. Wattis Studio

Get an up-close—and we mean up-close!—view of cells across species in this beautiful loop of microscopic imagery. 

Life in the Lab
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Gallery 4

Reacquaint yourself with some of our most popular biology exhibits and chat with our Living Systems staff. Get an up-close look at your skin at Self-Scope, watch a sea urchin fertilization, learn how we extract DNA from cheek cells, and marvel at how quickly bugs feast at Energy from Death.

Bubble Cells
With Viv Altmann

6:30–8:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3

What are bubble cells? They're what happens when you mix paint and bubble solution and make a print of the result! Join Exploratorium staff educator Viv Altmann to create your own artful bubble cell in this activity.

DJ Sake-One
from Hip Hop for Change

6:30–7:45 and 8:15–9:30 p.m.

Get ready to dance your way through the night as DJs from Hip Hop for Change set the vibe and keep the party moving all night! Born and raised in the culture of hip-hop, DJ Sake-One joins us tonight at After Dark. Sake-One has been looking for the perfect beat since 1989, kickin’ up dust and making 5,000-person venues feel like neighborhood house parties, from San Francisco to New York City to Atlanta to London and beyond. He is a Frisco native and Bay legend who is responsible for the infamous PST party and his current Art of Storytelling Outkast tribute party.  

Hip Hop for Change is an Oakland-based nonprofit that uses grassroots activism to educate people about socioeconomic injustices and advocate solutions through hip-hop culture. 

Cow’s Eye Dissection
Various times
Gallery 4 Demo Station

Do cows see color? How does a lens work? Examine the intricate structure of a cow eye to learn about similar structures in—and key differences from—our own eyes.

Exemplary Exhibits

Our groundbreaking collection of exhibits Cells to Self reveals the wondrous variety of human cells and the amazing things they’re doing in your body. See live heart cells beating in time with your own pulse, find out which bacteria are living on your skin, and more.  

Get acquainted with Plankton Populations, an interactive display that uses special lenses to   put you face to face with different plankton and show which ones live in different parts of the ocean over the course of the  year.

Spend some time with Bacteriopolis, a colorful bacterial terrarium in which thousands of distinct species live and breathe (or not). What you see today will be gone tomorrow in this living artwork in a perpetual state of change.​ 

Curious about what to expect during your visit? Check out our current safety protocols and guidelines.