Our California Academy of Sciences is gearing up for the holidays. They’re going to have reindeer and everything.
(Now, the San Francisco Zoo talks about having reindeer, but I suspect the animules they have are merely caribou. Oh well.)
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All the deets!
“TIS THE SEASON FOR SCIENCE” AT THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
From November 23 – January 2, the Academy will celebrate the holiday season with a scientific twist.
SAN FRANCISCO (October 22, 2010) – From November 23 – January 2, the California Academy of Sciences will celebrate the holiday season with live reindeer, indoor snow flurries, and a suite of polar- and holiday-themed programs during “’Tis the Season for Science,” six weeks of wintry festivities and family fun with a scientific twist. Visitors can meet a pair of reindeer in-person, ask a botanist what “mistletoe” actually means, find out what causes the Northern Lights, and more, as they explore the “hows” and “whys” of life in some of Earth’s most frigid climates. Music, decorations, and a hot chocolate cart will complete the festive atmosphere.
Inside the Academy’s Piazza, visitors will find an Arctic wonderland, complete with an igloo presentation dome, holiday craft activities, and a stage for special presentations and shows including interviews with scientists, games of “Polar Jeopardy,” and a variety of music, dance, and theater performances. Young visitors can also greet “Santa Claude,” the Academy’s lovable alligator character, who will get into the holiday spirit with a Santa hat and scarf. Once an hour, an indoor snow flurry will dust the Piazza, against a backdrop of stunning photographs by Arctic National Wildlife Refuge photographer Subhankar Banerjee. Nearby, guests will get a closer look at a variety of rarely displayed Arctic specimens, including a polar bear, snowy owl, and snow geese.
Each day will feature festive performances and a schedule of programs and interactive activities that explore winter themes like migration, adaptations for extreme cold, sustainable gift-giving, and research in some of our planet’s coldest climes. ‘Tis the Season for Science activities are included with general admission tickets, unless otherwise noted. Visit www.calacademy.org/holidays in November for more details.
Special Program Highlights
November 23 – January 2
Reindeer Rendezvous – Daily
Visit the east garden to meet the two reindeer (also known as caribou in North America) that have come to visit the Academy for the holidays. Learn about the special adaptations that help these antlered herbivores survive in cold environments and travel great distances, and discover how they acquired such a special place in holiday traditions.
Polar Jeopardy – Daily
Think you know a thing or two about polar bears, emperor penguins, and the Northern Lights? Want to challenge your knowledge of Earth’s frozen caps? Or want to watch your friends and family put on their thinking caps? Come take part in this fun, interactive game show, and expand your polar expertise.
Festive Performers – Daily
The Academy has invited a variety of musicians, singers, dancers, theatrical groups, and other performers to help visitors celebrate this festive time of year. Enrich your family’s Academy visit with art and music from some of the Bay Area’s greatest talents.
Polar Perspectives – Shows daily
Step into the igloo presentation dome for a glimpse of the stark, vast beauty of the North Pole. Rotating 5-minute shows will tell the stories of the Northern Lights, polar ice caps, and the winter sky with stunning HD footage and twinkling stars.
“Chill Out” with an Academy Scientist – Weekly
Meet Academy scientists who study plants, animals, and climate change in some of the planet’s coldest environments. In their travels, these explorers have studied high-elevation ice beetles, Arctic migrations, frozen clams and warming ice caps. Join them for a fascinating look at their work to explore the world, discover new life, and help explain Earth’s amazing story.
Climate Science & Solutions – Weekly
Explore the science behind climate change through this high-energy and accessible presentation by the experts at Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). The topic of climate change can be daunting, but ACE’s fun and innovative approach helps us create positive and proactive responses to this global problem. Come curious and ready to be inspired!
Penguins + Pajamas Sleepover (Kids ages 6+ and their adult chaperones)
Tuesday, December 28
Why count sheep when you could count geckos, butterflies, sharks, and penguins? Now kids can camp out for a night at the California Academy of Sciences—and see the museum in a whole new light. Sleepovers include after-hours access to Academy exhibits, a special penguin talk, live animal demonstration, planetarium show, story time with cookies and milk, parking, breakfast, and more. Tickets $119 per person ($99 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers.
The “‘Tis the Season for Science” theme will also continue across regularly scheduled Academy programs, including Science Story Adventures, Family Nature Crafts, Specimen Spotlight, and Animal Tales.
The Academy will be closed on November 25 and December 25, and will observe extended hours (until 6pm) from November 26-28, December 26-30, and January 1-2.