California Academy of Sciences will be twice the price

Families looking forward to the reopening of the California Academy of Sciences this fall could be in for sticker shock when they learn that admission prices have more than doubled, and it could cost a family of four close to $100 just to park and get in the door.

Adults, who paid $10 for admission to the museum and aquarium in the past, will now pay nearly $25; tickets for children older than 6 will cost $14.95, with a $19.95 price for teens. Member prices are $99 for an individual and $159 for a family.

“It’s ridiculous — and they wonder why families are leaving The City,” said resident Michelle Schulze, who said she purchased a family membership last week for $59, before prices increased. Gregory Farrington, the Academy’s executive director, is certain the new building will wow everyone.

“This is the one place in the country you can see live creatures, learn about natural history and experience the cosmos all in one place,” Farrington said. He compared the Academy’s price structure to attractions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium or the American Museum of Natural History, where adult ticket prices range from $25 to $30.

Operating the Academy each year is expected to cost roughly $55 million — up from the $20 million it cost to run the temporary museum on Howard Street, according to Farrington.

The Academy expects to make some of that money through endowments and private donations; the rest will come from tickets purchased by an estimated 1.5 million visitors to the museum each year, according to Farrington.

Prices were set partially to ensure that the new Academy won’t deteriorate like the old one did, Stone said.

“We want to make sure we’ll still be here — so future generations will have this to come to,” she said.

It has cost roughly $500 million to rebuild the Academy, including the cost to set up a temporary space on Howard Street. Roughly $152 million came from voter-approved bonds, plus state and federal funds, while the remainder was donated, Farrington said.

The museum will offer 17 free days per year, free visits for San Francisco school groups and discounts for patrons who arrive by public transit, according to Stone.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Just Posted

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

Newly appointed City Attorney David Chiu will play a key role in an upcoming legal battle between gig economy companies and The City. (Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)
City Attorney David Chiu faces immediate test in major gig economy lawsuit

DoorDash and Grubhub are suing San Francisco over price controls

FILE — In-N-Out Burger, the popular California fast-food chain, is resisting San Francisco's public health rules that require indoor diners to show proof of vaccination. (J. Emilio Flores/The New York Times)
When it comes to San Francisco vaccine rules, In-N-Out should heed Biblical advice

Burger chain’s vaccine fight distracts from its tasty burgers and French fries controversy

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five SF stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten city leaders about crime’s effect on business

Lake Hennessey, a reservoir for Napa, looked dry in June. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and asked residents to redouble water conservation efforts. <ins>(Mike Kai Chen/New York Times)</ins>
Newsom declares drought emergency across California

State closed out its second-driest water year on record

Most Read