Free Days at Cal Academy of Sciences – Sept 25-27, 2015!

Cal Academy of Sciences has free admission days by zip code, and ours is coming up this weekend.

CalAcademy entrance

From their website:

“Free admission is available for San Francisco residents of each zip code during the designated dates listed below. Visiting adults are limited to six children for free entry. Proof of residency* is required.

Neighborhoods: Bernal Heights, Castro, Cole Valley, Glen Park, Haight, Lake Merced, Mission, Noe Valley, St. Francis Wood [Huh, they missed us. But we are in 94131, so we should be good.]
Zip codes: 94110, 94114, 94117, 94127, 94131, 94132
Fall 2015 Free Days: Sep. 25, 26, 27
Spring 2016 Free Days: Feb. 19, 20, 21″

It’s normally like $35 for adults and $25-30 for kids (unless you’re a member). So this could be a big saving.

Cal Academy of Sciences – 94131 Free Days Fri-Sun

CalAcademy entrance

On the California Academy of Sciences Facebook page:

Do you live in zip codes 94110, 94114, 94117, 94127, 94131, or 94132? We invite you to come to the Academy – for free! – this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. San Francisco Neighborhood Free Days are generously sponsored by Target.

Forest Knolls is of course in 94131, and if you aren’t a member of Cal Academy, this is a great offer. They do these free days from time to time. It’s limited to six kids per adult, and both photo ID and proof of residency are required. (A driving license will do both.)

(We wrote about Cal Academy free days in more detail back in April 2013.)

This time, the free days for our neighborhood coincide with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival in Golden Gate Park, so traffic will be heavy and parking tough. The next neighborhood free day will be in Feb 28 – March 2,  2014.

If you’re planning to go, here’s the relevant page on their website.

California Academy of Sciences Free Days

CalAcademy entrance

The California Academy of Sciences has a few free days occasionally. (The usual ticket is $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors/ students/ youth 12-17; and $20 for kids 4-11. Under 4s are free.) The last admission on free days is at 4 p.m., but it’s usually crowded so they recommend getting there early.

  • Target sponsors free days by zipcode, and ours (for 94131) are coming up soon: April 12-14th, 2013. If you’re going, the adults will need proof of residence, and can take in up to 6 children.
  • On April 18th, admission is free until 2 p.m. but the place closes at 3 p.m.
  • The next general free day, courtesy Chase, is on 2 June 2013.

Before visiting, check out the details HERE on their website.

CalAcademy is only about 10-15 minutes away from Forest Knolls. (Some people even walk down there, though I guess it’s a bit of a hike back, uphill!) Personally, I find it so interesting and convenient that I have a membership. It takes only 2-3 trips to break even.  The Membership page of their website is HERE.

Earthquakes and Ostriches: The Cutest California Academy of Sciences Exhibit

The California Academy of Sciences has an exhibit about earthquakes, so of course, it has ostrich chicks.

You don’t see the connection? Neither did I, actually, but I had to see the ostrich chicks.

As a member of the Cal Academy, admission is free and I can guiltlessly just drop by. That’s what I did today, just to see the ostriches, and was directed to the end of the building. But the enclosure was empty. The ostrich babies were actually outside, being exercised in a large pen in the sunshine.

These little guys were 20 days old, and as you see here, still fuzzy. The fuzz is actually rather like dry grass in texture, and doubtless helps conceal them on the African plains. Ostriches form harems, with 6-7 females and a male, and lay eggs in a communal nest. The females incubate it in the day, the male in the night. When the chicks hatch, they’re ready to run with the flock. In nature, they’d be chasing their mother around the savanna, much like outsize chickens (or she’d be chasing them).

The Academy chicks are indoors much of the time, and so this outdoor exercise time is important to their development. They came as eggs from a ranch in Escondido, the docent explained, and were hatched in an incubator at the Academy. As they outgrow the exhibit, they’ll be sent to various zoos, or back to the ranch. The Academy hatches a new batch every few weeks.

I’m wondering if these little chicks are going to imprint on humans… I was reading on the internet that they do, sometimes, and then the males will direct its mating displays to its human attendant instead of the female ostriches.

Oh, and the connection with earthquakes? Well, it’s plate tectonics.

As the earth’s tectonic plates separated, they parted related birds onto different continents – emus and rheas and ostriches. They’re all flightless rattites, but each evolved flightlessness separately.

Plate movements also cause earthquakes.

And if the connection still seems a bit far-fetched, it’s a good excuse for a display of fuzzy ostrich-babies.