Get a little closer to science this Valentine’s Day

by Eric on February 3, 2010

As museum and zoological parks around the country look for ways to appeal to broader (older, hipper, willing to part with discretionary income) audiences, Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity for a community that typically caters to the under-12 set to let down their hair for a little after-hours action, if you know what I mean.

Here’s a list of events around the Bay Area for those looking to mix a little science with pleasure:

Thursday, February 4, 6pm

The Pitch:

Join us as we delve into the whys and wherefores of sex, and investigate the ways nature is both conservative and creative in its pursuit of procreation. Explore insect peep shows, collect your DNA, enjoy the latest reproductive dress fashions, and check out a variety of sperm from across the plant and animal kingdoms. See sex-related exhibit prototypes that will one day grace the Life Sciences collection in an Exploratorium greenhouse, films, and much more!


  • Mary Roach, author of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
  • Project Inform Evening of Hope: A Night of Life-Saving Fashion
  • Condom Couture Fashion Show

Sign me up:
$15/free to members

Nightlife: Romance and Reproduction
California Academy of Sciences
Thursday, February 11, 6pm

The Pitch:

We have a pre-Valentine’s day treat, “Romance and Reproduction”. Throughout the Academy, you can learn about how different plants and animals from many different parts of the natural world reproduce. Among other things, you’ll see baculum (penis bones) from a variety of different mammals, learn about how the invertebrates in the tidepool exhibit reproduce, and find out exciting information about the frequency and duration of lion mating, penguin mating and zebra mating.


Sign me up:
$12/$10 for members

Woo at the San Francisco Zoo
San Francisco Zoo
Saturday February 13, 6pm (Evening Event)
Sunday, February 14, 11am (Brunch Event)
Sunday, February 14, 6pm (Evening Event)

The Pitch:

“Woo At The Zoo – Finally turns 21! Be you penguin, primate or possum you are cordially invited to celebrate a San Francisco Zoo original – the 21st Annual Sex Tour/Woo At The Zoo led by Jane Tollini. Come join us for her exciting presentation full of wild animal facts and kinky information about animal mating. It includes all animals A to Z including U! Heads and Tails above flowers and candles, there is no better way to impress your Valentine. If that isn’t enough, there will be up-close animal encounters from some Zoo residents to top off this unique event.


  • Romantic brunch including mimosas, A French toast station, maple sausages, scrambled eggs, pastries, fresh fruits and delicious desserts.
  • Evening event dinners of beef tenderloin, herbed couscous, salad, chocolate delights, champagne and more.

Sign me up:
Brunch: $65/$60 for members
Dinner: $75/$70 for members
Reservations recommended

Animal Amore Tour
Oakland Zoo
Saturday, February 13, 9am
Sunday, February 14, 9am

The Pitch:

Ever wonder about the love lives of Animals? Are they Monogamous or Romantic? Do they really fall in Love?

This Valentine’s Day, surprise your sweetie with something unique—an animal encounter you both will never forget! Join us for “Animal Amore” and learn about the courting, mating, and child-rearing habits of some of Oakland Zoo’s most amorous Zoo animals. We’re featuring a special walking tour in honor of Valentine’s Day!

Sign me up:
$11/free to members
Reservations recommended

Valentine’s Day Love Missions
Chabot Space and Science Center
Saturday, February 13, 1:30pm and 3:30pm
Sunday, February 14, 1:30pm and 3:30pm

The Pitch:

Celebrate with your Valentine on a simulated space mission to the Red Planet. This package includes an all access pass to the Center, chocolates, fizzy Martian beverage, and a souvenir of your trip.

Sign me up:
$85 per couple/$80 members
Reservations recommended.

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