Creatures and Cocktails

Dressed for the evening in leopard-print tights and red heels, Maya Bush starts out her 25th birthday celebration with a beer and a stroll through a simulated Costa Rican rain forest.

"This is the pre-party," she laughs, struggling to talk over electro-funk tunes provided by a DJ group called the Slayers Club.

At the Swamp Bar set up near an albino alligator named Claude, bartenders dispense $9 red-eye martinis to a well-dressed, after-work crowd snacking on steamed pork buns and blueberry tarts.

Not just another night at the museum. This is NightLife, a weekly, adults-only Thursday night creatures and cocktails party at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Part aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum, the academy transforms itself into a hip nightclub, complete with sound and light shows, dancing and changing themes that range from disposable filmmaking to — coming up Aug. 30 — bacon, featuring scientific illustrations of pigs, games, food and a vegan pig roast. Read more here on my post for NBC News.

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