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Frequently Asked Questions—Evening Events

Evening Events

Why choose Lawrence Hall of Science?
What kinds of events are typically held at the Hall?
What does the event fee include?
What will it cost to hold my event at the Hall?
What about parking?
How many guests can I invite?
Do you require a deposit?
Do you require insurance?
Do you recommend a certain caterer?
What about other caterers?
Do you provide tables and chairs?
Can we play music?
How about dancing?
Can you tell me more about Lawrence Hall of Science?
Sounds great, how do I reserve a spot?

Why choose Lawrence Hall of Science?
Our clients choose the Hall for the spectacular views and our unique setting.

What kinds of events are typically held at the Hall?
Most of our evening events are dinners, wedding ceremonies, receptions, anniversaries, reunions, and holiday parties. The Hall is available for rental most evenings after closing at 5:00 p.m. Because we are a public museum, use of space for private events depends upon the arrangement of our exhibits. We will do our best to work with you to accommodate your desired floor plan.
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What does the event fee include?
You will have exclusive, private use of the entire building as well as access to our math and science exhibits on the main level. We also include an experienced event manager and a visitor-services representative to welcome you and to make sure your event goes smoothly. Normal and usual cleaning charges are also included in the event fee.
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What will it cost to hold my event at the Hall?
There are two evening rental options available. Our most popular rental option is from 5 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (including setup and breakdown time). This option is available weekends (Friday - Sunday) and the fee is $4000 for up to 500 guests. (There is a discount for UC affiliates and for Friends of the Hall.) For shorter evening events from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday only, the fee is $2000 for up to 500 guests. (UC affiliates and Friends of the Hall receive a discount). Catering, furniture, decorations, music, and additional options are handled through separate vendors.
Download evening rental fees.

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What about parking?
We have 250 convenient parking spaces. Our parking lots are operated by the UC Berkeley parking system. The parking rates are $1 per hour, available in 1 hour increments. Payment is done through self-service machines located near the various lots and near the plaza entrance to Lawrence Hall of Science. Parking machines take exact cash or credit cards. Reservation of the parking lots can be made through special arrangement.
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How many guests can I invite?
The capacity of the main level ranges from 50-500, depending on the exhibits in place at the time of the event, and the type of event. Generally, the capacity for a sit-down dinner with all guests seated in the same area is 150. For a more casual affair with food stations and seating for guests throughout the main exhibit floor, the capacity is 300. A cocktail reception can accommodate up to 500 guests.
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Do you require a deposit?
Yes. We can hold your date when you send a copy of our written rental agreement with your deposit (50% of the estimated rental fee). The balance of the rental fee is due 30 days prior to the event. Any additional expenses incurred as a result of the event will be billed to you after the event.
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Do you require insurance?
Yes. We must receive a Certificate of Insurance naming The Regents of the University of California as an additional insured for your event.
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Do you recommend a certain caterer?
Cal Catering is our in-house caterer and can be contacted at http://catering.berkeley.edu/
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What about other caterers?
We have a list of caterers who have experience at the Hall. You may choose from this list, or use a different caterer. Your chosen caterer must be fully licensed and insured and will be asked to produce those documents for us. Self-catering is not an option. We are happy to work with your caterer on the arrangements for your event.
Download caterer list
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Do you provide tables and chairs?
No. However, tables, chairs, and decorative furnishings can be easily arranged through your caterer or from an outside vendor. Your caterer or vendor will need to handle the set-up and removal of the furnishings.
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Can we play music?
Music is welcome at Lawrence Hall of Science. Many receptions and parties use a sound system or DJ indoors and enjoy music until the end of the evening. Out of consideration for local neighbors and in compliance with the City of Berkeley Noise Abatement law, all outdoor and loud music can end no later than 10:00 p.m. This has particular relevance to events that use our outdoor Plaza, lawn area, or Forces That Shape the Bay exhibit space.
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How about dancing?
Many of the events held at the Hall feature dancing. Dancing takes place in our lobby space, in Science On A Sphere, or in the tiled area near the exit to the outdoor science park area.
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Can you tell me more about Lawrence Hall of Science?
The Lawrence Hall of Science is the public science center at the University of California, Berkeley. We spark curiosity and excitement about science and math through the fun of hands-on discovery. We are a unique combination of a science museum, teacher training center, and curriculum development center, and we have been serving K-12 education for over 40 years. The Lawrence Hall of Science was opened to the public in 1968 as a living memorial to the scientist Ernest O. Lawrence (1901-1958), the University's first Nobel Prize winner (1939) and the inventor of the atom-smashing cyclotron.
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Sounds great, how do I reserve a spot?
Give us a call to share ideas and schedule an appointment for a site visit. Email Events Coordinator Emma Duran-Forbes or call her at 510-642-2275.