Lawrence Hall of Science, 50 years: 1968-2018; University of California, Berkeley
Marble runs during Winter Weeks
ADR Winter Weeks
New Year's Eve Balloon Drop

Saturday, December 22, 2018 to Sunday, January 6, 2019

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

All exhibits and activities are included with your admission unless noted below. Members always admitted free.

Holiday hours: December 24, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
December 25: Closed
December 31: Open
January 1, 2019: Open

The Hall’s annual Winter Weeks celebration is back!

Celebrate the holiday season and the start of the new year with two weeks of scientific exploration at UC Berkeley's public science center.

Enjoy all your favorite activities and exhibits—such as the Animal Discovery Room, Ingenuity Challenges, and the Planetarium—every day during Winter Weeks. Plus, experience some of our newest additions, including the Well Played! exhibit, our Science Film Festival, and two special screenings of a magical holiday film, The Polar Express, in 3D!

The Polar Express 3D at the Hall

December 22, 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.
$6 plus Hall admission. $4 for Members.*

The Hall invites your family to enjoy special screenings of the holiday classic The Polar Express, shown in 3D! Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be available for purchase on the day of your visit. Members may purchase their tickets in advance.

*Digital theater passes will not be accepted for this film.

Daily Planetarium Shows

$4 with admission
Limited showtimes December 24; closed December 25
See Showtimes

Blast off into space and discover what it’s like to study the night sky in our live and interactive Planetarium Shows!

Choose between Imagine the Sky Tonight (a show all about the origin, history, and uses of constellations) and our newest show, Mars Explorations, in which you'll learn about the secrets and unique features of the Red Planet.

Planetarium visitors

Marble Machines in Ingenuity Challenges

11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Open 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. on December 24, closed on December 25
Free with admission. Free for Members.

Use ramps, lifts, tubes, and jumps to design, build, and test your own creative ball run that allows your marble to get from Point A to Point B, all while following some really cool paths in between.

Planetarium visitors

The Annual New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop

Monday, December 31st
Balloon Drop times: 11:00 a.m.; 12 noon; 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 & 4:00 p.m.

Our big balloon drop has truly ballooned (pun intended!) into an incredible celebration, thanks to you—our wonderful Members and guests. Bring the whole family to the Hall on New Year's Eve day for a kid-friendly celebration! Ring in another year of scientific discovery and fun at our New Year's Eve Balloon Drop celebration. To help us ensure safety and fun with large crowds, we will hold six timed and ticketed balloon drops at 11:00 a.m.; 12 noon; 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 & 4:00 p.m. Preregistration is required for Members and the general public. The general public can attend the Balloon Drop free with paid admission to the Hall. Always free for Members.

Members are invited to join us in the Members Lounge, where you and your family can get away from the crowds and enjoy on-the-hour sparkling cider toasts, fun activities, and a space to sit and relax while you celebrate the approaching New Year!

Balloon Drop and Registration Details

Advanced registration is required for this popular event. A limited number of tickets may be available on the day of the event, although not guaranteed. Please register for only one timed drop.

Upon arrival at the Hall, all preregistered ticket holders will be given a wristband for their designated time. Wristband-wearers must show their wristbands to enter the event at their ticketed time. Then, it's time for some balloon drop fun!

Yes, free registration is required for each individual (even those 2 and under). Because our event draws large crowds, registration allows us to ensure everyone's safety by keeping crowds manageable and enjoyable.

Regular membership guest policies apply. You may bring guests who are covered by your membership benefits, at no cost. Additional guests must pay general admission. If you are not sure who is covered, please call our Membership Office at (510) 642-1838. All ticket holders will be given a wristband for their timed drop.

Upon your arrival at the Hall, follow signs for Will Call, where you will check in for your wristbands. Have your ID and Member card ready, if applicable. Note: The purchaser of the online tickets must be present and show ID to pick up wristbands for the group. We will be checking wristbands at the entrance to the Balloon Drop hall.

If the event has not been sold out by December 30th, a limited number of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitor Services Desk on December 31st.

Balloon drops will happen on time, and we can't be responsible for late arrivals. Our best advice is to plan ahead and arrive early. Be prepared to wait in line both at the parking kiosks and at the Will Call line. If the lines don't happen to be long, you can use the extra time to enjoy the exhibits!

Yes, registering everyone in your party allows us to keep track of attendance to each balloon drop. Because our event draws large crowds, registration allows us to ensure everyone's safety by keeping crowds manageable and the event enjoyable.

We're happy to help! Please contact us at

Looking for Scientifically Inspired Holiday Gifts?

Our Discovery Corner Store has the perfect gifts for everyone in your family. Make the most out of your visit, and support UC Berkeley’s Public Science Center. Remember, your purchase helps enable a range of science programs at the Hall.

Discovery Corner Store

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide for the best gift ideas!

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