Museums in the West offer creative events after-hours.
Check your whisper at the door. Museums turn up the volume when the sun goes down. During after-hours events—creative mixes of music, cocktails, gallery talks, and nighttime tours—museums in the West know how to cut loose.
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: THIRD THURSDAYS San Francisco. Chill out with more than 6,000 aquarium animals as you sip icy drinks and listen to live Brazilian jazz. Third Thursday of each month. $5. (415) 321-8000, www.calacademy.org .
NEVADA MUSEUM OF ART: FIRST THURSDAYS Reno. Sample ice-cold microbrews, roam the galleries, and take in performances that vary from belly dancing to bluegrass music. First Thursday of each month. $8–$10. (775) 329-3333, www.nevadaart.org .
OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA: FIRST FRIDAYS Oakland. Learn more about the current exhibits through related film screenings, evening concerts, gallery talks, and dance performances. First Friday of each month. $5–$8. (510) 238-2200, www.museumca.org .
ORANGE COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART: ORANGE CRUSH Newport Beach, Calif. Unwind with drinks, food, and live entertainment that complement the newest art displays. September's event features a jazz trio playing hits from the 1920s to the 1950s. Third Thursday of each month. Free. (949) 759-1122, www.ocma.net .
PORTLAND ART MUSEUM: MUSEUM AFTER HOURS Portland. Hit the dance floor as bands play blues, jazz, and hip-hop. Every Wednesday starting in October. $4–$7. (503) 226-2811, www.pam.org .
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM: THURSDAY AFTER HOURS Seattle. Nibble on appetizers, sip a little vino, and feast your ears on a rotating mix of live jazz, rock, world, and folk tunes, as well as turns by local DJs. Every Thursday. $5–$7. (206) 654-3100, www.seattleartmuseum.org .
Photography by Mitch Tobias 
This article was first published in March 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.