Shuttling around in a jet pack chair while slightly buzzed from neon-lit martinis sounds like a scene from the newest James Bond flick, but it’s actually one of the attractions offered at After Hours at the Tech Museum of Innovation. The monthly 21-and-over event opens the museum up to nightlife where party games, cocktails, science and pizza bites collide.

Upon entering the cavernous space, I was greeted by thumping Top 40 dance music and the first round of many drink specials for the “Retro Space: Sci-Fi Versus Reality” themed night. The first thing that struck me was how the open architecture of the museum is ideal for an after-hours event. It acts as a natural sound amplifier and provides many angles for people watching, from guests lining up for commemorative Laser-tinis and Alien-tinis ($7 then $5 for refills) to the crowd that was forming on the dance floor below. More drink specials and food were available, with prices starting at $5.

Most of the museum remained open for the special event and popular exhibits were staffed by volunteers. The atmosphere was fun and a tad irreverent. I was experiencing a simulated 8.3 Hokkaido earthquake when another guest boasted, “I’ve ridden BART! This is nothing!” I also spotted a few revelers clutching giant blow-up alien dolls. One such guest was birthday girl Radhika, 23, from Sunnyvale. The Tech Museum’s offer of free admission for those whose birthday falls in the same month added to the cheerful mood.

Activities set up just for the sci-fi evening included hovercraft creation with test wind tunnels and a Social Robots Lab. Though it did get hard to hear others right next to the dance floor, robot creation proved captivating enough for guests to shout at one another over the bass.

The wine and cheese tasting on the roof had a more classic vibe and additional pricing starting at $12 for three pours. Michael Kowitz of organized the rooftop event, which showcased local wines and in the future could branch out with international offerings.

With so many different activities going on, After Hours attracted a good cross-section of Silicon Valley. and a group sent out their own invites. There were groups of 20-somethings, young couples, and college students, as well as older patrons and solo adventurers. Even the dress code ranged from jeans and hoodies to LBDs and high heels.

After Hours at the Tech Museum of Innovation
First Thursday of the month, 7pm-midnight
$10 general admission
free to those whose birthday falls within the month