You probably didn’t think you’d be able to satisfy your sweet tooth at a place like Golden Gate Park, but the range of events that occur at the park is vast. One minute you’re dining on artisan candies and the next – exercising in the great outdoors with never-ending scenery at your fingertips.

“A Chocolate-covered NightLife”

On Thursday, December 16th, the California Academy of Sciences is hosting a sweet event as part of their Nightlife program from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thanks to TCHO, Madecasse, The Tea Room, and Divine Chocolate, you will have access to booths offering chocolate and information. Special presentations are also scheduled, including a Truffle and Ganache Cooking Demonstration at 7 p.m. with the executive chef and founder of La Bonne Cuisine, Christophe Kubiak. The talks are limited so keep in mind that passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sip on one of the chocolate drinks on hand, such as Bison Brew’s Chocolate Stout, while listening to DJs Al Kal, Adrian and Mysterious D. An acapella group will also perform in the Piazza at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to keep you in the holiday spirit. Tickets for this event range from $10 (for Academy members) to $12. You must be 21 years or older to attend. To purchase tickets by phone, call 415-379-8000.

Golden Gate Park Hike

Get your blood pumping and mind clear for the holidays with a hike of the entire length of Golden Gate Park. Join up with other locals at the beginning of the park (intersection of Stanyan and Kezar drive) on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 11 a.m. The group will hike the length of the park and head back after enjoying a lunch break. For more information, check out

Toys for Tots

This holiday season, you can also give a little and get a little back when you participate in the Toys for Tots program at the California Academy of Sciences. Simply bring in a new, unwrapped toy the next time you visit the Academy. Donate the toy and you’ll get in return a $3 discount on your admission to the Academy. The program is being held in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps until December 20th, 2010.