Situated between the Duboce Triangle and Lower Haight neighborhoods, Duboce Park is one of the smaller parks in San Francisco. However, what it lacks in acres is certainly made up for in its unique characteristics that simply radiate with artistic and natural appeal at every turn. Popular with dog walkers, creative minds, children, and those seeking comfort and calm through nature, the park’s décor not only includes a playground and off-leash dog area, but also offers fascinating mosaics, easy access to an arts center, and its very own labyrinth.
DUBOCE PARK ATTRACTIONS & FEATURES
As you walk about Duboce Park, you’ll find plenty of outlets for creative, physical and mental stimulation. The park provides access to a great deal of attractions and features that other parks simply do not possess. Below are highlights that make Duboce Park stand out:
Duboce Park Playground: The playground at Duboce Park has undergone improvements over the years, which offer separate areas for toddler and older children to mingle. A mixture of plastic and metal play structures with rubber mat flooring below include balance beam fun, slides, swings, rings, and plenty of sand to keep youngsters busy. The colorful mosaic wall with inlaid bench is an attraction within the playground that serves as an enjoyable picture-taking spot. Nearby, kids take their soccer balls and outdoor games to the large grass field, which is often frequented by dogs. The playground is located at 550 Duboce Avenue (at Noe Street).
Duboce Park Dog Play Area: The large grassy lawn and designated off-leash area is a haven for dogs, who look forward to energetic romps about the park. Dog owners often come to Duboce & Scott Street to mingle with other canine lovers.
Harvey Milk Recreational Arts Building: Along Scott Street and situated on the west end of the park, the Harvey Milk Arts Center is a facility where numerous community events take place. There is an onsite studio for dance and aerobics classes. You can attend seasonal programs and take courses at the Arts Center that include Chinese Folk Dance, Hip Hop Dance Crew, Sewing and Crocheting, Capoeira, Knitting, and Art Embroidery. The photography center holds collaborative exhibits, in addition to hosting several different programs and activities.
Mosaic Light Pole Signage: Duboce Park’s answer to a lack of signage led to the installation of Blake Sherlock’s colorful mosaic works of art on the concrete pillars that support the light poles in the park. Walk on South Street towards the Rec Center, and you will find Harvey Milk showing you the way. A ball and arrow points you in the direction of the play spaces of the park – towards the playground and dog play area. A mosaic labyrinth with an arrow directs you to the real deal, as you walk west up the passageway. An identifying ‘Duboce Park’ mosaic faces and greets you on Scott Street.
Scott Street Labyrinth: Those seeking a place to meditate, relax or ponder life’s greatest mysteries may find the labyrinth situated along Scott Street an absolute treat. Built by the efforts of Friends of Duboce Park, the labyrinth not only brings visual enlightenment to the park, but also mental and physical stimulation, as it has become a frequented location for picnickers, readers, walkers, and those who practice yoga, tai-chi, and other relaxing pursuits.
THINGS to DO at DUBOCE PARK
Full of sun and popular amongst families and dog owners, residents from across Noe Valley, the Castro and the surrounding Duboce Park neighborhood come to enjoy the atmosphere of the park. In between attending fun events and watching the children have a ball on the playground, the following activities also keep visitors to the Duboce Park busy:
Shooting Some Hoops: With one full basketball court and two half courts, Duboce Park is quite popular amongst locals who wish to participate in a few pick-up games or work up a sweat after work. The fenced-in courts operate on a first come, first serve basis, and are situated to the west – behind the play area.
Attending an Outdoor Movie Night: Free to attend, be on the lookout for the next Outdoor Movie Night at Duboce Park, which showcases a family-friendly flick (such as the animated Inside Out) – thanks to Friends of Duboce Park and the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department.
Hosting an Outdoor Birthday Party: On the other side of the children’s play area, a reservable picnic/lawn area is found on Duboce & Scott St with access to a recreation center and restroom. Ideal for a kid’s birthday party, jumpers are allowed at this site when used with silent generators and only after acquiring an additional permit through the San Francisco Rec and Parks Department. With a two-hour maximum time limit, jumpers can run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Keep in mind that only one picnic reservation is allowed on Saturdays.
Attend an Event at the Harvey Milk Arts Center: There is always something going on at the Arts Center – from a Midnight Music Program to an Annual Film Festival held in the photography center that showcases movies that have been filmed in San Francisco.
DUBOCE PARK ANNUAL & ONGOING EVENTS
From the looks of ongoing and annual events that take place at Duboce Park, you’d think that the park has gone strictly to the dogs, but you’ll also find that the neighborhood makes sure to give back to their beloved park through some of the activities mentioned below:
Duboce Park Dog Fest: Held annually, a celebration of man’s best friend takes place at Duboce Park. Dog Fest is comprised of a silent auction, raffle, and kid’s carnival fun – from bouncy houses and balloon animals to face painting and cotton candy. One of the highlights of the event is the dog competition, where entrants are judged in seven categories: Best Costume, Best Tail, Best Trick, Best Coat, Best Mutt, Best Ears, and the highly anticipated Best Lap Dog.
SFFW Bark in the Park: The east end of Duboce Park plays host to the family-friendly Bark in the Park event that takes place during San Francisco Fleet Week. In celebration and recognition of K-9 Heroes and trained military dogs, gather to view demonstrations that show what working canines do for government agencies, organizations and departments, like the San Francisco Police Department, U.S. Customs Border Protection Agency, CARDA – California Rescue Dog Association, and Canine Companions for Independence.
Monthly Volunteer Days: Whether you’re rejuvenating the planting circle next to the Pierce Street entrance of the park or participating in another gardening project, consider joining the Friends of Duboce Park at their next volunteer day. Under the supervision of a Rec & Park gardener, the department will supply all materials, tools, gloves, plants and other necessities.
Annual Tag Sale: For nearly 20 years, locals have gathered to scan the goods offered at the Friends of Duboce Tag Sale, which sells electronics, housewares, books, music, toys, games, and gently used clothing – all in the name of funding projects to enhance Duboce Park. In the past, proceeds from sales have gone towards completing tasks such as repainting the playground equipment.
DUBOCE PARK WEDDINGS
It’s not uncommon to see locals plan a San Francisco wedding ceremony or reception at one of their favorite parks, and Duboce Park is no exception. While there are no designated wedding facilities at the park, there is a reservable lawn area with access to restrooms and recreation center that you can rent through the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. To request a free quote about making wedding arrangements at Duboce Park, fill out the form below:
DUBOCE PARK IS LOCATED CLOSE TO…
Serving the Castro, Eureka, and Noe Valley neighborhoods, Duboce Park, is bounded by Scott Street in the west and Steiner Street in the east. The park plays an intricate role in the residential section known as the Duboce Triangle. The park is unique in its own right because it has homes positioned directly alongside it, and is one of the few parks in San Francisco that does not have a roadway or walkway that separates the park land from surrounding property and buildings. Because of this, a handful of well-preserved Victorian- and Edwardian-era homes serve as eye candy for visitors. This is an ideal location to catch sight of Queen Anne-style architecture.
If you don’t want to walk about the park on an empty stomach, Duboce Park Café (2 Sanchez St) is a coffee shop that serves organic edibles, sandwiches, salads and smoothies. Sit a spell, as they have outdoor seating with views of the park you’re about to visit. The café is also a place where you can check your Wi-Fi for free. To venture outside of the park, the Duboce Ave & Church St light rail station cuts through the park.
As for other green spaces in the area, Buena Vista Park (Buena Vista & Haight) is a gathering place for those who live in the Haight-Ashbury and Buena Vista Heights neighborhoods. It has a playground, tennis courts, off-leash dog play space, and a stunning presentation of oak woodlands.
Further away, but within walking distance, you will also find Corona Heights Park (located at Roosevelt & Museum Way), which is known for its scenic views, shorter hiking trails, off-leash dog run, tennis courts, playground, outdoor rock-climbing wall on Beaver Street, and easy access to Randall Museum – a children’s museum that has plenty of interactive exhibits and onsite aviary for bird lovers.
Duboce Park Information
Duboce Park Location: Duboce & Scott St
GPS Location: Latitude: 37.7696150 * Longitude: -122.4334278
Duboce Park Hours: 6 a.m. to 10p.m.
Duboce Park Parking: Moderate street parking.
Public Transportation for Duboce Park: N-Judah, J Church 24 Diversadero
Duboce Park Facility Contact: (415) 554-9521