November is a month where many of us contemplate what we are most thankful for, and if you’re like the more than millions of visitors that come to Golden Gate Park each year…then you probably already appreciate having such a fantastic attraction right in your own backyard. Just in case you’ve forgotten, there are a wealth of activities and events to enjoy in the park. So, while you wait for the time when turkey, cranberry, stuffing and pie will decorate your dining room table, why don’t you check out some of the following Golden Gate Park events for November 2014?

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Free Gardening Class: Composting – GGP CommUNITY Garden – November 1 

Capping off the free fall gardening classes hosted by SF Parks & Rec, the theme of this month’s outdoor experience is ‘composting and vermicomposting.’ This class will take place at 780 Fredrick Street at Arguello, and last from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. During this session, prepare yourself to learn the basics and primary benefits of composting, as well as touch upon soil enrichment, fertilizing, waste reduction, and water conservation. The class is free, but you must RSVP here: [email protected].

Thursday Nightlife: Bio-techno – California Academy of Sciences – November 6

Where else in San Francisco are you able to learn about technological advances and biodiversity in a manner that includes music by Bearracuda DJs, cocktails, and star-gazing on the Academy’s Living Roof? Bio-technology is the theme of the first Thursday Nightlife event for November 2014. Other activities and demonstrations to look forward to include a presentation with Nerds for Nature and artist Walter Kitundu, who fashions instruments out of structures related to the natural world.

Every Thursday night, the Academy hosts an evening event that lasts from 6–10 p.m., where a new theme or topic is explored. You have to be 21 years of age or older, and come with a valid piece of identification. Tickets are $12 for non-members and $10 for members.

Other Academy Nightlife events in November 2014 include:

  • Nov 13 – Elemental Nightlife: The California College of the Arts will assist the Academy in putting on an evening filled with an exploration centered on the elements of creativity. Things to consider: 3D “elemental” models that let you form your own atoms and molecules; tracing your neighbor’s shadow; and watch wood carvings of unique skeletal structures come to life.
  • Nov 20 – Bitelife: The topic of the night is all things edible, including a demonstration on how to prepare your own turducken sausage; specialty cocktails; an exploration of fungi and bacteria (and how it helps your food); beer drinking; and organic beverages.

Friday Night at deYoung: Nightclubbing – de Young Museum – November 7

The first Friday Night at deYoung of November, and the rest of the events for the month will be co-organized by the Keith Haring Advisory Committee – in conjunction with the museum’s Keith Haring: The Political Line exhibit. To kick off the month, a dance party hosted by Fab 5 Freddy will take place at Wilsey Court at 6:30 p.m. Also, don’t forget to head for the Kimball Education Gallery around 6 p.m. to check out the “Vibes from Within” happenings and sculptural/ architectural work of Artist-in-Residence and Global Fellow, Leonard Tebegetu.

As always, this cultural-centered evening is free for all ages with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the arts, crafts, music, dance, film screenings, and educational tidbits. The festivities begin at 6 p.m., and end around 8:45 p.m.

Other themes for the Friday Night series in November 2014 include:

  • Nov 14: What’s Your Issue? – The event will include presentations by Reclaim Distrust, the Coalition on Homelessness, the News, and SpaceKraft. You’ll also listen to in-gallery talks and see entertaining performances.
  • Nov 21: Taking It to the Streets – Co-organized by street artists René Yañez and Rigo 23, just some of the activities to look forward to at this week’s event include the talent of street artists, mural creations, printmaking stations, live music and dance performances.

Sleepover at CAS – California Academy of Sciences – November 7

When you’re looking to treat your child to an unforgettable experience at Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences hosts periodic ‘sleepovers’ that include getting up, close and personal with some of the resident creatures; planetarium showings; bedtime story with milk and cookies; spending time with the penguins; and having a continental breakfast at the Academy Café. The cost to enjoy this program is $89 per person for members, and $109 per person for non-members. Please note that children must be chaperoned by an adult.

Chocolate, Coffee, Cocktails & Dessert – SF Botanical Garden – November 8

If you love sweet desserts and beverages, then you might want to mark your calendars for the pairing of decadent chocolate and steaming cups of coffee that offer a hint of the types of ingredients found in the forests of Central and South America. You’ll also have a chance to purchase your own coffee and chocolate from Four Barrel and Dandelion during the event, which will be held at the Exhibition Garden from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Expect an admission fee of $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

Playworks Family Fun Run – Pioneer Log Cabin Picnic Area – November 8

From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., enjoy an outing with the family by joining in on a fun-filled morning that includes activities, snacks and mingling with others. The run begins at 10 a.m. Registration fees do apply in order to participate in this event, which range from $15 per runner to $45 for a family of 4+. All parents, family, friends, kids and even pets are welcome. For more information, you can check out

Keith Haring: The Political Line Exhibition Opening – deYoung Museum – November 8

With works on loan from the Keith Haring Foundation in New York City and several pieces from public and private collections, the deYoung Museum at Golden Gate Park will host the artwork of Keith Haring, who was known for his interpretation of New York City street culture of the 1980s. The exhibition will feature more than 130 works of art including large scale paintings (on tarpaulins and canvases), sculptures, and a handful of the artist’s subway drawings. Thankfully, you have a bit of time to check out the works of Haring, as this exhibition (housed in the Herbst Special Exhibition Galleries) will continue on until February 16, 2015.

End of Season Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – November 8

As 2014 nears to its end, so does the season of plant sales at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. It’s time to get what you can to decorate your home and garden by paying a visit to the Nursery from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Access to the plant sale is reached from the Main Gate.

Spreckles Lake 5K & the San Franciscan Mile – Kennedy Drive near Spreckles Lake – November 9

Double your running pleasure with two races on the same day by heading to the Spreckles Lake area at John F Kennedy Drive & 36th Avenue to partake in a 1-mile race that begins at 8:45 a.m., A 5K run follows the 1-mile race, which will run eastbound on Kennedy Drive, and take you to Transverse, Middle Drive West, Bernice Rogers Drive, and back onto Kennedy Drive for a finish near Spreckles Lake. The cost to participate in the race is $3 for ages 13-17; $3 for member who are 18 and over; $5 for adult non-members; and free entry for ages up to 12 years old. The total event is scheduled to last from 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more details, visit

Aquascapes: The Art of Underwater Gardening – Conservatory of Flowers – November 13

The opening of the Aquascapes: The Art of Underwater Gardening exhibit at the Conservatory kicks off in mid-November, and should be a real treat for those who fancy tropical flowers. The stars of this show are the tropical underwater gardens on display, which highlight vibrant, live aquascapes representing the diverse beauty of freshwater tropical waterways of Africa, Asia and South America. What’s really cool about this exhibit is that the tropical scene will grow, change and transform throughout its run, so no two visits will produce the same experience. This exhibition will be available for visitors to enjoy until April 12, 2015.

Mustache Dache – San Francisco! – 1 Music Concourse Drive – November 16

Dubbed the ‘biggest and best mustache-themed running party,’ this event goes towards supporting Movember, an organization centered on men’s health. Starting at 9 a.m., Golden Gate Park will host the 5K event, which also includes a post-race fiesta with free beer, live music, food, and other fun. There will also be a Kid’s Run, where participants get their own bib, finisher’s medal, and a Mustache Dache cape. For the cost of $20, kids 12 and under are allowed to run in this race, which is reasonably doable for all to enjoy. The price for adults to participate ranges from $20 to $55. For more information on available prizes and the fee schedule for participants, visit

Sweet Relief Race Series: San Francisco – Music Concourse Drive – November 16

Offering a number of running and walking opportunities (including a 5K and a ½ mile), the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund has organized an event to get your health and fitness levels moving in the right direction. For more information, contact [email protected] or call 949-715-4606.

A Rare Species Propagation Workshop – SF Botanical Garden – November 22

If exotic and rare plants have always fascinated you, then don’t miss out on the Botanical Garden’s workshop on “Cultivating Endangered Plants.” From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., you will learn how to do your part in conserving some of nature’s dwindling treasures, including specimens that hail from the cloud forest. This hands-on workshop takes place in the SFBG Nursery, where you will learn about some of the rarest specimens the Garden has to offer, including plants from the Andean, Southeast Asian and Mesoamerican cloud forest. Part of the experience includes potting your own cutting from their stock collection to take home. The cost of this workshop is $20 for members; and $30 for non-members.

Turkey Trot – Polo Field – November 27

One of the most looked-forward-to traditions at Golden Gate Park is the Turkey Trot extravaganza that really gets locals of all ages into the swing of the Thanksgiving holiday. Before main courses and side dishes are served at home, many San Franciscans head to Polo Field to participate in a range of events, such as the cross-country style 5M Turkey Trail Trot (run) and the 3M Pilgrim Promenade (walk) – beginning at 8:40 a.m. As always, a Kids Gobbler Chase (100 meters of fun) encourages kids to ‘beat the turkey,’ and starts at 8 a.m.

To register for this event (and pay a $34 fee), which caps off at 1,400 participants, click here. Paid entrants will receive a T-shirt to commemorate the event.

Season Finale Friday Nights at deYoung: “The Legacy of Youth” – de Young Museum – November 28

It’s that time again, when deYoung Museum’s Friday Night free cultural get-togethers go into hibernation (and don’t emerge again until March). If you want to squeeze in one last chance to enjoy art-making, music, dance, and good times…the Season Finale is being held on November 28, where you’ll encounter spoken word poetry, dance performances, and art-making stations at Buchanan Court.