The time of year and weather creates an ideal setting for a wide range of events at Golden Gate Park to take place during September.  This month, the park hosts an assortment of athletic pursuits, music performances, cultural celebrations, and many different fundraising efforts for good causes. Whether you’re walking (or running) to raise money or exploring a fascinating topic of science, consider the following Golden Gate Park events for September 2014:


GGP Band Labor Day Celebration– Spreckels Temple of Music – September 1 

The Music Concourse at the Spreckels Temple of Music will play host to another wave of performances by the Golden Gate Park Band, which are typically held at 1 p.m. and provide around an hour and a half of music, dance, and good times. The Band kicks off September with a special Labor Day Celebration of American Music.

Other free Golden Gate Park Band performances for September 2014 include:

  • Sept. 14: Spanish dancing with El Grupo Sabores de Espana
  • Sept. 21: Robert Emmet Day with Irish music, singing and dancing
  • Sept. 28: Jazz at the Park

BayAreaBold NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – September 4

Presented by the San Francisco Foundation, the Academy will host a collection of storytellers, music, and other fun activities as part of their weekly Thursday night gatherings. Some of the performances and pieces to expect during the evening will include the talent of poet and playwright Chinaka Hodge, writer Hiya Swanhuyser, and musician Thao Nguyen. You’ll be able to play games to win prizes, such as exclusive T-shirts designed by The Bold Italic and tickets to local events. Check out the .gif-making photo booth from SmileBooth, and on-the-spot screen printing by San Franpsycho. In the Piazza, MOM DJs will spin an assortment of retro hits. This 21 and over event starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$12.

Friday Night at de Young (Modernist Movements) – de Young Museum – September 5

Every week, Friday Nights at the de Young hosts an event for all ages that centers on art, music, dance, performances, and projects for expressing creativity. Held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the festivities also focus on a specific theme – one that often ties into some of the current art exhibits featured at the museum. This month, Modernist Movements is the first theme explored, and it’s connected to the special exhibition Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection, which takes visitors on an exploration of water.

At Buchanan Court, an art-making station will be set up at 6 p.m. for creating a Modernist mixed-media art project. At 6 p.m., a Performance Installation will feature sound artist and instrument builder Jay Kremier, who will delight with a range of tones and pitches at the Garden of Enchantment. Live Music by Conspiracy of Beards will take place at Wilsey Court at 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., where the 30-member all-male choir group will perform a collection of water-inspired songs of legendary poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Additional Friday Night events for September 2014 include:

  • Sept. 12 – An Evening Organized by Artist Fellow Lexa Walsh: An event filled with music and film that highlights the talent of Oakland artists and musicians who regularly performed at the former Heinz Afterworld Lounge during the early 1990s. Other activities include live music by Daniel Popsicle at Wilsey Court (6:30 p.m.); film screening of First Friday, a documentary film by N’Jeri Eaton & Mario Furloni; and live music by Kneel (a Neil Diamond tribute band) at Wilsey Court (7:45 p.m.).
  • Sept. 19 – A Tribute to the Cockettes: In celebration of Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay, a tribute to the Cockettes (the theater troupe Friedkin documented in a series of photographs on view in the exhibition) is the highlight of the evening. Piano Bar and Live Performances by the Thrillpeddlers will take place at Wilsey Court at 6:30 p.m. Koret Auditorium will also host a film screening of ‘A Tribute to the Cockettes’ at 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 26 – Tiara Sensation: Join in the fun at the Fourth Annual Tiara Sensation Pageant by gathering at Wilsey Court at 6 p.m., where Club SOME THING teams up with the de Young Museum to pay homage to Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay with Tiara Sensation. Contestants will show off their talents and looks in an attempt to catch the eye of judges who will crown one champion as the next Tiara Sensation. A mixed-media art station set up at Buchanan Court at 6 p.m. will be led by CJ Grossman, and is inspired by the photographs of Anthony Friedkin and the Bullycide Project.

DIY Mosaic Planters – SF Botanical Garden – September 7

Local mosaic artist Rita Soyfertis will host a workshop where you’ll learn how to design a quirky mosaic garden planter. Not only will the class teach about the history of mosaics, but also touches upon the range of techniques including grouting, placement, and sources for materials for additional projects. In the end, students will be able to take home their own mosaic planter box. All materials are included within the fee for the workshop; this event is $90 for members and $100 for nonmembers. The class lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an hour-long lunch break.

Opera in the Park – Sharon Meadow – September 7

Every year, a free opera concert is held at Golden Gate Park, and this month, the program will celebrate the opening of San Francisco Opera’s 92st season. Accompanied by the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Orchestra, this performance will be conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. While food and beverages will be available for sale at the event, this outdoor concert is rather ideal for bringing along a picnic lunch. This event will start at 1:30 p.m.

Japanese Full Moon Walk – SF Botanical Garden – September 9

With participants meeting at the Main Gate, the Botanical Garden will host a walk under the full, autumn moon, which includes a docent naturalist pointing out some of the most interesting nighttime sights in the Garden. At the end of the walk, gather for hot tea and cookies while taking your last looks at the moon by the viewing pond. You are encouraged to dress warmly and bring along a flashlight. The cost to enjoy this walk is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Keep in mind that check-in is at 7:30 p.m., and the tour will promptly begin at 8 p.m. – no late arrivals will be accepted. The overall event is scheduled for 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

NightLife LIVE: Forests – California Academy of Sciences – September 11

For those of you that love greenery, you may want to mark your calendar for this NightLife event, which will have plenty of musical entertainment to keep you busy. Expect performances by musician Kelley Stoltz and the 60’s-era psychedelic rock of supporting act Mystic Braves; as well as large-scale steel sculpture art by Karen Cusolito. Browse the collection of Amazonian dart guns, climbing gear, medicinal plants and herbal remedies at African Hall. Learn more about jungle dwellers, including sloths and insects. King of Mushrooms will highlight fungi foraging and identification. Science experts will be found at every turn, such as conservationists from the California Wolf Center. Check out the happenings at the Project Lab, where you’ll find live snakes with Academy docents. Head for the Piazza, where DJ Britt Govea spins a folk-pop set to help set the mood.

Keep in mind that NightLife events at the Academy are for the 21 and over crowd; and last from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$12.

Plant Sale – San Francisco Botanical Garden – September 13

The stars of the monthly plant sale held at the Nursery of the SF Botanical Garden are Native Plants & Succulents. This sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and can be accessed from the Main Gate.

Park Chalet Concert Series – Park Chalet – September 13, 14, 20, 26, 27 & 28

Continuing on with their summer-long concert series, the Park Chalet will play host to a variety of solo artists and bands that will entertain during the weekends in September. The schedule of musicians slated to perform include: Stephen Norfleet Jr. (13th) Charlie Barreda (14th), The Deadlies (20th), Pulama – Music of Hawaii (26th), and The David Berson Band (28th). The “Band of the Month,” The Groove Collective, will perform on the 27th.

Highlights from the Anderson Collection – de Young Museum – starts September 13

There’s a new exhibit coming to de Young Museum in September, and it’s called Celebrating the Spectrum: Highlights from the Anderson, which concentrates on how artists of the past 60 years (such as Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein) have incorporated color as a primary element in their printmaking. Entry to this exhibition is included with the price of general admission to the museum. The exhibit will continue on until April 5, 2015.

Tour de Fat – Golden Gate Park – September 13

As one of the stops of the 10-city tour across the U.S., San Francisco is participating once again in the 15th season of the Tour de Fat. The day-long festivities that take place in the city are free with any proceeds from beer sales going towards local non-profits. Offering entertaining activities and performances, such as vaudeville acts and musical acts, the event is fun for all ages. Some of the features to look out for include a parade, costumed riders, the Yo-Yo People, and a 1,000 person dance contest where the winner gets a New Belgium cruiser bike.


The 420 GamesGolden Gate Park Bandshell – September 13

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the GGP Bandshell will host a series of runs, bike rides and other fun athletic events to shed light on the responsible use of marijuana. The goal of the Games is to spread the word on de-stigmatizing the millions of people who use marijuana in a positive manner. The price to enter the 5K run/walk includes entry, event bib, beer tasting from Lagunitas for two hours, and access to a concert by Zepparella. It is important to note that “smoking” is not allowed within Golden Gate Park, and the 420 Games do not endorse the illegal use of marijuana. For more information, click here.

“Comedy in the Park” Free Festival – Sharon Meadow – September 14

What’s better than a day filled with laughter? A free day filled with laughter…

Showcasing the talents of more than 40 comedians (all on one stage), Comedy Day lasts for five hours, making it one of the most highly anticipated comedy ‘shows’ in the area. This year, the 34th annual festival will be dedicated to Robin Williams, who was known to make a surprise appearance at Comedy Day throughout the years. This event will begin at 12 p.m., and is slated to end around 5:30 p.m.

Liver Life Walk – GGP Music Concourse – September 20

Golden Gate Park will host one of the largest liver-related events in the country, which works towards the fight against liver disease. Registration for this event will begin at 9 a.m. with the walk starting at 10 a.m., which includes fun prizes, refreshments, and activities for the family. To register, visit, or call (415) 248-1060.

Harvest Tea in the Garden of Fragrance – SF Botanical Garden – September 20

With the guidance of herbalist Georgann Cunney, allow the beauty of Golden Gate Park’s Botanical Garden to enchant your senses with a high tea celebration of autumn. From 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., the aromatic foliage of rosemary, lemon verbena, lavender, and other natural delights will help set the stage for a mid-day tea and herbal workshop with tea sandwiches, tea cakes and many other fragrant edibles. It is highly suggested to sign up early, as this class has a tendency to fill up quickly. The fee to participate in this event is $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information, call (415) 661-1316.

Outbreak NightLife – Academy of Sciences – September 25 

Throughout the museum, the Thursday Nightlife series will involve the insight of microbiologists, who will be on hand to speak on the “dynamic diseases that have shaped the world we live in.” Some of the topics that Dr. Shannon Bennett (the Academy’s curator of microbiology) and several top scientists of Bay Area will discuss include the cutting-edge tools scientists use to identify and track outbreaks. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. The NightLife events at the Academy last from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and are only open to the 21+ crowd – tickets cost $10 (for members) and $12 for the general public.

Pandemic Family Festival – California Academy of Sciences – September 27

The Academy’s Piazza will host a family-friendly event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where visitors can take part in many different activities and learning opportunities. For example, the Animal Health Department gives you a chance to meet the team that cares for the 38,000 live animals at the Academy. Other features of the festival include the Charles Chiu Lab (teaches about zoonotic viral infections and the epidemic potential from monkeys); San Francisco Department of Public Health (explains the differences between flu facts and flu myths); and the Pandemic Team of Skoll Global Threats Fund (uses a black light glow powder to show how diseases spread through touch).

Bulgarian Festival – San Francisco County Fair Building – September 27

With special guests, The Fondation, the annual festival honoring Bulgarian culture will take place at the SF County Fair Building with plenty of music, food, and fun. Although free for children under 18 and seniors over 65, the cost for others to enjoy this event is $35, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, call (415) 425-3877.

Walk to Stop Diabetes – Music Concourse – September 27

From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., you can participate in the American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes to help raise funds for diabetes research, education and advocacy. This 3-mile walk is dedicated to the Red Striders (walkers with diabetes). For more information, contact (510) 654-4499, ext. 7409, visit, or email [email protected].

Lindley Meadow XC 4M – Lindley Meadows – September 28

The start and finish for this double 2-mile cross country loop that takes runners through grass, dirt and trails of Golden Gate Park is at Lindley Meadows (located across from Spreckles Lake). This month’s race starts at 9 a.m. Fees to participate are as follows: ages up to 12 years old (free); 13-17 years ($3); 18 and over ($3 for members and $5 for non-members). For more details, call the DSE Hotline at (415) 978-0837 or visit their website at

Charity and the JAMBand – Park Chalet – September 28

Offering activities and a fun-filled afternoon at Golden Gate Park, this month’s musical extravaganza will concentrate on the theme of ‘celebrating peace.’ Mark your calendars, as this is the second to last JAMBand event for the year. It will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, you can call (415) 425-0372.

Film Screening of Contagion – Morrison Planetarium – September 28

With Dr. Shannon Bennett (Associate Curator of Microbiology at the Academy) serving as moderator, gather at Morrison Planetarium to screen the film Contagion on the largest all-digital planetarium in the world. This special Sunday evening screening will start at 6 p.m., and costs $10 for members and $12 for the general public to attend.

Alice’s Now & Zen Fest 2014 – Sharon Meadow – September 28

The annual free concert hosted by Radio [email protected] has been going on now for 16 years, and the 2014 bash will include performances by Neon Trees and Matt Nathanson. All ages are welcome to come and enjoy the atmosphere. Free bike valet will be offered at the main entrance. Doors open at 11 a.m. This event will be held from noon to 5 p.m., and is slated to take place at Sharon Meadow (JFK Drive and Kezar Drive).