Known for a time of year where you profess your adoration for others, February is a month often closely associated with Valentine’s Day and the celebration of love. This year, we have one extra day to spend enjoying and showing love for Golden Gate Park events in February 2016, as another Leap Year rolls around. How will you spend your month at one of the most visited parks in the U.S.? Run in the park? Admire the beauty of magnolias? Create a funny Valentine? Below you will find an assortment of activities and attractions to keep you busy this month:


Lunar New Year Nightlife – California Academy of Science – February 4

It’s the ‘Year of the Monkey,’ and the Academy would like to help you kick off the celebration with an array of activities and exhibitions that fall under the theme. The Piazza will transform into the ‘Lion’s Den,’ where you can view and learn Lion Dance moves from a Chinatown-based martial arts performance troupe called the Jing Mo Athletic Association. In African Hall, settle in for lunar crafts, where you can try your hand at sewing lunar new year animal crafts. Here, you can also sip on Chinese tea samples, and learn historic facts from the Chinese Historical Society of America. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., DJ Tanoa will spin the tunes at the Coral Reef.

Nightlife events are held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with themes that change on a weekly basis. Costing $12 for members and $15 for non-members, only those who are 21 years and older are allowed to participate. Valid identification is required to gain entry.

Additional Thursday Nightlife events scheduled for February 2016 include:

  • February 11th – Creature Crush NightLife: Animal valentines will be on hand for pictures, as you can further explore all of the things you love about science and nature. The East Pavillion is also the place to go to see the beauty of the Pacific Orchid Exposition.
  • February 18th –Noise Pop NightLife: Life performances by indie rockers Garden & Villa will have the honor of kicking off Noise Pop 2016. Opening act Charlie Hilton will entertain with pop-infused tracks. The night will also offer plenty of sound-related science. And, if you’re looking for new local music to support, don’t forget to check out the pop-up shop to locate your next vinyl record.
  • February 25th –Dark & Stormy NightLife: If extreme weather interests you, then this Nightlife gathering is sure to please. Check out abstract art demonstrations, expert talks (with folks such as meteorologists), a 3D Earth: Rainforests show playing in the Forum Theater, and DJ set by Britt Govea of (((folkYEAH!))).

Restoration of “Dartmouth Hill” – Transverse & Kennedy Drives – February 6

Every four months, volunteers gather to take part in the restoration and beautification of what has become known a ‘Dartmouth Hill.’ With the guidance of seasoned gardeners from the Department of Recreation and Parks, prepare to meet at the ‘Hellman Hollow’ sign on JFK Drivee. Don’t forget to come dressed in gardening clothes. This event is scheduled to last from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Story Time & Family Walk – SF Botanical Garden – February 7 & 21

What better way to spend a Sunday morning with the kids than surrounded by nature, books and science? Watch your little ones settle into comfortable kid-sized cushions, pick a stuffed animal friend, and allow themselves to be entertained by enthusiastic readers. After a 30-minute storytime, a special docent-led children’s tour of the Garden follows. The theme for this month is Birds of Many Feathers. Geared towards children ages 4-8, there are two such events at the Garden, held on the first and third Sunday of every month at 10:30 a.m. It doesn’t cost Garden members and residents of San Francisco with proof of residency anything to enjoy this event.

Spreckles Lake 5K, Lightning Mile & Kids Run – JFK Dr & 36th Ave – February 7

All of the action associated with this 5K run and other activities will take place across from Spreckles Lake, where you can enjoy two races in one. A fast-pace downhill 1-mile race provides short and sweet exercise, while the scenic 5K loop will most likely appeal to those looking for a longer stretch of the legs. You can even participate in both, as the mile starts at 9 a.m., followed by the 5K immediately after completion of the one-mile race. The start/finish for both will be at JFK & 36th Avenue: the Start (at Kennedy Drive near Transverse) and Finish (at Kennedy Drive near Spreckles Lake). A Kids Run (1/2 mile) will also take place at 9:45 a.m.

The cost to participate in this event is:

  • Ages up to 12 years old: free
  • 13-17 years: $3 dollars
  • 18 and over: $3 dollars (members); $5 dollars (non-members)

For more information, you can call (415) 978-0837 or visit

Meet Me Under the Magnolia in San Francisco – SF Botanical Garden – February 13

Bring in Valentine’s Day with a romantic visit to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, where you can sip on sparkling wine and sample garden-inspired treats (such as pie from Butter Love Bakeshop) before enjoying an expert-led tour of the Garden’s blossoming magnolias. Held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the cost to participate in this outing is $30 for couples (with the option to purchase individual tickets). Those who are interested should meet in the Exhibition Garden, and dress warmly for the occasion.

2016 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K – JFK Drive – February 14

You can walk, jog or run your way through a Valentine’s Day outing in the park with the 33rd annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K. Expect the 5K to be fast and follow a downhill course. The starting time will be 8:00 a.m. for both of the races. Participants will meet at the starting gate, which will be set up at John F. Kennedy Drive, east of Stow Lake Drive. All runners and walkers must start by 8:10 a.m. Registration for the race can take place via mail or online. Fees for all ages are $55 for the 5K, and $75 for the half marathon. And, you won’t go home empty-handed, as all registered participants receive finishers’ medals and long-sleeved T-shirts.

For more information, visit

Family Valentine Fun – San Francisco Botanical Garden – February 14

With a 10 a.m. start, you can spend Valentine’s Day morning with a cup of hot cocoa in hand and surrounded by the creativity of magnolia-themed crafts (such as creating paper magnolias) – all in the name of the ‘day of love.’ Grab a Family Adventure Map, and head for the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Please note that heavy rain cancels the event. This opportunity is free to enjoy, and is scheduled to run until 12 p.m.

InterfaceSF Family Fun Day –Mothers Meadow – February 15

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly, community outing, the InterfaceSF Church would like to help you celebrate President’s Day with an assortment of games, crafts, light snacks, and a bounce house. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and if you have any questions, try visiting, calling James at (415) 754-5909, or emailing [email protected].

Magnificent Magnolia Walking Tour– SF Botanical Garden – February 20

You don’t have to be a flower lover to appreciate the beauty of the Garden’s magnolia collection. To learn more about the blooms, mark your calendar to spend a bit of time with a magnolia expert, who will introduce you to the history of the Garden’s collection. You’ll even have a chance to learn a few tips on how to grow your own magnolias in the Bay Area. This event will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and costs $20 for non-members ($15 for members).

Magnolias by Moonlight – SF Botanical Garden – February 22

In case you missed the Valentine’s Day activities last week, you can still enjoy a romantic stroll surrounded by magnolia blossoms by the light of the moon. A Garden naturalist will lead a walking tour, which includes taking a break with a cup of hot tea and a few tasty snacks. Those interested will meet at the Main Gate, promptly on time. Once the group gets going, you’ve missed out. Please keep in mind that heavy rain cancels the event. It is suggested that you also bring a flashlight along. The cost to enjoy this event is $25.

Windmill 10K – Dutch Windmill – February 28

Runners will start out eastbound up Kennedy Drive to reach the intersection prior to McLaren Lodge (Kezar Drive/Second Barricade). They will then turn around and return the same way back from where they came, in order to reach the finish line. This event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

If you are thinking about participating, be prepared to pay the following fees:

  • Ages up to 12 years old: free
  • 13-17 years: $3 dollars
  • 18 and over: $3 dollars (members); $5 dollars (non-members)

For more details, call (415) 978-0837 or visit

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork Exhibit – deYoung Museum – closes February 28

With the price of admission, you’ll be able to pay a visit to the first exhibition of Hawaiian featherwork on the U.S. mainland, where the art, culture and history of Hawaii comes alive. This is your last chance to catch about 75 rare and unforgettable examples of featherwork – from fine capes and cloaks to regal staffs and helmets. Additionally, you can learn more with docent lectures pertaining to the exhibit, which are scheduled for February 7 (2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.), February 13 (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.), and February 28s (2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.).