With an artistic flair and noticeable improvements over the years, Garfield Square Park is a favorite amongst soccer players, recreational swimmers, as well as children and families that visit the thriving youth center. In true caterpillar-turned-butterfly fashion, Garfield Park blossomed after relatively recent renovations brought an artificial turf soccer field; remodeled pool, clubhouse and playground; and recreation center to life on its grounds – making it a popular cultural and recreational hub for the Mission District area.
GARFIELD SQUARE ATTRACTIONS & FEATURES
Spread across 3 ½ acres, Garfield Square Park has undergone quite the transformation over recent years – in more ways than one. Below are the main features of this Mission District watering hole that are responsible for making Garfield Park a delightful, culturally-enriching place to visit in San Francisco:
Garfield Square Park Playground: Situated at 1271 Treat Avenue (at 26th and Harrison), the playground found here is one of the multiple fixtures that has undergone a recent upgrade at Garfield Square Park. Under the sun or shade, parents lead their children to a section of the park that has two primary play structures – one geared towards older/larger children and another one that accommodates smaller/younger visitors. Spread across rubber mat flooring, the play structures of Garfield Square Playground are made from both metal and plastic with sandy and non-sand areas to explore. Place your little one in a baby swing. Initiate a game of tag. Take a ride down a slide. Kick around a soccer ball at the nearby field.
Garfield Square Park Recreation Center: The Youth Community Center at Garfield Square Park (26th & Harrison St.) serves as a clubhouse and meeting place for several local groups (such as Mission Girls), who come to the center to study, do homework, read, and mingle. With a capacity to accommodate 50 people, the clubhouse has a small, classroom feel.
Garfield Pool: As swimmers of all skill levels enjoy the multitude of wide lanes at the public, indoor Garfield Pool (26th & Harrison St.), locals come to take swimming lessons, and participate in recreational swims for seniors, adults, pregnant women, youths, preschoolers, and tiny tots. It’s not uncommon to see swim teams practice at the pool; an appearance by members of the local synchronized swim team; or area students taking lessons during the school year. Additionally, Garfield Pool is noted as having one off the most comprehensive special-needs swim schedules out of all the public pools in San Francisco. In addition to paying a daily entrance fee, swimmers can also purchase 10-day visit, monthly, or annual swim pass.
Garfield Pool Murals: The eye-catching, vibrant murals that decorate the exterior of Garfield Pool are a favorite of local and visiting sightseers who enjoy posing in front of the colorfulness. The current artwork comes courtesy of a community-based muralist and arts education group, the Precita Eyes Muralists Association (founded in 1977 by Susan and Luis Cervantes). On the 26th Street side of the building, the Primal Sea piece (with depictions of seashells, swirly octopus tentacles, fish and a blue whale) dates back to 1980. Diego Rivera-inspired Mayan and Aztec themes in red and green dominate the mural found on the Harrison Street side of the pool building.
THINGS to DO at GARFIELD SQUARE
As Garfield Square Park’s reputation elevates to being regarded as a safer space for children and families to congregate, the number of activities and events to enjoy do as well. Below are just some of the things you can do during a visit to Garfield Square:
Read a Book: The Youth Community Center at Garfield Square Park has a lending library, made possible with the help of the Mission police station. Overall, the Mission-based station has had an increasingly positive effect on park development and atmosphere. Through their efforts and generous donations, a couple of bookcases now sit in a corner of a clubhouse room, which holds hundreds of book titles geared towards children and young adults.
Enjoy a Picnic or Host an Outdoor Family Event: The Garfield Square Picnic Area is comprised of four 4-foot picnic tables located near the athletic field, and three 4-foot tables situated close to the play area. With an additional permit, jumpers are allowed, which are a hit with youngsters enjoying a birthday party. Restrooms and a clubhouse are also found nearby.
Unleash Your Inner Pelé or Pulido: The artificial turf athletic fields at Garfield Square have undergone rejuvenation in the recent past, and are ideal for competitive and recreational soccer games. The field can be reserved through the San Francisco Rec and Park Department. The athletic fields also erupt with pickup games nearly every week – oftentimes bringing kids and officers from the Police Athletic League (PAL) together to play a bit of kickball and soccer.
Learn How to Swim: If you never learned how to swim, allow Garfield Pool to provide you with lessons. Also, the summertime is an ideal time to sign your child up to acquire an incredibly useful skill – the pool offers two-week sessions of half-hour lessons for young learners.
Sign the Kiddies Up for Camp: Garfield Square Park is known as being a site for affordably-priced Vacation Day Camps during the holidays, such as those hosted by Mission YMCA. It is not uncommon to see camp options include aquatic fun (like snorkeling and water games) held at Garfield Pool.
Rent a Bike (Soon): Bay Area Bike Share will become a fixture in the Mission neighborhood with a location slated for Garfield Park at 25th and Harrison. Soon, you’ll be able to hop on a Ford GoBike to elevate your exploration of the park and surrounding areas. Starting in spring of 2017, the expansion will take place, and is expected to be complete by 2018.
GARFIELD SQUARE ANNUAL or ONGOING EVENTS
When compared to other parks in San Francisco, the smaller size of Garfield Square doesn’t make it a known hotbed for annual events…with the exception of the larger-than-life celebration mentioned below that the park plays host to. In addition to various clean-up days, neighborhood days, block parties, and gardening days that occur at Garfield Square Park, the following events and activities are ongoing:
Dia de los Muertos: Every year (since 1986), Garfield Park has become a gathering point for those observing the Day of the Dead Celebration and cultural ceremonies that take place from Oct 31 to Nov 2. After events (such as the annual parade) conclude, locals often make their way to Garfield Park to take in the traditionally-made displays of art that pay homage to deceased loved ones. The Mexican holiday is commemorated throughout Mexico, the Central and South regions, and by San Francisco locals of Mexican ancestry.
Friday Night Out: With increased presence at neighborhood parks, the Mission police station hosts events about town in an effort to forge community relationships and trust. One such gathering involved a showing of Disney’s Zootopia at the back of the Garfield Square Park clubhouse – complete with pizza, popcorn and dodgeball.
GARFIELD SQUARE WEDDINGS
Garfield Square accepts reservations for its picnic tables and athletic fields, which could allow a small ceremony or reception to take place at the park. If you are interested in planning a wedding at Garfield Square, use the form below to request a free quote:
GARFIELD SQUARE PARK IS LOCATED CLOSE TO…
Garfield Square Park is situated close to residents that call the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods their home. Bounded by 25th Street to the north and 26th Street to the south, the park is also easily accessible from Treat Avenue to the west and Harrison Street to the east.
Public artworks and murals that shine a light on the rich cultural heritage of the Mission District neighborhood are a popular draw for the area. Balmy Alley is located directly adjacent to Garfield Square, where many come to catch a glimpse of the vibrantly-hued murals that depict Chicano “street art.” The alley stretches for one block and is filled with a collection of artwork painted across homes and garages. Every building on the street displays a mural.
Around the corner, the Precita Eyes Visitor Center provides more information about the local art, with special attention paid to Balmy Alley.
One of the closest local parks to Garfield Square is Precita Park (3200 Folsom St.), which has a playground, butterfly garden and grassy fields to explore.
Garfield Square Information
Garfield Square Park Location: 26th & Harrison St
GPS Location: Latitude: 37.7502006 * Longitude: -122.4122356
Garfield Square Park Hours: 5 a.m. to Midnight
Garfield Square Park Parking: Moderate street parking.
Public Transportation for Garfield Square: Muni: 12, 27, 48, and 67
Garfield Square Park Facility Contact: (415) 554-9521
Garfield Square was once the location of the Recreation Grounds baseball park – home of the 1st pro