August is a month filled with plants, art, music, drink, and plenty of opportunities to get creative surrounded by the great outdoors. Stop by one of the multi-day festivals, sales, and exhibitions being held in a month. Come celebrate the beauty and variety of the official flower of San Francisco with a show and sale. And even if you don’t have a ticket to one of the hottest music festivals in the city, there’s still a chance to catch some of its energy when visiting the park. Let’s see which Golden Gate Park events for August 2019 you’re going to add to your calendar.

Free Saturdays at de Young – de Young Museum – August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31

If you haven’t been by the Museum lately, then you probably don’t know that de Young has exchanged its Friday Nights at de Young for free Saturday programming that explores their permanent collections and invites families to enjoy art-making activities, enhanced gallery tours, discussion groups, and other fun.

Although there is no charge to participate in the programs and it’s open for all to enjoy, there are tickets you can reserve in advance online for the following dates:

August 3: A Day with The Women’s Building.

In celebration of District 8, it’s time to learn about The Women’s Building and the role it plays at the de Young Museum. This community space is led by women and serves as an advocate for gender equality, social justice, and self-motivation.

An event-filled day begins at Wilsey Court (noon to 12:30 p.m.) with a Meditation Session, followed by a quick presentation in the Piazzoni Murals Room (1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

The Pianzzoni Murals Room also hosts a Table Talk featuring the artists, directors, and staff of The Women’s Building from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Executive Director and Programs Director will be in attendance.

Learn about the Survivors’ Quilt Project and come see it for yourself. Artworks tying into the theme include a unique collaboration featuring tales of sexual assault and harassment that unfold through artistic expression.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sketching in the Galleries invites you to explore the permanent collection galleries in a creative session. Join in on the fun at Gallery 3.

August 10: Poet Leticia Hernandez-Linares.

Hernandez-Linares reads for a special series of poetry presentations in the permanent collection galleries. First, she’ll be at Gallery 40 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The second reading takes place in Gallery 1, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

In Gallery 3, enjoy Sketching in the Galleries from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum provides all materials, and all skill levels are welcome.

Head for Koret Auditorium to view a special screening of Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. A panel conversation including Ruth Asawa’s children and associates will provide invaluable insight into her life and work. 

August 17: Urban Jazz Dance Company.

One of the main draws for this week’s Free Saturdays fun is a group of professional dancers who are hard of hearing or deaf. They will be sharing their passionate talent and artistry at Wilsey Court during this event between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

August 24: Turntable Drawings.

Expect to see unique performances at the permanent collection galleries and Piazzoni Murals Room, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Composer Danny Clay and printmaker Jon Fischer join forces to create a series of hand-molded records. With the help of a range of materials and techniques, the duo builds up a collection that features a combination of sculptural sketches and 3-D prints.

August 31: Tattoo Talk and Gallery Tour with Tex Buss.

The Piazzoni Murals Room welcomes local tattoo artist Tex Buss for the afternoon. She’ll touch upon the history of avian imagery and why birds are such a popular choice when getting inked. Following a discussion, Tex will then lead a tour of the permanent galleries. The event will run from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Golden Gate Park Band Concerts – Spreckels Temple of Music – August 4

GGP Band concerts are always free and are generally held on Sundays at the Music Concourse. The park’s band plays favorite tunes with themes that change, often including dancers, singers, costumed performers, and speakers that represent a specific culture or nationality. This month, two opportunities encourage you to celebrate and explore the global language of music.

In August, expect the following performances:

  • August 4: A special program honors NERT and CERT emergency response volunteers.
  • August 11: Music from “the Movies” fills the air.
  • August 18: Enjoy the traditions of Hungarian culture during a St. Steven’s Day celebration.
  • August 25: Come explore the Ukrainian culture through music and dance.

The entertainment begins at 1 p.m. and tends to end between 2:30 and 2:45 p.m.—it’s the perfect time to gather up the family, have a picnic and make a day out of it.

Birding Walk – SF Botanical Garden – August 4

There are plenty of birds that call Golden Gate Park their home or pay a visit throughout the year. The Garden hosts monthly walks with expert birders who guide beginners as they learn how to spot, identify, and understand the behaviors and adaptations of our feathered friends. The program is free and welcomes all levels of birders. The walk leaves from the Main Gate at 8 a.m. on the first Sunday of every month, and it cancels if heavy rain or wind is present.

NightLife LIVE: The Marias – California Academy of Sciences – August 8

This month, the second installment of NightLife LIVE welcomes the psychedelic groove tunes of The Marias (and soft-rock group Amo Amo)—the result of a partnership with the Outside Lands Music Festival. Expect awesome guitar riffs and smooth jazz percussion. Explore the artist-in-residence Maggie West’s interactive art installation, the “Flora Dome.” Other highlights include shopping for pop-up shop goodies from local favorites and Paint Pens Collective artworks.

NightLife events begin at 6 p.m. with the festivities ending at 10 p.m. It’s an affair reserved for the 21-and-over crowd, so be prepared to show proper identification at the door. You can purchase tickets here—the earlier, the better.

Outside Lands Festival – Golden Gate Park – August 9 to August 11

One of the most highly anticipated festivals to hit San Francisco sets up shop at Golden Gate Park, bringing in thousands of people from near and far. Musicians, artists, eateries and many other points of interest spread across several stages and areas in the park during the Outside Lands Festival.

Headliners and other performances sure to bring the energy include:

  • Friday: Twenty One Pilots, The Lumineers, blink-182, Lil Wayne, Counting Crows, and The Seshen
  • Saturday: Childish Gambino, Hozier, Flume, Ella Mai, Santigold, and Big Wild
  • Sunday: Paul Simon, Kygo, Kacey Musgraves, Bebe Rexha, Cherry Glazerr, and DJ Koze

Other festival highlights include Tony Danza (Standards and Stories) at the Barbary; delicious eats and treats at the Taste of the Bay Area; reds and whites at Wine Lands; tons of suds at Beer Lands; award-winning selections at Cheese Lands; and Gastromagic’s mash-up of chefs, musicians, comics and other artists that produce delightful edibles such as doughnuts and Slurpees.

Festival hours are:

Festival Gates Open – 11:00 a.m.

Music Starts – 12:00 p.m.
Music Ends – 10:00 p.m.

Festival Gates Open – 11:00 a.m.
Music Starts – 12:00 p.m.
Music Ends – 9:40 p.m.

For more information on this significant San Francisco event, click here.

Teen Science Night 2019 – California Academy of Sciences – August 9

Got a science lover in the family? The Academy is hosting an annual get-together that encourages kids to explore science. This free event is geared towards Bay Area youth (ages of 13 to 18), running from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be music, food, and fun activities. Since this event has a tendency to fill up quickly, make sure to RSVP ASAP.

To register for this event, get your tickets here.

Sun Prints with the SFPL Bookmobile – SF Botanical Garden – August 12

A visit from the San Francisco Public Library Bookmobile is sure to brighten your day at the Garden, where sun prints assist in creating imprints of leaves, twigs and other natural materials. There is no cost for participating in this event, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Full Moon Walk – SF Botanical Garden – August 15

Not many people think of the Garden when looking for a hot spot to spend a Thursday evening, but nearly every month, this popular attraction is open after dark for a special docent-led tour. Come out to see the flowers and plants illuminated by the light of a full moon. It’s suggested that you bring a flashlight. Heavy rain cancels this event, which is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The cost to participate in the walk is $28 to $30 (depending on whether you’re a member).

You can purchase tickets here.

Analog NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – August 15

It’s probably hard for some to imagine, but it is possible to function in life without your phone, and this is just what this night is all about. Enter a phone-free zone and embrace analog technology—you are expected to “temporarily unplug and put your phone in a small Yondr case” during the event. An ambient synth performance entertains by the Academy’s coral reef. Play vintage pinball machines, participate in hands-on craft activities or take a walk down memory vinyl lane. Music for the evening comes courtesy of DJ Andy Cabic (Vetiver).

NightLife events run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Only guests 21 and over are allowed to participate; expect to show a valid I.D. to gain entry.

Make sure you reserve your spot and purchase tickets here. 

Botanicals and Brews: In Bloom – Conservatory of Flowers – August 16

Come see the Conservatory’s blooming collection and enjoy the flavors of brews from Triple Voodoo Brewing and Novel Brewing Company. In between, sample edibles from Curry Up Now and SaborCatracho. Entertainment for the evening will include a live performance by pop/funk fusion group Hush Crush.

General admission costs $29 (with complimentary craft brew), and the Master Brewer package sells for $49, which comes with a complimentary craft brew, one flight of four sample brews and a free souvenir glass to take home. This event is for the 21-and-over crowd and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. To get your tickets, click here.

Annual Dahlia Flower Show – Hall of Flowers – August 17 & 18

Calling all dahlia lovers! Every year, the third weekend in August sees one of two public dahlia-centric events—a tuber and plant sale that’s free for all to attend. This two-day event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

And while you’re at it, why don’t you stop by the Dahlia Dell sometime this month. That attraction is situated to the east of the Conservatory of Flowers. You will find the Hall of Flowers located at 9th and Lincoln.

Animal Behavior NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – August 22

The night has gone to the animals! Come by for an exclusive nighttime edition of “Swamp Talk,” where you’ll learn about Claude the albino alligator and many other furry, scaly and feathered critters. A few activities and special guests to keep an eye out for include goats, CatVideoFest, and a DJ set by Masha Martinovic.

From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., you’ll gain access to a range of entertaining NightLife activities, food, music, and drinks. You must be at least 21 years old to participate. Be prepared to show valid identification. Don’t miss out on this week’s fun; purchase your ticket here.

Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – August 24 & 25

If you love striking, unusual, old paper goods, then you may want to check out the largest selection of brochures, labels, photos, sports memorabilia, and trade cards of the West Coast. Two days are set aside for you to browse about the likes of pin-up art, local historical gems, and old advertisements. The fair runs on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no cost of admission for this event.

Those who have their own exciting finds at home should bring them in for a free appraisal.

The County Fair Building is located at 1199 9th Ave & Lincoln Way.

Sound Meditation in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – August 25

Outdoor meditation is a fantastic way to relax and shake off any weekend tension. Let the serenity of nature put your mind at ease. Soak up the peaceful sounds and allow the healing instruments to take you to a calmer place. This “live sound concert” involves ocean wave drums, crystal bowls, chimes, and planetary gongs. Don’t mistake this outing for a yoga session; you are attending a live concert of sound and vibration.

This event, which runs from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., is suited for ages 12 and up.

Tickets cost $14 (regular) to $18 (premium) and can be purchased here.

Desert NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – August 29

Desert climates and all things dry and hot are fascinating to explore, and this month, some of the most humid regions are sure to get you fired up at the Academy. Learn more about hot-climate lovin’ creatures, sip on mezcal, and take in a screening of the documentary The Devil’s Road: A Baja Adventure—just some of the highlights to look forward to throughout the evening.

Doors open for NightLife events at 6 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. This is a gathering for those 21-and-over, and you must show valid identification at the door. Purchase your tickets here.

SF Mime Troupe’s “Treasure Island” – Peacock Meadow – August 31

It’s been 60 years, and the Tony award-winning mime troupe is still going strong, offering free performances throughout the Bay Area in local parks. This year, “Treasure Island” The Musical – A Toxic Tale of Corporate Corsairs, Swashbuckling Swindlers, and Big Buck Buccaneers on the Bay, will make its rounds until early September. Golden Gate Park welcomes the troupe on the last day of the month at 2 p.m. It’s free to enjoy; although, donations are a request. Known for their political satire and live musical comedy, you won’t want to miss this event.

Peacock Meadow is located at 240 John F Kennedy Drive.

Free Days at Golden Gate Park for August 2019

If you’re looking to save money and enjoy some of the main attractions at Golden Gate Park for free, enjoy the following free days in August:

  • “Museums for All” Summer Free Program for all of August – free admission to the de Young Museum for residents on public benefits (such as EBT or Medi-Cal)
  • Bank of America Free Day for de Young Museum – August 3 & 4
  • Conservatory of Flowers – free admission on the first Tuesday (August 6)
  • de Young Museum – free first Tuesday (August 6) and free every Saturday for San Francisco residents