Spring is in the air and what better way to celebrate the season than by taking a bit of time beautifying and enjoying the beauty of Golden Gate Park. The month of April is packed with plenty of opportunities to give back to the environment and your favorite local natural gem. Below you will find activities and events that help you participate in Earth Day, National Park Week and National Volunteer Week, as well as highlight other exciting April 2012 events happening at Golden Gate Park.

golden gate park events april 2012

Free Admission deYoung Museum – April 3

If you haven’t paid a visit to deYoung Museum lately, perhaps this Tuesday is a good time. This is when the museum opens its doors for Free Admission Day (from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m). Free entry is available on the first Tuesday of each month at deYoung.

California Academy of Sciences Nightlife – April 5

CAS Nightlife events cost $12 to enjoy and last from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with drinks, music, and activities that center around a fun theme for the week or month. On April 5, you can “Spring into Spring” with a night filled with expert beekeepers from Urban Bee SF. They will be bringing along bees and honey for you to enjoy. Earl’s Organic Produce will provide tasty fresh-picked strawberries for the event, as well as highlight a few cocktails that you might want to make at home. This is a 21+ event.

Other Nightlife events at the California Academy of Sciences include:

  • Space Oddities NightLife to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the first human in space – April 12
  • “Dirty, Earthy NightLife that highlights recycling, reusing, and offers “dirt tasting” – April 26

Friday Night at deYoung – April 6

Friday Night at deYoung is in full swing and if you’re looking for a free event to enjoy, the variety does not fail to entertain. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., head to the museum on April 6 to enjoy an evening centered on “Beautiful Rebels”, which is hosted and curated by PEACHES CHRIST. The night will bring a fashion show and a collection of costumes and performances.

Other Friday Nights at deYoung Museum events planned for April include:

  • Fashion Slave Night – April 13
  • “Making Scenes” Nightclub Night – April 27

Annual Dahlia Society Plant and Tuber Sale – April 7

The dahlia is a beautiful flower that often makes a guest appearance at Golden Gate Park in annual shows and sales. The Hall of Flowers will host an event from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. that is sure to brighten your day with color and fragrance. It’s suggested to be the early bird to enjoy some of the best selections of flowers. Plants cost $5, while tubers are sold for $3. If you have any questions or would like an opinion about the best plant for you, there will be dahlia experts on hand.

Golden Gate Jubilee – April 7

If you’re looking for a family-friendly outing in April, you might want to head for the Golden Gate Park Concourse (located on Music Concourse Drive) to attend the SF Carnaval “Golden Gate Jubilee” event on April 7. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., you can celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge with a stage show, kids’ booth, drum circle, dance lessons, conga line, food, live music, beer gardens, and other fun activities. This event will take place at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.

“Alice in Recreation Land” Spring Eggstravaganza – April 7

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sharon Meadow will host a springtime event that includes plenty to do with the family. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department has planned egg hunts, carnival rides, jump houses, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and food for sale. It costs $8 to receive an all-access pass to this event. You can get your hands on advance tickets sold at McLaren Lodge (501 Stanyan Street).

Bank of America Free Museum Weekend – April 7 & 8

If you are a holder of a Bank of America credit card or debit card, you can take advantage of free admission to the deYoung Museum on April 7 and 8. The museum is one of the seven attractions in the Bay Area that participates in this promotion.

Easter Brunch at Park Chalet – April 8 

This Easter, leave the responsibility of cooking a delightful meal to Park Chalet by reserving your space for the Easter Brunch event on Sunday ($25 per person; $16 for children). From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can feast upon a special buffet spread that includes Chicken Apple Sausage, cheese and fruit platters, and house-made pastries. At 3 p.m., the restaurant will switch to a special a la carte lunch/dinner menu. The Park Chalet will also provide the tunes of a free concert with Charity and The JamBand, as well as the annual Easter Egg Hunt for the kiddies – starting at 3 p.m. The Easter Bunny will also make a special appearance at the event. In order to participate, you must make reservations.

Strawberry Hill Volunteer Work Day – April 14

When you take the time to volunteer with the San Francisco Parks Alliance and the Recreation and Park Department, you will help restore the Butterfly Habitat at Strawberry Hill. Interested parties will meet at Stow Lake Boat House at 10 a.m. for a work day filled with planting and weeding. The event ends at 2 p.m. Bay Area experts will be on hand to speak about various aspects of Strawberry Hill’s natural and cultural history. Tools and equipment will be provided. For more details and to reserve your space, contact Julia Brashares at (415) 621-3260 ext. 101.

Sunday Streets – April 15 

The 2012 Sunday Streets block party is coming to Golden Gate Park on April 15, where the streets are off limits to vehicles, so that pedestrians, roller skaters, bicyclists and other activities may have the run of the area. This afternoon treat takes place at Great Highway and John F. Kennedy Drive with a new route through the park. It costs nothing to enjoy freedom of the park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Homeschool Day at the Academy – April 17

For homeschooling parents, you may want to consider arranging a day of science at the Academy by participating in Homeschool Day. From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., special presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on programs will be available for homeschooling families at reduced admission prices. However, you will have to make a reservation – pre-registration is required for all family members planning on attending. More details can be found on the Registration Guide.

Big Bang: Party After Dark – April 19

How will you be spending your Thursday on the 19th? From 8:30 p.m. to midnight, enjoy the electrifying ambiance of the California Academy of Sciences by partying the night away. This special event will benefit the Academy research and education programs. There will be live music by Fitz and The Tantrums, late-night eats, and an open bar.  Only adults aged 21 and over may attend this event. To reserve your tickets, you can call (415) 379-5411 or pay a visit here.

Run for Recess 5k and 1 Mile – April 21

If you’re looking for a way to exercise in the park, the Run for Recess 5k and 1 Mile could be your ticket to inhaling your fill of clean, fresh air. The 5k run is designed for people of all ages and abilities, while beginner runners usually opt for the shorter, one mile course to walk or run. This event will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration opens at 8 a.m. The 5K starts at 9 a.m. The Fun Run is held at 10 a.m. The proceeds for this event go towards funding Playworks programming. To register online, check out http://www.playworks.org/make-recess-count/play/san-francisco/run4recess-2012 . The cost is between $15 and $60.

San Francisco SPCA Adoption Outreach Program – April 28 & 29

The California Academy of Sciences is known for its creepy, crawly and exotic creatures that live inside, but on April 28 and 29 – you will have a chance to fall in love with a handful of cuddly furballs when the San Francisco SPCA makes a stop at the museum with its Mobile Adoption Outreach program. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., you can learn about the SF SPCA and possibly take home one of their deserving adoptable animals.