April is a month filled with art exhibits, space exploration, plant love, animal fun, friendly competition, running in the park, and Easter Sunday events that go beyond the typical egg hunt. Come celebrate the official flower of San Francisco. Learn about the Summer of Love. Raise money for a good cause. Become a flower child. The abundance and variety of the following Golden Gate Park events in April 2017 will certainly keep you busy throughout the month, offering a range of cultural, artsy, educational, scientific, seasonal, and holiday happenings:
Stuart Davis: In Full Swing – de Young Museum – April 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7
When it comes to American Modernism, Stuart Davis is a household name. de Young Museum is proud to present a major exhibition dedicated to the artist whose 75 or so works of art will be on display, including a series of pieces reflecting the 1920s and even the painting left on his easel at the time of his death.
Spring Bloomers Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – April 1
In celebration of the spring season, the Garden is hosting a plant sale to help you enhance your indoor and outdoor spaces with florals and greenery that represent the season. The plant sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Entry Garden near the Main Gate and Bookstore.
Polo Field 5K – South Side of Polo Fields – April 2
Runners will start their run on Middle Drive, touching upon Bernice Rogers Way, Kennedy Drive, Transverse Drive, and the dirt trail on Overlook – before heading back to the finish line via Middle Drive. In order to participate in the Polo Fields run, the following fees are expected: $3 for members (18 and over) and 13-17 year olds; and $5 for non-members (18 and over). Runners aged up to 12 years old gain entry for free. You can direct your questions and register online by visiting http://dserunners.com/events/race-schedule/ or calling (415) 978-0837.
People’s Day in the Park – Skatin’ Place (6th & Kennedy) – April 2
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Car Free Sundays, there will be a meetup at Golden Gate Park starting at 2 p.m. Enjoy this stretch of Kennedy Drive without the hassle of having to keep an eye out for approaching cars. To date, car-free Sundays is considered “one of the most successful programs of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department,” allowing runners, walkers, skaters, cyclists and other park visitors enjoy their surroundings in peaceful safety. Starting at 2 p.m., a Roller Skaters’ Showcase at Skatin’ Place is also sure to entertain.
Collectible Nightlife – California Academy of Sciences – April 6
If you are a collector, then you will feel right at home because this week’s gathering at the Academy celebrates the “art of collecting.” If rarities, weird items, historic finds, and intriguing discoveries make you smile, then you won’t want to miss this NightLife event, which will also touch upon photographed museum specimens; antique maps and books; San Francisco Gem and Mineral Society standouts, and other bits and pieces of fun history.
The Academy holds Thursday NightLife events for the 21-and-over crowd. Keep in mind that you will need to produce valid identification at the door in order to gain entry. The evening kicks off at 6 p.m., and generally ends around 10 p.m. Academy members are charged $12, while non-members pay $15 per ticket. Other Thursday NightLife events scheduled for April 2017 include:
Another Thursday NightLife event to consider is for:
- April 13: Yuri’s NightLife: Paying homage to space pioneer Yuri Gagarin, the Academy will host an evening filled with live DJ set and music by Space Cowboys; samples of Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Ground Control beer; space exploration presentations; information on Mars and the NASA Kepler Mission; and special planetarium happenings.
Free Outdoor Yoga Day –Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden – April 8, 15 & 22
In April, it is free to enjoy a day of yoga on a beautiful Saturday morning every week in Golden Gate Park. As part of the Purusha Seva Project, Purusha yogis will introduce you to an effective way to stay calm, relax, and stay fit. Sessions start at 11:30 a.m. It is suggested that you bring along a blanket or mat. Those interested will meet at the Grove/picnic area located next to the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden.
Performances by Gregangelo and Velocity Circus– de Young Museum – April 8
Gather at the front entrance of de Young Museum at 12 p.m., and you will encounter a tribute to the Summer of Love with music playing, flower children, and an overall 60s’ love vibe. Artists will be on site to offer face painting (on a limited basis). This is a program that is free and open to the public, but it’s suggested to arrive early.
Wag Hotels’ 8th Annual Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs – Old Speedway Meadow – April 8
Easter egg hunts aren’t just for the kiddies. Old Speedway Meadow will go to the dogs, as part of a yearly event that raises money for dog rescue programs. Local vendors will supply finger foods and other edibles for the humans, while dogs have a chance to sniff out eggs filled with prizes and treats. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for photo ops. Dogs and children (under 12) can participate for free, while all others pay $10 for early bird adult admission (and $15 afterwards).
The schedule of events is as follows:
- 12-12:30 p.m. – Check-in
- 1 p.m. SHARP – Egg Hunt
- 1:30 p.m. – Raffle
This event will take place from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. You will find Old Speedway Meadow at John F Kennedy Drive & Marx Meadow Drive. For more details, click here.
Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, Rock & Roll – de Young Museum – starts April 8
With the help of the de Young Museum, you can take a journey back to the 60s with a variety of displays and more than 300 cultural artifacts that represent the music, photography, costumes, textiles, films, and other notable pieces of information from that era. About 150 objects associated with the Fine Arts Museums’ collection will also be available for your viewing pleasure. This art exhibit will run until August 20, 2017.
Full Moon Walk WILD Brews with Fort Point Beer Co. – SF Botanical Garden – April 9
With the help of heavy rains, the Garden has blossomed with an explosion of flowers, which means it is the ideal time to visit and take in the sights. The Garden is known to host entertaining Full Moon walks, and this one should be one you won’t want to miss. A partnership with Fort Point Beer Co. means that not only will you take in the tranquil sights of nature, but also get a chance to sip on a selection of locally brewed beer. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., this event is reserved for the 21 and over crowd. The cost to participate is $30 (members) and $35 (non-members).
Caribbean Nights” Zumba Dance Party – SF County Fair Building – April 9
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., you’ll get a chance to work up a sweat with a fitness dance party that is fun for the whole family. Instructors from San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s Zumba in the Park Program will lead the way, as you shake and shimmy away a few calories. To help set the mood, you are encouraged to come dressed in Caribbean attire.
This event is free to the public.
Spring Eggstravaganza Carnival – Sharon Meadow – April 15
If it isn’t the carnival rides, egg hunts, live entertainment, food truck fare, and games that draw you in, then you probably don’t want to miss out on what the SF Rec and Park, SF Fire, SF Police and other city departments are grilling up with their annual Rib Cook-Off. This family-friendly event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and costs $8. You will find Sharon Meadow located at 320 Bowling Green Drive.
Dahlia Sale – County Fair Building/Hall of Flowers – April 15
Did you know that the dahlia is the official flower of San Francisco?
This month, the Dahlia Society of San Francisco would love to see both familiar and new faces at the annual Dahlia & Tuber Sale held at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Come home with something of your own, with plants selling for $5-6 and tubers priced at $3. This event is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Easter in the Park: Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary Contests – Hellman Hollow – April 16
This all-day event promises to be an unforgettable one, where the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence host their annual Easter Sunday extravaganza at Golden Gate Park that treats kids to a family-friendly celebration at 10 a.m., followed by an adults-only lineup and contests that crown a “Foxy Mary” and “Hunky Jesus.” Other fun on the list includes an Easter Bonnet Contest. The theme for this year is “Sanctuary: Universal Joy“, which pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. This event is being held at Hellman Hollow (formally known as Speedway Meadow) – located on JFK Drive near 26th Ave. It is scheduled to run until 4 p.m.
Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet – Park Chalet – April 16
If you’re looking for a delicious meal to enjoy for the Easter holiday, Park Chalet has a reputation for serving an unforgettable spread. On the menu, you can expect items such as ricotta and blueberry pancakes, braised short ribs, roasted leg of lamb, seafood, and much more – all priced at $48 per person. In addition to a good meal, an Easter egg hunt will take place on the lawn at 2 p.m. To make an Easter Sunday reservation, click here.
Jim Tracy 5k to Defeat ALS – Mother’s Meadow – Pioneer Log Cabin – April 17
Sponsored by the University High School Cross Country team of San Francisco, this is the second year that this event will be held to increase awareness and raise funds towards fueling research, finding a cure, and supporting those with ALS. Held from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., you will find Mother’s Meadow located close to Pioneer Log Cabin and Stow Lake. To register for the event or donate to the cause, click here.
420 in the Park – Hippie Hill – April 20
As far as unofficial celebrations go, Hippie Hill has become an annual hotspot known for the way people like to welcome April 20th while there. Droves of adults (including vendors) start filing in around 10:30-ish and linger at the park until dusk, with 4:20 p.m. serving as a memorable moment for the crowd. Before venturing out, you might want to look up the significance of this gathering in advance.
Glasshouse Artists (Butterfly Series) – Conservatory of Flowers – April 20
If you visit the Conservatory of Flowers during normal hours of operation on this day, don’t forget to check out the special exhibits gallery. It is here that artists and photographers will have an opportunity to set up their tripods and easels for a chance to capture the butterfly exhibit for free. Either way, it’s a sight to see or partake in.
Best Buddies Friendship Walk – GGP Bandshell (Music Concourse) – April 22
If you decided to participate in this walk, you will help raise awareness and funds that goes towards supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The cost to register is free, and there is no minimum fundraising amount to reach in order to participate. This event is planned to run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, you can check out https://bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/bayarea/.
As You Like It presents Unabridged Picnic – Elk Glen Meadow – April 22
San Francisco is welcoming a new event series involving artists and nightlife revelers meant to share electronic music in a collaborative effort. Unabridged is a day-to-night event series that sets up shop in both indoor and outdoor across the Bay Area. It’s free to enjoy the entertainment at Golden Gate Park, with donations accepted. You will find the Elk Glen Meadow located on 25th & Lincoln.
Spey-o-Rama Casting Tournament – GGP Casting Ponds – April 22 & 23
The annual World Championship of Spey Casting hosted by the GGACC allows participants to compete in an international distance casting contest over the course of two days. From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the competition is divided into the following divisions: Men, Women, and Seniors. Attending the event is free for members and the public, where exhibitors present around the ponds, with lunch and breakfast served for a nominal fee. For more information and to locate the registration form, click here.
Wunderlust 108 – Lindley Meadow – April 23
What exactly is a ‘mindful triathlon?’ This month, you can find out when you either sign up to participate or watch on from afar. In partnership with Adidas, thousands of people gather to run (or walk) a 5-kilometer course, followed by an outdoor 90-minute yoga class accompanied by live DJ music, and ending with a guided meditation. Other highlights of this event include local craft vendors, organic foods, and other fun activities throughout the day. The event is scheduled to take place from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost to participate ranges from $40 to $60. For more information, you can click here.
Stow Lake Stampede 5K – Peacock Meadow – April 23
It’s the first time that this event has been held, and for those looking to increase their race participation in San Francisco, this run offers a flat and fast course (once known as the Zippy 5K course). The 5K (which is open to all ages) starts at 8:30 a.m., while the Kid’s Mile (available to participants aged 12 and under) has a 9:15 a.m. start. This event is open to all, and provides an elite field, prize money, age group prizes, giveaways, and more to qualified participants. All 5K participants will expect to get a commemorative gym towel. For more details and to register early (as well as receive $10 off), click here.
Golden Gate Park Band Opening Day – Spreckels Temple of Music – April 23
It’s that time of the year again, when the Golden Gate Park Band starts paying a weekly visit to entertain the masses with their cultural performances, themed music, and vibrant celebrations. The first band performance of the 2017 season kicks off in April, and you won’t want to miss it. The park band concert starts at 1 p.m., and continues on until around 2:30-2:45 p.m. As always, the concerts are free to the public. Don’t forget to bring along a blanket and/or picnic lunch to make the most of the day.
Special Story Time – SF Botanical Garden – April 23
The Garden’s Library welcomes special guest, naturalist Laura Cunningham, to read her children’s book titled, The Bay Area Through Time, where young listeners can learn about local natural history. Some of the topics mentioned include landscapes, plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Participants will also have a chance to make art inspired by the Ancient Plant Garden. This is a free event, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Helen Crocker Russell Library.
WILD Flower Workshop: Matilija Poppies – SF Botanical Garden – April 27
Join Tiffanie Turner in a workshop devoted to a native flower of southern California and northern Mexico, which can be found in the Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants. As you prepare to learn how to create your own Matalija poppies out of paper, all materials will be provided to you for the class. You are encouraged to bring your own scissors (and a lunch) for the workshop. With a time frame of 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the cost to participate in this event is $80 for members and $85 for non-members.
Where on Earth Launch Event – SF Botanical Garden – April 27
Book lovers and garden enthusiasts may want to mark their calendars for the launch event celebration of the new edition of the book, Where on Earth: A Guide to Specialty Nurseries and Gardens in California. Free and open to the public, the event will be held in the Library, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP on Eventbrite.
Dutch King’s Day – Murphy Windmill – April 29
On the south end of Golden Gate Park, you will find the Murphy Windmill, which serves as the ideal backdrop for celebrating one of the largest observed days in the Netherlands. Those who come to this all-day, free windmill festival will enjoy food, music, beer, and an assortment of fun activities. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the schedule of events will most likely include a bicycle ride, Dutch games for the kiddies, food vendors, music played by Dutch DJs, singing of the Dutch National Anthem, raffle with prizes, and performances by Dutch musicians. Food will be available for purchase, but the overall event is free.
Dancing in the Park SF – GGP Bandshell (Music Concourse) – April 29
Every year, the Mark Foehringer Dance Project puts on outdoor dance events that involve dance companies from around the San Francisco Bay Area. This month, CCDA dancers will perform at the park at 4:30 p.m.
Vintage Paper Fair – County Fair Building/Hall of Flowers – April 29 & 30
One of the largest selections of old paper on the West Coast is found at the Vintage Paper Fair held at Golden Gate Park, which is held three times of the year. April marks the second opportunity of the year to browse photos, postcards, brochures, memorabilia, pin up art, advertisements, and many other interesting finds. Don’t forget to bring your own intriguing treasures for a free onsite appraisal. There is no cost to gain entry. Doors are open on Saturday (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and on Sunday (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).