There’s a birthday to celebrate this month! Golden Gate Park is turning 148 years old this year (April 4th to be exact), and what better way to celebrate than to participate in an event, activity or workshop in the park. In April, space buffs will find themselves at home with a trip to the California Academy of Sciences. Around this time, flowers and plants are king, and you’ll find delight in the multitude of opportunities to walk a trail, relax, breathe fresh air, and take in what seems to be unending greenery in one of the most visited parks in the U.S. So, get your calendar out, and start jotting down some of the following Golden Gate Park events for April 2018:
Terrarium Workshop! – Conservatory of Flowers – April 3
If you’ve always wanted to delve into the world of terrariums, the Conservatory of Flowers has brought on Cole Hardware to help you explore. During this workshop, you’ll follow a step-by-step process that ends in a beautiful display of greenery that you’ve personalized – ready for display in an office or any room at home. The $15 fee takes care of the plant, terrarium and necessary supplies. There are two different workshop sessions to choose from: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
SpaceAge NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – April 5
A fan of Sputnik? Watched the movie ‘Apollo’ a million times? Always had a thing for planets? You are in luck…the Academy has designated the month of April as a time to celebrate the past, present and future of space, and you’ll get a chance to enjoy a range of NightLife activities in what has been dubbed as the Academy’s first ‘Space Month.’ The fifth of April kicks off the first of three space-themed evenings. African Hall will touch upon the Golden Age of Space. Special guests will stop by, like a former astronaut who will be on hand to share his experiences from 12 years with NASA, such as missions to the International Space Station. Come see vintage space-themed pinball machines in the Piazza. A synthesizer workshop sets up in the Coral Reef.
Thursday NightLife events at the Academy begin at 6 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. It costs $12 for members to attend, while non-members are charged $15. You must show valid identification in order to gain entry into the museum, as this is a party for the 21 and over crowd.
Other Academy NightLife events to consider for April 2018 include:
- April 12: SpaceToday NightLife – Learn about current space exploration and tap into some of the thoughts regarding today’s views and knowledge of the great unknown. Brainstormer will be on hand to facilitate a round of space-themed trivia. Head for the Project Lab to educate yourself on the latest happenings of NASA’s Kepler Mission and the Kepler space telescope.
- April 19: SpaceQuest NightLife – Explore the future of life on space with a collection of art, ideas and performances that focuses on the many possibilities of space travel. Tonight, choreographer Katerina Wong presents a dance performance that incorporates the sounds of NASA missions and other interesting origins.
- April 26: NightLife Spotlight – In celebration of the City Nature Challenge’s start, bring your scientific curiosity along for an evening that focuses on the great outdoors and Mother Nature’s gifts. Learn tips and tricks on how to better observe your natural surroundings. Environmental educator Trent Pearce will share his love of spiders and answer any questions you may have. Music for the night will be provided by DJ Loco.
Guided Trail & Nature Walk – Stow Lake – April 7
Catch a glimpse of feathered residents at the park or the scampering of wildlife along the trail – all while staying or getting fit in the great outdoors. It doesn’t cost a thing to enjoy a guided walk on Saturday morning, which has a knack of bringing locals closer to a range of native plants and creatures they normally wouldn’t see. You do not have to pre-register for this event, which starts at 10 a.m. and ends around 12 p.m. Keep in mind that rain will cancel this walk, so check the weather before heading out to Stow Lake.
Plant Sale – S.F. Botanical Garden – April 7
It’s time to stock up on Spring Bloomers at the Garden’s next monthly plant sale, which will have plenty of colorful blooms for you to consider. The plant sale will take place in the Entry Garden (located near the Main Gate and Bookstore) – from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday the 13th at the Garden – S.F. Botanical Garden – April 13
There’s just something magical about Friday the 13th, and if you’re looking for something to do that gets you out and about…the Garden would like you to join them for a ‘Night of Eerie Fun.’ It’s time to take a walk on the dark side, and experience a Toxic Plant Tour. By the end of the event, join singer/pianist/storyteller, Jill Tracy, as she conducts a musical séance and shares historical tales centered on fascinating plants. This event is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with tours taking place between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. The fee for this gathering in the park is $30 for members and $35 for non-members.
2018 Dahlia Sale – Hall of Flowers – April 14
Did you know that the dahlia is the official flower of San Francisco? Every year, the Dahlia Society of San Francisco sets up shop in Golden Gate Park to sell dahlias and tubers – ranging in price from $3 to $6. There is no charge to gain entry into the sale and see these lovely blooms in action. Mark your calendars…you only have from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. to get your flowers!
Heron Watch – Stow Watch – April 14, 21 & 28
Spring is the season for animals to bring new babes into the world, and with the help of spotting scopes, you can take in the sights of the newest crop of blue heron chicks making their debut at the park. Throughout April, May and June, you’ll have a chance to watch the species’ spring nesting season unfold. Blue herons can reach 4 feet tall with 6-foot wingspans. The observation deck is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For $10, adults can enjoy a walk led by a naturalist, while young adults and children can participate for free.
Botanicals and Brews Beer Garden – Conservatory of Flowers – April 19
San Francisco is a haven for those who enjoy sipping on creative brews, and the Conservatory has made it a point to celebrate craft beers with their Botanicals and Brews Beer Garden events. Taking center stage at the Conservatory this month is Harmonic Brewing (a craft brewery with a taproom that welcomes dogs and children) and Barrel Brothers Brewing Company (founded by a brothers-in-law and father-in-law team).
This event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and costs $27 for general admission entry and $75 for a Master Brewer package that includes one flight of 4 beers, one souvenir beer flight glass, and $10 food credit for onsite food trucks. To purchase tickets for this event, click here.
420 Celebration and Bud Drop – Hippie Hill – April 20
As one of the oldest and largest celebrations in Golden Gate Park returns, greenRush.com is ready to appease revelers with their annual 420 Bud Drop. Since this is the first 420 gathering to take place following the passing of prop 64, you might want to participate in this momentous occasion because for the first time ever…it is legal. Therefore, the first 5,000 people to register will get a free limited-edition Hippie Hill 4/20 commemorative T-shirt with every 420th person (21 or older) qualifying for a one-year supply of ‘the green stuff’. The 420 festivities will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and keep in mind that it definitely tends to get thick! To register for this year’s Bud Drop, click here.
Curator Tour: Walk on the WILD Flower Side – S.F. Botanical Garden – April 21
If you’re interested in viewing some of the best of what spring has to offer in the flower department, the Garden is hosting a curator tour from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that you just might want to check out. Slip into a good pair of walking shoes and come ready to explore beautiful seasonal blooms. Keep in mind that heavy rain cancels this event, which costs $23 for members and $25 for non-members.
Secrets of the Cosmos: Paper Flower Making – S.F. Botanical Garden – April 21
Paper-making is an art form that has a knack for slipping through the cracks. The Garden thinks you should try something new, and they are ready to introduce you to the world of creating realistic-looking cosmos flowers in a variety of hues and paper finishes. During this workshop (which runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.), you’ll get a chance to make at least one flower, and return home with materials to make a few more. Supplies will be on hand, but if you want to bring along your favorite pair of scissors, you are more than welcome. The cost to enjoy this opportunity is $90 for members and $95 for non-members.
Fitbit Local Workout: Family Fit-Fest – Music Concourse Garage – April 21
There’s a new way to workout at Golden Gate Park and it costs nothing to participate. Fitbit Local is a series of monthly gatherings in San Francisco led by fitness gurus in the community that should be fun for the whole family. Join other locals as they engage in challenging activities and fun exercises, in addition to munching on healthy snacks, listening to DJ tunes, and trying to win a prize giveaway. Team relay drills are just the beginning of the excitement. While this event is free, an RSVP is still required. It will run from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; meet at the Music Concourse Garage.
Golden Gate Park Band Premiere Concert – Music Concourse – April 22
The first GGP Band performance of the 2018 season will take place on April 22. For over 135 years, the Golden Gate Park Band has held free concerts, attracting listeners from near and wide that come to Spreckles Temple of Music to enjoy the festivities. It is here that themed programs (often complete with singers, dancers and sometimes special guests) entertain the masses. The typical Sunday concert begins at 1 p.m. and generally lasts between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Another GGP Band concert (with a theme to be announced at a later date) is scheduled for this month on April 29th.
Wanderlust 108 Triathlon – Hellman Hollow – April 22
This isn’t your average triathlon! You won’t be diving into icy waters or biking a few miles. Dubbed the ‘world’s only mindful triathlon,’ you’ll enjoy a five-kilometer run (or walk); an outdoor yoga class with plenty of musical inspiration led by Chelsey Korus; and a guided meditation led by Noah Levine. Throughout the day, DJ Sol Rising will provide tunes. Local craft and food vendors will create a marketplace for you to explore. And, extra fitness classes will be on hand to energize you even further. This event runs from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and ranges in $30 to $150 in fees. For more information, please visit http://www.wanderlust.com/san-francisco.
Murder at the Conservatory – Conservatory of Flowers – April 27
Put on a pair of detective shades and head for the Conservatory to participate in the latest predicament that needs solving – The Mystery of the Immortal Elixir. There’s an intriguing manuscript filled with odd botanical references at the center of this case. If you crack the linguistic code, you may find yourself one step closer to immortality and the Elixir of Life. General admission is $105, and gets you a complimentary glass of beer or wine, light snacks, and entry into all of the fun. For an extra $15, come an hour earlier to partake in a Victorian tour. If you’re up for solving the mystery, click here to purchase tickets. This event is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Full Moon Walk: WILD Flowers – S.F. Botanical Garden – April 28
There are plenty of ways to take in the beauty of a full moon, including a walk at the Garden that unfolds after dark. The flowers and foliage are unforgettable against the glow of a full moon. Don’t forget to bring along a flashlight. Heavy rain cancels this event, which runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Members pay $30, while non-members pay $35 (light refreshments are included).
San Francisco Vintage Paper Fair – Hall of Flowers – April 28 & 29
Calling all paper lovers! The Vintage Paper Fair has returned for a mid-year extravaganza of the largest selection of photos, postcards, brochures, trade cards and old paper available on the West Coast. This two-day event doesn’t cost a thing to enjoy, but bring along your pocket change in case you fall in love with an old stereoview or pin up art piece you’d like to own. If you have vintage paper goods at home, bring them along for a free appraisal – you never know when you have an undiscovered treasure in your possession.
On Saturday, come from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the fun continuing on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stow Lake Stampede – Peacock Meadow – April 29
As the Stow Lake Stampede 5K and Kid’s Mile enters its second year, you’ll have a chance to wrap up the month of April with a running event characterized by a course that’s flat and fast. This event is open to everyone, with plenty of chances to participate in elite fields, giveaways, and chances to win prize money (some separated into different age groups). The 5K begins at 8 a.m. with the Kid’s Mile (for participants aged 12 and under) following right behind at 9 a.m.