Nothing’s raining on the parade of Golden Gate Park events for April 2019, as a wave of annual gatherings, activities and festivals make guest appearances throughout the month. Exciting things are happening for tennis enthusiasts. There’s a brand new program unfolding at the de Young Museum. Nature-centric activities and outings are sprouting up everywhere. Easter treats and eats for everyone. From baby chicks spreading their wings to windmill whimsy, it’s time to explore all of the singing, dancing and fun-filled park adventures awaiting your participation with this month’s collection of calendar highlights below:
Bean & Berry NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – April 4
If coffee and wine is your thing, then you won’t want to miss an exploration of these two beverages. Sip, smell and experience the night away with a NightLife event featuring grape discussions, coffee cuppings, cold brew coffee Belgian-style waffles, environmental scientists, live-size dinosaurs, special wine samples, and music by MOM DJs (Motown on Mondays).
The doors for the Thursday NightLife party open at 6 p.m. with the fun lasting until 10 p.m. Only those who are 21 and over are allowed to participate. Valid I.D. is checked at the door. Tickets cost $12 for members and $15 for non-members.
DSE Track Workout – Kezar Stadium Track – April 4, 11, 18, 25
If you’re looking to stretch your legs, and get ready for showing off this summer, you might want to take advantage of DSE track workouts throughout the month. Meeting on the north side of Kezar Stadium, sessions run from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., which you can join in for $3 (DSE members) or $5 (for non-members).
Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – April 6
April showers bring May flowers, and so does the plant sale at the Garden, which concentrates on connecting you with fabulous Spring Bloomers this month. Catch this sale between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Entry Garden near the Main Gate and Bookstore.
Free Saturdays at de Young – de Young Museum – April 6
All San Francisco residents are invited to enjoy free general admission at the de Young Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free Saturdays is a new program, which combines art making for all ages, gallery guides, sketching opportunities in the permanent collection galleries, enhanced gallery tours, discussion groups, and the de Youngsters studio. Brass band Mission Delirium will be on hand to provide the sounds of a 12-piece marching band. Their first set takes places at the front of the museum at 12 p.m. A second set follows at 2 p.m. To reserve your ticket in advance, click here.
Free Guided Trail & Nature Walk – Stow Lake – April 6
Taking place every first Saturday, Stow Lake welcomes handfuls of locals looking to stretch their legs with a free guided nature walk. The excursion begins at 10 a.m. with no pre-registration to worry about – just meet at the Boathouse, and you’re good to go. Expect to set aside at least two hours for the walk. Rain does cancel these monthly trail walks.
Sound Meditation in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – April 7
There are plenty of sights and sounds to enjoy during any visit to Golden Gate Park. But, if you sign up to participate in this sound meditation event, you’ll get the added benefit of a live concert centered on sound and vibration led by a certified yoga therapist and sound practitioner. Lie outdoors in the grass and take in the scent of fresh air, chirping birds, and sounds of healing instruments meant to destress your mind and body. Recommended for ages 12 and up, you might want to bring along a pillow, yoga mat or blanket to enhance your comfort. Rain cancels this gathering, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
To purchase tickets for this event, click here.
Brain & Body NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – April 11
Delve into the intricacies of the brain and body with a NightLife lineup of activities and fun that includes intriguing information coming out of African Hall; interactions with principal dancer Jennifer Stahl (from the San Francisco Ballet); hands-on brain exploration with researchers from UC Davis; video game talk; and a yoga class taking place on the Living Roof. Thursday NightLife action at the Academy takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The price of tickets is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Only the 21 and over crowd is invited to attend. Be prepared to show valid identification at the door.
Astronomy 101 in Mandarin – California Academy of Sciences – April 11
Thanks to the LA Lone Scouts Mandarin Social Adventurers, a one-time live class in Mandarin is taking place inside the Morrison Planetarium. There won’t be any English subtitles or translators, which means that this experience is best for students attending 3rd through 8th grade (who possess intermediate to advanced Mandarin comprehension skills. The class is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and students, and are going fast. Reserve your space by clicking here.
Yoga in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – April 13
Golden Gate Park is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature while practicing outdoor yoga. Join accredited instructor Sarah Allison on an hour-long class that touches upon different aspects of scenery about the Garden. All levels are welcome to participate. The specific meeting location is revealed once you check in. Keep in mind that heavy rain cancels this event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
To purchase a ticket for this revitalizing session of stretching, click here. The cost is $18 for members and $20 for non-members.
Heron Watch at Stow Lake – Stow Lake – April 13, 20, 27
Great Blue herons choose Golden Gate Park’s Stow Lake as their nesting spot to bring in a new lineup of new chicks. The spring nesting season takes place here in April, May and June, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch sight of these newbies. With the help of naturalists, you’ll use spotting scopes and learn about the behaviors of these lovely creatures. The birds stand 4 feet stall, and have wingspans that reach 6 feet. Every Saturday, you can participate, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If you’re interested in a naturalist-led walk about the lake, a guide will touch upon various places around the Lake and Strawberry Island for $10. Young adults and children enjoy this walk for free. Walks take place from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and meet at the observation site.
Spring Eggstravaganza Carnival – Robin Williams Meadow (formally Sharon Meadow) – April 13
What’s Easter without a good ol’ egg hunt? Don’t miss out on this annual event, which also includes games, carnival rides, live entertainment, food truck eats, and the much-awaited Rib Cook-Off between SF Rec and Park, SF Fire, SF Police and other city departments. Tickets for this carnival are $10. Children 2 and under are free. Keep in mind that you must leave Fido at home; pets are not allowed to attend this event. The festivities start at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.
San Francisco Best Buddies Friendship Walk – GGP Bandshell/Music Concourse – April 13
Come participate in the leading walk in the country that focuses on inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). While there are other Best Buddy walks that take place throughout California, the one slated for San Francisco occurs at Golden Gate Park in April. Going strong since 2009, more than 150,000 participants in 60 cities have participated in the walk that raises awareness for one-to-one friendships, developing leadership skills, and lending support. Funds raised through the walk go towards uplifting local Best Buddies programs. The event lasts from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s not too late to register, click here for more information and to get on board.
Stow Lake Stampede 5K – Peacock Meadow – April 14
The third annual Stow Lake 5K and Kid’s Mile starts and finishes along John F Kennedy at Peacock Meadow. The course is described as ‘flat and fast.’ Everyone is invited to join. An elite field of participants can compete for prize money; age group prizes are also up for grabs. The 5K kicks off at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Kid’s Mile (for 12 and under folks), which begins at 9:15 a.m. Racers, don’t forget to stick around for the post-race expo, which features complimentary Three Twins ice cream, Stow Lake Stampede socks, raffle fun and other perks.
Late online registration is still available from April 1 to April 10 for $40. Late registration and bib pick-up takes place on April 12 (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and April 13 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for $40. Race day fees and registration is $45, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. For more information, you can click here.
Garden Songs with Meadowlark Music Class – SF Botanical Garden – April 14
Encourage a child’s interest in music by allowing them to attend a class that meets in a meadow and introduces youngsters to a combination of instruments (like a Celtic harp), movement, folk songs, and interactive puppet show. From 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., classes take place on the second Sunday of every month. Another separate session is held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:15 pm. . This event, which meets at the Garden’s Main Gate, offers a variety of ticket prices, including a $10 member rate for siblings and $23 general admission fee.
You can snag your ticket by clicking here.
Groundbreaking Ceremony – GGP Tennis Center – April 17
The time is finally here! The historic groundbreaking of the new Tennis Center is happening – marking the start of construction on a $27 million renovated space for aces and backhands to really let loose. Just some of the features in the works include a dedicated pickleball court, new clubhouse with lounge; garden area for viewing; state-of-the-art lighting on all courts; as well as locker rooms and recreation rooms. After a few remarks, the groundbreaking ceremony begins. This gathering starts at 11 a.m.
GOAT NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – April 18
A fan favorite has now become the subject of a NightLife event…and it’s all because of you. Shining a light on this favorite farm animal, the evening’s itinerary concentrates on furry guests of honor from farm animal sanctuary and rescue Goatlandia, as well as Little Explorers; getting you involved in this year’s City Nature Challenge; and many other fascinating explorations. Special drinks and eats from the Academy Cafe Food Cart will be on hand to quench your thirst and fill your belly. The Academy’s NightLife activities and events take place every Thursday. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the evening coming to a close at 10 p.m. This is a 21 and over event with IDs checked at the door. The price of admission is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.
Full Moon Walk – SF Botanical Garden – April 19
Need a romantic date night idea? How about taking in the sights of the Garden by the light of a full moon? A Garden docent will lead a tour of the premises after dark, which allows you to see an assortment of flowers and foliage in a whole new light. It’s suggested to bring along a flashlight. Heavy rain cancels all the fun, so keep an eye on the weather. The cost for this outing (which lasts from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) is $28 for members and $30 for non-members. Claim your spot by purchasing a ticket here.
420 in the Park – Hippie Hill – April 20
The huge “unofficial” annual gathering that descends upon Hippie Hill in April is the stuff of legends, and when everyone plays ‘nice’ – good times are ahead. In between food trucks, vendors, music and other forms of entertainment, be prepared to duck and dodge thick clouds of smoke. Leave the kiddies at home (no one under 21 is allowed to step foot in the event area), and come enjoy the atmosphere from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (dusk). Of course, the setting swells with positive at 4:20 p.m. There is no charge to participate, people-watch, or chill out amongst friends.
Easter Sunday Brunch & Dinner – Beach/Park Chalet – April 21
The Beach Chalet is taking reservations for their annual Easter Sunday meals. Brunch specials include restaurant specialties, such as Veggie Reubens, Buttermilk Fried Calamari, Chalet Eggs Benny, and Grilled Lamb T-Bone Chops. For dinner, expect tastiness in the form of Miso Glazed King Salmon, Chicken Carbonara, Chalet Ale-Infused Seafood Ciopinno with Crab, and Idaho Red Trout. Swallow it all down with specialty cocktails. For the kiddies, an Easter Egg Hunt takes place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. with special guest, the Easter Bunny, making an appearance. For more information and to make a reservation, call the restaurant at (415) 386-8439.
“Spey-O-Rama” Fly Casting Championship Festival – Angler’s Lodge & GGP Casting Pools – April 26, 27, 28
Celebrating the 17th time that casting enthusiasts are participating in a world championship at Golden Gate Park, you’ll have plenty of other attractions to take in. Product exhibitions and casting demonstrations are just some of the things you’ll be able to experience. Each day, the festival begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to become a spectator. However, if you’d like to enjoy a breakfast buffet or midday lunch on any one of the three days, there is a $10 meal fee that is paid at the door. The Angler’s Lodge and Casting Pools can be found at 1232 John F Kennedy Drive.
11th Annual Dancing in the Park – Music Concourse Garage – April 27
As part of the Bay Area Dance Week, a 10-day festival featuring over hundreds of free events throughout San Francisco will unfold. One of the events under the umbrella of this celebration is the annual gathering of impressive local dance companies and dance schools coming to Music Concourse this month. From 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., you’ll get to take in various dance presentations while having a good time with family and friends. During this free event, it’s also an ideal time to picnic
Dutch “King’s Day” Windmill Festival – Murphy Windmill – April 27
If you want a taste of the largest national celebration in the Netherlands, Golden Gate Park is hosting a fun day filled with Dutch traditions, including games, music, food and beer. While there, take time to browse the flea market and come home with a trinket or two. If the weather is good, expect the windmill to turn (which is a special sight to see). The festivities are scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. While this is a free event, donations are appreciated. Food will also be available for purchase.
Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – April 27 & 28
Much more than just a stash of pretty paper, the Vintage Paper Fair is home to one of the largest selections of postcards, sports memorabilia, photography, labels and brochures that the West Coast has to offer. Highlights for this event to look forward to includes pin up art, local history finds, old ads, and other antique treasures. Event hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Best of all…this event is FREE, so you can come and browse all the goodies for no cost at all. If you have any old, interesting pieces of paper hanging around the house, bring them along for a free onsite appraisal – you never know when you have something really special in your possession.
Special ‘Bird Watch’ Event – SF Botanical Garden – April 28
From 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., local author and illustrator Christie Matheson (who wrote Tap the Magic Tree) will visit the Helen Crocker Russell Library at the end of the month to present her latest book, Bird Watch. In addition to enjoying an accompanying fun art activity, there will be books on hand for purchase and signing at this free event.
Golden Gate Park Band: 2019 Season Opening Day – Speckles Temple of Music – April 28
Capping off an active April, the Golden Gate Park Band returns for another round of weekly free concerts that presents the sounds of patriotic tunes, show hits, and timeless classics. The band offers up an ‘Around the World in Ninety Minutes’ program to kick off the 137th season’s premier concert. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. and continue on until 2:45 p.m. And, as always, this event is free and open to the public.