There’s a variety of events and activities which will allow you to appreciate the beauty and possibilities of Golden Gate Park in August – from active pursuits such as fundraising 5Ks to gardening fair fun, vintage paper crafts, and making unforgettable memories. Cultural celebrations will introduce you to and pay homage to a range of international music, songs, dances and rituals. This month also marks the return of one of the most popular festivals to descend upon the city – the Outside Lands.


So, what are you waiting for? Take a gander at the Golden Gate Park events for August 2015:

Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – August 1 & 2

As one of the largest selections of paper goods and creations in the West Coast, you will find over 1 million items for sale at the Vintage Paper Fair. Spanning two days at the San Francisco County Fair Building (located at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way), you should come view the unique displays of old paper that come in the form of postcards, trade cards, photography, brochures, and sports memorabilia. You never know what you’ll come across.

The hours for this year’s paper fair are:

  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It is free to enjoy this event.

Lammas 2015: Magic Meadow Pagan Harvest Ritual – Magic Meadow – August 1

Golden Gate Park is home to many unique events throughout the year, and the Pagan Lammas centers on the performance of a kid-friendly ritual that includes a feast and the sharing of ‘first harvests’ – such as finger foods and non-alcohol drinks. Participants are encouraged to bring flowers, drums and other musical instruments. A brief circle for teens may take place after the ritual ends. Held at 1 p.m., this ritual is free to join and participate in.

Garden Volunteer Workparty – Kezar Triangle – August 1

Want to score karma points? Consider volunteering your time towards beautifying a recently opened community garden at Golden Gate Park. Get up early enough to join staff from the Recreation and Parks Department, the community, and members of the San Francisco Parks Alliance for a 9 a.m. meet-up to perform a range of gardening tasks. Here, you will find a ‘Plot to Grow Art’ that features a woven fence made out of willow boughs. Light refreshments will be on hand. The event will take place through rain or shine. Come dressed appropriately; long pants, layers, and closed toed shoes are recommended. To RSVP, contact [email protected].

GGP Band Honors the SF Fire Department – Spreckels Temple of Music – August 2

The Golden Gate Park Band’s season aims to help you celebrate the warmth and cultural celebrations that arrive in August. Kicking off the month, the band will commemorate the San Francisco Fire Department, as well as NERT and CERT volunteers.

The weekly concerts held at the Music Concourse start at 1 p.m., and generally end around 2:45 p.m. They are always free to enjoy.

Additional GGP Band performances scheduled for August 2015 include:

  • August 9: Featuring the music of Dimitri Shostakovich and friends
  • August 16: Celebrating St. Stephen’s Day with singing, dancing and Hungarian music
  • August 23: Celebrate Robert Emmett Day with Irish music and costumed dance
  • August 30: Ukrainian music, singing and dancing for Ukrainian-American Day

Summer Gardening Fair + Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – August 2

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Botanical Garden will host their annual gardening-centered fair, which is fun for more than just your average plant enthusiast. They’ll be plenty of opportunities to share ideas, purchase plants, learn about plants, and browse plant-related goodies. Throughout the day, kids may participate in a range of activities. The fair will also connect you to plant specialists, as well as representatives of local horticultural and conservation organizations, who can answer all of your burning questions.

Additionally, the monthly plant sale at the Garden will feature a selection of shade plants, which can be bought from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arbor during the fair extravaganza.

MHC Flight to Fitness 5K 2015 in San Francisco – East 14th Meadow – August 2

Offering an early-morning run/walk at Golden Gate Park, the Mabuhay Health Center is holding their 2nd annual event of its kind – the “Flight to Fitness 5K.” The proceeds raised during this event will go towards supporting Mabuhay Health Center’s free health clinic, which provides health screenings, medication therapy management, and health education to San Francisco locals. Those who register to participate will receive a raffle ticket for their chance to win sponsored prizes. The event is being held at the East 14th Meadow, situated at 425 John F. Kennedy Drive.

The cost to participate in this event is $40.

For more information or to purchase a ticket, click here.

Nightlife LIVE: August – California Academy of Sciences – August 6

Presented by Outside Lands, the monthly summer music series event dubbed ‘LIVE’ is the first Nightlife gathering of August 2015, where visitors are treated to performances by five-piece indie rock quintet Alvvays, and the Santa Cruz-based GRMLN, whose music is described as having a “punchy, surf-inspired energy.” In addition to the live music, the event will also offer interactive art exhibit in the West Garden, including a ‘Wild lights’ art installation from Barcelona’s Domestic Data Streamers and an immersive kinetic sculpture. A wearable crafts station in the Swamp with the help of experts from SCRAP SF! will also entertain.

West Garden show times for this event are:

  • DJ: 6:00-7:45 p.m.
  • Opening band: 7:45-8:30 p.m.
  • Headliner band: 8:45-9:45 p.m.

Thursday Nightlife events take place every week at the Academy, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and cost $10-$12 per ticket for the 21 and over crowd.

Additional Nightlife events for August 2015 include:

  • August 13: SF Street Food NightLife – In partnership with the San Francisco Street Food Festival, you’ll get treated to some of the most flavorful mobile edibles that the city has to offer.
  • August 20: Soundwave NightLife – For those looking for a way to kick off the Soundwave 7 Biennial, the Academy concentrates on blending architecture, sound and science all at once.
  • August 27: Crafty NightLife – It’s all about creativity and craftiness when the Academy partners with SF Bazaar to bring on a colorful celebration of arts and crafts.

Friday Nights at the de Young (“Glorious Artworks”) – DeYoung Museum – August 7

Every Friday, the museum hosts a free night filled with cultural exploration, live performances (from singing to dancing to band ensembles), and art-making. The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. and continue on until 8:30 p.m. or so. To kick off the month of August, the first installment of Friday Night events is dedicated to ‘Glorious Artworks.’

For starters, the live music for the night comes from San Francisco composer Lisa Mezzacappa at Wilsey Court, who will present a sneak listen to her new music and film titled ‘Glorious Ravage.’ The mixed-media art-making station at Buchanan Court will be manned by Nina Rodriguez, who will teach you how to make an origami ship – all of which correlates with a featured subject matter in J.M.W. Turner’s paintings.

Additional Friday Nights events for August 2015 include:

  • August 14: “Musical and Art Exploration” – with a colorful artist demonstration in the Piazzoni Murals Room centered on J.M.W. Turner’s renowned paintings.
  • August 21: “A Night of Contemporary Creative Jazz” – featuring the sounds of live Brazilian music in Wilsey Court, delivered by the Chico Pinheiro Trio in partnership with California Brazil Camp.
  • August 28: Come join in the fun with a celebration of the pre-opening of “Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘I,” where you can learn how to make feather flower and feather hair adornments, as well as listen to the sounds of Ben Ahn as he plays his ukulele.

Outside Lands Festival – Golden Gate Park – August 7, 8 & 9

Offering an exhilarating combination of live music, wine, beer, food, art and comedy/improv, the Outside Lands Festival is an annual event at Golden Gate Park in its 8th year. One moment you’re sipping on local brews, while the next is spent marveling at eco-friendly demonstrations or munching on chocolate and cheese creations. Every day of the festival, the gates open at 11 a.m. with music kicking off for the day at 12 p.m., and the last shows ending around 10 p.m.

While there are too many entertainers to mention, consider the snapshot below of the musicians, bands and other performers slated to take the stage for the 2015 Outside Lands Festival:

  • Friday: Mumford & Sons, George Ezra, Glass Animals, RL Grime, and Wilco
  • Saturday: The Black Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Billy Idol, Django Django, and Moon Boots
  • Sunday: Elton John, Sam Smith, DJ Mustard, Hot Chip, and the Devil Makes Three

For more information, click here for the official website for the festival.

420 Games – Spreckels Temple of Music – August 15

Only at Golden Gate Park can you encounter something like a cannabis awareness event, and that’s just what the 420 Games are all about. You’ll have a run, bike ride and other athletic pursuits to enjoy – all of which advocate for the responsible use of marijuana.

A highlight of events and activities that will be held during the ‘games’ includes:

  • The 4.20 mile or 10k timed run taking place throughout the park starts at 8:30 a.m.
  • The Lagunitas Beer Garden provides two hours of beer tasting at the finish line.
  • You can listen to a free concert by Pato Banton – an international reggae artist.
  • Those who enter in the race will receive a T-shirt.

This event begins at 8 a.m., and continues on until 2 p.m.

Printmaking Workshop – SF Botanical Garden – August 17

Join Stephanie Martin and Stacy Frank, as they guide a small class through an afternoon filled with printmaking that includes nontoxic drypoint intaglio and monoprint techniques. Fun for all experience levels, this event will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $50 for members and $60 for non-members to enjoy. All of the materials will be provided for this activity, and an early RSVP is suggested as the class is limited to only 12 participants.

Bark for Life – Transverse & Kennedy Drives – August 22

Calling all dog lovers! Golden Gate Park will host the American Cancer Society’s annual Bark for Life fundraiser in San Francisco, which involves a 5K walk (or shorter 1-mile loop) honoring human/canine cancer survivors , as well as caregiver companions. The objective of this event is to move closer towards a goal of eliminating cancer through research, education, and advocacy. Activities and contests will be held, where dogs and their companions may participate in the likes of dog tricks, canine costumes, and musical action. Demonstrations from the Vaders’ World Disc Dog Team and the 2014 Westminster Agility Dog Champion are also sure to entertain.

Community Event: Photography in GGP – California Academy of Sciences – August 22

Want to learn more about your camera? As one of the featured community events held at the Academy throughout the year, family and friends are encouraged to come with their cameras (or similar devices) in hand to learn how to take and edit photos with an expert flair. This activity is offered to those who pay for an admission, which allows one child and one adult to enjoy the California Academy of Sciences for the day. This event will start at 10 a.m.

Festival of the Chariots 2015 – Sharon Meadow – August 23

Come explore a piece of Indian culture by participating in a parade and festival fun that typically brings in more than 3,000 people each year. Just some of the highlights for this event include a complimentary vegetarian meal, live music, ancient dances from India, intriguing exhibits, books, and the sight of three large chariots being pulled by ropes during the parade.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. at JFK and Traverse, while the festival (which is free for all to enjoy) is held at Sharon Meadow and officially starts at 1 p.m. Sharon Meadow is located at 320 Bowling Green Drive – situated on the corner of JFK Drive and Stanyan Street.

Golden Gate Park Cross Country 5K & Kids Run – Polo Field – August 30

If you’re looking for a running event that takes place in the park, there are two events being held at the end of the month – one for the older crowd and a fun run for the kiddies. An off-road 5K course starting at the upper dirt track on the south side of Polo Field is being held from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The finish line for this race will be at the lower paved track on the South side. The kid’s run will take place from 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the upper track of Polo Fields.

The cost to enter the 5K race is $3 for runners 13-17 years old, and free for ages up to 12 years old. The 18 and over crowd pays $3 (members) or $5 (non-members).  For more information, you can visit DSE Runners race schedule or call (415) 978-0837.