Golden Gate Park events in August mean it’s ‘Outside Lands time’ again…where you’ll encounter a colorful cast of musicians, performers and vendors that convene in one place to provide three days of all-out fun. The energy of the event is felt all over the city, but that’s not the only thing happening at one of the best parks in the U.S. There will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy an array of amusing events and activities, such as live music entertainment, murder mystery intrigue, mini fitness competitions, and magical beer tastings. Let’s take a moment to check out August 2018 events for Golden Gate Park, and make the most out of the last days of summer.

Live Music Performances – Beach & Park Chalet – every Saturday and Sunday in August

Whether you’re trying out the new seasonal menu at Park Chalet (Chicken Mac n’ Cheese sounds tasty) or sipping on Sea Serpent IPA, the Beach Chalet will host live music performances on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of August that includes the following musicians:

  • August 4: Wavelength (2 p.m.-5p.m.) – instrumental music
  • August 5:  Charity and the Jam Band (3 p.m.-5p.m.) – mindful family-friendly tunes
  • August 11:  Groove Objective (1 p.m.-4p.m.) – rock, blues and funk
  • August 12:  Howling Coyote Tour (2 p.m.-5p.m.) – a host of independent singer-songwriters hailing from the Southwest
  • August 18:  Beach Cowboys (2 p.m.-5p.m.) – bluesy rock and roll
  • August 19:  Luv Bomb (2 p.m.-5p.m.) – soul and funk
  • August 25:  Beach Cowboys (2 p.m.-5p.m.) – bluesy rock and roll
  • August 26:  The Beer Scouts (2 p.m.-5p.m.) – original rock music, as well as blues, R&B and rock & roll cover tunes

420 Games – Spreckles Temple of Music – August 4

How does a combination of recreational running, yoga and beer sound for a Saturday morning? With the 420 Games, which are entering its fifth year, you are treated to a 4.20 mile event (that combines a series of runs, bike rides and other athletic endeavors), yoga poses, and Lagunitas Beer – all in the name of responsible use of marijuana. The run is being held at 9 a.m. at the Music Concourse (Spreckles Temple of Music), and includes visits along JFK and Stow Lake. The entire event ends at 2 p.m.

In total, you’ll engage in 4.20 miles of exercise that you can walk, jog, run, skate or bike-ride, if you like. The event culminates with a cool-down session of yoga. Pay $4.20 to receive an event bib, 420 Mile Fun Run participation, and entrance to the 420 Village. However, $25 gets you the T-shirt and finisher medal. Pitch in an extra $25, and you gain entrance into the Lagunitas Beer Garden at the finish line, where 2 ½ hours of beer tasting serves as an added reward for all of your hard work. Sound enticing? Purchase your tickets for the 420 Games here.

Foldscope Exploration – Conservatory of Flowers – August 4

Join Foldscope as they lead a workshop centered on a paper microscope that is one of the most affordable gadgets you can make and own. Easy-to-assemble and ready to be used in a New York minute, this event concentrates on utilizing these pocket-sized wonders to enjoy an afternoon filled with “microcosmic explorations,” courtesy of Golden Gate Park. It costs nothing to participate in this workshop, which runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Conservatory’s Palm Terrace. And good news, you do not need to purchase a ticket to the Conservatory.

Debardchery: Archery, Bardic Poetry & Silly Games – Archery Field – August 4

Although you won’t be able to participate (unless you are a member of the San Francisco branch of the Society for Creative Anachronisms), you can still gaze upon the actions that unfold at this annual archery and bardic tournament. Young kids will enjoy seeing people dressed in clothing from the Middle Ages, as well as watching the arrows fly. Visitors are encouraged to bring a dish to share with others. This event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Archery Field is located on 47th Ave and Fulton Street.

Buzz: The Nature & Necessity of Bees – SF Botanical Garden – August 4

Join conservation biologist Thor Hanson, as he discusses his new book, Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees, in the Fragrance Garden. Following the talk, Hanson will sign his book. Those who are interested should meet up at the Main Gate at 3 p.m. This Green Apple Books co-sponsored event is free when you purchase regular admission at the Garden.

Story Time & Family Walk – SF Botanical Garden – August 5 & August 19

Stories come to life at the Garden’s Helen Crocker Russell Library…and nature is only a fingertip-touch away when you bring the kiddies to enjoy a reading of this month’s book choice, Birds of Many Feathers. This is an ongoing program that’s completely free, and takes place on the first and third Sunday of every month at 10:30 a.m. (with a family walk in the garden leaving the Library at 11 a.m.). Story time is primarily geared towards children aged 4-8. Just in case you didn’t know, the Library is found at the main entrance gate of the Garden.

Golden Gate Park Band Concert – Spreckles Temple of Music – August 5

The month of August is filled with an assortment of concerts performed by the Golden Gate Park Band, which starts off with a special program that honors NERT and CERT volunteers. You’ll hear music from the likes of John Williams, Scott Joplin, Claude Smith, and Jacob de Haan. The finale from Symphony no. 4 (Peter I Tchaikovsky/arr. V.F. Safranek) will also be included. These concerts are always free, and take place on Sundays, from 1 p.m. to somewhere between 2:30-2:45 p.m. During cultural celebrations, crowds are usually treated to costumed guest performers, singers, dancers, and other beauty representing specific nationalities.

Other GGP Band performances for August 2018 include:

  • August 12 – theme to be announced at a later date
  • August 19 – a celebration of Hungarian culture for St. Steven’s Day
  • August 26 – Ukrainian culture takes center stage

Designing with Palms Tour and Talk – SF Botanical Garden – August 8

Join horticulturist and longtime Garden volunteer Jason Dewees for a walk in the garden, followed by a presentation of a slide lecture that complements his Designing with Palms book. This tour and talk will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Afterwards, Dewees will be on hand to sell and sign his book. Please RSVP for this free event at [email protected]

NightLife LIVE: August – California Academy of Sciences – August 9

Join other locals in a sort of kickoff of fun for the upcoming Outside Lands Festival, which includes a performance of East Bay rapper Caleborate in the West Garden; an interactive art installation; VR experiences provided by Dream Logic and Vision Quest in African Hall; and a science-inspired crafts and creativity workshop with Paint Pens Collective. In addition to a DJ set by B-Side Brujas, a live performance by electro-pop singer/songwriter Elohim will also take place.

Unlike other Thursday NightLife events at the Academy, this night features premium pricing ($18 for members and $22 for non-members) because the activities have been organized in partnership with the Outside Lands Music Festival. As always, only participants that are 21 years or older are allowed to enjoy these festivities.

Outside Lands – Golden Gate Park – August 10, 11 & 12

One of San Francisco’s most highly anticipated parties is being held once again, which promises an unforgettable experience that combines food, music, wine, beer, art, comedy, and a host of new activities this year to keep you busy. Food trucks and carts at every turn are ready to keep your belly full. Those who showcase their edibles aim to push the limits of your stomach with Mexican corn on the cob, loaded funnel cakes, “sexy” fries and NOLA seafood boils. Then, you can swallow it down with a glass of tropical moscado or Laughing Monk brews.

The gates for the festival open at 11 a.m. with music starting at 12 p.m. until 10 p.m. (with the exception of 9:40 p.m. on Sunday).

Just some of the highlights to look forward to for 2018 include: Gastromagic (food and music collide with a collection of select programs); the Market Place (which allows vendors to sell their unique wares); playing a round on a Mini Golf Course at the Back Wine; glow-in-the-dark fun at the Bubble Tea Party; Chase cardholders treated like royalty at the Sapphire Lounge; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. hosting a Beer Camp; stopping by Jim Beam’s Backyard BBQ; Grass Lands (found South of the Polo Fields is home to everything cannabis); and the tastiness of Cheese Lands.

As for the music, here’s just a taste of a few of the anticipated performances:

  • August 10: Kicking off the live entertainment for the festival are The Weeknd, N.E.R.D., Beck, Carly Rae Jepsen, Shannon & the Clams, Sweet Plot, and The Growlers.
  • August 11: On this day, expect Florence + the Machine, Future, Goldlink, Knox Fortune, Bon Iver, and Freya Ridings to take the stage.
  • August 12: Performers for this day include Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae, DJ Snake, James Blake, Saba, Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers, and Tyler Childers.

For more details and ticket information, click here for everything Outside Lands.

Exploring Native Plants with Sutro Stewards – Conservatory of Flowers – August 11

If you’d like to explore some of the native plants that the city has to offer, Sutro Stewards are more than ready and willing to guide you through an examination of ecological restoration and the propagation of plants that are native to California. This free event runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and takes place on the Conservatory’s Palm Terrace. Tickets to the Conservatory are not required in order for you to participate.

Animal Behavior NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – August 16

If you’re an animal lover, then you’ll truly have a good time exploring the reasoning behind why critters do the things that they do. Just some of the highlights for the night include CatVideoFest videos; dance performances mimicking animal mating rituals; and a visit from the San Francisco SPCA, where you might just meet your next furry companion. In the garden, enjoy a live animal program featuring a sloth, lemur and fennec fox. Music for the night will be provided by DJ Magic Touch.

Thursday NightLife events at the Academy generally run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with tickets costing $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Only those belonging to the 21 and over crowd are allowed to enjoy these festivities…so don’t forget to bring along valid I.D. – it will be checked at the door.

Botanicals and Brews Beer Garden – Conservatory of Flowers – August 17

Another assortment of craft beers will be on display for your tasting pleasure, when you attend the latest Botanicals and Brews Beer Garden event at the Conservatory. The onsite Victorian greenhouse will set the stage for award-winning Ferment Drink Repeat (FDR) and small batch HenHouse Brewing Company brews.

General admission tickets cost $27, and come with a complimentary craft brew of choice. A $55 Master Brewer ticket provides the holder with an exclusive tasting flight, guided tasting with expert craft beer makers, $10 food truck credit, and a souvenir beer flight glass. This event is slated to run from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. You can buy tickets here.

Yoga in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – August 18

Golden Gate Park is an ideal location for stretching your limbs and clearing your mind. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., you can enjoy a 60-minute yoga session with accredited instructor Sarah Allison. All levels are welcome to join in, but don’t forget to bring along your own beach towel or yoga mat. The class will rotate about the Garden as you change poses. Keep in mind that heavy rain cancels this event. Those who sign up for this session will receive a confirmation email with information on the specific location to meet up. Members pay $18 for this workshop, while non-members are charged $20.

1st Annual Mini-Fitness Olympics of San Francisco – Marx Meadow – August 18

If you’re looking for a competition that doesn’t involve CrossFit levels of difficulty, the everyday athlete or fitness enthusiast may find this opportunity to strut their stuff interesting. There will be 10 events to compete in with this family-friendly event. A health and fitness professional will supervise the “Olympics” (to make sure you don’t overdo it). It’s a fun option to get active and enjoy quality time with family and friends. The competitions’ will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. To purchase tickets for this event, which runs up to $12.50, click here. And, you can feel good about participating because all proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Festival of the Chariots – Sharon Meadow (Robin Williams Meadow) – August 19

Entering its 52nd year, the Festival of the Chariots (or ‘Ratha Yatra’) is a thousand-year plus tradition that occurs in India, as well as in major cities throughout the world. Visitors to Golden Gate Park will have the pleasure of experiencing the festivities – joining more than 3,000 people who come to attend every year in San Francisco. Come celebrate a host of deities, while enjoying a parade that kicks off at 11 a.m. (JFK & Transverse), followed by the 1 p.m. festival at Sharon Meadow. This event is free to enjoy, and will include pull chariots, cultural programs, music, dance, and a free vegetarian feast. In case you weren’t sure, you will find the festival portion of this festival at 320 Bowling Green Dr.

Beyond Human NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – August 23

The theme for the evening will center on robots, VR experiences, and futuristic food, all presented through a handful of live demos, talks, and experiments. If this sounds like something you’d like to take part in, don’t forget to leave room for live Bad Science podcast fun; NeuroSky electroencephalography (EEG) headsets; the Virtual Human Emotion Lab; medical exoskeleton suits; and music by DJ Quan Zou.

Doors open for Thursday NightLife events at 6 p.m. with activities lasting until 10 p.m. Members of the Academy pay $12, while non-members are charged $15 to gain entry. Valid identification is required for these parties, which are only for the 21 and over crowd.

San Francisco Vintage Paper Fair – Hall of Flowers – August 25 & 26

It’s that time again…when one of the largest selections of trade cards, postcards, brochures, photography, sports collectibles, and all things old paper…comes to San Francisco. Although this West Coast fair occurs a handful of times a year, you never know what will be featured the next time around. Come browse the latest collections…you have two days to do it. Bring home some new pin up art. Dive into local history. Find quirky advertising to impress your friends. There will also be free onsite appraisals of your own goods. The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and is completely free to enjoy. The Hall of Flowers is located on 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way.

NightLife Spotlight – California Academy of Sciences – August 30

Climate change has been in the news lately, so it’s no wonder that the Academy has decided to highlight its importance in one of their NightLife Spotlight events. Expect a talk in partnership with COAL + ICE; planetarium show favorites; and Adult Chemistry pairings served at the Terrace Restaurant & Bar. You’ll also have a chance to learn about what goes into making sparkling wine and how to achieve that fine bubble taste. This event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and is for the over-21 crowd. Tickets are priced at $12-$15, depending on whether you’re a member of the Academy. For more information, you can click here.

Murder at the Conservatory – Conservatory of Flowers – August 31

If you haven’t had a crack at The Mystery of the Immortal Elixir case, then here’s your chance to cap off August with murder mystery fun. Carve out time to enjoy this fact-finding adventure from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to this event includes access to the ‘scene of the crime,’ glass of beer or wine, light snacks, and information on how to track down clues throughout the night. Ticket costs are $85 for general admission and $100 for an added Victorian tour that takes place at 6 p.m.