One of the most significant Golden Gate Park events for August 2021 has been postponed (when is Outside Lands Festival for 2021? October 29 to October 31, 2021!), but never fear; there are plenty of celebrations to enjoy this month. Many annual events return to the Park, like the Old Car Picnic, plus a favorite pastime of the park turns 25 years old! Learn a new skill or help kids develop a love for science. Also, don’t forget to check out the monthly recurring events at Golden Gate Park for August 2021 at the very end of this post.

Bean Sprouts Family Days – SF Botanical Garden – August 1 – August 30 (select days)

Calling all garden helpers! It’s time to dig, pick, build, water, explore, and discover new things at San Francisco’s favorite Botanical Garden! Kaiser Permanente presents this free program, and it’s open to all families at the Children’s Garden in August 2021 on the following days and times:

  • Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The program is suitable for children of all ages (no pre-registration needed!). You can use tools at the Garden’s welcome station or bring your own from home.

Golden Gate Park Band Concerts – Music Concourse – August 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29

If you’ve missed the Golden Gate Park Band and its weekly free performances, they have missed you too! Regular concerts are on Sundays, starting at 1 p.m. and usually end between 2:30 and 2:45 p.m. There is no intermission, so bring along a blanket and picnic lunch to the Spreckels Temple of Music in the Music Concourse for family-friendly fun!

All concerts feature music from a specific theme, culture, or nationality. Enjoy costumed guest performers, singers, dancers, and speakers, depending on the theme.

Below are the GGP Band concerts for August 2021:

  • August 1: Welcome Back Concert
  • August 8: Video Game Music plus Music from Stage & Screen
  • August 15: Hungarian Cultural Celebration
  • August 22: Ukrainian Cultural CelebrationCelebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence!
  • August 29: The Music of Disney/Pixar

Build A Sustainable Life in a Bottle: Terrarium! – August 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Join Mr. Botanist for a fun-filled workshop in creating your own world—a terrarium in a bottle! Your fee includes all materials to make an original, self-sustainable ecosystem adding your personal touches with the help of a teacher who knows how to make science fun!  This workshop runs from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information and to buy tickets ($79), click here.

Meditation in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – August 8, 15, 22, 29

Relax and release any stress you may have with a pleasant visit to the Garden for an hour-long meditation session guided by Charity Kahn. Ideal for all levels, you will sit, walk, and move with purpose to achieve mindfulness of the body and senses. Meet at the Main Gate with your blanket, yoga mat, cushion, or small chair for maximum comfort.  Single classes are $25 (general) and $18 (members). See here for more details and to RSVP.

NightLife x Pop-Up Magazine – California Academy of Sciences – August 12

The Academy hosts Pop-Up Magazine’s FIELD GUIDE audio experience + art project, described as “made for and inspired by the world around us.” There is also a talk at 8 p.m. taking place under the trees in the African Hall. This event is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (only for the 21-and-over crowd). You can also spring for the VIP Experience; it includes a private rooftop lounge, two complimentary cocktails, and a tour of the Academy’s scientific collections (like the Gem and Mineral Vault).

P.S. There is a NightLife event on August 19 and NightLife: Art Lab on August 26.

To get tickets to any NightLife event, click here.

Summer Garden Tours – SF Botanical Garden – August 13, 20, 27

Get reacquainted or discover the SF Botanical Garden for the first time with Summer Garden Tours every Friday in August. A Garden docent will take you on a 90-minute walking tour to see the new blooms across this popular attraction’s acreage. Some of the sights include collections highlighting Mediterranean climates, from California to South Africa.

  • August 13: 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
  • August 20: 10:30 a.m.
  • August 27: 10:30 a.m.

Pre-registration is required, and space is limited for drop-in visitors. These tours are free with general admission to the Garden. Learn more and get your tickets here.

Note: Parties of 6 or more are expected to schedule a private tour.

Make-and-Take Macramé Plant Hanger – SF Botanical Garden – August 14

Spend the morning with Hanging with Hannah for a beginner-friendly macramé workshop to learn the basics and walk away with a new skill! You will learn three basic knot techniques, and at the end of the workshop, you will get to take home your own macrame plant hanger. The cost ($65/general, $55/Member) covers all of the necessary materials for a group lesson (with opportunities for one-on-one assistance if needed). It’s also the perfect time to check out the Garden or pick up a new plant at the August plant sale (container plants, hello!).

RSVP for this event here.

Lindy in the Park 25th Anniversary – Music Concourse + JFK Drive – August 14 & 15

There’s a celebration you might want to swing by this month: Lindy in the Park turns 25!

This month, show your love for all things lindy by attending a weekend of fun.

Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Music Concourse: Lindy in the Park is returning to its original hangout: the historic Music Concourse Bandshell. This dance party includes free live music and swing dancing with Clint Baker’s Golden Gate Swing Band.

Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at JFK Drive: Enjoy a potluck party with main dishes, side dishes, salads, dessert, and drinks (bring something to share with everyone!). Free beginner lessons are from noon to 12:30 p.m. Stick around for the group photo at 2:30 p.m. This celebration takes place on the south sidewalk of John F. Kennedy Jr Drive (between 8th and 10th Avenues, behind the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park).

For more information, click here.

55th Annual Festival of the Chariots – Traverse Drive – August 14

The first Jagannātha Ratha-yātrā festival in San Francisco was held over 50 years ago—in 1967. Participants get a chance to pull chariots, participate in a free feast, tour exhibits, watch cultural performances (dances, devotional songs, and music), learn about Vedic culture, and more. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. For more information, see here.

33rd Annual San Francisco Old Car Picnic – West Hellman Hollow – August 14

Car lovers, rejoice! The 33rd Annual San Francisco Old Car Picnic returns to Golden Gate Park. Share your automotive gems with everyone; there is a $40 entrance fee for all pre-1996 cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Bicycles are only $10 and motorcycles ($20), while spectators are always free. This event is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Don’t forget to bring a picnic lunch for this all-day event—there are no “ins and outs” or vendors allowed.

Note: Event proceeds go towards a good cause!

“Mini Garden + Hanging Plants” Sale – SF Botanical Garden – August 14 & 15

​Don’t have enough space for a full-blown garden? There is an expanded sale for Containers and Hanging Plants at the Botanical Garden—it’s the perfect time to start a miniature garden or discover the beauty of space-saving plants for your home.

Head for the Plant Arbor from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to find ideal plants for the Bay Area microclimate. Many of the specimens are propagated from the Garden’s collections.

Golden Gate Park Beginner Archery – GGP Archery Range – August 15

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at archery, the S.F. Urban Adventure Club is offering beginner group lessons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the GGP Archery Range (902 47th Ave.). You can practice hitting the bullseye for $25-$40. For more information, you can call 952-288-6721.

Vase-O-Rama– Sharon Arts Studio – August 21

Come on out and join Lynn Wood to explore hand-building three slab textured vases. You will create functional, unique vases that’ll add a personalized creative touch to your home. In addition, learn new tips on how to elevate your projects. A second date is set for glazing your vases. After the final firing, you will receive a day to pick up your creations. The class fee includes clay, tools, glaze, and two firings. You are required to wear a mask in the studio.

Mark your calendars for these two dates:

  • Saturday, August 21 10am-4pm
  • Saturday, August 28 10am-1pm

Members pay $225 for this experience. Register for this workshop here.

Exploring Golden Gate Park – 36th Avenue and Fulton Street – August 22

Just some of the highlights of this Golden Gate Park exploration include nine lakes, hidden dirt trails, bison, waterfalls, a disc golf course, monuments, the Park’s highest point on Strawberry Hill, and more. Altogether, prepare to enjoy a moderate 6-mile walk from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet in front of the Model Yacht Club at the 36th Avenue and Fulton Street entrance if you’re interested. You can find street parking inside the park on JFK Drive and 36th Avenue. Reservations are required! To RSVP for this free event, click here.

Any questions? You can call Ken Lavin at 415-543-6771 x321 or email him.

Golden Gate Park Monthly Recurring Events

Other August 2021 recurring monthly events at Golden Gate Park include:

August 8, 15, 22, 29 – “Lindy in the Park” Swing Dance Party at JFK Dr. & Music Concourse Dr from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is a free event + free lessons, rain cancels (more details)

August 8, 15, 22, 29 – Golden Gate Park Sunday Roller Disco Party at the Skatin’ Place – 6th Ave. and Kennedy Drive from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., free (more details)

August 10 – San Francisco Botanical Garden’s Free Day (2nd Tuesdays)

August 13 – Women and Non-Binary Bike S.F. – McLaren Lodge (more details)

August 14, 21, 28 – Free de Young Museum Day for Bay Area Resident (every Saturday)

August 14, 21, 28 – Blankets & Wine Comedy – Polo Field Bleachers – free (more details)

August 14, 21, 28 – Outdoor Yoga near Hippie Hill, $15 (get tickets here)

August 23 – White Crown Sparrow Habitat Restoration – Bison Paddock (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) – contact Janet Carpinelli at [email protected], if interested

A friendly reminder: In all San Francisco parks, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces. Stay safe!