Due to the pandemic, you may not be able to browse historical artifacts at the de Young Museum or visit Claude, the albino alligator, at the California Academy of Sciences. However, the open spaces, playgrounds, and Golden Gate Park trails are still available to the public (with restricted use). There are also a few outdoor activities and sports you can participate in and virtual events that will keep you connected to Golden Gate Park in January 2021.

What’s Open at Golden Gate Park?

San Francisco Botanical Garden

The Garden is open daily, seven days a week. Onsite programs, workshops, and special events are all postponed until further notice.

Japanese Tea Garden

You can visit the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During your visit, you must adhere to social distancing measures and follow the Garden’s one-way pathways and other safety measures to avoid congestion.

Golden Gate Park Golf Course

Tee times are required; only golfers who have made reservations through the online booking portal will be allowed on the property. All golfers must bring and use their own equipment. San Francisco City guidelines specify that golfers can only play twosomes (and can be from different households). For more information on the GGP golf course’s COVID policies, click here.

Golden Gate Park Playgrounds

You may visit Golden Gate Park playgrounds only with members of your own household. All visitors over two years old must wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing, and adhere to capacity limits. Do not use this time to arrange playdates with other children and families.

Guests must limit visits to 30 minutes when others are present. Everyone must stay 6 feet away from non-household members. Adults must actively watch over their children at all times. Only one adult may accompany each child.

Golden Gate Park COVID-19 Closures

The following Golden Gate Park attractions have been closed to the public since November 29 and will reopen following updated San Francisco City and County mandates (TBA):

  • San Francisco Academy of Sciences
  • de Young Museum
  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • SkyStar Observation Wheel
  • Golden Gate Park Tennis Courts

Golden Gate Park Events – January 2021       

Entwined – Peacock Meadow – December 10 thru February 28

Entwined is an outdoor public art installation that not only provides families with an entertaining outlet to enjoy the park safely, but it’s also one of the ways you can still celebrate Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary. You’ll love the flickering lights and hypnotic LED-light show of illuminated tree structures and an intriguing display of nature’s best, including colorful flowers, thunderstorms, and waves of windswept grass.

A few rules and points to consider:

  • You can only view the installation with members of your household.
  • You must wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing during your visit.
  • If Entwined should go dark, it is a sign that the area has become overcrowded.
  • There are no reservations to make or tickets to purchase; this attraction is free.

Make sure to come well before 9:45 p.m., the time when the lights turn off.

Golden Gate Park Virtual Events for January 2021

Academy of California Sciences – NightSchool Programs

Every Thursday, the Academy hosts free virtual NightSchool programs. It’s their way of staying connected to everyone until it’s time to welcome you back for in-person Thursday NightLife events. These “classes” stream live on Thursdays at 7 p.m. PT.

The NightSchool themes for January 2021 are:

  • January 7: New Year, New Species
  • January 14: Arctic Life
  • January 21: Moths & Butterflies
  • January 28: The Study of Humanity

For more information, click here.

de Young Museum (Zoom Talk) – Wear to Art Movement – January 16

Join the Textile Arts Council for the Back to the Future: Reflections On Off the Wall Zoom Talk, which touches upon art-to-wear movements throughout history. This talk will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The cost is $10 for general admission (it is free for TAC members and costs $5 for students and members of FAMSF).

Registration is required if you plan on attending, which you can complete here.