Let the fireworks begin in the month of July at Golden Gate Park with 2012 events that bring the flair of band music, Bastille Day and Bollywood to San Francisco’s green oasis. With family-friendly opportunities and nights out on the town just for the 21 and over crowd, you’re sure to find something that makes the dog days of summer come alive. Below is a collection of highlighted events for Golden Gate Park happening in the month of July 2012:

july 2012 events in golden gate park

Photo Walk +Exhibition – McLaren Lodge – July 2 to Aug 15

The San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department invites all members of the public to enjoy an exhibition of art featuring the black and white photography by members and staff of the Harvey Milk Photo Center. Take in the arts of San Francisco at the lobby of McLaren Lodge – located at 501 Stanyan St. The hours of the lodge are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Friday. For more details, you can visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.

First Tuesday Free Admission – July 3

The time has come again where locals can enjoy free admission to some of the popular attractions at Golden Gate Park. The fun starts at 9:30 a.m. with the deYoung Museum and at 10 a.m. for the Conservatory of Flowers.

Golden Gate Park Band Concert – Music Concourse – July 4

When you’re looking for a musical event that celebrates the patriotic pride of America, the Golden Gate Park Band will treat you to a collection of invigorating and entertaining tunes at a special Wednesday performance to celebrate Independence Day. Come to Spreckles Temple of Music on the Music Concourse for a professional performance of music and marches – right between deYoung Museum and the Academy of Arts in Golden Gate Park. The concert starts at 1 p.m.

The usual GGP Band concerts are held on Sundays – starting at 1 p.m. and usually lasting until 2:30 to 2:45 p.m. Other July 2012 concert dates in Golden Gate Park for the band include:

• July 8 – music of Leonard Bernstein
• July 15 – French music
• July 22 – Water music – tunes inspired by rivers, streams, lakes and the sea

Soundwaves Nightlife Thursday – California Academy of Sciences – July 5

With a mixture of art, science and sound, the California Academy of Sciences will kick their July Nightlife events into gear with a theme that centers on the present and our hopes/fear for the future. Guests will enjoy the sounds of a futuristic space rock band called the Lumerians, who will perform in the piazza with DJs Tristes Tropiques and Nihar spinning post punk and acid house tunes. Author Shannon O’Malley will give a reading of her book Apocalypse Cakes – serving samples from her guide to ‘doomsday desserts.’

The Thursday night events at the Academy are held every week from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (with last entry at 9 p.m.) and only cost $12. You must be 21 years of age or older to enjoy this exciting night on the town.

Other CAS Nightlife events for July 2012 include:

• July 12 – “Disposable Film Fest NightLife” with a flipbook animation booth and festival shorts
• July 19 – “Mixology, Mixtapes and Remixes at NightLife” with music by Noise Pop, mixtape swap and mixology demos by Cocktail Lab
• July 26 – “Runner’s NightLife” with a celebration for the 35th annual Wipro SF Marathon, including fashion contest, deep tissue massage, and ostriches

Urban Jungle Friday Night at deYoung – deYoung Museum – July 6

If you don’t have anything to do on a Friday night, deYoung Museum makes it easy for you to keep a full schedule of events with themed cultural evenings, such as the “The Sights and Sounds of the Urban Jungle” being hosted on July 6. This Thursday, Gaultier takes center stage with musicians bringing to life a fusion of North African and Arabic music through the Henna Garden North African Ensemble. Here, you are introduced to a range of worldwide instruments, such as the oud, kanun, and doumbek. Although the entire event is free, Gaultier-inspired henna tattoos will be offered for a nominal fee from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Friday Nights at deYoung are a weekly event that take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Other themed gatherings for July 2012 include:

• July 13 – Bastille Day Ball – with a special dance performance celebrating the legendary Moulin Rouge by Kitty Kitty Bang Bang
• July 21 – celebrating the African Diaspora with exhibits and activities, such as “Love Letters from the Harlem Renaissance”

Draw-a-saurus Rex: Dino Drawing Workshop – the Conservatory – July 11 & July 14

The entire family will enjoy the adventurous drawing workshop that concentrates on the ferocious beasts of prehistory. The Conservatory of Flowers will hold two sessions of the Draw-a-saurus Rex: Dino Drawing Workshop on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 and Saturday, July 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The workshop is meant to coincide with the new exhibit called Plantosaurus Rex. Crayons, markers, pencils and other materials will be provided to budding artists so that they can create their very own dinosaur. Additional activities include playing dino Pictionary and constructing silly new species of dino with the collaborative game called “heads and bodies.”

The cost of this event is $15 for one adult and child – each additional child costs $8. This fee includes admission to the Conservatory and drawing materials. Classes are limited to 15 per session, so it is important that you reserve a space immediately at conta.cc/cofdraw

Plant Sale – SF Botanical Gardens – July 14

The San Francisco Botanical Gardens is hosting a plant sale for the lover of salvias and shrubs – held at the Nursery from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You will find the Nursery situated in the southwest corner of the Garden, which is only a 5-minute walk from the Main Gate at Ninth Avenue at Lincoln Way.

Naturalist 101: Insect Basics – Academy of Sciences – July 14

Calling all bug and nature lovers! Equip yourself with the knowledge of being able to identify the creatures and critters that crawl, slide, fly or scamper about the Golden Gate Park by attending a 101 course on insect basics. The Naturalist Center staff at the Academy of Sciences is ready to teach you fundamental identification skills in and around the museum from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. You must reserve a space for this opportunity by calling 415-379-8000 or signing up online. It costs $10 for members and $15 non-members to participate, which does not include admission to the Academy. You will meet at Business Reception.

AIDS Walk San Francisco – Sharon Meadow – July 15

It’s a time to reflect and mourn, as much as it is a time to rejoice and celebrate the individuals who have succumbed to disease, are fighting for their lives, or supporting the HIV/AIDS community. For more than 25 years, the AIDS Walk San Francisco has involved thousands upon thousands of people who walk to raise money and awareness to a cause. Donations and money raised will go towards the prevention, care, and advocacy programs for thousands of men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. The walk begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park. For more information, you can visit here.

Rec Idol Semi-Finals – Coutry Fair Building – July 20

Local singers, comedians, dancers and bands will continue to compete against one another in a talent show held at Golden Gate Park’s County Fair Building from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Participants are aged from 13 to 24, and will receive grand prizes at the end of the competition (August 3). For more details, check out the program page on the Rec and Parks website.

Bollywood Nights at the Conservatory – the Conservatory – July 25

From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Conservatory of Flowers will host an entertaining evening filled with Indian culture, food, music and dance at an afterhours gathering that pays tribute to Bollywood. Sponsored by the Wipro San Francisco Marathon, the event will only cater to the 21 and over crowd. Learn some of the dance moves featured in Bollywood films. Listen to traditional Punjabi folk music. Sip on a free sample of chai provided by The Chai Cart. Capture the moment at the photo booth. A food truck will be available to provide kathi rolls, kababs and other Indian street food specialties – all prices $8 or less. It only costs $5 to enjoy this outing at the Conservatory. You can purchase tickets online in advance or at the door. For more information, visit conta.cc/cofbolly

Meet Sid the Science Kid – California Academy of Sciences – July 29

The Academy of Sciences will host a family-friendly event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring KQED’s Sid the Science Kid. When visiting the museum, the kiddies get to meet Sid, so it is advised to bring a camera along to capture their excitement. This is the perfect time to check out the new Earthquake exhibit at the Academy, as well as participate in some of the special programs they offer, such as the Naturalist Center, Little Learners Lab, or Family Nature Crafts.