Golden Gate Park is known for offering an abundance of opportunities to dance, listen to music, and take time to smell the flowers. Celebrate the month of June and the start of the summer season in the park, which offers activities centered on beautiful plants, cactuses, plenty of musical performances, and tons of locals freebies.

Neighborhood Free Days at California Academy of Sciences

If you live in San Francisco, you may want to head to the California Academy of Sciences for free admission at one of the most exciting attractions in the city. Throughout June, there are many opportunities to enjoy the live animals exhibits, planetarium, and endless weekend activities. Visitors must show a valid photo ID with proof of residency (such as a driver’s license or state ID card, photo ID plus postmarked envelope, or photo ID plus utility bill (gas/electric/cable) or bank statement in order to enter for free.

Free admission is only given to residents who come on their scheduled dates:

•    Parkside and Sunset District – 94116, 94122  (June 10, 11, 12)
•    Hayes Valley, Tenderloin, Downtown, SoMa, Treasure Island, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Bayview-Hunters Point – 94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94111, 94124, 94130, 94158 (June 17, 18, 19)
•    Mission, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, Castro – 94110, 94114 (June 24, 25, 26)

SF Succulent & Cactus Society Annual Show – June 11

If you’re looking for plants with an eye-catching look, the SF Succulent & Cactus Society will offer a range of options – priced for the gardener on a budget. The annual show and sale is slated to feature more than 20 vendors with an array of plants, handcrafted ceramic containers, garden supplies, and convenient accessories. You can also take advantage of lectures and demonstrations. This free event is being held at the Hall of Flowers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

5th Annual GG Park Band Festival – June 11-12

If you love music, then the 5th Annual GG Park Band Festival is the event to attend on June 11 and June 12. Head to Spreckles Temple of Music (Music Concourse) at Golden Gate Park for a taste of local talent that lasts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The theme for the year is “Concert Band Heaven in 2011.” An example of bands to look forward to includes the following Saturday performers: San Jose Metropolitan Band (11 a.m.), 59th Army Band (1 p.m.), and Sacramento Symphonic Winds (3 p.m.).

Other free Golden Gate Park Band performances for the month of June include:

•    June 19 (with featured soloist, soprano Dalyte Kodzis)
•    June 26 – Witches Brew (music inspired by witches)

The GGP Band concerts start at 1 p.m. and last to around 2:30 or 2:45 p.m.

Lindy in the Park – June 19

When the weather permits, you can enjoy free swing dancing every Sunday at Golden Gate Park with Lindy in the Park. You don’t have to know how to swing dance or come with a partner. Interested parties gather on John F Kennedy Drive (JFK Dr) between 8th and 10th Avenue, in the Richmond District of San Francisco.  It’s convenient because no cars are allowed in the area on Sundays. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you will experience a heel-kicking good time, and can even take advantage of a free swing dance lesson for beginners at noon.

Alice’s Summerthing – June 26

It’s that time of the year again – when the extravaganza of music, art and community known as Alice’s Summerthing comes to Golden Gate Park (noon to 4 p.m.). This year, you’ll encounter the sounds of performers OneRepublic, Matt Nathanson, Andrew Allen, Michelle Branch, and Parachute. The event accommodates all types of visitors – even the four-legged kind. For instance, ‘Water Bowl Lane’ offers fresh water and doggie treats. Come explore some of the creative activities, such as coloring your own Summerthing poster. There are chances to win items and sample freebies, such as food and drink. Just another free event in Golden Gate Park.