Golden Gate Park in May is filled with flowers, birds, Mother’s Day celebrations, and plenty of opportunities to explore main attractions for free. This month, you’ll have to do a bit of careful planning so you don’t miss out on an exciting event. By the end of May 2012, you might feel like a yo-yo, which will certainly come in handy of you attend the unique competition held at Spreckels Temple of Music.

may events golden gate park

de Young Museum Free Admission Day – May 1

It’s that time of the month again…when you can browse the collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific – for free. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore de Young Museum on its First Tuesdays Free Admission Day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Conservatory of Flowers Free Admission Day – May 1

Avoid the usual $7 charge at the Conservatory of Flowers on May 1, and enjoy a day with the flowers, trees and other plants for free on the first Tuesday of every month. The hours for this attraction are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the last entry at 4 p.m.

California Academy of Sciences Neighborhood Free Days – May 4 to 6

The residents of certain neighborhoods can take advantage of free admission to the California Academy of Sciences from May 4 to May 6, 2012. This weekend, if you live in Parkside or Sunset (zip codes 94116 or 94122), it is free to enter the museum. Don’t forget to bring a valid photo ID with proof of residency, which may include a driver’s license or state ID card, Photo ID plus utility bill, or Photo ID with dated magazine label.

Walk MS 2012: San Francisco – May 6

Starting at 8 a.m., Walk MS will help raise money to help bring awareness and fund research treatments regarding multiple sclerosis. Registration and check-in for the event begins at 8 with the actual start time held at 9 a.m. The event starts and finishes at the Band Shell in Golden Gate Park, where participants can choose between a 1-mile and 5k route. For more information, you can call 1(800)-344-4867 or email [email protected]

Free Roses at Annual “Mother’s Day Rose Show 2012” – May 13

The San Francisco Rose Society has a special day planned for rose lovers or someone looking for a sweet freebie for Mom. At the Hall of Flowers, you can view an array of lovely blooms on display in the exhibition hall – from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free, and at the end, you can pick up free roses after the show comes to a close at 4 p.m.

International Migratory Bird Day at the Academy – May 7 to 13

There’s a celebration taking flight at the California Academy of Sciences, as they offer a range of programs, educational activities, and events centered on the feathered creatures of the animal kingdom. A week-long extravaganza is planned for the 20th anniversary of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD). The Academy will host an array of bird-related events, including:

• Chat with a Scientist (May 9) – 1 p.m. – A discussion with Allen Fish, director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.

• How to Draw Birds Workshop (May 11) – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Join artist John Muir Laws to learn tricks on how to draw heads, wings and feet of birds. Reservations are $25 per person. Space is limited.

• Bird Walks to Stow Lake (May 12) – 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Enjoy a variety of birds around us with Golden Gate Audubon. Each walk is limited to 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t forget your binoculars.

• Birding on the Living Roof (May 12) – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Join Golden Gate Audubon Society to observe birds that frequent the Living Roof of the Academy.

• Chat with a Scientist (May 12 ) – 2:30 p.m. – A discussion with Marie Strassburger, Migratory Bird Chief, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

• Organizations Making a Difference (May 12) – 11:30 2:30 p.m. – A chance to meet local organizations related to bird conservation and research, such as the SF Planning Department.

Plantosaurus Rex at Conservatory of Flowers – May 10

The Conservatory of Flowers has an event that is sure to please local nature lovers and dinosaur enthusiasts. From 10 am – 4 pm, you will get a chance to experience the flora and fauna that made up the prehistoric and ancient days of the world. A timeline will illustrate the plant evolution of the Jurassic period, as well as offer a guest appearance by a T.Rex. All visitors will receive a free booklet guide with paid admission to help the exhibit. For more details, check out

Beach Chalet Mother’s Day Brunch – May 13

When you’re looking for a way to treat Mom to a nice outing in the park, the Beach Chalet is offering a delicious brunch or dinner served with the calming views of Ocean Beach. A special menu is planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with items, such as grilled salmon, Maple Bacon Bars, and Smoked Crab Bisque. It’s important to jump quickly at making reservations– spaces fill quickly.

Love Your Parks Day – May 19

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., every district will be filling with locals showing their love for parks – thanks to the San Francisco Parks Alliance and other partners. Events will be hosted throughout the city, including basketball tournaments and habitat restoration. Of course, Golden Gate Park is participating. For more details on events and to register, check out

Bay to Breakers 2012 – May 20

This year will mark more than 100 years of ‘Bay to Breakers’- an annual event that sees endless runners and party-goers take to the streets of San Francisco and the western end of Golden Gate Park. People come dressed in costume, which makes the event truly a sight to see. The entire course becomes lined with spectators, so to get a good view, you may want to situate yourself in front of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

Bay Area Classic YoYo Contest – May 26

Yo-yos aren’t just for kids, as you will see at the 15th Annual Bay Area Classic Yo-Yo Contest being held at Spreckels Temple of Music Bandshell in Golden Gate Park. Some of the best yo-yo artists in the West Coast will gather to show off their skills, learn new tricks, and compete for more than $2,000 in cash and prizes. Haven’t yo-yoed in a while? Free lessons will be offered.

Strawberry Waffle Dash 5K – May 26

Who can resist a chance to chow down on fresh waffles after crossing the finish line at the Strawberry Waffle Dash – held on Memorial Day Weekend? From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., participants will be charging through the terrain of Strawberry Hill for a good cause. The Picnic Dash is partnering with Blondes versus Brunettes for this race to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The event will take place at 14th Ave East Meadow in Golden Gate Park. Please note that JFK Dr. will be closed.