Before the hustle and bustle of preparing a Thanksgiving meal and getting ready for Black Friday sales, you may want to see what Golden Gate Park has in store for you in the month of November. From scientific wonders to Southwest Native art, there are plenty of events and activities to consider. This month, there are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy free admission to some of the most spectacular sights and experiences in San Francisco.

Free Admission to Golden Gate Park Attractions – November 1 to 6

Conservatory of Flowers – November 1
Admission to the Conservatory of Flowers is free on Tuesday, November 1 – starting at 10 a.m. The last entry is 4 p.m. for the Conservatory.

deYoung Museum – November 1, 5, 6
The deYoung Museum is free on the first Tuesday of the month on November 1 (starting at 9:30 a.m.). If you have a Bank of America credit or debit card, enjoy free admission to deYoung Museum on November 5 and 6.

California Academy of Sciences – November 4 to 6
The last ‘Neighborhood Free Days’ of 2011 for the California Academy of Sciences is held from November 4 to 6 for residents of Mission, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, and Castro (zip codes – 94110 and 94114).

Nightlife at California Academy of Sciences – every Thursday

From intriguing science demonstrations to fun for ocean lovers, the California Academy of Sciences will host a variety of Thursday-night activities. For the cost of $12, adults will enjoy cocktails, food and music centered on special themes – from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mark your calendar for the following events:

Mad Science NightLife – Nov 3
Demonstrations from Physics Circus Ringmaster Zeke Kossover at 7 and 8 p.m.
Cabaret-style musical act performance with Lynda Williams at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m
Music by DJs from Rock It Science Laboratory

Surf & Tides NightLife – Nov 10
Sustainable board designs of Las Olas Surfboards and Sustainable Surf
Photo exhibition of tides
Live music by Bay Area surf pop band Drifting Sand

Into Space NightLife – Nov 17
Experience NASA’s GLAST Optical Robotic Telescope
Live performance called The Kepler Project in the planetarium
Music by Space Cowboys

Quartet SF 100th Anniversary Celebration – November 4

As part of the Friday Night at deYoung weekly events, Quartet San Francisco performances will take place at Wilsey Court from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and 7:45 and 8:30 p.m. The music will pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco Symphony.

Turkey Trail Trot – November 24

The San Francisco Thanksgiving Run & Walk is holding their 9th annual event at Polo Field in Golden Gate Park on November 24. Starting at 8 a.m., this fun-for-all-ages extravaganza is a welcomed experience for the Thanksgiving season. People come dressed in their finest turkey and settler costumes, as they participate in a 5-mile run (Trail Trot) or 3-mile walk (Pilgrim Promenade). The Kids Gobbler Chase kicks off at 8 a.m. as the little ones race against a 6-foot turkey. An early entry fee for the event is $29.50 and increases to $31.50 after November 3. Awards include pumpkin pie, turkeys and wine. There will also be raffle winners and turkey T-shirts given to participants. For more information, check out

Southwest Native Pottery and Silver Exhibit

Now open on the Upper Gallery Level 3 at the California Academy of Sciences, the Southwest Native Pottery and Silver Exhibit offers a glimpse into the anthropology collection of the Academy. Visitors are introduced to Native American pottery and silver jewelry made by the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes, as well as by the Rio Grande Pueblos. Some of the featured artists include Maria and Julian Martinez, Lucy Lewis, Charles Loloma, and Ambrose Roanhorse.

Café at Stow Lake Boathouse

Have you sampled the cuisine of the café at Stow Lake Boathouse yet? With a historic boathouse and inviting waters as your setting, take the time to relax with their latest selection of food and drink. The menu is filled with healthy, fresh items made with organic and sustainable ingredients from local sources. The menu offers the likes of handmade Russian style piroshkies (meat and vegetarian), as well as sandwiches, salads and spring rolls from American Box SF. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee with a Stow Lake favaorite – pink popcorn.