As we bring in a new year, complete with fresh adventures and a full twelve months ahead of us to explore one of the best public gems in the United States, Golden Gate Park offers a monthly calendar of events that includes a little something for everyone. One moment you’ll be sorting through vintage paper, while the next could be spent admiring scientific specimens at the California Academy of Sciences. It’s time to get reacquainted with your favorite nature-, culture- and fun-filled outdoor space with the following Golden Gate Park events for January 2015:

jan events

Sea Cruisers: Rays and TheirRelatives – California Academy of Sciences – January 6 

With a focus on educating the public on the interesting adaptations of rays, sharks, and other ocean-dwelling creatures, an Academy biologist guides this 1:30 p.m. event that is fun for all ages. Throughout the month, this is a recurring opportunity, so don’t forget to check the Academy’s calendar for a full lineup of special critter-related programs.

How-To Thursday Nightlife at the Academy – California Academy of Sciences – January 8

The Academy will transform into a haven for DIY’ers, as the theme of the evening will concentrate on learning how to do a variety of different things. You’ll see how to press cider with a demo from Golden State Cider in African Hall; get eco-friendly home tips from the SF Public Utilities Commission; get a hang of the basics of weaving and knitting with the help of GoGo Craft; enjoy a metal-working class from The Crucible; learn how to juggle from the YMCA; and have an educational chat with Academy entomologists. And, that’s not all.

All Thursday Nightlife events at the Academy begin at 6 p.m. and continue to party on until 10 p.m. It costs $10-$12 to gain entry (depending on whether or not you are a member), and the festivities are only for the 21 and over crowd. Valid I.D. is required.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the rest of the Nightlife events planned for January 2015:

  • Jan 15: Habitat Earth NightLife – Get acquainted with the Academy’s latest planetarium show called Habitat Earth, while enjoying a night filled with “cutting-edge science visualizations.”
  • Jan 22: Gallery Crawl NightLife – Just some of the activities to look forward to this evening include live painting and hands-on art installations.
  • Jan 29: Sketchfest NightLife – It’s time to bubble up with laughter as you attend this SF Sketchfest event at the Academy, which is part of the annual San Francisco Sketchfest Comedy Festival.

ParXercise: Body Weight Training – Mothers Meadow – January 10 

If you’re looking for a way to get started on a New Year’s Resolution to get fit and healthy, then perhaps fitness instructor, Sarah, can help with a body weight training session held at Golden Gate Park. Set aside a bit of time in your morning to get your heart pumping and muscles warmed up. All levels are welcome to join in the fun. This event will take place at Mother’s Meadow (from 8 a.m. to 9a.m.), which is situated close to 501-599 Martin Luther King Jr Drive.

Other ParXercise events to consider for January 2015 include:

  • Jan 17: Running/Walking with avid runner, Joel
  • Jan 24: Bootcamp mild circuits with Sarah & James
  • Jan 31: Getting revved up with Zumba fitness

SFDGC 2015 Bag Tag Challenge – GGP Disc Golf Course – January 10 

The San Francisco Disc Golf Club is hosting their annual Bag Tag Challenge, which serves as their yearly fundraiser tournament. Membership into the club entitles you to receive discounts on Club Discs for the New Year. In addition to all of the fun, there will be BBQ and beer. Registration for this event is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with no pre-registration. Entry fees are $45, which includes a $35 Membership fee and $10 requested Beautification Project Donation. There will be one round of 18 holes (rain or shine). After the round, you can settle in and enjoy a good party and food. Other activities to look forward to includes skeeball, frisbeer, and other excitement. For more details, check out

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Music Concourse (the Bandshell) – January 11

San Francisco is hosting the ‘Hot Chocolate’ race this year with a goodie bag that makes participating in the event all the worthwhile. Those who finish the themed 5K or 15K will receive a Finisher’s Mug filled with hot chocolate, fondue, and an assortment of tasty dippable treats. Also, runners will take home a zip-up hoodie with contrast piping for participating in the event, and 15K finishers are given a medal. The race event is scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. start. Entry fees range from $34 to $74. For more information, check here.

Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay – deYoung Museum – ends January 11

This month, the exhibition featuring Anthony Friedkin’s photography will come to a close early in this month, and the last time to view pieces from The Gay Essay will be January 11. Access to the exhibition is free with the purchase of general admission to the museum.

GGACC Annual Crab Feed – GGACC Angler’s Lodge – January 17 

Calling all crab lovers! One of the most sought-after dining and social events that the Golden Gate Park Angling and Casting Club hosts will center on a meal comprised of fresh cracked crab, pasta, sourdough bread, salad, and a delicious dessert to cap off the evening. It is highly recommended to reserve your space, as this event fills quickly. Take note that this is a BYOB gathering. Reservations will only be accepted with payment of $40 in advance. No tickets will be available at the door. You can RSVP here. For more details, contact George Revel at (707) 933-1591 or [email protected].

This event is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and end at 7 p.m.

Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – January 17 & 18

This two-day affair held at the San Francisco County Fair Building represents one of the largest selection of postcards, trade cards, photography, labels, brochures, Victorian transportation, sports memorabilia, and endless old paper items found on the West Coast. Paper enthusiasts will get lost in the more than one million items for sale. It is totally free to attend this event, and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

SF Restaurant Week – Park Chalet & Beach Chalet – January 21-January 30

In participation with San Francisco’s Restaurant Week, the Park Chalet and Beach Chalet will both offer tantalizing edibles prepared by new Executive Chef Ian Hockenberger. Don’t forget to make your reservation ahead of time so that you don’t miss out. Diners may choose between a two-course Lunch Menu ($25) and a three-course Dinner Menu ($40).

Fotanicals: the Secret Language of Flowers – SF Botanical Garden – starting January 22 

This month, the Helen Crocker Russell Library will highlight a new exhibition that features the photography of joSon, who has recently published an art book titled joSon: Intimate Portraits of Nature. The event will continue on until April 2015. For more details, you can call (415) 661-1316, ext. 403.

Magnolia Tour – SF Botanical Garden – starting January 24 

With bright colors and lovely blooms, you don’t have to be a flower enthusiast to take pleasure in an exploration of the magnolia collection housed at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. With the guidance of a magnolia expert, you’ll learn about the history of this particular collection, as well as gain a few tips on how to grow your own right in the middle of the Bay Area. This picture-picture tour will run from 1:30 p m. to 3:30 p.m., and costs $10 for members and $20 for non-members to enjoy.

Rainbow Falls 5K – John F Kennedy Drive & Transverse Drive – January 25

If you’re looking to stretch your legs in what might be your first official run of 2015, then DSE Runners has an event for you. This running event will start by moving east up Kennedy Drive to McLaren Lodge, where you will turn around at Barricade at Kezar Drive, and head back – taking a right turn on East Conservatory Drive through Kennedy Drive, and then finish westbound. Fees to participate are $3 (13-17 years of age); $3 for members 18 and over; $5 for non-members 18 and over; and free for participants aged up to 12 years old. This event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Just to give you a heads up:

The Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K will make an appearance throughout Golden Gate Park on February 1 – so mark your calendars!