Hello 2019! The start of the New Year at Golden Gate Park is packed with exciting explorations, opportunities to get get in touch with nature, celebrating creativity, and tackling some of those resolutions you’ve most likely made for yourself. Golden Gate Park events for January 2019 include a month full of magnolias, mushrooms and meditation. And, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll get a chance to enjoy a delicious sip of hot chocolate from one of the most highly anticipated race events in San Francisco. Let’s take a look at options for this month:
Night Bloom – Conservatory of Flowers – January 2 to January 6
If you haven’t experienced this dazzling light and sound show yet, this is the last time to take it all in. The interactive exhibition provides five different galleries to browse, including photo-worthy prisms of color and glowing blooms. General adult admission are timed, and cost $27. Conservatory members pay $20, while kids 8 and under gain entrance for free. Purchase a Night Bloom Express ticket for $39 to skip ahead of the line and escape a wait. To purchase tickets to Night Bloom, click here. This event runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Guided Trail and Nature Walk – Stow Lake – January 5
On every first Saturday, a free guided trail and nature walk takes place by one of Golden Gate Park’s most alluring lakes. There is no cost to participate in this event, which is scheduled to last between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. You don’t have to register ahead of time either. Just meet up at the Boathouse, and expect an energizing outing that begins with warm up stretches. Remember to dress comfortably, bring a water bottle, and slip into your best walking shoes. Trail walks are cancelled if weather conditions are rainy, so keep an eye out for the local forecast.
Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – January 5 & 6
One of the largest collections of trade cards, postcards, photography, sports mementos, and all sorts of lovely pieces of old paper is coming to town again. For two days, you can browse the assortment of endless vintage paper finds for free. Times of entry are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. In between the pin up art and local history standouts, you’ll also have a chance to enjoy a free appraisal on your own collectibles. You will find the County Fair Building located at 1199 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way.
Wonder Women Golden Gate Park Walking Tour – Conservatory of Flowers – January 6
Take a stroll through Golden Gate Park and surrounding sights to touch upon a handful of lovely ladies known for their art, politics, entertainment and/or cultural significance. As the second tour in this series, prepare for a 2-mile walk – along a mostly flat path. Although this walk is free, you will still need a ticket to participate, which you can arrange here. Scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., keep in mind that a Facebook RSVP is required in order to attend this event.
Free Zumba in the Park – 1690 John F Kennedy Drive – January 6
All about San Francisco, free Zumba classes will take place and Golden Gate Park is proud to be a host of these Latin-infused, calorie-burning fitness get-togethers. The beauty of the park will surely keep you motivated and amped to stick with your New Year’s Resolutions. There’s no need to register for this free workout party…just come as you are and participate. Bad weather will cancel this outdoor event. For more details, click here.
Polo Field 5K – Polo Fields – January 6
Another year of runs and races are afoot at Golden Gate Park, and to participate in one of the first fleet-footed events of the New Year – head for the south side of Polo Fields. It is here where you’ll run along Middle Drive, Bernice Rogers Way, Kennedy Drive, Transverse Drive, and the dirt trail on Overlook. The race begins at 9 a.m. with registration kicking off at 8 a.m. The cost to participate in this race is $3 for runners 13-17 years and 18 and over members; $5 for non-members; and no cost for ages up to 12 years old. For more information, call the DSE HOTLINE at (415) 978-0837 or visit their website.
Free Garden Day Tour – SF Botanical Garden – January 8
Enjoy the flowers in bloom and learn a bit of Garden history during a tour that may include hawks, crawfish, and other residents in the wild. The tour, which departs from the Main Gate at 1:30 p.m., lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Tickets are not required for locals to enjoy this free tour of the Garden, which also calls for no pre-registration. For more information, visit www.sfbg.org, contact us the Garden at [email protected], or call (415) 661-1316 (x412).
Artist’s Reception – SF Botanical Garden – January 10
Come celebrate the pastel artworks of landscape artist Heath Massey, who highlights the beauty of Golden Gate Park’s trees through his works titled Tree Portraits. The reception is a welcome to the artist, whose pieces will be on display at the Garden until April 29, 2019. You’ll also be able to purchase original painting and giclee prints, where a portion of the proceeds go towards supporting the Library. This event will take place at the Garden’s Helen Crocker Russell Library from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Fungus Among Us NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – January 10
If fungi is a food friend of yours, don’t miss out on this NightLife event which goes beyond just the typical mushroom. A few topics up in the air will include psilocybin (a naturally-occurring psychedelic compound found in some extraordinary ‘shrooms), freaky fungi finds, the good and the bad of local mushrooms, DIY fungus, a tasting of earthy mushroom simple syrups, and bioluminescent fungus art. Heat Wave’s Daniel T will spin tunes for the night.
Festivities for the night begin at 6 p.m. and continue on until 10 p.m. Members are expected to pay $12, while non-members are charged $15. But before you can enter, don’t forget to have valid identification on hand to prove you are old enough to party.
Winter Pruning Demos – GGP Rose Garden – January 12
If you’d like to learn a few tricks and techniques for pruning roses in the wintertime, you’re invited to come join volunteers from the San Francisco Rose Society and San Francisco Recreation & Park for a colorful demonstration. Arrive at 11 a.m. to catch a demo centered on how to start roses from cuttings. An expert will be onsite to show you the ropes. The entire event is free to enjoy, and scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, call (415) 656-4346, email sfroseso[email protected] or visit https://www.sfrosesociety.org.
Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – GGP Music Concourse – January 13
It’s time for one of the sweetest races in town to come back to Golden Gate Park, where you’ll find the start and finish line for a tasty 5K and 15K. If you won’t be stretching your legs with this run, you can still attend and cheer on participants for the 5K at 7:20 a.m. and 15K at 8:10 a.m. With this event, there will be chocolate-themed goodie bags and finisher medals. To register and find more information on this event, click here.
Sketchfest NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – January 17
An awesome combo of comedy, cocktails and critters is the theme for this evening’s NightLife party. The Academy will present the 18th annual festival of its kind with stand-up fun and podcast favorites mingling with guests. The likes of Jon Glaser, Justin and Sydney McElroy, John Roderick, Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy noteworthiness), and Kevin Whittinghill will attend with their humor and podcast creativity. A stage full of stand-up comedians will also entertain. New Wave City will provide the night’s DJ tunes. Admission for Thursday NightLife events is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. The festivities kick off at 6 p.m. and end around 10 p.m. This event is for the 21 and over crowd, so don’t forget to bring a valid I.D. to show at the door.
Magnolia Full Moon Walk – SF Botanical Garden – January 19
Take in the striking sights of a full moon with a walk in the Garden after dark. The lunar glow illuminates the flowers and foliage, and especially brings out the beauty of the magnolias at the Garden. It’s suggested to bring along a flashlight for this event, which takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Heavy rain will cancel this outing, so take note of the weather forecast. To buy tickets for this event ($28 for members and $30 for non-members), click here.
Tropical NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – January 24
If you’re dreaming of walks on the beach and sun-filled excursions, let the Academy liven up your winter with the charm of the three-story rainforest, where ‘Tiki’ rum punches await. There will be plenty of scientific experiences to enjoy, which touch upon topics of Costa Rican conservation of tropical forests and the current archeological research happenings taking place in the Pacific Atolls. Take time to learn more about the coral reefs. You’ll also have a chance to check out the newest fulldome screening at the planetarium.
In order to join in the night’s fun, make sure to have a valid I.D. on hand to show at the door – this party is for the 21 and over crowd only. Admission for NightLife events is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. The doors open at 6 p.m. and close at 10 p.m.
Magnolia Curator Tour – SF Botanical Garden – January 26
If magnolias are your favorite blooms, then you won’t want to miss this event, which includes a walking tour led by one of the curatorial staff at the Garden. Get to know the history and significance of the magnolia collection. Take home tips on how to grow your own magnolias in the Bay Area. And, don’t forget to tote along a camera so that you can capture the beauty of the blooms. Keep in mind that heavy rain cancels this event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Magnolia Mediation – SF Botanical Garden – January 27
A new wellness series has launched this January, which incorporates magnolias and mindful mediation from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. In addition to enjoying a docent presentation centered on some of the most breathtaking magnolias from the Garden, participants will ease into a variety of meditation positions. Leading this relaxing get-together is Charity Kahn (from Charity and the JAMband). Tickets cost $10 to $15, and can be purchased here.
NightLife Spotlight: Color – California Academy of Sciences – January 31
Tonight, everything lively and vibrant takes center stage. Enjoy a walk about the shades of rainforest and aquarium colors, while sipping on a rainbow cocktail. Slip on a pair of EnChroma glasses, which give colorblind individuals the opportunity to view their surroundings using a wider of palette of colors. Enjoy the bright colors of finches and frogs, which have served as inspiration for scientific illustrator Rachel Diaz-Bastin. Prepare for plenty of colorful exhibits during this NightLife. The party jumpstarts at 6 p.m. and winds down by 10 p.m. To gain entrance, make sure to have valid identification handy, which proves you are 21 years of age or older. The cost to enjoy the night’s activities is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.