While fireworks are set to light up the skies throughout San Francisco in celebration of the Fourth of July, the monthly events at Golden Gate Park will provide their own colorful displays of fun. While the California Academy of Sciences livens up your Thursday nights (including an event devoted to beer), Friday nights belong to deYoung Museum (with jazz and pop fusion). Other activities encourage you to run, walk, dance or relax yourself – all while surrounded by the beauty of Golden Gate Park.


Fourth of July GGP Band Concert – Spreckles Temple of Music – July 4

In celebration of America’s birthday, the Golden Gate Park Band will perform an array of patriotic and American music tunes for an afternoon Fourth of July concert that’s free as always. Held at Spreckles Temple of Music at the Music Concourse, the band’s festivities begin at 1 p.m. and typically last until 2:30/2:45 p.m. In addition to performances with unannounced themes scheduled for July 7 and July 28 this month, other GGP Band concerts planned for July 2013 include:

• July 14 – A Tribute from Russia
• July 21 – A concert with a Western slant dubbed ‘Way Out West’

“Faith and Abstract Improvisation” Friday Nights at deYoung Museum – July 5

When looking for something to do on a Friday night, deYoung Museum has you covered with their weekly free gatherings filled with music, dance, art, and culture. The café will serve up a prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails. The observation tower will stay open until 8 p.m. To kick off the month of July, the museum creates a night to coincide with the exhibit, Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966 and Objects of Belief from the Vatican: Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. A special musical performance will be given by the John Santos Sextet.

Other Friday Nights at deYoung events for July 2013 include:

• July 12 – Marcus Shelby and “Arts for the City”: The Marcus Shelby Quintet provides the tunes, while others will come to enjoy the special lecture, Arts for the City: Civic Arts for Urban Change.
• July 19 – Sights and Sounds of Mexico: A cultural extravaganza will unfold with jazz and pop fusion rhythms, and a special lecture on the photographer Rose Mandel. This week, the museum partners with the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
• July 26 – Jazz and Poetry: Enjoy a combination of jazz and poetry with George Brooks and Michael McClure, as well as hear music by the Doors in tribute to founding member Ray Manzarek, who recently passed away.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People Trail Walks – Strawberry Hill – July 6

Thanks to Healthy Parks, Healthy People Bay Area and more than 25 local agencies, SF Rec and Park will host a handful of local walks throughout San Francisco, which provides an excellent opportunity to reenergize and get the heart pumping. The first Saturday of each month is reserved for walks through Golden Gate Park, where you’ll also learn historic and interesting tidbits about the park. The walks will start with light stretching at the Stow Lake Boathouse, followed by an easy 1- or 2-mile walk about Strawberry Hill. The event starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. For more details, call 415-831-6330.

Yoga in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – July 6, 13, 20, 27

Saturday mornings at the San Francisco Botanical Garden are reserved for yoga at Golden Gate Park. A 60-minute stretch of yoga practice will begin at 10 a.m. on the Conifer lawn. Surrounded by the breathtaking outdoor surroundings of the park, all levels are welcome at this intimate class. There is a suggested donation of $10, and you’ll have to bring your own mat and water. Participants will meet 10 minutes before each class at the main gate located at 1199 9th Street (at the corner of 9th and Lincoln) for a group walk to the lawn. Practice on rainy days will take place under the Exhibition Garden gazebo.

Golden Gate Park 10K – S/F Transverse & Kennedy Drive – July 7

With a start and finish at Kennedy Drive and Transverse, runners will enjoy a jaunt in the park that includes the sights of East Conservatory loop, McLaren Lodge, Japanese Tea Garden Drive, and Overlook path. The race begins at 9 a.m. with pre-registration taking place at 8 a.m. There will be finisher ribbons to all runners.

Botany’s Breath – Conservatory of Flowers – July 10 –July 13

By using live music and video, the Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater will present an exciting site-specific dance piece at the Conservatory that touches upon the historic greenhouse – both inside and outside of the colorful attraction. Dancers and musicians will use the space as a stage and projection screen, as the tropical plant-riddled rooms of the Conservatory will also play a role in the overall presentation. Nightly paid performances will take place at 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. It is suggested to arrive 15 minutes before the show begins.

A free preview of the performance will take place on July 2 with four free short dance performances taking place outside between 11a.m. and 4 p.m. with free admission to the Conservatory.

‘How-To Thursday Nightlife Event – California Academy of Science – July 11

Since there is no Thursday nightlife event on July 4, the Academy resumes their weekly gatherings with what they call “the ultimate how-to workshop.” Just some of the interesting antics that await include how to detect a lie, how to make killer curry, how to identify plants, and how to perform magic. The planetarium has a few cool shows to share, and music for the night will be provided by Slayers Club & Friends.

The Thursday Nightlife events at the Academy are held from 6 to 10 p.m. for the 21 and over crowd. Other Nightlife themes at the Academy to look forward to for July 2013 include:

• July 18 – “Deep Sea NightLife” – Filled with scientific and artistic perspectives on the ocean, you’ll encounter an oceanographer and come face-to-face with a real remote operated underwater vehicle (ROV). Live music supplied by The Mantles with additional tunes provided by DJ Eug of Public Release, and Christopher Willits.

• July 25 –”Science of Brewing NightLife” – Brew enthusiasts will enjoy a night filled with the art and science of making beer. You’ll hear from some of the best in the Bay Area, as well as get a chance to sample local creations. Some of the breweries on hand for the event include 21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer Co., Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Mad River Brewing Company. The planetarium will host a handful of shows – one of which takes a look at the discoveries of brewer-astronomer Johannes Hevelius. Music comes courtesy of Miles the DJ.

Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – July 13

This month, the stars of the plant sale at the San Francisco Botanical Garden are salvias, shrubs and fuchsias, where you can purchase new specimens for your garden. This is the perfect time to find that special plant that doesn’t typically grace the shelves of commercial nurseries or garden centers. The monthly plant sale will start from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nursery, which can be accessed from the Main Gate.

Butterfly-Attracting Container Workshop for Families – Conservatory of Flowers – July 13

The Conservatory will host the “Just Add Water” Butterfly-Attracting Container Workshop for Families from 12 to 2 p.m., where for $25 per container, participants will enjoy an afternoon planting workshop led by garden designer Jennie Strobel of Sloat Garden Centers. In the end, you’ll bring home a lovely container filled with plants that attract butterflies, such as cosmos, lavender, sage, zinnias and/or daisies. Tickets include admission to the Conservatory on the day of the event, which will also give you a chance to enjoy “Butterflies & Blooms!” This kid-friendly workshop will provide the containers, plants and soil.

Bean Sprouts Family Days – SF Botanical Garden – July 13 & 27

From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., the west end of the San Francisco Botanical Garden will host a kid-friendly outing filled with craft and nature activities. You may complete volunteer work in the native beds and California nature trail, play pine cone basketball, hunt for bugs, gather herbs, or explore the natural gems of the city. This event is free with the purchase of regular admission to the Garden, and will take place on the second and fourth Saturdays in the months of July and August.

Polo Field 5K –Polo Field – July 28

With a start and finish taking place on the south side of Polo Fields, runners get one last chance in July to stretch their legs with locals in an organized event. With pre-registration taking place at 8 a.m., the 5K will start at 9 a.m. with a kid’s run beginning at 9:45 a.m. The course will take runners through Middle Drive, Kennedy Drive, Transverse Drive, and onto the dirt trail at Overlook.

DIY Planters from Keepsakes or Salvaged Items – Conservatory of Flowers – July 31

The second ‘Just Add Water’ event held at the Conservatory will focus on transforming an everyday object into a place to keep your plants. From a pair of cowboy boots to a conch shell, there are endless possibilities for this workshop. With the guidance of Jennie Strobel from Sloat Garden Center, you’ll walk away with a work of art – so get brainstorming on what unique object you’ll bring along to the party. Keep in mind that containers will not be provided for this workshop – you will have to bring one item that you’d like to turn into a planter. Participants in the workshop will receive one gallon of soil and three succulents or other plants of their choosing to start off their planter. This event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost to participate in this event is $25.