As the first days of the summer season move right along, July is a month where patriotic sentiments run high, children have plenty of free time to grow and learn, vacations are planned, and Golden Gate Park flourishes with a range of activities for all to enjoy. From exploring some of San Francisco’s natural wonders to listening to good music to dancing the afternoon away, Golden Gate Park events for July 2014 will give you the perfect excuse to spend more time with the family and take advantage of one of the best parks in the world.

july events

Indie-pendence NightLife at the Academy – California Academy of Science – July 3 

Kicking off the first Thursday Nightlife event at the Academy, the museum aims to pay homage to all things ‘indie.’ Beer lovers should head for the Indie Beer Hall set up in African Hall from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., where independent brewers, such as Anchor Brewing, Calicraft and Pine Street Brewery, get a chance to share their creations. Artwork of concert poster artists in the Bay Area will be showcased throughout the night. The East Pavilion is where you’ll find a Mixtape Swap taking place at 7:45 p.m. Two Gallants & Jamie Jams (presented by Noise Pop) provides the DJ-inspired tunes for the night. And, that’s not all…

Thursday Nightlife events are for the 21+ crowd and occur on a weekly basis, starting at 6 p.m., and partying on until 10 p.m. The cost to enjoy is $10-$12.

GGP Band Patriotic Concert – Music Concourse – July 4

The sounds of a special show delivered by the Golden Gate Park Band will fill the air with patriotic and American music – offering a delightful setting for a Fourth of July picnic in the park. The free show starts at 1 p.m. and typically lasts until 2:45 p.m.

Additional GGP Band performances for July 2014 include:

July 6 – Concert band music with an unannounced theme

July 13 – Tribute to Camille Saint-Saëns and his French friends

July 20 – Concert band music with an unannounced theme

July 27 – The Musical World of Disney

Park Chalet Summer Concert Series – Park Chalet – July 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, & 27

Come listen to the talent of local artists who come to Park Chalet to strut their stuff for live music in the summertime. Some of the performers slated to entertain this month include Johnny Smith (July 5), Laurrent (July 6), Matiz (July 12), and Pellegro Seco (July 13).

Golden Gate Park 10K – John F Kennedy Drive & Transverse Drive – July 6 

From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., take the opportunity to race through the beauty of Golden Gate Park with a 10K run scheduled for the first Sunday of the month. Runners will start on a course that heads eastbound on Kennedy Drive, and then touches upon East Conservatory Drive, McLaren Lodge, the Barricade at Kezar Drive, Bowling Green, Nancy Pelosi Drive, Martin Luther King Drive, the northern end of Japanese Tea Garden Drive, Middle Drive, and Overlook path.

Fees to participate in this run are $3 for 13-17 year olds; 18 and over ($3 dollars for members and $5 dollars for non-members); and free for ages up to 12 years old. For more information, you can contact (415) 978-0837 or visit

Free Admission to SF Botanical Garden – July 8

On every second Tuesday of the month, the San Francisco Botanical Garden offers free admission from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., where more than 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world are ready for your exploration.

Nightlife LIVE Event (Water) – California Academy of Science – July 10

Participants are treated to a night filled with the exploration of underwater worlds with a little help from music, art, and science at this unique Thursday Nightlife event at the Academy. The museum plans to offer water-centric installations and exhibits that highlight the connection between water and art. Come see the fascinating features of underwater habitats that include the likes of seahorses, anemones, and a sea-star.

A hydroprinting demo culminates with the chance for you to make your very own custom hydroprint. Expect the East Garden to feature a host of musical guests. July 10th also marks the first special Nightlife LIVE event of its kind with outdoor performances and art installations in the East Garden, which will occur once a month. July’s live sets include Rogue Wave and Kacey Johansing, and an artist exhibit by Gabriel Fontanillo and Leyre Montes.

(Las Chicas de Esta Noche) Friday Nights – deYoung Museum – July 11

In celebration of the deYoung special exhibition Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay, the highlight of the first Friday Nights event of July 2014 are performances by comedian Marga Gomez and Las Chicas de Esta Noche (Lulu Ramirez, Persia, and Vicky Jimenez) at Wilsey Court, where visitors will enjoy dance performances, singing, lip synching, and lovely costumes.

Another highlight to look forward to is the mixed-media art making station in the Museum Lobby, which offers crafts inspired by photography and the Bullycide Project by CJ Grossman. As always, this Friday Night event is free.

Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – July 12

Outfit your garden space or home with Salvias, Shrubs and Fuchsias purchased at the Garden’s monthly plant sale, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nursery.

Free Casting Lessons & Fly Fishing Skill Building – GGACC Angler’s Ponds – July 12

Accommodating all levels of casters, the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club will host free lessons in casting and fly fishing – available to those who fill out an RSVP form found here. Classes are divided into two groups: Beginning to Intermediate; and Intermediate to Advanced. Casting lessons are scheduled to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., where fly fishing is held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Charity & the JAMband – Park Chalet – July 13

Providing easy access to Ocean Beach, it’s only fitting that one of the monthly Charity & the JAMband celebrations concentrates on the beauty and excitement of the Beach and Golden Gate Park. This month, an assortment of music and dance fun for the entire family will center on these two attractions, taking place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 13.

Annual Tango Party – deYoung Museum – July 18

As part of the “¡La Milonga del Modernismo!” Friday Nights at deYoung, and in celebration of the Modernism from the National Gallery of Art exhibit, the museum will host a tango party with a guest appearance by the renowned Trio Garufa. Expect a setting in Wilsey Court that mimics the tango dance halls of Buenos Airesa perfect opportunity to cut loose and dance.

Live music and performances by TangoCalifia and Trio Garufa start at 6:30 p.m. Amongst other highlights of the night, guests will enjoy a mixed-media station fueled by dance and modernism in the Museum Lobby at 6 p.m. It is free to enjoy this event.

Redwood Grove Ecology Tour – SF Botanical Garden – July 19

Not everyone has a chance to enjoy the majestic beauty of giant trees that have the capacity to live for thousands of years. San Francisco is home to redwoods, where Golden Gate Park has its own grove that sustains a captivating eco-system that’s pretty interesting to explore. The Garden will host a tour of the oldest trees found onsite, taking place from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. It costs $10 for members, and $15 for non-members to enjoy this activity.

AIDS Walk – Sharon Meadow – July 20

The annual AIDS Walk will start and end in Sharon Meadow, where participants engage in a walk comprising of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) – all in the name of a good cause. Sign-in for the event is scheduled for 9 a.m. with an aerobic warm-up taking place at 9:30 a.m. An Opening Ceremony kicks off at 9:45 a.m. followed by a 10:30 a.m. start for the walk. Bring along the kiddies, as a KidZone opens at 12 p.m. with a Post-Walk Concert kicking off for all to enjoy at 12:30 p.m.

Fourth Annual Fair Trade Bazaar – deYoung Museum – July 25 

As part of the “MEX I AM: live it to believe it” Friday Nights at deYoung event, head for the Piazzoni Murals Room (starting at 5 p.m.) to take in the sights of (and possibly purchase) products from global artisans that includes jewelry, textiles, native handcrafts, and decorative accessories with a cultural flair.

Additional highlights of the event include an art-making station inspired by contemporary arts of Mexico in the Museum Lobby (6 p.m.), artist demonstrations by transnational visual artist Favianna Rodriguez (6:30–7:15 p.m. and 7:45–8:30 p.m.), live music by Los Cenzontles at Wilsey Court (6:30 p.m.), and live music by acclaimed flautist Horacio Franco at Koret Auditorium (7:15 p.m.). There is no cost to enjoy this event.

Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – July 26 & 27

With over one million items for sale, Golden Gate Park is once again hosting one of the largest assortments in the West Coast of postcards, trade cards, photography, labels, brochures, Victorian transportation, sports memorabilia, and old paper items. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., take time out of your busy schedule to indulge in this free event. You truly never know what you’re going to find.

San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon – Spreckel’s Lake – July 27 

Covering the second half of the San Francisco Marathon, this part of the race begins at Golden Gate Park’s Spreckel’s Lake (John F Kennedy Drive and 36th Avenue) and is USATF certified. If you’re not participating in the Marathon, you can at least come and cheer on the rest of the folks vying for a finishing time that falls within the 3 ½ -hour course limit.

Naturalist 101: Hands-On Skulls– California Academy of Science – July 29 & 31

Offering a double workshop centering on skeletal wonders, the Naturalist Center of the Academy invites you to participate in an intriguing exploration of skulls and interesting examples. In addition to learning the ins and outs on how to identify local animals by their skulls, participants in this hands-on event will also get a chance to view specimens from the Academy’s collections, as well as visit the new Skulls exhibit at the museum.

A Thursday Nightlife at the Academy will also coincide with the workshop.

This event is geared towards adults 21 years and over. Sign-in for this event begins at 6 p.m. at the reception desk – you must use the staff entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive (formerly Middle Dr) rear entry to the Academy. The program starts at 6:15 p.m. and ends at 8:15 p.m. To make a reservation for the event, purchase a ticket online or call (877) 227-1831. The cost for the workshop is $24 for members, while non-members pay $30.