Welcome to the hottest month of the year…where dahlias and roses are in full bloom…and the setting is perfect for getting out and enjoying the pleasant weather. It’s no wonder that Golden Gate Park events for July 2018 are packed with activities and events centered on recreation, running, walking, and taking in the gorgeous natural sights of one of San Francisco’s favorite attractions. So, get ready, dress lightly, mark your calendars, and don’t waste any time getting out there with the following July events:

Golden Gate Park Band 4th of July Concert – Spreckles Temple of Music – July 4

The month of July hosts the highest number of Golden Gate Park Band concerts than any other, including a special Wednesday program delivering some of your favorite American band standards and tunes from classic American musicals, such as Souza, Tchaikovsky, 1776, The Music Man, and more. Of course, there’s the country’s birthday to recognize, and you certainly won’t be at a loss for patriotic celebration. As always, the concerts are free to the public, and run from 1 p.m. to around 2:45 p.m.

Other GGP Band performances for the month of July 2018 include:

  • July 8: A surprise program to be announced.
  • July 15: Grab your beret and take in the sounds of French music.
  • July 22: Enjoy an afternoon filled with Concert Band Classics.
  • July 29: Come experience the Magic of Disney.

Live Music at Park Chalet – Park Chalet – July 4, 7, 8, 14, 22, 28 & 29

If you’d like to pair a fish tacos and margarita with live music performances during a visit to Golden Gate Park, Park Chalet has a few options to consider throughout the month. Wavelength (a Van Morrison tribute band), will kick off July’s schedule of performers on July 4 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the musicians and bands listed below:

  • Classic rock band Soul Discretion (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) – July 7
  • Eight-piece band Luv Bomb with horns, and male and female vocals (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) – July 8
  • Rock, blues and funk band Groove Objective (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) – July 14 & 29
  • Surf band The Deadlies (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.) – July 22
  • Bluesy rock and roll band Beach Cowboys (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) – July 28

Thursday Smoked NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – July 5

Plans fell through? At a loss at what to do? Your Thursday night won’t be up in smoke when you attend this event, which centers on this specific way of cooking that’s pretty popular in the summertime. Start by heading for African Hall to learn about various smoked food traditions. Meat-cooking experts will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the techniques used to creatively smoke a pig or roast vegetables. Take time to explore the Jewish history of smoked fish and beef, or dig deep into the world of Argentinian Gaucho BBQ. The Taste Bud Science workshop in the Project Lab will also touch upon the brain’s relationship with food.

NightLife events take place every Thursday (from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) at the Academy, with tickets costing $12 for members and $15 for non-members. You must be 21 or over to gain entry to the party, so be prepared to show proper identification.

Other NightLife events for July 2018 include:

  • July 12: NightLife LIFE with Com Truise + The Seshen (see below).
  • July 19: Beer Garden NightLife – Local breweries offer up a pop-up beer garden with selections from the likes of Magnolia Brewing Company, Triple Voodoo, Golden State Cider, and Pacific Brewing Laboratory. Take a sip of NightLife’s own craft beer made from plants growing on the Academy’s living roof.
  • July 26: BigPicture Nightlife – Enjoy snapshots of nature and conservation at the fifth annual BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition View a special awards presentation in the planetarium. Check out microscopy images from Stanford’s Cell Sciences Imaging Facility (CSIF). Cap off your night by sampling scientific beer creations at The Terrace Restaurant & Bar.

Flower Piano Festival – SF Botanical Garden – July 5 to July 16

Throughout the park, there will be over 12 hidden pianos for you to discover. In partnership with the San Francisco Botanical Garden, a collection of grand pianos will decorate the many acres of the Garden, including the Ancient Plant Garden, Garden of Fragrance, and Redwood Grove. This is the fourth year that the interactive Flower Piano festival has taken place. Free to residents of San Francisco (and only $8 for those who pay regular Garden admission), you’ll have a chance to tickle the ivories on your own, as well as enjoy performances by local musicians who are scheduled to delight on the weekends, such as Allison Lovejoy, Tom Jonesing, and Sarah Cahill.

During the festivities, look for a variety of events, including poetry in the garden, yoga sessions, sing-alongs, the talent of the San Francisco Symphony, tributes to greats like Ellington, as well as themed story time for the kids and a family walk.

A full list of activities and performances can be found here.

Conservatory Curiosities: Carnivorous Plants – Conservatory of Flowers – July 7

Join Tony Gridley in an exploration of plants with quite an appetite. Meet at the Conservatory’s Palm Terrace from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. to enjoy this free event. You do not need to purchase admission in order to take advantage of this program.

Nightlife LIVE – California Academy of Sciences – July 12

If you’re a music lover, then you might want to find yourself at the fifth annual NightLife LIVE summer music series, where four concerts are taking place in the West Garden this season. An intriguing blend of music, art and science will come alive with the help of up-and-coming bands and musicians, as well as innovative visual artists. This is sure to become one of the most unique live music experiences in the city. Rotating DJ sets and live performances will also keep crowds energized.

July 12 is the first of installment of this music series, presented by Noise Pop, where Com Truise with The Seshen are on deck to entertain. The DJ set for the evening will come courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club. The cost to enjoy this event is $18 for members and $22 for non-members. You must be 21 years or older to attend. For more details, click here.

NightGarden Piano – SF Botanical Garden – July 12-14

In addition to the daytime lull of beautiful piano-playing throughout the Garden, you can also enjoy a more elaborate evening out by attending one of three special nightly Garden Piano events. From 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., the night comes alive with illuminated pathways, as you walk about to take in the performances of Sunset Piano all-stars.

A sampling of piano performances to look forward to includes:

  • Thursday: A tribute to Ellington, Wall and Monk at the Ancient Plant Garden. The classics with Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Debussy in the Garden of Fragrance. Vocal jazz and neo-soul blends at the New Zealand Garden.
  • Friday: Pop and Sinatra at the Ancient Plant Garden. Brazilian music and poetry with piano/ guitar accompaniments at the California Native Garden. Leonard Cohen sung by accapella men’s choir, Conspiracy of Beards, in the Garden of Fragrance.
  • Saturday: Singing plus piano in Zellerbach Garden. Traditional Argentine tango for the ears and feet in the Garden of Fragrance. Classic rock and piano covers unfold in the New Zealand Garden.

Food and drink will be on hand for purchase. The cost for this event is $45, with Garden members enjoying discounted ticket prices and quicker entry. To purchase tickets for this experience, click here.

Conservatory Curiosities: Spices – Conservatory of Flowers – July 14

It doesn’t cost a thing to spend an afternoon with one of the best spice shops in the world. Spice Ace is a San Francisco-based shop offering more than 400 herbs, spices, peppers, salts, and other blends from across the globe. This event runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and will provide an interesting overview of the spice world.

Monthly Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – July 14

If you’re in need of ground cover or something a little brighter in the greenery department, the Garden has just the thing for you. Hosting their July plant sale, you’ll encounter an assortment of salvias, shrubs and fuchsias for both your viewing and purchasing pleasure. The plant sale will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Entry Garden (found close to the Main Gate and Bookstore).

AIDS Walk San Francisco – Robin Williams Meadow (formally Sharon Meadow) – July 15

Golden Gate Park is home to many activities and events that spread awareness and raise money for worthy causes that change millions of lives. This month, the annual AIDS Walk is taking place, which usually involves more than 10,000 walkers joining forces in an effort to help others.

The AIDS Walk course is about 6.2 miles long, and will take participants to John F Kennedy Drive, Traverse Drive, Middle Drive West, and Robin Williams Meadow (formally known as Sharon Meadow). The schedule of events for the Walk includes an 8:30 a.m. opening for sign ups, aerobic warm up at 9 a .m., opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., the start of the AIDS Walk at 10:30 a.m., finish line fun at 11:30 a.m., and the post-Walk show at 12:45 p.m.

This 10K fundraising event will benefit an array of Bay Area AIDS service organizations and charities, such as ACRIA, Project Open Hand, and Positive Resource Center. For more information on participating in this event, click here.

Botanicals and Brews Beer Garden – Conservatory of Flowers – July 20

There’s nothing like an ice cold beer to cool you down in the summertime. And this month, the Conservatory would like to introduce you to two new possibilities with their latest Beer Garden get-together. The first, Sonoma Springs Brewing Company, produces high quality craft beer in wine country, ranging from creative California ales to traditional German style brews. The second, Benoit Casper Brewing Co., has a passion for experimenting with different ingredients, techniques, equipment and processes to generate their craft beers.

General admission tickets ($27) include a free craft brew of your choice, as well as access to the Conservatory and the Palm Terrace Beer Garden. For $55, enjoy the Master Brewer package, which includes additional perks, such as an exclusive tasting flight, $10 food credit to onsite food trucks, and souvenir beer flight glass. To get your tickets for this event (which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.), click here.

Yoga in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – July 21

There’s nothing like kicking off your morning with a session of yoga surrounded by the great outdoors. In the Garden, accredited instructor Sarah Allison, will lead a 60 minute class throughout the nearby greenery, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Beginners and experts welcome…just remember to bring your own yoga mat or towel. Once you sign up for the event, a confirmation email will be sent. Heavy rain cancels this session. If you are a member, a fee of $18 is charged, while non-members pay $20.

Poly + Picnic in the Park – Lindley Meadow – July 21

If you identify with or support the non-monogamous, sex-positive lifestyle, there’s a get-together unfolding at Golden Gate Park that you won’t want to miss. How does a potluck picnic? Bring your family. Bring your pooch. Bring any food, supplies or decorations to help out with the event. This is a ticket-free event. Any questions? Email [email protected].

Miles for Melanoma 5K – Bandshell/Music Concourse – July 21

Join the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) for a run/walk that raises funds towards the awareness, education and advocacy of the deadliest (and fastest growing) form of skin cancer. Those who are participating in the 5K will meet at the Music Concourse/Bandshell at Spreckles Temple of Music. Check-in and registration for the run/walk takes place from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. The Welcome Ceremony follows at 8:45 a.m. with the Run/Walk beginning at 9 a.m. Then, stay for the closing ceremony and presentation of awards at 10:15 a.m.

The fee to participate varies for runners and walkers (and is determined by age, as well as how and when you sign up for the event). Online, the fee is $10 for all up until the day of the race. All other rates range from $15 for youth (12 and under) to $55 for registration on the day of the event. To sign up and learn more details, click here.

Windmill 10K – Dutch Windmill – July 22

The course for this race starts up Kennedy Drive and continues to the intersection before reaching McLaren Lodge (Kezar Drive/Second Barricade). Participants will then turn around and return the same way they came to the finish line. This race is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with registration taking place one hour prior to the start of the event. For more information and details on fees, you can call the DSE HOTLINE at (415) 978-0837 or visit http://dserunners.com/events/race-schedule/.

Orchids in the Park – SF County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers) – July 21 & July 22

The San Francisco Orchid Society is hosting a summer show and sale that you won’t want to miss out on. This two-day event showcases thousands of eye-catching, colorful (and even unique) orchid species– some of which represent locales from around the world. You can browse and take in the beauty, or come home with a plant to call your own. Some of the more unusual and sought-after blooms release intriguing fragrances, such as cinnamon, honey, vanilla, and even chocolate. Many of the orchids on display can be kept indoors and outdoors.

In addition to flowers, the event will sell supplies, books, other goodies, and companion plants (like bromeliads and succulents). Come check out a demonstration, and listen to speakers. Try your luck and enter a drawing to win orchids and supplies from vendors. Expert growers will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

The price of general admission is $5, with visitors under the age of 16 gaining entry for free. To purchase tickets and get more information, check out http://www.orchidsanfrancisco.org.

Murder at the Conservatory – Conservatory of Flowers – July 27

Everyone likes a good murder mystery, right? Spend your Friday night at the Conservatory to crack the Mystery of the Immortal Elixir. Assist Detective Burdock Loames as he juggles a mysterious manuscript that unlocks the key ingredients for the Elixir of Life. Perfect for a date night outing or adventure with friends, elevate the experience with a guided Victorian Tour for an extra $15 (which takes place an hour before and gives you a quick peek at the ‘murder scene’ before anyone else). This event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. General admission is $85 per person, which includes light refreshments and a complimentary glass of beer or wine. To purchase tickets for this event, click here.

Conservatory Curiosities: The Orchid Doctor – Conservatory of Flowers – July 28

When growing orchids becomes a tricky mess, you’re going to need the advice and guidance of someone who really knows what he or she is doing. Enter Conservatory volunteer Paul Bourbin, who has been growing and rescuing orchids for 30 years. In between repotting demonstrations and plant identification, let the ‘Doc’ help answer your most pressing questions. He’ll be available from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., so bring along a photo of your plant (or the orchids themselves) to obtain a diagnosis. This is a free event, and the purchase of an additional ticket is not required.

San Francisco Marathon – throughout Golden Gate Park – July 29

It’s that time of the year…where you get a chance to earn your “26.2” stripes (or reach other race milestones). The 41st annual running of the San Francisco Marathon allows participants to achieve their goals in a half-marathon (13.1 miles), 5K, or the full race, which loops around the city. This year, over 27,500 runners are expected to take to the streets of the city, as they hit various landmarks that include Golden Gate Park, of course. The park is the site of several aid stations, as well as a handful of mile markers. If you’re looking for more details, click here.

Concrete Runners X ON Running Track – Polo Fields – July 31

Whether you’re training for your next run, or just looking to enhance your speed, we’d like to introduce you to an option that’s available in the park. Jenni and Mondo are hosting a workout and run that meets at Kezar Stadium at 6 p.m. All levels are welcome, and this opportunity is free! For more information or to add your name to the list, you can click here to register.