In between the fireworks, BBQs, picnics, and parades of the Fourth, it’s time to reignite your love for Golden Gate Park with July events that include patriotic performances, roller skating, beer gardens, flower shows, Frisbees, marathons, and spectacular cultural celebrations. Bring home an eye-catching orchid or fuchsia. Take in the magic of Disney. Also, there’s a bonus for the tattooed – you’ll get an exclusive discount off an exhibit debuting at the de Young this month.
Fourth of July Patriotic Concert – Spreckles Temple of Music – July 4
Say ‘happy birthday’ to America with patriotic standbys performed by Golden Gate Park’s very own band. This particular show takes place on a Thursday. The band resumes their regular schedule on Sunday. Bring a picnic lunch and come dressed in your fav red, white and blues.
Additional GGP Band concerts for July:
- July 7 – Patriotic Theme: the Band continues to celebrate the Fourth of July with more American music
- July 14 – Vive la France’s culture and music is on center stage
- July 21 – Remembering 1939 – the same year San Francisco’s World Fair took place
- July 28 – Disney fans won’t want to miss out hits representing The Magic of Disney & Pixar
Concerts take place at the Spreckles Temple of Music at Music Concourse Drive. They start at 1 p.m. and usually end around 2:45 p.m. Performances are always free.
Free Walking Tour – Japanese Tea Garden – July 4
Join San Francisco City Guides as they present complimentary guided walking tours of local hot spots. This month, you can spend the Fourth of July exploring the Japanese Tea Garden. Although donations are accepted, this experience is ultimately free to enjoy.
Live Music – Park Chalet – July 4, 6, 7, 13, 14, 21, 26, 27, 28
While sipping cold beers, enjoying a late lunch, or sampling one of the newest additions to the menu, an afternoon or evening at the Park Chalet also includes live music performances from the following visiting and local talent this month:
- July 4: shake a tail feather with Spill the Wine (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- July 6: jam with the bluesy rock and roll band Beach Cowboys (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- July 7: Lady and the Tramps is sure to please rock, blues, R&B and soul fans (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- July 13: Grim Truth plays rock and roll favorites from the 70s, 80s, & 90s (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- July 14: Mystery Tour Band is a fav of British Invasion/Beatles fans (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- July 21: Love Struck presents a mix of blues, rock, R&B and Latin jams (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- July 26: enjoy the crooning sounds of the Perrish Sings Sinatra show (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- July 27: listen to Grim Truth’s repeat performance (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.); enjoy another round of Ol’ Blue Eyes tunes with the Perrish Sings Sinatra show (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- July 28: Groove Objective offers a blend of rock, pop, funk, and blues (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
Free Guided Trail & Nature Walk – Stow Lake – July 6
Every first Saturday, a crew of nature lovers meet up to explore and take in the sights of Golden Gate Park. A free guided walk is just what you need to break in the weekend. Come and reconnect with native plants and wildlife while feeling fit. Walks begin at 10 a.m. and end around noon. No pre-registration is necessary. Meet at the Boathouse in your best walking shoes.
Free Saturdays – de Young Museum – July 6, 13, 20, 27
Free Saturdays is a time for the entire family to participate in art-related explorations, enhanced gallery tours, discussion groups, as well as sketching sessions in the permanent collection galleries. All of the programs are free and open to the public. Although this is a free event, if you reserve a ticket in advance, you can save time and skip the line.
Free Saturdays programs planned for July include the following activities and highlights:
- July 6: If you’ve ever had an interest in or love of crocheting, you should probably mark your calendars for this event. The Piazzoni Murals Room will host the Crochet Jam with artist Ramekon O’Arwisters from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- July 13: Welcoming all skill levels, head for Gallery 12 to participate in a sketching session from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be plenty of opportunities to experiment with various materials (all provided), as well as take in the art from a different perspective. In Koret Auditorium, sit in on a special opening weekend lecture featuring Ed Hardy (from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), who will sign books following the event.
- July 20: Celebrate and absorb the poetry of San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate, devorah major, who will read some of her work from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Koret Auditorium hosts a conversation Jori Finkel and Lynn Hershman Leeson on Art and Algorithms. Finkel has recently written “It Speaks to Me,’ where a book signing follows at 3 p.m.
- July 27: In between a sketching session from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gallery 28, the museum also connects you to Hunter Franks and his Fear Doctor booth (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and discussion with local tattoo artist Tex Buss in the Piazzoni Murals Room. Don’t forget to stick around for the hands-on art activity following a permanent galleries tour led by Tex.
53rd Annual Festival of the Chariots – Robin Williams Meadow – July 7
Yes, it is entirely free to attend this celebration, which offers a family-friendly veggie feast and parade celebrating the “Ratha Yatra” festivities that take place in India. Each year, over 3,000 people generally attend this all-day affair in San Francisco. The atmosphere surrounds attendees with love, harmony, peace, and goodwill. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Transverse Dr. & John F. Kennedy Dr., followed by festival activities at noon at Sharon Meadows by Children’s Park.
This event takes place at Robin Williams Meadow (formally known as Sharon Meadow) at 320 Bowling Green Drive until 4 p.m.
Let people know you are coming and RSVP on Facebook to this free event.
NightLife LIVE – California Academy of Sciences – July 11
July kicks off the sixth annual NightLife LIVE summer music series, with Noise Pop presenting the first of four concerts in the West Garden. On this night, let Men I Trust with mk.gee entertain you for the night, with a DJ set by Popscene. The evening promises to bring to life a combination of music, art, and science. There will also be a hands-on, science-inspired crafts and workshop fun – thanks to Paint Pens Collective. Also, keep an eye out for pop-up shops and more expressions of creativity.
NightLife on Thursdays is a recurring event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., where they over-21 crowd gather to enjoy science, food, music, and other fun. Be prepared to show proper identification at the door. To purchase tickets, click here.
Flower Piano – SF Botanical Garden – July 11 – July 22
A dozen pianos will soon stretch across the 55 acres of the Botanical Garden for twelve days, which means the annual, interactive music festival known as “Flower Piano” is back. All day long, local musicians entertain with performances on the weekends. The pianos, which can are in places like the Great Meadow, California Native Garden, and Redwood Grove, are also there for you to tickle the ivories on your own.
This year, there will be sunset- and nightly piano activities, as well as community sing-alongs and free piano lessons. After dark, food trucks and outdoor bars make sure you don’t go hungry. Other events and highlights in conjunction with the Flower Piano festivities include yoga in the Garden, special story times and family walks, meditation, and lunchtime concerts.
Flower Piano is free for San Francisco residents (with I.D.) and $9 for regular Garden entry fee. A full schedule of performances and events is here.
Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin Exhibit – de Young Museum – starts July 13
The de Young presents the first museum survey of the unforgettable tattoo artist (and California native) Ed Hardy. Come explore the artist’s life in art, American tattoo culture, and Japan’s “ukiyo-e era.” Access to this exhibit is free with your paid admission to the museum.
This time around, the de Young is offering something a little sweet for the tattooed – an exclusive discount! Full body ink scores free admission, full sleeves net 50% off a ticket, and any tattoo is good for $5 off your ticket. This discount is valid from July 13 to August 25.
For more information and discount codes to enter during ticket purchase, click here.
The exhibit runs throughout July until October 6, 2019.
Monthly Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – July 13
Head for the Main Gate and find your way to the Garden’s monthly plant sale.
This month is the perfect time to stock up on some of the Salvias, Shrubs, and Fuchsias offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Roller Revival” Roller Skating Music Festival – Skate Place on 6th Ave – July 14
Calling all roller skaters!
Dig in the closet and pull out those inline and roller skates. The annual Roller Revival is back again, with a four-day celebration. While there are plenty of activities and fun to participate in over the week, Golden Gate Park will host the San Francisco Skaters’ Showcase on their turf at 1 p.m. – a time to admire some of the best talent on wheels. It’s free to enjoy.
AIDS Walk San Francisco – Golden Gate Park – July 14
Every year, individuals, families, teams and corporate crews gather to run in the name of raising funds for research, outreach programs and awareness in regards to a disease that continues to affect the lives of many San Franciscans. It takes roughly 2 to 3 hours to complete this 10K, which amounts to 6.2 miles.
The day’s event consists of:
- Sign-in at 8:30 a.m.
- Aerobic warm-up at 9:00 a.m.
- The opening ceremony starts at 9:15 a.m.
- The AIDS Walk San Francisco officially begins at 10:00 a.m.
- Enjoy the post-walk show at noon.
For more information and to register for this walk, click here.
SFPL Bookmobile – SF Botanical Garden – July 15 & July 29
The San Francisco Public Library hosts annual programs centered on learning, reading, and exploration that caters to kids of all ages and abilities. You will find over 1,000 events across the city, including the following events, which run from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Garden:
- July 15: Pressed Flower Art – decorate paper boxes with pressed flowers
- July 29: Driftwood Marionettes – use driftwood and strings to create woodland creature characters
All of the SFPL programs are free.
Beer Garden NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – July 18
Blink, and you might miss out on one of the most sought-after annual NightLife events of the year. The pop-up beer garden is a favorite of guests, who come to sample the tastiness of local breweries. Tasting flights from the likes of Ale Industries, Triple Voodoo, and Temescal Brewing will be on hand. The debut of Golden State Cider’s hibiscus-infused pink cider is sure to be a hit. Get a chance to see what Western Australia’s Little Creatures Brewing is all about before they open the doors to their taproom this summer.
Other things to look forward to include beer-themed quizzes, native plant discussions, and the museum’s very own craft beer (made with plants grown on the Academy’s living roof). Push the Feeling DJs will spin hits throughout the night.
Keep in mind that you must present tickets purchased in the East Garden to sample beers. No cash is accepted at the tasting tables. One ticket costs $2: 1-2 tickets get you a 3-ounce pour while 4-6 tickets scores a 12-ounce full beer.
With valid identification to prove you are at least 21 years of age, you can gain access to one of the Academy’s Thursday NightLife events, which entertains from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Interested? Get your ticket here.
Botanicals and Brews: Historic Gems – Conservatory of Flowers – July 19
In celebration of the Conservatory’s 140 years in existence, you might want to stop by this month. An ideal time to rediscover this attraction is during a Botanicals and Brews night. You’ll have a chance to get reacquainted with some of the oldest plants in their collection. Learn fascinating tidbits of history. Listen to live local music (from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Bluegrass trio Fog Holler will provide old-time tunes. Sample the eats of curated food trucks: Izzy Cheesesteaks and Taco San Buena. Hear the tales of brews from Laughing Monk Brewing, Ghost Town Brewing, and Seismic Brewing Company. The festivities run from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
General admission tickets cost $29 and include a complimentary craft brew. For $49, the Master Brewer experience also comes with a single flight of four sample brews and a complimentary souvenir glass. To purchase tickets, click here.
Orchids in the Park – SF County Fair Building – July 20 & 21
Thousands of orchids on display and sale are what you’ll encounter during this two-day event boasting the largest summer show of its kind on the West Coast. The San Francisco Orchid Society welcomes over 20 of the best orchid specialists from across the globe to sell their plants and supplies. Expect familiar favorites and rare species, as well as participate in intriguing discussions and workshops. Try your luck and enter a drawing to win prizes and orchids.
Doors open at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $8, but you can snag advance tickets for the event are available online until July 19 and can be purchased here. Children 16 and under gain entrance for free. The County Fair Building is located at 1199 9th Ave at Lincoln Way.
Revolution 2019: Ultimate Frisbee Tournament – Polo Fields – July 20 & 21
It doesn’t cost a thing to come out and watch the high-flying antics and acrobatics of those participating in the park’s Frisbee tournament, which happens to be one of the largest USAU sanctioned tournaments
Windmill 10K – Dutch Windmill – July 21
As one of the lengthier runs that take place at Golden Gate Park, this 10K is an annual treat. Running eastbound on Kennedy Drive to the intersection before McLaren Lodge (Kezar Drive/Second Barricade), races turn around to return the same way they came.
This run will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and costs $5 for non-members and $3 for standard members; $3 for ages 13-17 (regardless of membership status); and is free for children 12 and younger. To view a map of the course and sign up online, click here.
Big Picture Nightlife – California Academy of Sciences – July 25
Be one of the select few to first set your eyes on the entries for the Academy’s sixth annual BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition when you attend an exhibit highlighting the talents of some of the best in the field. This awards ceremony and presentation isn’t the only thing taking place. Expect a live planetarium show, informative panel discussion, Project Lab happenings, and a display of rarely-viewed specimens and archival materials representing the Galapagos. Music for the night comes courtesy of DJ Sep.
NightLife events take place nearly every Thursday at the Academy, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. You must be 21 or over to gain entry to the party. Come prepared with a valid I.D. You can purchase tickets here.
The San Francisco Marathon – July 28
Over 27,500 individuals participate in this USATF certified course consisting of a 26.2-mile loop. And, it’s much more than just a running tour of Golden Gate Park, you can also qualify for the Boston Marathon or clock in a team trial time for the Olympics when participating in the race.
With a handful of options for participating in this event, runners will find themselves pacing through Golden Gate Park in the following:
- Full Marathon: The starting line at Embarcadero’s waterfront leads runners throughout the city, passing through Golden Gate Park, and later crossing the finish line just past Bay Bridge.
- 1st Half Marathon: In addition to the scenery that includes waterfront and iconic landmarks, runners get to visit Golden Gate Park along the way.
- 2nd Half Marathon: This leg of the race begins in Golden Gate Park, and continues through city neighborhoods, Haight-Ashbury, Dogpatch, and the Mission District.
To register for this unforgettable experience, click here.