Your head may literally spin with all of the endless options available for enjoying Golden Gate Park events in June 2017, and you might have to prepare yourself to make a few difficult decisions. Weekends in June are jam-packed with plenty of things to do, explore, and see. Will you break a Guinness World Record this month? Will you celebrate the Summer of Love’s anniversary in the park? Will you hop on your bike to discover well-known and hidden gems about San Francisco? Pull out your calendar, and mark some of the following Golden Gate Park events that you won’t want to miss:
‘Coloring the Universe’ Lecture – California Academy of Sciences Planetarium – June 5
Perhaps you’re into photography or are constantly in awe of the beauty of outer space. As part of the Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture series, the Academy is holding an event that just might interest you – focusing on the topic of ‘Coloring the Universe.’ Given by Travis Rector, the lecture will illustrate how striking astronomical images are produced using some of the largest telescopes in the world. You must purchase a ticket in advance in order to attend. Ticket costs for limited seating vary from $12 (seniors and members) to $15 for the general public. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m.
Coral Reef NightLife – California Academy of Science – June 8
In celebration of World Oceans Day, come to the Academy to explore all that goes on under the sea, with special attention paid to the exquisiteness of coral reefs. The Swamp will host ‘Bio-Diversity in the Philippines,’ where you can explore the uniqueness of marine life from this region. It is there where some of the most “biologically diverse coral reefs in the world” are found. Project Lab connects you with deep sea exploration, the introduction of new species, 3D coral reef scans, California Marine fish, and the beauty of underwater photography. In the East Pavilion, use the Seaquence app to create your own underwater tunes. Another highlight of the night is a Coral Reef Dive Show (held at the Coral Reef/Aquarium Level), followed by a Q & A. Musical entertainment for the event will be provided by DJ Qbert & Friends in the Piazza.
The Academy hosts Thursday NightLife events every week, and only allows entrance for those belonging to the 21-and-over crowd, and you must show a valid I.D. at the door. Tickets cost $12 for Academy members and $15 for non-members. Expect the event to kick off 6 p.m., and continue entertaining until around 10 p.m.
Other Thursday NightLife events scheduled for June 2017 include:
- Micro NightLife – June 15: If you pay attention to the tiniest of details, then you’ll probably enjoy attending this NightLife, which focuses on the really small things in life. Fans of microbiology will also love this event. You’ll get a chance to explore the happenings at some of the most advanced labs in the Bay Area; check out a portable origami microscope; learn about largest biotech accelerator in the world; and enjoy an exploration of insects outside in the garden. For the night, music will be provided by DJ Bobby McCole (of Pyramid Records).
- Pride NightLife– June 22: It’s a night filled with self-expression and equality, where the host of the weekly “Mother” party at SF nightclub The Oasis, drag queen Heklina, oversees a drag show highlighting “the future of love.” DJs from Oakland’s Hella Gay Dance Party will entertain at the Coral Reef. Head on over to the Piazza to enjoy a dance floor party with drag performer and DJ Juanita More. Other events to look forward to include the history of the Cockettes, the collection of Good Vibrations’ Antique Vibrator Museum, and a rainbow-fied face painting station.
- NightLife Spotlight – June 30: Special guest and science writer of WIRED magazine, Matt Simon, will be on hand to educate and mingle with this week’s crowd of NightLife attendees. Across the Academy, unique features and interactive programs will keep you entertained and busy – from learning about the female bolas spider to participating in three rounds of science-inspired trivia (courtesy of Brainstormer).
Johnny Smith Jazz – Beach Chalet – June 9, 16 & 23
Musician Johnny Smith is slated to entertain on Friday nights for the month of June, where his soulful voice, blues tunes, and “upbeat rock tempos” are sure to get you in the mood for a fun evening out on the town. His set will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday Nights at the de Young: de Young Museum – June 9, 16, 23 & 30
Themed cultural nights take place every Friday at the de Young programs, which entertain with a blend of art, live music, dance, theater, artist demos, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, workshops, and plenty of other performances. A special Friday Night menu and specialty cocktail list is available. You can also check out the observation tower until 8 p.m. The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. and cost nothing to enjoy.
To date, the only theme night announced is for June 16. In partnership with Levi’s, the de Young Museum will host an event titled ‘Summer of Levi’s.’ For more details on this month’s events, you can call (415) 750-7694.
Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – June 10
If you’re looking for the bold colors and blooms that attract butterflies, head for the San Francisco Botanical Garden, where you can stock up on perennials and pollinator plants – the focus of this month’s plant sale. The sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which can be found through the Entry Garden near the Main Gate and Bookstore.
Bean-to-Bar: How Chocolate is Made – Conservatory of Flowers – June 10
With the help of Dandelion Chocolate, you’ll join a local artisan chocolatier to learn how small batches of cocoa beans are roasted, cracked, sorted, grinded, and prepared to make chocolate bars. You will additionally pay a visit to the Theobroma cacao tree located inside the Conservatory’s greenhouse. This free event will take place at the Palm Terrace, and is scheduled for 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Shaping SF Walking Tour: Summer of Peace, Love & Anti-War – the Panhandle – June 10
In commemoration of the ‘Summer of Love,’ take a stroll through the Haight-Ashbury, which played a prominent historical role in the late 60s. The tour begins at the McKinley Statue in Panhandle (at Baker) and ends at Hippie Hill (in Golden Gate Park). In order to participate, don’t forget to RSVP (which is required) to [email protected] or call (415) 881-7579. A sliding scale donation is requested, which will go towards helping out Shaping San Francisco. This event will take place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Hike to The Slides: 8-Mile Hike & Park Slides – Koret Children’s Playground – June 10
If you’re looking for a sight-seeing adventure in San Francisco that won’t disappoint, consider checking out the latest Hike to the Slides event. Beginning at the Esmeralda Slide Park in Bernal Heights, you will head on up to the Golden Gate Park slides at the Koret Children’s Quarter Playground, and then end off your outing at the Seward Street slides in Noe Valley. Throughout your hike, keep an eye out for the glorious staircases that you will happen upon.
An insider tip for truly enjoying the slides on this hike is to bring along a piece of cardboard as protection against the rips and tears that may come from concrete slides. It costs nothing to participate in this event. Also, keep in mind that the hike can be considered intense, consisting of eight miles and includes steep inclines. This event will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
11th Annual Golden Gate Park Band Festival – Spreckels Temple of Music – June 10 & 11
It’s an all-day musical affair at the GGP Bandshell/Music Concourse, where regional community concert bands take to the stage over the course of two days to perform. Each day will present the talent of multiple bands (including the Golden Gate Park Band), from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. These events are free to attend, as are all other GGP Band performances. The schedule for the music festival is as follows:
11:00 – Corte Madera Town Band
12:00 – Central Valley Wind Ensemble
1:00 – San Francisco Wind Ensemble
2:00 – Woodside Village Band
3:00 – Brentwood Concert Band
4:00 – Lodi Community Band
11:00 – Cupertino Symphonic Band
12:00 – Paradise Community Concert Band
1:00 – Golden Gate Park Band
2:00 – Golden Gate Park Band
3:00 – Pacific Brass Band
4:00 – Diablo Regional Concert Band
Additional GGP Band performances scheduled for June 2017, which last from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. under routine circumstances, are:
- June 18 – concert band music, to be announced
- June 25 – enjoy the wonderful world of DISNEY
SF Succulent & Cactus Society’s Show/Sale – SF County Fair Building – June 10 & 11
The 30th annual show and sale of succulents and cactus held by the San Francisco Succulent and Cactus Society (SFSCS) will stretch across two days, and take place in the Gallery at the San Francisco County Fair Building, 1199-9th Ave (at Lincoln Way). Here, you will find a wide range of vibrantly colored, drought-tolerant succulent plants on display and for purchase.
A variety of vendors from across California will be on hand to sell succulents, cacti, bromeliads, as well as hand-crafted pottery. Bring all of your plant questions to this event, and members of the SFSCS will be available to answer to the best of their ability. Every half hour, a free raffle will be held where visitors can win a plant. Admission is free for this event and doors will open on both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Charity and the JAMband – Park Chalet – June 11
Golden Gate Park is a place where various activities are available for visitors of all ages, and from 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., the kiddies rule when Charity and the JAMband makes an appearance at Park Chalet. Family musician and teaching artist Charity Kahn has been hosting concerts, music programs, dance, and other fun for children and their families since 2004. Look for more events at the Park Chalet in September and October. For more information, check out http://www.jamjamjam.com/jambandfamilyfestival.html for a complete schedule and details.
“Sunday Streets” Huge Block Party – 1690 John F Kennedy Drive – June 11
It costs nothing to enjoy one of the largest free ‘block parties’ in San Francisco, where neighborhoods come together to take pleasure in the street closures that allow pedestrians, roller skaters, bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and all other non-car visits to the park. You never know what to expect when you come to a Sunday Streets extravaganza – from yoga sessions to hula hoop competitions. Come to 1690 John F Kennedy Drive between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to take advantage of car-free streets.
SF Beret Baguette Bike Ride & Picnic – Hellman Hollow – June 11
This free joint-park event begins with a leisure 4.4-mile bike ride that originates from Helen Diller Playground (in Dolores Park) and ends with a French-themed picnic in Hellman Hollow at Golden Gate Park. It will take an estimated one hour to complete the bike ride, which starts at 11 a.m. at Dolores Park. The picnic kicks off at 12:30 p.m. at Hellman Hollow. Bring your own lunch and spread out a blanket to enjoy the scene. You are encouraged to ‘dress the part’ for this event…and you might win a prize…like a $50 gift certificate from Relic Vintage for being the Best Dressed. Other prize categories include Prettiest Bike and Best Picnic. This event is free, but an RSVP is required.
Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon – west end of Golden Gate Park – June 11
Leading triathletes from around the world vie for the opportunity to compete in the annual Escape from Alcatraz event that takes participants through Golden Gate Park. Each year, only 2,000 people are allowed to enter, with various qualifications and divisions to consider. After completing a 1 ½-mile swim from Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, the triathlon transitions into an 18-mile bike ride about the Great Highway and throughout Golden Gate Park. An 8-mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area takes athletes to the finish line located at the Marina Green. The event itself is quite the sight to see. For more information, click here.
Sierra Club Sunday Streets Recruitment – GGP Sunday Streets – June 11
In an effort to attract new members and educate people on the importance of environmental issues, the Sierra Club will hold a recruitment event at Sunday Streets, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exact location will be determined at a later date. For more details, you can contact Katherine Howard at [email protected].
WILD Flowers: Pencil Drawing with Nina Antze – SF Botanical Garden – June 15
All drawing levels are welcome to attend a pencil drawing workshop led by botanical illustrator Nina Antze, who serves as your guide to exploring WILD flowers of the Garden. Use a handful of California and Mediterranean wildflowers (in addition to a few standouts from the Garden’s ‘special’ collection) as your inspiration, while perfecting your colored-pencil techniques. You may also bring blooms of your own for this event. Weather permitting, lunch will take place outside. Those who are participating will receive a supply list.
This workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and costs $75 for members and $90 for non-members. Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets to the event.
Insect Discovery Lab – Conservatory of Flowers – June 17
Join Save Nature, as you explore the intriguing world of insects and arthropods. Just some of the things to look forward to include holding giant darkling beetles, brightly colored grasshoppers, African millipedes with 240 legs, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Educate yourself on the natural history of tropical insects, and the role they play in ecosystems. This free event will take place on the Palm Terrace, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
San Francisco Lymphoma Walk – GGP Bandshell/Music Concourse – June 17
Join the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s mission to rid the threat of lymphoma and serve those affected by this blood cancer by supporting and participating in this annual walk. With registration taking place at 9 a.m., the walk has a start time of 10 a.m. This walk will take place at John F Kennedy Drive & Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.
Father’s Day Rainbow Falls 5K & Kids Run – John F. Kennedy Drive – June 18
If you’re looking for a way to kick off Father’s Day festivities, consider the running event at Golden Gate Park dedicated to Dads. The 5K begins at 9 a.m. with the ½-mile Kids Run following at 9:45 a.m. The course sees participants running east up Kennedy Drive to McLaren Lodge before a turnaround at Barricade at Kezar Drive with a right turn on East Conservatory Drive. The finish line is at Kennedy Drive.
Expect to pay the following entry fees in order to participate in the event: $3 for members (18 and over) and 13-17 year olds; and $5 for non-members (18 and over). Those who are aged up to 12 years old can join in for free. To register online and submit questions, you can visit http://dserunners.com/events/race-schedule/ or call (415) 978-0837.
Summer of Love in the Grove – National AIDS Memorial Grove – June 18
In celebration of 50 years since the Summer of Love took place, the National AIDS Memorial Grove will pay tribute to those within the queer community who made their mark during the movement. There will be DJ-spun tunes and attendees are encouraged to bring items to eat, drink and share. This family-friendly event is free (with donation accepted). It will take place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Nancy Pelosi Drive & Bowling Green Drive.
Guinness World Record for Longest Chain of Roller Skaters in San Francisco – Skatin’ Place – June 18
Do you have a pair of skates that you’d like to get good use out of? What better way to knock off the dust than to participate in breaking the record for longest chain. In order to participate in this event, you must be at least 14 years old as well as pre-register, with registration opening up at 11 a.m. onsite. An attempt to break the current record of 254 skaters (held by participants in Glasgow, Scotland) will take place at 2 p.m. A Skaters’ Showcase will take place at 3 p.m., where you can take in the sights of unique moves from local roller skaters. You will find the Skatin’ Place located at 6th Ave. and Kennedy Drive. Click here to learn more details about this opportunity to make it in the record books.
The Groove Objective – Park Chalet – June 18
From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., you can enjoy the sounds of rock, funk and blues from a high-energy, five-piece band representing the San Francisco Bay Area. Expect the soulfulness and strong vocals of the group to entertain as you sip on local beers and munch on Ahi Tuna Poke. You might even hear favorite tunes from the likes of Tom Petty, Neville Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, Donna Summer, and Amy Winehouse, as this band covers a variety of artists.
“The Two Sides of Kepler: Planets & Stars” Lecture – California Academy of Sciences Planetarium – June 19
Another installment of the Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture series presents the knowledge of scientists associated with NASA’s Kepler Mission, who will concentrate their discussion on the search for extrasolar planets and interesting discoveries in cosmology. This event starts at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited for this event, and you must purchase tickets in advance at the cost of $12 (members and seniors) and $15 (general public).
Summer Solstice Sundown – SF Botanical Garden – June 20
All yoga levels are encouraged to attend this seasonal gathering, where the theme for this event is “Health and Wellness in the Garden.” Whether you’d like to reconnect with nature, or simply enjoy a relaxing outing amongst friends, expect an evening of rejuvenating yoga (from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Local experts will host walking meditation, as well as introduce you to tea rituals. Keep in mind that heavy rain cancels this event. The cost to attend is $23 for members and $28 for non-members.
Curator Tour: Season’s WILDest Flowers – SF Botanical Garden – June 24
From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Garden will host an event that puts you in touch with curatorial staff which will guide you through a lineup of spectacular seasonal blooms onsite. Heavy rain will cancel this event, so it’s suggested to keep your eye on the weather channel. Members pay $15 to participate, while non-members are charged $20.
Spices of the Tropics – Conservatory of Flowers – June 24
Ideal for chefs, home cooks, and foodies, you might want to check out what San Francisco’s Spice Ace has to offer at a workshop devoted to exploring the wide variety of spices hailing from the tropics. Stars of the show include vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. You’ll have an opportunity to learn new ways to use these spices in recipes and mixes. A visit to the Conservatory’s vanilla orchid or cinnamon tree helps cap off the afternoon. This event will run from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. There is no charge to enjoy this event, which takes place on the Conservatory’s Palm Terrace.
MHC Flight to Fitness 5K –East 14th Meadow (JFK Drive) – June 25
If you’re looking for a way to give back to the community while getting in a nice workout, you might want to participate in the run/walk being held to support Mabuhay Health Center’s free health clinic, which primarily serves South of Market (SoMa) district residents. To register, head for the East 14th Meadow at 425 John F. Kennedy Drive, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Everyone who registers and participates in the event will get a T-shirt and raffle ticket for winning a sponsor prize. You can purchase tickets ($25) for this event here.
All Day I Dream in the Park – Hellman Hollow – June 25
Lee Burridge, Hoj, and two special guests are slated to perform a live set from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., which also includes edibles from food trucks, live art demonstrations, eye-catching art cars, art installations, and other vendors selling their wares (jewelry, clothing and other creations). This is an event for the 21-and-over crowd, and you must bring I.D. with you to gain admittance. To purchase tickets for this event, click here.
“Fighting the World’s Most Neglected Tropical Disease” – California Academy of Sciences – June 27
Gather in African Hall at 7 p.m. to take in a lecture delivered by Academy Fellow Dr. Matthew Lewin, who is a pioneer in snakebite treatment. In addition to previewing an exclusive screening of a documentary titled ‘Minutes to Die,’ you are treated to information regarding the origins of the Ophirex project and how it relates to the California Academy of Sciences. While this event is free, you must RSVP to ensure your place.