Whether it’s your first or hundredth time, May is a beautiful month to visit Golden Gate Park. In addition to the blooming azaleas, fuchsias and rhododendrons, the month hosts several Mother’s Day events and springtime celebrations. Flower lovers will also enjoy the exhibitions and activities scheduled at some of the most popular attractions of Golden Gate Park. To make sure you don’t forget this month’s festivities and the latest happenings, don’t forget to add the following Golden Gate Park events for May 2016:

May Blooming Events

Polish Constitution Day GGP Band Concert – Spreckles Temple of Music – May 1

May is an ideal month to pack a picnic lunch, bring out the blankets, and settle in at the Music Concourse for a musical treat delivered by the Golden Gate Park Band. To kick off this month’s lineup of programs, it’s a celebration of Polish Constitution Day, where there will be cultural tunes, singing and dancing to enjoy. The concert starts at 1 p.m., and usually lasts until 2:30 to 2:45 p.m. As always, this is a free event to enjoy at the park.

Additional Golden Gate Park Band performances scheduled for May 2016 include:

  • May 8 – The Music of John Williams
  • May 15 – to be announced at a later date
  • May 22 – Armenian Constitution Day with music, singing and dancing
  • May 29 – Memorial Weekend Concert with patriotic and American tunes

Thursday NightLife: Mezcal – California Academy of Sciences – May 5

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Academy has devoted a night to the occasion – highlighting the beauty, history and flavor of mezcal. If you’re a fan of spirits, then the mixology demonstrations from local hotspots (such as La Urbana and Lolo) will be just one of the joys you’ll encounter for the evening. Tell your friends, and have a fun-filled outing at the Academy.

Every Thursday night, the Academy opens its doors to provide an evening filled with science, entertainment and unique edibles. The events last from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and is only open to those who are 21 years or older that come with proper photo identification.

Other Thursday NighLife events being held in May 2016 include:

  • May 12 – Origins NightLife: If the origins of the universe, life and civilization grab your attention, then don’t forget to check out an exciting lineup of talks by Wonderfest.
  • May 19 – NightLife LIVE (May): A summer music series that presents outdoor performances by Chrome Sparks & Planet Booty.
  • May 26 – 90s NightLife: Explore the connection between science and blockbuster movies of the 90s (such as Jurassic Park). Music and drinks inspired by the 90’s will also entertain throughout the night.

Fridays Nights at the deYoung: ‘In the Spotlight”– deYoung Museum – May 6

If you are a fan of fashion, art and culture, then you may want to check out ‘In the Spotlight’ this Friday. For starters, you can head to Wilsey Court to meet San Francisco-based designer Max Gunawan, who is responsible for a handful of award-winning items, which have become best sellers in the museum’s store. Allow Indira Urrutia to lead you in a project at the mixed-media art-making station in Buchanan Court, where you’ll create your own “mini fashion designs” on clothespin “models” with the help of scrap fabric, colored thread, and other materials. Other attractions and events for the evening include a spotlight on Oscar de la Renta designs.

These weekly Friday events at the museum are held from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., and offer a night filled with culture, live music, dance, film screening, panel discussions, artist demonstrations, hands-on creative activities, lectures, and food.

Other Friday Nights at the deYoung events for May 2016 to look forward to include:

  • May 13: “Fiercely Fabulous”: Check out the Mr. David Collection Slide Show at Koret Auditorium (6 p.m.) and enjoy the Mr. David for Juanita More! 24 Years of More…Runway Show at Wilsey Court (7:30 p.m.).
  • May 20: “Flights of Fancy and Imagination”: Enjoy live music and performances by Carnaval San Francisco at Wilsey Court (6:30 p.m.).
  • May 27: “Sunlit Memories and Dark Gardens”: The Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden plays host to “A Dark Garden Party: For Ladies who Lunch…at Dusk” at 6 p.m.

The Wild Bunch: Succulents, Cacti & Fat Plants – Conservatory of Flowers – May 6

This spring, you will have a chance to explore the unique characteristics of plants that thrive in the driest of climates. With eye-catching shapes and distinct colors, the plants in the Conservatory of Flowers’ new exhibit are set within an old ghost town setting, and include living specimens of the following: cacti, fat plants (also known as caudiciforms) and other succulents. This exhibit will continue on until October 16, 2016.

SF Botanical Garden Society’s Annual Plant Sale – SF County Fair Building – May 7

If you’re looking for plants, flowers and other items to add to your garden, mark your calendars for the largest plant sale in the Bay Area, where you will find more than 2,500 different kinds of plants – including an assortment of drought tolerant options. In addition to shopping for new blooms, a Family Fun activity area will keep the attention of young green thumbs, including kid-friendly plants and the chance to create a special Mother’s Day item. The large plant sale is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, you can call (415) 661-1316 (ext. 411) or contact [email protected].

75th Annual Mother’s Day Rose Show – County Fair Building – May 8

Flowers play a significant role in Mother’s Day; therefore, it makes sense that the Mother’s Day Rose Show held at the County Fair Building is a popular annual attraction. Here you will findd an ideal opportunity to take in the beautiful blooms. Rose society members and consulting rosarians will also be on hand to answer any rose-related questions that you may have, including ones about proper rose care. Scheduled to run from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., it is free to attend this event.

“Pluto Matters” Lecture – Planetarium at California Academy of Sciences – May 9

As part of the Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lectures, space buffs may want to listen to what Professor Renu Malhotra (from the Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona) has to say about the far-off former planet of the Solar System. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Since seating is limited, advanced ticketing and reservations must be paid. The cost to enjoy this event is $8 for members, $10 for seniors, and $12 for general admission. Click here to purchase tickets for this lecture.

Art Exhibit Reception: Reflections by Margo Bors – SF Botanical Garden – May 12

An artist reception will be held to celebrate the exhibit “Reflections: The Art and Photography of Margo Bors,” which is scheduled to run in the Garden’s Library from May to August. This show covers work depicting the flora and fauna of San Francisco from the last 25 years that include watercolors, linocuts, photography, as well as new creations. The reception begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Admission for this event is free.

Bay to Breakers – Western End of Golden Gate Park – May 15

As one of the largest races in America, Bay to Breakers attracts a wide range of participants, which come to show off outrageous costumes, drink beer, and witness a rather entertaining spectacle that concludes at the western end of Golden Gate Park. More than 30,000 people participate in this race, while over 100,000 onlookers pay attention to all the action that unfolds across San Francisco’s city streets. The oldest consecutively-run annual footrace in the world will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It’s $65 to enter the race, and free to watch. For more information, you can always visit the Bay to Breakers website.

WILD Flowers: Pencil Drawing with Nina Antze – SF Botanical Garden – May 19

If you’d like to tap into your artistic creativity, the Botanical Garden is hosting a pencil drawing workshop with Nina Antze, where you can explore techniques associated with botanical illustration. You’ll practice with colored pencils, as you draw an assortment of California and Mediterranean climate wildflowers, as well as some surprise specimens from the Garden’s special collection. You can bring in your own flowers or use live blooms provided to you from the Garden. If the weather is nice, lunch (that you bring along) will take place outside. All drawing levels are welcome to attend. This event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and costs $75 (for members) and $90 (for non-members).

Walk on the WILD Flower Side: Spring’s Best – SF Botanical Garden – May 21

Guided tours are a perfect way to explore the beauty of Golden Gate Park, and if you’re interested in taking in the sights and fragrances of spring blooms, consider this opportunity, which focuses on the best of spring (according to the curator in charge of the tour). Heavy rain cancels this event, which is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The cost for this event is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

Full Moon Walk: Blue Moon – SF Botanical Garden – May 21

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., you can enjoy an after-dark tour of the Garden – all in celebration of the Blue Moon (also referred to as the “Full Flower Moon”). Light refreshments will be on hand for this event. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight along, so that you don’t miss any flowers or plants. To participate in this event, members pay $20, while non-members are charged $25. Keep in mind that heavy rain will cancel this walk.

Walking Tour: American History in GGP– Conservatory of Flowers – May 21 & May 30

Golden Gate Park is filled with endless statues, plaques, monuments and trees that have special associations to events in American history. When you meet at the top of the stairs in front of the Conservatory of Flowers, you can embark on a two-hour walk that touches upon a variety of familiar (and lesser-known) attractions throughout the park. The tour begins at 1 p.m., and is free to enjoy.

Family Arts & Music Workshop – SF County Fair Building – May 22

If you’re looking for a completely free way to entertain and enlighten the kiddies at the same time, you don’t want to miss the lineup of workshops planned at the San Francisco County Fair Building. Led by local teachers, musicians and artists, children will have a chance to try out something new, such as painting, learning the Spanish language, making Shrinky Dinks, kite-making, and learning how to play acoustic guitar. The event will also provide face painting sessions, drawing and coloring stations, and light refreshments. Classes start at 10 a.m., and last about 45 minutes long with workshops starting up every hour until 3 p.m.

To register for this event, click here.

Garden Feast – SF Botanical Garden – May 25

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is hosting an event to support the Garden’s Youth Education Program with a reception and silent auction at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon and program at 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. The proceeds from this event go towards funding the free, hands-on programming offered to the more than 12,000 children who come to the Garden every year. For more information on this event, you can click here.

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