If you’re looking for something creative to do in San Francisco this month, look no further than the Golden Gate Park events for May 2017, which provides a colorful range of opportunities to experience and explore art, sports, flying creatures, culture, photography and flowers. Unleash your crafty side. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Park Chalet. Take a peek at the resident herons and their lil’ ones. Treat Mom to something unique on her special day. Become a part of a live Mario Kart game. All this and more is scheduled to take place this month at Golden Gate Park.

Glasshouse Artists: Butterfly Series – Conservatory of Flowers – May 1

Artists and photographers are offered the unique opportunity to set up shop at the Conservatory beyond the normal hours of operation in the special exhibits gallery. Prop up your easels. Set up tripods. Capture the best view off the butterfly exhibit. You must secure a reservation in order to attend. Space is limited to 15 admissions per event at the cost of $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Keep in mind that tickets will not be sold at the door, and must be purchased ahead of time. For more information on this event, click here.

How-To: Maker NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – May 4, 11, 18 & 25

Let your craftiness run wild, as the Academy hosts an evening dedicated to tapping into your creative side. The East Pavilion will offer a Google Tilt Brush Demo from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., which introduces you to using virtual reality as a way to create 3- dimensional paintings. Explore Hands on Tech at The Project Lab, which incorporates 3D printers, customizable LED light strips called FlickerStrip, linoleum block printing, and knit science hats. Hands on Crafts await at the Swamp, featuring the live drawings of NightLife illustrator Nigel Sussman; Green Art Workshop-led tapestries; and sci-fi themed ‘paint by numbers’ activities. Other highlights of the night include a Tiny Home Tour, intriguing 3D models, wandering R2 droids, and music provided through the How Weird Street Faire DJ Set (in the Piazza and Coral Reef).

Thursday NightLife events begin at 6 p.m. and wind down by 10 p.m. Expect to pay $12 for admission as a member and $15 as a non-member. You will need to show valid identification in order to gain entry, since the festivities are only open to those who are 21 and over.

Other NightLife events planned for the month of May 2017 include:

  • May 11: Brain & Body NightLife – Health and wellness is the topic of discussion, as you’ll have the chance to participate in one of several yoga sessions held throughout the museum; see what a modified commercial EEG reader can do; and learn more about how the brain works.
  • May 18: Prehistoric NightLife – In celebration of the opening of Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs, the Academy transforms into a prehistoric paradise with new exhibits, rare fossils, giant life-sized models, interactive activities and displays, tons of intriguing tidbits of information, and music provided by DJ Jamie Jams.

Access to Adventure – GGP Bandshell/Music Concourse – May 6

Offering an exciting way to get fresh air and your heart pumping, bring the family to the free Mobile Rec Event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. With plenty of activities to explore, you just might find yourself contemplating a climbing wall, enjoying disc golf, skateboarding before lunch, riding a BMX bike, or stepping foot on a Razor scooter – all of which will be on site. Safety equipment will also be provided.

50th Annual Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – May 6

It doesn’t cost a thing to attend the largest plant sale in the Bay Area, which showcases over 2,500 different kinds of drought-tolerant plants and flowers at this annual affair. This is your chance to take home a specimen that you won’t be able to find at the typical regional plant sale or commercial nursery. The sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Head for the Entry Garden to arrive at the event, which is located near the Main Gate and Bookstore.

Heron Watch – Stow Lake – May 6, 13 & 20

Great Blue Herons and their baby chicks call Golden Gate Park their home, and with the help of spotting scopes, you can take a peek at their progress during a free event at Stow Lake. The spring nesting season for the birds takes place in April and May, and the park offers the chance to see the feathered creatures in action on Saturdays. Don’t forget to visit the observation deck from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the experience. Interns and volunteers will also be on hand to answer any questions that you may have.

Free Outdoor Yoga Day – Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden – May 6, 13, 20 & 27

Rise and shine, eat a good breakfast, and then head to Golden Gate Park to enjoy a morning filled with stretching the body and mind. Free yoga will take place at the Grove (picnic area) between the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden/Windmill and 47th Avenue. The classes are offered every Saturday in May. Led by Purusha yogis, class starts at 11:30 a.m., and ends with a sharing circle. It is suggested to bring along a mat or blanket to class.

Polish Music & Dance Festival with GGP Park Band – Spreckels Temple of Music – May 7

If you’re looking for a nice place to enjoy a picnic in a park, why not choose a spot where you also have the treat of listening to the Golden Gate Park Band? The first GGP Band concert for the month of May will concentrate on the beauty of Polish culture, with music, song and dance from 1 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. This is also a celebration for Polish Constitution Day.

Additional performances scheduled for May 2017 are:

  • May 14: Great Concert Band Music
  • May 21: In celebration of Armenian Constitution Day – Armenian music, singing and dancing
  • May 28: Patriotic and American music to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend

Artist’s Reception: Exquisite Blooms by Janny Xiaoqin Huang – SF Botanical Garden –May 11

The Helen Crocker Russell Library is hosting an artist reception to celebrate Janny Xiaoqin and her Chinese brush paintings. Thirty-five of Huang’s original Chinese brush paintings will be on display, which is especially a treat for flower lovers. Come see the portraits of poppies, magnolias, peonies, and other blooms that you can find in the San Francisco Botanical Garden. This event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There is no cost to enjoy this event.

Kartwheel: A Day of Races Inspired By Live Mario Kart! – Hellman Hollow – May 13

Let the excitement and adrenaline push you towards the finish line, as you participate in a “series of battle races inspired by live Mario Kart.” From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., twenty races will be held about the Hellman Hollow West Meadow that uses a mobile app which allows you to follow a course while passing by geo-tagged zones. Along the way, you will find ‘power ups,’ such as shells and bananas, which you can use to affect the progress of runners ahead of you. Tickets are sold in pairs ($43 per person), and in various tiers. Keep in mind that the game only accommodates iOS phones. All of this is brought to you by Handstand, and if you’re looking for more details, check out http://Kartwheelrace.com/.

Mother’s Day Butterfly Release Experience – Conservatory of Flowers – May 14

Treat Mom to the beauty of the Butterflies and Blooms gallery with an exclusive one-on-one experience led by Conservatory staff. The special lady in your life will get to release a newly emerged butterfly into the exhibit before taking a look at the exhibit galleries, where thousands of tropical plants hailing from around the world are on display. Mom will also return home with gifts to commemorate her outing – a blooming orchid plant and a one-year Conservatory Individual Membership. Please note that you will only be able to purchase this Mother’s Day package in advance. Click here for more details.

76th Annual Mother’s Day Rose Show – SF County Building – May 14

The Hall of Flowers will welcome mothers from all over the Bay Area, helping them to celebrate their special day with the assistance of exhibitors ready to show off their judged and award-winning garden roses. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. An array of blooms, including hybrid teas, grandifloras, miniatures, and David Austin roses, will be on display. Additional attractions to look forward to are the eye-catching rose arrangements and a rose photography show/competition. This is a free event. The Hall of Flowers is situated at the entry on 9th Avenue to Golden Gate Park. For more details, you can check out https://www.sfrosesociety.org, email [email protected] or call (415) 656-4346.

Photography in the Garden Workshop with Saxon Holt – SF Botanical Garden – May 18

The many collections found at the Garden present the perfect opportunity for artists and photographers to indulge in their craft, and with this particular workshop, those with cameras can zoom in to capture the beauty of some of these WILD flowers. Let botanical photographer Saxon Holt serve as your guide, while you enjoy this workshop that starts out in the Garden. At the end of the event, participate in a peer critique session inside. The class accommodates all levels, and is scheduled to run from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Keep in mind that you must bring your own equipment and lunch. The cost of this event is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

San Francisco Deltas – Kezar Pavilion – May 19

Sports come alive at Golden Gate Park when the San Francisco Deltas (the city’s first pro soccer team) hits the field that once served as the original home of the SF ’49ers. Local food trucks will be on hand to provide refreshments during the games. Tickets for the match against the Jacksonville Armada FC range in cost from $22 to $36. Join in the pre-game festivities at Kezar Triangle (5:30 p.m.) with gates opening around 6:30 p.m. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information on tickets, click here.

11th Annual Bay Area VisionWalk – Music Concourse/ GGP Bandshell – May 20

In an effort to raise awareness and funds to fight blindness, Golden Gate Park will host a charity event that begins with registration at 9 a.m. A welcome address and stage presentation takes place at 10 a.m., followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and the start of the walk at 10:15 a.m. An after walk awards ceremony and celebration caps off the event at 11:30 a.m. For more information, check out www.FightBlindness.org/BayAreaVisionWalk.

106th Bay to Breakers – GGP Park – May 21

It’s that time of the year, when one of the most popular annual races comes back to town, and makes a guest appearance at Golden Gate Park. Thousands of people will dress up in costumes and let their silliness run rampant in this all-day event that usually attracts over 30,000 people (with more than 100,000 spectators). Participants follow a 12K course from the San Francisco Bay to the Breakers at the western end of Golden Gate Park that is quite a sight to see. The race (which is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) is free to watch, and costs about $55 for participation. For more runner and event info, click here.

Chinese Brush Painting Workshop– SF Botanical Garden – May 25

From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., you can participate in a workshop led by Janny Huang and Joseph Yan that allows you to explore the various techniques associated with Chinese brush painting. Participants will have the choice between painting either a rooster in celebration of the Year of the Rooster or morning glories on a twisted vine. You should also take a moment to view Huang’s art pieces, which are on display from May through August in the Library.

All levels are welcome to take the class. Supplies will be provided. The cost to experience this workshop is $80 for members and $90 for non-members.

Archer Lessons – GGP Archery Range – May 27

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the art of archery, new lessons are being held at 11 a.m. at the Golden Gate Park Archery Range (904 47th Ave) – courtesy of the Golden Gate Junior Olympic Archery Development Club. As a first-time shooter, you are required to undergo a 30-minute lesson that includes a safety orientation. The class ends at 1 p.m. The cost to participate is $30, which comes with expert instruction and all of the necessary equipment. It is very important to arrive time (10:50 a.m. is most ideal), or you run the risk of not being allowed to take the class.

In order to participate, individuals must be eight years old or older, and must be prepared to sign a code of conduct and liability waiver. To purchase tickets and download waiver forms, click here.