Get active in more ways than one as you enjoy Golden Gate Park events for May 2021. This month, there will be plenty of opportunities to give back to Golden Gate Park (by volunteering your time and helping to restore one of its beautiful natural spaces). You can also meditate in the luscious green, celebrate Mama, revisit your favorite attractions (the Academy brings back one of your favorite events this month!), or simply enjoy a hearty laugh amongst friends.

May Meditation Series in the Garden – SF Botanical Garden – May 2, 9, 16 & 23

Join Charity Kahn and enjoy a spring reset at the Garden with weekly meditation surrounded by nature. This hour-long program involves sitting, standing, and moving meditation that will help you concentrate on mindfulness of the body and senses. Everyone meets at the Main Gate and will relocate to a group meditation spot.

This event is an in-person program, and face-coverings and social distancing will be followed according to the Department of Public Health guidance for outdoor, organized fitness programs.

Fees for a single class (9 a.m. to 10 a.m.) are $25 for the general public and $18 for members. You can RSVP and buy tickets for this event here.

Virtual NightSchool Programs – California Academy of Sciences – May 6, 13 & 20

This month, as the Academy eases back to in-person NightLife events for 2021, you can still enjoy free virtual NightSchool programs every Thursday. These “classes” stream live on Thursdays at 7 p.m. PT and do not require you to leave the comforts of home.

The NightSchool themes for May 2021 are:

  • May 7: Extreme Life
  • May 13: Rainforests
  • May 20: Songbirds in Spring

For more information, click here.

NorCal: In-person Bicycle Bootcamp – GGP Polo Field – May 7, 14, 21 & 28

Join Shannon Boughn for an in-person bike boot camp (a structured workout on your bike) with the 17th Street Athletic Club from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. The cost is $25, and you must book here to secure your space.

Ceramics Spring Clearance Sale – Sharon Art Studio – May 8

There’s a lot of one-of-a-kind art that needs a home! Browse an assortment of pottery art selling for $5-$20 in the name of raising money for new studio materials and equipment. You can also snag a Sharon Art Studio picnic blanket for $15. Come between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to the Sharon Art Studio veranda and support a good cause plus find new home décor.

Panhandle Park Volunteer Project – GGP Panhandle –  May 8

Join the North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association for getting the basketball court and landscape around the children’s playground ready for summer play. This event is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. You will meet at the community billboard near the bathrooms; light refreshments are provided. To sign up for this opportunity to give back to Golden Gate Park, email [email protected] or call 415-831-6884 (call Jadd Correia at 415-244-2548 if you are registering to volunteer within 24 hours before the event).

Strawberry Hill Butterfly Habitat Restoration Project – GGP Strawberry Hill – May 8

Help provide the glorious butterflies of Golden Gate Park with a place to enjoy the landscape by joining the SF Recreation and Park Department in removing invasive weeds and putting in plants that Swallowtails and other butterflies seek to survive. Everyone meets at the Stow Lake Boat House. This event runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You must email [email protected] or call 415-831-6884 by the Wednesday before the workday to sign up for this opportunity. SF Rec and Park will provide instruction and the tools.

Blankets & Wine Comedy – Polo Field Bleachers – May 8, 15, 22 & 29

Need a good laugh? Bring your own booze and blankets to enjoy a free standup comedy show at Golden Gate Park taking place every Saturday in May from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This socially distanced event requires you to wear a mask at all times. There is a new lineup every week!

To register for this comedy event, click here.

Mother’s Day at Beach Chalet – Beach Chalet – May 9

The Beach Chalet is now fully open and ready for business—its refreshed and remodeled look includes a new dining room, a new chef, and a new menu. What perfect time than on Mother’s Day to test out the new appetizers, entrees, and drinks, and treat the lucky lady in your life to a panoramic view of the Pacific, plus delicious meals and cocktails.

Mother’s Day Specials at the Beach Chalet include Crab Stuffed Petrale Sole, Halibut “En Papillote,” and Strawberry Shortcake with white chocolate gelato.

The Beach Chalet is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge! – GGP, Page & Stanyan Streets – May 9

Join the Urban Adventure Club for an uncomplicated adventure ride to take in some of the best views the Bay has to offer, from Angel Island to the Golden Gate Bridge. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop along the way and take snapshots. The ride starts in Golden Gate Park (take in the sights of the Conservatory of Flowers, the de Young Museum, and the rose gardens!) and continues North to the Presidio. This adventure is from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Click here to register for this event. The fee is $20 for non-members.

Free Mother’s Day Rides on Skystar – Music Concourse – May 9

Moms ride the Skystar for free for a Mother’s Day celebration in the sky (with the purchase of a general admission ticket for a companion or child). Mothers can redeem their tickets in person.

Adult tickets are $18, while other San Francisco residents (with proof of residency) pay $15.30. Prepare to be in the air for 8-12 minutes. The SkyWheel runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mother’s Day. You can get your tickets here.

In-Person NightLife Returns – California Academy of Sciences – May 13 & 20

The Academy’s in-person NightLife events are back in May (with themes TBA). This party for the 21-and-over crowd includes live DJs, outdoor bars, and plenty of science, cocktails, and fun to go around. As always, the event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. To buy your ticket, click here.

White-Crowned Sparrow Habitat Restoration Project – Bison Paddock – May 15

Here’s an excellent opportunity to mingle with the bison and the birds! Join the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and Golden Gate Audubon Society at the paddock to plant native specimens in the gardens and restore the White-crowned Sparrow habitat at Golden Gate Park 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Everyone meets at the east end of the Bison Paddock.

RSVP by clicking here.

Garden Feast [Virtual] – SF Botanical Garden – May 19

Help the Garden’s education programs and awesome collections by participating in an annual tradition (that will look a little different this year). This event will focus on more than just an intriguing exploration of the Garden’s global collections; it also helps support the Garden’s programs and new endeavors, like the Garden’s participation in the Museums for All program, which makes admission free to low-income families.

The keynote speaker for 2021 is Abby Meyer, the Executive Director of the U.S. office of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. For more information, click here.

North Lake Volunteer Project – JFK Drive at Chain of Lakes Drive East – May 22

Join the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to support the habitat of local and migrating birds at North Lake. You’ll be removing invasive plants and helping to maintain the surrounding gardens. In the long-term, this project aims to add more local SF native plants to provide food and cover for the many birds that visit Golden Gate Park. Everyone meets at the restroom pavilion on JFK Drive at Chain of Lakes Drive East. This volunteer opportunity is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To RVSP and register for this opportunity, click here.

Alford Lake Volunteer Project – Stanyan and Haight Streets – May 22

Rain or shine, join the SFRPD gardeners and the Alvord Lake Task Force (from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.) to spruce up the eastern entrance of Golden Gate Park. Choose from numerous gardening tasks. The SFRPD provides the tools, supplies, and gloves. Everyone meets at the intersection of Stanyan and Haight Streets. To sign up, email [email protected] or call 415-831-6884.