As you trot into another month of Golden Gate Park events, November promises plenty to see and do. Get a little early holiday shopping done, celebrate an upgraded place for kids to play, or enjoy a Turkey Day feast that’s out of this world.

There’s a sweet opportunity to sample and stock up on premium chocolates and artisan confections for the upcoming holidays at the SF County Building.

This November, horses are back at Golden Gate Park’s Bercut Equitation Field, which welcomes a regular equestrian program offered Wednesday through Sunday.

Other activities and events to add to your November calendar include the following:

“Soul of a Nation” Block Party – de Young Museum – November 9

It’s an all-day affair!

Come to the de Young between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to not only enjoy free admission to the Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 but to also take in a full day of food, live performances, and activities for all ages.

There will be a lot of guests attending this event, like the Golden State Warriors’ very own official DJ. Others to make an appearance include rapper Ruby Ibarra, “locking” crew Groovmekanex, Afrobeat dancer Sistah Iminah, and bassist/singer Aneesa Strings.

General admission and special programming are free this Saturday.

“Soul of a Nation” Artists in Conversation – de Young Museum – November 9

As part of the “Souls of a Nation” celebration, a collection of featured artists gather for opening day festivities of the Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power exhibit at de Young. Head for Koret Auditorium to hear the latest projects and artworks produced by the likes of Beuford Smith, Linda Goode Bryant, and Herb Robinson.

The conversation schedule is broken up into the following separate blocks from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; each with their own individual ticket:

  • 11 a.m. – noon: Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, and Gerald Williams moderated by Jacqueline Francis
  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Mike Henderson and Linda Goode Bryant
  • 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Beuford Smith, Herb Robinson, and Adger Cowans, moderated by Lewis Watts

Check-in is 15 minutes before the start of each discussion. Be prepared to show proof of registration. You may reserve multiple tickets and only have to check in once. Seating is not assigned. All unclaimed tickets are released to the public on a first come first serve basis.

If you’d like to reserve your space for this free event, click here to register.

End of Season Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – November 9

Here’s your final chance of the year to snag plants and other greenery for your home from the San Francisco Botanical Garden. The Garden is hosting the last botanical sale of 2019, which runs from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Entry Garden near the Main Gate and Bookstore.

Garden Meditation – Redwood Grove at SF Botanical Garden – November 9

Free your mind in the midst of a few of Mother Nature’s giants!

Take in the crisp fall air with mindful meditation that begins with a docent tour to and in the Redwood Grove. There, you will experience a wave of walking, moving, and stationary meditation led by Charity Kahn. If this name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s the local children’s musician behind Charity and the JAMband that often performs at the Park Chalet.

This session runs from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get your general admission tickets here; they cost $15.

Holiday Artisan Fair – de Young Museum – November 8-10

Get a little early holiday shopping done at the de Young, where 17 local makers plan to deliver a premier shopping experience for the season. This is a free event scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll find textiles, home décor, jewelry, and accessories from Cute as a Button, Rascal Moon, Clouds and Ladders, One New Road, Turning Leaf Handmade, and Lulu Designs.

Panhandle Playground Reopening Celebration – Oak Street at Ashbury – November 12

A reopening celebration is planned for the Panhandle Playground (located at Oak Street at Ashbury), where the San Francisco Parks Alliance invites you to view their completed Let’sPlaySF! Project. Bring the kiddies to enjoy face painting, blow bubbles, listen to speakers, and show appreciation during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This celebration is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Brain & Body NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – November 14

It’s time to feed the brain and body with an exploration of human health and neuroscience.

The Academy welcomes you to enjoy a yoga session with Outdoor Yoga SF at the Philippine Coral Reef, chat it up with Stanford researchers, and view a special screening of Vortex 2.0 (all about “mind-bending art and music”) in the planetarium. 

This event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is only for the 21+ crowd.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Botanicals and Brews: A Night in the Tropics – Conservatory of Flowers – November 15

Celebrate the longer nights of the fall season with a bunch of brews and the Conservatory!

The end of the year brings out the darkness earlier, but the tropical collection is still thriving and alive. Spend the evening amongst friends and samples of beer from the Almanac Beer Company and Original Pattern Brewing. Tropical beats provided by LoCura offer live entertainment that accompanies Curry Up Now and MOMO Noodle meals for the night.

General admission is $29 (which comes with a complimentary craft brew). For $49, spring for the Master Brewer package—this treats you to that same craft brew plus one flight of four sample brews and a complimentary souvenir glass.

This event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and is for the 21-and-over crowd.

You can purchase tickets here.

Blues Performance and Sketching in the Galleries – de Young Museum – November 16

As part of the Saturdays at de Young free programming, Mike Henderson will give a live blues performance from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Wilsey Court. This living legend is not only an accomplished blues guitarist but also used his breakthrough figurative paintings of the 1960s to illustrate the “spirit of protest and social justice” in San Francisco.

Come hear Henderson play and then view his iconic painting downstairs.

Gallery 4 will also open up for a session of Sketching in the Galleries, which occurs every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All skill levels are welcome with all materials and gallery stools provided. All of the activities for the day are free to enjoy.

Winterfest – SF County Fair Building – November 16

Come have a blast with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition as they celebrate their largest member party of the year. There will be arts, crafts, and games with a bike theme, as well as a family zone play area from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There’s something for everyone at this event!

Just some of the activities and fun to expect include:

  • Bottomless Beverage Glasses: In addition to plenty of beer and wine on tap, you can buy a “bottomless” drink glass at the event for only $20. This way, you can enjoy unlimited servings of beverages throughout the day. Take home a commemorative pint glass, to boot!
  • Bike Auction: Dozens of new bicycles will be on display. Place your bid, and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to ride away into the sunset with a new set of wheels.
  • Miniature Bike Races: Adults on kiddie bikes…let the games begin!
  • Art Show: Local artists have donated one-of-a-kind, bike-themed masterpieces to decorate a wall of art for this event.

The cost to enjoy this event is $15 for members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and $50, which includes admission and membership for newbies to the crew.

To get your ticket, click here.

Miles for Melanoma 5K – GGP-Bandshell/Music Concourse – November 17

Grab your sneakers and head for Golden Gate Park, where you can participate in the Miles for Melanoma San Francisco 5k Run/Walk. Join the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) as you fight for a cure for one of the deadliest and fastest-growing forms of skin cancer.

Your steps go towards supporting research, education, and advocacy for those affected by the disease. The cost to participate is $35 for runners, $30 for walkers, and $15 for youth 12 and under. Prices increase to $40 and $35 for runners and walkers respectively, on the day of the race. You do not receive a race shirt if you pay on the day of the event.

Check-in and registration take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. The welcome ceremony starts at 8:45 a.m. You’ll begin the Run/Walk at 9 a.m. Following the race, stay for the closing ceremony and awards. To make a gift or join the competition, click here.

Story Time and Family Garden Walk – SF Botanical Garden – November 17 

Story Time is a suitable activity for children aged 4-8 and is free for all visitors.

This event occurs on the first and third Sunday of every month at 10:30 a.m., followed by a family garden walk that departs the Library at 11:00 a.m.

This month’s theme: Towering Trees.

BiteLife – California Academy of Sciences – November 21

All things tasty are on the menu of events for this week’s Thursday NightLife event at the Academy, which explores the science behind taste and flavor. There will be talks, demos, and plenty of samples for you to sink your teeth into.

Some of the best from all over the Bay Area will share their innovations:

  • Check out what Zero Footprint is all about.
  • UC Berkeley researchers will chat about how diet impacts the human microbiome.
  • A fan of kimchi and pickles? Fermented foods have good microbes that you’ll explore.

If you’re 21 years of age or older, you are welcome to attend this event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Proper I.D. is checked at the door.

To reserve your space, purchase tickets here.

Live Jazz and Sketching in the Galleries – de Young Museum – November 23

Mary Lou Williams and Mary Lou’s Apartment, an all-female jazz band that often highlights musical pieces by women of color, will make an appearance at Wilsey Court for a performance from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.—an event that is part of the Free Saturdays celebration of the exhibition, Soul of a Nation.

From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Koret Auditorium will show a screening of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” with a live Q & A to follow with Jimmie Fails, the co-writer and lead star of the award-winning movie.

Also, flex your sketching muscles and stop by Gallery 23 for a session of Sketching in the Galleries, which takes place every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. All materials and gallery stools are provided.

Holiday Chocolate Salon – SF County Fair Building – November 24

Calling all chocolate lovers!

If you’re looking for a place in the San Francisco Bay Area to load up on artisan, gourmet and premium sweets and chocolates, Golden Gate Park is one stop you should make. The park hosts its fall holiday chocolate salon, where you’ll come in contact with over 25 chocolatiers, confectioners, wineries, and other culinary wizards.

Some of the highlights to look forward: chocolate tastings, chef talks, and demos.

This event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adult tickets (with advance online purchase) cost $20, while a child’s ticket (6-12 years old) is priced at $10. Get your tickets here before they sell out. For more information, click here.

Priya Dreams of Marigolds Family Author Event – SF Botanical Garden – November 24

Local author-illustrator Meenal Patel shares her picture book, Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala, which highlights the special bond that grandparents and grandchildren share. Come celebrate the power of keeping traditions alive and exploring your heritage. Kids are encouraged to participate in an art activity. Books will be on sale, which you can have signed by the author.

This free event is best suited for children aged 4-8.

The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture.

Garden Free Day – SF Botanical Garden – November 28

If football isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for something to do on Turkey Day with the family, there is no charge to gain entry to the Garden on Thanksgiving Day. In case you didn’t know, the doors are also open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day—from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Turkey Trot – Polo Field – November 28

Before you hit a parade, get glued to the TV for a football game, or fill your belly with sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, why don’t you share a fun family moment at the San Francisco Turkey Trot—a tradition that’s been going on for 17 years now.

Come dressed to impress as you participate in one of the following events:

  • Turkey Trail Trot (5 miles) and Pilgrim Promenade (3 miles) – 8:40 a.m.
  • Kids Gobbler Chase (beat the turkey in a 100-meter race) – 8 a.m.

This event runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

There is a $42 registration fee for the Turkey Trail Trot and Pilgrim Promenade.

You can register online for this event here.

Happy Thanksgiving Buffet – Park Chalet – November 28

You don’t have to sweat over a hot stove on Turkey Day when the Park Chalet has a feast planned for those who prefer a buffet-style spread for this special occasion.

A sample of the Park Chalet’s Thanksgiving Day menu includes the following eats and treats:

  • Salads and sides such as buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, charred Brussels sprouts, maple-whipped sweet potatoes, and apple cranberry relish
  • A carving station with roasted turkey, roasted pork loin, and herb-crusted prime rib
  • Main selections that include baked sea bass, grilled salmon, and truffle mac & cheese
  • A seafood bar with peal-and-eat shrimp and snow crab legs
  • White Chocolate Cheesecake with raspberry confit

The cost to enjoy this festive meal is $79 per person.

Thanksgiving 3-Course Prix Fixe Meal – Beach Chalet – November 28

Savor breakfast at the Beach Chalet until noon, but afterward, a three-course prix fixe meal with select seating times takes over for the rest of the day.

Items available on this fall-favorite menu include Seafood Deviled Eggs, Pan Roasted King Salmon, Fresh Egg Pasta, Fall Harvest Salad, Kabocha Pumpkin Soup, and White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie. Wash it all down with a seasonal cocktail, like the Pumpkin Spiked Latte, made with keto coconut milk, vodka, and graham cracker sprinkle.

The 3-course prix fixe meal for adults is priced at $65 per person. There is also a 2-course prix fixe meal for children (12 and under) for $29 per kiddie; it includes a choice of roasted turkey, Atlantic salmon, and flatiron steak for the main course.

It is recommended to make a reservation, which can be done by clicking here.

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