October is a month that brings the creativity of Halloween, the changes of the fall season, and plenty of culture, activity, art, music, food, drink and things to do in Golden Gate Park. This month, you can stop by Park Chalet to bring home a limited-edition Ocean Beach Oktoberfest stein; put on your walking shoes for a good cause; and dress in your finest costume. So, what are you waiting for? Get your calendars out, and make note of the following October 2016 events at Golden Gate Park:

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – Hellman Hollow, Lindley/Marx Meadows – October 1& 2

A celebration of bluegrass music continues in the month of October with the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, where an assortment of free music awaits at one of the largest music festivals of its kind. By the end of the festival, more than 100 artists will have performed over the course of three days. The Time Jumpers (featuring Vince Gill), Dave Rawlings Machine, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Isaak, Rosanne Cash, and Pimps of Joytime are slated for Saturday and Sunday performances. The festivities open at 10 a.m. each day, holding performances at Hellman Hollow and Lindley & Marx meadows.

The Wild Bunch: Succulents, Cacti & Fat Plants – Conservatory of Flowers – October 1–16

This month, the Conservatory’s Wild Bunch exhibit will come to an end; therefore, it is your last chance to catch sight of intriguing specimens that have the ability to thrive in the most extreme, arid conditions. Come see some of the impressive colors and odd shapes that these plants are able to take on.

Golden Gate Park Band All Request Final 2016 Concert– Music Concourse – October 2

An all-request concert is scheduled to take place, where you get a chance to hear some of your all-time favorites played by the Golden Gate Park Band. The Band’s concerts are typically held every Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m. and running through 2:30 p.m. or 2:45 p.m. Performances often include singers, dancers, speakers, and costumed entertainment. After the last concert of the year, the Band will go into hibernation until April 2017; therefore, be on the lookout for another season of performances until then.

Gems and Minerals NightLife – California Academy of Science – October 6

If a night filled with all things sparkly and magical interests you, then you might want to mark your calendar for this NightLife event. Celebrate the Academy’s new Gems and Minerals exhibit, which offers 400 specimens illuminating the geology collection. Start by heading for the 3rd floor gallery to see the Gems and Minerals Unearthed Exhibit. African Hall plays host to the Gem & Mineral Expo, where a pop-up shop features gem-inspired goods from local vendors – thanks to SF Bazaar. Academy geologists at the Project Lab will be on hand to oversee you checking out specimens under a microscope. Music for the night comes courtesy of DJ Bobby McCole (Pyramid).

Thursday nights are a specialty of the Academy, and if you want to participate, you must belong to the 21 and over crowd. Tickets cost $15 for non-members and $12 for members. The festivities kick off at 6 p.m., and end around 10 p.m.

Other Thursday NightLife events planned for October 2016 include the following:

  • Oct 13: NightLife LIVE: October – Headlining the night’s festivities is Dan Deacon (8:45-9:45 p.m.), which presents experimental electro-pop music that calls for audience participation. The evening also offers a rare performance from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (7:45-8:30 p.m.), who will fill the air with saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and the Buchla Music Easel synthesizer. DJ sets from BFF.fm- Best Frequencies Forever (6:00-7:30 p.m.) also entertain for the night inside the Piazza and outside in the West Garden. Craft activities with Julia Jane Moore include Paint Pens Collective.
  • Oct 20: Yoga NightLife – Relaxation and feel-good stretches will take place throughout the Academy, where you can surround yourself with the views of the Philippine coral reef, African penguins, and under the stars. Hosted by professionals from Yoga FlowSF and Yoga Tree, it’s time to indulge in an evening filled with wellness. Throughout the night, listen to music by DJ Manitous in the Piazza. Also, keep in mind that class sizes are limited, so arrive early to secure your place.
  • Oct 27: Creatures of the NightLife (see below for more details).

Free Hippie Haven Spirit Tour – Haight-Ashbury District – October 7

Known for its hippie movement, the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco has seen its fair share of history, including the Summer of Love, antiwar demonstrations, and other notable events related to American counterculture. With this tour, you will leave from Golden Gate Park to participate in a 90-minute trek through the neighborhood, where you’ll stop by landmarks such as houses that once kept the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin cozy. At the end of the tour, have fun with a complimentary card reading. It costs $10 to participate in this event. The tour begins at 6 p.m. with participants meeting at Stanyan Street and Haight Street.

To purchase a ticket, click here.

Friday Nights: Made in California – deYoung Museum – October 7

Gather at the museum to enjoy a night filled with innovative digital paint technology, as Live Projected Touchscreen Painting held at Wilsey Court (6 p.m.) will also incorporate the Ed Ruscha and the Great American West exhibit, which allows visitors to experience the Touchjet POND projector and the Corel Painter Mobile app alongside others. Thanks to a partnership with Cine+Mas (who happen to be presenters of the San Francisco Latino Film Festival), a film screening of Made in Califas centers on shorts by California filmmakers, and will be held at Koret Auditorium (7 p.m.).

Friday Night events at deYoung Museum are held from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., which present a mix of culture, art, music, dance, live performances, and other engaging forms of entertainment. The events are free, and appeal to visitors of all ages.

Other Friday Nights to look forward to in October 2016 include the following:

  • Oct 14: Artistic Revolution is Everywhere: In addition to live music from Classical Revolution, there will also be a film screening of the movie ‘Labyrinth’ featuring the late, great David Bowie, who played the Goblin King.
  • Oct 21: Our Beloved Cool Grey City of Love, San Francisco: Prepare for an evening with live music brought to you by The Musical Art Quintet, whose performance is composed by Sascha Jacobsen and commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission. What makes this event even more memorable is the special guest appearance by Gary Kamiya (author of Cool Grey City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco).
  • Oct 28: Dance with Fire: Halloween Dance Party (see below for more details)

Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – October 8

The SF Botanical Garden’s monthly plant sale kicks off at 10 a.m. and will continue on until 1 p.m., where you can purchase trees, ferns, and rhododendrons for your home or garden. The sale will be held at the Nursery, which can be accessed from the Main Gate.

Paper Pumpkin Patch – Little Red Barn by the Children’s Playground – October 9

The Friends of Sharon Art Studio (FOSAS) is holding fall festivities centered on Halloween and Harvest-themed crafts. You will find all of the fun at the Little Red Barn by the Children’s Playground, which is right behind the Sharon Art Studio. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is free for all to enjoy. Please note that children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

‘Old Car Picnic’ – Hellman Hollow – October 15

Formerly known as Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic, locals have been showing off their cars in the 1987 or older range at Hellman Hollow (once known as Speedway Meadow) for 27 years now. This free event is easing into its 28th year with an all-day affair that kicks off at 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. with camera-worthy rides, people bringing their picnic lunch/BBQ to eat, and lots of fun in between. Today, this event is recognized as the largest and longest running show of its kind in San Francisco, and it’s an ideal time to catch sight of spectacular cars, trucks, and motorcycles of all kinds.

Oktoberfest – Park Chalet – October 15

If beer, Bavarian pretzels, and a celebration of the German culture sound like a fun-filled Saturday afternoon, don’t forget to stop by the Park Chalet for their annual Oktoberfest celebration. Entertaining attendees will be German oom-pah band Deutsche Musikverein of San Francisco (playing from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Every half hour, you can join in on the sing-alongs of well-known German songs. To purchase your ticket, click here (while available tickets last).

Full Moon Walk – SF Botanical Garden – October 15

This month’s walk will center on the theme of Delicious to Defensive – Plant Adaptations for Consumption or Avoidance, where you’ll learn about the different ways in which plants protect themselves in the wild. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight so you don’t miss any of the action. Heavy rain will cancel the event. To ensure your space, it is highly recommended to pre-register, as these types of programs have a tendency to sell out quickly. Light refreshments will be served during this event, which is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. The cost to enjoy this event is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

Vintage Paper Fair – SF County Fair Building – October 15 & 16

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can take in the sights of the Vintage Paper Fair – a two-day gathering that will feature the largest assortment of antique postcards, trade cards, stereoviews, photography, labels, brochures,  advertising, pin up girl art, Victorian transportation, sports memorabilia, local history, and all things centered on old paper…in the Bay Area. It’s free to enjoy this event, which runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. If you like, bring your treasures along for a free appraisal. You will find the County Fair Building Hall of Flowers located at 9th Ave & Lincoln Way.

Coastal Cruising Bike Ride – California Academy of Sciences – October 16

Let the ocean breezes hit your face and refresh your mind as you ride along Pacific Coast Highway 1 from Ocean Beach to Pacifica State Beach. Riders will experience the beauty of Golden Gate Park during this trip with a route that also includes Great Highway and Skyline Blvd. One of the pit stops during this ride is to have pastries at Trouble Coffee on Judah Street. If you are interested, meet in front of California Academy of Sciences. The route equals about 30 miles with an average pace of 10-12 mph. The ride begins at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled to last until 1 p.m. For more information and to RVSP for this outing, click here. It is free to RSVP, and it costs $35 to purchase a San Francisco Bike Coalition membership.

A Presentation and Garden Walk – SF Botanical Garden – October 22

Join photographer and photo-artist Stephen Kane for an outing that touches upon uncomplicated camera techniques that you can use when exploring the gorgeous colors of the fall season. During your walk in the Botanical Garden, you will encounter the cloud forest flowers and breathtaking landscapes. You will learn about light, color, contrast and composition, in addition to tips and tricks that will enhance your photography skills. Don’t forget to bring your camera along, and be prepared for the Q & A that follows the walk. Only 20 attendees can participate in this event, so it is suggested to pre-register to ensure your space. Contact [email protected] to register. This event is free with garden admission, and will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Halloween Fundraiser Haunted Hollow – Sharon Studio – October 22

All for a worthy cause, participating in a fundraising event has never been so devilishly good. Sharon Studio is hosting an event packed with demonstrations, tarot card readings, door prizes, and complimentary cider and treats to keep you going. Live music will serve as entertainment, as the kiddies get their face painted or you take a snapshot in the ‘spooky’ photo booth. This event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Sharon Art Studio (300 Bowling Green Drive), which is near the Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park.

Those who come dressed in a costume will get a chance to win a basket of art supplies and other goodies. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards the Friends of Sharon Art Studio, as well as benefit the Sharon Art Studio building and community. The cost to participate is $6 for members and $12 for non-members.

Walk to End Lupus Now – Music Concourse – October 23

Joining the Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk to End Lupus Now® event in San Francisco, means that you will participate in the largest lupus walk program in the U.S. Thousands of locals will gather to raise funds for lupus research, increase awareness of the condition, and show public support for those affected by lupus. Check-in for the event is 7:30 a.m. with the walk kicks off at 10 a.m. To register for the walk, call 877-910-9779.

Creatures of the NightLife – California Academy of Science – October 27

In collaboration with the Bay Area Science Festival, the Academy has an evening planned that allows you to unleash your inner monster. It’s the annual Halloween extravaganza which includes a tour of a ‘haunted museum’ filled with scientific wonders that put mad scientists to shame. A drag show unfolds throughout the night, and if you’re lucky enough, you might take first prize in the costume contest. The Planetarium opens up to host a special Haunted Tour of the Night Sky. Julia Jane Moore will also be on hand to help you make a Halloween-themed craft. Music for the night will be provided by DJ Omar of Popscene in the Piazza.

Dance with Fire: Halloween Dance Party – de Young Museum – October 28

As part of Friday Nights at de Young weekly events, traditional Northeastern Brazilian style dance takes center stage for this event. Bruno and Michelle Solis will be on hand to give Forró and Samba de Gafieira dance lessons, with the sounds of live Bahavian carnaval music by Dandara Odara and Pragandaia band providing a musical backdrop for the evening. This event runs from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., and is free for all to enjoy. You are also encouraged to come in costume for this event.

Pet Pride Day – Sharon Meadow – October 30

To celebrate the companionship that our four-legged, feathered and furry friends give to us, Pet Pride Day is an event that also helps give a home to those without a family to call their own. Some of the festivities to look forward to include a runway show, costume contest, dog tricks, and a raffle. This event is scheduled to run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. And good news, if you’re looking to adopt a pet, fees are waived during this event. For more information, you can check out http://friendsofsfacc.org/petprideday/.

SF Mad Dash 5K Costume Run – Transverse & Kennedy Drives – October 30

If you’re looking for another reason to dress up for Halloween, keep in mind that from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Golden Gate Park will play host to the fifth annual SF Mad Dash. Here, you can join locals in a walk, run or people-watching for a good cause. All proceeds go towards benefitting the Sunset Coop Nursery School. All registered runners for this event get a race-timed, numbered bib and goody bag. An after-party follows at the Polo Field with post-race fun that includes prizes for runners, a costume contest, raffle, music, a bounce house, and activities for the kiddies. For more details, check out http://sfmaddash.com. The cost to participates is $30-$40.