If you’re feelin’ the itch to attend a music festival this month, then Golden Gate Park is ready to help you scratch it. One of the largest festivals of its kind comes to the park for its 19th year, and you’ll have three days to be one of the over 750,000 anticipated attendees to visit. In between honoring military service and fall celebrations, there will also be Golden Gate Park events in October that’ll please vegetarians, old car lovers, pint drinkers, and Halloween fanatics.
Guided Trail & Nature Walk – Stow Lake – October 5
Every first Saturday, locals gather at Stow Lake to enjoy an exploration of nature and a relaxing walk about the park. It’s an ideal time to stay healthy, breathe in the fresh air, and catch sight of Mother Nature’s lil’ creatures. Walks are free. They start at 10 a.m. and end around 12 p.m. There is no need to pre-register, simply meet at the Boathouse before the adventure begins.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – Hellman Hollow, Lindley & Marx Meadows – October 4, 5 & 6
One of the largest festivals in the country calls Golden Gate Park home. Every year, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass sets up shop for three days, stretching mounds of talent across seven stages. Over 90 artists will entertain during this free party. Each day, the meadows welcome the crowds at 9 a.m. This year, there are four entrances you may use: JFK Drive and Transverse Drive; Fulton Street and 30th Avenue; JFK Drive and 36th Avenue; and South Polo Field.
If you’re wondering just who to expect this year at the festival, here’s just a taste of who is scheduled to hit the stage:
- Friday: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Kronos Quartet’s Music For Change: Pete Seeger, & The Milk Carton Kids
- Saturday: Calexico And Iron & Wine, Hot Buttered Rum, The New Pornographers, Robert Earl Keen, Robert Plant, & Steve Earle & The Dukes
- Sunday: Emmylou Harris, Fantastic Negrito, Jackie Greene, Michael Nesmith, Kurt Vile and The Violators, Meat Puppets, & Punch Brothers
To get your hands on a complete, printable show schedule, click here.
Final Golden Gate Park Band Concert of 2019 – Spreckels Temple of Music – October 6
All good things must come to an end…but only for this 2019 season.
The Golden Gate Park Band is hosting the last concert of the year, which closes out its 137th season at the park. As always, this performance is free and open to the public. It starts at 1 p.m. and runs for about 90 minutes.
The theme for this season finale is “Remembering 1969.”
Tablet Weaving with the SFPL Bookmobile – SF Botanical Garden – October 7
The SFPL bookmobile makes a stop at the Garden to present an exploration in ancient tablet weaving, where participants will learn how to assemble, thread, and operate the portable weaving loom. This form of art is known to create intricate patterns with just a simple turn. After the program, stick around to browse about the Garden and explore the fibrous plants that are perfect for weaving. This event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. There is no cost to participate.
Pints and Plants: Kokedama Workshop – SF Botanical Garden – October 10
It’s not every day that you get to sip, socialize, and create something unique all at the same time. This hands-on botanical workshop takes a look at kokedama (which translates into “moss ball”). It’s a traditional Japanese gardening technique that dates back centuries. You will receive instruction on how to create your own using an assortment of lovely houseplants. In the end, you’ll have something you can display on tables or hang from a string.
All the materials (plus two drink tickets, alcoholic or non-alcoholic) are included in your ticket price. The price of admission is $45.
The workshop is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
To purchase tickets, click here.
NightLife LIVE: Nick Hakim – California Academy of Sciences – October 10
Welcome to the final installment of NightLife LIVE for 2019, co-presented by Noise Pop.
Come hear a live performance by Brooklyn musician Nick Hakim, whose specialty in experimental soul music is sure to set a relaxing mood for the evening. Soprano Kadhja Bonet opens for Hakim; she’ll offer a blend of jazz, folk, and soul music. Other music comes courtesy of a DJ set by Arumi & Lil Waifu. Between sets, take in the interactive AR (augmented reality) art app from NightLife LIVE artist-in-residence Maggie West. Browse pop-up shops from local artisans, screen-print a shirt or take home a curated selection of vinyl.
This event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the 21+ crowd.
To purchase tickets to any of the above events, click here.
Litquake at the Garden – Redwood Grove at SF Botanical Garden – October 12
It’s a gathering of authors! The Redwood Grove plays host to an afternoon of discussions with two separate events. The first, Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees, runs from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Author Harley Rustad will touch upon a host of issues, ranging from First Nations land and resource rights to the turmoil of the logging industry.
The second discussion (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) features two authors, fiction writer Peg Alford Pursell (who penned A Girl Goes Into the Forest) and Leslie Carol Roberts, who wrote the eco-memoir, Here is Where I Walk. They will speak on how forests and all of their “mysteries” play a role in their work.
These events are free when you have a ticket to the Garden.
Fall Plant Sale – SF Botanical Garden – October 12-13
If you’re looking for greenery to liven up your autumn décor, the Garden is hosting one of their more extensive plant sales of the year. For two days, the public is invited to browse and buy specimens from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Full Moon Walk – SF Botanical Garden – October 13
The flowers and foliage of the Garden have a whole different glow to them when viewed in the light of a full moon. If you haven’t experienced this docent-led, after-hours tour yet, it’s about time that you make a night of it. Bring along a flashlight, so you don’t miss a thing. Heavy rain cancels this event but is still on if the sky is foggy.
This event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tickets are $28 for members and $30 for non-members.
You can buy tickets for the walk here.
Sound Meditation in the Garden: Full Moon Welcome – SF Botanical Garden – October 13
If you need a bit of relaxation, the Garden has an event planned that could help.
A mix of nature, fresh air, and the sounds of healing instruments all work together to create a peaceful atmosphere. Sound meditation helps the body and mind destress. Clear the mind with a wave of sounds that include chimes, crystal bowls, ocean wave drums, and planetary gongs.
The meditation takes place in the outdoors on the grass. It’s recommended to bring along a yoga mat, blanket, or pillow. This event is from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Prepare to be on the ground for at least an hour. The cost of tickets is $14-$25, which can be purchased here.
34th Annual Run for Vision 5k – Peacock Meadow – October 13
Join ophthalmologists, eye bankers, donor family members, and corneal transplant recipients as they show their support for the Eye Bank Association of America’s sight-restoring mission. As a participant, 100% of your registration fee goes towards the cause. The top three finishers in each age category (female and male) will earn medals, and all runners go home with a complimentary long-sleeved commemorative running shirt.
This event runs from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The cost to run or walk in this 5K is $50.
For more details and to register, click here.
Fleet Week High School Band Challenge – Spreckels Temple of Music – October 14
The 39th annual Fleet Week airshow and festival is held from October 6 to October 14. It’s a free celebration that honors the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. In San Francisco, it holds the title for the largest annual civic-sponsored event. Golden Gate Park plays a role in the festivities by hosting the Fleet Week High School Band Challenge, which this year, sees top Bay Area High School bands compete head-to-head for cash prizes of more than $28,000.
Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division Band will also be on hand to entertain the crowds with upbeat, patriotic tunes. This event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Seismic NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – October 17
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Academy is hosting a night filled with ’80s culture and a trip back into time, when seismic matters were prime. You’ll have historic images to view, discussions with earthquake experts, and intriguing fossil specimens straight from the Academy’s collection and the University of California Museum of Paleontology. And before you leave for the night, don’t forget to hit the Piazza dance floor to shake, rattle, and roll to music provided by New Wave City DJs.
To attend this event, you must be at least 21 years old. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the fun winding down by 10 p.m. To purchase tickets for this event, click here.
Botanicals and Brews: Rare and Unusual – Conservatory of Flowers – October 18
Looking for a fun night out?
Enjoy an intimate close-up with the Conservatory’s rare and unusual plant collection with a unique brew in hand. The Rare Barrel and Berryessa Brewing Company will share their tasty creations, which you’ll have a chance to pair with food truck edibles from Curry Up Now and Aunty Vickys. Throughout the night, learn about some plant favorites in the galleries. A
This event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is for the 21-and-over crowd.
General admission ($29) includes a complimentary craft brew, while the Master Brewer package ($49) offers up one flight of four sample brews and a take-home souvenir glass.
To purchase tickets, click here.
Cirque d’Art – Sharon Art Studios – October 19
Welcome to the Studio’s 4th annual Halloween-themed fundraiser, where you’ll enjoy an evening filled with a silent auction, tarot readings, live music, face painting, and unique prize drawings. Sip on a spooky cocktail (or mocktail). Slip a few spine-tingling treats. Play a few games.
You are encouraged to come in costume, but it’s not a requirement. Those who do are entered to win a spook-tacular art prize. This affair runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards supporting the Friends of Sharon Art Studio, the Sharon Art Studio building, and art community.
Get your tickets in advance online: $15 for members and $25 for non-members. At the door, tickets are $20 for members and $30 for non-members.
Free Saturdays: Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month – de Young museum – October 19
In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), de Young hosts a reading and book signing with the authors of two children’s books that touch upon the hardships, difficulties, and everyday contributions of the disabled. You’ll explore race, disability, poverty, and homelessness all at once.
Gather in the Piazzoni Mural Room from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Seating for the author discussion and book reading is limited and runs on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating tickets are distributed an hour before the event starts in front of the Koret Theater. Throughout the day, other activities, art-making fun, and tours will be held.
San Francisco Old Car Picnic – Hellman Hollow – October 19
Come celebrate the 31st annual gathering of classic cars in Golden Gate Park.
This event takes place at Hellman Hollow (formally known as Historic Speedway Meadow) and welcomes vehicles that are 1994 or older. Spectators are free, but there are fees for cars and trucks ($40), motorcycles ($20), and bicycles ($10). The event is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the car show go towards benefitting programs for the developmentally disabled. For more information on this event, click here.
Walk to End Lupus Now – GGP Music Concourse – October 20
An estimated 1.5 million Americans are affected by lupus, an autoimmune disease characterized by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues and organs. To help raise money for lupus research, spread awareness, and increase public support, why not join the Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk to End Lupus Now in San Francisco? Participants travel along the 2-mile route; let your support be seen and felt.
Check-in for the walk is 8:30 a.m. with a 9:30 a.m. ceremony to follow. The walk begins at 10 a.m. To register, click here for more information.
Celebration Garden Ribbon-Cutting – San Francisco Botanical Garden – October 23
The Celebration Garden has undergone a transformation, and the SF Botanical Garden is ready to reveal the changes. Come see iconic plants and other delightful specimens from the Garden’s collections. You are invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for this Garden, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s free to attend. Simply RSVP by October 18.
Cyberspace NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – October 24
The star of the night is the Internet, with all of its creative mysteries and endless entertainment.
Cat lovers will enjoy the CatVideoFest, a screening of the funniest, wittiest, and most purr-fect feline videos that you’ll find online. If you like things on the “darker” side, cybersecurity expert Betsy Cooper (who used to work at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) will be on hand to discuss how investigations are run when computers, networks, and data are investigated. SCRAP hosts an analog meme-making station for the night.
Party on with music by Turbo Drive DJs.
This event is for the 21-and-over crowd with the fun lasting from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Get your ticket today by visiting here.
World Veg Fest – SF County Fair Building – October 26
The San Francisco Veg Society is hosting the 20th annual World Veg Fest, where a new crop of entertainment, food, speakers, chefs, exhibitors, and activities is planned for the entire family. Watch a cooking demo and discover new brands with free samples. Make new friends. Come learn about the different ways you can enhance your health. Other topics of discussion include animal rights, social justice, and the environment.
This event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information and purchase tickets, click here.
Free Saturdays: District Highlight (SCRAP & Chula Productions) – de Young museum – October 26
Every month, de Young devotes a Saturday to highlighting one of the many colorful districts in San Francisco. In October, it’s District 10’s turn to shine. Let’s get your creative juices flowing with a creative reuse project with Chula Productions. Use materials such as plastic pony beads, metal charms, split rings, spring snaps, and twine to craft a lanyard. All of the items for this jewelry making project comes from SCRAP, a non-profit creative reuse center situated in the Bayview District. Join in on the fun from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Wilsey Court.
Charity and the JAMband Family Concert – Park Chalet – October 27
Are you ready to “jam?” Come to the park’s open-air eatery where families have been gathering on the lawn for years—to hear favorite songs, feel the laughter, and dance their hearts out. The JAMBand Family Festival has been held for years at the Chalet. It involves a blend of handmade music and dance, delicious food, and fun for all ages. The festivities kick off at 3 p.m.
Creatures of the NightLife – California Academy of Sciences – October 31
Here’s a special event that usually sells out fast, so it’s suggested to snag a ticket early!
Come dressed to impress with a costume worthy of the craziness that the Academy’s annual Halloween celebration is known to bring. Heklina and live drag show performances aren’t the only highlights for the evening. There’s a costume contest you can participate in that’ll take place outside on the West Garden stage.
Also, local horror legend Lord Blood-Rah will host a showing of movie clips from scary films in African Hall. Get haunted by live storytelling of ghost stories, including near-death experiences. Expect creative eats and refreshments. Let Omar Perez get you in the mood to party all night long with his DJ skills. In the Philippine Coral Reef, don’t forget to take a snapshot of the interactive Dia de Los Muertos altar.
You must be at least 21 years old to attend this event, which from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.