While it’s the season for rulers, pencils and notebooks, Golden Gate Park is here to make sure you find the time to unwind and enjoy one of the best parks in the nation. Get your calendars out and plan for a month full of music, art and excitement. September 2011 events at Golden Gate Park are jam-packed with an assortment of activities and celebrations to keep visitors and locals of all ages entertained.

SF Zine Fest – September 3 & 4

Head for the San Francisco County Fair Building to enjoy a free event (from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) centered on highlighting the talent of interesting writers, cartoonists and illustrators. The 10th Annual San Francisco Zine Fest will feature more than 150 writers, cartoonists, crafters, illustrators, printmakers, and other artists. Activities to look forward to include bookbinding and screen printing workshops. Panels showcase graphic journalists and the bike culture. For more information, check out http://www.sfzinefest.org/.

“Doin’ It In the Park” DJ Festival & Free BBQ – September 4

Looking for a free Labor Day barbeque this weekend? Consider the festivities taking place from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Marx Meadow (located off Fulton in between 25th and 30th). Expect live DJs, hot dogs, burgers, games, and kid-friendly activities.

Labor Day Symphony Concert – September 5

Spreckels Temple of Music will host a Labor Day concert at 1 p.m. Other Golden Gate Park Band performances (same time and place) include the celebration of Ireland for Robert Emmet Day (Sept 18) and a tribute to the music of Spain with El Grupo de Espana (Sept 25).

Free Admission Days – September 6

Free entry to de Young Museum (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and the Conservatory of Flowers (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) is offered on the first Tuesday of each month.

Learn to Transform Your Sidewalk Into a Garden – September 10

The County Fair Building and SF Botanical Garden Society have joined forces with the SF Department of Public Works to provide free Saturday workshops that teach you how to “green” your sidewalk. Workshops start at 9 a.m. and will give you step-by-step instructions on ways to create a garden on your sidewalk. Learn how to work with drought tolerant plants, maximize your sunny spaces, and choose trees. Direct any questions you may have to project manager Mike Gonzalez at 415-661-1316 (x456). Upcoming workshops include Oct 8 and Nov 12.

Opera in the Park – September 11

Enjoy the sounds of the San Francisco Opera as they fill Sharon Meadow with a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. This is the perfect time to enjoy a picnic at Golden Gate Park. Sharon Meadow is located on the east side of the park just north of Kezar Stadium. The free concert starts at 1:30 p.m.

California Academy of Sciences “Neighborhood Free Days” – September 16, 17, 18

Enjoy free entry to the California Academy of Sciences if you are a resident of the following neighborhoods: Chinatown, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, and Marina. Don’t forget to bring along a valid photo ID with proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, utility bill, and bank statement.

Orchids in the Park – September 17 & 18

Starting at 10 a.m., the SF County Fair Building will host a two-day affair centered on the beauty of the orchid. Come to take in the sights or bring a few home. This is your chance to browse rare orchid species and other lovely blooms. Proceeds will benefit orchid conservation and the Conservatory of Flowers. There will also be demonstrations, lectures, and a raffle. Admission is seniors ($4), children ($3), and children 16 and under are free.

Comedy Day in the Park – September 18

Looking for a good belly ache….and not from eating too much? Comedy Day in the Park is a free event that will take place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Sharon Meadow. Alongside some of San Francisco’s funniest, the occasional secret guest (like Robin Williams) takes the time to make an appearance. You are treated to 40 comedians within this five-hour stretch.

“Tour de Fat” Bike & Beer Festival – September 24

With events and sights, such as a bike parade and marching band, many people come out to enjoy the Bike & Beer Festival held at Golden Gate Park. This free event will take place at Lindley Meadow from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Alice Now & Zen Fest 2011 – September 25

Golden Gate Park is known for hosting many free music events, including the Alice Now & Zen Fest that offers an entertaining outing for adults. This year, expect the sounds of the Goo Goo Dolls and Michelle Branch amongst others. Come out to Speedway Meadow and help Alice 97.3 celebrate the end of the summer. Don’t forget to bring a little pocket change to spend with the vendors and specialty booths. Last year, the event was held from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – September 30, October 1 & 2

Let the sounds of banjos soothe the soul, as the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass kicks off on September 30 – offering one of the biggest music festivals in the country. No need to purchase tickets – just settle in front of one of six stages to enjoy hundreds of bands and performers. If you don’t like crowds and good music, this is certainly not the event for you. The festival will be held at Speedway, Lindley & Marx Meadows at Golden Gate Park.

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