Golden Gate Park turns 150. Find out what special events are going on and how to celebrate all year long.

You are here

March 11, 2020

Experience Golden Gate Park's 150th Anniversary

Golden Gate Park will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020, but some event dates are subject to change. Bookmark this page and be sure to check regularly for updates.

Golden Gate Park has stood as a symbol of natural beauty since its conception in 1870. It has become one of the most visited parks in America, welcoming more than 24 million visitors annually. On Apr. 4, 2020, the park will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a special park-wide Community Day. There will be special events held throughout the year. Here are a few of them.

Upcoming Exhibitions at de Young Museum

Three highly anticipated exhibitions will be on view at the de Young Museum in 2020. Through Oct. 25, see "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI", the first major exhibition in the U.S. to explore the relationship between humans and intelligent machines through an artistic lens.

Discover how politics, gender, disability, and national identity influenced Frida Kahlo's diverse modes of creativity in "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving", on view from Mar. 21 to Jul. 26. A collection of Kahlo's photographs, vibrant Tehuana costumes from her wardrobe, and other personal items will be on view.

See Judy Chicago's retrospective spanning her early works from the 1960s to the present day. "Judy Chicago: A Retrospective" includes around 150 art works and archival material that pay homage to an artist that has spent a lifetime fighting against the suppression of women's creativity. This exhibition will be on view May 9-Sept. 7.

BUY TICKETS TO DE YOUNG MUSEUM

Community Day on Apr. 4

More than 150 events and activities will be free for all visitors on Apr. 4 to celebrate Golden Gate Park's birthday. Free admission to iconic museums the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum will be offered on Community Day. Visitors can also explore the Japanese Tea Gardens free of cost and see the unveiling of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Free shuttle service to-and-from the park will also be available on this day.

150-Foot Ferris Wheel

An illuminated, 150-foot ferris wheel is among the many attractions being planned for Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary. It will be open to the public beginning on Apr. 4 and operate through Mar. 1, 2021. The wheel features 26 fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas that seat up to six passengers and will be found in the Music Concourse.

Bay to Breakers

Bring your most wacky costumes for Bay to Breakers, San Francisco's celebrated annual 12K race, on May 31. Whether you're planning to be a runner or an onlooker, the race always lends itself to an entertaining experience for all. It'll begin downtown and will run through Golden Gate Park before reaching the finish line along the Great Highway.

BEST AREAS TO STAY FOR BAY TO BREAKERS

Music, Events, and Entertainment

Jun. 17 will be an evening of musical and artistic inspiration at the Conservatory of Flowers. The Surrealistic Summer Solstice Concert combines music and light art to transform the Conservatory into an illuminated landmark for an experience like no other. This event is free to the public and visitors are welcome to lay down a blanket for the light show.

Those with an appreciation for music and the outdoors will have the opportunity to listen to and play one of the twelve pianos scattered throughout Golden Gate Park during the annual Flower Piano. This event celebrates its fifth year at the Botanical Garden and will feature special events for Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary including the new Flower Piano at Sunset, three evenings of Flower Piano at Night, a special after dark event with food trucks and outdoor bars, and much more.

Discover Outside Lands, Aug. 7-9. This celebration of music, art, food, and more brings thousands of visitors to Golden Gate Park each year.  The music festival's 2020 lineup will be announced at a later date.

Ring in the new season of San Francisco Opera with Opera in the Park on Oct. 18, a free outdoor concert dedicated to celebrating community and artistry. It's the perfect opportunity to get a sneak peak of the performers who will be headlining this fall's shows.

Everyone needs a good laugh, and what better way to get your fix than at Comedy Day on Sept. 13? This nonprofit event rounds up nearly 40 of America's funniest comedians for a free day of entertainment.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is also celebrating a milestone in 2020. Now in its 20th year, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass returns to Golden Gate Park, Oct. 2-4. Join thousands of music fans from around the world at this free music festival.

AIDS Walk and Other Memorial Events

The AIDS Walk San Francisco will take place on Jul. 19. This 10K fundraising walk starting and ending in Golden Gate Park benefits Ward 86 at San Francisco General Hospital, Project Open Hand, and HIV/AIDS programs and services throughout the Bay Area.

Visitors can also see portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt on public display in Golden Gate Park from Apr. 3-5, 2020. The 1,920 panels that make up the quilt reflects the stories of those affected by HIV/AIDS in the past decade.

Held on the eve of World AIDS Day (Nov. 20), Light in the Grove is an opportunity to commemorate the lives of people who have died from AIDS. There will be a moving candlelight reflection at the Circle of Friends, the heart of the Memorial, and a walk through the illuminated Redwood Grove into a banquet tent. Inside, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a buffet dinner will be served.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOLDEN GATE PARK

You may also like