SAN FRANCISCO — Golden Gate Park, one of the world’s most iconic park destinations, is turning 146 years old on Monday. Nearly a century-and-a-half ago, park engineer William Hammond Hall and master gardener John McLaren carved out an urban oasis from a vast, windswept expanse of sand dunes. The result: a verdant, horticulturally diverse and picturesque public park where city residents can relax and reconnect with nature. To celebrate the birthday, admission to the Japanese Tea Garden will be free on Monday.
Within Golden Gate Park’s 1,017 acres (174 larger than New York’s Central Park) are gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, monuments, plus an array of cultural venues, events, and activities. The park includes many opportunities for learning at the newly remodeled California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers, and San Francisco Botanical Garden.
“This park inspires people from all over the world to come visit our great city. That’s why I run it every morning,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Rec & Park. “I’d like to look that good at 146.”
Other popular areas in the park include the Sharon Art Studio, Stow Lake, the AIDS Memorial Grove, Beach Chalet, Dutch Windmills, Anglers Lodge, Koret Children’s Quarter and Carousel, Oak Woodlands Natural Areas, Golden Gate Park Senior Center, Golden Gate Park Golf Course, the Bison Paddock and the newly renovated Beach Chalet Athletic Fields at the west end of the park. Besides the Polo Field, Kezar Stadium and other large meadows for sport, there are archery fields, a 21-court tennis complex and a disc golf course.
The park is also home to many citywide events including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Outside Lands, Bay to Breakers, the AIDS Walk, The San Francisco Marathon and the San Francisco Transamerica Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon which occurs this weekend.
In addition, JFK Drive is closed to vehicle traffic on certain stretches for park users to walk, run, or roll through the park:
-Saturdays – From April (starting this weekend) through September, JFK is closed to vehicle traffic from 8th Ave to Transverse Drive
-Sundays and Holidays – JFK is closed to vehicle traffic from Kezar Drive to Transverse Drive
The park welcomes an estimated 13 million visitors each year.
To see a full guide to Golden Gate Park, visit: http://sfrecpark.org/parks-open-spaces/golden-gate-park-guide/
This weekend, in honor of Golden Gate Park’s 146th Birthday, visit one of the many cultural institutions:
Japanese Tea Garden: Daily 9:00a.m. – 6:00p.m. (FREE ADMISSION ON MONDAY, APRIL 4)
San Francisco Botanical Gardens: Daily 7:30a.m. – 6:00p.m.
Conservatory of Flowers: Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.
California Academy of Sciences: Open Monday – Saturday 9:30a.m. – 5:00p.m. & Sunday 11:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
De Young Museum: Open Tuesday – Sunday 9:30a.m. – 5:15p.m
Herschell – Spillman Carousel: Friday – Sunday 10:00a.m. – 4:30p.m. (Last Ride 4:15)
Music Concourse & Spreckels Temple of Music: Daily 5:00a.m. – 12a.m.
Sharon Art Studio: Monday – Friday 9:00a.m.-5p.m.
Bison Feeding Times: Varies. Generally sometime between 11a.m. – 2p.m.
Additionally, volunteers commit dozens of hours to volunteer work parties within Golden Gate Park each weekend. This weekend, the Friends of Kezar Triangle will be hosting a Saturday work party from 9am-12pm. To learn more about volunteer events, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org