- EXPLORE OUR PARKS
- Golden Gate Park
- Recreation and Activities
Recreation and Activities
Get out and play in Golden Gate Park! There are 1,001 different ways to enjoy our park, from active recreation like basketball, soccer and jogging, to more passive activities like lawn bowling, horseshoes and model yacht sailing. Our playgrounds, including the flagship Koret Children's Quarter, are some of the most popular in the city.
47th Avenue and Fulton | Map It
The archery field in Golden Gate Park is one of those wonderful park gems that leaves you asking yourself how you never discovered it before. Located at the west end of the park, the field is open to archers of all skill levels-- from beginner to marksman. The field includes nine hay bales for shared use; archers should bring their own targets, bows and arrows. Use of the field is free and is based on a first come, first served basis. More info
Equipment can be rented nearby, and Rec and Park offers lessons and camps for all ages and abilities.
|Basketball at the Panhandle|
Fell and Clayton streets | Map It
The Nate Thurmond Basketball Courts at the Panhandle are some of the city’s most popular and iconic, where athletes will find spirited games of pick-up hoops against a backdrop of mature trees, a children’s playground, and the sound of traffic from busy Oak and Fell streets. The courts were resurfaced in 2016 through a partnership with the Golden State Warriors and The Good Tidings Foundation. The courts are named in honor of longtime NBA and Warriors player Nate Thurmond, who was a beloved community ambassador and champion of youth sports.
|Beach Chalet Athletic Fields|
John F. Kennedy Drive at the west end of the park | Map It
The popular Beach Chalet Athletic Fields complex, renovated in 2015 through a partnership with the City Fields Foundation, includes synthetic turf and lights, tripling the amount of playtime on the fields to more than 14,000 hours annually and dramatically increasing public access. The four synthetic turf fields accommodate a wide range of sports, including soccer, and save about six million gallons of water each year. Facility amenities, including picnic areas and a play structure, encourage a safe, family-friendly environment for park visitors. Fields can be reserved, or stop by and kick the ball around during open play hours. More info
|Big Rec Baseball Fields|
100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive | Map It
Generations of youth baseball players have spent time on these fields, which host camps and youth league and school games throughout the year. The Bay Area Vintage Base Ball league, which plays under 1886 rules using vintage baseball equipment. Big Rec is available for rent through our Permits and Reservations division.
|Disc Golf Course|
Marx Meadow, off of JFK Drive | Map It
San Francisco’s first disc golf course is located in Golden Gate Park near Marx Meadow. A tightly wooded 18-hole course, this course is fun for beginners and a challenge for experts. Players use an array of discs instead of balls and clubs to aim for their designated targets, chain-linked baskets arranged throughout the course. The course was expanded to its permanent, 18-hole course in 2007. More info
970 47th Ave. | Map It
This nine-hole, par-3 golf course is certain to provide players with a unique and memorable experience. With holes ranging from under 100 yards up to 200 yards, the course is considered the ideal course for the beginning or weekend golfer. Experienced players seeking to refine their short game will also find the course a robust challenge. With something for everyone, this course is the perfect setting to learn, refine, or simply enjoy the game of golf. Tee Time Reservations can be made by calling the Pro Shop at (415) 751-8987 or by visiting goldengateparkgolf.com
Nancy Pelosi Drive near Big Rec | Map It
The Big Rec Handball Courts site is a hidden gem, tucked away behind Big Rec’s baseball diamonds. Those who discover this quiet, peaceful area of the park will enjoy two indoor and two outdoor courts. Use of these facilities is free and on a first come, first served basis. Bring your own equipment.
|Kezar Stadium and Pavilion|
670 Kezar Drive | Map It
Historic Kezar Stadium and Pavilion have been the sites of some amazing sports moments over the years. The original stadium was home to the San Francisco 49ers for 25 years, and the adjacent pavilion has hosted numerous sporting events, including basketball, roller derby, boxing and wrestling matches. Today, the stadium, which was renovated to its current configuration in 1990, hosts a wide array of sporting events, from school track and field meets to the annual high school Turkey Bowl championship football game. When not hosting sporting events, the track is a popular site for runners and joggers. More Kezar Stadium and Kezar Pavilion info
1232 John F. Kennedy Drive | Map It
Soccer players, cyclists and joggers flock to this large expanse, where there’s plenty of room to stretch their legs and get their exercise in. The field area consists of seven soccer pitches, hosting a number of youth and adult soccer league games throughout the year. The cycle track is .67 miles (1 km) long, and is used by everyday cyclists and advanced cyclists for training. A .75-mile-long dirt track sits above the cycle track, and is a popular destination for both runners and horseback riders. The Polo Field is also the site of the annual Outside Lands Music + Arts Festival and several other civic events throughout the year. More info
John F. Kennedy Drive near 6th Ave. | Map It
Roller skating will always have a special place in Golden Gate Park’s heart, and that place is Skatin’ Place, a small paved area dedicated to folks on skates or blades. Throughout the week, particularly on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, the music is pumping and a whole community of skaters comes out to meet new friends and groove to the beats, creating a symphony of music and movement. It’s one of those uniquely San Francisco scenes that’s fun to watch but even more fun to take part in. Dust off those skates and shake what your mama gave ya’!
Golden Gate Park is home to miles of roadways and trails perfect for your run. The endless combination of undulating topography, roads and trails lets runners tailor their workout to their needs. Running around the perimeter of the park is a 7.4-mile loop. A 4.5-mile trail loop on the west end of the park is also popular. Kezar Stadium and the Polo Field each feature tracks for runners.
|Tennis at the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Tennis Center|
Nancy Pelosi Drive and Bowling Green Dr. | Map It
The Golden Gate Park Tennis Center has recently undergone a $30 million renovation, making the 126-year-old site one of the best public tennis facilities in the nation, featuring a new clubhouse, 16 rebuilt tennis courts, a dedicated pickleball court, and expanded hours of operation to maximize the public’s access. The renovated center includes dedicated space for Rec and Park’s Tennis and Learning Center, a youth development program that combines tutoring with the game of tennis. Online court reservations can be made at goldmantenniscenter.com or by calling (415) 581-2540. COVID-19 health precautions require advance reservations to play or visit.
|Waller Street Skate Park|
Waller Street and Stanyan | Map It
Kickflips, ollies and backside 180s abound at this dedicated spot for skateboarders. Whether you’re a seasoned boarder or a beginner looking to perfect your skills, this skate park offers plenty of room to practice your sport.
|Dog Play Areas|
Locations Vary | More Info
Everyone deserves to get out and play, even our four-legged friends! There are four dog play areas in Golden Gate Park including one at the northeast corner of the park just off Stanyan Street; one at the southeast corner near Kezar Stadium; and one in the southwest quadrant. The all-sand dog training area in the northwest corner of the park is currently being renovated. Like Golden Gate Park itself, these dog areas draw residents from the entire city and beyond who want to explore all areas of the park with their dogs on a leash and then take time for some off-leash running in whichever corner of the park they happen to find themselves.
Locations Vary | Bike Rentals
Discover our 1,017 acres on two wheels! Golden Gate Park is home to miles of roads and trails for biking, including dedicated bike lanes throughout the park. A dedicated cycle track at the Polo Field is a popular choice for cyclists, whether you’re a casual biker or a seasoned cyclist.
Parkwide Bike Rentals offers guided tours and a fleet of bikes and surreys for family fun. They are located at the Stanyan Street and Haight entrance as well as at the Music Concourse, behind the bandshell.
Fly Fishing at Anglers Lodge
Tucked away in the park’s western end, just across from the Bison Paddock, are three serene pools and a rustic mountain-style lodge, home to the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club. Generations of San Franciscans have learned to fly-fish here, and people come from around the world to participate in tournaments and other events. The pools are open to anyone who would like to practice their casting technique, free of charge, and members are often happy to provide tips. Visit ggacc.org for more info.
Conservatory Drive East off of JFK Drive | Map It
This out-of-the-way enclave in the northeast corner of the park is little known to park explorers. It is the home of 16 pits for barnyard golf (a nickname for the game of horseshoes). The court was once tended by the Golden Gate Horseshoe Pitching Club. A wooden clubhouse was built in the southeast corner above the courts in 1938 but burned in the early 1980s. In 2009, resurged interest in the sport was led by a new club, the San Francisco Horseshoe Pitching Club. Club members volunteered to do considerable work to again uncover the WPA constructions where ringers are heard again in the courts. Free to use; first come, first served.
Chain of Lakes Drive East near JFK Drive | Map It
Equestrian enthusiasts can now experience Golden Gate Park on horseback. Chaparral Ranch offers trail rides, children’s pony rides, horse camp and riding lessons. The company has provided trail rides to San Francisco families at Camp Mather for the past two years.Chaparral Ranch will offer free visits for San Francisco public schools and underserved communities and make its facility available to local organizations such as therapeutic riding programs for disabled and disadvantaged youth. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
320 Bowling Green Drive | Map It
Interested in learning the game of lawn bowls? The San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club is based out of Golden Gate Park’s Lawn Bowling Greens and Clubhouse, adjacent to Robin Williams Meadow. The club offers free lessons to anyone interested in learning the game. Simply leave a message on the Club's voicemail (415-753-9298) or email email@example.com, and a coach will contact you to schedule your free lessons. Visit the Club's website at SFLBC.org for more info.
|Lindy in the Park|
Conservatory Drive East off of JFK Drive | Map It
Held every Sunday (weather permitting) in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Lindy in the Park is the longest-running free swing dance venue in the San Francisco Bay Area (and quite possibly, the world), and is open to dancers of all ages and levels. There is space to sit, take a breather, chat with friends and make new ones, and otherwise enjoy the fresh outdoor air. It is a perfect venue to practice your social dancing to the sounds of jazz, blues and swing music, and sometimes even a few musical surprises. http://www.lindyinthepark.com
|Model Yacht Sailing|
36th Avenue and Spreckels Lake Drive | Map It
Landlubbers have the opportunity to test their seamanship with power- and sailboats at Spreckels Lake. The park’s second largest lake, with a capacity of 7.81 million gallons, was the 1902 brainchild of the San Francisco Model Yacht Club after its members experienced conflicts with real boats on Stow Lake. The club operates out of the adjacent clubhouse and offers a fleet of radio-powered boats for use by the public, every Wednesday before 1 p.m. Visit the SFMYC website for more info.
Near 38th Avenue and Fulton | Map It
Petanque is a French boules sport, similar to lawn bowls and bocce, where players roll their balls toward a target ball. The game is typically played on hard dirt or gravel. The courts in Golden Gate Park are free to use and are operated on a first come, first served basis. Players should bring their own equipment.
|Golden Gate Park Senior Center|
6101 Fulton Street | Map It
The Golden Gate Park Senior Center is a recreation center dedicated to the enjoyment of quality activities for all seniors age 55 and over. Our goal is to provide seniors with programs to improve/maintain their physical, intellectual, and social well being. We offer classes to seniors, who are interested in dancing, exercise, bridge games, art classes, bingo, language classes, gardening and more. Browse our list of current recreation activities and classes.
82 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive | Map It
Have a blast gliding through seven beautiful miles of Golden Gate Park’s landscaped trails and roads. Visit hidden sights that include the Lilly Pond, Shakespeare Garden and Fern Grotto. Tour guides share tidbits and trivia about the Park’s stewards over the years, the impact of WWII on the Japanese Tea Garden, and the story of the park’s historical transformation from bleak sand dunes to today’s lush vista. Tours range from 1.5 to 3 hours. More info
|Sharon Art Studio|
300 Bowling Green Drive | Map It
The Sharon Art Studio (SAS) is San Francisco’s largest public art center. Jointly operated by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) and the Friends of Sharon Art Studio (FOSAS), we are located in an historic building in Golden Gate Park and offer arts education for people of all ages in ceramics, leaded and fused glass, jewelry/metal arts, drawing, painting, and mixed media. Browse our current classes today.
|Stow Lake Boat Rentals|
50 Stow Lake Drive East | Map It
Get out and explore Stow Lake in one of our fun boats! Stow Lake Boathouse offers two styles of boats for rent: row boats and pedal boats, including electric pedal boats that allow our guests to pedal or use an electric motor to power the boat. There’s nothing more peaceful than taking a boat out on Stow Lake, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature all around you. After your ride, stop by the boathouse cafe for a selection of healthy snacks and refreshments.
|45th Avenue Playground (Boat Playground)|
4414 Lincoln Way | Map It
This charming playground, tucked behind the trees on the southwestern edge of the park, is a great place for your next family party! Kids will love the ocean-themed play structures, including a large blue boat, and your party can spread out between the sand-based playground area and the nearby small grassy patch. A new restroom is on site here, making this a convenient destination for families with small kids.
|Fulton Street Playground (Blue Playground)|
Off of Fulton Street and 10th Ave. | Map It
This playground is centrally located, with convenient access to the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum. It’s a great place to take the kids and let them burn off some energy. Though it officially has no name, this playground is commonly known as Blue Playground amongst neighbors and nannies.
|Koret Children’s Quarter and Carousel|
Between Kezar Drive and Bowling Green Drive | Map It
Generations of San Franciscans have fond memories of the children’s playground and carousel in Golden Gate Park’s southeast corner. The playground, called the Sharon Quarters for Children when it opened in 1888, is thought to have been the nation’s first public playground. In that era, the idea of providing a dedicated space solely for youth recreation was groundbreaking. With generous support from the Koret Foundation, the playground underwent a major renovation and reopened in 2007 as the Koret Children’s Quarter. The historic concrete slides remain the star attraction of this playground. A charming 1914 Herschell-Spillman Company Carousel offers rides to the young and young-at-heart.
|Mother’s Meadow Playground|
Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, near 19th Ave. | Map It
Mother’s Meadow was originally designated as a safe haven for parents and their children when Golden Gate Park formally accommodated popular yet more hazardous pastimes in the park, such as racing horses. Ever since, endless picnics and play dates have unfolded at the grassy expanse located just off of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, and is now considered one of the most beloved playground spaces in San Francisco.
Oak Street and Ashbury | Map It
The newly transformed Panhandle Playground includes a sandbox in which children can dig for built-in sea treasures, multiple climbing surfaces, two swing sets, an area for older and younger children, and reservable picnic tables. The use of natural materials like boulders and wood allows the new playground to blend into the area, which is home to 80 species of trees. Panhandle Playground is among 13 renovations across the city supported by the Let’sPlaySF! campaign, a partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance.