VIDEO: DeYoung Museum Celebrates 1967, The Summer of Love (2017)
By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Summer is a funny thing in San Francisco. Thanks to Mother Nature’s air conditioning, the City by the Bay is one of the chilliest major urban centers in the continental USA. Despite Karl the Fog, summer means that school’s out, so family activities are on the calendar. San Francisco is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love.
The Summer of Love Experience
de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Dates: Now through Aug. 20, 2017
Wear a flower in your hair. Fifty years ago, San Francisco was the epicenter of a colorful counter-culture youth movement that encompassed art, fashion, and rock & roll. At the de Young, The Summer of Love exhibit immerses the viewer via iconic rock posters, photographs, light shows, music, psychedelic clothing, and more interactive happenings. Exhibition tickets for youth ages 6-17 are $10, ages 5 and under are free.
Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F. Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Dates: Now through October 21, 2017
When the sun dips down, The Summer of Love theme continues at the historic landmark moments from the de Young Museum. The white Victorian structure is the perfect canvas for a nightly illumination dedicated to an impressive display of flower power inspired by the rare tropical plants housed here. The sound and light show begins at dusk and continues every 30 minutes starting at the top of each hour and at the 30-minute mark until midnight. It’s free.
Stern Grove Festival
Sigmund Stern Grove
2750 19th Ave. at Sloat Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94132
Dates: Sundays at 2 p.m. through Aug. 27, 2017
Eighty years ago, Stern Grove Festival was born in San Francisco. Now as one of the nation’s best, free outdoors music festivals, it’s perfect for families. Bring a picnic and a blanket and be there early to stake out a flat position within the natural amphitheater under the canopy of a fragrant eucalyptus grove. Or, (garlic fries and Humphry Slocombe ice cream, anybody?) visit the lineup of local food trucks in West Meadow. After the concert, enjoy a day in the park; it’s open until 10 p.m.
Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing
San Francisco, CA 94111
Dates: Cruises depart every day (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day), morning until evening. Tickets required.
Book your visit now. It’s one of those landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty, just off shore in the big city yet often overlooked by locals and adored by visitors. Indeed, TripAdvisor reviewers rank a visit to Alcatraz as the number one thing to do in San Francisco. Operated by the US National Park Service, the rangers give tours and the self-guided audio tour is top notch. You can book up to 90 days out, and because space is limited, Alcatraz visits can sell out weeks in advance. Kids love the journey as well as the jail.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94129
Dates: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Disney admirers get a bonus at the moment, as two special exhibitions are on view simultaneously this summer. “Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle” (through Jan. 8, 2018) focuses on the lead stylist for the 1959 Disney classic feature “Sleeping Beauty.” A second exhibit, “Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja” (through Oct. 9, 2017) looks at original works on paper from a talented character animator. Downstairs in the theater, “Bambi” and “The Lion King” are being screened throughout August. Tip: Don’t forget, the Presidio Bowling Center is just steps away and Presidio Picnic in the Park is held every Sunday through October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Main Lawn in front of the museum.