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What's New at the Presidio (Spring 2020)

Discover what's happening in the Presidio in spring 2020.


March – May Events Announced​

San Francisco, CA (February 11, 2020) – Springtime is blooming in the Presidio, with a new slate of events, along with long-standing opportunities for play in nearly 1,500 acres of park right at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. The season is ripe for family-friendly outdoor recreation; free nature, art and science exploration with our expert docents; and indoor activities and exhibitions for the rainy days. Please visit our website for more information.

Presidio Picnic Returns March 29

San Francisco’s largest community picnic, Presidio Picnic, returns for a ninth season beginning Sunday, March 29 and running through early October, from 11 am – 4 pm. Co-sponsored by the Presidio Trust and Off the Grid, the weekly food truck gathering combines grub by today’s most exciting international food creators, with a national park experience. Free performances by Bay Area dance groups every third Sunday are back on the menu, along with weekly free yoga, lawn games, and more. Presidio Twilight, the Thursday evening companion event, opens June 4.

Archaeology Dig Reopens

After a research hiatus in summer 2019, the dig is back! Volunteers of all ages can help uncover the archaeological site of El Presidio de San Francisco, at the Back into the Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 18. This is a rare opportunity to help the archeology team prepare the site for the season, and to learn about its fascinating history and unearthed artifacts. Kids will love the dig site and the archaeology lab, which are accessible to visitors throughout the entire spring and summer. View the dig and talk with our archaeologists on Fridays and Saturdays, and starting this May, tour the lab each Saturday from the Presidio Officers’ Club.

New History Tours Added!

Presidio staff and volunteers offer even more tours to visitors this spring, sharing the stories that make the Presidio’s past and present come alive. Take a guided tour to experience the ephemeral art of Andy Goldsworthy, viewing all four of his natural sculptures—the largest collection in North America. Discover the Main Post like never before: A two-hour guided walking tour describes the people and places that have shaped the Presidio’s layered past. Other tours include the Presidio Officers’ Club Tour, which explores its history exhibits and showcases one of San Francisco’s oldest adobe walls. The Presidio Experience Tour is a shuttle and Officers’ Club combo tour that provides an overview of the park with a deeper dive into its stories.

Discover Nature in the Presidio

The Presidio is a hot spot of biodiversity, with over 350 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish. Pick up a map of the park’s 25 miles of hiking and biking trails at the Presidio Visitor Center, and independently explore nature at eight scenic overlooks and restoration areas like the Tennessee Hollow Watershed or Mountain Lake. Check out an Explorer Backpack, packed with tools like a magnifying glass, binoculars, and a compass. There are now two versions available: one for families and one for teens and grown-ups.

This April 25, come to Mountain Lake to hone your powers of observation along with Presidio naturalists at the global City Nature Challenge. Started in 2016 by California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County as a friendly rivalry to stimulate citizen science and promote active exploration of wildlife, the Challenge has grown to an international “sport.” Using the free iNaturalist app, observe and record plants and animals, to see which city can record the most species, and connect with their own natural ecosystems.

Camp Under the Stars

Reservations for Camping at Rob Hill Campground are now open! Perched on four wooded acres above Baker Beach at the Presidio’s highest point, Rob Hill is one of just two campgrounds in San Francisco. It offers a national park camping experience within the city. Here, you can see the lights of Sutro Tower, smell the ocean, and hear the owls in the Cypress trees. Rob Hill has four group campsites that can accommodate up to 30 people: two available for public reservations, and two that welcome youth from the Camping at the Presidio program.

Arts and Cultural Offerings

Don’t miss the chance to see the award-winning and free exhibition Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration. The exhibit explores the complicated history of Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt’s signing of 108 Civilian Exclusion Orders from the Presidio’s Building 35 in spring 1942 — orders that unjustly incarcerated 120,000 Japanese Americans, purportedly in the name of national security.

Other events this spring highlight the park’s cultural elements, like a showing of the documentary film Ai WeiWei: Yours Truly on his Alcatraz exhibition (March 11). A guided walk at El Polin Spring is led by Presidio Trust historian Dr. Barbara Berglund Sokolov and archaeologist Kari Jones (April 11), and San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck, part of the northern California Cherokee diaspora, presents a poetry reading (April 11). Check museums and venues throughout the Presidio such as The Walt Disney Family Museum, the Society of California Pioneers, The National Japanese American Historical Society, the Presidio Theatre, and Arion Press for their new offerings.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is proud to open the new exhibit, The Walt Disney Studios and World War II, on Wednesday, May 13. The exhibit guides visitors through the compelling and multifaceted story of The Walt Disney Studios’ extensive contribution to the Allies’ World War II effort. Through an array of original artwork, film clips, photos, literature, and more created in support of the war effort – this exhibit commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Annual Memorial Day Commemoration

The Presidio Trust, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the City of San Francisco hold the official City and County of San Francisco Memorial Day Commemoration on Monday, May 25. The ceremony honors the one million Americans killed while serving in the U.S. armed forces and will connect the public to the commitment and sacrifices made by military personnel, veterans, and their families. All are welcome to this community event including a parade, ceremony and picnic.

Stay and Dine

The Presidio offers visitors options for lodging and dining in the park. Two historic boutique hotels, the Inn at the Presidio, and the Lodge at the Presidio, offer a quiet stay with unparalleled views and a national park feel. Restaurants in the Presidio include the Commissary, Arguello, and Sessions at the Presidio in addition to more casual eateries.

Transportation in the Park

The free Presidio Go Shuttle takes visitors from two locations in downtown San Francisco to the Presidio, and Presidio Go’s Around the Park service offers visitors two routes within the park. San Francisco MUNI buses access the Presidio as well. Options for bike rental include Sports Basement and Electric JUMP Bikes.

Attention Calendar Editors: Although our events are free, due to space limitations, we advise patrons to register via the web links. See all of our spring 2020 events here: Photos are available upon request.

Contact Us

Presidio Trust Media Relations

Lisa Petrie

(415) 264-7787


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