Day Trip Adventure: Around the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park

Stroll around the Music Concourse, visit the Japanese Tea Garden, tour the free areas of the de Young Museum, and visit the Shakespeare Garden.

Cody Tolmasoff
7 min readMay 12, 2020

This is part of a series of family-oriented day trip outings around the San Francisco Bay Area I look forward to enjoying with my kids once social distancing and shelter in place isn’t the norm any longer.

Music Concourse viewed from the tower at the de Young Museum by Cody Tolmasoff

Stroll around the Music Concourse — a bonus adventure

I always enjoyed taking a walk around the concourse and through one of the tunnels here (now the entrances to the subterranean parking garages). Looking at all the artists and enjoying the weekend street performers here was always entertaining. Sometimes we would get to see the Golden Gate Park Band perform here, or any number of acts over the years. And if the bandshell was unused, we would always go climb on it to play. Wandering through the columns on either side was fun too — and made for some epic photos.
This part of the park is unlike any other area in the park, and something we wouldn’t have today if it were not for the 1894 Midwinter Fair, a popular World Fair held during the first half of this year. Although most of the structures were removed after the event, we still enjoy several things leftover from the fair today.

Climbing over the moon bridge in the Japanese Tea Garden is a right-of-passage for most kids growing up in the city. You can find it pretty quick once you enter the garden, it’s a steep arching bridge you have to climb almost like a ladder. Follow that with a warm cup of green tea and snacks after traipsing around the garden looking at koi fish, visiting temples, and counting the snails on top of the Buddha’s head — a visit to the garden can be quite a memorable day.
Taking a visit to the Japanese Tea Garden is really…



Cody Tolmasoff

Parent-adventurer, creating memories for my two daughters around the SF Bay Area. Author & publisher at @adventuringin & Chief Happiness Officer at @kiddiewalks