Visit in February to marvel at one of the world's greatest collections of Asian magnolias at the peak of their bloom and take part in a whole host of special Lunar New Year activities!
February 16 & 17
Bring the whole family to a weekend of special performances and hands-on activities in celebration of the Year of the Snake and the many magnolias from China in the Garden. On Saturday, February 16, see lion dancers and lively folk dances performed by the San Francisco Sunset Recreation Center Dance Troupe. Pot a plant to take home and make plant lanterns using magnolia petals and more in the Garden.
10:30-11:00 Be charmed by the performance of Rosa Parks Elementary School Children
11:00-12:00 Be dazzled by the gorgeous glittering costumes and traditonal dances of The San Francisco Sunset Recreation Center Dance Troupe
12:00-12:15 Thrill to the dancing and drumming of the West Coast Lion Dancers
12:15-12:30 Listen to Year of the Snake by Oliver Chin and purchase signed copies
12:30-3:00 Make children's garden crafts with San Francisco Botanical Garden Society - potting plants and making Lunar New Year Lanterns
On Sunday, February 17, the fun continues with tai chi performances and participatory demonstrations, including dazzling sword forms and more, and a procession of dragon dancers. Enjoy special Story Times in the Library that day at 10:30 & 11:30am too!
Saturday, February 16; 11–3pm
Sunday, February 17; 9–11:30am
Terracotta Warriors at the Asian Art Museum
Our friends at the Asian Art Museum have a very exciting new exhibit! The terracotta warriors are coming to San Francisco – their one and only stop on the West Coast. Make sure to see these astonishing archaeological wonders and other amazing artifacts from the First Emperor of China's vast underground burial complex. Don't miss the Eighth Wonder of the World, and discover the long-lasting captivating legacy of the First Emperor. Tip: be among the first to see the exhibition, China's Terracotta Warriors, at their epic opening night party on February 21.
Walks & Tours
Magnolia campbellii. Photo by James Gaither
San Francisco Botanical Garden is home to the most significant magnolia collection for conservation purposes outside China*, where the majority of species are found. This not-to-be-missed floral spectacle, when nearly 100 rare and historic magnolias erupt in a fragrant riot of vibrant pink and white flowers, is at its peak in February as communities around the Bay Area celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Magnolia Highlights Walk
Pick up a special FREE Magnolia Highlights map at the ticket kiosks (or download one in advance here) to help you tour and identify the most significant and spectacular magnolias in our collection. The map corresponds to pink identification signs throughout the Garden.
Garden Interpretation Stations
Visitors of all ages can stop by to ask questions and explore magnolias in more depth.
Sundays, January 13– March 17
Free Magnolia Docent Tours
Every Saturday, January 12–March 16.
Magnolias by Moonlight
Take a docent-led tour of the Garden by the light of the full moon and experience the heady fragrance of magnolias in the evening air.
January 25 | February 25 | March 25
Magnificent Magnolias Tour
Enjoy a special guided tour of the Magnolia Collection with San Francisco Botanical Garden Curator Dr. Don Mahoney.
Magnificent Magnolias Tour
Enjoy a special guided tour of the Magnolia Collection with magnolia expert and San Francisco Botanical Garden Docent Dr. Joe Barbaccia.
March 3; March 10
Plants for Sale
Auspicious Plants for the Lunar New Year at the Plant Arbor
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, buy beautiful blossoming branches and other auspicious plants for your home at the Garden's Plant Arbor.
Five Tastes – An Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine is deeply rooted in an awareness of nature and our own sensory experiences. Join Sean Fannin of the Center for Traditional Health Arts and Peg Schafer of the Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm near Petaluma for a discussion of nature and health and how traditional Chinese medicinal herbs are selected and used. Class includes tasting decocted Chinese herbs and discussion of herb availability, cultivation, conservation and sustainability. Participants are invited to sow a variety of Chinese herbs to take home to plant.
Saturday, February 9; 10am–2pm
Magnolias, Camellias, Rhododendrons: Pencil Drawing with Nina Antze
Botanical artist Nina Antze shows you why colored pencil techniques are ideally suited to capture the fragile glories of the winter garden. The unique colors of magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons provide the opportunity to practice mixing and layering color. Participants will explore a variety of colored pencil techniques including burnishing, layering and impressed line. Live blooms from the Botanical Garden will be provided or you may bring your own. If weather permits, class will enjoy lunch outside and experience nature first hand. All drawing levels welcome.
Thursday, February 21; 10am–3pm
Succulent Vertical Garden Workshop
Did you know that the beautiful jade plants (Crassula ovata) are said to attract money and prosperity? Build a living (and lucky!) work of art using jade plants and many other exotic, colorful succulents propagated at the Nursery. Choose from a variety of interesting cuttings and create a vertical garden in an 8x12 wooden wall box made from recycled wooden shipping containers. All materials provided.
Saturday, February 23; 10am–2pm
For the Family
Children's Story Time in the Library
Sunday, February 3 | Sunday, February 17
Enjoy a special Lunar New Year story in the Library, then take a guided walk through the Botanical Garden that connects the story to living plants. For families with children ages 4-8.
FREE (admission required for docent walks following story readings)
Discounts & Resources
Become a San Francisco Botanical Garden Society Member and reap the benefits! Get discounts on tours and classes (see individual listings for details) and an additional 10% off magnolia items at the Garden Bookstore through March.
A Guide to Sources on Magnolias
Find over 240 magnolia-related books, articles, images and more in this comprehensive magnolia bibliography from the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture.
At the Garden Bookstore
Enjoy special discounts on magnolia items at the Garden Bookstore through March.
*Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), June 2008, Global Survey of Ex situ Magnoliaceae Collections