For being a real deal city… San Francisco sure has some beautiful parks. As an avid park-goer, there’s nothing like sitting under the sunshine with a cold drink in hand and good company. And Mission Dolores… well… that’s like a right of passage for anyone living in SF or visiting. It’s a park you go to that always FEELS “very San Francisco.”?

The weather is about to start getting warmer, so we want to encourage VFers?to head to the parks with their friends this weekend or sometime soon. It’s a fun, inexpensive activity and provides some superb people watching– it’s SF, never a dull moment right? To entice you further, here’s a list of ways to “up your park game” and make it even more enjoyable and different.

For this article, Dolores Park in the Mission is Queen- but many of these tips apply to pretty much any SF park.

Up Yo Park Game: What To Bring

+A standard size blanket comfortably fits 3-4 people. Got 5? Bring a towel for a little extra space. Party of 1 or 2? A towel gets the job done! No need to carry anything excess. Pro tip:?Wet grass = wet ass. If you’re worried about it being dewy, bring a few trash bags to put under your blanket. Problem solved!

Dolores Park Guide

+A fun activity. A deck of cards is light and easy to carry and doesn’t take up much room. Plus, a game of cards can get super intense.. don’t knock it! It’s one of those things that sometimes doesn’t sound fun until you’re actually playing, and then you’re like.. this is old school cool, why don’t we do this more often? Another option: A little DIY craft! Ex: Painting in the park. Doesn’t have to be elaborate but it’s actually a perfect environment because the sun helps it dry quicker and it’s super relaxing. You’ve seen people painting in the parks… they know what’s up. 😉 Or just hang out and talk and drink wine… whatevs.
Dolores Park Guide (5 of 11)
Dolores Park Guide (1 of 11)

+Food that doesn’t require utensils. Why pack more if you don’t have to? Sandwiches, pizza, finger food snacks. That’s upping your park food game.

OR– Be bad and bougie and bring out those damn utensils and cheese plates!! We did!

Dolores Park Guide (7 of 11)

(P.S: Just because I’m a wellness junkie… RUNA is one of my favorite new energy drinks because it’s CLEAN energy. Pumps me up as much as a can of redbull except I actually feel better after because there’s no added chemicals! FYI for an option as you pack for parkin’)

+Baby wipes or hand sanitizer. You’re outside. Things can get dirty, messy, sticky… it’s nice to have. Especially before and after you eat.

+CASH. There are some hustlers out there ya’ll! Food, little trinkets… there’s one dude who sells these delicious coconuts filled with rum and I know his ass doesn’t take card. Also if you want to purchase yourself a little doobie or “special brownie” (hey, it’s SF!) you’re going to HAVE to have cash. Just making sure you’re covering your bases here.

+Sunscreen. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen! A bottle of SPF is also one quick way to meet friends and engage neighbors. People forget sunscreen all the time and if you offer it, you’re a hero for a second. Do a nicey! #NiceGirlsClub
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+Dog Treats. Lol if you’re a crazy dog person and want to PET ALL THE DOGS. Just make sure you ask the owners first.

Up Yo Park Game: Tips

+Get there early if you want prime seating. Shade spots go the quickest!

+Bring a sweater. If you get there around 2ish and you know you’re staying for awhile, just know that the weather will most likely be very different at 4pm. If your crew asks what you are wearing (because we’re girls and we do that) just say,?”layer up”… that’s what we did. Easy.

+Don’t bring glass! They are making an effort to fully remove glass from Dolores Park. If it breaks, we don’t want anyone stepping on it. Let’s look out for ours and our neighbors tootsies by doing our best to keep them free of glass shards. That shit HURTS. THAT SAID– we did bring some heavy duty thick wine glasses and next time we’re going to try to opt for plastic only– or flasks. 😉

Up Yo Park Game: Park Etiquette

+This is obvious, but don’t leave trash. And if you want to be an extra great SFer.. separate your trash into the bins that they provide. It takes a little more effort but Mama Nature will be stoked you’re recycling. 😉 Do it!

Dolores Park Guide (10 of 11)

+Be nice to those who collect recyclables! Speaking of trash, there are people out there on the hustle collecting trash for us. Smile and say thank you. Lots of people don’t even acknowledge them, but we think it’s awesome they are out there doing what they gotta do to provide for themselves and their family. They do the trash separating for you so at least say thank you! Once again, #NiceGirlsClub hehe

+Don’t smoke cigarettes around people. Weed is debatable (some people are offended by it) but most don’t mind it… especially at Dolores Park. But make sure your neighbors don’t care. Cigarette smoke definitely NO ONE likes. That shit stays in your hair, on your clothes. Don’t assume that just because you’re outside that it’s not effecting your neighbors. Go to the outer edge or somewhere in solitude to smoke the thing- then return. We will be grateful!

+Also be mindful about music. Not too loud unless your neighbors are clearly enjoying it too! Our neighbors were playing some JAMS and we were diggin’ it! Not everyone will though.

+LAST PRO TIP: If you are meeting a group of people- it can get confusing at the park because it’s so huge! We had everyone meet outside Bi-rite Creamery so we could all easily find each other and then walk over together. Makes things easier.

Now get out there and enjoy the gorgeous weekend friends! Any park game tips we missed? Let us know!

About The Author

Katey Yurko

Katey || INFP || Founder/Director of Violet Fog ||

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Jessica Heller

    Love this! The trash bags under the blanket is definitely a pro move. Plus, when your group is ready to go they come in handy for clean up! Dolores Park, and many others in SF, have huge trash problems so every little bit helps! Offer any extra bags to your neighbors, and pick up any trash you see on your way out.

    Can’t wait for some warm weather!


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