Things to do in San Francisco this week
When you live in this city, there’s no excuse for boredom just because it’s a weeknight. Any given week, there are hundreds of things to do in San Francisco, from concerts and comedy shows to art exhibits and food events, and that’s really only scratching the surface. We narrowed down the list to a handful of the best happenings. Now put down that TV remote. Off you go.
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Although Litquake, the Bay Area’s annual writing and reading festival, has events year-round, it peaks with a week of readings, parties and performances in October. And don’t forget about Litquake’s most famous invention, the Lit Crawl—a single-night, 80-venue event that draws nearly 10,000 book lovers every year.
Folsom Street Fair
Whether you’ve been or not, everyone in the Bay Area knows about Folsom Street Fair: Hundreds of thousands flock to the world’s largest leather festival, which goes down—ahem—every September in SoMa. Attracting more than 400,000 lovers of latex, leather, whips and chains to the 13 city blocks covering Folsom from 8th to 13th Street, this one-of-a-kind fest celebrates the fetish culture that once thrived south of Market. Boasting two massive dance areas with ass-thumping EDM and alternative acts, a live music stage, 200 gear vendors and a head-spinning array of public play areas, Folsom Street Fair is a tradition treasured by many, avoided by a few and definitely an intrinsic part of our community fabric.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Gifted to the city by the late, great Warren Hellman and held in a corner of Golden Gate Park that now bears his name, the free three-day music fest returns every October with an eye-crossing number of acts. Plot your schedule to catch legends like Lucinda Williams, Cheap Trick, Randy Newman and Emmylou Harris alongside more Millennial-friendly fare including First Aid Kit, Conor Oberst and Brandi Carlile. Food vendors will be on-hand to keep you nourished, but note that the event is strictly BYOB.
Big Book Sale
Voracious readers look forward to this event every year: an opportunity to plunge into more than 500,000 books and other media, all priced for less than $3, benefitting the San Francisco Public Library. The event has been going on since Wednesday, but you're actually getting a better deal by waiting until this weekend to check it out—all books will be just $1 on Sunday!
Discovery Day at AT&T Park
With luminaries like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson taking social media by storm, there’s never been a better time to get you mobile-device-addicted wee ones invested in the sciences. Take it to the next level at the Annual Discovery Day, with a plethora of interactive activities, edutainment opps and local scientists and engineers on hand to illuminate and inspire. You can even run the bases for fun!
Hubba Hubba Revue: Halloween Bash
The bewitching beauties of the Hubba Hubba Revue will get your blood boiling at the Uptown Nightclub’s cabaret bash this Halloween. Burlesque acts and sinister stripteases, a monster hop and a cash prize costume contest make for a scary-sexy Halloween you won’t soon forget. Tickets (starting at $15) are limited so get them in advance. Doors open at 9pm for this spooktastic 21+ show.
Titanic Masquerade Halloween Party Cruise
Set sail for a masquerade ball on the San Francisco Bay this Halloween. The Fume Blanc Commodore plays host to a soiree of titanic proportions—literally “Titanic” proportions—with the ship decked out as the ill-fated vessel. Two dance floors, unlimited drinks and shining views of the city skyline make this one of San Francisco’s most stunning Halloween parties. Tickets start at $34 and semi-formal attire with masks are required for entry.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Live!
The vampires out out this Halloween but never fear, Buffy and her gang of misfit friends are out to kick ass and take names. Watch the one of the city’s best drag reviews take on the 90s cult classic TV show in an event guaranteed to be equal parts hilarious and scary (okay, maybe more hilarious than scary but it’ll still involve vampires and those dudes don’t mess around).
Castro Street Fair
Eat, drink and dance, dance, dance your way across one of the city’s most famous and lovable neighborhoods at the annual Castro Street Fair. Held every year since 1974 on the first Sunday in October, the fest welcomes about 50,000 people into the blocks surrounding Market and Castro Street. Hot tip: Head to the Castro Theatre’s parking lot for crowd favorite country western line-dancing at the Sundance Saloon.
Head to a semi-secret location in the heart of Golden Gate Park for a night of smooth jazz in a DIY venue. Mingle with like-minded music lovers over hot coffee, then settle in for a soundtrack perfect for welcoming the rolling fog. It would be a challenge to find a more San Francisco experience than supporting local artists while exploring a hidden urban gem, so locals and out-of-town guests alike will thrill to this unique outing.
Venerably debaucherous cult-film director John Waters hosts this annual ode to rock ‘n roll. The bill is always chock full of Burger Records’ finest — this year boasts DEVO's first show in over three years among others — and attracts big timers like Iggy Pop and the Buzzcocks. Find the action in Oakland’s Mosswood Park (enter at W MacArthur Boulevard between Webster and Broadway) June 30–July 1 starting at noon each day.
Lucha Libre Taco Con
If you didn’t get your fill of south-of-the-border inspired action on Cinco de Mayo, SOMA StrEat Food Festival’s Seis de Mayo party has you covered. Pull down tacos from the city’s finest tortilla slingers while cheering on the masculine antics of lucha libre wrestlers. Micheladas and homemade sangria should keep the fun flowing all afternoon.
5 St. Patrick's Day events to check out in San Francisco this weekend
St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival Everyone has smiling Irish eyes in this green-hued parade. The procession kicks off at Market and 2nd Street—led by a formation of kilted bagpipe players and followed by floats, marching bands, labor unions and Irish dance groups—and winds its way to Civic Center for a raucous festival. Afterwards, walk a couple blocks to any of the Tenderloin’s classic dive bars to keep the party going, or dive into a plate of corned beef at Tommy’s Joynt. St. Paddy's Marina Bar Crawl St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday this year — need we say more? Though other neighborhoods try, none do debauchery quite as effectively as the Marina, where green-clad partiers will find a classic pub crawl in full swing during Civic Center’s more family-friendly festival. The fun begins at The Dorian, but pro drinkers will wind their way through other Marina mainstays, including Palm House, Brixton and Blue Light. St. Patrick’s Day Dog Parade Leash-up the pup and take a w-a-l-k to the St. Patty's Day Dog Parade at Patrick’s Park. Pups of all walks of life are invited, as long as they’re leashed. St. Patrick's Day Polk Street Pub Crawl Pub crawl veterans CrawlSF put together this St. Patty’s Day alcohol outing, offering killer drink specials and a padded list of bars where you can enjoy all the green beer, cocktails and shots you can manage. Drink responsibly and embrace ride shares. Flying Leprechaun Skydive It’s not a bird or a plane, but a flying leprechaun! Swing by
TequilaMANIA, International Chocolate Salon and more fun things to do this weekend
UHAUL SF with Bribee + Gunn Lundemo This International Women’s Month, show the women who love women in your life a little love at a banging club night. UHAUL consistently brings in top talent and this session is no exception as former Bay Area DJ Bribee makes a highly-anticipated return from NYC to open for DJ Gunn Lundemo, hailing all the way from Stockholm. Ladies get in for free before 10:30pm with proof of cohabitation (just show matching ID addresses)! Artspan Reception at Ritual Coffee Feel that creative buzz as ArtSpan unveils a new exhibition featuring works by some great talents. Ritual Coffee Roasters is playing host to the reception, serving up some of its famous brew and tasty treats to complement the mix of mediums. It’s all part of the ambitious organization’s Art-in-Neighborhoods program, which aims to make art accessible to everyone — even caffeine addicts. Yoga in the Park Feeling in need of a strong dose of chill? Combine two reliable stress relievers into one bountiful outing with donation-based yoga in the park this weekend. All levels are welcome to meet up at the President Garfield statue near the Conservatory of Flowers for some relaxing and rejuvenating stretching and meditation. Heck, we bet no one would even mind if you just sat on a mat watching dogs play for an hour. Namaste. The Shape of Water + Creature From the Black Lagoon Still haven't caught Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar winning damsel-slash-monster meet-cute, The Shape of Water? Reel in
A soul food festival, Oscar parties and more fun events to check out this weekend
Drunk Theatre As if performing live theater isn’t daunting enough, these daring improvisers throw some boozing into the mix. This raucous show kicks off with shots for the actors, who then perform without a script. Don’t want to feel left out of the fun? Be sure to get to PianoFight early enough to pull down some of their classic cocktails. Matt Costa SoCal songwriter Matt Costa’s heartfelt tunes caught a wave of popularity years back with the release of 2005’s Songs We Sing, drawing comparison to his contemporaries Jack Johnson and The Shins. A little bit older and wiser, Costa is on a west coast tour, reflecting on his early career while exploring the future. Get ready for the release of his first LP in over five years by catching him live at this intimate venue. 38th Annual Black Cuisine Festival Head to the Bayview for a bounty of soul food and fun in the sun at the 38th Annual Black Cuisine Festival. Vendors will be dishing out all your faves while novice chefs put their best recipes to the test competing for cash prizes. This is the Bayview’s longest running outdoor event, boasting live music, dancing and kids’ activities. Look for the festivities at Carroll Avenue at Third Street. They Might Be Giants Whether your day has been good or bad, it's tough to imagine a band that can either amplify your joy or pull you up from the doldrums with more surefire personality than TMBG. And it’s a kick to hear that after over 30 years of spirited dabbling, their appetite for vari
A dumpling festival, a 90s block party and more fun things to do this weekend in the Bay Area
Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day Take your furry friend on a fun stroll along the Embarcadero (Em-bark-adero?) and pause (paws?) at Public House, one of the hood’s most dog-friendly hot spots (spots?). With a heated patio, local brews and gastropub classics, it’s a fave stop before games at AT&T park, but this weekend they are showing love to the four-legged fans with doggie treat giveaways and a great opportunity to mingle with fellow animal lovers. Chinese New Year Parade The start of the Lunar New Year offers the Chinese New Year Parade, the city’s best procession that doesn’t involve public nudity (instead, there are acrobatic dragons and stilt walkers). More than 100 groups wind their way through Chinatown annually in an unmissable spectacle, including a 288' Golden Dragon. Hope you like fireworks! Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt Be a part of the action during Chinatown’s lively New Year Parade by teaming up with pals for a challenging treasure hunt. You’ll solve puzzles and clues to get from one secret location to the next — think of it as a pub quiz on the go! Grab a flashlight, comfy shoes and your game night crew for a great start to the Year of the Dog. The Great San Francisco Crystal Fair Crystals are really riding a wave of popularity at the moment, as kids who grew up listening to their moms’ Stevie Nicks albums seek holistic guidance and protection from, ahem, the world at large. Plus, they are real pretty to look at. The Great San Francisco Crystal Fair started
9 fun things to do this weekend in San Francisco
Divisadero Art Walk Explore the vibrant stretch of bars and businesses along this busy corridor at the Divisadero Art Walk. Cute boutiques selling everything from hand-crafted jewelry to skate accessories and wine will fling their doors open late, offering special sales and displaying work by local artists. Pick up drink and dinner specials as you make your way from Page to McAllister, including craft brews on offer as part of SF Beer Week. Shiba San If you didn’t find love on Valentine’s Day, try hitting the floor at 1015 Folsom as Parisian DJ-producer Shiba San spins his low frequency iteration of deep house music. Tunes off his October EP release Fearless pretty well sum up the romantic rollercoaster — "Chance," "Rise," "Fearless," and most importantly, "Think." Special guests including DJs Femmelectric, Symonne and Cira will get the party ramped up. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah It's been a whole decade since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah exploded out of nowhere with a wildly acclaimed album, Some Loud Thunder. These days, frontman Alec Ounsworth is the only member left from those heady mid-aughts days; the David Byrne–esque singer and his current band turn up at the Rickshaw Stop this week to toast the iconic record’s big birthday. Pop Up Kids' Cartooning If you’ve got a kiddo with a knack for doodling, escort them up to the new location of the Cartoon Art Museum for a pop-up class. This session gives kids ages 7-12 an opportunity to see how to take their hobby to the next lev
8 fun things to do in San Francisco this weekend
After Hours: Night at the O Club Take the opportunity to explore the gorgeous, historic Presidio Officers’ Club during the magic hour while crafting some era-appropriate art projects and tippling on classic San Francisco cocktails and Fort Point beer. Head to the dance floor to make connections with like-minded social animals and linger by the fire once the sun sets. Just be sure to R.S.V.P. for this free event! Union Street Has a Crush on You Wine Walk You waited too long to book your sweetie that wine country limo tour, but no worries. Now in its 7th year, the Union Street Has A Crush On You Valentine Wine Walk is an ideal date night, with posh restaurants and merchants on Union between Gough and Steiner and Fillmore from Union to Lombard opening their doors to sippers and noshers alike. There are jewelry stores on the route if you made the mistake of assuming your lover is not really the Valentine’s Day type. SF Beer Week Opening Gala The craft brew craze shows no sign of slowing down, so raise a glass or 20 to the creative brewers working hard to keep the party going. SF Beer Week events will trickle throughout the city over nine days, but this tasting event is the can’t-miss affair, featuring more than 120 breweries serving hundreds of beers from all around Northern California alongside beer-friendly fare from the Bay Area’s best food vendors. Giants Fan Fest Those who bleed orange and black are looking forward to another even-numbered year of sheer torture. While A
Six fun things to do in San Francisco this weekend
SF Emporium Grand Opening Weekend Kick-Off Party After a very long wait, the nearly 100-year-old Harding Theater on Divisadero is back in action as a 4-story-tall arcade and bar. Drinkers nostalgic for the beeps, bops and boops of their youth should run, not walk, to the Grand Opening Weekend Kick-Off Party. DJs Miles Medina, Cutso and Umami will make sure things escalate on the dance floor once you’ve run out of quarters. Queens of the Stone Age Stoner-rock heavyweights Queens of the Stone Age hit town behind a newie, Villains. The follow-up to 2013's wildly successful …Like Clockwork, the new record finds the band returning to basics: You'll find no high-profile guests here (except for the album's producer, Mark Ronson). If the effort's first single is any evidence—the rollicking "The Way You Used To Do"— we're all in for a good time. 'Groundhog Day' on Groundhog Day Groundhog Day. What’s it really all about? While the holiday itself is perplexing as all get out, the premise of the 1993 film couldn’t be more simple: What would happen if you had to live the same day over and over? Bill Murray stars as the hapless anti-hero faced with this nightmare scenario — fortunately he has Andie MacDowell to keep him company and perhaps even teach him something about… love? Catch one of Harold Ramis’ best on the holiday that inspired it. D.A.N.C.E. - A Blog Haus Night with Them Jeans Los Angeles’ go-to party starter, Them Jeans, drops into Rickshaw Stop this week with them digital cr
Eight fun things to do in San Francisco this weekend
THURSDAY Book Talk and Self Defense Training This illuminating evening will send you home with a head full of history and a fist full of power. Enjoy a book talk with the author of Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement, then get physical with a training sesh by Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self-Defense Center. Get your squad in formation for this unique ladies’ night. Dave Eggers & Mokhtar Alkhanshali in Conversation with Jeff Chang In the soon-to-drop latest book from novelist Dave Eggers, the author writes about Mokhtar Alkhanshali, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in San Francisco, and his quest to Yemen to learn all about coffee and start a successful business—until a civil war engulfs the country in 2015. See the writer and his subject discuss the work live in conversation with journalist Jeff Chang. The Third Muslim Opening Reception If you’re weary of Instagrammable experiences masquerading as art, refresh yourself at this groundbreaking exhibit. Co-curated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Yas Ahmed, the show presents 14 artists who aim to confront gender-based oppression within Islam while taking on other challenging subject work. Despite the weighty subject matter, this opening night reception should prove fun and engaging, with live readings and performances, as well as an opportunity to take home a screenprint made live on-site. FRIDAY Kristin Damrow & Company Presents EAMES A modern dance inspired by a pair of designers most
6 fun things to do this weekend in San Francisco and Oakland
FOG Design+Art Forty-five international galleries and a veritable army of contemporary art dealers will descend on Fort Mason for a long weekend exploration of the latest leading art and design trends. Amidst all the global flair, we can’t wait to see 21POP — an installation by San Francisco’s own jaw-dropping world-maker, event-planner Stanlee Gatti. Mortified Celebrate and commiserate life's most cringeworthy moments at Mortified, a live storytelling extravaganza—a show-and-tell, if you will, of people's most embarrassing, awkward, and often seminal moments. The event is all ages at DNA Lounge, but you can still expect drinks and inappropriate tales all around. Boyz II Men + SWV Boyz II Men, the mega-selling ‘90s R&B survivors have been on the road with fellow nostalgia busters SWV (Sisters With Voice), and touch down in Oakland this week. The best boyfriends in pop history will renew their promise to make love to you, proving that after 20-plus years together there's still more bended-knee wooing in store. If that doesn’t make you weak in the knees, check your pulse. Marshmello The (still) anonymous producer is best known for remixing tracks by fellow EDM artists like Jack Ü and Zedd, all while wearing his signature, grinning mask. While his brand of progressive house tends to be a bit generic, the gigantic crowds that greeted Marshmello's sets on the summer festival circuit prove that he's struck a chord—expect to see plenty of club kids dancing around this two-n
6 festive events to check out during Christmas weekend
Jason Brock's 5th Annual Holiday Show If you’ve spent any time lingering around the Bay Area’s cabarets, jazz clubs and piano bars, you might already have had the luck of catching this X Factor finalist perform live. Here, the talented vocalist Jason Brock performs a song book’s worth of holiday classics with special guest Paula West and pianist Dee Spencer. Make it a new holiday tradition. Cinderella For more than 14 years, the players of The African-American Shakespeare Company have brought the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, to the stage in this vividly sparkly production. A long-time family favorite that tells the story of our indefatigable heroine and her very special shoe, the cartoon version will never seem the same after seeing this stellar performance. Stay after the show for a special photo-op with the (spoiler alert) royal couple. It's a Wonderful Life Frank Capra's 1946 tale of a family man learning to look at his life in a whole new light at Christmas time—thanks to the creative perspective of an angel trying to earn his wings—is no less relevant today than it was when it first came out. The movie can be found on TV all month long, but the ideal way to view the Jimmy Stewart classic in in the age-appropriate Castro Theatre. Christmas Evil Following in the footsteps of Halloween and Friday the 13th, 1980’s Christmas Evil is the perfect antidote to the season’s habitual doses of family-friendly schlock (slasher schlock though it might be). Yes, John Wat
8 amazing events to check out this weekend in San Francisco
The North Beach Holiday Wine Walk Is this North Beach or Napa or the North Pole? A few rounds into the North Beach Holiday Wine Walk, and worlds may begin to blur. Take a tour of this charmingly historic district, as restaurants and merchants on Grant and Columbus Avenues and Vallejo and Green Streets invite you in for a sip and nosh. Wineries represented are hyperlocal with a few based right here in the city. Pick up a few extra bottles for hostess gifts while you check off your shopping list. Lakehouse Jazz Head to a semi-secret location in the heart of Golden Gate Park for a night of smooth jazz in a DIY venue. Mingle with like-minded music lovers over hot coffee, then settle in for a soundtrack perfect for welcoming the rolling fog. It would be a challenge to find a more San Francisco experience than supporting local artists while exploring a hidden urban gem, so locals and out-of-town guests alike will thrill to this unique outing. Sweater-Con Holiday Pub Crawl There is but a small window of opportunity to don your finest so-ugly-it’s-cute holiday sweater. Do it in the most public way possible at this busy bar crawl. This one cycles through a familiar pack of Polk Gulch hotspots, from Mayes Oyster House, Lush Lounge and Playland with many more stops along the way. Good news for folks still coming down from SantaCon: Santas welcome. ASL: Cringeworthy Tales From the Early Days of the Internet Bid farewell to the wonders of AOL Instant Messenger at this evening of stor
8 festive holiday events to check out in San Francisco this weekend
ClemenTime Holiday Stroll Winter cheer aplenty awaits on this charming stretch of Inner Richmond this weekend. Support small businesses as they serve up holiday treats, special sales and even gift wrapping for the busy shopper. Keep your eyes and ears open for raffles, photo booths, live music and more as you stroll. Find the fun on Clement Street between 7th Avenue and Arguello. Drag Queens on Ice Union Square skaters will face some fierce competition as dazzling drag queens take to the ice for this San Francisco holiday tradition. If you’ve always found the sport of figure skating a bit dry, see how you like it with amped up fashion, hair, makeup and of course, lip-syncing. Don’t miss out on a scoop of Humphry Slocombe’s limited edition flavor, Chocolate Peppermint Death Drop, named for the daring move mastered by professional skaters and drag queens alike. Annual Crab Feed at the Guardsmen Christmas Tree Lot This delicious tradition serves the greater good as well as your appetite for shell-crackin’ fun. Approximately 97 cents of every dollar raised by this ample crab feed goes toward The Guardsmen, an organization that provides outdoor recreational activities to disadvantaged Bay Area kids. Enjoy a luscious crab and pasta dinner, then dance the pounds away with DJ AJAX. Fillmore Holiday Wine Walk The popular wine walk trend is waltzing into the Fillmore this holiday season. Running along historic Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy, merchants of all types wil