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Things to do in San Francisco this week

Concerts, food festivals, movie screenings, art exhibits and more of the best events and things to do in San Francisco this week

Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park
Photograph: Yelp/Qianqi L Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park
By Ivy McNally |

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.

Things to do in San Francisco this week

Oktoberfest by the Bay
Photograph: Courtesy Oktoberfest by the Bay

Oktoberfest by the Bay 2019

If you really want to do Oktoberfest right this year, this annual SF event is the place to be this weekend. Join in the beer-drinking, brautwurst-eating fun at Pier 35 where there will be traditional Bavarian dancing, music from the 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band, and plenty of German beer to keep the party lubricated. Tickets are $25 for adults, $5 for kids.

Conservatory of Flowers 'Night Bloom'
Photograph: Courtesy Conservatory of Flowers

Botanicals and Brews Oktoberfest

This weekend the Conservatory of Flowers brings a bit of flora to Oktoberfest with their Botanicals and Brews celebration. The stunning greenhouse will be awash in color as curated food trucks serve up bites and three local breweries - Standard Deviant, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Plow Mountain Brewing - pour their best lagers. Live music from the Fog City Trio and a costumed polka band will take the stage at 7pm. General admission tickets are $29 and include a complimentary craft brew (21+ only).

Photograph: Shutterstock

Schroeder's Oktoberfest

Historic Schroeder's restaurant brings the Bavarian flavor at their annual Oktoberfest celebration this Friday. The epic event shuts down Front Street with three separate beer gardens, an afternoon DJ, and live music from the Pop Rocks. If you're feeling competitive, enter fun drinking and eating contests like stein chugging, stein holding and sausage eating. If you can't make the main event, stay tuned for Oktoberfest events through the end of October. Come dressed in dirndls, lederhosen or peasant attire and for a complimentary beer. Free.

Go Streatery
Photograph: Joseph Guinto

Eat Real Street Food Festival

This food festival and block party in Oakland’s Jack London Square isn’t just about eating. The Eat Real Festival celebrates food in all its phases, from production to plate. Demonstrations on topics like cheese making and kombucha brewing will take place throughout the day and space is devoted to connecting with urban homesteaders and makers. Food and drink, from taco trucks to locally-produced pickles and jams, will take center stage at the festival, along with dessert sculptures, juggling and circus performances, DJs and a vinyl pop-up shop. Free.

Big Book Sale
Photography: Jason Doiy, Courtesy Friends of the San Francisco Library

59th Annual Big Book Sale

At this annual event held by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, they’ve got big books and small books, cookbooks and history books, novels and classics all priced right at just $2-4. Hunt through the stacks at your own pace; the sections, including vinyl records and carefully curated rare and collectible books, are restocked daily with new finds. Sunday, the last day of the festival, the price of all remaining books drops to just a dollar. All proceeds go to support the San Francisco public library. Free.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach
Photograph: Julian Bialowas

2019 California Coastal Cleanup Day

Grab a trash bag or a bucket and head to the beach for this annual state-wide Coastal Cleanup Day. Thousands of individuals, groups, and families will be participating in this year’s service and clean-up sites have been identified throughout San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo County, including Candlestick Point, Heron’s Head Park, Crissy Field, Baker Beach and the Marina Green. Register in advance so they know you’re coming and bring your own reusable supplies. Free.

Anchor Public Taps
Photograph: Courtesy Anchor Brewing

Oktoberfest at Anchor Public Taps

San Francisco’s original craft beer goes German this weekend with a special Oktoberfest celebration. Munch on pretzels and sausages from Frank Grizzly’s, sip from Anchor’s 19 original brews, and browse a pop-up shop full of more lederhosen than you could ever need. An accordian player will be keeping the mood festival all day long. This is a free dog and kid friendly event.

Photograph: Courtesy the Chinese Historical Society of America

Smithsonian's Free Museum Day

Some of the Bay’s best small museums are free for all visitors this Saturday thanks to this annual event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. Included among the participants in 2019’s “Year of Music” are Sausalito’s Bay Area Discovery Museum, San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society, Museum of Craft & Design, and Fillmore Historical Museum, and San Carlos’ Hiller Aviation Museum. Admission is free but tickets must be downloaded in advance.