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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

Swedish American Hall
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/laughingsquid

War Stories: Tales of 70s and 80s Punk Mayhem

Get the inside scoop on the punk scene of the 70s and 80s straight from the mouths of the perpetrators, themselves. Musicians from The Nerves, the Plimsouls, The Joneses, The Go-Go’s and more get candid on stage, chronicling the most fascinating stories of their youth. Tickets start at $20.

An old sign for a drive in movie theater
Photograph: Pixabay/Creative Commons

Brainwash Drive-In Movie Festival

You don’t need a car to attend the 25th annual Brainwash Drive-In Movie Festival. The cinema spectacular welcomes movie-goers of all transportation stripes to bear witness to an eclectic list of (mostly) short films from all over the world. Beginning this Friday, watch on-screen diverse stories like One Nation about Raider’s fans, Insectavora about a Coney Island fire eater, and The Snail about Iranian migrants through July 20. Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door.

Photograph: Courtesy San Francisco Botanical Garden

Flower Piano 2019

At this ethereal musical event, more than a dozen pianos will be tucked within the nooks and crannies of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens for 12 days of free-to-SF-residents performances ($9 for non-residents). The events are varied—everything from sunset performances to community sing-a-longs to piano lessons—and will include three nights of after dark events with food trucks and outdoor bars. When performances aren’t scheduled, the public is welcome to do some ivory tickling of its own.

The Castro Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Ari

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

At this unique festival, directors from around the world showcase works about the diverse Jewish diaspora. Get a new perspective on Jewish culture and community in more than 65 films and 135 performances over the three-week event.

Roxie New College Film Center & Little Roxie
Photograph: Wei Shi

San Francisco Frozen Film Festival

Named for the foggy chill of the San Francisco summer, this indie festival features the best in avant-garde film. Entries in a variety of categories—from best environmental film to best surf/skate video to best VR film—will screen at the historic Roxie Theatre.

Three women dressed in anime costumes, one in blue, the others in yellow
Photograph: Pixabay/Creative Commons

Anime & Cosplay Festival

This weekend Japantown celebrates Japanese pop culture with the Anime & Cosplay Festival. Want to be an Avenger? Be an Avenger. How about a character from a video game or Harry Potter or Star Wars? Do your thing, kiddo. Interactive games, contests and stage shows will make this family friendly event one to remember. Free.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Mario A.

Wienerschnitzel Wiener National Dog Race

Hot diggity dog! It’s the running of the wieners at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds this Saturday. Watch as dachshunds run like the wind on their short little legs at this comical annual race. Gates open at 4:30pm, the races begin at 6:30pm. Tickets are $3 for adults, kids 17 and under are free.

Oktoberfest Block Party
Photograph: Courtesy Canton Vander Built

40th Street Block Party

At this year’s block party in Temescal, the music will be loud, the local food will be tasty and the beer will be cold. Catch bands of all types—classic rock from The Cover Ups, punk from the Paper Dolls, dream-pop from Billie Gale, and more—on two stages set up on 40th Street between Webster and Opal. The family friendly event will also include face painting and art activities for the kiddos. Free.

A public park with a green lawn, trees and a pavilion with a green top
Photograph: Brisbane Community Park/Yelp/Jenifer G.

City Wide Yard Sale & BBQ

If you love a good garage sale, head to Brisbane for a citywide event to make Marie Kondo proud. All day Saturday, residents throughout town will be selling their unwanted furniture, art, clothing, housewares and more. Shop your heart out then stop by the Brisbane Community Park for a BBQ hosted by the Lions Club. Maps of the day’s garage and yard sales are also available at the park. Free.

A white sign on a black brick wall that reads "Hive Oakland"
Photograph: Hive Oakland/Yelp/Shayla B.

Urban Air Market

Shop sustainably at the pop-up Urban Air Market at The Hive. More than 100 local vendors will be selling high-quality, environmentally friendly goods including apparel, home goods and accessories. In addition to craft brews and tasty bites, explore the Fabula tea tasting lounge or take part in a DIY workshop. The event is free but RSVP is highly recommended.