Best SF Bay Area
Events, Weekends & Festivals 2018
We limit our picks to ONLY the best events in the SF Bay area in 2018, personally handpicked for local insiders to enjoy. Many are unique world-class affairs. A few are just a lot of fun. The events below are organized by month & regularly updated including local Pacific Coast time. Also see regular weekly events at the end of each month below and recently past events.
OCTOBER 2018 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends
The clear, mild weather usually makes Fall the best time of the year to visit Half Moon Bay and the Half Moon Bay Coastline. See the pumpkin patches and visit Pescadero, our favorite small town between San Francisco & Santa Cruz. Be aware, however, that Halloween along the coast is very crowded so start & leave early to help minimize chances of getting stuck in a serious traffic jam.
See Hundreds of Hawks/hour, Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands
The largest known flight of daytime raptors (hawks, falcons, vultures, etc.) takes place every autumn at Hawk Hill, the 920 foot peak on the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge. See details.
USS Hornet Halloween Monster Ball Bash, USS Hornet Aircraft Museum, Alameda,
Saturday Night 10/27/18, 7:30 pm-1 am, Admission
The ultimate Halloween party for adults. Thousands attend the Monster Ball every year at the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier/Museum in Alameda. There will be dancing with a live band, a no host bar, haunted tours and a $500 cash prize to the best dressed. This museum fund-raising event has been both safe and fun; our swing dance instructor who loves to dress up in costumes highly recommends it. See more details.
Halloween is a big deal in San Francisco. For those into history, from the 1940s until 2006 the most fantastic costume event in the world was held Halloween Eve on Castro Street, SF. But, alas, this amazing street celebration was cancelled after crowds of hundreds of thousands became too difficult to control. Now you will have to go to a private party to seriously celebrate or pay to get into a night club. The USS Hornet Monster Ball mentioned just above is a good option for ballroom dancers, in costume or not. Zillow thinks these neighborhoods in SF & San Jose are the best in the nation for trick or treating.
Fun & Free WEEKLY Events & Activities
Here are some good things to do that happen regularly every week in July.
- Yerba Buena Gardens Festival – Over 90 different events (music & shows) held various days of each week. (5/6/18-10/28/18)
- Off The Grid at Fort Mason Center – Friday Nights through October, This is the largest food truck event in the U.S. with over 30 independent food vendors, music and considerable action. See details.
- Picnic at the Presidio, Main Parade Ground – Sundays, 11 am-4 pm. Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue. 3/18/18 – 10/21/18. See details. Twilight at the Presidio is held there Thursday nights, 5 pm-9 am, from 5/17/18-10/20/18 as well. See details.
- Golden Gate Park Band – Sundays, 1 pm-2:45 pm. 4/22/18-October. Located at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. See more details.
- Stern Grove Concerts – Sundays, 6/17/18-8/19/18, 2 pm-5 pm. See details.
- Swing Dancing in the Park – Sundays, 11 am-2 pm. Free dancing & beginners lesson in Golden Gate Park. (year round)
- Free Shakespeare In The Park, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Free Shakespeare by talented actors appear in various venues around the Bay Area such as Pleasanton (July), Cupertino (July), Redwood City (August), SF Presidio (September), SF McClaren Park (September). See calendar.
- Bicycle Sundays – Sundays. Main roads are closed to cars on Sundays at both Golden Gate Park and Canada Road (off Hwys 280 & 92, Belmont) for bicyclists & skaters of all levels to enjoy (open year round subject to weather).
Month of October – Other
- Pro Sports: See the San Francisco Giants.
- Golden State Warriors: Preseason starts 9/29/18, regular season starts 10/16/18. See schedule (or national TV NBA schedule).
- College Sports: In the Bay Area you can see a variety of interesting collegiate sports up close and at low cost. E.g., the sunken diamond at Stanford is one of the best places to watch college baseball in the country. Check Stanford’s schedules for baseball or all sports. Also see the Cal Berkeley, San Jose State and San Mateo Jr. College event schedules.
- FREE Monthly Museum Days:
Typically the first Tue/Wed/Thu, every month at many Bay Area locations
Many San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. Often these events are quite crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see the best museums for free.