Best San Francisco Bay Events, Weekends, Festivals, Happenings 2014

Best San Francisco Bay Area
Events, Weekends & Festivals 2014

We limit our top picks to only best, most special events in the SF Bay area in 2014, selected especially for local insiders. These events are organized by month & regularly updated including local Pacific Coast time. Many are unique world-class affairs. A few are just a lot of local fun. We use this calendar ourselves to avoid accidentally missing something fabulous.

JULY 2014 — SF Bay Area Events

Berkeley Kite Festival, Berkeley Marina (Caesar Chavez Park)
Sat-Sun 7/26/14 -7/27/14, 10 am-6 pm, Free (note: parking $15)
Over 25,000 kite fanatics attend this event every year. Features great winds, spectacular views, and a three-ring circle of kiting craziness. See details.

Stern Grove — FREE Sunday Concerts, Stern Grove at 19th Ave/Sloat Blvd
Playing 10 consecutive Sundays from 6/22/14-8/24/14, 2 pm, Free
World-class musicians, including the SF Symphony/Ballet/Opera, perform free outdoor concerts at Stern Grove every summer. Come early to get a seat. See more details.

Fun Free WEEKLY Events & Activities
Here are some good things to do that happen regularly every week in July.

Month of July – Other

The SF Giants Ball Park

The SF Giants Ball Park

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Pro Sports: See San Francisco Giants.
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days: Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.


AUGUST 2014 — SF Bay Area Events

New Jaguar "concept" car

New Jaguar “concept” car

Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance,  Pebble Beach Lodge near Carmel
Sun 8/17/14, 9 am-5:00 pm, Admission
See 200 of the “best of the best” collector cars and motorcycles in the world at the “best finishing hole” in golf. The culmination of an entire week of events for automobile connoisseurs. As shown above, besides old collector classics … new concept cars are also shown at Pebble Beach.

Monterey Motorsports Reunion & Pre-Reunion Races
Laguna Seca Raceway, east of Monterey, Admission
Pre-Reunion Vintage Car Races are held Sat-Sun 8/9/14-8/10/14
Rolex Motorsport Reunion Races are held Thu-Sun 8/14/14-8/17/14
This main event in Monterey Classic Car Week is a great way to see vintage sport cars in action at one of the best, most spectator-friendly race courses in America. You can avoid the crowds and much of the costs by attending the pre-reunion weekend races rather than the reunion event itself. See details and schedules.

Burning Man Festival, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Week long event held 8/25/14-9/1/14
Even the organizers have a difficult time explaining this unique week-long party/art festival/event held in the desert. However, it is “amazing” and something our 21-35 year old friends would never miss. Over 50,000 people attend and it always sells out. See details and pictures.

Labor Day Weekend— Sat-Mon 8/30/14-9/1/14 has some big events for art lovers. See:

Month of August – Other

  • Sports All month, many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission:  SF 49ers  see schedule SF Giants see schedule
  • 49ers Preseason Games 2014:
    Thursday, Aug. 7: at Ravens, 4:30 p.m. (KPIX, Ch. 5), 
    Sunday, Aug. 17: vs. Broncos, 1 p.m. (KPIX), 
    Sunday, Aug. 24: vs. Chargers, 1 p.m. (FOX), 
    Thursday, Aug. 28: at Texans, 5 p.m. (KPIX).
    See more.
  • FREE Monthly Museum DaysTypically 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 they are quite crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see the best museums for free.

SEPTEMBER 2014 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

Labor Day Weekend— Sat-Mon 8/30/14-9/1/14 has some big events for art lovers. See:

Burning Man FestivalBlack Rock Desert, Nevada
Week long event held 8/25/14-9/1/14
Even the organizers have a difficult time explaining this unique week-long party/art festival/event held in one of the largest, flattest surfaces on earth.  The participants, who are a big part of the spectacle, turn this area into an amazing temporary metropolis every year.  It’s something our 21-35 year old friends would never miss. Over 50,000 people attend and the event always sells out. See details and pictures.

San Francisco’s Comedy Day, Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park
Sunday, 9/14/14, 12 pm-5 pm, Free
The professional comedy community joins together (each year since 33 years ago when Robin Williams helped them start) to produce a FREE highly-entertaining, PG-13 rated, five-hour show with 40 comedians at Golden Gate Park. Up to 10,000 attendees. Doggies are allowed too. See details.

marin-headlands-8a

See hawks & fabulous views at the top

See Hundreds of Hawks/Hr
Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands
9/10/14 – 10/10/14,Free
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.

Folsom Street Fair
Folsom St. between 8th and 13th Streets
Sunday 9/21/14. 11 am-6 pm, Admission free with a suggested donation of $10
The largest leather event in the world and very kinky. Live entertainment and over 200 exhibitor booths. Warning: definitely do not go if you are at all easily shocked. We only dared to brave it twice ourselves and did not take pictures. See details.

Rolex Big “Sailing” Boat Series Saint Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco Bay
Thu-Sun 9/11/14-9/14/14, Races start at 11 am, Free
In an effort to bring large racing sail boats to compete in the San Francisco Bay, members of the St. Francis Yacht Club created the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy Regatta in 1964.   This will be the fiftieth anniversary.  See details and pictures.

Sausalito houseboat

Sausalito houseboat

Sausalito Floating Homes Tour, Kappas Marina, Sausalito
Sat 9/20/14, 11 am-4 pm, Admission
See hundreds of the most unique & beautiful houseboat homes in the world and look inside 15-20 of them. There is also a free art fair and live music. Often sold out even the houseboat tour is rather expensive ($45).

SF International Dragon Boat Festival, Treasure Island
Sat-Sun 9/20/14-9/21/14, Free admission
One of the largest competitive dragon boat races in the United States with over 130 dragon boat teams and 3500 paddlers.  The festival has entertainment, food and free activities.  See more.

California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr, Golden Gate Park
FREE admission day, Sun 9/14/14 (tenative), 11 am-4 pm, Free
The Academy of Sciences is expensive ($34.95) and often crowded. However, four Sundays/year (including 12/7/14 tenative) there is free admission on a first-come first-serve basis. Early arrival is highly recommended and you can still expect to stand in line. See details. We have also heard that the Academy’s nightlife events (6-10 pm Thursday nights for adults over 21 only) are a good way to go. They have cocktails, music (sometimes live), and unique themes … and the crowds are not so intense.

Month of September – Other

  • Sports All month, many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • SF 49ers regular season games.  See 2014 schedule.
  • See SF Giants schedule.
  • College Sports: See Stanford, Cal Berkeley, San Jose State & San Mateo Jr. College Football.
  • 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 they are quite crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see the best museums for free.

OCTOBER 2014 — SF Bay Area Events

Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival, Golden Gate Park

Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival, Golden Gate Park

Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival, Golden Gate Park
Fri 10/3/14- Sun 10/5/14, Free
There are many music festivals in SF during the year. We like this one because it is low-key (bring your dog and picnic blanket), not too crowded, and free. The event is held on six different stages along John F Kennedy Dr in Golden Gate Park. See details.

halloween-aratas-farm

Halloween at Aratas Farm south of Half Moon Bay. Great for kids and adults too.

Fall along the Half Moon Bay Coast
Fall is the best time of year to visit the coast.  See the pumpkin patches and visit Pescadero, our favorite small town between San Francisco & Santa Cruz.

Picnic at the Presidio, The Presidio, SF
Sundays, 11am – 4pm, through 10/26/14
It turns out that the Presidio’s main parade ground grass lawn makes a great picnic site.  We’ve been twice and it is one of those very pleasant, low key “only in San Francisco” experiences complete with beautiful weather & view.    Off the Grid has set up several excellent food stands including Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Humphry Slocumbe’s ice cream with attitude (e.g., secret breakfast,  bourbon & corn flake flavored ice cream) we recommend you check out.   See details.

Blue Angels Air Show, Fishermans Wharf area
Sat 10/9/14- Sun 10/13/14, 3 pm-4 pm, Free
FLASH! The Blue Angels are back in 2014. The fleet week air show will be from 12:30 pm – 3 pm each day and the Blue Angels will perform from 3 pm – 4 pm each day. See more about how to best watch the show.

San Francisco Fleet Week, Fishermans Wharf area
Thu 10/9/14- Mon 10/13/14, Free
The parade of ships will be Saturday and ship tours will be Sunday and Monday. One of the Navy’s newest warships, the USS America, will be here.  See more.

Columbus Day ParadeFishermans Wharf to Washington Square, Free
Sun 10/12/14, Starts 12:30 pm
The oldest Italian-American parade in America (est. 1869). Over 400,000 people attended last year. See details

Grand National Rodeo  Cow Palace, San Bruno
Fri-Sat 10/17-10/18/14 & 10/25-10/26/14, Admission
If you happen to like rodeos this is the one to see in San Francisco once per year. There are several different events including livestock, competitions, and shows depending on your interests.  It generally opens at 8 am and rodeo shows are at 7:30 pm on Fri & Sat evenings. See details.

Art & Pumpkin Festival,  Half Moon Bay, Free
Sat-Sun 10/18-10/19/14, 9 am-5 pm, Free
If you can stand the very heavy weekend traffic check out the Art & Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay and the pumpkin stands near Half Moon Bay. We go much earlier in the month and earlier in the morning (certainly before 10 am) when traffic is not as bad.  It often backs up for miles on Hwy 92, especially around the Lemos Farm kid’s rides just east of the city.

USS Hornet Monster Ball—, USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier, Alameda,
Sat 10/25/14, 7:30 pm-12 am, Admission (kids are now welcome too)
Thousands attend the Monster Ball every year at the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier/Museum in Alameda. There will be dancing with The Cocktail Monkeys Band, haunted tours and a $500 cash prize to the best dressed.  This museum fund-raising event is both safe and fun; our swing dance instructor who loves to dress up in costume highly recommends it. Call 510-521-8448 x282 for current information & tickets.  See details.

Halloween,
Fri 10/31/14
Halloween is a big deal in San Francisco. It’s too big for us now since the crowds and traffic have made it less appealing than just a few years back. 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 above is a good option for ballroom dancers in costume or not.

Month of October- Other

  • Sports  All month, many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission October and November are good times for watching sports, especially when the 49ers and Warriors are doing well.
  • San Francisco 49ers:  See schedule.
  • Pro Sports: See Golden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks, .
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  We like StanfordCal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College Football.
  • FREE Monthly Museum DaysTypically the first Tue/Wed/Thu, every month at many Bay Area locationsMany San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. Often they are quite crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see the best museums for free.


PAST Information is shown below (note: portions are updated)



pescadero-arcangeli-bakery

Arcangeli Bakery in Pescadero

past NOVEMBER 2013 — SF Bay Area Events & Holidays

The weather is often excellent in November and, since there are fewer tourists than usual, this is a good quiet month for locals to enjoy the many year-round activities and attractions San Francisco offers. For example, weekends on Ocean Beach can be outstanding this time of year. Daylight Savings Time Ends Sun 11/3/13, San Francisco Bay Area At 2:00 am turn your clocks back to 1:00 am. Fall along the Half Moon Bay Coast Fall is the best time of year to visit the coast.  See things to see (see map) and trails & beaches (see map) along the Half Moon Bay Coastline. We also recommend visiting Pescadero, our favorite small town between San Francisco & Santa Cruz.

Mavericks at Pillar Point

Overlooking Mavericks (right) and Pillar Point (left). No giant 50 ft waves to compete on today.

Mavericks Surf Viewing Festival & Awards Ceremony When the waves are right, on 24 hour notice sometime between 11/1/13-3/31/14Pillar Point Harbor, Admission The top 24 surfers in the world tackle some of the biggest most dangerous waves in the world (they have been as high as 50 feet) here in a one day event. However, the exact date is unknown since the competitors must wait for the surf to be massive. Due to environmental concerns spectators are no longer able to personally watch the surfers (I watch online for a closer view anyway) but you can still attend the Mavericks Festival nearby and watch the action on big screens and mingle with other surfer dudes. Last year it sold out. Pro Surfing World Championship Tour Event Wed-Sun 11/6/13-11/10/13 , Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, Free 11/7/13  Flash:  The contest was won today by Torrey Meister.  Couldn’t find the videos for this year but some links about the 2013 contest can be found on their news page. The O’Neill Cold Water Classic was on the Association of Surfing Professional’s World Championship Tour (ASP WCT) last year. See the top 34 surfers in the world, like at Ocean Beach, SF, where Kelly Slater won the 2011 championship. Check details each day to confirm the competition is on (i.e., only when surf is up) and for videos of any ongoing live competition plus past heats. Official Star Trek Convention Fri-Sun, 11/7/13-11/10/13, Hyatt Regency, Burlingame, Tickets $20-$50 The original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, is scheduled to be there on Saturday and 7 of 9, Jerri Ryan, on Sunday along with many serious costumed trekkies.  Tickets are limited to reduce crowds so you’ll have to check around to see if tickets are still available at the door and for daily schedules.  See details and article. Veterans Day, Mon 11/11/13, U.S.A. Here’s a list of Discounts to Veterans and Active Duty Military (restaurants & stores) on or around Veteran’s Day. Dickens Christmas Fair Opens 11/23/13 5 Weekends, opens the Friday evening before Thanksgiving, 11/23/13, Cow Palace, Daley City. See more about Dickens Fair in the December schedule below. Thanksgiving Day Thu 11/28/13, USA Of course, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year (when retail stores profits often go “in the black”), and Cyber Monday when shoppers are looking for bargains on-line, have now also become a part of this big weekend. Here’s the best shopping centers in the Bay area. Month of November – Other

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission October and November are good times for watching sports, especially when the  49ers, and Warriors are doing well.
  • San Francisco 49ers schedule * Sunday, 11/10, 1:05 pm vs Panthers (home) * Sunday, 11/17, 1:25 pm vs Saints (away) * Monday, 11/25, 5:40 pm vs Redskins (away)
  • Pro Sports: See Golden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks.
  • SMJC Football … Check out San Mateo bridge in background

    College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  We like Stanford, Cal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College.

  • FREE Monthly Museum Days Typically the first Tue/Wed/Thu, every month at many Bay Area locations Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. Often they are quite crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

past DECEMBER 2013 — SF Bay Area Christmas Events

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair 5 Weekends, Sat-Sun, 11/23/13-12/22/13, 10 am-7 pm, Cow Palace, Daley City, Admission $25-30/adult, Parking $10/car, Twilight tickets after 4 pm $13. The largest cast (over 700 local hobbyists) of costumed Dickensian characters in the world do an excellent job recreating Charles Dickens’ Victorian London Town.   The show fills more than 3 acres and feels even bigger. There is a wide variety of things to do (food, shows, shops, caroling, street performers, wandering the town, etc.) that will get you in the mood for Christmas. See details. Night of Lights in Half Moon Bay Friday 12/6/13, 6-9 pm, Main Street & Kelly, Half Moon Bay, Free This local event is a big favorite of Half Moon Bay residents and their children. There are tree lighting festivities, a parade, caroling, roasted chestnuts, booths by local clubs, open retail stores, and more. Since mainly locals attend highway traffic has not been a problem.  See details. California Academy of Sciences – FREE admission day Sun 12/8/13, 11am-4pm, 55 Music Concourse Dr, Golden Gate Park, Free The Academy of Sciences is expensive ($34.95) and often crowded. However, four Sundays/year there is free admission on a first-come first-serve basis. Early arrival is highly recommended and you can still expect to stand in line. See details. The next free days for all guests are 2/9/14 and 6/1/14. We have also heard that the Academy’s nightlife events (6-10 pm Thursday nights, $12 for adults over 21) are a good way to go. They have cocktails, music (sometimes live), and unique themes … and the crowds are not so intense. However, it looks like this December they are not available on 12/19 or 12/26.

Ice skate at Union SqIce skating rink on Union Square. A giant Christmas tree and big palm trees are on the other (west) half of the Square.
Maiden Lane Christmas carolsChristmas carols by an opera-trained performer at Maiden Lane, just east of Union Square

Christmas at Union Square, SF Month of December, Union Square, San Francisco, Free
We always skip the biggest crowds on Thanksgiving weekend and pick some quieter weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas to wander around. This is the best time of year to see Union Square… when you can enjoy festive store decorations, the big Christmas tree, watching ice skating, hearing opera singers on Maiden Lane, Macy’s Christmas windows and very brisk shopping action. For more Christmas shopping hike from Union Square down Powell St, along the cable car line, to Market St. At Market/Powell is the third largest urban shopping center in the U.S., Westfield San Francisco Centre with over 200 stores. Christmas Shopping Here is a list showing the top shopping centers in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It’s always fun to visit them during Christmas time even if you don’t buy anything.

Mavericks at Pillar Point
Overlooking Mavericks (right) and Pillar Point (left). No giant 50 ft waves to compete on today.

Mavericks Surf Viewing Festival & Awards Ceremony When the waves are right, on 24 hour notice sometime between 11/1/13-3/31/14Pillar Point Harbor, Admission The top 24 surfers in the world tackle some of the biggest most dangerous waves in the world (they have been as high as 50 feet) here in a one day event. However, the exact date is unknown since the competitors must wait for the surf to be massive. Due to environmental concerns spectators are no longer able to personally watch the surfers (I watch online for a closer view anyway) but you can still attend the Mavericks Festival nearby and watch the action on big screens and mingle with other surfer dudes. Last year it sold out. Breeding Sea Lions Tour 12/15/12 – 3/31/13, Ano Nuevo State Park, 27 miles south of Half Moon Bay, Admission See 2.5 ton, 16 foot long male sea lions skirmish for dominance during breeding season. Thousands of seals and sea lions gather for a 3-month orgy of fighting, mating, and birthing. This naturalist-led tour of the world’s largest mainland breeding colony for the northern elephant seal is about 2.5 hours and 3 miles long. Advance reservations recommended. See more details. Christmas Day Wed 12/25/13, USA New Years Eve Dance PartyUSS Hornet Aircraft Carrier Tue 12/31/13, 7:30pm-1am, USS Hornet Museum, Alameda, Admission There are three dance floors on the enclosed, heated hangar decks of this famous World War II aircraft carrier which is now a National Historic Landmark. This is a big, fun event that thousands attend. It is run by and proceeds benefit the USS Hornet Museum. Month of December – Other

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • San Francisco 49ers schedule * Sunday, 12/8, 1:25 pm vs Seahawks (home) * Sunday, 12/15, 10:00 am vs Buccaneers (away) * Sunday, 12/23, 5:40 pm vs Falcons (home) * Sunday, 12/29, 1:25 pm vs Cardinals (away)
  • Pro Sports: See Golden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks, and SF Bulls minor league hockey.
  • College Sports: We are lucky to have an outstanding college scene.  You can see a variety of different sports up close and at low cost. Often the teams are of championship calibre. We like Stanford, Cal Berkeley, San Jose State and San Mateo Jr. College. * Saturday, 12/7, 4:45 pm Stanford vs Arizona State (away). This is the 2013 Pac-12 Championship Football Game which, if won, will qualify Stanford for the Rose Bowl.
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see great museums for free.

past JANUARY 2014 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

January is a great time of the year for watching football on TV. However the mild weather around San Francisco Bay also makes it a excellent time to visit sights that are crowded during other months; check out some of the links on this hiddenSF site for ideas. Personally, we pick and choose the best of both options! College Football Bowls (1st week of January): * Wed 1/1/14, 1:40 pm PST, Rose Bowl, Stanford vs Michigan * Thu 1/2/14, 5:30 pm PST, Sugar Bowl, Alabama vs Oklahoma … Alabama was ranked #1 almost all year. * Fri 1/3/14, 5:00 pm PST, Orange Bowl, Clemson vs Ohio State … two of the highest scoring offenses. * Fri 1/3/14, 4:30 pm PST, Cotton Bowl, Missouri vs Oklahoma State * Mon 1/6/14, 5:30 pm PST, BCS National Championship, #1 Florida State vs #2 Auburn * College Football Bowl Schedule. Many other smaller Bowl games are played in December and January as well. Note that times shown are Eastern Standard Time. Pacific Standard Time (PST) is three hours earlier. NFL Playoff Schedule (weekends all January) * Sun 1/5/14, 1:40 pm PST, 49ers vs Packers (away)

Wild Card Weekend  (schedule)Sat & Sun, Jan. 4-5
Divisional RoundSat & Sun, Jan. 11-12
AFC & NFC Conference ChampionshipsSunday, Jan. 19
Super Bowl XLVIIISunday, Feb. 2, 3:20 pm PST

Of course exactly who plays depends on the winners each week. Check the NFL Playoff Picture for the latest projected playoff teams. January Holidays

  • New Years Day, Wed 1/1/14
  • Martin Luther King Day, Mon 1/20/14
  • Chinese New Year, Fri 1/31/14. See related events in the February schedule below.

Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show Sat-Sun 1/25-1/26/14, 8 am-5 pm, Cow Palace, Daley City, Admission If you like dogs or want a dog don’t miss this big show. This is the oldest major dog event in Northern California and one of the most prestigious in the U.S. There are over 1200 dogs of 136 different breeds. See, talk with breeders, and often even pet your favorites. We like wandering around and seeing dogs up close & personal more than we enjoy just watching the judging. Check details for prices and event times. By the way, if you already have a dog check our extensive page on best dog walks & parks in the SF Bay area. It is good for just people walking as well. Mavericks Surf Viewing Festival & Awards Ceremony When the waves are right, on 24 hour notice sometime between 11/1/13-3/31/14Pillar Point Harbor, Admission. Red Alert: The Mavericks Invitational Surf Contest is NOW ON. The first heat is scheduled at 8 am Friday, January 24, 2014. Waves upwards of 40 feet tall are forecasted and should be some of the biggest in recent years according to Jeff Clark, discoverer of Mavericks and contest founder. Spectators can watch the action on viewing screens at the nearby Viewing Festival or, for the first time, the final heats will be broadcast live on Universal Sports Network TV  at 8:30 am Pacific Time, Friday 1/24/14.

Mavericks at Pillar Point

Overlooking Mavericks waves (right) and Pillar Point (left). Sorry, but it looks like no giant 50 ft waves here on this day.

This is a one-day invitation-only event where the world’s top 24 big-wave surfers tackle some of the biggest and most dangerous waves on earth  (they have been as high as 50 feet).  This Friday, January 24, 2014, they will attempt to tame the massive swells on the biggest and best day of the 2013-14 winter season Due to safety and environmental concerns spectators are no longer able to personally watch the surfers (I watch online for a closer view anyway) but you can still attend the Mavericks Festival nearby and watch the action on big screens and mingle with other surfer dudes. Last year it sold out. Breeding Sea Lions Tour 12/15/12 – 3/31/13, Ano Nuevo State Park, 27 miles south of Half Moon Bay, Admission See 2.5 ton, 16 foot long male sea lions skirmish for dominance during breeding season. Thousands of seals and sea lions gather for a 3-month orgy of fighting, mating, and birthing. This naturalist-led tour of the world’s largest mainland breeding colony for the northern elephant seal is about 2.5 hours and 3 miles long. Advance reservations recommended. See more details. Gray Whale Migration Season 12/1/13 – 5/31/14, Off the coast, Paid boat tours or Free from shore Whale watching boat tours — to watch some 20,000 gray whales migrating from the Arctic to Baja, Mexico — leave San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Moss Landing and Monterey during this season. Check with the various tour boat vendors for details and best dates to go since whale watching is far from an exact science. Three-hour long trips are offered daily out of Monterey and on weekends December-May by the Oceanic Society out of Pillar Point Harbor north of Half Moon Bay. Six-plus hour all-day trips from San Francisco go under the Golden Gate Bridge out to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Good places to see the gray whales from shore are near Montara from the Point Montara Lighthouse or from Gray Whale Cove trail on the Montara Mountain hike.  Also, the shores of Point Reyes Headlands north of San Francisco can have excellent viewing. There the peak of the southern migration usually occurs in mid-January and the peak of the northern migration is in mid-March. Mothers and calves are sometimes seen close to shore in late April and early May. Babies start out at 16 feet long. Their mothers are about 43-50 feet long with a tail up to 12 feet across and typically weigh in at about 72,000 lbs. Later in the year, from May to November, is the Farallon whale watching season for humpback whales and blue whales, the largest known animals ever in existence (including dinosaurs). Blue whales can be 100 feet in length and weigh more than 380,000 lbs. Since they were hunted almost to extinction (from about 350,000 down to about 1,000 in the 1920s … there are now about 15,000 worldwide including 2,000 along the California coast) they can be hard to find. However, during this season the Oceanic Society & others still run 8-hour quests out of San Francisco and Sausalito to the Farallon Islands (a wild life refuge 30 miles out from Golden Gate Bridge). Even even if you don’t see a blue whale Farallon Islands is a natural paradise. However do bring warm wet gear and binoculars and do NOT GO if you even slightly tend to get sea sick. Month of January- Other

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • San Francisco 49ers NFC  Playoffs * Sun 1/5/14, 1:40 pm PST, 49ers vs Packers (away)
  • Pro Sports: See Golden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks, and SF Bulls.
  • College Sports: We are lucky to have an outstanding college scene.  You can see a variety of different sports up close and at low cost. Often the teams are of championship calibre. We like StanfordCal BerkeleySan Jose State and San Mateo Jr. College.
  • College Football: Here is the College Football Bowl Schedule including several in December. Note that times shown are Eastern Standard Time. Pacific Standard Time (PST) is three hours earlier. * Wed 1/1/14 2:00 pm PST, Rose Bowl, #5 Stanford vs #4 Michigan State
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see great museums for free.

past FEBRUARY 2014 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

SF Giants FREE Annual Fanfest Sat 2/1/14, 10 am-3 pm PST,  AT&T Park & Pier 48, Free Get a picture with the World Series trophies, play catch on the ball field, take a self-guided tour of the clubhouse & press box, see the players answer questions up close, and more. Autographs are available too if you get there early and are willing to wait in long, long lines. See more details. Another fun free thing to do year-round, even when there is no game, is the SF Giants Children’s Play Area. Super Bowl Sunday 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday, 2/2/14, 3:20 pm PST More on recent playoff games February Holidays

  • Chinese New Year, Friday 1/31/14  (see related events below)
  • Lincoln’s Birthday, Wednesday 2/12/14
  • Valentines Day, Friday 2/14/14 SF heart
  • Presidents Day, Monday 2/17/14
  • More Holidays

Chinese New Year Events Several other events are also held to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Chinatown. For details check this calendar.

  • Flower Market Fair:  Sat-Sun 1/25/14-1/26/14
  • Chinese New Year Day: Friday 1/31/14  … no public events are scheduled
  • Miss Chinatown Pageant:  Sat 2/8/14, 7:30 pm
  • Chinese New Year Parade:  Sat 2/15/14, 5:15 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Chinatown Community Street Fair:  Sat-Sun 2/15/14-2/16/14

Chinese New Year Parade Sat 2/15/14, 5:15 pm-8:00 pm,  Chinatown along Kearny St, Free Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year). This parade is a historical tradition starting in the 1860s and has been named one of the top ten Parades in the world. Now some 500,000 spectators watch it in person along with another 3 million TV viewers (that’s us because it is almost always cold & rainy). Getting there by 4:30 pm (it is crowded) via public transportation (parking is tough) is recommended. See www.chineseparade.com for details. Chinatown Street Fair Sat 2/15/14 10 am-4 pm, Sun 2/16/14 9 am-5 pm, Free The street fair will be located along Grant Ave from Broadway to California St. It was not terrifically exciting last year. It will also on the following cross streets — Pacific Ave, Jackson St, Washington St — between Stockton and Kearny St. See Chinatown map. Breeding Sea Lions Tour 12/15/12 – 3/31/13, Ano Nuevo State Park, 27 miles south of Half Moon Bay, Admission See 2.5 ton, 16 foot long male sea lions skirmish for dominance during breeding season. Thousands of seals and sea lions gather for a 3-month orgy of fighting, mating, and birthing. This naturalist-led tour of the world’s largest mainland breeding colony for the northern elephant seal is about 2.5 hours and 3 miles long. Advance reservations recommended. See more details. Gray Whale Migration Season 12/1/13 – 5/31/14, Off the coast, Paid boat tours or Free from shore Whale watching boat tours — to watch some 20,000 gray whales migrating from the Arctic to Baja, Mexico — leave San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Moss Landing and Monterey during this season. Check with the various tour boat vendors for details and best dates to go since whale watching is far from an exact science. Three-hour long trips are offered daily out of Monterey and on weekends December-May by the Oceanic Society out of Pillar Point Harbor north of Half Moon Bay. Six-plus hour all-day trips from San Francisco go under the Golden Gate Bridge out to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Good places to see the gray whales from shore are near Montara from the Point Montara Lighthouse or from Gray Whale Cove trail on the Montara Mountain hike.  Also, the shores of Point Reyes Headlands north of San Francisco can have excellent viewing. There the peak of the southern migration usually occurs in mid-January and the peak of the northern migration is in mid-March. Mothers and calves are sometimes seen close to shore in late April and early May. Babies start out at 16 feet long. Their mothers are about 43-50 feet long with a tail up to 12 feet across and typically weigh in at about 72,000 lbs. Later in the year, from May to November, is the Farallon whale watching season for humpback whales and blue whales, the largest known animals ever in existence (including dinosaurs). Blue whales can be 100 feet in length and weigh more than 380,000 lbs. Since they were hunted almost to extinction (from about 350,000 down to about 1,000 in the 1920s … there are now about 15,000 worldwide including 2,000 along the California coast) they can be hard to find. However, during this season the Oceanic Society & others still run 8-hour quests out of San Francisco and Sausalito to the Farallon Islands (a wild life refuge 30 miles out from Golden Gate Bridge). Even even if you don’t see a blue whale Farallon Islands is a natural paradise. However do bring warm wet gear and binoculars and do NOT GO if you even slightly tend to get sea sick. Month of February- Other

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Super Bowl Sunday Sun 2/2/2014 3:30 pm PST kickoff
  • Pro Sports: See Golden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks.
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  We like StanfordCal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College.
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

past MARCH 2014 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

Special Things To Do Outdoors this March This is an excellent month for locals to check out local attractions. Weather is typically outstanding as is the blooming flora. While busy traffic & crowds are not nearly as bad (probably because of fewer tourists) as at other times of year.

Daylight Savings Time Begins Sun 3/9/14, San Francisco Bay Area.  At 2:00 am turn your clocks forward to 3:00 am. March Holidays:

  • St Patricks Day’s Day, Mon 3/17/14.   This is always a big weekend for SF’s Irish pubs, even if you are not Irish!
  • More Holidays

Breeding Sea Lions Tour 12/15/13 – 3/31/14, Ano Nuevo State Park, 27 miles south of Half Moon Bay, Admission See 2.5 ton, 16 foot long male sea lions skirmish for dominance during breeding season. Thousands of seals and sea lions gather for a 3-month orgy of fighting, mating, and birthing. This naturalist-led tour of the world’s largest mainland breeding colony for the northern elephant seal is about 2.5 hours and 3 miles long.  Advance reservations recommended (note: Sunday reservations are still available 2 weeks out as of 3/7/14). See more details. Gray Whale Migration Season 12/1/13 – 5/31/14, Off the coast, Paid boat tours or Free from shore Whale watching boat tours — to watch some 20,000 gray whales migrating from the Arctic to Baja, Mexico — leave San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Moss Landing and Monterey during this season. Check with the various tour boat vendors for details and best dates to go since whale watching is far from an exact science. Three-hour long trips are offered daily out of Monterey and on weekends December-May by the Oceanic Society out of Pillar Point Harbor north of Half Moon Bay. Six-plus hour all-day trips from San Francisco go under the Golden Gate Bridge out to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Good places to see the gray whales from shore are near Montara from the Point Montara Lighthouse or from Gray Whale Cove trail on the Montara Mountain hike.  Also, the shores of Point Reyes Headlands north of San Francisco can have excellent viewing. There the peak of the southern migration usually occurs in mid-January and the peak of the northern migration is in mid-March. Mothers and calves are sometimes seen close to shore in late April and early May. Babies start out at 16 feet long. Their mothers are about 43-50 feet long with a tail up to 12 feet across and typically weigh in at about 72,000 lbs. Later in the year, from May to November, is the Farallon whale watching season for humpback whales and blue whales, the largest known animals ever in existence (including dinosaurs). Blue whales can be 100 feet in length and weigh more than 380,000 lbs. Since they were hunted almost to extinction (from about 350,000 down to about 1,000 in the 1920s … there are now about 15,000 worldwide including 2,000 along the California coast) they can be hard to find. However, during this season the Oceanic Society & others still run 8-hour quests out of San Francisco and Sausalito to the Farallon Islands (a wild life refuge 30 miles out from Golden Gate Bridge). Even even if you don’t see a blue whale Farallon Islands is a natural paradise. However do bring warm wet gear and binoculars and do NOT GO if you even slightly tend to get sea sick. Month of March- Other

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Pro Sports: See San Francisco GiantsGolden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks.
  • March Madness (college basketball playoffs on TV) starts 3/19/14 and ends with the Final 4 playing 4/5/14 and the Championship Game on 4/7/14.   See details.
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  We like StanfordCal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College.
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

past APRIL 2014 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

April Holidays

Filoli Gardens in the Spring Open year round, Woodside, CA, $20 admission If you like flowers you won’t want to miss one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.  See our Filoli page and pictures for details. (note: closed Easter Sunday). Picnic at the Presidio Sundays April-October, 11 am – 4 pm, Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details. Gray Whale Migration Season 12/1/13 – 5/31/14, Off the coast, Paid boat tours or Free from shore Whale watching boat tours — to watch some 20,000 gray whales migrating from the Arctic to Baja, Mexico — leave San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Moss Landing and Monterey during this season. Check with the various tour boat vendors for details and best dates to go since whale watching is far from an exact science. Three-hour long trips are offered daily out of Monterey and on weekends December-May by the Oceanic Society out of Pillar Point Harbor north of Half Moon Bay. Six-plus hour all-day trips from San Francisco go under the Golden Gate Bridge out to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Good places to see the gray whales from shore are near Montara from the Point Montara Lighthouse or from Gray Whale Cove trail on the Montara Mountain hike.  Also, the shores of Point Reyes Headlands north of San Francisco can have excellent viewing. There the peak of the southern migration usually occurs in mid-January and the peak of the northern migration is in mid-March. Mothers and calves are sometimes seen close to shore in late April and early May. Babies start out at 16 feet long. Their mothers are about 43-50 feet long with a tail up to 12 feet across and typically weigh in at about 72,000 lbs. Later in the year, from May to November, is the Farallon whale watching season for humpback whales and blue whales, the largest known animals ever in existence (including dinosaurs). Blue whales can be 100 feet in length and weigh more than 380,000 lbs. Since they were hunted almost to extinction (from about 350,000 down to about 1,000 in the 1920s … there are now about 15,000 worldwide including 2,000 along the California coast) they can be hard to find. However, during this season the Oceanic Society & others still run 8-hour quests out of San Francisco and Sausalito to the Farallon Islands (a wild life refuge 30 miles out from Golden Gate Bridge). Even even if you don’t see a blue whale Farallon Islands is a natural paradise. However do bring warm wet gear and binoculars and do NOT GO if you even slightly tend to get sea sick.

Filoli Gardens in the Spring Open year round, Woodside, CA, $20 admission If you like flowers you won’t want to miss one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.  See our Filoli page and pictures for details. (note: closed Easter Sunday). Picnic at the Presidio Sundays April-October, 11 am – 4 pm, Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details. Ladies PGA Golf Tournament Thu 4/24/14-Sun 4/27/14, Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City, Admission The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic features 120 LPGA players, as well as players from Taiwan. 40,000-70,000 spectations are expected. See more details.

B25 Bomber

B25 Bomber such as flown in the famous 1942 Doolittle Raid



Dream Machines Show
Sun 4/27/14, 10 am-4 pm,  Half Moon Bay Airport, Admission See an amazing array of old planes, cars, and machines in a fun and funky setting.
Month of April – Other

San Francisco Giants ball park

The SF Giants Ball Park
  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Pro Sports: See San Francisco GiantsGolden State WarriorsSan Jose Sharks.
  • The Giants regular season home opener, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, is set for 1:35 pm,Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
  • March Madness (college basketball playoffs on TV):  The Final 4 play on  4/5/14 and the Championship Game plays on 4/7/14.  See details.
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  The sunken diamond at Stanford is one of the best places to watch college baseball in the country. Check schedules for baseball or all sports. We also like Cal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College sports.
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

 

past MAY 2014 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

May Holidays

  • Cinco De Mayo, Monday 5/5/14
  • Mothers Day,  Sunday 5/11/14
  • More Holidays

Cinco De Mayo Festival, San Francisco Sat 5/3/14, 10 am-6 pm, Dolores Park (Dolores St/18th St) SF, Free. This is an good time to check out Dolores Park, one of SF’s favorites, and Castro Street. See details. The actual Cinco De Mayo day this year is Monday,  5/5/14.  It commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Polynesian Festival, Leo Ryan Park Amphitheater, 650 Shell Blvd/Hillsdale., Foster City CA
Sat 5/3/14, 10 am – 5 pm, FREE admission
Unique day of activities celebrating the Polynesian culture.  There will be award-winning professional Polynesian dance performances, food booths, arts and crafts booths and even outrigger canoe rides.  See more.

Picnic at the Presidio Sundays April-October, 11 am – 4 pm, Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details.

Filoli Gardens in the Spring Open year round, Woodside, CA, $20 admission If you like flowers you won’t want to miss one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.  See our Filoli page and pictures for details.  Mothers Day, Sun 5/11/14

Amgen Tour of California Bike Race Sun-Wed, 5/11/14 – 5/14/14 Tour of California is the biggest professional bicycle race in America and is the world class U.S. version of Tour de France. See more information. If you like to ride a bike yourself also see our best SF Bay bike tours.

Amgen Tour of California Bike Race - Stage 3, San Jose Tuesday 5/13/14, San Jose, Free The Tour is an eight day eight stage race and San Jose is the start of stage 3. See more details.

IOM Model Boat Races - National Championships in Foster City

IOM Model Boat Races. National Championships in Foster City.

Model Boats Regatta (National IOM National Championship), Central Lake, Foster City
Thu-Sun 5/15/14-5/18/14, FREE admission. National championship races for International One Meter class radio controlled model boats.  Over 50 contestants expected.  Spectators welcome.  See more details including exact race times.

Bay to Breakers Race, San Francisco Sun 5/18/14, from Bay Bridge to Golden Gate Park Breakers, watch Free
The Bay to Breakers 12k run and walk is probably the biggest foot race in the world and includes everyone from world-class runners to fat old nude walkers. If you don’t want to run in it, like we and probably half of the SF Bay Area population has done, then just go to Golden Gate Park to watch the finish and join the festivities held afterwards. See details.

Caledonia Street Festival, Sausalito
Sat 5/25/14, 11 am-5 pm, Caledonia Street/Johnson Street, Sausalito, Free.
A Sausalito Festival featuring local art and music.

San Francisco Carnaval, Mission District, San Francisco
Sat-Sun, 5/24/14 – 5/25/14, Free
A big, hot, crowded Latin American/Caribbean Street Parade and Festival in the Mission District.

Memorial Day Mon 5/26/14

World Cup Soccer Warmup Game, Candlestick Park
Tue 5/27/14, 7 pm, Admission
The U.S. Men’s National Team has only played once before in San Francisco.  This is the first in three send-off games before the team heads for Brazil  to start the World Cup in mid-June.  See more.

Foster City Arts & Wine Festival, Leo Ryan Park, 650 Shell Blvd/Hillsdale, Foster City
Fri, 5/30/14, 5 pm – 11 pm;  Sat, 5/31/14, 10 am – 11 pm; Sun, 6/1/14, 10 am – 7 pm.
FREE admission.
Big annual Arts & Wine Festival with an old fashioned carnival, live music entertainment Saturday & Sunday, and over 150 booths.  More than 50,000 attendees are expected.  See more.

Picnic at the Presidio
Sundays, April-October, 11 am – 4 pm
Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF
This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details.

Filoli Gardens in the Spring Open year round, Woodside, CA, $20 admission
If you like flowers you won’t want to miss one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.  See our Filoli page and pictures for details. 

Month of May - Other

San Francisco Giants ball park
   The SF Giants Ball Park
  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Pro Sports: See San Francisco Giants
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  The sunken diamond at Stanford is one of the best places to watch college baseball in the country. Check schedules for baseball or for all Stanford sports. We also like Cal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College sports.
  • FREE Outdoor Performances:  There are several summer performances at Yerba Buena Gardens (various days of the week) and Stern Grove (Sundays).
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days: Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

past JUNE 2014 — SF Bay Area Events

Arts & Wine Festival, Leo Ryan Park, 650 Shell Blvd/Hillsdale, Foster City
Fri, 5/30/14, 5 pm – 11 pm;  Sat, 5/31/14, 10 am – 11 pm; Sun, 6/1/14, 10 am – 7 pm.
FREE admission.
A big local family-oriented event  which includes a Carnival, Festival, and Live Entertainment.  Over 150 booths, 20 different carnival rides and 40,000 attendees expected.   See more.

2014 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon Marina Blvd/Scott, SF
Sun 7:30 am-12 pm, 6/1/14, Free to spectators
Join 20,000 spectators to watch 2,000 of the world’s top triathletes compete at Marina Green Park (see area map) this weekend. At 7:30 am 2000 triathletes will jump in at Alcatraz Island for a 1.5-mile swim. At 8:00 am the first swimmers will arrive at Marina Green where they start a 18-mile bike ride. The first cyclist will get back to Marina Green at 8:45 am and start an 8-mile run. The first runner will finish at Marina Green at 9:30 am; the remaining 1,999 athletes will straggle in for hours. Awards are at 11:30 am at the free Fitness Festival & Expo which is open from 6:30 am-2:30 pm (also open Saturday 11 am-6 pm). See more details.

Jazz on the Hill, San Mateo Jr College, San Mateo, CA.
Saturday 6/7/14 11 am- 6 pm, Free
A day-long community event sponsored by the jazz station KCSM 91.1 FM and San Mateo Jr College.  It’s free, the setting is beautiful, and there will be plenty of good food by local vendors.  Last year over 5000 attended.  See more details.

Golden Gate Park Band Festival, Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park
Sat-Sun, 6/7/14-6/8/14, 11 am – 5 pm, Free
11 different bands will be playing at the Music Concourse between de Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences.  Drop by as you enjoy the many other things to do in Golden Gate Park.  See more details.

Dragon Boat Races Festival
Foster City Lagoon, Leo Ryan Park, 650 Shell Blvd / Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA
Sun 6/8/14, 9 am – 4 pm.  Free
Dragon boats are  4 foot long canoes similar to those raced over 2400 years ago in ancient Chinese rituals. Each canoe seats up to 20 paddlers and also has a steersperson and a drummer who beats out the paddling rhythm.   The Festival includes several races, food, music, dancing by lions & dragons, and the opportunity for visitors to take a dragon boat ride or paddling lesson.  See more details.

June Holidays

Stern Grove — FREE Sunday Concerts, Stern Grove at 19th Ave/Sloat Blvd
Playing 10 consecutive Sundays from 6/22/14-8/24/14, 2 pm, Free
World-class musicians, including the SF Symphony/Ballet/Opera, perform free outdoor concerts at Stern Grove every summer. Come early to get a seat. See Stern Grove Festival for schedule & details.

San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade, Civic Center
Sat-Sun 6/28/14-6/29/14, Free
One of the oldest, biggest, and most famous lesbian gay bisexual transgender events in the world. See details.

Picnic at the Presidio, Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF
Sundays, April-October, 11 am – 4 pm, Free
This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details.

Filoli Gardens, Woodside, CA
Open year round, $20 admission
If you like flowers you won’t want to miss one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.  See our Filoli page and pictures for details. 

Month of June - Other

San Francisco Giants ball park

The SF Giants Ball Park
  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Pro Sports: See San Francisco Giants.
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  The sunken diamond at Stanford is one of the best places to watch college baseball in the country. Check schedules for baseball or all sports. We also like Cal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College sports.
  • FREE Outdoor Performances:  There are several summer performances at Yerba Buena Gardens (various days of the week), Stern Grove (Sundays) and Golden Gate Park Band Shell (Sundays).
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days: Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

past JULY 2014 — SF Bay Area Events

World Cup Soccer – USA vs Belgium
Tuesday 7/1/14, 1:00 pm PDT.
This is the highest level which the USA men’s team has ever reached in World Cup soccer competition.  If you don’t have ABC TV or ESPN on cable the match can be seen free online at Univision (in Spanish) and heard on the radio at 860 AM (in English).  See schedule.

Fourth of July Festivities, San Francisco Bay Area
Fri-Sun 7/4/14-7/6/14, Free
There are always big festivities including fireworks by Marina Green and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Expect large crowds, traffic, and sometimes fog. On the Peninsula, the fireworks at Foster City is one of the top displays.  See more about fireworks & festivities around the Bay.

Hollister Motorcycle Rally & Music Street Festival, Hollister, CA
Fri-Sun 7/4/14-7/6/14, Free
Celebrate the “birth of the American biker” as exaggerated in Marlon Brando’s movie “The Wild Ones.” This is one of the biggest rallys in California; about 150,000 attendees in this town of 35,000.   See more.

Opera at the Ballpark, AT&T SF Giants Ballpark, SF
Saturday 7/5/14, 8 pm, Free
Verdi’s La Traviata will be transmitted live via HD video simulcast from the SF Opera House onto a big scoreboard screen.  Sit on the baseball field or in the stands.  Enjoy hot dogs and garlic fries.  Gates open at 6:30 pm for registered fans and 7:00 pm for general entry.  See more.

World Cup Soccer World Championship - Germany vs Argentina,  7/13/14, 12:00 noon PDT.
World championships are always fun to watch.  Most of rest of the world will be watching this one.  It shows in the U.S. on ABC TV or ESPN cable (but no free Internet video seems to be available).  Radio is at 860 AM (in English).  See World Cup schedule.

Berkeley Kite Festival, Berkeley Marina (Caesar Chavez Park)
Sat-Sun 7/26/14 -7/27/14, Free (note: parking $15)
Over 25,000 kite fanatics attend this event every year. Features great winds, spectacular views, and a three-ring circle of kiting craziness. See details.

Stern Grove — FREE Sunday Concerts, Stern Grove at 19th Ave/Sloat Blvd
Playing 10 consecutive Sundays from 6/22/14-8/24/14, 2 pm, Free
World-class musicians, including the SF Symphony/Ballet/Opera, perform free outdoor concerts at Stern Grove every summer. Come early to get a seat. See Stern Grove Festival for schedule & details.

Picnic at the Presidio, Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF
Sundays, April-October, 11 am – 4 pm, Free
This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details.

Month of July – Other

The SF Giants Ball Park

The SF Giants Ball Park

As a final tip, we have noticed that new events are often more unique and pleasant before most of the “world” learns about them. Then they sometimes become more crowded, commercial, and less free wheeling. Also, go early in the day. So don’t wait if you see something you may like. If you have never lived in San Francisco you may not realize that it is definitely a public party town without peer! The inhabitants really do spend a lot of effort throwing outstanding, unique, and fun events. Enjoy these special things to do … only in San Francisco!

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