Things to Do in San Francisco This Weekend

What to Do in the San Francisco Bay Area, Oct. 20-22, 2017.

Here are our top picks for making the most of the weekend, October 20-22, 2017. 

For more ongoing events and exhibitions check our calendar



San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is celebrating with, “ZOOtoberFest”, entertainment for all ages.  Every weekend in October, kids can explore San Francisco’s largest hay maze, play outdoor games and adults can “Zoo Brew Haus” is pouring a brews and cooking German-inspired dishes. October.

Cloud Forest Bloom at SF Botanical Garden

Cloud Forest Bloom  SF Botanical Garden

Hundreds of rare and endangered plants native to the cloud forests of Mesoamerica are in full bloom this month. Thanks to the city’s foggy weather, this is one of the only outdoor botanical gardens in the world where the beauties of these high elevation forests survive. All month.

“Walker Evans” at SFMOMA

Walker Evans at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Examine the language of everyday American life in Walker Evans, which explores Evans’s impact and reflection on the culture and spirit of the United States in the 1930s. The exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art brings together the best of the best, pulling from national and international collections, including rarely exhibited pieces. Sept. 30-Feb. 4.

“Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument” at BAMPFA

 The Making of an Argument” at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA )

This major exhibition at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive of work by the photographer, artist, and filmmaker Gordon Parks explores the untold story behind Parks's breakthrough photo series "Harlem Gang Leader," which was published in Life magazine in 1948 and chronicled life among the street gangs of postwar Harlem. Sept. 27-Dec. 17.

Summer of Love Illumination at Conservatory of Flowers

Summer of Love Illumination at Conservatory of Flowers

A light art installation projected on the landmark Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. Nightly from sundown to midnight. June 21-Oct. 21.

Mexican Masters

This exhibition at the Mexican Museum comprises more than 42 works on paper by 15 Mexican artists, including Diego Rivera, Alfredo Ramos Martínez and Rosa Rolanda. Through Dec. 8.

Barbecue at SF Playhouse

Barbecue at SF Playhouse

The hard-partying, foul-mouthed O’Mallery family is staging an intervention for their drug-addicted sister, Barbara. With a plan inspired by reality TV, they have disguised their meeting as a family barbecue in the park—but soon it’s the whole family’s problems that are in the spotlight. Barbecue” overturns presumptions about race, poverty, and the American family in hilarious and incisive fashion. Sept. 26-Nov. 11.

San Francisco Opera Season

San Francisco Opera fall season opens

The opera's 95th season includes performances of Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” (through Dec. 9) and premieres of “Elektra” (Sept. 9-27) and “La Traviata” (Sept. 23-Oct. 17). 

“BigPicture” at California Academy of Sciences

“BigPicture” at California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

The fourth-annual “BigPicture” exhibit presents the best nature and conservation photography of the year—and reveals the boundlessness of Earth's beauty. “BigPicture” focuses a visual lens on the wonders of the natural world and critical environmental sustainability issues facing our planet. This exhibit shows the finalists of each category, and is included with general admission. Academy’s Piazza through Oct. 29.

“Fantasy Life” By Tabitha Soren

“Fantasy Life” By Tabitha Soren

Bay Area-based artist Tabitha Soren (ABC, NBC and MTV News) has spent the past fifteen years exploring baseball and the American dream. Soren takes us into intimate and thoughtful territory, creating a complex and epic portrait that celebrates the game we think we know. Tabitha Soren's “Fantasy Life” looks behind the scenes and through the hype of professional baseball. City Hall through Dec. 15.

“Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle”

 The Art of Eyvind Earle”

On view this month at the Walt Disney Family Museum, “Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle” explores the life and work of Earle, best known as the lead stylist for “Sleeping Beauty” and for concept art for both “Lady and the Tramp” and “Peter Pan.” The first-ever Eyvind Earle museum retrospective features more than 250 works, large-scale concept artworks, elaborate landscapes, scratchboards, sculpture, poetry and commercial illustrations. May 18-Jan. 8, 2018. 

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, San Francisco

The annual festival presents more than 100 free performing arts programs from music, poetry and dance to theater, circus and children’s activities. Performances feature artists from around the world, including the Grammy award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, led by Arturo O'Farrill, which will kick off the festival on May 7. Through Oct. 29 

Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center

 Fort Mason Center, San Francisco

Bay Area’s street food market returns to Fort Mason Center. Off the Grid open its seventh season with a diverse selection of food vendors and live music that distinguishes this Friday night. This expanded weekly event will have a rotating lineup featuring 13 food trucks and 15 open-air kitchen vendors, 2 bars and popular local bands and DJs. October 20 from 5-10 pm.

Berkeley Playhouse 2017-2018 Season

“Sister Act” at Berkeley Playhouse

The Berkeley Playhouse celebrates its 10th anniversary season. It season kicks off this fall with the East Bay Premiere of the heavenly musical comedy, “Sister Act.” Sept. 22–Oct. 22.

Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown” at OMOC

 Humans, Friends & the Unknown” at Oakland Museum of California

The Oakland Museum of California presents the world premiere of “Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown,” an immersive experience featuring a large-scale, commissioned work by Los-Angeles based FriendsWithYou—the fine art collaborative including Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III. OMCA’s Great Hall is transformed into an imaginative and otherworldly place that sets the stage for visitors to experience friendship, magic, and social connection. Oct. 7-Jan. 21.