What to do now in San Francisco

Things to Do in San Francisco This Weekend

What to do this weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area
(©San Francisco Travel Association) What to do this weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area

Here are our top picks for making the most of the weekend, February 16-18, 2018.

For more ongoing events and exhibitions check our calendar

 

Lunar New Year Celebration at Asian Art Museum

Roll in the Year of the Dog with talented dancers, musicians and storytellers at the Asian Art Museum’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration. This year¹s celebration features Chinese acrobatics and lion dance drumming with local favorite Red Panda Acrobats. After the workshops and performances, enjoy author Oliver Chin¹s story about the zodiac calendar and Year of the Dog characteristics. Feb. 18.

Noise Pop Festival

 Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco

This indie music, arts and film festival has hosted countless up-and-coming acts before they became household names, including the Flaming Lips, Frank Black of the Pixies and the White Stripes. Events take place at venues around San Francisco and Oakland. Feb. 19-25. 

“The Wedding Singer”

Bay Area Musicals! continues its third season with the rocking 80s parody musical, “The Wedding Singer”, based on the acclaimed Adam Sandler film.  It takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room. Victoria Theater, Feb. 17-March 17.

SFO Wag Brigade Ring in the Year of the Dog

Dogs at SFO

­ The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) celebrates the Lunar New Year with the help of the Airport's Wag Brigade team of certified therapy animals.  Travelers can celebrate the Year of the Dog at a special photo station with Wag Brigade team members dressed in unique outfits to commemorate the Lunar New Year.  Passengers will also receive traditional red envelopes with gold chocolate coins while visiting the station. SFO International Terminal, Departure Level, Feb. 16.

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition  

Judges from every major American wine region select winners from over 7,000 entries, making this the largest competition of American wines in the world. Join over 5,000 wine enthusiasts for the public tasting. Feb. 17.

San Francisco Beer Week

San Francisco Beer Week

This massive festival features hundreds of events hosted by celebrated breweries, restaurants, bars and retailers. The opening gala at Pier 35 kicks off Feb. 9, and the following nine days are packed with events taking place all over the greater Bay Area, from San Jose to Santa Rosa. Expect special beer releases, beer festivals, meet-the-brewer opportunities, beer dinners, tastings, lectures, panel discussions, home-brewing demonstrations and educational events. Feb 9-18.

"Book of Mormon"

"Book of Mormon" at SHN

The Broadway musical that has delighted sold-out crowds around the country and earned nine Tony Awards returns to SHN Orpheum Theatre. Feb. 6-March 4. 

“Casanova: The Seduction of Europe” at Legion of Honor

 The Seduction of Europe” at Legion of Honor in San Francisco

Explore the notoriously amorous Giacomo Casanova’s 18th century Europe, from France and Italy to the Ottoman Empire and St. Petersburg, through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, furnishings, porcelain, silver and period costumes. Feb 10-May 28.

Tulipmania

Tulipmania  at Pier 39, SF

Pier 39’s iconic floral festival, Tulipmania, returns with more than 39,000 blooming tulips and other seasonal garden favorites. Enjoy the flowers’ beauty and learn helpful gardening tips by taking free guided tours. Feb. 10-18. 

“Born Yesterday” at San Francisco Playhouse

“Born Yesterday” at San Francisco Playhouse

An unscrupulous millionaire and his showgirl fiance head to Washington to bribe a senator for their own financial gain in this sharp and timely comedy about financial corruption in politics. Jan. 23-March 10.

Roll Across Town

SF Electric Tour Company

Traverse 7 miles of Golden Gate Park’s 1,000 acres in under two hours via the efficient (and undeniably amusing) means of personal transportation known as the segway with the Electric Tour Company. Take in the fresh air and greenery while exploring the park’s lesser-known gems. The company also leads routes that explore the wharf and waterfront, Chinatown, North Beach, Lombard Street and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.  

“Still at Risk” at New Conservatory Theatre Center

“Still at Risk” at New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco

See the world premiere of the New Conservatory Theatre Center’s play “Still at Risk” by Tim Pinckney, on stage now through Feb. 25. This new production directed by Dennis Lickteig tackles the personal and political effects of the AIDS crisis on the current gay rights movement. The main character, Kevin, survived the frontlines of the AIDS epidemic and is searching for purpose in today’s era, until an unexpected incident threatens the legacy that he fought for. Jan. 19-Feb 25.

“Tom Loeser: Please Please Please” at the Museum of Craft and Design

 Please Please Please” at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Madison, Wisconsin-based designer/maker Tom Loeser re-imagines the ways that the body, furniture and space can interact. Featuring approximately 20 works, primarily new, the exhibition showcases Loeser’s investigation of unconventional, invitational furniture forms. Jan. 20-May 20.

“France is a Feast – The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child”

“France is a Feast – The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child” at Napa Valley Museum

On view at the Napa Valley Museum Yountville is “France Is a Feast— The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child.” Inspired by the book “France Is a Feast” by Alex Prud’homme and Katie Pratt, the exhibition features black-and-white photographs taken by Paul Child in France between 1948 and 1954, rare objects and pictures of Paul’s wife, Julia Child, long before she became a celebrity cookbook author. Nov. 11-Feb. 18. 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Do in the San Francisco Bay Area, Feb. 16-18, 2018.

Transport Yourself to Central Europe This Winter in San Francisco

"Avenue of Schloss Kammer Park" painting by Gustav Klimt, 1912
(©2017 National Gallery in Prague) "Avenue of Schloss Kammer Park" painting by Gustav Klimt, 1912

San Francisco and Vienna are a world apart but for winter 2017-2018, the two beautiful, bustling cosmopolitan cities seem to be showcasing similar midcentury style. With the Legion of Honor Museum’s opening of a historic new exhibition, a master class in Austrian art history arrives in California for the first time. “Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter” (on view through Jan. 28, 2018) celebrates the inspired relationship between the Vienna Secession painter and the French sculptor, who influenced each other’s work but met just once, in 1902.

"The Virgin" by Gustav Klimt, 1913

A century after their respective deaths, this expansive exhibit brings some of their most groundbreaking endeavors to the West Coast, curated by Gustav Klimt scholar and the former director of Vienna’s Leopold Museum, Dr. Tobias Natter. Don’t miss the reproduction panels of Klimt’s celebrated “Beethoven Frieze,” the piece inspired and eventually led to the meeting of these two visionary Modernist minds.

Afterwards, we suggest that you head to one of the handful of Central Europe-style eateries in San Francisco for a fully immersive experience.

20th Century Cafe

Where to Get a Taste of Central Europe

Leopold’s: Known for hearty Bavarian-Austrian schnitzel and boots of German beer, this convivial Russian Hill gasthaus also features a selection of Austrian wines by the glass.

20th Century Cafe: California meets Central Europe at this charming cafe serving wines from Austria and Slovenia, Russian honey cake—and some lucky days, the owner-pastry chef’s take on Viennese specialty, sacher torte

Paprika: This inviting Hungarian-style Mission District bistro serves salty soft pretzels and savory goulash and keeps Czech lagers and pilsners on tap.

Paprika restaurant in San Francisco

Get a master class in Austrian art history at the "Klimt & Rodin" exhibition at the Legion of Honor Museum and then warm up at one of the city's cozy Central-European restaurants.

The San Francisco Concerts and Shows Guaranteed to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

"The Christmas Carol" at the American Conservatory Theater
(©Kevin Berne) "The Christmas Carol" at the American Conservatory Theater

In San Francisco, the holiday season doesn’t bring snowfall or smoking chimneys, but we make our own traditions. Here are some of locals' favorite seasonal rituals.

Beach Blanket Babylon's Candle Girls

Beach Blanket Babylon Holiday Performances (all month)

The nation’s longest-running musical revue celebrates the holiday season with its ongoing satire of the biggest names in pop culture and politics in these playful presentations of holiday song and dance. Club Fugazi, 678 Green St., 415.421.4222

 The Christmas Episodes”

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes (Dec. 1-23)

Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sofia from the popular 1980s television show return to San Francisco's Victoria Theater this month, but this time they’re played by four comic drag performers. This annual tradition brings plenty of laughs and over-the-top costumes. Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St.

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus' holiday performance

Elfstravaganza: Making the North Pole Gay Again (Dec. 8-9)

This seasonal performance by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at the Nourse Theater and Castro Theatre features 250 elves in holiday drag, fabulous reindeer, Mr. and Mrs. Claus singing opera and more. 275 Hayes St. and 429 Castro St., 415.865.3650

The San Francisco Symphony's lobby decked out for holiday performances

San Francisco Symphony presents A Charlie Brown Christmas—Live (Dec. 21-24)

The symphony performs Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music as live actors portraying Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and the whole Peanuts gang take the stage. The concert begins with a family-friendly reception in the lobby that features festive decorations and activities, including a giant Christmas tree and special Peanuts decor. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., 415.864.6000

"A Christmas Carol" at A.C.T.

A Christmas Carol (Dec. 1-24)

Now in its 41st year, this San Francisco holiday classic returns with legendary Bay Area actors James Carpenter as Ebenezer Scrooge and Ken Ruta as the Ghost of Jacob Marley. This version of the Dickens classic—originally adapted by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff—features a cast of dozens, live music and elaborate costumes. Since it began 41 years ago, the American Conservatory Theater’s “A Christmas Carol” has been performed more than 1,200 times to a collective audience of well over a million. A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., 415.749.2228

Maceo Parker

New Year's With SFJazz (Dec. 28-31)

Hailed as the “king of the funky saxophone and one of the primary architects of modern R&B,” Maceo Parker and company take over SFJazz Center for this funky New Year’s week celebration. The altoist has contributed classic funk solos to James Brown hits, played alongside George Clinton in Parliament/Funkadelic and has toured with artists including Keith Richards, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Prince. Bay Area blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto opens the show. 201 Franklin St., 866.920.5299

New Year's Eve with the San Francisco Symphony

A New Year’s Event with Seth MacFarlane and the San Francisco Symphony (Dec. 31)

Seth MacFarlane is best known as a television producer, but he’s also an Academy and Grammy-Award nominated singer and songwriter. In the tradition of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, MacFarlane performs Broadway and jazz hits accompanied by the symphony. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., 415.864.6000

Norm Lewis at Feinstein’s at the Nikko (Dec. 10)

Tony-Award nominee Norm Lewis sings his interpretation of holiday favorites as well as the songs that made him one of the leading men on Broadway.

Norm Lewis

Join the locals for one of these beloved holiday traditions.

An Insider's Guide to Outside Lands, San Francisco's Major Summer Music Festival

Outside Lands takes over Golden Gate Park every August.
(©Tom Tomkinson/Outside Lands) Outside Lands takes over Golden Gate Park every August.

The foodie music festival Outside Lands returns to Golden Gate Park in 2017 (Aug. 11-13) with a packed lineup of performers and about as many local food and drink vendors. Headliners include Metallica, The Who, Gorillaz and Lorde, who will share the stage with countless other big-name acts, local bands, comedians and artists. Now in its tenth year, Outside Lands attracts more than 200,000 fans and has become one of the most popular and successful festivals in the country. Here’s what to expect this year.  

Nighttime crowd at Outside Lands in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

Music

The festival is known for its diverse lineup of established and emerging acts spanning a variety of genres. Beyond headliners, other top draws include A Tribe Called Quest, Solange and Cage the Elephant. Catch local artists including Kamaiyah, The She's and Oliver Tree. If electronic dance music is your thing, head to the giant white igloo known as the House by Heineken. In addition to four main stages, there’s a dedicated comedy and improv tent, The Barbary, featuring Nick Kroll and Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. And if you’re on a budget or can’t get enough live music, catch one of the Outside Lands Night Shows at venues around town.  

Food at Outside Lands in San Francisco

Food + Drink

Featuring 78 local restaurants, 40 wineries and 30 breweries, Outside Lands is as much a destination for foodies as it is for music fans. Bourbon Cake floats, donut cheeseburgers, crab rolls and pork belly burgers are just a few of the more than 200 menu options served up at six separate venues: A Taste of the Bay Area, Wine Lands, Beer Lands, Choco Lands, Cheese Lands and GastroMagic—a stage dedicated to food and drink themed performances. Food trucks like Curry Up Now and The Chairman along with a host of popular eateries like Namu, 4505 Meats and Proposition Chicken are joined by upscale restaurants like Marlowe, Rich Table and Stones Throw.

Crowd at Outside Lands in San Francisco

Tips

Navigating Outside Lands isn’t easy, so here are a few tips and resources to help you prepare. First, rent a bike. Buses are packed, taxis are scarce, rideshares are overpriced and parking is nonexistent. There’s even a bike valet at the festival where they’ll wash your ride gratis 10 am-8 pm. Past years have been notoriously chilly, windy and sometimes wet, so be sure to bring layers. And be sure to claim a locker early to stash those layers once the sun comes out. The Outside Lands app has you covered with features like personalized schedule sharing, a friend finder, maps, showtimes and news. If your phone dies, there’s a charging station and convenience store selling essentials like lip balm, blankets, ear plugs and more.  

What to expect at the three-day celebration of music, food and art.

What You Need to Know About SF Pride

San Francisco Pride Parade
(©SF Travel/Scott Chernis) San Francisco Pride Parade

The SF Pride Celebration returns to downtown San Francisco June 24-25, attracting hundreds of thousands of revelers for the annual parade and festival. Now in its 47th year, SF Pride is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation, and this year the theme is "A Celebration of Diversity." In addition to the main celebration, dozens of events kick off in neighborhoods around town, including, of course, the city’s historic Castro District, home to SF’s queer community since the 1960s.

San Francisco Pride Parade

Civic Center Plaza Park at the foot of City Hall will host the main festival (noon-6 pm Saturday, 11 am-6 pm Sunday), where you’ll find over 200 exhibitors and more than 20 stages and venues. Sunday’s parade of more than 240 contingents and floats will make its way from the Embarcadero through the heart of downtown San Francisco to the Civic Center festival. Dykes on Bikes, a longtime parade staple, celebrates its 41st anniversary this year with a fleet of nearly 400 riders. This year also features the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus as well as local activists recognized for their contributions to the LGBT community as the parade’s grand marshals.

Rainbow float at the SF Pride Parade

The Castro District, the historic home of San Francisco’s LGBT movement, will be celebrating Pride all month with a variety of special events. The GLBT Museum is the only one of its kind in the U.S., and is home to a must-see collection of posters, photographs and artifacts, including a display of Harvey Milk’s personal belongings. Speaking of Harvey Milk, be sure to stop by the Human Rights Campaign Action Center & Store at 575 Castro St. The building is the former site of Milk’s Castro Camera shop, where he also lived and organized his political campaigns. As you walk the streets of the Castro, you’ll notice the Rainbow Honor Walk, a series of bronze plaques honoring LGBT heroes. You can follow the sidewalk tribute from the heart of the Castro down Market Street, and on the way, rainbow crosswalks adorn the intersection of Castro and 18th streets.

San Francisco’s LGBT movement

The Castro is home to some of the city’s top eateries and bars. Twin Peaks Tavern, known as the “gateway to the Castro,” was the first gay bar in the country to feature huge glass windows, an important first step in bringing the gay community out of the closet. The Lookout is the Castro’s most popular bar and features an almost always packed balcony overlooking the intersection of 16th and Market streets. Perhaps the most acclaimed Castro restaurant, Frances is a neighborhood gem serving up modern California cuisine that changes with the seasons. Another neighborhood gem, the Michelin-recommended Anchor Oyster Bar has been a top seafood destination since 1977.

The Lookout balcony crowd

DATEBOOK

-Frameline, The SF International LGBT Film Festival

The historic Castro Theatre and other Bay Area venues host the longest-running and largest LGBTQ film event in the world. June 15-25

-SF Gay Men’s Chorus Presents “The Gay Kitchen Sink”

The SF Gay Men’s Chorus performs LGBT anthems from across generations, including Holly Near's "Singing for Our Lives" and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" at the Nourse Theater. June 16-17.

-Annual Pink Triangle Installation and Commemoration

Volunteers install a giant pink triangle on top of Twin Peaks starting at 7 am, followed by a commemoration ceremony at 10:30 am. June 24.

-LGBT Night at AT&T Park

Tickets to the game include a special LGBT-themed Giants scarf and admission to a pre-game party from 5-7 pm. June 26.

 

How to navigate the largest LGBT celebration in the nation.
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