Niles Festival of Lights Parade, Fremont – Friday November 29th
Tree Lighting at 6pm, Parade at 6:30pm
Sponsored by the members of the Niles community and the Fremont community at large, this wonderful holiday tradition features over 60 unique floats and other entries, marching bands, specialty service units, costumed characters and of course, an appearance by the man himself – Santa Claus.
Union Square, San Francisco – Friday November 29th
Tree Lighting at 6:40pm, Celebration 6-7pm
The 30th Annual Great Tree Lighting will be celebrated with live performances by the San Francisco Opera; the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus; Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; the cast of San Francisco Playhouse’s ‘Groundhog Day the Musical’; winner of season 16 of NBC’s The Voice, Maelyn Jarmon.
Nightly tree lighting musical every half hour from 5-10pm from November 27 – January 5
Synchronized to holiday music, the tree transforms into a kaleidoscope of swirling colors, adorned with thousands of specialty lights and ornaments
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco – Friday November 29th
Saratoga Holiday Wine Stroll & Tree Lighting – Friday November 29th
Tree Lighting at 5:30pm, Event 5-8pm
Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, performance by Los Gatos Ballet, pictures with Santa, and more. The activities are free, however tickets are required to participate in the Wine Stroll
Christmas in the Park, San Jose – Friday November 29th
Parade & Opening Night Celebration, 5-10pm
For over 30 years, Plaza de Cesar Chavez has been transformed into Christmas in the Park, a holiday fantasy with over 60 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree.
One of the largest exhibits, the Lima Train, includes a melting snowman, caroling mice and elf woodcrafters. Guests enter a winter wonderland of lights, songs and local entertainment while strolling through an enchanted forest of decorated trees. Children can have their photograph taken with Santa, watch nightly entertainment and enjoy holiday themed refreshments.
1) Oakland Zoo is hosting their annual Boo at the Zoo on October 26 and 27 with crafts and activities. Plus, all kids who wear a costume get a free ride ticket. In an effort to reduce and reuse, the zoo will no longer be providing bags for collecting candy—be sure to bring along a bucket or pillow case!
2) Trick-or-treat with the animals at the California Academy of Sciences’ SuperNatural on October 26. Along with collecting candy, there will be magic shows, face painting, pumpkin carving and live animal shows. Everyone is invited to come in costume!
3) Celebrate Halloween with your furry friends at the San Francisco Zoo’s Zootober Fest on weekends in October. It even features the largest hay maze in the city.
4) Don’t miss a special Pop-Up Studio session at Walt Disney Family Museum on October 26 in honor of The Haunted Mansion‘s 50th anniversary. At the workshop, you’ll get to learn all about the classic story and participate in a themed art session. And while you’re there, don’t miss a viewing of Hocus Pocus!
5) Head to the Jack o’ Lantern Jamboree at Children’s Fairyland on October 26 and 27. There will be a parade, crafts, balloon twisting and puppet shows performed by the Children’s Theater Program and Storybook Puppet Theater. Goody bags and treat stations where you can grab plenty of Halloween candy are on tap, too!
6) The Yerba Buena Garden Festival gets spooky during their annual Halloween Hoopla on October 27. Expect live music from The Unique Derique, visits from the palm reader Madam Z and craft stations. The event ends with the popular Halloween Costume Parade, where everyone has the chance to show off their costumes.
7) Enjoy treats (don’t worry, no tricks) at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose’s Halloween Family Night on October 31! Kids can participate in art and science activities, collect treats and more!
There is something to do just about every weekend in the Bay Area during the summer! From art & wine festivals, to music events, and kids activities, there is certainly something everyone can enjoy. Mark your calendars!
Sundays @ 2pm, June 16 – August 18 – Free Admission & Picnic Tables for Paid Reservation
Stern Grove Festival Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make live musical experiences accessible to all.
Every year since 1938, the organization presents Stern Grove Festival, a free concert series, in Sigmund Stern Grove, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco.
Saturday, June 29 – 11am – 7:30pm – $35-$125
The Monterey International Blues Festival is back for its third year, as they strive to preserve the Blues, that great American tradition, with a day of fun in the sun for the whole family (kids 10 and under get in for free*) and of course, the best blues in the Bay Area.
Saturday & Sunday, July 6-7, 10am – 6pm – FREE
Blending art and soul in one of the country’s most unique neighborhoods, the Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast, drawing over 100,000 visitors over the Independence Day weekend on Fillmore Street in San Francisco between Jackson and Eddy streets.
Saturday & Sunday, July 14-15, 10am – 6pm – FREE
Showcases the distinctive works of artists and craftspeople from more than a dozen states, features select vintages from local wineries, wide variety of foods, free concerts and activities and entertainment for children.
July 26, 7 & 28 – Tickets for Purchase
Great food, live entertainment, cooking competitions, and more!
Saturday & Sunday, August 3-4, 10am – 6pm – FREE
The Fremont Festival Of The Arts is the largest free street festival west of the Mississippi, attracting nearly 400,000 people annually & has activities and entertainment for the entire family.
Saturday, August 10, 11m – 7pm – FREE
Rich with rhythms from around the globe and around the corner, the Laurel Street Fair is dedicated to celebrating the cultural roots, community and traditions of Oakland. Attractions include World Music Performances, DJ’s, Community Yoga, Artisan Vendors, Craft Beer Garden, Local Food Court, Kid’s Carnival & Petting Zoo.
Saturday & Sunday, August 17-18, 10am – 6pm – FREE
Polk Street Blues Festival will feature 2 stages of live blues, arts and crafts exhibitors, gourmet food booths, local restaurants, community booths, hands on kids activities and rides, a farmers market, bistro style seating areas, & craft beer and fine wines.
Saturday, August 17 – $25
The Festival will feature local Latin music ensembles, as well as internationally-renowned artists, merchants, food vendors, artisans, and community organizations.4
October 6-14, 2019
Held annually between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, The San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show Presented by United attracts fans from all over the globe. The waterfront event is headlined by The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and is the only air show in the United States with a commercial airliner, the United 777, to perform a fully choreographed act.
What’s better than live music?! Whether you are a live jazz connoisseur or you are just looking for a new and fun experience, this list of restaurants, bars, and music venues throughout the Bay Area offer Live Jazz throughout the week. Enjoy!
Selected as one of the best places to hear jazz in the world, 4 years in a row! Intimate venue offering seating for 72, reservations recommended.
In the heart of Oakland’s Jack London Square, Yoshi’s offers an an award-winning 310-seat live performance space, earning a reputation as the Bay Area’s premier location for great Japanese cuisine and jazz music.
Located within the old printing room of The Examiner, in the historic Hearst building. Unique experience!
Curated mix of the best live jazz in San Francisco. True to its roots, the space combines grit with glam in the city’s historic arts and entertainment district
Reminiscent of an old time New York City jazz house. Live music 7 nights a week!
The intimate dining room serving American fare offers all patrons (including our bar guests) a ringside seat to the nightly Jazz
This themed two-tier French Vietnamese restaurant features two dining rooms on the main floor and live music nightly
Live jazz every night, craft cocktails, and food till late.
Live Jazz Thursday – Sunday, and Vinyl only DJ night every Wednesday.
Blue Note Lounge – Milpitas
Live Jazz and Karaoke nightly rotation.
Poor House Bistro – San Jose
Cajun restaurant offering live music of varying genres every day.
Savanna Jazz Club – San Carlos
Award Winning Jazz Club! Open 7 nights a week with local, national, and international talent nightly!
B Street & Vine – San Mateo
Italian Wine Cafe & Restaurant, with Live Music Wednesday – Saturday
Calling all dog parents! A list of some of the top rated restaurants and bars throughout the Bay Area where Fido can come too.
American, Burgers, Comfort Food
Sports bar, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Artisan Cafe, Breakfast, Brunch
Brewery, American, Pizza
Breakfast & Brunch
German, Bar, Modern European
American, Burgers, Comfort Food
German, Beer Garden, Dinner
Breakfast, Brunch, Mimosas
Banh Cuon Saigon, East San Jose, YELP
Seafood, Japanese, Asian Fusion
Poke, Sushi Bars, Japanese Curry
Breakfast & Brunch, French
Seafood, Bar, Sandwiches
American, Brunch, Dinner
Caribbean, Hawaiian, Brunch, Dinner, Cocktails
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Who doesn’t love free! Take advantage of free admission days offered by museums across the Bay Area.
Asian Art Museum – FREE first Sundays
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is uniquely positioned to lead a diverse, global audience in discovering the distinctive materials, aesthetics and intellectual achievements of Asian art and cultures, and to serve as a bridge of understanding between Asia and the United States and among the diverse cultures of Asia.
Legion of Honor – FREE first Tuesdays for all & FREE every Saturday for SF residents (starting April 6, 2019)
Built to commemorate Californian soldiers who died in World War I, the Legion of Honor is a beautiful Beaux-arts building located in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge and all of San Francisco, the Legion is most noted for its breathtaking setting. Its collections include Rodin’s Thinker, which sits in the museum’s Court of Honor, European decorative arts and paintings, Ancient art, and one of the largest collections of prints and drawings in the country.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) – FREE first Tuesdays
YBCA is one of the Bay Area’s premier venues for adventurous art. A multidisciplinary art center, the YBCA features exhibitions, performance, film/video, and community engagement programs, along with rotating art exhibits with a focus on contemporary and emerging art from the Bay Area and beyond.
De Young Museum – FREE first Tuesdays for all & FREE every Saturday for SF residents (starting April 6, 2019)
Founded in 1895 in Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum is a landmark art museum that showcases the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) – FREE third Thursday Evenings 5-8pm
MoAD, a contemporary art museum, celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.
Exploratorium – FREE Community Days – Thursday March 14, 2019 & Sunday May 12, 2019
The Exploratorium is a twenty-first-century learning laboratory, an eye-opening, always-changing, playful place to explore and tinker featuring hundreds of science, art, and human perception exhibits.
Contemporary Jewish Museum – FREE first Tuesdays
The Contemporary Jewish Museum engages audiences of all backgrounds through dynamic exhibitions and programs that explore contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. And the architecture of the Museum itself is a work of art.
Berkeley Art Museum (BAMPFA) – FREE first Thursdays
BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley. Their mission is to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.
Oakland Museum of California – $5 suggested donation for first Sundays
As the only museum to focus entirely on the art and history of California, the diverse collections on display in the 300,000 square foot building present the art and tell the history of California from many angles. The museum invites visitors to experience the history of California through interacting with art, becoming art, and rewriting history.
Chabot Space and Science Center – Reduced $5 admission after 6pm on first Fridays
Chabot features a 241-seat full dome planetarium, interactive and hands-on exhibits, space artifacts, a giant screen theater, a Challenger Learning Center, and the only research-level telescopes regularly available to the public for weekly live viewing in the Western United States.
San Jose Museum of Modern Art – FREE Community Days: SJMA offers three free lively community days each year: El Día de los Muertos (October or November), Lunar New Year (February), and Maker Day (June). SJMA also offers free admission on International Museum Day (May 18). Check their calendar of events for specific upcoming dates.
SJMA is a leading showcase in the Bay Area for modern and contemporary art. The Museum has earned a reputation for its fresh, distinctive exhibitions, addressing major trends in international contemporary art, architecture, and design, with an ongoing commitment to also place the work of California artists in national and international context.
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles – First Fridays: Pay what you can 11am – 4pm, and FREE 7pm – 10pm
The Museum is the nexus for fiber artists, art lovers, collectors, quilters, and crafters who share a passion for fiber art and a deep commitment to its preservation and evolution.
Bay Area Discovery Museum – FREE first Wednesdays
Children’s museum with 7.5 acres of indoor and outdoor space. Engage children with fun and creative activities and exhibits that encourage them to use problem-solving and thinking skills
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History – FREE first Fridays
Connect with nature at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, a place for learning, exploration and building community located in a beautiful building right on the beach in Santa Cruz. Permanent exhibits include wildlife and habitat displays, artifacts and cultural exhibits of the Ohlone, a garden learning center, plus exhibits on the geology of Santa Cruz, and Monterey Bay marine life.
And if you’re a Bank of America card holder….
Enjoy free admission to participating museums on the first full weekend of every month! Including select museums in the Bay Area and surrounding cities: San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View, Oakland, Sacramento and Monterey. Full list HERE.
Please note that holidays can affect opening days, so please check with the museums first before attending.
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