Easter is all about egg hunts, egg decorating, the Easter Bunny, parades and dressing up. Below is our guide to Easter-related activities in San Francisco and the Bay Area in 2015, which run from the traditional to the riotous and are listed in chronological order. Of course you'll need sustenance to hop to all of these events, and for that, we also have the scoop on Easter brunches and dinners.
Naturally Dyed Eggs
April 4, at 10-10:45 am and 11:15-12 pm
In a hands-on workshop, kids and adults learn about plant-based dyes and use them to decorate eggs.
At the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley 94720. Registration $15, $12 (includes four eggs and admission to Garden). Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.
Easter Derby Parade & Spring Festival
April 4, at 10 am-1 pm
Buy a derby (a hat, in this case, plastic) from a Lakeshore merchant or find an old hat at home and decorate it. (Last-minute-types can decorate their hats at the Lakeshore Baptist Church on April 4 at 10-11:30 am). At 11:30 am, parade with other derby-donning folks, and then return to the church for egg decorating, face painting, refreshments and goodies. Sponsored by Lakeshore Avenue Business Improvement District and Lakeshore Baptist Church.
Parade starting and ending point and festival are at Lakeshore Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland 94601. Free.
April 4, at 11 am–3 pm
Egg hunting, carnival rides, games and live entertainment.
See who wins a barbecue cook-off among the city’s rec and park, police and fire departments (I’m betting on the firefighters).
At Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 320 Bowling Green Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118 . Admission $8. Advance tickets available by calling (415) 831-6800.
Ghirardelli Square Easter Festival
April 4, at 11 am-3 pm
Kid-friendly activities and entertainment including the Easter Bunny, music, face painting, tattoos and balloon art.
At Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., San Francisco 94109. Free.
The Great Egg Hunt
April 4, at 11-4 pm
Easter fun on a gorgeous lawn. Three separate egg hunts (times are staggered according to age); a petting zoo; jugglers, dancers and other entertainers; tours of the historic Dunsmuir mansion; egg-dying and arts and crafts; pet adoptions; and the Easter Bunny. Bring a picnic and a basket for eggs.
At Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland 94605. Admission: Free; $3; $5.
Union Street Easter Parade & Spring Celebration
April 5, at 10 am-5 pm
This kid-centric event features games, hands-on activities and costumed characters galore, a climbing wall, a petting zoo, pony rides, live music and an Easter bonnet contest. A parade starts at 2 pm.
On Union between Gough and Fillmore streets, San Francisco. Free.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's Easter in the Park
April 5, at 11 am-4 pm
The annual Easter bash by the spirited, cross-dressing Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence moves because of Dolores Park's renovation. A children’s Easter egg hunt and games kick off at 11 am. At noon it’s the adults’ turn, with music, burlesque and other performances and the Easter Bonnet, Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests.
At Hellman Hollow (formerly Speedway Meadow), Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 94117. Free; donations welcome.
Bring Your Own Big Wheel
April 5, at 4-6 pm
Dozens of drivers careen their Big Wheels (those giant yellow-and-red plastic tricycles for kiddies) on Potrero Hill. There are two laps for the real children (ages 12 and under), and then a round for the older folks who wish they were children. Yes, you must sign a waiver.
Starts at Vermont and 20th streets, San Francisco 94107. Free, but donation of at least $5 is recommended for racers and spectators.