Before getting swept up in the blizzard of holiday obligations and traditions, go do something just for the heck of it.San Francisco in November 2014 has a cornucopia of festivals, performances and exhibits to choose from.
To herald SF Gate.com’s 20th anniversary, the San Francisco Chronicle is rustling up a daylong celebration of what makes the city great. A double-decker party bus brings live entertainment to various spots in SF, and restaurants, shops and organizations such as Four Barrel, Uber, Kara’s Cupcakes, Scala’s Bistro, Boulevard, San Francisco Ballet, Heath Ceramics, Westfield Mall and 826 Valencia offer deals, special products or activities.
In the evening, the San Francisco Brewers Guild presents a tasting party of 15 different beers, and a finale at the Presidio Main Post Lawn features food trucks and entertainment.
At various venues in San Francisco.
Chinese Historical Society of America Anniversary Celebration
Nov. 8, at 11 am-4 pm
The historical society celebrates its 51st anniversary with such activities as a dragon dance and a talk by Corey Chan of Kei Lun Martial Arts about the traditional dance and his restoration of an antique dragon. Films will be screened, about the art of watercolor and about Chinese Americans who’ve served in the U.S. armed forces.
At the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, 965 Clay St., San Francisco 94108. Free.
The San Francisco Social
Nov. 8, at 9 pm-12 am
Techies, young professionals and other millennials back a good Bay Area cause at this annual gala, now in its 9th edition. This year’s beneficiary is the SF Child Abuse Prevention Center.
The gala offers an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, gift bags, a DJ, dance and music performances, a photo booth and a silent auction featuring a baseball signed by Buster Posey, SF Giants tickets, a $500 Airbnb certificate and getaway packages.
At the W Hotel, 181 3rd St., San Francisco. Tickets $95, 125.
Renegade Craft Fair
Nov. 8 & 9, at 11 am-6 pm
Shop for jewelry, stationery, housewares, apparel, artwork, gourmet food and wine, furniture and other handmade items from 300 artisans, and take breaks for DJ music and a photo booth.
At Fort Mason, Festival Pavilion, Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd., San Francisco 94123. Free admission.
SF Open Studios
Through Nov. 9, Saturdays & Sundays at 11 am–6 pm
Said to be the largest open studios program in the US, here's your chance to catch 900 San Francisco artists in their element. During self-guided weekend tours of different neighborhoods, pop into studios, watch artists create, and inquire, peruse and shop.
At various venues in San Francisco. Free.
Aquascapes: The Art of Underwater Gardening
Nov. 13-April 12, 2015, Tuesdays–Sundays, at 10 am-4 pm
See aquariums as you’ve never seen them before, filled not with fish, but with landscaping. This exhibit includes a dozen huge tanks housing native plants, stones, wood (and some fish), themed on Africa, Asia and South America and evoking mountain ranges, primeval forests and abstract art.
At the Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr., San Francisco 94118. Admission free-$8.
Everything you need to have or know to work, play and live green, covering energy, food, design, construction, health, fashion and other areas.
Cooking demos, panel talks activities for kids and a market with 350 eco-friendly vendors.
At Fort Mason Center, Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd., San Francisco 94123. Tickets $10-30.
San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest
Popping, locking, b-boy tricks and funky Gumby moves you’ll have to see to believe. The professional hip-hop dance companies are from the Bay Area and elsewhere in California, London, Paris and Sao Paulo.
At the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco 94123. Tickets: $39.99, 75.
Dolores Huerta & Sen. Art Torres
Nov. 15, at 7 pm
Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former California senator Torres speak as part of a lecture series produced by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Merritt College.
At Mills College, Haas Gymnasium, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. Free, but limited seating and rsvp required; call (510) 978-7286.
Nov. 15 at 4 pm; Nov. 16 at 4 & 6:30 pm
Co-sponsored by Stanford University, this performance reveals the emotions on both sides of the Silicon Valley pitch by using art, theater and technology. Enterprising pitchers (including Stanford psychologist Phillip Zimbardo) and venture capitalists engage in a pitch session while a grid reveals their fears and passions. Writer-director Robin Swicord (the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) guides them through drama and film rehearsal techniques, while artist Pamela Davis Kivelson sketches the dynamics.
At Pace Gallery Menlo Park, 300 El Camino Real, Menlo Park 94025. RSVPs and donations requested.
Interactive Arab Music with Aswat
Nov. 16, at 1:30-3 pm
Arab music ensemble Aswat and Arab arts organization Zawaya host an interactive performance in which you’re invited to sing, play Arab percussion instruments and join in dance circles. The presentation includes a recitation of the Qur’an, sacred songs and a Q&A session. The event is in conjunction with the Asian Art Museum’s new special exhibition Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
At the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco. Free with museum admission.
Nov. 21, at 8 pm
Musicians from Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe, China, India, Iran and Ireland express how music is used as propaganda, protest and prayer in the context of war. The concert is part of the War Project, an SF World Music initiative that involves musicians, social justice leaders, refugees and global communities in need and includes site-specific, tech-enabled productions.
At St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell St., San Francisco 94109. Tickets $15, 25.
Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG
Nov. 21-23 & 28-30
Satirist Will Durst honors, analyzes and skewers baby boomers, their egos and their obsessions. The hilarious segments in his solo show include such gems as “Everything You Wanted to Know About Decrepitude But Were Afraid to Ask.”
At The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco 94110. Tickets $15-100. Ages 18+.
Nov. 22, at 6 pm-2 am
A fundraiser for Burning Man Arts projects, the evening comprises dinner, drinks, live performances, dancing, original artwork on display, and live and silent auctions.
At the Bently Reserve, 400 Sansome St., San Francisco 94111. Tickets $40 and up. Ages 21+.
Celebration of Craftswomen
Nov. 28, 29 & 30, at 10 am-5 pm
Peruse accessories, jewelry, housewares, ceramics, pottery, bags and purses, furniture, bath and beauty items, glass pieces and art made by 150 juried artists at what’s said to be the only all-female crafts show in the US. The show benefits the Women’s Building, the country’s first women-owned community center.
At Fort Mason Center, Herbst Pavilion, Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd., San Francisco 94123. Admission free-$9.
Holiday Traditions at Filoli: La Saison d’ Élégance
Nov. 28-Dec. 6
Filoli Mansion undergoes a French- and holiday-themed transformation, offering sparkling lights, elegant décor, a French market, music, a bistro menu, and a Dec. 6 children’s party.
At Filoli, 86 Cañada Rd., Woodside 94062. Ticket prices vary.
Santa Hat Run
Nov. 30, at 9 am
Walk or run an easy 5k around Crissy Field and get a commemorative T-shirt and finisher’s medal (that can also be used as a tree ornament). You receive a Santa hat in the mail before the race; come on race day in the hat and/or other holiday costumes. Bring a new unwrapped toy or donate above the registration fee to benefit the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program.
Starts at Sports Basement, the Presidio, 610 Old Mason St., San Francisco 94129. Registration $20-45.
World AIDS Day
Nov. 30, at 1-5 pm
This afternoon of education features the Bullycide Project, which addresses suicide by teens who’ve been bullied, and a screening of We Were Here, a documentary that looks back at the impact of AIDS on 1980s San Francisco.
At the de Young, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco 94118. Free.