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June 30, 2017

Things to Do in San Francisco this July

You’re halfway there, folks. As of July 1, you have 182 more days to make this the best year ever! We’ve got a few ideas to make it memorable.

Go Forth on the Fourth

The Fourth of July is shaping up to be a four-day weekend for many workers (including those in San Francisco, which ranks #2 in the U.S. for most unused vacation days). Let’s have some fun and take a few days of vacation, for Pete’s sake. Need a little traveling music? Be sure and check out the annual Fillmore Jazz Festival, July 1-2, 2017.

Musical Notes with San Francisco Symphony

Summer brings a series of musical treats from the San Francisco Symphony. In addition to two free performances July 9 at Stern Grove Festival and July 23 at Pier 27, the San Francisco Symphony’s summer concert schedule, July 4-29, includes “The Music of John Williams,” a Fourth of July concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre and a special visit from Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico on July 16, kicking off this year’s MEX AM Festival.

Welcome to WildCard

Remember when all it took to enter another world was a cardboard box, some scissors, glue and a bit of imagination? The Exploratorium invites visitors to return to that feeling in Welcome to WildCard, open daily through Sept. 4. Share the experience of a world of whimsy, creativity and innovative thinking in a physical landscape built out of cardboard and brought to life by imagination. The exhibition also includes a unique Cardboard Café, modeled on a 1950’s diner, where visitors can have a cup of coffee and a snack. 

Hats Off to Degas

Best known for his depictions of Parisian dancers and laundresses, Edgar Degas was also enthralled with high-fashion hats and the women who created them. Through Sept. 24, 2017 at the Legion of Honor, take in “Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade.” This landmark exhibition features more than 40 Impressionist paintings and pastels by Degas, as well as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Mary Cassatt and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Edvard Munch Exhibit Makes Global Debut

The global debut of “Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed,” will feature approximately 45 paintings produced by Munch between the 1880s and 1940s. Seven are on view for the first time in the U.S. at SFMOMA, through Oct. 9, 2017. Some of his most profoundly human and daring compositions will be on view, as well as a dozen of his self-portraits. Munch is considered one of the foremost innovators of figurative painting in the 20th century.

It's Showtime!

While “Hamilton” continues at the SHN Orpheum Theatre through Aug. 5, 2017, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," “the most inventive new show on Broadway” according to the “New York Post,” has almost a four-week run through July 23, 2017 at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre. One of the highlights of San Francisco’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Summer of Love, “A Night with Janis Joplin” at A.C.T’s Geary Theatre, has been extended through July 16.

It's a Bird, It’s a Dinosaur

It’s actually neither. Pterosaurs existed in an exotic order all their own, with 33-foot wingspans, technicolor crests and fuzzy coats. Learn more about the largest flying animals that ever lived. Paleontologists and pint-sized explorers alike will dig this exhibit’s treasure trove of newly discovered fossils and dynamic dioramas, while amateur aerobats of all ages will earn their wings piloting pterosaurs through virtual prehistoric landscapes at the California Academy of Sciences through Jan. 7, 2018.

A Night at the Palace

This performance series has announced the first of several new shows to run in rotation with its runaway hit “The Speakeasy.” Opening Friday, July 7, “A Night at the Palace” welcomes audiences to the immersive, Prohibition-era world of The Speakeasy with a mix of lighthearted cabaret acts and interactive scenes. The cabaret will be swinging, the casino tables are hot and the drinks are cold and strong.

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

The 2017 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival—the largest and most comprehensive world dance and music event of its kind in the U.S.—will feature performances by 24 Bay Area-based groups and hundreds of performers at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, July 8-16, 2017. This year, dance and music traditions from around the world, including Persian/Iranian, European, Hawaiian, Mexican, Congolese, Brazilian, Indian classical and Bollywood styles, Peruvian, Cuban, Balinese, Zimbabwean, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Balinese, West African and more take center stage for two weekends.


While the San Francisco Marathon (July 23) is sold out, runners can still register for Across the Bay, July 9, 2017. The 12K features one of the San Francisco’s most scenic courses —a point-to-point journey starting in Sausalito, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and finishing in Aquatic Park. A separate 5K starts and finishes in San Francisco. Motorists should note that northbound lanes of the Golden Gate Bridge will be closed to general traffic the day of the marathon, July 23, from 6-9 a.m.

We’ve Got Rhythm

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the 54th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest will take place at noon in Union Square. Muni’s top bell ringers as well as some amateur competitors will vie for cash prizes, trophies and most of all, bragging rights. Come on out and cheer on your favorite but first take a listen.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival

The 40th Anniversary Bay Area Playwrights Festival runs July 13-23, 2017 at Custom Made Theatre, 533 Sutter St. In addition to 12 staged readings, the festival will offer a Theater Professionals weekend, special events and an anniversary celebration.  

Asian Art Museum Flexes Its Flower Power

Just follow the giant posies to the entrance of the Asian Art Museum and you’ll already be experiencing their new exhibit, “Flower Power,” through Oct. 1, 2017. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the Asian Art Museum will be showcasing the expressive powers of flowers in the arts and culture of Asia. On Saturday, July 15, be a part of history for Lotus Live to earn the “Guinness World Records” title for the “largest human flowers.” At least 3,000 community members are needed to be part of this flower power salute. Reserve your spot by registering here

Shark Awareness

Join the Aquarium of the Bay for summer shark fun, including Shark Awareness Day on July 14 and Shark Week, July 22-30, 2017. There will be special Shark Talks, activities and more. Meet sharks such as seven-gills, leopard sharks and Pacific angel sharks "face-to-fin" while uncovering the mysteries of their majesty and role within the ecosystem. You can show off your love for sharks with your very own fin-tastic “I heart shark” pins.

Bayview SPARC

The Burning Man tribes will be united on July 15, 2017 beginning at 3 p.m. for the second annual Bayview SPARC block party, 1439 Egbert Ave. Once a year The Flaming Lotus Girls, ICARUS, Sextant and Imprint City join forces to present a magic mixture of art, music, science and interactive surprises for an event that inspires the senses. Music is curated by The Janky Barge. Entertainment includes flow artists, fire dancers, interactive art stations and face painters. Brews will be poured by Laughing Monk Brewing and San Francisco’s favorite food trucks will be parked nearby.

MEX AM Festival

A multidisciplinary initiative that showcases culture in Mexico, including music, film, food, visual arts, digital art, dance, literature and conversations with some of the most influential Mexicans in their fields of expertise, the MEX AM Festival unfolds in San Francisco July 16-23, 2017. Showcasing the ongoing collaboration between Mexico and the U.S., the festival features Mexican talent born and raised in the U.S. and also offers performances and exhibitions from the State of Jalisco, one of Mexico’s most diverse states.

Rugby World Cup Sevens Tickets on Sale July 20

Rugby World Cup Sevens is coming to the United States for the first time in 2018! Tickets will go on sale on July 20, a year before the 2018 event in San Francisco. The world's best rugby sevens players will thrill crowds from July 20-22, 2018. The iconic AT&T Park will stage the three-day tournament featuring 24 men's and 16 women's teams competing for title of world champions.

Film Fests

Not a month goes by without some sort of reel fest in San Francisco. Check out the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, July 20-23, 2017 – a tongue-and-check nod to the distinct chill of a San Francisco summer. Modern Cinema returns to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 20-Aug. 6, 2017. This season explores the work of Hong Kong director and master of contemporary crime cinema Johnnie To alongside classics like “The Godfather,” “The Wild Bunch” and others. Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and vitality of Jewish culture at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 20-Aug. 6, 2017. The festival is the first, oldest and most prestigious celebration of its kind in the world.

Summer of Love

A vibrant poster series done in the style of vintage trading cards is appearing on bus kiosks on Market Street between the Embarcadero and Eighth Street through Aug. 31, 2017. Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin and Joan Didion are just a few of the Summer of Love icons featured in Kate Haug's Summer of Love installation presented by the San Francisco Arts Commission. Also coming up: Artspan’s Flower Power Happy Hour Art Walk on July 20, 4:30-9 p.m. Stroll through five of the Art-in-Neighborhoods Exhibitions in The Mosser Hotel, CounterPulse, Hotel Adagio, The Marker Hotel and PianoFight. The walk can be completed in 30 minutes but you’ll want to stay for the happy hour. Free, but a donation would be nice.

More Film Fun

Park perks in the summer include fresh-air flicks. Every summer Film Night in the Park draws more than 15,000 filmgoers to parks throughout San Francisco and Marin County. Films are presented free of charge on a giant outdoor screen. Attendees are encouraged to picnic before screenings and discouraged from blocking views with chairs. There’s also outdoor family movie night, featuring “Sing,” coming up at the Presidio on July 21, 2017 in the Civil War Parade Ground.

Come Play with Us

It’s summer and the Children’s Creativity Museum is open an extra day, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Geared for ages 2-12, the museum offers innovative art and tech experiences atop The Moscone Center. While construction to expand the Center is underway, just head up the ramp near the historic carousel for classes and activities that range from an Augmented Reality Sandbox exhibition, which gives young ones a hands-on introduction to topography, to the Animation Studio, which invites adults and kids of all ages to learn the basic skills of stop motion animation.

Find Sophie Calle’s “Missing” at Fort Mason Center

A large scale exhibition featuring five works by internationally acclaimed French artist Sophie Calle will be installed at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC), through Aug. 20, 2017. Curated by Ars Citizen, “Missing” gathers five of her major projects, itinerant since their creation, into a site-responsive presentation across the historic and bayside FMCAC campus. The exhibition, conceived as a journey, offers an overview of Calle’s work since the 1980s, and includes her iconic projects spanning the last decade: “Take Care of Yourself” and “Voir la mer.”    

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