Things to Do in San Francisco This August
The temperatures may be on the cool side in August, but we make up for it with some very hot things to do, including foodie favorites and the annual Outside Lands music festival.
Be Grateful for Jerry
San Francisco’s Excelsior District honors one of their own, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, with several events in August. The 17th annual Jerry Day concert begins at 11 a.m. on Aug. 4, 2019, in the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park. Performers include Melvin Seals and JGB, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, and the Gary Gates Band. Head to The Dark Horse Inn, near his childhood home at Amazon Ave. and Mission St., on Aug. 1, 2019 at 6 p.m. for their official Jerry Garcia Birthday Party. Don’t forget to top off the day with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. On Aug. 9, 2019, the San Francisco Giants will host Grateful Dead Tribute Night at Oracle Park. Special event ticket packages will include a collector's edition Grateful Dead/Giants theme t-shirt.
Get Crafty at the Fort Mason Center
The American Craft Show returns to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Aug. 2-4, 2019. As the largest juried fine craft show on the West Coast, the three-day event will showcase more than 250 of the top contemporary craft artists from across the country, all under one roof. Craft collectors and design enthusiasts will also have a chance to engage in three special showcases: "Hip-Hop Emerging Artists", "School-to-Market", and "Let’s Make".
Fourth Annual World Dog Surfing Championships
Hang ten with man's best friend at the Fourth Annual World Dog Surfing Championships, where your four-legged friend can compete for the "Golden Surfie Award." Happening in Pacifica, just south of San Francisco, you'll be able to enroll your pup in a number of activities, including the surf competition, dog beach fashion contest, and much more! The fun takes place on Aug. 3, 2019.
The 46th Annual Nihonmachi Street Fair
Head to America’s oldest Japantown for the annual Nihonmachi Street Fair, Aug. 3-4, 2019. Highlights include the Asian American Basketball Tournament and “The Art & Soul of J-town,” which showcases Asian artists. The Food Fest will feature Asian eats, from teri burgers to okonomiyaki (a Japanese savory pancake). The Doggie World Parade and Pageant on Aug. 4 will feature DIY doggie crafts and a doggie photobooth.
Listen up! You will not want to miss these free music events at this beautiful concert venue. The Stern Grove Music Festival, running through Aug. 18, will feature an eclectic and diverse mix of performances, including The Psychedelic Furs, Pink Martini, and The Isley Brothers. This iconic tradition of free concerts in the park is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and great music.
The Contemporary Jewish Museum Exhibitions
The event calendar is packed at the Contemporary Jewish Museum this month. Here's what's on view at CJM this August:
- "Annabeth Rosen: Fired, Broken, Gathered, Heaped"
A retrospective of one the most innovative ceramic sculptors of our time, "Annabeth Rosen: Fired, Broken, Gathered, Heaped" chronicles over twenty years of the artist's work. The exhibition features more than 120 of Rosen’s most influential and dynamic works, including early and recent ceramic sculptures that range from the diminutive to the monumental, and large-scale works on paper. On view through Jan. 29, 2020.
- Ceramic Pop-up: HungryMunchy
Each month in tandem with "Annabeth Rosen: Fired, Broken, Gathered, Heaped", The CJM Shop will highlight the breadth of Bay Area artisans working in ceramics and pottery craft. HungryMunchy, the inaugural artists showcased, features homewares that are both whimsical and elegant. On view through Aug. 31, 2019, daily (except Wednesday).
- Experiments in Sonic Potential: Kyle Bruckmann
On Thursday, Aug, 15, hear Oakland-based oboist, composer, and performer Kyle Bruckmann play live music in conversation with Annabeth Rosen’s ceramic sculptures.
- The Mystical Voice: Jack Hirschman
San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, a translator and activist who has written more than fifty volumes of poetry and essays, speaks about the mystical strain of Judaism, popularly called Kabbalah, on Aug. 23. This talk is part of a series of lunchtime gallery talks is inspired by the work of Annabeth Rosen, whose practice draws on cycles of destruction and creation.
Free Admission Days at San Francisco Museums
Whether you're an art, history, or other type of buff, you're in for a real treat during the first week of August! On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the following San Francisco museums are offering admission at no cost: the Conservatory of Flowers, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, the Museum of Craft & Design, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The Asian Art Museum also offers free admission on Sunday, Aug. 4.
Abracadabra: Magic in "Peanuts" Exhibit at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa
This exhibition explores artist Charles Schulz's fascination with sleight of hand and magic and how he incorporated these into his cartoons. You can check out original comic strips and vintage magic tools that belonged to Schulz himself starting Aug. 8, 2019.
Outside Lands Festival Returns to Golden Gate Park, Aug. 9-11, 2019
The lineup notwithstanding, even if you didn’t listen to a note of music, you’d have a great time at Outside Lands. The folks behind this annual three-day concert have put just as much thought into food and beverage offerings as they have into the headliners—which include, among others, Childish Gambino, 21 Pilots, and Paul Simon. Fans will have access to more than 80 restaurants, 40-plus Northern California wineries and nearly 30 breweries. GastroMagic, a stage dedicated to culinary and performance art, and The Barbary, a variety tent devoted to top names in comedy, podcasts, music and improv, are both returning. Public transit is always your best option to get around San Francisco. There will be a pre-paid three-day motorcoach shuttle service from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (near Civic Center BART station) for those who prefer to transfer from and/or park in the Civic Center neighborhood. Find a hotel near Outside Lands Festival.
Shows To See
SHN brings "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" In Concert to Davies Symphony Hall, Aug. 10-11, 2019. This event will feature a live symphony orchestra performing every note from the movie's memorable score. See the brand new, award-winning comedy "The Play That Goes Wrong" at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre, Aug. 13-18, 2019. The world-famous "Hamilton" is also showing every day this month except Mondays, so take advantage and purchase a your ticket today.
S’more, S’more. We Want More, More!
The Girl Scouts came up with this brilliant treat in 1927, and on Aug. 10, 2019, campers and restaurants around the U.S. will celebrate 91 years of finger-licking goodness for National S’mores Day. You can pick up a kit at Recchiuti Confection or Dandelion Chocolate in the Ferry Building, or put together your own mix at local grocers. Ghirardelli Chocolate has the perfect accompaniment: their Squares, which come in more than a dozen flavors. Get a bag and then head for the fire pits at Ocean Beach to catch the sunset on the Pacific.
Pistahan Celebrates Filipino Culture and Cuisine
San Francisco’s Filipino culture and cuisine will be celebrated with a parade and a two-day festival in Yerba Buena Gardens, Aug. 10-11, 2019. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday in Civic Center and will travel down Market St. to Fourth St. Colorful floats, high school bands, dancers and dignitaries are just part of the lineup. Seven pavilions dedicated to various aspects of Filipino culture will blossom in Yerba Buena Gardens over the weekend.
“Steam Day” at San Francisco Maritime Park
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park will celebrate West Coast steam technology on Aug. 11, 2019. Come explore the past century of shifting maritime technologies, as well as the cultural and sociological implications of this evolution. Get up close with a steam-powered donkey engine and a 128-year-old Eureka Engine, which has rarely been seen by the public. You won't want to miss seeing these historic pieces of machinery. Admission is free.
20th Street Block Party
If you’re a fan of great music, food, and company, then you need to head to Noise Pop’s seventh annual 20th Street Block Party on Aug. 17. Located on 20th St. between Bryant and Harrison streets in the Mission District, you’ll get a taste of the neighborhood’s rich variety of artistic, social, and culinary flavors. This block party highlights the way San Francisco’s businesses, artists, and community can turn a few short blocks of the downtown Mission into a full-on festival. Oh, and its free!
9th Annual Polk Street Blues Festival, Aug. 17-18
Polk Street Blues Festival returns to its original home in the heart of San Francisco this year. This free two-day event will feature street festival fun and the best of the blues on Polk St., between California and Post streets. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, you'll be able to enjoy live music, kids activities, a farmer's market, and much more.
Celebrate Broadway with the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation
On Aug. 18 at Herbst Theater & Green Room of San Francisco, the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation (REAF) will present "Help is on the Way XXV: Celebrating Broadway", a performance featuring cast members from the Award-winning show "Hamilton". Proceeds from this event will benefit Meals on Wheels San Francisco and Raphael House, organizations that provide aid for HIV services, hunger programs and support for homeless and disenfranchised youth.
Undiscovered SF: August Night Market at Old Mint
On Aug. 16, 2019, Undiscovered SF, a curated collection of emerging artists and merchants celebrating the rich heritage of the SoMa Pilipinas district, located in the heart of San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, will return to their new location, 401 Minna St. Slated for the third Friday of every month, the market has 40-plus vendors, including food purveyors representing the “third wave” of the Bay Area’s Filipino food movement.
Funny Business: Desi Comedy Fest
The largest annual South Asian comedy festival in America, Desi Comedy Fest, will showcase 40 comedians of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan descent at Marines Memorial Theatre and other Bay Area venues, Aug. 9-17. The festival also includes comedians from other minority groups and the LGBTQ community. “Raw and hilarious,” the comedians have a wide variety of credits in their resumes, from "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" to Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival.
Battle of the Bay
Check out this legendary rivalry between the Bay Area's two Major League Baseball teams, first at Oracle Park on Aug. 13 and 14 and again at Oakland Coliseum on Aug. 24 and 25. Whether you are more of a green-and-gold or black-and-orange type of person, grab a hat and head to the ballparks to get the full Bay Area sports experience. Find a hotel near Oracle Park.
Food Fests Coming in August
Noe Valley is one of San Francisco’s most charming neighborhoods. On Aug. 22, 2019, explore the area from 4 to 8 p.m. as the Noe Valley Wine Walk unfolds. Merchants will be offering wine samples and special treats inside their stores on 24th St., from Diamond to Church streets, and on nearby Castro St. Chefs, wine and spirits are celebrated at Eat Drink SF, Aug. 24, 2019, an interactive urban food and wine festival featuring local talent and regional ingredients in a series of tastings, classes, dinners and events at The Midway.
Giant Race(rs), On Your Mark!
The tenth annual San Francisco Giant Race half marathon, 10K, 5K, kids race and family relay is coming up on Sept. 8, 2019. The Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K courses tour the scenic San Francisco waterfront. Participants receive a shirt, finisher medal and exclusive runner bobblehead featuring a Giants' player. Kids Race & Family Relay participants receive a medal and bobblehead. All races finish on the field at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Registration fees go up after Sept. 7, so be sure to register as soon as possible! Find a hotel for the San Francisco Giant Race.