Things to Do in San Francisco This February
What could be more romantic than February in San Francisco, a city where many a visitor has left their heart? We also have some events that are guaranteed to satisfy even if you're solidly single, including Black History Month celebrations and the start of a new Chinese New Year. Here are the things to do, see, taste, and experience in San Francisco this February.
Leave Your Heart in San Francisco this Valentine's Day
Save the chocolates and flowers for another day because San Francisco has a whole lot happening on Valentine's Day. This February 14, grab some friends for a Valentine's Day Cheese and Wine class at The Cheese School of San Francisco, or illuminate your night and tour the city to see our many light art installations. You'll also find Valentine's Day dinner cruises aboard Hornblower Cruises. Feeling really romantic? Book an overnight stay at one of San Francisco's top hotels offering luxurious Valentine's Day packages for you and your sweetheart.
Ghosts of Valentine's at Winchester Mystery House
This Valentine's Day weekend, travel back in time to hear the voices of those plagued by heartache and tragedy at the Winchester Mystery House. This theatrical seance will be led by master magician and apparitionist, Aiden Sinclair, who will guide the audience into the world of Victorian Spiritualism. VIP tickets are also available for those looking to go on a thrilling paranormal investigation after-hours on Feb. 14-15.
Celebrate the Year of the Rat
On Jan. 25, San Francisco will welcome the Year of the Rat. Chinatown festivities will begin the first week of February, where the neighborhood will echo with firecrackers and feature lunar animals that play a central part in the festivities. Ceremonial lions will romp in the streets and Miss Chinatown USA contestants will flock here from all over the country to compete for the festival crown. On Feb. 8, 2020, the night of the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade, the revelry will crescendo in a glittering display of pageantry. Bleacher seats to watch the parade are available for $38. A walking tour of Chinatown is the perfect prelude to a festive dinner in Chinatown.
"Pause" at Asian Art Museum
From Feb. 6 to May 24, the Asian Art Museum encourages all visitors to put away their mobile devices to experience "Pause", a new installation by Jean Shin that assesses our relationships with technology and the world around us. Shin transformed e-waste from the Bay Area (everything from cell phones, smartphones, laptops and cables from the past 20 years) into a striking installation that evokes East Asian rock and garden retreats. This exhibition allows visitors connect with the world in real time, while considering the environmental and human costs of digital culture.
PIER 39's Tulipmania
PIER 39's iconic floral festival returns Feb. 8-17. Guided tours, where you can see more than 39,000 blooming tulips, will be led by PIER 39's landscaping experts. While you're at the PIER, see the sea lions at K-Dock, explore the two levels of dining and shopping, and visit iconic attractions like Aquarium of the Bay, 7D Experience, and The Flyer.
Culture for Community Day
Get free admission to participating museums in San Francisco during this year's Culture for Community Day on Feb. 20, 2020. See the exciting exhibitions currently on view at top museums like SFMOMA, Museum of the African Diaspora, Contemporary Jewish Museum, and much more.
San Francisco Symphony's Chinese New Year Concert
Marking the 20th year of their signature heritage event, San Francisco Symphony will celebrate the Year of the Rat with a Chinese New Year Concert & Emerald Banquet on Feb. 1 at Davies Symphony Hall. In addition to a performance of traditional folk music and works by Asian composers, there will be an array of activities such as lion dancing, Chinese calligraphy, "lucky" red envelopes, and a variety of complimentary of desserts, wines and teas.
Black History Month
Begin Black History Month with a sojourn to the gravesite of William Alexander Leidesdorff at Mission Dolores. Leidesdorff is credited by some sources as the proprietor of the first hotel in San Francisco, once located at Clay and Kearny streets. San Francisco's streets bear the names of famous local African-American leaders, from the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge (the western span of the Bay Bridge), named for the former San Francisco mayor, to 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, the address of San Francisco’s majestic City Hall, which honors the longtime publisher of the Sun-Reporter.
In honor of Black History Month, see the cast of "Hamilton" perform in concert at Feinstein's at the Nikko on Feb. 17. Coordinated by "Hamilton" cast member Christopher Young, "For the Culture: The Music of Black Performance" invites audiences to celebrate music of the African-American songbook.
SF Beer Week
SF Beer Week 2020 spotlights the ever-increasing innovation taking shape in breweries across the local landscape. The San Francisco Brewers Guild and Northern California's finest breweries will host hundreds of craft beer celebrations, Feb. 7-16. Tasty beers will be poured by local breweries including Bartlett Hall, San Francisco Brewing Co., ThirstyBear Brewing Co., and many others.
Union Square Mardi Crawl
The fun of Bourbon Street is coming to Union Square on Feb. 25, 2020. Celebrate Mardi Gras San Francisco-style at top bars like Fifth Arrow, Cafe de la Presse, Barlett Hall, and many others. Your ticket includes Mardi Gras beads and masks, drink and appetizer specials, and no cover charge at the bars featured in the pub crawl. But tickets here.
Study the Science of Cocktails
Combining the art and science of mixology, one of the Exploratorium’s signature late-night events, Science of Cocktails, returns on Feb. 7. Local mixologists will create cocktails inspired by the Exploratorium’s exhibits in a space that could be called the best pop-up bar in the city. Hors d'oeuvres and house-made beer from the Exploratorium’s hOppenheimers Brew Club, a group of Exploratorium staff brewers, will also be available. Considered one of the top hands-on learning laboratories in the world, the Exploratorium includes a renowned collection of interactive exhibits that ignite curiosity and build confidence and science-literacy.
Polyphonia at Presidio Theatre
Presidio Theatre's new two-weekend program "Polyphonia" features world-class musicians from more than 10 countries who have shared the stage with dancers from the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Feb. 16's musician lineup includes The African Music and Dance Ensemble, Del Mar Flamenco, Jackeline Rago, Omi Ashe, and Awakko-Ren.
In Vino Veritas
Do you prefer pinots to pilsners? Then don’t miss the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. Raise a glass to the 20th anniversary of this largest competition of American wines on Feb. 15.
February Flick Picks
San Francisco has a legion of film festivals. You won’t want to miss the annual Big Lebowski Party, one of the highlights of SF Indiefest, playing through Feb. 13, 2020. The upcoming season of Modern Cinema at SFMOMA (through Mar. 21) will feature a range of films by Agnes Varda, who made a case for feminism in her films from the 1960s and 1970s. The Jewish Film Institute presents “Winterfest,” Feb. 29 and Mar. 1. Over at the Vogue Theatre, it’s a very British affair with the annual Mostly British Film Festival, Feb. 13-20.
Live On Stage
Learn how bodies and minds are manipulated by machine learning and artificial intelligence both virtually and physically at ODC/Dance's "AI Sensorium" performance on Feb. 21-23. The Broadway mega-hit “Hamilton” continues at the BroadwaySF through May 31, and the timeless tale of "Cinderella" will be brought to life by San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House. See this magical production on Feb. 1 and 2.
Sing the Body Electric
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) presents “The Body Electric” through Feb. 23, 2020 in their first floor gallery. More than 70 works reveals the ways that technology changes our understanding of everyday life, placing a particular emphasis on gender, sexuality, race, and class.
Sensorium: An Evening of Dance, Art, and Music
San Francisco Ballet presents its fifth season of Sensorium at the War Memorial Opera House on Feb. 25. Included in your ticket is access to various pop-up installations like an instant couture mini-atelier, a performance of Edward Liang's "The Infinite Ocean" and Mark Morris' "Sandpaper Ballet", and after party functions.
Tribal & Textile Art Show
The San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show, Feb. 21 - 23 at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, is the leading art fair devoted to the arts of tribal cultures in the United States. Expect to see rare and unique pieces from more than 70 participating galleries representing the arts of Asian, Oceanic, African, Native American, and Latin American indigenous peoples.
Run San Francisco
Don’t forget to sign up for some of the upcoming foot races in San Francisco. On Feb. 2, the 2020 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K, ranked as one of the most scenic in the U.S., follows a course through Golden Gate Park and along the Pacific coast. Registration is also open for the Giant Race in the fall.
KNBR Giants FanFest
Current San Francisco Giants players and coaches are scheduled to be in attendance at the annual KNBR FanFest on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Oracle Park. Admission is free and parking is $10 in Lots A, B and at Pier 48. Public transportation is highly encouraged. Activities include player autograph sessions, self-guided tours of the Giants clubhouse and press box, game-used memorabilia specials, and live Q&A stages featuring players and coaches.
Pop Goes Noise Pop
Noise Pop (Feb. 24 - Mar. 1) is one of San Francisco’s favorite indie music, arts and film festivals. Now in its 28th year, Noise Pop has brought early exposure to many emerging artists from the Bay Area and beyond. More than 180 bands are set to play. In addition, the festival boasts culinary events, film series and visual arts shows.
Walk. Run. Bike. Roll.
Feeling like some fresh air and a walk in the park? Mark your calendar for car-free Sundays and holidays in Golden Gate Park, when visitors are invited to “walk, run, bike and roll” along Kennedy Drive. Tours and bike rentals are available from a number of companies: Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours, Bike & View San Francisco Bike Rentals and Tours, Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours, Parkwide Bike Rentals and Tours, and Sports Basement.