The new year is here! Check out everything to do in San Francisco in January 2019.

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June 26, 2019

Things to Do in San Francisco This January

Time for resolutions and checking things off your bucket list. There will be plenty to do in January, including the return of SF Restaurant Week.

We See Sea Lions

From Jan. 19-20, 2019, PIER 39 celebrates the 29th anniversary of the sea lions’ arrival. The boisterous, barking pinnipeds began arriving in droves shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in October 1989. With a protected environment and plentiful supply of food from San Francisco Bay, the sea lions made PIER 39’s K-Dock their new home. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both days, celebrate with free Sea Lion Encounter Walking Tours, celebratory treats, and special discounts at select PIER 39 businesses.

Run It Off at The Giant Race!

If you added a few extra pounds over the holidays or made a resolution in the new year to be more active, there are a lot of great spots in San Francisco to run, from scenic coastal trails offering breathtaking views to many one-of-a-kind race event experiences. The Giant Race Series will kick off in Scottsdale, AZ and will journey through Sacramento, San Jose, and San Francisco, celebrating its 10th year anniversary in 2019. You can register for one or all four of these races now!


Exhibitions Closing

Several exhibitions are closing this month, so mark your calendars. Celebrate snowy ecosystems and Arctic animals with “'Tis the Season for Science: Life on Ice” at the California Academy of Sciences until Jan. 6, 2019. The Walt Disney Family Museum bids farewell to “Home for the Holidays at Carolwood” and "Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: Masters of Imagination" on Jan. 7, 2019. There’s still some time to check out the “Curious Contraptions” at the Exploratorium through Jan. 20, 2019. “Islam and the Classical Heritage” at the Legion of Honor closes on Jan. 27, 2019. You also have until Jan. 6, 2019 to see "Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem" at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.


FOG Design+Art

Fort Mason Center is the home of FOG Design+Art, one of the region’s premier art fairs, Jan. 17-20, 2019. The fair will kick off with a preview gala on Jan. 16, 2019 benefiting SFMOMA. Forty-five exhibitors from the worlds of design and 20th century art will have stands at the show. Among the galleries making an appearance at FOG Design+Art are Galerie Chantal Crousel, Galerie Chastel Marechal, Luhring Augustine, and many others.

Comic Relief: SF Sketchfest

SF Sketchfest returns to spread laughter all over the city. Billed as “the San Francisco Comedy Festival,” Sketchfest is now in its 18th year. Offering more than two weeks of comedy, improv, skits and films, Sketchfest, presented by Audible, runs Jan. 10-27, 2019. This year's festival features everything from a double bill starring Carol Burnett in conversation with actress Wendie Malick to a 20th anniversary reunion and screening of “Best of Show” with actors Ed Begley, Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara, and producer Karen Murphy, moderated by Kevin Pollak.

Untitled, San Francisco

A platform for outstanding Bay Area cultural institutions, non-profit organizations and artist-run exhibition spaces, Untitled, San Francisco will take place at Pier 35 from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20, 2019, featuring galleries from 16 international cities. Among the organizations participating are the Chinese Culture Center, which will feature works from artists Hong Chun Zhang and Kuang-Yu Tsui, and The 500 Capp Street Foundation. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Artadia, and For-Site are also part of the programming. Untitled, Radio will return for the third edition with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and other partners.

San Francisco Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Join thousands of celebrants in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on, Jan. 21, 2019, for a full day of events, festivals and programs honoring “We Are in This Together,” the theme of this year’s celebration. A number of community events are scheduled between Jan. 19 and 21, 2019, including a Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival and the Liberation Film Festival. The Museum of the African Diaspora will offer free admission on Jan. 21, as well as programs throughout the day, including special exhibitions. Many public transit agencies in the Bay Area are also offering free transportation to and from celebration events on Jan. 21.

January Events at the Schulz Museum

January is a jam packed month for the Charles M. Schulz Museum in nearby Santa Rosa. "Museum Mondays" for Little Ones will kick off on Jan. 7, with a changing theme each week. Crafts, games, story time, and many other fun activities are designed for children ages 1-5 and their guardians. On Jan. 12, meet and greet local artist Hillary Rose Miller, whose "Sonoma Strong Snoopy" poster has raised over $40,000 for fire relief. Have you ever spent the night at a museum? Now's your chance. "Girl Scout Art and Adventure Sleepover", Jan. 26-27, invites girl scouts for a fun-filled night of late night snacks and games at the Schulz Museum.

San Francisco Independent Film Festival

The 21st SF IndieFest will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 14, 2019, at the Roxie Theater and Victoria Theater. Celebrate the original cinematic works of talented directors from the Bay Area and beyond.

Mary Poppins at SFS

Ted Sperling will lead the San Francisco Symphony in a special performance of Mary Poppins on Jan. 5 and 6, 2019. The talented musicians will play a full concert version of the magical Disney classic, celebrating favorites like "A Spoonful of Sugar" and "Chim Chim Cher-ee."

Let the Magic Begin!

Even if you can’t spell abracadabra, there will be no barriers to the fun at the annual Fog City Magic Fest, Jan. 23-26, 2019. Curated by co-founders Jay Alexander and Christian Cagigal, seven shows featuring some of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed magicians, including the legendary Fog City Magic Slam, will unfold at the EXIT Theatre.

San Francisco Restaurant Week Returns

From Jan. 23-31, 2019, San Francisco Restaurant Week offers nine days of celebrating the top toques and tastes in the U.S. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association has signed up more than 100 of the city’s best restaurants to offer $15 and $25 two-plus course lunch menus, and $40 and $65 three-plus course dinner menus. Reservations are available now for an array of restaurants in more than two dozen neighborhoods, from Bayview to West Portal.

Curran Brings Back "Show & Tell"

The Curran’s celebrated series, Curran: Show & Tell, will return on Jan. 12, 2019. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will be on the Curran stage to share her insights about the core truths and challenges that unite us. The discussion will explore the themes of her new book, "The Truths We Hold."

Noir City 17: Film Noir from A to B

The San Francisco Film Noir Festival returns to the Castro Theatre, Jan. 25-Feb. 3, 2019, with a program of 12 “A” and “B” double bills spanning the breadth of the film noir era (1941-1953). The festival screens 24 films as they were experienced in their original release, pairing a top-tier studio “A” with a shorter, low-budget second feature, or “B” film. Opening night will feature the world premiere of "Trapped", starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton.

Let’s Make a Plan

Jan. 29, 2019 is National Plan for Vacation Day. Are you one of those American workers who leaves vacation days unused? Did you know that planning syncs with greater happiness across nine categories, including financial stability and professional success? We’ve got a couple of tips for you: confirm your time off benefits; review your calendar for the year (especially paid holidays, family events and other important dates); and check with your coworkers. Homework complete? Then start working on your bucket list and make your dream vacation a reality.

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