Here are some things to do in San Francisco to make the most of the merry month of March.

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March 24, 2020
Off the Grid at the Fort Mason Center

Things to Do in San Francisco this March

Picnics, parades, and performances are just some of the can't-miss events happening this March in San Francisco. Here are some ideas to make the most of the start of springtime.

Flick Picks

Lights, camera, ocean! The 17th annual International Ocean Film Festival returns Mar. 12-15 at Fort Mason’s Cowell Theater. The various short films highlight oceans all around the world, from Madagascar and South Korea to Germany and Canada. Learn about our oceans and what you can do to protect them through powerful storytelling and independent films.


Taste Bud Ticklers

Some delectable food festivals are on the menu in March. Taste, learn and shop all things artisan chocolate at this year's inaugural Craft Chocolate Experience (Mar. 6-8), taking place at the Palace of Fine Arts. The finest chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and local pastry chefs will be on hand sharing their products and their love of quality chocolate.

Dancing, a soul food contest, and live music are among the draws at the 40th annual Black Cuisine Festival on Mar. 7, while chocolate returns at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon on Mar. 21.


Neon Lights Tour

If you missed this popular tour last December, now is your chance to take the Neon-Matchbook Walking Tour. On Mar. 5, join Randall Homan and Al Barna from San Francisco Neon and Katie Conry from the Tenderloin Museum for a walking tour through San Francisco's historic corridors between the Tenderloin and Union Square. Learn about the neon signs, matchbooks and the legacy businesses associated with them.

On Stage

Here’s what you’ll be seeing on marquees this month. Yilong Liu's world premiere of "The Book of Mountains and Seas" at the New Conservatory Theater Center plays Mar. 6-Apr. 5. The satirical comedy “Gloria” comes to A.C.T.'s Strand Theater for the whole month of March, and "Toni Stone" comes to A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, Mar. 5-29. After taking London and New York by storm with sold out shows, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is on stage at the Curran thorugh May 2020. And how could we forget the return of Broadway's hit musical "Hamilton," back at the SHN Orpheum for an extended run?

Bound for Beauty

Join the American Bookbinders Museum on Mar. 7 in a 60-minute illustrated lecture by Kathleen Roberts, collector and co-curator of the "Bound for Beauty" exhibit. This talk will cover the social and art history of Decorated Publishers' Bindings, 1840-1920, and bindings in miniature format. Find out how historic events like the Civil War and the opening of Japan to the West influenced cover designs bound in colorful fabric.

Here Comes the Parade

The 169th annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, the West Coast’s largest event celebrating Irish history and culture, will take place on Saturday, Mar. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The parade will start at 11:30 a.m. from the corner of Market and Second streets, where colorful floats, Irish dance groups, and marching bands will wend their way to Civic Center Plaza. A full day of festivities at the Plaza will showcase Irish history and culture. Transit tip: BART is one of the easiest ways to get to the parade and festival.

Beyond the Rainbow Flag at GLBT Historical Society

San Francisco celebrates the 50th anniversary of Pride this June, but there are plenty of events and exhibitions to see in the months leading up to the big celebration. Through March 8, 2020, see "Performance, Protest & Politics: The Art of Gilbert Baker", GLBT Historical Society's exhibition that combines textiles, photographs, and ephemera to tell a powerful story about Gilbert Baker (designer of the iconic rainbow flag), as well as other LGBTQ activists.

Creativity Explored

On Mar. 6-Apr. 26, Creativity Explored presents "Of Here From There - De Aqui Desde Allá", the first large-scale project featuring the works of nearly 50 Creativity Explored artists with developmental disabilities. Under the direction of Ana Teresa Fernandez, this immersive installation captures the artists' drawing processes through time-lapse videos projected on large-scale sculptures.

Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruise

On Mar. 14, set sail for a cruise on the Bay that marine mammals call home. You might spot California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, dolphins, whales, and other species of sea life.Laura Gill, Marine Biologist at The Marine Mammal Center, will be your guide. A portion of ticket sales benefit The Marine Mammal Center.

Picnic in the Presidio

Join San Francisco’s largest community picnic, every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning Sunday, Mar. 29. The Presidio Picnic combines the best of San Francisco's international food scene with the best of this national park. In addition to the wide variety of culinary selections, there will be family-friendly games, music and special performances by various etnic dance groups. Leave the car at home and venture to the city’s most sustainable picnic on the PresidiGo shuttle.

March Museum Picks

There's plenty to see at San Francisco's must-see museums this month. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum , “What We Hold: A Youth Audio Project” wraps up on Mar. 15. This series of audio recordings of youth reflects on cultural inheritance and family life.

Through Mar. 15, honor the incredible legacy of Black Power in the Bay Area with special programming and impressive art works on display at the de Young Museum. "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power" showcases the works of local artists whose work promotes cultural pride, empowerment, and social activism.

“Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks,” on display through Mar. 22 at the Asian Art Museum, reveals artworks that have been preserved like time capsules and excavated in the 1990s by marine archaeologists. This exhibition includes hundreds of thousands of artifacts that were left behind from two 15th century shipwrecks.

You have the whole month of March to see "2019 SECA Art Award" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Support the works of Bay Area contemporary artists Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Sahar Khoury, and Marlon Mullen, who were selected amongst sixteen finalists to display their art in their own dedicated gallery.

“Black is Beautiful” and "Don't Shoot" will be on view through Mar. 1 at the Museum of the African Diaspora.



C’mon, you remember this from middle school math! The Exploratorium will be celebrating pi, the never-ending number, as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday on Mar. 14. Founded at the Exploratorium by the Prince of Pi, physicist Larry Shaw, Pi Day has become an international phenomenon. Here’s a peek at the Pi Day festivities, as well as other special events happening at the Exploratorium.


ODC/Dance Presents Dance Downtown

Two programs of dynamic choreography come to ODC/Dance this spring. On Mar. 26-29, see "Grassland and Speaking Volumes", a repertory from both Co-Artistic Directors, Brenda Way and KT Nelson. It is inspired by the power of nature and explores issues of censorship, resilience, and human rights. The second program, "Up for Air," takes the stage on Apr. 2-5.

Sonoma International Film Festival Opens Mar. 25, 2020

Now in its 23rd year, the Sonoma International Film Festival takes place in the heart of Northern California's wine country, Mar. 25-29. Featuring more than 100 hand-selected films, it includes independent features, documentaries, world cinema, and short films. All films are shown in intimate venues and within walking distance of Sonoma's historic plaza. The festival is dedicated to promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world, and inspiring film lovers. Experience the best of indie film while sipping and savoring exceptional wines from local Sonoma vintners.

Sundays Won’t Be the Same

For its 12th year, Sunday Streets brings back its 11 fun-filled Sundays, beginning Mar. 8 in the Mission. Main streets throughout the city will be closed to traffic and transformed into car-free community spaces for kids to play, seniors to stroll, organizations to connect and neighbors to meet.

San Francisco Giants Race Registration Open

If you weren't able to make it to the Giants Race as it made its way through Scottsdale on Feb. 29, you still have time to register for the Giants Race in San Francisco on Sept. 6. Join the fun on the San Francisco Giants' home turf for a full day of races and family activities.

Find the Best San Francisco Hotel Deals This March

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