Things to Do in San Francisco This Weekend
It's going to be a very artistic weekend, full of music, film festivals, and groundbreaking new plays. Get out there and celebrate the freedom to create you'll find in San Francisco.
Summer Film Festivals
Check out the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, through July 21, a tongue-and-cheek nod to the distinct chill of a San Francisco summer. Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and vitality of Jewish culture at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, beginning this weekend and continuing through Aug. 4. The festival is the first, oldest and most prestigious celebration of its kind in the world.
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
The 42nd Anniversary Bay Area Playwrights Festival runs July 19-28, at Potrero Stage (1895 18th St.). Six plays were selected from 700 submissions. This year's theme, "Witness the Power of Truth," will stage shows that are transformative, inspirational, and provocative, presented by a new cohort of fiercely talented playwrights like Terence Anthony, Jeensun Choi, Candrice Jones, and many others.
50th Year Jubilee for Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church
This year marks the 50th year of the Church of St. John Coltrane. Gather at Grace Cathedral on July 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. for a free service commemorating those that were killed in the 1963 Sixth St. church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.
Music in the Air
Another one of the city’s most delightful summer experiences returns July 11-22, when Flower Piano transforms the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park into an alfresco concert hall. For 12 days, everyone is invited to play a dozen pianos tucked away among the garden’s 55 acres. Professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians will be performing, as well. The full schedule is here.
This summer, hundreds of thousands of visitors will walk through the doors of the Exploratorium to tinker with more than 650 exhibits investigating sciences, art, and human perception. Don't miss Moon Month, the July-long celebration of all things lunar. Celebrate milestones like the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary and witness a broadcast a total solar eclipse live from Chile.
Nature’s Music Box Tunes Up
Free concerts are a hallmark of San Francisco summers. One of the most renowned free concert series is the Stern Grove Festival. Every Sunday at 2 p.m., through Aug. 18, 2019, “nature’s music box” in the Sunset District will hum to the sounds of performers and groups ranging from the San Francisco Symphony (July 7) to The Isley Brothers (Aug. 18).
"Self, Made": Exploring You in a World of We
This summer, hundreds of thousands of visitors will walk through the doors of the Exploratorium to explore art, cultural objects and interactive experiences that express different facets of identity. "Self, Made" is much more than a science exhibition. It is also an ethical project to invite visitors to join the conversation about understanding the most complicated aspects of identity, race, sexuality and ultimately, diversity. This exhibition runs through Sept. 2, 2019.
The Art of Being San Franciscan
At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, "JR: The Chronicles of San Francisco" continues through June. "JR", presented free to the public during the museum's open hours in the Roberts Family Gallery on Floor 1, celebrates the voices of our unique city. The artist JR interviewed close to 1200 people from all walks of the city's life, and presents an interactive experience of their stories through a large-scale digital mural and kiosks for guests to explore further.
Come Play with Us
It’s summer and the Children’s Creativity Museum has a ton of activities lined up for the little ones. Geared for ages 2-12, the museum offers innovative art and tech experiences. Head up the ramp near the historic carousel for classes and activities that range from BuildSF, whose centerpiece exhibition is Sketch Town, an immersive digital experience, to the Animation Studio, which invites adults and kids of all ages to learn the basic skills of stop motion animation.
What's cheaper than a fitness center and just as historic as a cable car? The answer is stairway walks, one of the city's oldest and most scenic (albeit hidden) attractions. With more than 300 stairways scattered throughout the city, visitors only have to don walking shoes and grab a camera to explore the secrets of San Francisco. The city's stairways range from the local flights of steps hidden by trees and small gardens to the dramatic, carefully landscaped stairs found in more widely traveled places such as the famously "crooked" Lombard St.