Outside Lands is definitely dominating the San Francisco cultural calendar this weekend. However, if you are after something a little quieter, there are a ton of cultural options awaiting you on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Here are three that are tempting us this weekend.
Sample an Apple at an Apple Fair
The Gravenstein Apple Fair pleasantly dubs itself the sweetest little fair in Sonoma. With a rich history dating back to 1910, the Apple Fair these days incorporates more than just apples to entertain visitors. There’ll be fantastic live music on two stages, great food, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, arts and crafts booths, a petting zoo, pony rides and so much more. Visitors experience the feeling of an old time country get-together, you can throw darts at apples, ride in a wagon pulled by plow horses, shop the local artisan booths for handmade jewelry, clothing, pottery and gourmet goodies. For adults there will also be a huge array of wines (it is Wine Country!) and two beer tents as well. It wouldn’t be a festival without competitions, so if you are feeling plucky you can take part in one of the apple-centric contests: The Apple Pie Eating Contest, the no-hands Caramel Apple Eating Contest, Applesauce Drinking Contest, or the Apple Juggling Contest. It costs $12 for adults and $5 for kids.
When: Saturday and Sunday August 11 & 12 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Where: Ragle Ranch Regional Park, 500 Ragle Road, Sebastopol.
Eat BBQ and Watch Live Music
If you would like to experience music in a more relaxed setting than Outside Lands, then perhaps the BBQ on the Lawn could be the answer. The BBQ is set on the lush Rancho Nicasio lawns, where guests have the choice between Oysters, Chicken, Ribs, Salmon, and a myriad of other meats (there is also a Garden Burger for vegetarians). As you are chowing down on some delicious BBQ, Dan Hicks will take the stage with his band, the Hot Licks. For those of you that don’t know him, Dan Hicks is truly an American original. Since the early 1960s, Hicks has deftly blended elements of Swing, Jazz, Folk and Country music to create the appealing sound he sometimes calls "Folk Jazz". Having played for years in the band the Charlatans, he has also written music for Disney films. The afternoon costs $22 presale and $25 at the door. To pre-book tickets call (415) 662-2219.
When: Sunday, August 12. Gates open at 3 p.m., music starts at 4 p.m.
Where: 1 Old Rancheria Road, Nicasio.
Catch Some Shakespeare in the Park
Sunday night is the final night of the Marin Shakespeare’s performance of King John. Performed at the Dominican University of California's Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, King John is a glorious, rousing, exciting story of politics, integrity (or lack thereof), and spin-doctoring at its best. In this play, Shakespeare romanticizes and legitimizes the rise of the Plantagenets, giving us an action-packed version of history that will have you cheering for your favorite contender for the crown. The graceful stage and reflecting pool are surrounded by towering trees and the stage was constructed so that when the moon is full it rises directly above the actors, making Forest Meadows Amphitheatre is one of the most elegant outdoor theatres in the country. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.
When: Sunday, August 12, 8-10 p.m.
Where: Dominican University of California, San Rafael.