23 Fun Things to Do This Week (9.25.23)
Embrace the crowd at San Francisco's best free festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. (Jay Blakesberg)

23 Fun Things to Do This Week (9.25.23)


Take a big whiff of that fresh fall air. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the start of the best season in the Bay Area this week.

Stomp grapes in Napa or stomp your feet at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Pay homage to Meryl Streep at Merylthon or kick back for an outdoor screening of Legally Blonde at the Ferry Building.

Plus, you can fill up on dumplings at the Chinatown Lantern Block Party, celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Off the Grid, and raise a stein at Oaktoberfest.

Have a good one.

You’ll wanna know that Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys are rockin’ and rollin’ into town this week with opening act Fontaines D.C.; Tuesday at 8pm. // Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way (Mission Bay); tickets at ticketmaster.com

Experience the hi-fi life at Yokai, a new Japanese-inspired listening bar from chef Mark Zimmerman and the Gozu team. In the former Salt House space, you’ll find shareable plates like grilled bites, highball cocktails, and music playing from vintage speakers; Tuesday to Saturday, 3pm to 9pm. // Yokai, 545 Mission St. (SoMa); reservations at tock.com

Have the time of your life (Oo oo oo) at the ultimate ABBA tribute concert; Thursday at 8pm. // Uptown Theatre, 1350 3rd St. (Napa); tickets at uptowntheatrenapa.com

Fill up on free-flowing pisco and Peruvian bites at La Mar Cocina Peruana’s 15th anniversary celebration. La Mar chefs from across the country will join together for the occasion, serving their favorite creations alongside signature cocktails, live music, and dancing on the waterfront patio; Friday, 7pm to 11pm. // La Mar Cocina Peruana, Pier 1 ½ (Embarcadero); tickets at eventbrite.com

Thank you to our partners at La Mar.

Pay homage to Queen Meryl at Merylthon, a three-day film marathon of Streep’s most iconic roles. Plus, because this San Francisco, there will be drag performances, costume contests, themed games, and more. Proceeds will benefit Queer LifeSpace, which provides affordable access to mental health services for the LGBTQIA+ community; Friday to Sunday. // Four Star Theater, 2200 Clement St. (Outer Richmond); tickets at merylthon.com

Try your hand at calligraphy and fill up on dumplings at the Chinatown Lantern Block Party. Plus, learn to make mooncakes, catch live performances, play mahjong, and contests; Friday, 6pm to 9pm. // Grant Ave. and Pine St. (Chinatown); details at eventbrite.com

Calling all Gemini vegetarians—catch afree, outdoor screening of Legally Blonde at the Ferry Building as part of the Sundown Cinema series; Friday at sunset. // The Ferry Building (Embarcadero); details at sfparksalliance.org

Prost to the last weekend of Oktoberfest at Planktoberfest. Wash down a giant Bavarian pretzel with an $8 German beer flight while listening to live polka; Friday at 5pm. // Plank, 98 Broadway (Oakland); details at plankoakland.com

No need to book a flight to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in China— Off the Grid pays tribute to the event during its Friday night food fest. Expect themed performances, food, drinks, and pop-ups; Friday, 5pm to 10pm. // Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd. (Marina); details at offthegrid.com

Prepare yourself for a crowd at SF’s favorite free festival—Hardly Strictly Bluegrass returns to Golden Gate Park. Emmylou Harris, Bahamas, Bombino, Steve Earle, Rufus Wainwright, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Kurt Vile, and Neal Francis are just a few of the popular acts that will grace the stages; Friday to Sunday. // Details at hardlystrictlybluegrass.com

Catch Nelly Furtado in her first U.S. concert in 16 years at Portola Music Festival. In addition to headliners Skrillex and Eric Prydz, the lineup is stacked with well-known acts including Polo & Pan, Labrinth, Thundercat, FKJ, Purple Disco Machine, Major Lazer, and more; Saturday and Sunday. // Pier 80, 401 Cesar Chavez St. (Dogpatch); tickets at portolamusicfestival.com

Throw up a shaka 🤙 at the Mavericks Festival. The two-day event will feature live music; the Mavericks Surf Zone where you can meet surfers, surfboard makers, photographers and rescue teams; the Cannabis Zone; an Education Zone with organizations that protect our community and keep our oceans safe; and local food trucks and vendors; Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 6pm. // Pillar Point Harbor, One Johnson Pier (Half Moon Bay); details at thesanfranciscopeninsula.com

Catch the only exhibition of its kind at a major U.S. museum: The de Young Open features 887 works from professional and up-and-coming artists from all nine Bay Area counties. Jury-selected from nearly 8,000 submissions, the works will be displayed in floor-to-ceiling salon style and are all for sale; the artists will retain 100 percent of the profits; Saturday through January 7, 2024. // de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. (Golden Gate Park); famsf.org

Celebrate 10 years of brews with epic Bay views at Faction Brewing. The Alameda brewery will have live music, food trucks, and new beer releases and collabs onsite to celebrate; Saturday, noon to 9pm. // Faction Brewing, 2501 Monarch St. (Alameda); tickets at eventbrite.com

Celebrate Korean culture and cuisine at the Fifth Annual Bay Area Chuseok Festival. You'll be guaranteed delicious Korean food, live performances, traditional Korean games and activities, raffles, and more; Saturday, 11am to 4pm. // Presidio Main Parade Lawn (Presidio); details at koreancentersf.org

Oakland's Dimond District will look like a scene straight out of Munich when the streets transform for Oaktoberfest. The family-friendly beer fest features two days of traditional German food in the Bavarian dining hall, more than 200 craft beers, live German music, and more; Saturday, 11am to 7pm and Sunday, 10am to 5pm. // Fruitvale Ave. and MacArthur Blvd. (Oakland); details at oaktoberfest.org

Experience the fun of harvest season at The Estate Yountville’s grape stomping event. The annual Crush It festival includes unlimited barbecue, grape stomping, a commemorative T-shirt, and family-friendly activities; Saturday, 11am to 7pm. // The Estate Yountville, 6481 Washington St. (Yountville); tickets at exploretock.com

Sip unlimited sake while meeting craft sake makers at the 18th Annual Sake Day; Saturday, 4pm to 8pm. // Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St. (Japantown); tickets at eventbrite.com

Enjoy an afternoon of waterfront pours at the 40th Annual Tiburon Wine Festival. In addition to sipping wines from more than 60 wineries near and far, nosh on gourmet bites from local restaurants and listen to live music; Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. // Point Tiburon Plaza, 1701 Tiburon Blvd. (Tiburon); tickets at eventbrite.com

Taste the best of the East Bay at a special brunch collab between Parche, alaMar, and Mr. Espresso. Savory and sweet dishes will highlight the rich and diverse flavors of Colombian and Dominican cuisines, plus boozy coffee flights; Sunday at 10:30am. // Parche, 2295 Broadway (Oakland); tickets at resy.com

Indulge in a trio of Chandon Blanc de Blancs paired with an assortment of California coast oysters in support of Wild Oyster Project; Sunday, 11am to 12:30pm. // Chandon, 1 California Dr. (Yountville); tickets at exploretock.com

Learn to speak with your hands and taste some authentic Italian cuisine at the 6th Annual Little Italy San Jose Festival. The festival draws more than 15,000 people annually for nonstop live entertainment including wine tastings, a luxury car show, and a celebration of all things Italian culture; Sunday, 11am to 7pm. // Julian St. and N Almaden Blvd. (San Jose); details at littleitalysj.com

Get a delicious crash course in Spanish cheese with a special dinner at Canela Bistro. Pop a Lactaid for this multi-course meal where cheese (and it's best accompaniments) take center stage. Plus, optional wine pairings or wine by the glass; Sunday at 6:30pm. // Canela Bistro & Wine Bar, 2272 Market St. (Upper Market); tickets at canelasf.square

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