San Francisco events, festivals, things to do – May 2018

San Francisco
calendar of events

May 2018
best events in San Francisco

Dance week

May 1 - 6, 2018 (begins April 27)

Bay Area

Attend 700 performances, classes, and workshops during Bay Area Dance Week. Free.

Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2018

2 miles south

Celebrate SF Cinco de Mayo with Latino music, dance, food, vendors, and a beer garden on Valencia Street (from 21st to 24th). Free.

Art fair in Mountain View

May 5 - 6, 2018

42 miles south

A la Carte and Art Festival features an arts and crafts show with 200 artists, live music, food, wine, beer, a farmer’s market, a kids’ zone, and a car show on Castro Street in Mountain View. No pets. Free.
CityPass San Francisco

Sustainable design festival

May 6, 2018

0.5 miles SW

Shop for sustainably made apparel, accessories, home goods, and art at the Urban Air Market, with street food and local musicians on Patricia’s Green (at Octavia & Fell Streets). Repeats in Sept. Free.

Asian film festival

May 10 - 24, 2018

San Francisco & Oakland

Billed as the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian and Asian American films, CAAMFest screens 130 films.

Best short plays

May 10 - 27, 2018

1.8 miles SE

Watch six short plays by the Bay Area’s best new writers at Best of PlayGround Festival at Thick House.

Wine festival

May 12, 2018 (12 to 5 p.m.)

1.8 miles north

Taste wine, take seminars, see cooking demos, shop from food vendors, and hear live music at Uncorked! San Francisco Wine Festival at Ghirardelli Square and Beach Street. Free entry with tasting tickets for sale.

Alameda festival

May 12 - 13, 2018

15.1 miles east

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Alameda Spring Festival, which has live music, food, 150 arts & crafts vendors, a kids’ area, and beer, wine, and Mimosas on Park Street (from Encinal to Lincoln). Free.

Hawaiian festival

May 12 - 13, 2018

36.2 miles SE

Enjoy Hawaiian music, dance, and food at May Day Festival at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 13, 2018

San Francisco Bay Area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day cruise

May 13, 2018

2.1 miles NE

Take Mom out for brunch or dinner with a view on the San Francisco Mother’s Day Cruise from Hornblower, leaving Pier 3 on The Embarcadero.

Free science museum

May 13, 2018

2.2 miles NE

Mother’s Day is one of the Annual Free Days for everyone at the Exploratorium on Pier 15. Free.

Mother’s Day Rose Show

May 13, 2018 (12:30 to 4 p.m.)

3.1 miles west

See all kinds of roses (hybrid teas, grandifloras, miniatures, David Austin roses, and old garden roses from the 19th century) at the Mother’s Day Rose Show in the County Fair Building at Golden Gate Park. Free.

Mother’s Day run

May 13, 2018

3.5 miles NW

Mother’s Day 5K is a scenic run/walk through Crissy Field and Marina Green for all ages, plus a half-mile kids’ run.

Wine tasting on the pier

May 18, 2018

2.6 miles north

Participating merchants offer wine tasting, light bites, exclusive discounts, live music, and entertainment for ticket holders during Spring Wine Pour at Pier 39.

Wine festival

May 19, 2018

8.2 miles north via ferry

Tiburon Wine Festival features 60 wineries, 20 local restaurants, live music, and waterside views.

Singing in harmony

May 19, 2018 (8 p.m.)

20.1 miles north

Hear the best groups from a national competition sing in vocal harmony at the National Finals of the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival at Marin Center in San Rafael.

Sonoma bike ride

May 19, 2018

43.1 miles north

The three rides of the Sonoma County Backroad Challenge begin at Penngrove Park and wind 37, 66, and 100 miles through scenic Sonoma and Marin Counties, returning to the park for a festival.

Rose parade & festival

May 19, 2018

54.4 miles north

Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival includes a downtown parade at 10 a.m. and an all-day festival at Courthouse Square with music, food, and family activities in Santa Rosa.

Himalayan Fair

May 19 - 20, 2018

14.6 miles NE

Himalayan Fair features 100 craft vendors, dancing, music, and authentic foods of India and Nepal among the trees at Live Oak Park in Berkeley. Free.

Maker fair

May 19 - 20, 2018

21.2 miles south

See exhibits about science, creativity, innovation, and art, and meet the people of all ages who made them at the Maker Faire at San Mateo County Event Center.


May 19 - 20, 2018

31.1 miles SE

Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo is Saturday and Sunday, with additional events including a parade, picnic, and BBQ scheduled for the week prior, in Castro Valley.

Bay to Breakers

May 20, 2018

1.8 miles NE

Billed as the oldest continuous foot race in the world, the 12K Bay to Breakers starts near the Embarcadero and finishes at the ocean. Expect to see costumes.

German festival

May 20, 2018

15.6 miles NW

Hike an easy mile to Maifest at San Francisco Tourist Club in Mill Valley to celebrate spring with German food, drink, live music, and Maypole dancing. Tickets only online.

Santa Cruz bike ride

May 20, 2018

89.2 miles south

Strawberry Fields Forever has 3 rides that start in Watsonville and roll 30, 65, and 100 miles through scenic Santa Cruz County, with food and beverage stops plus a meal and strawberry dessert at the end.

Napa music festival

May 25 - 27, 2018

74.1 miles north

Enjoy fine wine, craft beer, restaurant food, art installations, and music by dozens of top artists at BottleRock Napa Valley at Napa Valley Fairground.

Monterey music festival

May 25 - 27, 2018

117 miles south

California Roots Festival features 45 bands playing on 3 stages (including reggae), food vendors, and artwork at the 20-acre Monterey County Fairgrounds.

Science-fiction convention

May 25 - 28, 2018

20.4 miles south

Meet sci-fi and fantasy authors and artists, and attend panels, workshops, dinners, games, and vendor sales at BayCon at San Mateo Marriott S.F. Airport.

Anime convention

May 25 - 28, 2018

49.3 miles south

FanimeCon features Japanese film and TV animation, celebrities, exhibits, discussions, vendors, and a Black & White Ball at San Jose Convention Center.

Obstacle race

May 26, 2018

36.2 miles SE

Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race is a 3.1 mile race with 20 obstacles of walls, slides, fire, and mud, plus bands and beer at Alameda County Fairgrounds.

Burgers & beer in Fremont

May 26, 2018

38 miles SE

Burger & Brew Fest promises “sampling from Bay Area breweries, mouthwatering burgers and sliders, gourmet snack vendors, local business booths, art and craft vendors, and live entertainment” in downtown Fremont.

Colorful festival & parade

May 26 - 27, 2018

1.3 miles SE

Carnaval San Francisco celebrates Latin & Caribbean culture with a weekend festival of music, art, and food on Harrison Street (from 16th to 24th Streets), plus a colorful Grand Parade 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Free.

Taco festival

May 26 - 27, 2018

50.9 miles south

Taco Festival of Innovation by Moveable Feast has food trucks serving innovative freestyle tacos, beer tasting, craft vendors, Mexican wrestling (Lucha Libre), live music, and DJs at San Jose History Park.

Mushroom Mardi Gras

May 26 - 27, 2018

68.8 miles SE

Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras has two stages of entertainment, gourmet food, beer & wine gardens, mushroom education, street performers, a kids’ area, and arts & crafts booths south of San Jose. Free.

Art fair in San Ramon

May 27 - 28, 2018

35 miles east

San Ramon Art & Wind Festival features 150 art and craft booths, three stages of entertainment, food vendors, kite-flying demonstrations, and a kids’ area at Central Park in San Ramon. Free.

Memorial Day celebration

May 28, 2018

3.6 miles NW

Memorial Day Ceremony includes a 10:30 a.m. Grand March from the Presidio Officers’ Club to San Francisco National Cemetery for 11 a.m. speeches and music, followed by a 21-gun salute at noon, and then a picnic with food for sale on the parade ground until 2 p.m.

Silent Film Festival

May 30 - June 3, 2018

1.6 miles SW

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival screens important titles from the silent era, often fully restored and with live music, at the Castro Theatre.

Film festival

May 31 - June 14, 2018

S.F. movie theaters

DocFest is a documentary film festival focusing on politics, music, social issues, and youth-oriented subcultures, and holds after-parties.

Made in S.F. week

May 2018 (undated)

San Francisco

Celebrate local manufacturers, their products, and their people during SFMade Week with pop-up shops, factory tours, classes, and tastings.

Japanese children’s day

May 2018 (undated)

0.9 miles NW

Children’s Day Festival features performances, craft activities, bounce houses, games, storytelling, and prizes for kids at Japantown Peace Plaza. Free.

Union Square entertainment

May 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles NE

Union Square Live is a series of summer concerts and dances, and even a circus act in Union Square. The first event is May 4, 2018. Free.

Celebrate weirdness

May 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles NE

How Weird Street Faire has electronic music, art, performances, food, and people dancing in colorful costumes at 2nd Street & Howard. Donation.

Champagne tasting

May 2018 (undated)

2 miles north

Your ticket to Pop-Up Bubbly Fest includes a glass, unlimited tastes of sparkling wine or champagne, and light hors d’oeuvres at Fort Mason for age 21+.

Home on display

May 2018 (undated)

2.1 miles NW

San Francisco Decorator Showcase features the work of dozens of top local interior and landscape designers in a remodeled home at 2698 Pacific Avenue.

Taste of Potrero

May 2018 (undated)

2.9 miles SE

A ticket to Taste of Potrero gets you an open bar and unlimited tastes of restaurant food at Pier 70.

Concerts in the park

May 2018 (undated)

3 miles west

Golden Gate Park Band plays a variety of music (classical, marches, opera, swing, and show tunes) at Spreckels Temple of Music in Golden Gate Park. Free.

Gypsy dance party

May 2018 (undated)

5.8 miles south

After the workshops and panel discussions, Herdeljezi Music Festival ends with a dance band playing Balkan Romani music with Bulgarian and Balkan food for sale at Croatian American Cultural Center. Children under age 12 are free.

Steampunk music festival

May 2018 (undated)

8.4 miles east (ferry option)

Steampunk Masquerade is a “steampunk meets circus mashup extravaganza” with live bands, DJ music, art cars, fire performances, circus, burlesque, carnival rides, and food & art vendors on the water in Alameda.

Greek festival

May 2018 (undated)

14.8 miles east

Enjoy Greek food, music, and dancing at the Oakland Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland. See the parking page if you plan to drive. Some free hours; kids to age 12 are always free.

Music, food, and technology

May 2018 (undated)

20 miles SE

Taste of Oakland Fest promises food, dance music, and a technology playground of games, virtual reality, and coding at Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate in the Oakland Hills for the whole family.

Short films

May 2018 (undated)

24 miles NE

Walnut Creek International Short Film Festival screens world-class short films from 15 countries, including documentaries, dramas, comedies, sci-fi, and horror at Century Theatre in Walnut Creek.

Chili & beer

May 2018 (undated)

39.1 miles north

Competing teams serve their finest meat and vegetarian chili with fruit salsa indoors, while beer and cider are poured in the garden outdoors at The Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off & Beer Tasting at Petaluma Fairgrounds.

Cinco De Mayo - San Jose

May 2018 (undated)

52 miles south

Enjoy three stages of live Mexican music, food, dance, mariachis, mechanical bulls, vendors, pony rides, and a kids’ area at the Cinco De Mayo Festival at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose.

Free art museum

May 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles NE

The International Art Museum of America is free and offers a Free Guided Museum Tour on Mother’s Day.

Irish festival in Mountain View

May 2018 (undated)

37.8 miles south

Silicon Valley Irish Fleadh features both traditional and modern Irish music, Irish dance, Irish arts & crafts, Irish food vendors, and a kids’ zone outside St. Stephens Green restaurant.

Festival in Vacaville

May 2018 (undated)

54.1 miles NE

The schedule for Fiesta Days includes a parade (Saturday 10 a.m.), BBQ, king & queen pageant, family fun zone, food court, beer & wine garden, music stage, carnival, car show, Hispanic day, and golf tournament in Vacaville.