San Francisco events October 2018. Things to do in San Francisco.

San Francisco
Best events for 12 months

San Francisco events October 2018

Japanese films

October 1 - 7, 2018
(begins Sept. 28)
1.1 miles NW
See contemporary Japanese cinema at the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco at New People Cinema. All films have English subtitles.

Fleet Week

October 1 - 8, 2018
2.5 miles north
Fleet Week includes tours of Navy ships at Marina Green, a parade of ships under the Golden Gate Bridge, air shows with the Blue Angels, and military dogs. Free. Pier 39 has a Fleet Week Celebration October 5 to 7, with bands and exhibits.

Medieval fair

October 1 - 21, 2018
(begins Sept. 15)
92 miles SE
Watch knights joust on noble steeds, mingle with costumed minstrels and troubadours, shop 200 artisan and food-purveyor stalls, and see children delight in games and activities at Northern California Renaissance Faire in Hollister. Age 12 and under free.

Special weekend discounts

CityPass San Francisco

Haunted house - San Jose

October 1 - Nov. 5, 2018
52.6 miles south
The Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions include a pre-show Midway of Terror, The River Styx, and DethworX at 2501 Tully Road in San Jose.

Santa Cruz Film Festival

October 3 - 7, 2018
76 miles SE
Santa Cruz Film Festival celebrates innovative and original filmmaking and screens locally made films.

Film festival in Mill Valley

October 4 - 14, 2018
Mill Valley & San Rafael
See quality films from around the world at the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF), plus panel discussions most days and live music most nights.

Wine walk

October 5, 2018
(4 to 8 p.m.)
1.6 miles north
Visit merchants on Union Street and Fillmore Street to sample wine and appetizers with your ticket to Union Street Harvest Wine Walk.

Ideas festival

October 5 - 6, 2018
13.5 miles NE
Hear expert speakers, join thought-provoking conversations, see pop-up performances, and mingle at a party during Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas at various venues in downtown Berkeley.

Electric vehicles

October 5 - 7, 2018
2.6 miles NE
See and drive electric and fuel-cell vehicles, and visit the information booths during EV Week at Pier 27 on the Embarcadero. Free.

Country bluegrass concert

October 5 - 7, 2018
4 miles west
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass presents 90 country and bluegrass acts on multiple stages with food vendors in Golden Gate Park. Free.

San Jose half marathon

October 5 - 7, 2018
47.7 miles south
Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Jose (plus 5K and 10K) follows a relatively flat course, with live bands on the way, and a free two-day health & fitness expo.
  • Oct. 5 & 6 – fitness expo
  • Oct. 6 – kids’ events and 5K
  • Oct. 7 – half marathon and 10K

Halloween at Six Flags

October 5 - 31, 2018
(begins Sept. 21)
34.7 miles NE
Enjoy pumpkin painting & trick-or-treating in daylight, but beware of ghosts, ghouls, and zombies at night during Fright Fest [website has sound] at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo. See schedule.

Haunted attractions - Pleasanton

October 5 - 31, 2018
36.2 miles SE
Pirates of Emerson Haunted Theme Park offers six haunted attractions at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. See schedule.

Haunted house - San Leandro

October 5 - Nov. 3, 2018
(Sept. 28+)
23 miles SE
Fear Overload Scream Park offers two popular attractions in San Leandro.

Celebrate San Francisco Bay

October 6, 2018
multiple locations
Bay Day events include free entertainment and food trucks at The Yard SF, family activities at Jack London Square in Oakland, the Port Fest festival in Redwood City, and activities (pre-register) on Angel Island.

Columbus Day ball

October 6, 2018
(5 to 11 p.m.)
1.2 miles NE
The black-tie optional Grand Ball includes a banquet, no-host cocktails, and dancing at the Palace Hotel, organized by San Francisco Italian Heritage.

Art fair in San Carlos

October 6 - 7, 2018
28.5 miles south
San Carlos Art & Wine Faire features 275 art and craft booths, three stages of entertainment, food vendors, wine, beer, a car show, and a family zone at San Carlos Avenue & Laurel Street. No pets. Free.

Small-town Oktoberfest

October 6 - 7, 2018
33 miles NE
Find German food, beer, wine, arts & crafts, carnival rides, street performers, and a parade (noon Saturday) at outdoor Clayton Oktoberfest. Free entry.

Muddy obstacle course

October 6 - 7, 2018
33.3 miles north
You’ve got to be one Tough Mudder to run this 5 or 10 mile muddy obstacle course in Sonoma, or buy a spectator ticket online to attend just the after-party.

Vampire tour

October 6 & 31, 2018
1.3 miles NE
Celebrate Halloween on the Nob Hill Vampire Tour of San Francisco, which includes historical facts, vampire lore, humor, and a costume contest, beginning at the corner of California & Taylor Streets.

Castro Street Fair

October 7, 2018
1.6 miles SW
Castro Street Fair features local artists, vendors, craftspeople, LGBT organizations, live music, and dancers at Castro & Market Streets. Donation.

Columbus Day Parade

October 7, 2018
(12:30 p.m.)
2.3 miles north
Italian Heritage Parade begins at Fisherman’s Wharf and ends in Washington Square. Free.

Wine tasting

October 9, 2018
1.1 miles NE
Taste fine wine paired with restaurant bites, oysters, and cheese at the Top 100 Tasting by Wine & Spirits magazine at City View at Metreon.

Pool party

October 10, 2018
(6 to 9:30 p.m.)
0.4 miles north
Watch local celebrities get soaked at the $125 Pool Toss, with “fabulous food, refreshing libations, wacky entertainment, and a wet-and-wild celebrity auction pool toss” at the Phoenix Hotel for charity.

Snow sports sale - South Bay

October 11, 2018
42.4 miles south
Shop for skis, boards, apparel, and lift tickets at SnowBomb, which also has a climbing wall, and a BMX/skate ramp show at Santa Clara Convention Center. Free.

Daredevil stunts

October 11, 2018
(7:30 p.m.)
48 miles south
Watch 30 freestyle athletes perform mind-blowing stunts, freestyle motocross, and BMX routines when Nitro Circus comes to SAP Center at San Jose.

Ticket deal $32 to $80

Antiques show

October 11 - 14, 2018
(preview Oct. 10)
2.3 miles north
Browse fine antiques from 50 international dealers and hear expert lecturers at The San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.

Literary festival

October 11 - 20, 2018
San Francisco & San Rafael
Book lovers unite at Litquake, a giant independent literary festival with cutting-edge panel discussions, a Lit Crawl in local bars on Oct. 20, and hundreds of mostly free author readings.

Festival under the stars

October 13, 2018
1 mile NE
See dozens of music, dance, and art performances at Yerba Buena Night around Yerba Buena Lane. Free.

Beer tasting on a ship

October 13, 2018
(1 to 4 p.m.)
2.2 miles NE
Sample 70 beers from local breweries with live music, food vendors, and spectacular views at Brews on the Bay aboard the historic ship S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien at Pier 45 for age 21+.

Car show in Alameda

October 13, 2018
15.3 miles east
See 400 classic vehicles lined up along Park Street in Alameda during the Classic Car Show (vintage coupes, antique roadsters, hot rods, and muscle cars). DJs will be playing oldies from the ‘50s and the ‘60s. Free.

Bike & beer festival

October 13, 2018
20 miles north
See handmade bikes, visit 70 exhibitors, take a bike ride, buy a ticket to taste 35 hand-crafted beers, and hear live music at Biketoberfest in Fairfax. Free.

Horse festival

October 13, 2018
32.1 miles south
The Horse Fair is a free event with live music, food, exhibits, a petting zoo, and stagecoach rides in the small town of Woodside, with an optional ticketed ride for horse owners. See schedule.

Art fair in Livermore

October 13, 2018
44 miles SE
Browse art from 200 artists and hear live music at ArtWalk indoors and outdoors near First Street in Livermore. Free.

Pumpkin festival - Half Moon Bay

October 13 - 14, 2018
29.4 miles south
Expect crowds at Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, plus giant pumpkins, pumpkin carving, 250 art & craft booths, 3 stages of entertainment, wine, beer, food vendors, and a parade on Main Street. Free.

Miniatures show

October 13 - 14, 2018
45 miles south
See miniature objects displayed by 100 dealers and attend workshops at the Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures at Doubletree Hotel San Jose.

Greek films

October 13 - 20, 2018
2.3 miles NE
San Francisco Greek Film Festival screens 30+ films about Greece and Cyprus, plus films made or directed by Greek filmmakers and filmmakers of Greek descent at Delancey Street Screening Room. English subtitles.

Visit art studios

October 13 - Nov. 11, 2018
San Francisco locations
Visit up to 800 emerging and established artists in their studios during the weekend SF Open Studios, and attend preview and tasting parties on weekdays.

People in the street

October 14, 2018
San Francisco neighborhoods
Walk, bike, or roller skate on a city street when most cars are banned for Sunday Streets, which are held about once a month from March to October.

Jewish film festival

October 14 - Nov. 11, 2018
Palo Alto & San Jose
Watch two dozen feature-length films at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival, with special events opening and closing nights.

Neighborhood festival

October 20, 2018
1.9 miles SE
Potrero Hill Festival has a stage with live music, local restaurant food, a kids’ area with petting zoo, and 100 local artists and vendors on 20th Street. Free.

Wharf festival

October 20, 2018
2.3 miles north
San Francisco’s Wharf Fest features live music, street performers, craft and food vendors, a chowder contest, kids’ rides, ship tours, and fireworks on Embarcadero from Jefferson to Taylor. Free.

Urban music & art festival

October 20, 2018
5.1 miles south
BayviewLive [sound] features Talib Kweli and other “notable performers, muralists, and tech tastemakers” at 1439 Egbert Avenue (from 3rd to Jennings). Free.

Free music in Marin

October 20, 2018
18.6 miles north
Marin Music Festival promises five local bands, arts and crafts booths, food trucks, beer and wine, kids’ activities, and a waterfront view in San Rafael. Free.

San Jose home show

October 20 - 21, 2018
48.3 miles south
See home improvement products, services, and demonstrations at the San Jose Fall Home Show at the San Jose convention center. Repeats in March.

Visit art studios

October 20 - 21 and 27 - 28, 2018
5.5 miles SW
Visit 100 artists during Open Studios at Hunters Point Shipyard and Islais Creek Studios. See schedule. Held in April and October.

Halloween costume ball

October 26, 2018
1.3 miles NE
Halloween International Ball is a multi-room spectacular with dance music at W San Francisco.

Halloween in the park

October 26, 2018
5.2 miles SW
Scaregrove is a ticketed event with a costume parade, haunted house, hayrides, carnival rides, games, and food for sale at Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove.

Science Festival

October 26 - Nov. 3, 2018
San Francisco Bay Area
Bay Area Science Festival offers 40 fun events about science and technology, including exhibitions, lectures, debates, concerts, plays, and workshops.

Halloween party - Regency

October 27, 2018
(9 p.m.)
0.7 miles north
Join 2,000 costumed revelers at A Nightmare on Van Ness for three floors of DJ & live music, a costume contest, and go-go dancers at The Regency Center for age 21+.

Home tour

October 27, 2018
1.9 miles NE
Visit an elegant private home in Noe Valley during the Annual Home Tour of The Junior League of San Francisco, which highlights architecture, art, history, and interior design.

Pet parade

October 27, 2018
(1 p.m.)
2 miles SE
Watch decorated dogs walk with their owners on 18th Street (from Arkansas to Texas) during the Annual Pet Parade, followed by a costume contest. Free.

Halloween cruise

October 27, 2018
(7 p.m.)
2.2 miles east
Titanic Masquerade Halloween Party Cruise is a 4-hour ride on San Francisco Bay with two DJs, views of the city and bridges from three decks, and an open bar for age 21+. Requires semi-formal attire with a mask.

Halloween party for kids

October 27, 2018
3 miles west
A ticket to SuperNatural Halloween gets you trick-or-treating, dancing, face painting, magic shows, science, pumpkin carving, crafts, food, and drink at California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

Vegetarian festival

October 27, 2018
3 miles west
World Veg Festival features speakers, cooking demos, exhibitors, a children’s corner, samples, and food for sale at San Francisco County Fair Building.

Halloween party for kids

October 28, 2018
1 mile NW
Spooktacular Halloween Party offers mall-wide trick or treating for kids in costumes, games, pumpkin decorating, a bouncy house, arts and crafts, and face painting at the Japan Center. Free.

Halloween children’s festival

October 28, 2018
(noon to 2 p.m.)
1.2 miles NE
Halloween Hoopla features a costume parade, interactive performances, and games for kids under 10 and their adults at Yerba Buena Gardens. Free.

Neighborhood festival

October 28, 2018
3.7 miles south
Fiesta on the Hill features live bands, dancing in the street, street artists, pumpkin carving, kids’ activities, and food vendors on Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights. Free.

Halloween pub crawl

October 31, 2018
(6 to 11 p.m.)
Bay Area
Check in at Mayes Oyster House between 6 and 9 p.m. for the Adult Trick ’R Treating Pub Crawl, which includes drink specials at 7 bars. Costumes welcome.

Free classical concert

October 31, 2018
(1 to 2 p.m.)
8 miles SW
Hear two pianists play “Petrushka” by Stravinsky and “The Banshee” by Cowell at the Annual Scary Concert in the Creative Arts Building at San Francisco State University. Free.

San Jose neighborhood haunt

October 31, 2018
(6 to 9 p.m.)
48 miles south
Just a normal house the rest of the year, Albertson Halloween House is a neighborhood attraction at Halloween. The theme in 2018 is “video games.” Free.

Used book sale

October 31 - Nov. 4, 2018
2.3 miles north
Browse 500,000 books, DVDs, and CDs at the Big Book Sale by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.

Arabian films

October 2018
San Francisco Bay Area
The Arab Film Festival screens films about the beauty, complexity, and diversity of the Arab world, plus its people, culture, art, history, and politics.

Horror film series

October 2018
1.2 miles NE
Avant-Garde Horror is a series of scary films on three nights at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Pet day

October 2018
1.2 miles south
Bring your pet to enjoy family-friendly activities on Pet Pride Day, including pet costume contests, a runway show, a pet photo booth, dog-toy making, adoptions, a beer garden, and food trucks at Rescue Row. Free.

Neighborhood festival

October 2018
5.4 miles south
Excelsior Arts and Music Festival features live music, multi-cultural food, and a variety of family-friendly entertainment on Ocean Avenue & San Juan Avenue (at Mission). No pets or smoking.

Garden lights festival

October 2018
12.3 miles east
Autumn Lights Festival features illuminated art, fire dancers, larger-than-life art installations, live music, interactive arts, and a food court in The Gardens at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Days of the Dead in Oakland

October 2018
13 miles east
Days of the Dead Community Celebration begins with a procession of Aztec dancers. It includes folkloric dance, mariachi music, art vendors, food booths, and community-made altars honoring the dead at Oakland Museum of California. Free for kids age 8 and younger.

Halloween party - Pier 70

October 2018
Location uncertain
LoveBoat Halloween is a Halloween art, music, and dancing experience that features multiple stages, lots of DJs, giant art installations, and art cars.

Halloween party

October 2018
1.4 miles NE
Wear a costume to Nightmare on 3rd Street for music, dancing, and a full bar at the new second-floor lounge in W San Francisco for age 21+.

Halloween comedy

October 2018
1.8 miles NE
Comedians perform jokes in costume and in character during the Halloween Comedy Showcase at the Punch Line, which has a two drink minimum and is age 18+.

Halloween party

October 2018
3 miles south
Funhouse Halloween Massive [website has sound] promises four rooms of celebrity DJs, live performances, and dancing at Roccapulco for age 21+.

Museum party

October 2018
3 miles west
Tour a haunted hall full of scientific curiosities, visit a haunted arcade, watch a drag show, join a costume contest, and order food/drinks at Creatures of the NightLife at California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park for age 21+. No masks or violent costumes.

Halloween at the zoo

October 2018
7.7 miles SW
Children can enjoy treats, watch animals eat pumpkins, dance to music, bounce, walk on a haunted trail, make crafts, and join the 11 a.m. costume parade and contest (no masks) during Boo at the Zoo at San Francisco Zoo.

Family haunted house

October 2018
37.8 miles SE
Candle Lighters Ghost House is a low-scare haunt with goblins, ghosts, witches, and warlocks in a historic carriage house, plus games, caramel apples, and a country store in Fremont. Special events include lights on for kids and a kiddie costume parade.