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

San Francisco
calendar of events

September 2018
best events in San Francisco

Festival in Millbrae

September 1 - 2, 2018

14.5 miles south

Billed as “The Last Blast of Summer,” Millbrae Art & Wine Festival features 250 professional artists and craftmakers, fine food & beverages, kids’ activities, “classically cool cars,” and plenty of live music. Free.

Scottish festival

September 1 - 2, 2018

36.2 miles SE

Scottish Highland Gathering & Games offers athletic games, a grandstand show, sheepdog trials, Scottish dance, food, music, and historical demonstrations at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Art festival in Sausalito

September 1 - 3, 2018

9.1 miles NW via ferry

You’ll have to pay to enter the classy Sausalito Art Festival, which features 260 juried artists, 2 music stages, wine tasting, and food vendors at Marinship Park in Sausalito. No outside beverages or pets.
CityPass San Francisco

Greek festival

September 1 - 3, 2018

23.9 miles south

Enjoy Greek food, music, dancing, a mythology play, and a kids’ area at the Belmont Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church in Belmont. Free before 2 p.m. on Saturday & Monday, and children 12 and younger.

Wine weekend in Sonoma

September 1 - 3, 2018 (starts Aug. 31)

47 miles north

Rub shoulders with winegrowers, winemakers, and chefs on Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at tastings, barbecues, and dinners in Rohnert Park.

Architecture festival

September 1 - 30, 2018

San Francisco

Architecture + the City Festival features walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, and behind-the-scenes looks at the process of designing, planning, and building.

Fringe theater festival

September 6 - 15, 2018

0.8 miles NE

See dozens of weird and wonderful shows by local theater groups that range from magic to solo acts at the San Francisco Fringe Festival at Exit Theatre.

Environmental film festival

September 6 - 16, 2018 (uncertain)

San Francisco & Berkeley

Green Film Fest screens 38 films from different countries that inspire us to make the world a better place.

Taste of Mexico in Santa Cruz

September 8, 2018

73 miles south

Mole & Mariachi Festival has food, beer, wine, craft vendors, giant piñatas, and dancers at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. Photos. Free admission.

Chocolate festival

September 8 - 9, 2018

1.8 miles north

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival includes chocolate tasting, chef demonstrations, live music, and vendors at Ghirardelli Square.

South Bay art & wine

September 8 - 9, 2018

37.2 miles south

Shop from 600 artists and craft makers, drink wine (plus beer, margaritas, and sangria), eat good food, and hear live music at Mountain View Art & Wine Festival on Castro Street in Mountain View.

Waterfront race

September 9, 2018

2 miles east

The San Francisco Giant Race includes a half marathon, 10K, 5K, kids’ race, and a family relay that all finish on the field at AT&T Park.

Opera in the Park

September 9, 2018 (1:30 p.m.)

2.6 miles west

Opera in the Park features artists from the fall season of the San Francisco Opera in Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park. Free.

Lafayette festival

September 15 - 16, 2018

21.2 miles NE

Lafayette Art, Wine & Music Festival offers 250 arts and crafts booths, restaurant food, wine, beer, a kids’ zone, and 3 stages of music near a BART station. Free.

Adopt a pet

September 15 - 16, 2018

36.2 miles SE

You’re welcome to bring your pet to the Bay Area Pet Fair, which features 1500 adoptable animals, live shows, demonstrations, food vendors, a family zone, and pet supplies at Alameda County Fairgrounds. Free.

Medieval fair

September 15 - Oct. 14, 2018

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. [May be extended to Oct. 21, 2018.]

Free comedy

September 16, 2018

2.6 miles west

See 40+ comedians from the Bay Area and beyond on Comedy Day in Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park.

German family festival

September 16, 2018

15.6 miles NW

Hike an easy mile to Kinderfest at San Francisco Tourist Club in Mill Valley to celebrate Oktoberfest with German food, drink, live music, and kids’ games. Tickets only online.

Polish festival

September 16, 2018

53 miles south

Enjoy Polish cuisine, traditional art, music, and dance at PolskaFest in San Jose. Free.

Quilt & craft show

September 20 - 22, 2018

39 miles SE

The Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival offers workshops, seminars, and vendors of fabrics and supplies in Pleasanton.

Knitting show

September 21 - 23, 2018

Location uncertain

Vogue Knitting Live features knitting classes and a vendor marketplace.

Monterey Jazz Festival

September 21 - 23, 2018

117 miles south

Billed as the world’s longest running jazz event, Monterey Jazz Festival features 500 artists on eight stages at the 20-acre Monterey County Fairgrounds.

Free national park day

September 22, 2018

U.S. National Parks

Entry is free at Muir Woods National Monument and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park on Free Entrance Days in the National Parks. Expect more people and less parking than usual.

Iranian films

September 22 - 23, 2018

1.9 miles north

The San Francisco Iranian Film Festival screens independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Old-time music festival

September 26 - 30, 2018

12.7 miles NE

The Berkeley Old Time Music Convention features concerts, a string-band contest, square dances, workshops, kids’ activities, and plenty of jamming.

Haunted house - San Leandro

September 28 - Nov. 3, 2018

23 miles SE

Fear Overload Scream Park offers two popular attractions in San Leandro.

Leather fair

September 30, 2018

0.6 miles SE

Only in San Francisco will you find 400,000 fetish enthusiasts shopping for leather kink at Folsom Street Fair, which has a music stage, dance floor, and erotic artists’ area on Folsom Street (8th to 13th). Donation.

Challenging walk

September 2018 (undated)

San Francisco

Walk 14 miles on an urban trek across 10 peaks on the Peak2Peak to discover hidden stairways and explore new paths around the city. Your ticket includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a beer.

Fashion week

September 2018 (undated)

San Francisco

Attend fashion shows, tours, expos, and parties during San Francisco Fashion Week at various venues.

Free films

September 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

Film Night in the Park presents hit films “on a giant outdoor screen in beautiful park settings.” You are encouraged to bring a picnic and a blanket. Free.

Free museum day

September 2018 (undated)


Get a free ticket for two people to visit one of 17 Bay Area museums on Museum Day Live.

Latino film festival

September 2018 (undated)

San Francisco Bay Area

CMSF Latino Film Festival screens films by emerging and established filmmakers from the United States, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal.

People in the street

September 2018 (undated)

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.

Sustainable design festival

September 2018 (undated)

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 May. Free.

Japanese pop culture festival

September 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

Find the latest in Japanese music, fashion, film, art, games, tech-innovations, anime, and food at J-Pop Summit at Fort Mason Center.

Beer festival

September 2018 (undated)

0.8 miles south

A ticket to San Francisco Beer & Music Festival gets you unlimited samples of 50 craft beers, with bands, DJs, and food for sale at Public Works.

Greek festival

September 2018 (undated)

0.9 miles SW

Enjoy homemade Greek foods like lamb, calamari, gyros, baklava, souvlaki, and wine at San Francisco’s Only Greek Food Festival, plus dancers performing to live music at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Outdoor sumo wrestling

September 2018 (undated)

1 mile NW

Sumo is an ancient Japanese tradition and martial art. Meet the wrestlers and watch matches during Sumo Champions Exhibition at Japantown Peace Plaza. Free.

Film Festival on Aging

September 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles NW

See thought-provoking, entertaining, and inspiring films about living a full life at the Film Festival on Aging at New People on Post Street.

Japanese films

September 2018 (undated)

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.

Union Square entertainment

September 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.

Printing festival

September 2018 (undated)

1.4 miles SE

A giant steamroller presses prints on the street at Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival, a public printmaking and book arts extravaganza with free hands-on printmaking and book arts activities, demonstrations, and vendors on Rhode Island Street.

Home tour

September 2018 (undated)

1.9 miles NE

Visit an elegant private home during the Annual Home Tour of The Junior League of San Francisco, which highlights architecture, art, history, and interior design. Check in at Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant.


September 2018 (undated)

2.1 miles NE

Bring plenty of cash to enjoy beer, bratwurst, live music, and people dancing in costume at Oktoberfest by the Bay at Pier 48. No kids Sat. evening or Fri.

Beer tasting on a ship

September 2018 (undated)

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+.

Irish film festival

September 2018 (undated)

2.3 miles NE

See contemporary Irish cinema, including short films, at the San Francisco Irish Film Festival at Delancey Street Screening Room.

Used book sale

September 2018 (undated)

2.3 miles north

Browse 500,000 books, DVDs, and CDs at the Fall Book Sale by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.

Concerts in the park

September 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.

Feel good festival

September 2018 (undated)

3.1 miles west

Peace in the Park promotes inner calm and clear thinking via meditation, yoga, tai chi, music, folk dance, and talks at Golden Gate Park. Free.

Neighborhood festival

September 2018 (undated)

6 miles SW

Sunset Community Festival promises local artisans, merchants, food vendors, musicians, and dance performers, with a kids’ area and a beer/wine garden at West Sunset Playground, 3223 Ortega Street. Free.

Shakespeare in the park

September 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

Watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare in a park outdoors. Free.

Beer tasting

September 2018 (undated)

8.2 miles via ferry boat

Taste beer from 30 brewers at Tiburon Taps Beer Festival, with restaurant food samples and live music on the waterfront. No kids or pets.

Houseboat tour

September 2018 (undated)

10.1 miles north

The self-guided Sausalito Floating Homes Tour includes 15 charming homes in Sausalito, with food, music, and an art show nearby. Buy tickets in advance.

Oakland food festival

September 2018 (undated)

12 miles east

Buy locally grown food for $10 or less, hear music, and learn about sustainable farming at the Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square. Free.

Dragon boat festival

September 2018 (undated)

12.6 miles east

Watch dragon boat races and see stage shows (lion & dragon dances, taiko drumming, Tahitian dancing, and Chinese acrobats) at Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival, which has a kids’ area, fitness fair, and food vendors at Lake Merritt. Free.

Bacon festival

September 2018 (undated)

21 miles south

Family-friendly Bacon & Brew Festival has live music, local food vendors, bacon dishes, breweries, margaritas, Bloody Marys, arts & crafts, and a kids’ area at San Mateo County Event Center.

Airport Day

September 2018 (undated)

24.2 miles south

Airport Day at San Carlos Airport includes small planes on display, exhibitors, vendors, food trucks, music, an aviation-themed scavenger hunt, and helicopter rides & airplane rides for sale. Free admission and parking.

Small-town Oktoberfest

September 2018 (undated)

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.

Blues music festival

September 2018 (undated)

35 miles NE

Bay Area Blues Festival features blues on two stages, arts and crafts, gourmet food vendors, kids’ activities and rides, a farmers’ market, beer, and wine in Martinez. Free.

Antiques fair

September 2018 (undated)

38.5 miles north

Vintage and antique lovers will find an eclectic variety of items available from 200 dealers at the Fall Antique Faire in downtown Petaluma. Repeats in April. Free.

San Jose open street day

September 2018 (undated)

48 miles south

Walk, bike, or skate on six miles of city streets from Japantown to Lake Cunningham Park with vendors and activities along the route during Viva CalleSJ. Free.

Concerts at the vineyard

September 2018 (undated)

48.2 miles SE

Concerts at Wente Vineyards feature world-class entertainers at an outdoor amphitheater in Livermore.

Art & wine in San Jose

September 2018 (undated)

58 miles south

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival has local artisans, bans on stage, boutique wines, gourmet food trucks, and a kids’ zone at Almaden Lake Park.

Dine under the moon

September 2018 (undated)

73.6 miles north

Eat an unforgettable meal when Lincoln Avenue is closed to cars and a 1,000-foot long Calistoga Harvest Table is set up under the moon to serve food from 13 restaurants and wine from 40 wineries in Calistoga.

Russian River Jazz & Blues Fest

September 2018 (undated)

75 miles north

Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival has an eclectic lineup of classic and contemporary musicians in Guerneville.

Bacon festival

September 2018 (undated)

70 miles east

Baconfest promises bacon, beer, and bands at Dell’Osso Family Farm in the Central Valley.

Comic book convention

September 2018 (undated)

1.3 mile NE

San Francisco Comic Con is an annual convention for fans of comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, manga, cosplay, and popular culture at Moscone Center West.

Polynesian festival

September 2018 (undated)

3.1 miles west

Celebrate the Pacific Islands at Aloha Poly Fest, with entertainment, craft booths, cultural demonstrations, food vendors, and a kids’ zone at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Free, including parking.