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Free Fall Festivities in San Francisco

Maybe San Francisco’s July and August didn’t feel like “summer,” but San Franciscans know the best weather and plenty of sunshine are still on the way. Locals and visitors alike can make the most of it with these free outdoor events.

Movies in the park:

Summer nights offer endless entertainment, but “Film Night in the Park” is one of our favorites in the San Francisco office. Through September, “Film Night in the Park” sets up giant screens under a blanket of stars. Bring a blanket and movie snacks for:

  • Saturday, Aug. 28, Union Square, “Rear Window”
  • Saturday, Sept. 11, Washington Square Park, “Amelie”
  • Saturday, Sept. 25, Dolores Park, “The Big Lebowski”

Farmers market:

The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market serves up tasty meals and fresh groceries. The market, at Embarcadero Center, is now open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Don’t be afraid to talk to the local farmers and vendors; they often dish out their cooking advice. Look for the fruit stand with the “tasting required” sign for juicy free samples.  

Outdoor museum:

Let that inner science nerd run free and soak in 20 free interactive science exhibits at the San Francisco Outdoor Exploratorium. Walk along the waterfront from Fort Mason to the Marina District investigating exhibits centered on the wind, bay and marine environment. One exhibit even lets visitors taste the various tides' salt concentrations from a water fountain. Start the adventure by snagging a map at the Fort Mason Office, Building A.


San Franciscans flock to the plethora of free festivals celebrating art, food, entertainment and even love. Upcoming festivals to mark on your calendar:

  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park, Oct. 1-3. One of the largest free music festivals in the country with more than 80 bands including Joan Baez, Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes, Patti Smith, The Avett Brothers, T-Bone Burnett, Indigo Girls, Randy Newman and more
  • SF Lovevolution in downtown San Francisco, Oct. 2. Celebrate music, love and culture at this dance music parade in the streets of San Francisco; the parade of floats stars at 11 a.m. on Market St
  • Power to the Peaceful in Golden Gate Park, Sept. 10-12. Features free concerts (including Bay Area’s Michael Franti & Spearhead), yoga and art

Looking for a place to rest your head after a day (or night) full of free entertainment? Try the Handlery Union Square Hotel at rates that are 40% off regular prices.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Los Angeles
Monday, August 23, 2010
See more Tips from
Jessica DeBolt