San Francisco Weekend Fun: January Events

Updated 1.4.2016 with additional events.

After all the activity of the holidays, January is a nice relief.  January always feels like a clean slate to try new activities and make a list of “must dos” for the new year.   Big D has been asking to go see the Asian Art Museum (he has seen all the banners around town), so that is definitely on our list…the free bike riding clinic at the Presidio Y might also be in our future.   For these and other great events in San Francisco in January, read on below:


Sing Along Sound of Music at the Castro Theater.  Jan. 1 An annual holiday tradition is kicking off at the Castro Theater. Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is an all time fave, because when this screening of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical pops up in glorious widescreen it comes with complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along. So warm up the vocal chords and get ready, because the theater is alive with the sound of music. Showtimes: Sun., 1 p.m., 7 p.m.

Iceless Skating Rink at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  Jan. 1-Jan. 9. Hit the “ice” this winter with family and friends at BADM’s Iceless Skating Rink! Children can strap on ice skates and glide around on a synthetic ice rink in Discovery Hall. The synthetic ice rink provides all the joy and excitement of a real ice rink but without the cold and icy falls! Get in the holiday spirit with this classic winter activity. Entry to Iceless Skating Rink is included with museum admission and free for members.

Creative Family Fun: Nest Fest at the Presidio. Jan 7/8.  Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekendMore than 200 species of birds have been seen in the Presidio. Spots like El Polín Spring and Crissy Field are excellent places for birdwatching. Visit the Presidio Officers’ Club and build your own bird nest!

Art Fiesta with Little Artistas and Bilingual Birdies.  Jan 8, 10AM. The Contemporary Jewish Museum opens early just for kids and their grownups! The family fun in January includes kinetic painting with Little Artistas in the studio, fun and play in the galleries, and the joyful Spanish/English songs of Bilingual Birdies.  The CJM aslo has art making on Sundays too!  Check the website (link in title) for more info).

Y Bike Learn to Ride Program in the Presidio. Jan. 8. 11 AM. Get your kids riding on two wheels with free, safe, and friendly instruction from the Presidio Community Y. Bikes and equipment are provided. All ages are welcome; no reservations required. Co-sponsored by the Presidio Community Y and the Presidio Trust.

MLK San Francisco Celebration. Jan. 13- Jan 17. This year’s theme is “Justice in the Beloved Community.” Check website for times and details of the events. Monday’s program will include a march, celebration and numerous festivals at Yerba Buena Gardens, home to the Martin Luther King Jr. Waterfall.

Volunteer for MLK Day of Service. Jan 14th, 9AM-12PM.  SF Rec and Park is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity and the Bayview YMCA for a day of service to beautify and maintain Youngblood Coleman Park (Hudson Ave. & Mandell St.).   Snacks and lunch will be provided. Contact Laurel Caplan at 415 919-4050 or for more information. You may also signup online here. (All volunteers must 16 or older.)

SFJazz Center Anniversary Celebration/Free Open House. Jan 16, 11AM. Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., listen to exciting music and find out more about America’s art form, jazz. Repeats at 2pm and 5pm

SFPL Year of the Rooster Celebration. Jan. 21, 1PM-4PM. Performances include folk dancing and singing with traditional instruments and costumes. FREE. San Francisco

Oceans-A-Glow: Family Night Hike and Campfire.  Jan. 21, 5:30PM-8PM.  Join NatureBridge Golden Gate as we discover one of the most amazing natural phenomenon, bioluminescence. We will hike out to Rodeo Beach and explore the sands for twinkling plankton. Where did they come from? Why are they blinking? Are they here all the time? We will try and answer all these and other questions. This program features an Environmental Science Educator-led hike in the Marin Headlands. Our evening hikes are usually no more than 2 miles and allow for fun and learning along the way. After the hike we provide all the necessary supplies for some fun around the campfire including S’more roasting, campfire skits & fun sing alongs! $12 per person, pre-register at the website.

Aladdin and his Wonderful, Magical Lamp (Palace of Fine Arts). Jan. 28, 10:30AM, 11:30AM & 1PM.  Children’s Theatre Association’s adaptation of Aladdin And His Wonderful, Magical Lamp tells the story of a poor street boy, Aladdin, who (with the help from 3 Genies, a dragon who can talk, his mischievous pet monkey, and his family) uses his wits to outsmart the evil and powerful magician, Jammal, and win the Princess Jasmine’s hand in marriage. Hop aboard a magic carpet and join us in ancient Arabia as we watch Aladdin and his friends escape from a mysterious secret cave – magically construct an enormous Palace in three days, and restore peace and happiness to his City.

Asian Art Museum Lunar New Celebration. Jan. 29, 10:30AM-4PM. Watch performers from the Chinese American International School, China Dance School and more, and see lion dancers. Included with museum admission: $20 adults, $15 youth 13-17, under 13 FREE. San Francisco.  The Asian Art Museum also has great events all month long, including mochi making for Jaanese new year..for more info, visit their events page.

SFPL Events.  The public Library has so many activities for kids, from movie nights to crafts to special events, the SFPL is so much more than story time.  Check out their events calendar for fun events in your neighborhood.

Last days for…

Holiday Ice Rink in Justin Herman Plaza.  Now-Jan 3.  Plan a special holiday experience with your friends and family and skate under the stars in the shadow of the waterfront throughout the holiday season at Embarcadero Center, where you can shop, skate and dine.

‘Tis the Season for Science.  From November 23 through January 8, revel in the wonder of ’Tis the Season for Science, the California Academy of Science’s annual holiday exhibit showcasing the science behind the festive season.  This interactive exhibit invites you to explore some of the most awe-inspiring details of reindeer adaptation, from how they stay warm—and afloat—when crossing icy rivers to what they eat and how they find food in the harsh Arctic winter. Step inside the Snowman Theater to learn about the northern lights, and then settle in and enjoy a variety of holiday-themed programs, including quiz shows and live musical performances.

Hope your new year is off to a great start!  Let me know if you check out any of these events and how they are!


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