October is the best month in San Francisco, the weather is amazing and there are a ton of kid friendly activities happening. From Halloween fun to Fleet Week there are a ton of October events for kids in San Francisco. Check out below for 40 Kid Friendly Events in San Francisco for October 2017.
Come to SF Zoo to welcome our favorite season… FALL! Go on an adventure in “Harvest Hallow” for access to new and exciting attractions. Navigate through San Francisco’s largest hay maze, a 5,000-square-foot structure made from 600 bales of straw and incorporates play areas within the design. Jump in the bounce house, challenge your friends to a friendly game of ring toss and use our festive Harvest Hallow setting for photo ops – all free with paid admission to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!
Celebrate summer evenings in the park at Presidio Twilight! Back for its fourth season, the gathering features delicious international food and drink from a large selection of local vendors, lantern-lit cabanas, shared fire pits, live music, and views of the sun setting over San Francisco Bay. Grab your blanket, bundle up, and enjoy San Francisco Bay views, yoga at dusk, and a great community vibe.
Mission Community Market is so much more than just a farmers’ market. Our open-air marketplace is made up of farmers, small local businesses, live music and culture programming and after-school activities. Join us on Thursdays from 4-8pm and enjoy food, music, and community!
Families with children of all ages can enjoy nature crafts, garden care, outdoor games and exploration in the Children’s Garden at the SF Botanical Gardens – a whole variety of activities to do at your own pace with help from garden staff and teen interns. Water thirsty plants, create a crazy critter, dig in our dune sand pit, or share a book in our Living Room. Bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic in the garden; activities available between noon and 3pm. Free to all garden visitors!
Every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., from April through October, there’s something new under the sun and stars downtown at San Francisco’s historic Union Square Park. Rock & Roll, classical and jazz music. Swing and salsa dancing. Circus performer. Outdoor cinema. And much more. July: Circus performances, music, and more.
Try food and drink from more than 30 vendors and enjoy free activities such as yoga classes, lawn games, a photo booth, bike riding lessons and more. Sundays.
This year’s festival will include live music, age-appropriate bounce houses, recreational activities, a pumpkin patch, and other fun activities for the little ones. We’ll also have a nursing station, diaper changing station and stroller parking. For parents we’ll feature a health and wellness section, as well a designated picnic area (with many food sponsors bringing tasty bites) for your family to hang out at. Make sure to bring a blanket and, of course, you’re welcome to bring food yourself. And don’t forget to stop by the photo booth to capture some fun memories of the day!
Bring a blanket and enjoy an outdoor performance of a beloved favorite. This year the SF Shakespeare Festival celebrates 35 years of free and accessible Shakespeare performances and presents Hamlet for the first time. Set in Denmark in 1559, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet.
Enjoy two days of non-stop entertainment, food, shopping, dragon parades, cultural events, children’s activities and more. The festival is sponsored by the Chinatown Merchants Association.
This year is the 44th anniversary of the Castro Street Fair, which was started by Harvey Milk to celebrate the LGBT community and their supporters. The all-day (11am-6pm) fair features gourmet food, live music on two stages, lots of dancing in the streets, and “Kink Karnival Way.” Join in on the fun at Market and Castro Streets, in the heart of this colorful, lively district.
Imagine the busy streets of San Francisco closed off to traffic and opened up to the public–families on foot and on bikes, walking and dancing–to the tune of free live music and other outdoor fun. This happens one Sunday a month from March to November, each time in a different neighborhood. This October, don’t miss your chance to visit the Excelsior, a part of town a little off the beaten path, to join in on the festivities.
October 1:October 4th is World Animal Day! Come celebrate and learn about some animals who live in the Presidio by making your own cardboard critter! October 7/8: During October, monarchs start to migrate to their overwintering locations from California to Mexico. Come this week to learn about monarch conservation efforts and make a butterfly friend to take home! Cctober 14/15: October 15th is National Mushroom Day! You can find many different types of mushrooms growing here in the Presidio. Learn about some of the special types you might see around the park and create your own out of paper. October 21/22: October 21st is International Archaeology Day! Come celebrate with us by creating a mini dig site to take home. Find out what archaeologists can learn from layers of soil as you build your site layer by layer. October 28/19: Come explore the Presidio’s connection to Mexico by making Day of the Dead masks!
Come to the 18th World Veg Festival in SF Golden Gate Park! Sun Oct 1, 2017. Listen to expert speakers, watch plant-based cooking demos, try delicious vegan foods and products, and be inspired about the benefits of vegan, plant-based lifestyle for healthy, ethical, and sustainable living. From 10am to 6:00pm there will be fun, food, entertainment and activities for the whole family, including a children’s play area! $10 general admission. $5 students w/ ID, seniors 62+, and youth under 18. Free for children under 12 yrs. Tickets sold at door and on Eventbrite. Full schedule at www.worldvegfestival.com
Join the crowds that come out to the waterfront every year for SF’s Fleet Week to be wowed by the Blue Angels roaring by in formation just overhead. Festivities will kick off with the Parade of Ships and throughout the week you can watch airshow practices and tour military ships as well.
Don’t miss the 17th year of this huge free bluegrass festival. For three days, several stages in Golden Gate Park will feature the biggest names in the genre. Pack your own refreshments for a picnic in the park, or check out the more than 50 gourmet food and beverage vendors, in addition to the great music.
Join a Presidio Park Ranger and Presidio Trust guide on this gentle 4-mile bike ride. Roll through the history and nature of the Presidio at a family-friendly pace that’s fun for all! Rent a bike from Sports Basement or bring your own.
San Francisco is home to the country’s oldest Italian American Parade, which takes place every year as part of the Columbus Day celebration. Follow the parade of floats, bands, and traditional Italian musicians from Fisherman’s Wharf to the heart of North Beach (SF’s Little Italy), where it will conclude at a small family-friendly festival in Washington Square Park.
Though short in length, short films can be quite powerful and profound. Over the course of three days, the SF Shorts Festival offers six different programs of films from 17 countries, each set revolving around a different theme, for example: “being fearless in discovery,” “the push and pull of passion, obsession, and desire,” and “our impact on others.” Catch the screenings at the Roxie Theater in the Mission District.
Bring a blanket and enjoy a movie night in the great outdoors! Sponsored by Supervisor Mark Farrell, in partnership with the Presidio Trust and the Presidio Y.
The Grand National Rodeo features traditional events like bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, bull riding, barrel racing and more. Farm equipment and livestock will also be on display to show how food is grown. There will also be a western marketplace, mechanical bull rides, an equestrian competition and live music.
One of our personal favorite events of October. The largest sandcastle competition in Northern California is not only fun for the family and a great excuse to get the community together out on the beach; it also raises money for a fantastic organization, Leap, that brings hands-on learning experiences to over 6,000 students across the Bay Area. Head on over to Ocean Beach between 11am and 4pm to witness some dazzling sand creations!
Billed as the world’s largest drawing festival, this event celebrates Walt Disney’s contributions to art and drawing. This year’s theme is Living Lines, allowing participants to explore bringing art to life through drop-in animation activities and figure drawing sessions.
Experience the mysterious life of nocturnal creatures who start their day as you’re getting ready to sleep. Go on a hike led by an environmental science educator, then return for singing and s’mores around the campfire. All ages welcome. Baby carriers are recommended for children 4 and younger.
Autumn is a spectacularly special season on the fertile, scenic coast around Half Moon Bay where the entire Coastside area bursts into a brilliant sea of orange and buzzes with excitement and activity to celebrate its bountiful and beautiful fall harvest.
Listen to live music, purchase. Food and beverage and let the kids participate in activities organized by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks department. The Asian Art Museum will stay open late.
Don your best costumes and celebrate Halloween at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Goblin Jamboree. This year’s theme is Witches and Wizards and we’ve pulled together a cauldron of spooky themed programs and activities to entertain your entire family. Proceeds from Goblin Jamboree support the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s mission to transform research into early learning experiences that inspire creative problem solving.
Pedal while enjoying the sights and sounds of the zoo. This is a docent-led tour. Participants must bring bikes; none are available for rental.
Create your own Halloween Jack O’ Lantern in this favorite annual event! Tools and pumpkins are provided while supplies last. Registration is requested at www.presidio.gov/events.
Have you ever wondered what an archaeologist actually does? Did you know that there are archaeologists working and studying right here in San Francisco? To find out more, come join Presidio archaeologists at International Archaeology Day. See archaeology in action as Presidio Trust archaeologists uncover the foundations of the Spanish colonial settlement that was El Presidio de San Francisco
Head over to Fisherman’s Wharf on Saturday, October 21 for this annual street festival. Get into the San Francisco spirit with the Chowder Tasting Competition, live music, and great views of the bay. It’s one of the free San Francisco events in October.
If you’re looking for a fun weekend activity for the whole family, head over to the Potrero Hill Festival on 20th Street between Missouri and Wisconsin. On a beautiful fall day, this is the perfect place to enjoy two stages of live entertainment, food stalls, bouncy houses, a petting zoo, and more. In addition, you’ll find arts and crafts for sale as well as information from various non-profit organizations. This event is in its 27th year and typically attracts more than 6,000 visitors.
San Francisco Chamber Orchestra presents Big Bold Brass designed for toddlers. Meet the trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba in this concert dedicated to our small but mighty brass section. Those buzzing mouthpieces, vibrating tubes, and flaring bells produce some of the most exciting and beautiful sounds of the orchestra. Maybe there’s a trombone in your future! Two performances on October 21 at San Francisco Main Library, Fisher Children’s Center at 10:15am and 11:00am.
Family-friendly Halloween event at Sigmund Stern Grove, features costume contests, haunted houses, hay rides, carnival rides, giant inflatables, food for sale and live entertainment.
Dress up in costume for one of San Francisco Zoo & Garden’s most popular family Halloween events, “Boo at the Zoo”! Costume contest,hay maze, bouncy house, and trick or treat your way around the zoo. They even have pumpkin feedings for the animals. Brave the Haunted Nature Trail, decorated especially for the occasion with not-so-scary ghosts, goblins and more! Have a creepy, crawly critter adventure at the Insect Zoo, teaming with more than a thousand multi-legged bugs. Insider Tip: Skip the German inspired fare at the brewhaus, (the service is slow), try the snack bar near the playground or head outside the zoo to Java Beach instead.
Put on a costume and trick or treat among spooktacular animals and spine-tingling animals. There will also be dancing, face painting, magic shows, giant pumpkin carving, crafts, photo booths, food and drink.
17th Annual Halloween Hoopla features interactive performances and games for kids under 10 and their adults, and the return of the Yerba Buena Pumpkin Patch! The program culminates in the eagerly awaited Halloween Costume Parade, where everyone is welcome to show off their Halloween finery.
Enjoy free concert and dancing on the lawn.
Celebrate and remember the lives of loved ones who have passed with a variety of kid-friendly workshops. Learn how to create traditional holiday crafts, such as sugar skulls, paper banners and marigolds. Plus, create your own mini altar that illuminates with LED lights.
Join us for some good old-fashioned free fun when the Japan Center Malls hosts a Spooktacular Halloween Party complete with mall-wide trick for treating and games, decorations, bouncy house, arts and crafts, face painting & removable tattoos. Children in costume will be able to trick or treat in East and West Malls and to visit participating retailers for candy and surprises.
Join us for a festive puja to Lakshmi in celebration of Diwali (or Deepavali, the “festival of lights”), an ancient festival celebrated in autumn (northern hemisphere) every year. Spiritually, the festival signifies the victory of light over darkness. Traditionally, before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, they dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light lamps and candles inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow, then a family feast including plenty of sweets, and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends.
There are so many fun October events for kids in San Francisco, what will you get up to?
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