How to completely ignore Bay to Breakers and have a great weekend in SF

Published 3:36 pm PDT, Thursday, May 16, 2019

Swarms of drunk, ridiculously costumed, and occasionally naked people flooding the streets of San Francisco aren’t for everyone. Looking to avoid the debauchery of Bay to Breakers this weekend? You might want to avoid the city altogether on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a peaceful weekend in the Bay Area. Instead, head to San Mateo, Oakland, or Berkeley — or stick to Friday or Saturday for your San Francisco adventuring.

Maker Faire Bay Area
Friday through Sunday, May 17-19, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
San Mateo County Event Center, San Mateo
The eclectic fair celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the DIY mindset is happening this weekend in San Mateo. Wander through hundreds of hands-on exhibits, fly a drone, learn how to wield a light saber, and more. Financial difficulties mean this could be the last Maker Faire the Bay Area ever sees — so don’t let the rain stop you (besides, there are tons of indoor exhibits and workshops, too).

Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.
The Masonic, San Francisco
Genre-blending new wave/dub/reggae/electro artist Santigold is currently celebrating the 10-year anniversary of her self-titled debut with her “10 Years Golder Tour.” Make Saturday night your big outing in the city for the weekend — catch the “L.E.S. Artistes” singer on her San Francisco stop at the Masonic.

Oakland VegFest 
Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lake Merritt Amphitheater, Oakland
Organized by the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, Oakland VegFest is back for its fifth year. The day will feature tons of vegetarian food vendors, speakers on food justice and cooking, musical performers, and a cutest dog contest — rain or shine.

CAAMFest37: The Joy Luck Club
Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.
Waverly Place, Chinatown, San Francisco
Before “Crazy Rich Asians,” there was “The Joy Luck Club.” The film, based on the book by San Francisco author Amy Tan, was a huge hit when it came out in 1993. It was the first in decades to tell an Asian American story with an almost entirely Asian American cast. Twenty-five years later, revisit “The Joy Luck Club” with an outdoor screening for CAAMFest. (Note: with rain in the forecast, venue is subject to change.)

Berkeley Bluegrass Festival
Thursday through Sunday, May 16-19, times vary
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Escape the melee of Bay to Breakers with a much calmer, yet still fun alternative: the Berkeley Bluegrass Festival. Musical performances, free workshops, square dancing, and jam sessions fill the weekend at Freight & Salvage. Performers include Hot Buttered Rum, The Earls of Leicester, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and more.

MAX: A Space Festival
Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
Explore the intersection of art and science at MAX, a weekend of programming at the California Academy of Sciences. Join youth from the Lakota Tribe as they create photo murals expressing their connection to the cosmos, ask scientists about alien microbes here on Earth, and participate in a live podcast recording.

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