Top 23 Things to do in San Francisco this Labor Day Weekend
By: Cindy Hu
A little football. A little Shakespeare. An indulgence of monumental art and the opening of the nation’s largest architectural festival. It’s going to be quite the summer send-off in San Francisco this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-5, 2011.
This is the final weekend for two exhibitions focused on the life of Gertrude Stein, the art collected by her family and the artists she nurtured. Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde at SFMOMA both end on Sept. 6. Each museum is offering special family programs on Sunday, Sept. 4.
Stop in at the San Francisco Visitor Information Center (closed Monday, Sept. 5), 900 Market St., on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza or visit www.sanfrancisco.travel for more ideas on how to celebrate over the long weekend.
To get into and around San Francisco on the Labor Day weekend, public transit is recommended. For information, dial 511 (nine San Francisco Bay Area counties), 510-893-8729 or visit www.511.org.
Special events and activities in San Francisco announced for the Labor Day weekend include:
AROUND SAN FRANCISCO
Through Sept. 5, 2011
Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St., 415-EXP-LORE, www.exploratorium.edu
As summer winds to a close, there’s still time to enjoy the Exploratorium's Colorfest. Come and experience light and color in unexpected ways — from hands-on demonstrations and talks on the physics of color to pigment making. This extravaganza features a full spectrum of more than 30 color-related exhibits. This is also the final day for Science of Baseball: Self-Guided Tour. Investigate the insides of that iconic leather-covered ball, test your reaction time with a bat, gauge your aim through a pair of prism goggles and more at this self-guided tour.
8th ANNUAL BERNAL HEIGHTS OUTDOOR CINEMA
Aug. 31- Sept. 4, 2011
Cortland Avenue, Bernal Heights, www.bhoutdoorcine.org
Showcasing the work of local filmmakers, the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema series offers films, music and more. The opening night and preview party on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at The Old Clam House, 299 Bayshore Blvd., is a benefit for the Bernal History Project. On Thursday there’s a block party and Friday marks the return of the annual Film Crawl on Cortland. Saturday, it’s outdoor cinema at Precita Park, Folsom Street at Precita. Seasoned viewers recommend blankets, cushions and low-backed chairs to have a comfortable view of the screen and city lights. The closing night, Sunday, Sept. 4, at El Rio, 3158 Mission St., celebrates the end of the cinema fest.
ARCHITECTURE AND THE CITY FESTIVAL
Sept. 1-30, 2011
Citywide, 415-362-7397, www.aiasf.org/archandcity
This is the opening weekend for the largest architectural and design festival in the U.S. Events include tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures, workshops and more. In partnership with the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the theme of the 2011 festival, “Architecture of Consequence,” engages international peers in a discussion of the most pressing issues ranging from economic crises and food shortages to vanishing leisure time and weakened social cohesion. The American Institute of Architects, producers of the festival, along with the Center for Architecture + Design, has organized more than 40 events and programs.
AT&T BALLPARK TOUR AND RIDE THE DUCKS COMBO
Sept. 2, 2011
AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza or Fisherman’s Wharf, 2766 Taylor St., 800-225-2277, www.sfgiants.com Tickets may also be purchased at any Giants Dugout Store location.
Every Friday until the end of the Giants season Ride the Ducks and the Giants are offering a two-and-a-half-hour tour that combines a Ride the Ducks city tour, a “splash down” in McCovey Cove and a “behind the scenes” visit to AT&T Park. Advance reservations are required for the $50 tour which departs either from Fisherman’s Wharf, 2766 Taylor St., at noon or from AT&T Park at 12:45 p.m.
FRIDAY NIGHTS AT THE DE YOUNG
Sept. 2, 2011
de Young Museum, 50 Tea Garden Dr., 415-750-3600, www.deyoungmuseum.org
Cultural Encounter: Fiesta Friday Nights features La Gente, El Café Peetnik, Tableau Vivant with Picasso and Jan Wahl. From 6-8:45 p.m. meet de Young Artist Fellows Todd T. Brown, Kevin Epps and Sean San Jose, presented with collaborating partners Red Poppy Art House, the African American Art and Culture Complex and Intersection for the Arts. There are also art making activities for everyone. Programs are free of charge in the free zone of the museum 5-8:45 p.m. The cafe is open with a special Friday Nights dinner menu and drinks are available from a no-host cocktail bar.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Sept. 2-4, 2011
AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, 415-972-2000, www.sfgiants.com
The Giants wrap up their 12-game homestand with a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sept. 2-4. On Saturday, Sept. 3, the Giants and the Giants Community Fund will partner with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department and the Futures Without Violence to sponsor Strike Out Violence Day presented by AT&T. More than 100 volunteers will be selling $1 raffle tickets throughout the ballpark for the chance to win an autographed Giants jersey. Saturday, Sept. 3, is also African-American Heritage Night at AT&T Park. This event includes a pregame festival with entertainment provided by live local Jazz musicians, cultural vendors featuring arts, crafts, treats and delicious food and drink. On Sunday, Sept. 4, the first 7,500 kids 14 and under will receive a Matt Cain Back-to-School lunch bag presented by Snyder's of Hanover. In addition, Sunday is Star Wars Day at AT&T Park. Fans who purchased this special ticket package will receive a ticket in one of the Star Wars sections, access to pre-game festivities and a Brian Wilson in Carbonite statue. Additionally, these special tickets will grant access to a postgame screening of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
YERBA BUENA GARDENS FESTIVAL
Sept. 3, 2011
Yerba Buena Gardens, Fourth and Mission Streets, 415-543-1718, www.ybgf.org
Saadoun Al-Bayati's inspired performances as singer and percussionist derive from his experience of Sufi rhythms and meditative states in the Baghdad of his childhood and youth. He will be joined by Samar Al-Bayati Dadah is a gifted percussionist and vocalist, and Nadim Al-Bayati, who is among the most authentic and articulate of the younger generation of Middle Eastern drummers. In association with the Arab Cultural Center of San Francisco.1-2:30 p.m. Free.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
Sept. 3-25, 2011 (Weekends Only and Labor Day)
Parade Grounds, The Presidio, 415-558-0888 or 800-978-PLAY (7529) outside 415 area code, www.sfshakes.org.
Shakespeare in the Park will present Cymbeline, Sept. 3-25, 2011 on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays and Labor Day at 2:30 p.m. at the parade grounds, Presidio of San Francisco. This inventive fairy tale follows Princess Innogen on a magical and colorful journey filled with forbidden love and mistaken identities. One of the major free Shakespeare programs in the U.S., Free Shakespeare in the Park began in 1983 and is in its 29th season.
CAL VS. FRESNO STATE
Sept. 3, 2011
Candlestick Park, 602 Jamestown Ave. For ticket information visit www.calbears.com/calfootballsf/
San Francisco is “bear territory” this fall for the University of California Golden Bears. Non-conference contests include a 4 p.m. game against Fresno State on Sept. 3, 2011 at Candlestick Park, an away game at Colorado Sept. 10, and a match against Presbyterian Sept. 17 at AT&T Park. Cal football makes its 2011 Pac-12 conference home debut against USC on Thursday, Oct. 13 at AT&T Park. All Cal Bear home games will be played at AT&T Park this season as Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium is renovated. The Golden Bears return to Memorial Stadium in 2012. Cal will host Utah on Oct. 22; take on UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 29, before closing out their home schedule against Washington State, Nov. 5, and Oregon State, Nov. 12. The Big Game on Nov. 19 is at Stanford.
SAN FRANCISCO ZOO: WILD SUMMER OVERNIGHT
Sept. 3-4, 2011
One Zoo Rd., 415-753-7080, www.sfzoo.org
A deluxe family overnight at the zoo includes meetings with keepers, guided tours, outdoor camping and a hot breakfast. Children 6 years old and up; ages 6-18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost ranges from $80 per person (if registering five or more) for San Francisco Zoo Society members, to $100 per person. Pre-registration, which closes on Sept. 1, 2011, is required.
SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE (SFMT)
Sept. 3-5, 2011
Dolores Park, 18th and Dolores Streets, 415-285-1717, www.sfmt.org
That’s mime as in “the exaggeration of everyday life in story and song.” This group has a lot to say and they’ve been doing so since 1959. Winners of a special Tony Award in 1987 for Excellence in Regional Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe specializes in shows that “debunk the official story.” 2012 – The Musical tempts some starving artists to feed at the corporate trough when they are commissioned to create a new play. Performances begin at 2 p.m. (music at 1:30 p.m.). Performances are free; however, donations are welcomed.
SFMOMA FAMILY SUNDAY
Sept. 4, 2011
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., 415-357-4000, www.sfmoma.org
Every Sunday at SFMOMA kids ages 12 and under get in free from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Family Sundays include a 1 p.m. tour of the collection. Author and illustrator Elisa Kleven, whose books include Welcome Home, Mouse and The Lion and the Little Red Bird, will be the featured guest.
DROP-IN ART MAKING: SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW
Sept. 4, 2011
Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., 415-655-7800, www.thecjm.org
CJM’s distinctive architecture comes into play when participants are encouraged to create an artwork piece combining old and new materials and images. 1-3 p.m. Free with museum admission; ages 18 and under always free.
TANGO IN THE SQUARE
Sept. 4, 2011
Main Stage, Union Square, Powell and Geary Streets, www.jewelssf.org, 415-477-2610
As part of the ongoing Jewels in the Square entertainment series on the main stage of Union Square, enjoy free introductory lessons featuring Nora Olivera &Co. Open dance floor and performances are 2-4 p.m.
GOLDEN GATE PARK BAND
Sept. 4-5, 2011
Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, 510-530-0814, www.goldengateparkband.org
Pack a picnic for Sunday’s celebration of movie scores at 1 p.m. with bass/baritone John Minagro. A special Labor Day concert celebrating the American worker is also planned for Monday at 1 p.m.
GIRO DI SAN FRANCISCO
Sept. 5, 2011
Levi Strauss Plaza, Battery and Union Streets, www.metromint.com/metromintgiro
Il Giro di San Francisco cycling event begins at 8 a.m. with a women’s race followed by nine others until 3 p.m.
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT SUMMER READING SERIES
Sept. 5, 2011
Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr., Golden Gate Park, 415-831-2090, www.conservatoryofflowers.org
Quiet Lightning brings their high-charged community readings to the Conservatory of Flowers for three months, going out with a bang during San Francisco’s legendary Litquake festival in October. Any form of writing is accepted, so expect a mix of genres. 7 p.m. Admission is $3 per person.
INDEPENDENT ARTISTS’ WEEK (IAW)
Sept. 5-11, 2011
Fillmore District; visit website for locations of all events www.infin8sync.com/independent-artists-week-2/
The fourth annual Independent Artists' Week (IAW), a week-long independent artists' event, showcases the work by the Bay Area's art community. Filled with daytime and evening events, IAW is a series of pop-up art studios and galleries, industry education and networking events, film screenings, live art performances and even a clothing swap with fashion designers on hand. The event kicks off on Labor Day with a culinary arts BBQ cook-off, accompanied by live art events and music and dance performances.
BEYOND SAN FRANCISCO
SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK: FREE CONCERT
Sept. 2, 2011
400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, 831-423-5590, www.beachboardwalk.com/concerts
Papa Doo Run Run will play the last free beach concert of the summer. The group will perform two concerts at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
146TH ANNUAL SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GATHERING & GAMES
Sept. 3-4, 2011
Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton, 925-447-9463, www.thescottishgames.com
Considered by many as the largest Scottish celebration in the world, the Scottish Highland Gathering & Games will draw more than 30 pipe bands from the U.S. and Canada. Fans will appreciate the Heavy Events, which this year include the world's top professional athletes competing in team championships with six two-man teams, representing the U.S., Canada, Scotland, England, Poland and Holland and sanctioned by the International Highland Games Federation. No Scottish celebration would be complete without the Highland Dancing competition with the Western U.S. Open Championships on tap. Seven stages will feature entertainment throughout the fairgrounds. British automobiles are displayed and a team of Clydesdale horses and wagon tour the grounds. For the adventurous shopper, more than 100 vendors located in five buildings are on hand and an array of British food, including bangers, meat pies, Scotch eggs and more are supplemented by traditional American fair food and drink.
SAUSALITO ART FESTIVAL
Sept. 3-5, 2011
Marinship Park, near U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito Waterfront, 415-331-3757 (recorded information), www.sausalitoartfestival.org
The open-air event features more than 20,000 museum-quality original works of art by 275 artists including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, 2- and 3-D mixed media and photography. More than 32,000 fine arts lovers flock to Sausalito each year to enjoy entertainment, activities for the family, gourmet food, premium beers and fine wines – all in a “postcard perfect setting.” The Blue & Gold Fleet also offers cruise packages, including admission to festival. For details call 415-705-5555 or visit www.blueandgoldfleet.com. Golden Gate Transit offers bus and ferry service; for more information call 415-455-2000 or visit www.goldengate.org. Admission is $25 for adults; $15 for ages 62 and over; $5 for ages 6-12; free under 6, and $40 for a three-day weekend pass.
LABOR OF LOVE
Sept. 3-5, 2011
ICB Art Studios, Gate 5 Road, Sausalito, www.sausalitoartists.com
Just a short distance away from the famed Sausalito Art Festival, one of California’s most creative collectives, Sausalito Artists @ Work will be holding its fourth annual open studio. Work featured will include paintings, photography, sculpture and fiber art from more than 25 artists, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
30th ANNUAL HARVEST WINE CELEBRATION
Sept. 4-5, 2011
Multiple Livermore Valley Wineries, Livermore, 925-447-9463, www.lvwine.org
More than 40 wineries will take part in the celebration benefiting the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association. Attendees will enjoy complimentary wine tasting, music, food and art vendors, vineyard tours and winemaking seminars. Admission ranges from $10-65 (based on whether a one- or two-day ticket is purchased in advance or at the door). Non-wine drinking tickets are $10.
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For route information, schedules and other transit information, visit www.511.org.