Happy April, San Francisco! Whether you want to enjoy some of San Francisco’s stellar cuisine, or go see the spring flowers in Golden Gate Park, we’ve got you covered with some exciting and creative ideas this month. Read on for the lowdown about things to do in San Francisco this April.
1. Enjoy classical music by candlelight at this magical concert series in SF
The extremely popular concert series known simply as Candlelight is turning heads right now in San Francisco! Enjoy works from Beethoven, Mozart and more played by a talented string quartet, in an intimate environment surrounded by hundreds of luminous candles. The Bay Area’s top musicians perform classical music in lovely settings including St. Ignatius Church.
2. Pay a visit to the NorCal Cherry Blossom Festival
Apr. 8-9, 15-16
The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be celebrating its 55th year on the weekends of April 8-9 and 15-16 from 11am-6pm. It is set to take place at Japantown Peace Plaza in San Francisco and will include plenty of Japanese cultural performances, a Grand Parade, traditional art, live music, food, and much more.
3. Explore the International Space Station in VR on this multisensory voyage in Richmond
Through Apr. 9
Space Explorers: THE INFINITE is currently open at the Craneway Pavilion through April 9! Featuring never-before-seen footage filmed by actual astronauts on the International Space Station, the acclaimed VR journey will transport you to space and back. During 60 magical minutes, discover life in space and witness our blue planet unlike you ever have before.
4. Visit the inaugural Yerba Buena Makers Market
San Francisco will soon welcome a new craft market every single month at Yerba Buena Gardens! The Yerba Buena Art and Maker’s Market will take place from 11am-4pm on the first Sunday of every month starting April 2nd, 2023, and lasting all the way through the end of the year. The first market on Sunday, April 2nd will feature live music by Curt Yagi, an award-winning singer-songwriter; and Sang Matiz, an Afro-Latin funk band
5. Check out this free screen printing pop-up at SF parks
SF Parks Alliance has announced the return of Heart Your Parks this April in San Francisco! With it comes a series of free screen printing pop-ups on Saturdays from 11am-4pm through Earth Day (April 22), where you can pick up your own screen print designed by artist Orlie K. depicting one of SF’s beloved parks. The event is meant to encourage fundraising for SF’s parks and public spaces, so if you pick up a screen print be sure to also make a contribution on the Heart Your Parks donation page to ensure that we can continue to enjoy our beautiful parks well into the future.
- Apr. 1 – Alamo Square Park
- Apr. 8 – Washington Square Park
- Apr. 15 – Duboce Park
- Apr. 22 – Earth Day at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park
6. Browse 100+ vendors at West Coast Craft’s outdoor market
West Coast Craft is the ultimate celebration of artisans specializing in the west coast lifestyle and aesthetic. The massive and highly-anticipated craft fair comes to San Francisco three different times in 2023, the next of which is April 8 from 10am-3pm at Fort Mason Center.
7. The Academy of Sciences’ Spring Festival is a must for kids and families
Through Apr. 17
Spring has sprung and San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences is ready for it! The Academy recently announced new programming as part of the Spring Festival happening from March 26-April 17. Activities abound for kids and families including a tea sampling from Cafe Ohlone, an interactive play river for kids to tinker and explore, an up-close look at a real beehive, and more.
8. Grab tickets to the 2023 SFFILM Festival
SFFILM is the longest-running film festival in the Americas, featuring consistently impressive lineups from filmmakers both local and international. This year they’ll present 97 programs from 37 countries. Opening night brings the coming-of-age story of Stephen Curry in Stephen Curry: Underrated.
9. Find your new favorite meal at SF Restaurant Week
Make room in your schedule and your belly, because San Francisco Restaurant Week is about to take over the city this April. Get ready for 10 days of special menu items, excellent prices, and great times. Lunch options will include 2+ courses at either $10, $15, $25, and $35 price points, depending on the place. Dinner options will include 3+ courses at $30, $45, and $65, and $75 price points.
10. Party it up at 420 on Hippie Hill
Every year on April 20th, a dense and hazy cloud forms over Golden Gate Park’s Robin Williams Meadow. This is 420 at Hippie Hill, the ultimate celebration of all things marijuana. The event is known to turn out tens of thousands of people, and although it was unpermitted in previous years, it’s now officially sanctioned by the city.
11. Celebrate the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day at this plant-based party
SF Veg Society is putting on the ultimate vegan Earth Day celebration at the SF County Fair Building on Apr. 22 from 11am-6pm. The free event will include great entertainment, educational speakers, vegan chef demos, art, a kid zone, and delicious food vendors.
12. A lovely wildflower festival is coming to Half Moon Bay
There’s a new springtime event on the calendar which is sure to be a great time for plant lovers in the Bay! Coastal Wildflower Day will happen at Francis State Beach in Half Moon Bay from 10am-2pm on Sunday, April 23. It will feature live music and performances, a bird walk and native plant walk, family games and activities, and a native plant sale. This family-friendly event is a wholesome and fun weekend escape just down the coast from San Francisco.
13. Check out the vibrant Cesar Chavez Day Parade in SF’s Mission District
San Francisco will go all-out again this year to celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, a national holiday celebrating California’s own civil rights and labor movement activist, Cesar Chavez. The official holiday is on March 31st, but SF’s Mission District parade and festival will happen on Saturday, April 29th, 2023.
14. Check out these temporary museum exhibitions opening and closing in April
As we enter a new month, many museum exhibitions in San Francisco are getting refreshed and replaced. We’re keeping tabs on the best new temporary exhibitions from SFMOMA to the Asian Art Museum, so you’ll never miss an amazing new display. Here are the ones to keep an eye on:
Museum exhibitions closing soon in SF
- Bernd & Hilla Becher – closing April 2, 2023 at SFMOMA
- Michelle Erickson: Wild Porcelain – closing Apr. 2, 2023 at the Legion of Honor
- Space Explorers: The Infinite – closing Apr. 9, 2023 at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond
- CARNE Y ARENA – closing Apr. 9, 2023 at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond
- Gillian Laub: Family Matters – closing April 9, 2023 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Museum exhibitions opening soon in SF
- Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art – opening Mar. 31, 2023 at the Asian Art Museum
- Alison Saar: To Sit A While – opening Apr. 5, 2023 at the Museum of the African Diaspora
- Black Venus – opening Apr. 5, 2023 at the Museum of the African Diaspora
- Ansel Adams in Our Time – opening Apr. 8, 2023 at the de Young Museum
- Concrete Journals: Anne Hicks Siberell – opening Apr. 15, 2023 at the Museum of Craft and Design
- Fight and Flight: Crafting a Bay Area Life – opening Apr. 15, 2023 at the Museum of Craft and Design
- Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon – opening Apr. 22, 2023 at SFMOMA
15. CA’s largest weekly food truck event is back at Fort Mason Center
Off The Grid: Fort Mason Center (OTG:FMC) is back on the calendar for 2023! Enjoy the summer season from March 24-June 23, followed by the fall season later in the year.
This is California’s largest weekly food truck event, the only such market featuring a full bar and live music all season long. The free events bring dozens of gourmet food trucks to the Fort Mason Center parking lot on Friday evenings from 5pm-10pm.
16. This new SF museum imagines humanity’s future after AI apocalypse
San Francisco’s new Misalignment Museum is turning heads at 201 Guerrero Street in the Mission Dolores neighborhood. The temporary exhibition imagines a post-apocalyptic future after Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) destroys most of humanity. Upon realizing the error of its ways, this is the memorial and apology created by AGI for the remaining humans. The museum is now open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4-7pm and Saturdays from 2-5pm through May 1, 2023.
17. Free concerts are in full swing at the Bandshell! Here’s the lineup for April
The Golden Gate Park Bandshell is in the midst of its 2023 season of Lift Every Voice, which runs all the way through mid-November. These weekly free and family-friendly concerts are some of the most beloved events in the park. Catch over 100 performances in a variety of genres including R&B, soul, jazz, funk, big band, strings, indie, rock, reggae, salsa, electronic, and EDM.
18. Bonfires are back on at Ocean Beach
San Francisco’s Ocean Beach is back in business for bonfire season! As of March 1, the beach’s 16 public fire pits are available for use between Stairwells 15-20. Guests may not use them between 9:30pm-6am.
19. Visit one of San Francisco’s bustling open-air markets
These open-air markets in San Francisco showcase a diverse range of artists, makers, farmers, and other types of vendors. Whether you’re looking for a nice weekend farmers market to pick up some local produce, or a craft market to buy a unique gift, we’re sure these local open-air markets will put you in touch with the best SF has to offer.
- Apr. 9 – Gardeneur Plant Market at the Ferry Building
- Apr. 9 – Inner Sunset Flea
- Apr. 15 – Secondhand Saturdays
- And more
20. 10 wonderful SF museums with free admission days in April
We love San Francisco for its vibrant culture, history, and resources, but just about anyone in SF could benefit from finding new free things to do. Whether you’re a college student on a budget, or a bargain hunter wanting to see the sights, this list of free museum days in San Francisco will certainly help you get started.
- Apr. 2 – Asian Art Museum
- Apr. 4, 15-16 – de Young Museum
- Also free every Saturday for Bay Area residents
- Apr. 4 – Legion of Honor
- Also free every Saturday for Bay Area residents
- Apr. 4 – Conservatory of Flowers
- Also free daily for SF City & County Residents
- Apr. 5 – GLBT Historical Society Museum
- Apr. 6 – SFMOMA
- For Bay Area residents only, 1:30-8pm
- Apr. 7 – Contemporary Jewish Museum
- Apr. 8 – Museum of the African Diaspora
- Apr. 11 – SF Botanical Garden
- Also free daily for SF City & County Residents
- Also free daily between 7:30-9am for the general public
- Wednesdays – Museum of Craft and Design
- “Pay what you can” Wednesdays
- MWF before 10am – Japanese Tea Garden
- Also free daily for SF City & County Residents
21. SF’s floating Salesforce Park has free activities every week
San Francisco’s Salesforce Park is an amazing modern marvel in the Financial District. The verdant oasis rests 70 feet above the street atop the Salesforce Transit Center, and it’s completely free and open for the public to visit at any time. It also hosts a collection of free events every week, including yoga classes, bootcamps, live music, bird walks, garden tours, drum circles, and much more.
22. See cherry blossoms in bloom now at the Japanese Tea Garden
Every year we eagerly await the return of the beautiful cherry blossoms, and they are indeed starting to bloom now at Golden Gate Park’s famous Japanese Tea Garden, which is the oldest public Japanese garden in the US. Be sure to visit soon and catch these beautiful flowers through the beginning of April.
If you’re looking for more places to spot the cherry blossoms this spring, be sure to read our article to point you in the right direction.
23. Check out 20+ interesting things to do at Fort Mason Center this April
When’s the last time you paid a visit to San Francisco’s amazing Fort Mason Center? The popular art center hosts numerous exhibitions and events throughout the year, and there are some special ones coming up.
- Apr. 1-2 – Renegade Craft
- Apr. 8 – West Coast Craft
- Apr. 11 – Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye Live in San Francisco
- Apr 19-27 – CA Preservation Conference
- Apr. 20-23 – Art Market SF
- Apr. 27-28 – SF NOW/*NOTED 2023
24. Pay a visit to the Ferry Building‘s pop-up plant market and more
San Francisco’s Ferry Building is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, serving as a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Here’s what’s going on there in April:
- Wednesdays – Live Music on the Plaza
- Wednesdays – Wednesday Flight Nights
- Sundays – Salsa Sundays
- Apr. 2 – HEAD WEST Marketplace
- Apr. 9 – Gardeneur Plant Market
- Apr. 23 – Earth Day Activities
25. Check out this month’s After Dark events at the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium at Pier 15 in San Francisco is an exciting place for discovery any time of the day, but these 18+ After Dark events are a must for some epic kid-free fun at their exhibits. After Dark happens each Thursday from 6-10pm with a different theme every week, featuring guest speakers, films, great music, and more.
- Mar. 30 – After Dark: Trans Day of Visibility – An After Dark dedicated to celebrating transgender achievements in the world of STEAM.
- Apr. 6 – After Dark: Vitality – Gold Beams Social Club presents a cabaret of art and science in conjunction with the Exploratorium’s ¡Plantásticas! exhibition.
- Apr. 13 – After Dark: Drawing Sound – Fred Frith and Heike Liss perform Drawing Sound about the nature of improvisation.
- Apr. 20 – After Dark: Landscape is Homeland – Celebrate Earth Day through the bonds of Indigenous communities.
26. …and NightLife events at the Academy of Sciences
NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences is one of our favorite ongoing events, and we’re thrilled to see more of these awesome themed soirees on the calendar! The popular Thursday night festivities feature live DJs, outdoor bars, ambience lighting, and more alongside the Academy’s nearly 40,000 animal residents. Heads up that the highly-anticipated Fungus Among Us NightLife will likely sell out.
- Mar. 30 – NightLife – no set theme.
- Apr. 6 – Fungus Among Us NightLife – A popular NightLife event delving into the world of mycology with talks about the history of psychoactive mushrooms, a mushroom cultivation workshop, and more.
- Apr. 13 – NightLife – no set theme.
- Apr. 20 – NightLife: Stoned – A geology-themed NightLife with a cheeky nod to the 420 holiday.
27. Humpback whale season is approaching! Here’s where to spot them in the Bay Area
California’s coastline is the perfect spot to catch several whale migration seasons – and humpback season is upon us between April and December. Even from land, you’re likely to see them spouting, slapping their tails (known as “lobtailing”) or even breaching. If you want to see them up close, a whale watching tour will do the trick. Here’s everything you need to know about whale watching in the Bay Area.
28. Save on a trip to the movies with the AMC Black Ticket
For the cinephile in your life, the AMC Black Ticket grants admission to any 2D movie at any time in participating AMC Theatres®. Take advantage of this discounted price for a movie ticket that never expires, so you can save it for a rainy day or catch the next big blockbuster.
29. 10 captivating places San Franciscans recommend to celebrate Earth Day in the Bay
Earth Day is April 22, and we can’t wait! Last year, we asked our followers for their best local outdoor escapes. They certainly didn’t disappoint, and these 10 spots come highly recommended by San Franciscans, for San Franciscans.
- Hawk Hill
- Point Reyes
- And more!
30. This plant store lets you create your own beautiful arrangements
Succulence Life and Garden is an adorable plant store in Bernal Heights where you can actually have an interactive planting experience after you browse their awesome selection. At the Planting Bar, you can create your own unique terrarium, vertical garden, or traditional horizontal planting with help from their staff.
31. See daffodils and tulips in bloom at this country estate and its breathtaking gardens
Filoli is entering its bountiful spring season, meaning that thousands of colorful flowers will soon cover every square inch of their gardens. The Garden Orchard is a must-see because it’s currently filled with an estimated 1 million daffodils in 15 varieties, many of which were planted over 100 years ago. They’re also hosting Flora Parties in April where guests can create their own spring flower arrangements while enjoying light snacks and drinks.
32. 30 best restaurants that San Franciscans would eat at for the rest of their lives
Who’s hungry? It’s damn near impossible to round up the best restaurants in San Francisco, but thought we’d give it a shot by asking our followers: “If you could only eat at one San Francisco restaurant for the rest of your life, which one would it be?”
33. Sip your way through these 10 bottomless brunches
Any weekend can be massively improved by a good old bottomless brunch. We’ve rounded up the best bottomless mimosas or mimosa deals in the city, which will surely spruce up your next daytime outing with friends. Read on to discover your next favorite spot!
34. 10 excellent happy hours you’ve got to try in San Francisco
Happy hour is a great excuse to get out of the house and try a new restaurant, or to make a trip out to your favorite neighborhood haunt. Here is a list of some must-try happy hours in the city to put on your to-do list.
35. 10 beautiful spring flowers to look for in Golden Gate Park
Spring flowers are making an appearance in San Francisco through the coming months. Any stroll through Golden Gate Park will feature plenty of colorful blooms, but we’ve rounded up some of the most iconic ones to seek out on your next outing. Read on to discover all of the spring flower blooms coming to the park and other places in the city.
36. 10 of the most unique gardens in San Francisco
San Francisco is home to plenty of memorable gardens, but the most unique ones can take some digging to find. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of interesting and unforgettable spots for you to get a breath of fresh air.
37. 10 delightful spots to find the best cookies in San Francisco
Warm and tasty comfort food is a must in the Bay Area’s characteristic foggy weather, and freshly-baked cookies truly hit the spot. From fortune cookies to gooey chocolate chip, these specialty cookie shops and tried-and-true bakeries are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. Read on to discover our picks for the best cookies in San Francisco.