Somehow, we’re already at the beginning of a new month, which means plenty of new things to do in and around San Francisco. June will bring us some exciting new museum exhibitions, festivals, Pride events, and activities that you don’t want to miss.
Whether you’re a foodie looking to try out a new spot, or an outdoorsy type with a hankering for fresh air, these ideas will definitely get the ball rolling as you plan your month.
1. Magical upcoming Candlelight concerts include Joe Hisaishi, Fleetwood Mac, and queer icons
The extremely popular concert series known simply as Candlelight is turning heads right now in San Francisco! You’ll enjoy both contemporary and classical works played by a talented string quartet, in an intimate environment surrounded by hundreds of luminous candles. Venues include St. Ignatius Church and Grace Cathedral.
2. Free Stern Grove Festival concerts kick off this June
Who’s ready to see some live music?! Stern Grove Festival, a FREE outdoor concert series featuring a wide variety of genres, has just released its summer lineup. Here’s what’s on for June:
- June 18: Snarky Puppy, Isaiah Sharkey (Reservations open May 18 at 2pm)
- June 25: Indigo Girls (with Full Band), Neko Case (Reservations open May 25 at 2pm)
- See the rest of the lineup here.
3. Don’t miss free outdoor movie screenings from Sundown Cinema
San Francisco Parks Alliance has brought back the popular Sundown Cinema series, which presents awesome FREE movies on a giant screen in various parks around the city. Here’s the lineup for June:
- June 8 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) at Alamo Square Park
- June 30 – Top Gun: Maverick at the Presidio
- See the rest of the schedule here.
4. Gear up for SF Pride’s epic return
San Francisco Pride is back for 2023 with the theme “Looking Back and Moving Forward.” The celebration and rally will happen on the last weekend of June with home base at Civic Center Plaza. The parade and march will take place on Sunday in Downtown SF beginning at 10:30am.
5. The 28th annual Pink Triangle will shine down from Twin Peaks this June
One of the most iconic parts of Pride in San Francisco is the famous glowing Pink Triangle, which rests high above the City at Twin Peaks as a symbol of pride for many in the LGBTQIA+ community. It will be illuminated nightly starting June 17 with thousands of LED lights courtesy of Illuminate SF. You can still sign up to install, maintain, and remove the Pink Triangle.
6. Celebrate Juneteenth around the city
Juneteenth SF Freedom Celebration
This enormous celebration will take over 8 blocks in the Fillmore District. It will include live music and performances, a fashion and hair show, a classic car show, dozens of food trucks and booths, a 21+ beer and wine garden, FREE unlimited carnival rides, games, and an obstacle course.
Museum of the African Diaspora
SF’s own Museum of the African Diaspora is preparing for a special Juneteenth celebration with free admission, several virtual talks, multiple musical performances, and more. Although Juneteenth is observed on June 19th, the museum will be closed that day to give staff a day of rest in the spirit of the holiday. The museum’s celebration will take place on Saturday, June 17 from 11am-6pm. Be sure to register for your free ticket ahead of time.
7. Watch Italian street painting at the North Beach Festival
One of the nation’s longest-running street festivals is coming back for its 67th rendition! The historic North Beach Festival will take over the North Beach neighborhood from 10am-6pm on June 17-18. It’s an opportunity to enjoy live music at multiple stages, dozens of vendors selling gourmet food and arts and crafts, and gorgeous Italian street paintings called Madonnari.
8. This seductive new SF show combines wine tasting and cabaret
From June 3 to September 3, SAVOR After Hours is bringing a unique show that combines wine tasting with cabaret to Napa Valley’s JaM Cellars Ballroom. The show features dances, close-up magic, illusions, and much more. Sip your way through delicious wine flights while enjoying performances from Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy of Dancing with the Stars.
9. Enjoy free concerts at Noise Pop’s new Summer of Music series
Get ready for a summer of free music in SF because legendary music promoter, Noise Pop, is partnering with the newly-formed nonprofit organization, Civic Joy Fund, to launch a free concert series, Summer of Music. The live music series will take place from 2-5pm, every Saturday this summer between June 17th through mid-September.
10. See “America’s best rose garden” in bloom in San Jose
Did you know that ‘America’s Best Rose Garden’ is here in the Bay Area? Every summer thousands of visitors flock to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which explodes into a vibrant spectrum of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. The expansive 5.5-acre garden has over 3,500 plantings in 189 different varieties, and it’s completely free to visit.
11. Get tickets to X Games California 2023
Now’s the time to snag tickets to see the best athletes in Skateboarding, Moto X, and BMX at X Games California 2023 in Ventura. This 3-day event promises the exciting return of Tony Hawk as he competes against skate icons including Sky Brown and Nyjah Huston. Get tickets now!
12. Don’t miss out on SF’s best temporary museum exhibitions
As we enter a new season in San Francisco, many local museums are refreshing and replacing their temporary exhibitions. Now’s a great time to take stock and plan ahead to see some of these wonderful displays before they’re gone.
Museum exhibitions closing soon in SF
- 2022 SECA Art Award Exhibition – closing May 29, 2023 at SFMOMA
- Ramekon O’Arwisters: Freeform and Razor-Sharp – through June 11, 2023 at the Museum of the African Diaspora
- (a)way station – through June 11, 2023 at SFMOMA
- Conversation Pieces – through June 25, 2023 at SFMOMA
- Bookworks: Selected Recent Acquisitions, 2012-2022 – through June 25, 2023 at the Legion of Honor
- Paperworks: 15 Years of Acquisitions – through June 25, 2023 at the Legion of Honor
- Acción Latina: The ’80s Matter in the Mission – through June 27, 2023 at SFMOMA
- Afruz Amighi: My House, My Tomb – through June 30, 2023 at the Asian Art Museum
Museum exhibitions opening soon in SF
- The World’s Largest Dinosaurs – opening May 26, 2023 at the Academy of Sciences
- Bouquets to Art 2023 – June 5-11, 2023 at the de Young Museum
- Scrappy Chair Challenge – June 15-25, 2023 at SFMOMA
- Nimah Gobir: Holding Space – opening June 14, 2023 at the Museum of the African Diaspora
- Disney Cats and Dogs – opening June 24, 2023 at the Walt Disney Family Museum
13. 11 wonderful museums and gardens offering free admission days
We love San Francisco for its vibrant culture, history, and resources, but it’s no secret that living here costs a pretty penny. This list shows SF museums and gardens currently offering free admission days to the general public.
- June 1 – SFMOMA
- For Bay Area residents only, 5-8pm
- June 2 – Contemporary Jewish Museum
- June 3 – Asian Art Museum
- June 6 – Conservatory of Flowers
- Also free daily for SF City & County Residents
- June 6 – Legion of Honor
- Also free every Saturday for Bay Area residents
- June 6, 17-18 – de Young Museum
- Also free every Saturday for Bay Area residents
- June 7 – GLBT Historical Society Museum
- June 10, 17 – Museum of the African Diaspora
- June 13 – 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
14. Groove to smooth beats at the 40th SF Jazz Festival
SFJAZZ is gearing up for an epic summer season. Make sure you mark your calendar for the 40th annual SF Jazz Festival, showcasing 44 concerts across 4 different Bay Area venues.
The SF Jazz Festival started in 1983 as a small “Jazz in the City” event, and nearly 40 years later has grown into what the Chicago Tribune once called “The crown jewel among American jazz festivals.”
15. Get tickets to the best upcoming local music festivals
It’s hard to beat the SF arts and culture scene, especially when it comes to Bay Area music festivals. Here are all the festivals on our radar for June 2023:
- Re:SET – June 2-4, 2023 – Frost Amphitheater, Stanford
- San Francisco Jazz Festival – June 7-18, 2023 – San Francisco
- San Francisco International Arts Festival – June 8-18, 2023 – San Francisco
- Free Live Music on the Colonnade – June 15-Aug 10, 2023 – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
- Sierra Nevada World Music Festival – June 16-18, 2023 – Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville
- Country Summer Music Festival – June 16-18, 2023 – Sonoma County Event Center, Santa Rosa
- Healdsburg Jazz Festival – June 17-25, 2023 – Healdsburg
- San Francisco Pride – June 24-25, 2023 – Market St, San Francisco
- Stern Grove Festival – June-Aug, 2023 – Stern Grove, San Francisco
16. A vibrant flamenco show featuring Amador Rojas is coming to the Bay Area
Authentic Flamenco will be going on a world tour and San Francisco is one of the lucky stops on the itinerary. On its San Francisco stop, the stunning show brings passion and talent from notable Flamenco dancer Amador Rojas. Get tickets now and check it out at the Taube Atrium Theater in SF this July.
17. The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will make 4 NorCal stops in June
The massively popular Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Truck will soon return to the Bay Area! Hello Kitty fans flock to this adorable cafe truck selling mini cakes, cookies, and macarons, plus limited-edition Hello Kitty merch. It’ll make four local stops on its summer 2023 tour of the Western US:
- June 3: Sacramento, CA – Arden Fair near Sears and Forever 21 from 10am-7pm.
- June 10: Stockton, CA – Weberstown Mall near Blaze Pizza from 10am-7pm.
- June 17: Walnut Creek, CA – Broadway Plaza near Macy’s from 10am-7pm.
- June 24: San Francisco, CA – Stonestown Galleria near Marugame Udon from 10am-7pm.
18. Let it all out at the Museum of 3D Illusions
The Museum of 3D Illusions has a hilarious and fun new attraction where you can smash plates against a wall to let off some steam! Get 3 plates that you can draw or write on as a symbol of whatever’s got you in a bind, and then let them fly.
19. Check out 30+ free activities at Salesforce Park this summer
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.
Here are some of the one-time events happening there in June, but see the full schedule for all of the recurring ones as well.
- June 3 – SF Scottish Fiddlers performance
- June 17 – Un Viaje: Pride at the Park
- June 18 – Juneteenth Kickback on the Lawn
- June 24 – Pickin’ Party in the Park: An Urban Bluegrass & Roots Festival
20. Take a look at Fort Mason Center‘s June events and exhibitions
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.
- June 10-11: West Coast Craft
- Sundays: Fort Mason Center Farmers Market
- Forecast 2023 (SF Camerawork Exhibition)
- David Simpson: Smoke and Mirrors (Haines Gallery exhibition)
- And more
21. Enjoy a few more weeks of Off the Grid food truck parties before they go on hiatus
Fridays through June 23
Off The Grid: Fort Mason Center (OTG:FMC) is back on the calendar for 2023! Enjoy the summer season on Friday evenings 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.
22-26. Take stock of even more SF events happening throughout June
Union Street Festival
June 3-4 – This historic Cow Hollow festival dates back to 1976. Check it out for a day of great entertainment and music, food and drink vendors, artisan and craft vendors, and the highly-anticipated “Waiters Race” in which relay teams must race up and down the street with a serving tray and drinks in hand.
Festa Coloniale Italiana
June 3-4 – Join the fun at this Italian street festival surrounding the 102nd Statuto Race. Festivities include live music, a pizza toss, an accordion symphony, and local vendors selling Italian products.
Sunday Streets SF
June 4 – This an ongoing event has celebrated car-free streets in San Francisco for 15 years and counting. Each month, a different neighborhood hosts a giant family-friendly block party with fun activities, food, music, dance, and fun. This month’s event is in the Tenderloin on June 4.
World Oceans Day at Aquarium of the Bay
June 8 – Enjoy free admission for kids 12 and under, special education programs, and a beach cleaning event on June 9 at Aquatic Park.
Spring Into Summer Night
June 20 – Check out a special evening at the Academy of Sciences with storytelling and song from Ohlone tribe members, magic shows, science presentations, face painting, arts and crafts, and much more.
27. Explore the Academy of Sciences’ new super-sized dinosaur exhibition
San Francisco is gearing up for a major new exhibition that is already turning heads. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs is dedicated to the biology of long-necked and long-tailed sauropods, the biggest dinosaurs ever to walk the earth.
The exhibition features imaginative exhibits, life-size models, and exciting interactive elements that are enjoyable for both kids and adults. It’ll be on view from May 26, 2023-January 21, 2024 at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
28. Check out some local film festivals taking place this month
San Francisco is home to the second-largest film market in the country, meaning that local cinephiles have an exciting lineup of film festivals to enjoy all year round. Here are the film festivals happening in June:
- June 1-11 – SF Documentary Festival – A unique documentary film fest geared toward younger subcultures.
- June 9-11 – Queer Women of Color Film Festival – A free film festival 19 years running, showcasing works from queer women of color.
- June 14-24 – Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival – The largest and longest-running LGBTQ+ film festival in the world.
29. Watch Bay Area cartoonists interpret SF history at this new free exhibition
San Francisco’s innovative nonprofit arts organization 836M presents an exciting new showcase of the work of Bay Area cartoonists, graphic novelists, and zine makers. Cartoonists@836M challenges four local artists to create brand-new work responding to a prompt about the history of SF’s neighborhoods. Check it out from May 25-Sept. 28, 2023 at 836M in San Francisco.
30. Get tickets to cheer on the Giants at Oracle Park this month
The SF Giants have 13 home games on the calendar this June, so it’s worth taking a look at ticket options if you want to support our home team at Oracle Park. If you can’t make it this month, the season runs through the end of September so there’s still time to snag tickets to a game further down the road.
- June 2, 3, 4: Giants vs. Orioles
- June 9, 10, 11: Giants vs. Cubs
- June 19, 20, 21, 22: Giants vs. Padres
- June 23, 24, 25: Giants vs. Diamondbacks
31. Enjoy fun new seasonal events at the Ferry Building
San Francisco’s Ferry Building is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, serving as a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. It’s a center for events, pop-ups, a farmers’ market, and countless excellent merchants who sell their wares daily in the building’s many stalls.
- June 11 – Father’s Day activities
- June 17 – 6th Annual Black Food & Wine Experience
- June 10 – Pop Ups on the Plaza: Juneteenth on the Waterfront
- Wednesdays – Free Community Yoga
32. Check out the June lineup of free concerts at the Bandshell
The Golden Gate Park Bandshell has announced its 2023 season of Illuminate Live, 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.
33. Enjoy June After Dark events at the Exploratorium
These 18+ After Dark events are a must for some epic kid-free fun at the Exploratorium. After Dark happens each Thursday from 6-10pm with a different theme every week, featuring guest speakers, films, great music, and more.
- June 1 – After Dark: The Future is Retro – Experience filmmaker H.P. Mendoza’s Attack, Decay, Release, a queer sci-fi journey to the future.
- June 15 – After Dark: The Sounds of Life – Learn about the scientists studying the meaning of secret sounds in the natural world.
- June 29 – After Dark: Ecological Futures – Join an immersive dreamlike meditation by Miwa Matreyek about humans’ impact on the climate.
34. Don’t miss out on the Pride-themed NightLife event at the Academy of Sciences
NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences is one of our favorite ongoing events. It’s a popular adults-only Thursday night event with live DJs and music, outdoor bars, ambience lighting, and more. Keep your eye out for rotating themes, many of which feature fantastic local community partners and a variety of activations. Activities include hands-on crafting, science talks, silent discos in the aquarium, and fashion shows.
- June 1 – NightLife Says Who? Experience – An examination of how diverse experiences shape human connection.
- June 8 – NightLife: Under the Sea Prom – Dress up for this popular adult prom NightLife event.
- June 15 – NightLife – No set theme.
- June 22 – Pride NightLife – Kick off SF Pride at this event featuring performances by The Oaklash Festival.
- June 29 – NightLife Says Who? Gender – Learn about how scientists push the gender binary.
35. The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is the place to be this summer
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is now hosting fantastic free programming multiple days a week, and their upcoming schedule is worth putting on your radar. Highlights include the ever-popular weekend session flagship series, which presents unique multicultural concerts on Saturdays at lunchtime. Bay Area bands headline a Thursday lunchtime concert series, and Poetic Tuesdays bring the best local poets and spoken word artists to the stage.
36. Look for wildflowers and superblooms around the Bay Area
California superblooms come highly-anticipated every year, but 2023 is shaping up to bring an especially bountiful spring season following the heavy rainfall we’ve experienced throughout the state. National Geographic wrote that 2023 could be the “year of the superbloom,” and some of the state’s biggest superblooms are even visible from space.
37. Pay a visit to one of these queer-owned businesses recommended by San Franciscans, for San Franciscans
We asked our Instagram followers for recommendations about queer-owned businesses that they love supporting in the Bay Area. Y’all didn’t disappoint, and here you’ll find a variety of businesses that proudly represent the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ community, all while providing stellar service and products.
38. Sip on a drink and enjoy the views from a marvelous rooftop bar
Everyone knows that rooftops in San Francisco are few and far between, but we managed to round up some stellar spots to try out when you’re looking to grab dinner or drinks with a view. Whether you prefer a swanky environment with craft cocktails, or a laid-back terrace to enjoy a cold beer, you’ll find something on this list for every sensibility.
39. Here’s the scoop on SF’s must-try ice cream shops
The weather is warming up, summer is just around the corner, and we’re stoked to round up our favorite ice cream shops around the City! Listen, for a true ice cream fan, it doesn’t matter what season it is. But summertime sure gives us a good excuse to try out a new spot. Did your favorite ice cream shop make the list?
40. Enjoy a meal at one of these charming picnic spots recommended by locals
San Francisco is home to some of the best parks and gardens in the world, so there’s no shortage of awesome picnic spots for you to enjoy a meal with friends.
- Old Speedway Meadow
- Palace of Fine Arts lawn
- Francisco Park
- And more!
Featured Image: @anetfotos via Instagram]