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10 Best Things To Do In SF In April

Best things to do in SF in April
#4 of the best things to do In SF in April

“San Francisco in the Spring” may not quite have the ring of “Paris in the Spring”, but it is a great time to be in the Bay Area. Weather’s getting warmer and a little more predictable, days are longer, and there are – as you might expect – a lot of things to do here. We could have listed 20 or 30 events but, as usual, we limit ourselves to what we think of as the 10 best things to do in SF in April, so that you can make the most of this month’s opportunities without going completely crazy.

Events & Activities in San Francisco This Month

1. GO TO A CONCERT (VARIOUS DATES)

Going to a concert can often be a great experience, particularly if you really like the band or artist. Every month we get some big acts coming to perform in the Bay Area and this April the Veronicas, Willie Nelson and Bruce Hornsby are all playing. More information here.

Another great event in the Bay Area is the Berkeley Bluegrass Festival in the East Bay, April 26-28. More information here.

2. CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL (APRIL 13-14 AND 21-22)

San Francisco stages a massive binational, bicultural celebration every year to coincide with the blooming of the beautiful cherry blossom. Hundreds of artists from the Bay Area and Japan gather here for the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, sharing their craft and passion. 

There are sword displays, origami workshops, music and calligraphy, amongst many other things. This year organizers are expecting about a quarter of a million visitors.

More information here.

3. BUY – OR JUST PERUSE – SOME ART (APRIL 25-28)

Art Market SF has partnered with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to invite you to view – and potentially buy – some great new art. The market, based on the waterfront opposite Alcatraz at Fort Mason, features a hugely impressive selection of contemporary and modern pieces, from more than seventy-five contemporary art galleries. If you’re an art lover this is definitely one of the best things to do in SF in April.

More information here.

Visit Fort Mason for Art Market San Francisco

4. SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (APRIL 24-28)

Perhaps surprisingly this is the longest-running film festival in all the Americas. It’s a fantastic showcase of cinematic discovery, usually held in the Castro District, and a major cultural event in the Bay Area. It featuring documentaries, narrative shorts and feature films from all over the U.S. and around the world. A must do if you’re a cinephile and you’re in town!

More information here.

5. VISIT AN AMAZING MUSEUM FOR FREE (DATES THROUGH APRIL)

For several days of the month – and for certain people on every day of the month – some SF museums are free. We have great museums – you should make the most of these opportunities.

Exploratorium: free admission for EBT cardholders and San Francisco Medi-Cal or CalFresh recipients. Also free for California public school teachers.

SF Botanical Gardens: free admission second Tuesday of every month.

Japanese Tea Gardens: free Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10 am.

De Young Museum: free first Tuesday of every month, also free every Saturday for Bay Area residents.

SFMOMA: free first Thursday of the month for Bay Area residents.

Legion of Honor: free Saturdays for Bay Area residents and free Tuesday’s for all.

Cable Car Museum: free every day, and one of the most interesting museums in all of San Francisco.

6. CESAR CHAVEZ PARADE & FESTIVAL (APRIL 13)

Join thousands of Bay Area residents, families, schools, religious groups, labor unions and community organizations in celebration of Cesar Chavez’s huge legacy. Over the years the SF parade and festival has become one of the largest events honoring Chavez in California.

The Mission District is always a great place to visit, but that’s especially true on this day, since the neighborhood is the spiritual heart of the Latino community in the city. Every year this is one of the best things to do in SF in April.

More information here.

7. GO TO THE BALLET (DATES THROUGH APRIL)

April is a busy month for the San Francisco Ballet. First up is Dos Mujeres, followed by Mere Mortals and finally Swan Lake.

Deeply moving and visually stunning, Swan Lake is the quintessential classical ballet, steeped in themes of temptation, jealousy, deception, and drama.

Set against Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, Tomasson’s strikingly modern production updates this story of love and betrayal and features sleek and elevated designs by Tony Award–winning Jonathan Fensom.

San Francisco Ballet

More information here.

8. STAND-UP COMEDY AT MR BING’S (EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT)

One of San Francisco’s best known underground stand-up comedy shows is back. Mr. Bing’s, in North Beach, has some of the best comedians in the Bay Area (and it’s a region known for its comedic talent).

More information here.

9. ENJOY JAZZ AT A HIDDEN TEAHOUSE (DATES THROUGH APRIL)

Jazz is a true American art form. It was developed by African Americans in the Old South at the end of the nineteenth century, and now you can enjoy it here in San Francisco at a beautiful venue.

Experience the thrill of the unknown with our secret concert series, featuring new bands every Friday and Saturday. Discover a wide range of jazz styles, from 1920s swing to latin, funk, fusion, hip-hop, bossa, and original compositions. 

A little more about the location:

Located in the heart of SF’s famous Golden Gate Park, there’s a lovely boathouse known only to a few locals. Every Friday we transform this space into a non-conventional intimate music venue. Nearby you can start off your evening by visiting the best the Golden Gate Park has to offer.

More information here.

Golden Gate Park abuts Haight Ashbury. Use this opportunity to explore the fun and interesting neighborhood.

10. EXPLORE THE DARK SIDE OF SF (EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT)

San Francisco has a fascinating and unique criminal history. On this tour we begin by transporting guests back to the Gold Rush era, when Vigilance Committee’s took over “policing” of the city (which is where the term vigilante originates). Then we stroll through back alleys that were red light districts in the nineteenth century. After that we explore Chinatown, which was full of opium dens, brothels and gambling hellholes during the period.

Finally, we walk the streets of the infamous Barbary Coast, where sailors had to be wary of what they drank in the bars and dance halls, in case crimps would drug and shanghai them onto a ship leaving San Francisco for the East  (which is how the term was invented). And we haven’t even mentioned the Fatty Arbuckle Affair, the original Hollywood sex scandal (which is where ‘the morality clause’ originated).

During the tour there are a couple of opportunities to visit some historic bars and speakeasies from those eras.

More information here.

Notorious SF: Ghost & Crime Tour video

If you have any feedback on the 10 Best Things to Do in SF in April please email us or reach out on social media, we’d love to hear from you.

– By Damien Blackshaw (Twitter)

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