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14 Things To Do In San Francisco This October
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14 Things To Do In San Francisco This October

Picture of Susan Blick
Updated: 9 February 2017
For those not keen on the holiday scene, October offers experiences that require fewer costume materials. Here are some ideas for having the ultimate October in San Francisco.
The Friday Night Scene at Off the Grid | © David McSpadden/Flickr
The Friday Night Scene at Off the Grid | © David McSpadden/Flickr

Off the Grid Friday Night Food Truck Party

Every Friday night from 5-10 pm, the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco host to Off the Grid’s food truck party. Advertised as ‘California’s largest weekly evening street food market,’ the event offers hip food, local beers and wine, and live music. Try new foods or revisit the classics from over a hundred different vendors such as Hula Truck, Sam’s Chowder Mobile, Kome Sushi Burrito, Cheese Gone Wild, or Curry Up Now. The event closes for the season on October 30th, so be sure to check it out before the end of the month.

Sample Platter of Dishes | Courtesy of Hula Truck
Sample Platter of Dishes | Courtesy of Hula Truck


The Color of Life Exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences

Although California’s transition to fall isn’t quite as dramatic as fall on the East Coast, you can still see your fair share of changing colors at the Academy of Sciences’ new exhibit, The Color of Life. From mating rituals to camouflage, this exhibit shows the importance of color in the wild and how many kinds of creatures use it to communicate.

The legendary Great White Shark | © George Probst/Flickr
The legendary Great White Shark | © George Probst/Flickr


Sharktoberfest

October 17, 11 am-4 pm

Didn’t get enough of Discovery’s Shark Week in July? Sharktoberfest is a free event put on by the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association that marks the return of Great White Sharks to the Bay during their migration pattern. So stay out of the water and head over to Sharktoberfest.

Chinatown, San Francisco | © Giuseppe Milo/Flickr
Chinatown, San Francisco | © Giuseppe Milo/Flickr

Wild SF Walking Tours

Think you know everything about San Francisco? We guarantee that you’ll learn something new on the Wild SF Walking Tours—even if you’re a local. Truly San Franciscan historians offer various tours of major neighborhood such as Chinatown and the Barbary Coast on The Classic SF Route, and The Castro and Mission District on The Radical SF Route. The Night Tour, which is filled with tales of ghosts, murderers, and mysteries, would be the perfect choice for a spooky night out. Tours vary from $14-$36 and meet at various locations within the city.

http://wildsftours.com, 415-580-1849

Courtesy of Wild SF Tours
Courtesy of Wild SF Tours

Curry Without Worry

This nonprofit that was founded in 2006 provides hot meals for hungry people in the city. Curry Without Worry invites all members of the SF community to share delicious Nepali soul food and an extraordinarily welcoming sense of community. Although each meal is free, Curry Without Worry encourages diners to donate towards the organization or volunteer at an event. Hot meals are available every Tuesday at 5:30 pm in the SF Civic Center.

Chipotle’s Boorito

October 31

If food is more your focus this October, don’t forget to head to Chipotle on Halloween to pick up your $3 burrito. This deal is part of a promotional campaign that advertises how ‘unnecessary additives in fast food are creepy,’ so the only requirement is to wear a costume with something unnecessary added to it. The promotion is available at all Chipotle restaurants, so feel free to hit up any of San Francisco’s 12 locations for your discounted boorito.

Various locations around San Francisco

Culinary Events at Williams-Sonoma

Class up your Halloween and hone your skills for Thanksgiving dinner by taking a cooking class at Williams-Sonoma. Chuck Williams, the founder of Williams-Sonoma, is turning 100 years old this October so celebrate his birthday by taking a class on how to prepare a few of his favorite recipes including roast chicken and chocolate mousse. This ultimate cooking store also offers classes like Savory Cooking with Pumpkin and Autumn Baking, which feature recipes that call for plenty of pumpkin to satisfy your holiday cravings.

Williams-Sonoma, 340 Post Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, 415-362-9450

Pumpkin Patch | © Liz West/Flickr
Pumpkin Patch | © Liz West/Flickr


Pick Out The Perfect Pumpkin at Clancy’s Trees

No doorstep is complete around Halloween without a pumpkin, and the Bay Area offers some of the best pumpkin patches around. After solely selling Christmas trees for 30 years, Clancy’s Trees opened the first pumpkin patch in San Francisco in 1979. Located right in the heart of the city, Clancy’s Trees offers hayrides, a petting zoo, and every kind of pumpkin imaginable.

Clancy’s Trees, 1620 7th Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA, 415-753-2689

Runners dress up in Halloween costumes for the annual 5K | © Bhautik Joshi/Flickr
Runners dress up in Halloween costumes for the annual 5K | © Bhautik Joshi/Flickr


The SF Mad Dash 5K

October 31

If you want to get a head start at working off those extra holiday pounds, sign up for the SF Mad Dash, a 5 kilometer Halloween costume run that concludes with an after party with live entertainment. The race starts at the Polo Field Stables on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park and finishes in the same location after looping around the park. The race takes place on Halloween morning so it leaves plenty of time from trick-or-treating later in the day.

The SF Mad Dash 5K, 1232 John F Kennedy Drive, San Francisco, CA, USA, help@sfmadash.com

Liquid Nitrogen is a key ingredient in Smitten’s ice cream | © Antonio Silveira/Flickr
Liquid Nitrogen is a key ingredient in Smitten’s ice cream | © Antonio Silveira/Flickr


Try Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream at Smitten Ice Cream

Let Smitten Ice Cream—which uses liquid nitrogen during production—bring out the mad scientist in you. Founder Robyn Sue Fisher wanted to find a way to make ice cream with fewer added preservatives, emulsifiers, and stabilizers and found that liquid nitrogen did just that. Different flavors are offered throughout the year, but be sure to try the Maple Brown Sugar Pumpkin ice cream when it gets released at the end of the month.

Smitten Ice Cream, 2404 California Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, 415-872-9414

Fisherman's Wharf | © Mike Roque/Flickr
Fisherman’s Wharf | © Mike Roque/Flickr


Fisherman’s Wharf Festival

October 24

Wharf Fest is a free festival that celebrates all that is great about the San Francisco waterfront. Main attractions include a chowder cook-off and live music sponsored by Hard Rock Café.


Treasure Island Music Festival

October 17-18

As one the best music festivals in the Bay Area and even the country, Treasure Island Music Festival returns again on October 17 and 18. With artists like Deadmau5, The National, and FKA Twigs taking the stage, Treasure Island won’t disappoint.

Schroeder’s Restaurant and Historic German Beer Hall

Although many Oktoberfest celebrations take place in late September and early October, Schroeder’s Restaurant celebrates ‘Oktoberfest Continues’ in the large beer hall attached to their restaurant. Featuring live music and beer hall games, Schroeder’s offers San Francisco fun and locality. Festivities begin at 6 pm and are offered on various Fridays and Saturdays until the end of October.

Schroeder’s Restaurant, 240 Front Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, 415-421-4778

Fleet Week | © Bhautik Joshi/Flickr
Fleet Week | © Bhautik Joshi/Flickr

Fleet Week

October 5-12

San Francisco Fleet Week started in 1981 to honor the United States Armed Forces. It runs until October 12 and main events are located on Marina Green in the city. Fleet Week offers ship tours, live music, and the spectacular US Navy Blue Angel Air Show. The event is also proud to offer the Humanitarian Village, which showcases four major sectors of the nation’s disaster response: mass care and shelter, power and utilities, community response and rescue, and environmental management and decontamination.