Thursdays: 10 Fun Things to Do in SF
Can’t wait for the weekend and getting bored with Thirsty Thursdays bar nights? Then let Funcheap help you plan out a day filled with food trucks, feel good music and more with our Guide to Thursdays.
Funcheap’s Guide to Thursdays
Ten+ free and cheap things to do each Thursday in San Francisco.
Got a great tip for something fun and cheap to do each Thursday? Leave us a comment below! We’ll pick the best tips to add to our list.
SFMOMA Half-Price Night
See figurine, photography and film from the SFMOMA’s carefully curated collection for half-price every Thursday night from 6 till 8:45p.m. Normally $18 for adults, this opportunity to see Klee and Kahlo pieces at a world-renowned institute for art is quite the steal at a little less than $10.
SFMOMA (151 3rd St., SF) | 6-8:45p | $9
NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences
It’s a night of seahorses and strong spirits at the California Academy of Sciences’ 21+ NightLife party with live musical entertainment, cocktails, special museum exhibits and more. They also have different themes each week, from salsa dancing to sustainable seafood, so buy your tickets in advance to make sure you get to see the rings of Saturn and the Academy’s rainforest with a rum swizzle in hand.
California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Dr., SF) | 6-10p | $10*
*$10 for members, $12 otherwise.
Free Italian Buffett
Every Other Thursday
Sample salad and spaghetti at a free Italian antipasti buffet, which comes with the purchase of a glass of wine or sangria, and then spend every other Thursday night lining up for some linguini as you listen to live music at the upscale Amarena Italian Restaurant in Russian Hill.
Amarena (2162 Larkin St., SF) | 6-9p | FREE*
*Buffet is free with the purchase of a drink.
Off The Grid Food Truck Party: UN Plaza
Be careful not to get any bao on your blouse if you spend your lunch hour waiting in line for one of the six food trucks at the Off The Grid Food Truck Party in downtown San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza, which could be serving up anything from Indian curry to Korean tacos.
United Nations Plaza (Downtown SF) | 11:30a-2:30p | FREE*
*Event is free, but bring cash for food.
Off The Grid Food Truck Party: Upper Haight
If you couldn’t get enough at lunch, spend your Thursday night tracking down the Upper Haight’s Off The Grid Food Truck Party, where six to ten trucks will be parked at the edge of Golden Gate Park for an evening of arepas, empanadas and adobo.
Stanyan St. & Waller St., Upper Haight | 4:30-8:30p | FREE*
*Event is free, but bring cash for food.
Feel Good Thursdays: Reggae, Dancehall, Remixes
Jam out to some Jamaican tunes at the Rockit Room’s 21+ Feel Good Thursdays from 10p.m. to 2 a.m., where you can dance for free to a rotating line-up of acts performing both dancehall dubs and reggae remixes.
Rockit Room (406 Clement St., SF) | 10p-2a | FREE
Indie Dance Party Night
Prance around to some of the latest Pitchfork-approved tunes at the Lookout’s weekly“Music You Crave: Indie Thursdays” 21+ dance parties, where DJs will be spinning the best indie-electro beats by everyone from Fever Ray to Friendly Fires for just a few bucks.
The Lookout (3600 16th St., SF) | 7-11p | $2*
*Prices typically range from $2-$3.
$1 Drink Night
Shimmy to both The Smiths and synth-pop at Cat Club’s 80s dance party with $3 12-ouncers and $5 PBR tallboys all night, along with $1 well drinks till 10 p.m. Also make sure to get there before 9:30, so that you can groove to some new wave for no cover charge.
Cat Club (1190 Folsom St., SF) | 9p-3a | FREE*
*Free entry before 9:30p, $6 cover otherwise.
The City Ride
Every 2nd & 4th Thursday
Show up with your Schwinn for a mellow, exploratory bike ride around the city every other Thursday night, rain or shine. Bring your bike and helmet, and then stick around afterwards for snacks, drinks and socializing with some of your brand new bicycle ride buddies.
Sports Basement, Bryant St. (1590 Bryant St., SF) | 6:30-8p | FREE
Elephant & Castle Pub Quiz
Put your winnings toward another pint at Elephant & Castle’s weekly pub quiz, where you can win prizes like a $50 E&C gift certificate and buy you and your friends some onion rings or another round.
Elephant & Castle (424 Clay St., SF) | 6:15p | FREE
O’Neill’s Irish Pub Quiz
Answer questions every week for prizes at O’Neill’s Irish Pub, and enjoy this sporty SoMa bar with tons of Giants pride and some tasty specialty cocktails and Shepherd’s Pie.
O’Neill’s Irish Pub (747 3rd St., SF) | 7p | FREE
Rogue Ale House Pub Quiz
Voted the “Best Late Night Trivia” by San Francisco Magazine, Rogue Ales Public House’s weekly pub quiz will have you racking your brain for answers, in order to win a $100 gift certificate, plus a case of their 22 oz. beers.
Rogue Ales Public House (673 Union St., SF) | 8p | FREE
Comet Club Comedy
Get a few chuckles out of the Comet Club’s comedy showcase in San Francisco’s Marina district every Thursday night at 9. Every week, the show is hosted by Ben Feldman of KOFY TV with a rotating line-up of local comedians and stand-up acts, so settle down for this free showcase that’ll have you in stitches by the end of the night.
Comet Club (3111 Fillmore St, SF) | 9p | FREE
Comedy & Cocktails
See a comedy showcase in a historical San Francisco cellar at the Purple Onion’s “Comedy & Cocktails.” An opportunity to experience San Francisco’s thriving stand-up comedy scene, join hostess Jill Bourque and local acts like Cara Tramontano and Brendan Lynch, for this showcase of some of the city’s best comedic talent, which will have you giggling over your wine glass.
The Purple Onion (140 Columbus Ave., SF) | 7p | FREE*
*Two item minimum (food or drinks).
Arts & Crafts
SF Arts Market Thursdays
Get some handmade crafts and some hot huaraches at the weekly SF Arts Market, which offers an open-air arts and crafts market, performance platform and six Off the Grid food trucks every Thursday in downtown San Francisco’s UN Plaza.
UN Plaza (7th & Market St., SF) | Thursday, July 21 | 11a-4p | FREE
Free First Thursdays
Chinese Historical Society Free First Thursdays
Every 1st Thursday
Situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum introduces the rich history of the Chinese-American experience through exhibits and special performances.
Chinese Historical Society (965 Clay St., SF) | Noon-5p | FREE
Pez Museum Free First Thursdays
Every 1st Thursday
Relive your childhood by checking out some candy and classic toys at the Pez Museum and neighboring Classic Toy Museum in Burlingame, which offer free admission every first Thursday of the month, so that you can see sights like old Wooly Willy toys and the World’s Largest Pez Dispenser.
Burlingame Museum of Pez (214 California Dr., Burlingame) | 10a-6p | FREE
Free Admission Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Every 1st Thursday
The UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, the university’s extensive collection of art research resources, has a free admission day to all of their galleries and public programs (except for the Pacific Film Archive’s theater programs), so take in everything from baroque to Buddhist art every first Thursday of the month.
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley) | 11a-5p | FREE*
*Pacific Film Archive theater programs excluded.
Art Deco in the Marina
Every 4th Thursday
Admire elegant geometric shapes and examples of architectural modernism at a SF City Guides walking tour of Art Deco buildings from the 30s and 40s in the seaside Marina District every last Thursday of the month. Meet in front of the Marina Library and spend an hour or two seeing the shops on Chestnut Street in an entirely new light.
Marina Library (1890 Chestnut St., SF) | 11a | FREE
Spend your lunch hour sampling your way through the historic Ferry Building on an hour-long SF City Guides walking tour every Thursday at noon, where you can learn about the history of ferries and freeways, all while taking a peek at cheese, coffee and more at this renowned artisan marketplace.
Ferry Building Main Entrance (1 Ferry Building, SF) | Noon | FREE
Japanese Tea Garden
Wander past the bronze Buddha or climb over the moon bridge on a 45-minute stroll through the Japanese Tea Garden on the SF City Guides walking tour every Thursday. So roam through rock gardens as your admire carefully pruned bonsai and learn the history behind the Hagiwara family and their five-acre, world-famous garden.
Japanese Tea Garden Entrance (75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., SF) | 1p | $5*
*$5 garden admission for SF residents, $7 for non-residents
Cheap Tip: The Japanese Garden tour is given several times a week, and all require garden admission except on the Monday and Wednesday 9:30 morning tour – where it’s totally free!
City Guide - Ongoing, San Francisco
Submitted by Sandra Song