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SF’s 2020 Festivals & Can’t-Miss Events

SF’s most fun & weird events for the first 3 months of 2020
By - posted 1/1/2020 No Comment

Here’s a list of our favorite San Francisco and Bay Area festivals, street fairs and can’t-miss events for the Winter of 2020.

Most of the events are free, or we’ll let you know how to get the best deals. 



SF Sketchfest: The San Francisco Comedy Festival

Two weeks in Mid-Late January
Next Date(s) – January 9-26, 2020
Annual two week comedy festival with some of the biggest headlining comics from the U.S., plus loads of tributes, film screenings and live podcasts. Most events are paid but typically there’s a few free events perfect for Funcheap.

“No Pants” BART Ride Day

Mid January
Next Date – January 12, 2020
Annual celebration where 600+ people ride BART (and then Muni) without any pants (wearing interesting undies and colorful socks) and try to keep a straight face and act completely normal.

Pier 39’s Sea Lion Anniversary

Mid January
Next Date(s) – January 17-20, 2020
SF’s famous barking sea lions began arriving in droves soon after the 1989 earthquake and have never left. Celebrate the annivesary of their arrival with special events and guided tours.

Women’s March – San Francisco & Oakland

Late January
Next Date – January 18, 2020
A massive march and rally in both San Francisco and Oakland – joining dozens of other cities in California in support of women’s rights

Free National Parks Days

Multiple dates typically starting on MLK Jr. Birthday
Next Date(s) – January 20, April 18, August 25, September 28, November 11, 2020
Five times a year entrance fees are waived for all National Parks in the U.S. including 11 right here in California including Yosemite, SF Maritime National Historical Park and Muir Woods (though parking reservations are still required for Muir Woods).

San Francisco Restaurant Week

Late January
Next Date(s) – January 22-31, 2020
Ten-day celebration when frugal foodies get to eat their way through nearly 130 restaurants around SF. Participating restaurants will offer special prix-fixe menus typically starting at $15 for lunch and $40 for dinner.

SF’s Annual Magnolia Bloom

Late January to Mid March – changes each year depending on weather
Next Date(s) – 2020 Dates TBA
One of San Francisco’s most breathtaking natural marvels, the annual bloom of nearly 100 rare and historic magnolias with trees reaching 80 feet, typically is at its peak from mid-January through March at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. Always check Facebook first to see how the blooms are doing before heading out.



SF Beer Week

Early February
Next Date(s) – February 7-16, 2020
Annual ten-day celebration showcasing the Bay’s brewing heritage and craft beer scene and packed with over 600 events (like beer dinners, trivia nights, tastings, meet-the-brewer events, home-brewing demos…). Many free events, but fees typically required for tastings.

KNBR Giants FanFest

Early February
Next Date(s) – Saturday, February 8, 2020
A massive stadium-filling festival at AT&T Park with live broadcasts, player Q&As, free player autographs and a chance to take photos with the World Series trophies to make Dodger fans jealous. FREE Admission.

Chinese New Year Parade & Festival

Early February
Next Date(s) – Festival: February 8-9, 2020; Parade: February 8, 2020
The largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia, the two-day street fair takes over much of Chinatown, highlighted by the Saturday evening parade with elaborate floats, Chinese acrobats and a 268 foot-long Golden Dragon.

Pillow Fight

Always on Valentine’s Day
Next Date(s)
– February 14, 2020

This is a completely unofficial, decentralized event that seems to materialize each year. Expect 1,000+ San Franciscans to descend on Justin Herman Plaza with feather-stuffed pillows to run Braveheart-like toward each other for a massive pillow battle.

Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival

Mid-Late February
Next Date(s) – February 24 – March 1, 2020
Taking the best concert venues in the Bay and turning them into your own personal festival ground with films, art shows, happy hours and concerts all over SF and East Bay. Many free events and concerts around $15.




Off the Grid: Fort Mason Season Kick-off

Early March to October
Next Date(s) – Not yet set for 2020
Inspired by the festive night markets around the world, Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center is a full-on food truck party every Friday night from 5-10pm. Expect nearly 30 food trucks and pop-up vendors in a circle with a full bar and music in the middle.

World Naked Bike Ride

Early March
Next Date(s) – Not yet set for 2020
It’s time to tune up those bikes, put on tons of sunscreen and make sure you have a very comfortable seat for this bare ride throughout the city on a route that typically includes Embarcadero, Haight and down Lombard Street.

Brides of March

Mid March
Next Date(s) – Not yet set for 2020
Grab a full-on wedding dress and join hundreds of “brides” (women, men and everything in between) and parade through the heart San Francisco, strolling through Union Square, “shopping” at fancy stores, and drinking in local bars.

Categories: *Top Pick*, San Francisco Bay Area

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