Fun, Free, Cheap: What to Do in San Francisco This Week


By Johnny Funcheap

Special for examiner

Climate Action Month: Over 50 Free Events

Worried about the state of the environment and climate change? Here’s your chance to get inspired and do something about it. The San Francisco Department of the Environment is hosting a series of over 50 events (most of which are free) for their 4th annual Climate Action Month. While many options are virtual, there are still plenty of in-person events where you can join like-minded neighbors to come out and make a difference. Find a volunteer work party at a nearby park, stroll through the palm trees in the SF Botanical Garden, join a protest at UN Plaza, take a bike ride through Golden Gate Park, find Earth Day celebrations, visit beautiful native plant gardens or find dozens of other impactful ways to have fun and help the planet. From April 1-30 throughout San Francisco, most events are free with RSVP.

(Courtesy of Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival)

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

In early 2021, a **hole vandalized a pair of Sutter Street cherry blossom trees down to their trunks. A few months later, new trees in Oregon have been planted and are finally showing their first buds. Let it be a metaphor for slow but steady regrowth. The 55th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival returns to Japantown also using measured steps. Although there is no parade this year and only one stage, the festival is (mostly) flowery with a street fair, an outdoor food bazaar and four days of taiko drumming, tea ceremonies, karate, cosplay and demonstrations of traditional arts like origami. , calligraphy and sword work. And taking inspiration from the newly replanted trees on Sutter, the rest of the dozens of cherry blossoms around Japantown should be in full bloom by the second weekend of the festival. Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10 and 16-17, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Japantown, Post Street from Fillmore to Laguna, free.

(Courtesy of Together SF)

(Courtesy of Together SF)

Paint the wall paint by numbers of the city

There are over 1,000 murals in the city of San Francisco. If you want to help add to that number and bring more color to The City (but have absolutely no artistic skills), then nonprofits Paint the Void and TogetherSF are looking for you. Bring your lack of talent and enthusiasm to Paint the Town – an easy, easy-to-paint community mural event. A local artist will draw a wall-sized wall outline and help you fill in the blanks. RSVPs fill up fast, so don’t hang around if you want to doodle. And if the places are full, don’t worry – more chances are coming soon. The event takes place over two weekends and the goal is to create a new community mural each month. April 15-16, 22-23, 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Various locations in SF, Free with RSVP.

The Rainbow Girls will perform at Pickin' on the Polk.  (Courtesy of Rainbow Girls)

The Rainbow Girls will perform at Pickin’ on the Polk. (Courtesy of Rainbow Girls)

Pickin’ on the Polk: Free Bluegrass Festival

Will Hardly Strictly Bluegrass be hosting an in-person festival at Golden Gate Park this year? Other than a vague “save the date” message listed on the website for September 30-October 2, nothing is confirmed. Meanwhile, part of the key team behind HSB has been playing with the Discover Polk community benefit district in organizing the new two-day Pickin’ on the Polk festival. Stroll six blocks of Polk Street’s bars and restaurants to listen to free indoor bluegrass concerts on nine different pop-up stages. Or lay down your banjo on the outdoor “train stage” at Polk and Broadway on Saturday for six hours of old-school jams from a handpicked lineup of great local twangers. Friday, April 15, 7-11 p.m., Saturday, April 16, 1-12 p.m., various locations on Broadway’s Polk Street in California, SF, free.

(Courtesy of Treasure Island Sailing Center)

(Courtesy of Treasure Island Sailing Center)

Treasure Island Sailing Center Opening Day

If you’ve always wanted to come sail the bay but don’t know your jib from your keel, Treasure Island Sailing Center is happy to get you on board. On TISC’s annual opening day, arrive early to register and grab a life jacket for a free 30-minute rental of a kayak or paddle board or join one of their qualified instructors for a free sailboat ride. It all takes place at Clipper Cove, at the southern end of Treasure Island, a sheltered harbor with (relatively) calm waters, making it ideal for beginners. A bonus is the magnificent view of the Bay Bridge. Sunday, April 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Treasure Island Sailing Center, 698 California Ave. SF, free.

Visit for a handpicked list of fun, free, and cheap things to do in San Francisco.


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