SF Summer Freebie List


Few out-of-staters realize that San Francisco summers are a strange (yet wonderful) clusterfuck of fleece, fog, and frantic searches for bus cash. In the summer, more than any other season, I feel the lightness of my pockets, free of spare change, and become a bit too comfortable letting my bank account fall into the danger zone. There’s a certain energy that comes with SF summers, that pushes us locals out of our respective neighborhoods and pulls us toward new adventures yet to be had — usually in very expensive bars, brunch spots, and venues.

Thankfully, the San Francisco gods have blessed us commoners with a wide array of super cheap and even free events (that don’t suck!). And, as overused as this saying is, during the San Francisco summer, there truly is something for everybody. From corgi meet-ups to outdoor rock concerts, the world is yours, summer explorers.

Top Photo: Courtesy of La Mixta Criolla, The Simpsons Photo: Allstar / Cinetext / 20th Century Fox, Bottom Right: Contemporary Jewish Museum / Photo by Kenny Louie

Top Photo: Courtesy of La Mixta Criolla, The Simpsons Photo: Allstar / Cinetext / 20th Century Fox, Bottom Right: Contemporary Jewish Museum / Photo by Kenny Louie

Most people who have lived here for at least a year are aware of the seemingly endless line-up of street festivals and fairs. It’s like a strange wrestling match where districts compete against one another to have the coolest, most “SF” street fair… because are you really recognized as a street in San Francisco if you don’t throw a festival? “In this corner, we have good old Haight Street, known for its kooky residents, 4/20 friendliness, and artistic, spiritual treasures! Oh, the memories that can be made at the Haight Street Fair! And, in this corner, you know them, you love them… it’s the Fillmore Street Festival, boasting animal blessings at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italian street painting, arts, food, and crafts! It’s gonna be a close one, folks!”
And, returning from my pipe dream of hosting a WWE competition in which streets are somehow fighting one another (improbable, but not impossible), there are tons of other events to check out, outside of the ring. On June 17th, you can take a stroll through the Japantown Tofu Festival featuring countless fake meat products to tickle your soy fancy. Stuffed? The day’s still not over — for there’s a Godzilla film festival happening just a short walk away! While I highly doubt it, watching Japanese monsters with a soy-filled stomach doesn’t quite float your boat? Firstly, I would say that you need to get your priorities straight. Secondly, check out the Stern Grove concert series, beginning every Sunday night for the rest of the summer beginning June 25th, and join your fellow San Franciscans in one of our own baby forests to celebrate good music, cold weather, and our strange little city.

The good news is that even if I’ve presented literally nothing of interest to you, I’ve yet to (awkwardly) talk about a fraction of the events going on this summer. The list goes on and on until you’ve entered a sort of black hole filled with floating information, dates, times, and vague titles that leave you wondering what exactly you’re getting into (what exactly will I be seeing at the “Art Practice Makes Art Pervert” Solo drawing exhibit on June 2nd, you may ask, or the “Yum and Yummer Comedy Show” on June 20th? I’m just as curious as you are, folks!). To all of my non-natives out there — I know what you’re thinking, and yes, other cities partake in this summer spirit, putting on shows, festivals, and events. I would, however, argue that San Francisco may be the only place you can spend an afternoon at the “Picklewater Free Circus Festival” (July 9th) and the next evening at a “Perfectly Queer: LBGTQ Reading Series.” Bless this city, especially in the summer.

Here are some other events that I, at least, think sound pretty rad…

Monday, June 12th, 6:30 pm
Cyberpunk Cinema Night at The Knockout

Thursday, June 15th, 6:00 pm
La Mixta Criolla’s Rumba Rhythmic Traditions at the Yerba Buena Gardens

Wednesday, June 21st, 6:00 pm
SF’s Beer Bus Crawl at Bartlett Hall

Sunday, June 25th, 6:00 pm
‘90s Simpsons Trivia Night & Watch Party at The Knockout

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
Free Admission Day at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Monday, July 10th, 7:30 pm
Witches’ Brew: A Standup Comedy Show at Black Hammer Brewing

Wednesday, July 12th, 5:30 pm
Free Laughter Yoga Class at UCSF


About Author

Brittany is a writer, audio creator, and media student living in San Francisco. She enjoys peanut butter, cats, and long walks in Golden Gate Park.

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