Fall is the Bay Area’s most exciting season. The Indian summer results in some of the region’s warmest days, the annual grape harvest fills Napa and Sonoma counties with festive colors and plenty of wine, local botanical gardens are showing off their reds, oranges and golds, and our streets come alive with some of the year’s best festivals and events.
This year, we’re making it easy to celebrate our community throughout the season. Our Bay Area event guide includes craft fairs, Oktoberfests, live music events, harvest festivals, parades, wine walks and more. Highlighting both fall-themed celebrations and a handful of the region’s largest annual events, everyone can find something to enjoy.
September 21 – 23, 2018 | Pier 48
Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest by the Bay
The largest local Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest by the Bay consists of three days and four sessions. Throughout the weekend, you can enjoy Munich’s famed festival from the comfort of San Francisco complete with nonstop music, singing, dancing, German food and drink, and the world renowned, 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band! Get your tickets here.
September 29 + 30, 2018 | Dimond District
The 11th Annual Oaktoberfest in the Dimond is two days of family-friendly fun and craft beer. Throughout the weekend, the biergarten will be home to more than 200 craft beers, the HopTech Homebrewers’ Alley, the Red Oak Realty Wine Pavilion and more. And the entertainment will include live music in several genres, from traditional Bavarian to local hip-hop.
September 30, 2018 | Historic Downtown Petaluma
Celebrating 32 years in 2018, the Petaluma Fall Antique Faire brings affordable antiques from over 200 dealers to Petaluma’s charming downtown. And admission to the Faire is free! Whether you’re window shopping or searching for the perfect home decor item, you’ll find plenty to choose from and a wonderful, family-friendly atmosphere.
October 4 – 14, 2018 | Various locations
Founded in 1977, the Mill Valley Film Festival has transformed from a small, three-day showcase into an eleven-day, internationally acclaimed cinema event. Each year, the festival welcomes more than 200 filmmakers which represent more than 50 countries and a variety of film genres.
October 5 – 7, 2018 | Golden Gate Park
The 18th Annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is returning to Golden Gate Park this October. The free festival features over 90 acts on seven stages over three days! Follow the team on Facebook for lineup updates and more.
October 6, 2018 | Port of Redwood City
Like Earth Day for the Bay, Bay Day is a celebration of the San Francisco Bay, its people and its wildlife. At PortFest in Redwood City, the restoration celebration will include waterfront tours along the port, arts and crafts, educational games, boat rides, food trucks, live music and a tiki bar.
In addition to PortFest, there are a number of events happening throughout the Bay Area in honor of Bay Day, like Restoration Festival at the Palo Alto Baylands! Check out BayDay.org for more information on the more than 50 events happening across the region.
October 11 – 14, 2018 | Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion
The oldest continuously operating international art and antique show on the West Coast, this event features about sixty dealers each year from across North America and Europe. Their wares highlight a range of fine and decorative arts from around the world which represent all styles and all periods. The show includes a preview gala on Wednesday, October 10th followed by the show on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
October 11 – 20, 2018 | Various locations
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Wood via Litquake
The original Litstock debuted as a free, one-day reading series in Golden Gate Park in 1999. Today, it has grown into Litquake, a ten-day festival of diverse literary programming that includes interactive workshops, readings inside spectacular venues, author discussions, and the closing night Lit Crawl through the Mission District. Some events are free and some come with an admission fee, but you can find all the information on the Litquake website.
October 13 – 14, 2018 | Historic Main Street
One of the region’s most popular annual events, the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival kicks off the fall-themed celebrations in the Bay Area. For two days along the picturesque Pacific coast, families and friends can enjoy all the attractions of the World Pumpkin Capital, including Volkswagen-sized, champion pumpkins on display, artistic carvings, harvest-inspired crafts, live music, festive food and drink, the world’s largest mosaic pumpkin sculpture, a parade and so much more.
October 18 – 20, 2018 | The Gardens at Lake Merritt
A fundraiser for the Gardens at Lake Merritt, Oakland’s Autumn Lights Festival is three nights of locally-created, illuminated art. Everyone in the Bay Area community comes together to create everything from tiny clay pottery lanterns to larger-than-life Burning Man pieces so you can immerse yourself in mesmerizing art installations, fire dancers and live music—all in support of a great cause!
October 20, 2018 | Marin Rod & Gun Club
Hosted by Steven Restivo Event Services, this free music festival celebrates Marin County’s famous, music-laden history. The event will feature live music from local bands, arts and crafts booths, food trucks, beer and wine, kid-friendly activities and a stunning waterfront view.
October 20, 2018 | Civic Park
For the fourth year, Walnut Creek is celebrating Oktoberfest with a free, one-day, family-friendly event that recreates the beloved German celebration. Attractions include live entertainment, music, dancing, arts and crafts, a classic biergarten with dozens of craft beers, international music, the Kinder Platz Kids Zone, gourmet food booths and more than 40 local vendors.
October 20, 2018 | Bayview
Soon to become one of the city’s favorite annual events, BayviewLIVE is the only festival in San Francisco solely dedicated to urban arts and culture. The 2018 festival theme is “HELLA CHIC” and will feature an impressive lineup of amazing female artists in both visual arts and music.
October 20 – 21, 2018 | Historic Downtown Danville
For the 27th year, the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting Danville’s FallFest, a free, family-friendly celebration that includes the Children’s Costume Parade, hundreds of art vendors, the Festival of 1000 Glass Pumpkins Exhibit and Sale, festive food and drink, live music, a classic car show and so much more.
October 26 – 28, 2018 | Alameda County Fairgrounds
Popping up in eight cities this year, The Harvest Festival is a budget-friendly and family-friendly art and craft show. But the entertainment lineup also includes strolling performers, main stage music, a playful KidZone and more! They come to Pleasanton October 26th through 28th.
November 2 – 4, 2018 | San Mateo County Event Center
Organized to benefit United Veterans Services, the Hillsborough Antiques Art & Design Show will feature more than 150 premier exhibitors from across the United States, Canada and Europe, all offering fine antiques and decorative arts which represent design styles of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries as well as vintage 20th century modern.
November 3, 2018 | Ocean Beach
The biggest sandcastle competition in Northern California, the Sandcastle Classic, comes to Ocean Beach this November! Benefitting Leap, the event includes team sandcastle building, stage performances, local food trucks and raffles then ends in an awards ceremony to name the best sandcastle to fit the 2018 theme: Building Bridges.
November 3, 2018 | Pinterest
Each year, SFMade and Pinterest come together to present 38Makers, an early gift fair specially curated by Pinterest for shoppers looking for artisan, locally-made gifts in a unique and festive setting. Featuring jewelry, coffee, gourmet gifts, wine, home and garden items, holiday cards, decorations and more, it’s basically like shopping your very own Pinterest board. Admission is just a $5 suggested donation at the door which goes to SFMade.
November 3 – 4, 2018 | 890 Beach St
The Golden Gate Half is one of just a few races that take racers on a route across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. That means participants will also get to enjoy breathtaking views from both San Francisco and Marin County! And don’t miss the 2018 Finish Line Wine Festival following the run.
To find more races and running events happening this fall, check out 25 Races to Run in the Bay Area This Fall which include marathons, half marathons, 10ks and 5ks.
November 4, 2018 | Fruitvale
Photo courtesy of The Unity Council
For the 23rd year, The Unity Council is hosting their Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival, a free, outdoor festival that brings over 80,000 people to the vibrant, culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood. Here, you can enjoy live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans, and the stunning altar installations created by community members paying homage to Los Muertos.
November 9 – 11, 2018 | San Mateo County Event Center
Popping up in eight cities this year, The Harvest Festival is a budget-friendly and family-friendly art and craft show. But the entertainment lineup also includes strolling performers, main stage music, a playful KidZone and more! They come to San Mateo November 9th through 11th.
November 10 – 11, 2018 | Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion
Renegade Craft Fair is the world’s largest curated showcase of independent craft and design. Equal parts entrepreneurial incubator and community gathering space, the San Francisco fair will feature hundreds of makers, interactive attractions, artisan food and drinks, as well as live music and plenty of good times!
For more fall-themed fun in the Bay Area, check out Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area, our guide and interactive map to the region’s best pumpkin patches and seasonal attractions.