Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day as a single, as a couple, as a family or even as a group, you’ll find plenty to do in the Bay Area. Events and ideas on our guide begin as early as January 30th, continue through the big day, and roll into the following weekend. With everything from underwear races and craft beer tastings to art festivals, tea in the gardens and 1950s dances, you may even want to try more than one. You’ll also find date ideas if you want to build your own adventure and resources to find the perfect Valentine’s Day restaurant.
Looking for gift ideas? Check out 14 Local Etsy Makers We Love, our Valentine’s Day gift guide for him and her.
The 21st Annual SF IndieFest is a film festival showcasing the best in independent, alternative and subversive cinema from around the globe. In 2019, the festival is hosting screenings and events from January 30th through February 14th at Roxie Theatre and Victoria Theatre. See the film lineup, check the calendar and buy your tickets here.
SF Beer Week brings together some of the region’s best brewers to showcase the culture, talents and hop beverages of the Bay Area. Happening from February 1st through 10th, the week will feature hundreds of beer-centric events. You can celebrate new releases, enjoy delicious beer and food pairings, practice yoga with beer in hand and so much more. Check out the full schedule of events here.
Photo courtesy of From the Hip Photo via Mortified
Mortified is a celebration of storytelling, youthful wonder and, of course, embarrassment. And Mortified Live is where these storytellers get to step on stage and share their childhood writings, art and media in front of total strangers. In San Francisco, you can attend Valentine’s Day-themed shows on February 8th or go to the Oakland show on February 9th. For the full calendar, click here.
For the 33rd year, North America’s largest show that showcases the arts of tribal Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceana and the Americas is returning to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. From February 8th through 10th, you can see the show, learn all about this year’s featured country, and be wowed by works from over 70 dealers and galleries.
As one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, this three-day event in Oakland features the collections and rare treasures of nearly 200 booksellers representing more than 20 countries. Their collections and exhibitions include manuscripts, modern first editions, children’s books, maps, autographs and antiquarian books. You can see all this and more from February 8th through 10th and tickets can be purchased at the door.
Set the scene this Valentine’s Day with more than 39,000 blooming tulips at PIER 39. From February 9th through 18th, you can enjoy a free, self-guided tour, take in the vibrant colors and enjoy all the attractions of Pier 39. On February 14th, PIER 39 will close at 3 p.m. but will be available for the remainder of Tulipmania.
UC Berkeley Botanical Garden is inviting the entire family for an educational garden tour and serene tea. Available at two different times on February 9th, the workshop includes a walk through the facility so you can collect ingredients for make-your-own tea party snacks and garden drinks! For more details and registration info, click here.
Hosted by Presidio Trust on Saturday, February 9th, this event is throwing it back to the 1950s with live music from The Ely Brothers + The Doubletake Band, dancing and retro cocktails available from Arguello. Other attractions include a pop-up exhibit and period dance performances throughout the night. You can register online here.
Headquartered at Pedro’s Cantina, this party and fun run invites participants to embark on a one mile run in their underwear in the middle of a huge party. Happening on February 9th from 12 to 4 p.m., this event is raising funds to find a cure for neurofibromatosis. Tickets range between $40 and $50 depending on when you buy and you can register or donate here.
Go on a date (but not just any date).
If you want to skip the crowded events and design your own adventurous outing, check out 10 Indoor Date Ideas for Rainy Days in San Francisco or 24 Bay Area Dates That Don’t Involve Dinner.
If you’re looking for something less romantic and more terrifying, Valentine Haunt is coming to San Leandro February 8th, 9th and 14th. If you dare to enter the pitch black haunted house, you get one dim flashlight with the option to add candles, glow sticks and vampire repellent. For more information and tickets, click here.
You can book a romantic wine country tour with Napa Valley Wine Train any day of the year, but on Valentine’s Day, they’re offering daytime and nighttime packages that can include the three-hour rail tour of Napa Valley, a multi-course, gourmet meal, a strolling violinist for entertainment, and tours of Castello di Amorosa, Grgich Hills Estate Winery, Charles Krug Winery and Raymond Vineyards.
Get more information on the Valentine’s Day Package here.
Hornblower is celebrating Valentine’s Day with an impressive lineup of special events. Their romantic cruises include brunch and dinner options on February 14th as well as Valentine’s Weekend cruises on February 15th and 17th.
Get more information on San Francisco Valentine’s Cruises as well as Berkeley cruises here.
Snag a reservation at a romantic restaurant.
When you’re looking for a date night restaurant in the Bay Area, the hardest part is narrowing down the options. For ideas, check out The 11 Most Romantic Restaurants Along The Embarcadero and 15 Romantic Restaurants in San Francisco.
Other good spots can be found on Where to Get the Best Oysters in San Francisco and Where to Eat Whole Dungeness Crab in the Bay Area.
And for even more food and drink ideas, peruse the Bars and Restaurants category on Discover Your View here.
Happening February 14th through 25th, San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is the grooviest way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Bay. The festival lineup features more than 20 events at four different local venues around San Jose. To get more information and to buy the Fest Pass or single event tickets, click here.
Inside the historic Hotel Whitcomb from February 14th through 17th, you can take part in four exciting days of social dancing, performances and shows, live music, workshops, and classes for all experience levels, a beginner boot camp, educational lectures and late night parties. You’ll find details on the lineup, the schedule and tickets here.
About a decade ago, the first Mostly British Film Festival premiered in San Francisco to showcase the best in cinema from the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa. Featuring events and appearances by world-renowned directors and actors, the 2019 event has more than 25 films on the schedule with opportunities to buy individual movie tickets or a 2019 Festival Pass. The festival begins on February 14th and continues through the 21st. Check out the lineup and buy your tickets online here.
As the largest competition of American wines in the world, the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting is a chance for wine lovers of the Bay Area to come together and taste the most-awarded beverages from around the globe. Paired with fine food tastings as well, it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day activity! The event is happening on Saturday, February 16th and you can buy your tickets online here.
Inside San Rafael’s Marin Civic Center on February 16th and 17th, you can peruse collections from more than 100 dealers and artists selling antique American Indian, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial and Contemporary American Indian Art at the 35th Annual American Indian Art Show. For more details, click here.
Bay Area Pet Con invites your whole family—including the furry, scaly and feathered members—to celebrate pets and learn more about services, activities, organizations and fun available in the Bay Area. At the event on February 16th and 17th, you can explore these services, participate in contests, support local causes and even meet other animals who need forever homes. You can buy your tickets here.
Happy Valentine’s Day!