The Essential Fall Events in the Bay Area for 2019

|September 18, 2019

Fall is the Bay Area’s most exciting season. The end of summer brings 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 event guide includes craft fairs, Oktoberfests, live music events, harvest festivals, parades and more. Highlighting both fall-themed celebrations and a handful of the region’s largest annual events, our list features something for everyone to enjoy.

To create your own fall-themed fun, check out Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area [Interactive Map], 15 Bay Area Haunted Houses to Visit this Halloween and 10 Colorful Places to See Fall Foliage Near San Francisco.

Jump ahead:

September | October | November

September 

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | San Francisco 

Ongoing through October 27 | Yerba Buena Gardens 

fall 2019 events san francisco bay area

Photo courtesy of Jim Watkins Photography via Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

This beloved annual festival is an independent nonprofit presenting six months of admission-free performances that celebrate the culture and creativity of the Bay Area. The family-friendly, outdoor and ADA-accessible programming includes weekly performances through September and October until the 19th annual Halloween Hoopla at Children’s Garden on October 27th. 

Oktoberfest by the Bay | San Francisco 

September 20 – 22 | Pier 35

The largest local Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest by the Bay takes place over 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.

Petaluma Fall Antique Faire | Petaluma 

September 29 | Downtown Petaluma

Celebrating 33 years in 2019, the Petaluma Fall Antique Faire brings affordable antiques from over 200 dealers to Petaluma’s historic 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 

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | San Francisco 

Ongoing through October 27 | Yerba Buena Gardens 

fall 2019 events san francisco bay area

Photo courtesy of Jim Watkins Photography via Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

This beloved annual festival is an independent nonprofit presenting six months of admission-free performances that celebrate the culture and creativity of the Bay Area. The family-friendly, outdoor and ADA-accessible programming includes weekly performances through September and October until the 19th annual Halloween Hoopla at Children’s Garden on October 27th. 

Mill Valley Film Festival | Mill Valley 

October 3 – 13 | Various locations 

Founded in 1977, the Mill Valley Film Festival has transformed from a small, three-day showcase into an 11-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.

The San Francisco Fall Show | San Francisco 

October 3 – 6 | Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture

The oldest continuously operating international art and antique show on the West Coast, this event features about 60 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 2nd followed by the show on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair | Santa Rosa

October 4 – 5 | Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

Held every October for more than 40 years, the Sonoma County Harvest Fair showcases the county’s grand harvest, including world-class wines, award-winning beer and tons of world-class food. Events and attractions include a Home Brew Competition, the hilarious World Championship Grape Stomp and the Tasting Pavilion representing more than 100 Sonoma County wineries. For tickets and more details, click here

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass | San Francisco 

October 4 – 6 | Golden Gate Park 

The 19th 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.

Oaktoberfest | Oakland 

October 5 – 6 | Dimond District

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The 12th Annual Oaktoberfest in Oakland’s Dimond District is two days of family-friendly fun and craft beer. Throughout the weekend, you can enjoy a traditional Biergarten, the Eco Fair, the Kids’ Area with Root Biergarten, a German-style homebrew competition in the homebrewers’ alley, and vendors from around the Bay. For all the details, click here

San Francisco Fleet Week | San Francisco

October 6 – 14 | Various locations

Held every year since 1981, Fleet Week honors the contributions of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces with a full week of shows, exhibitions and special events. Taking place between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, The San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show Presented by United is headlined by The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and is the only air show in the United States with a commercial airliner—the United 777—to perform a fully choreographed act. For the complete details and schedule (including the Parade of Ships and the Veterans Art Exhibit!), click here

Litquake | San Francisco 

October 10 – 19 | Various locations 

The original Litstock debuted as a free, one-day reading series in Golden Gate Park in 1999. Today, it has grown into Litquake, a 10-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 here

Autumn Lights Festival | Oakland 

October 17 – 19 | The Gardens at Lake Merritt

A fundraiser for the Gardens at Lake Merritt, Oakland’s Autumn Lights Festival brings 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, local cause!

Walnut Creek Oktoberfest | Walnut Creek 

October 19 | Civic Park

For the fifth 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, a specially designed kids’ zone, gourmet food booths and more than 40 local vendors. For complete details, click here

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival | Half Moon Bay 

October 19 – 20 | Main Street

fall 2019 events san francisco bay area

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.

FallFest | Danville 

October 19 – 20 | Downtown Danville

For the 28th 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 drinks, live music, a classic car show and so much more.

Sandcastle Classic | San Francisco 

October 26 | Ocean Beach 

The biggest sandcastle competition in Northern California, the Sandcastle Classic returns to Ocean Beach this October! 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 2019 theme: Let’s Play!

November 

Hillsborough Antiques + Art + Design Show | Hillsborough 

November 1 – 3 | San Mateo 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.

Unity Council Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival | Oakland 

November 2 | International Boulevard from 40th Avenue to Fruitvale Avenue

For the 24th year, The Unity Council is hosting their Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival, a free, outdoor festival that brings more than 100,000 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.

Golden Gate Half Marathon & 5K | San Francisco 

November 3 | Aquatic Park

Whether you choose the half marathon or the 5K distance, this race event offers a spectacular journey through the city. Including the scenic run across the Golden Gate Bridge, racers will run along the waterfront in the Presidio and the Marina all the way to the Health & Fitness Expo in Ghirardelli Square. For full details and online registration, click here.  

Renegade San Francisco | San Francisco 

November 16 – 17 | 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!

Looking for more? 

For more fall-themed fun, check out Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area [Interactive Map], 15 Bay Area Haunted Houses to Visit this Halloween and 10 Colorful Places to See Fall Foliage Near San Francisco.

Category East Bay, Local Events, Marin County, Peninsula, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Wine Country

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McGuire Real Estate

McGuire Real Estate

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