Just in time for the Bay Area’s famous Indian Summer, this fall and early winter is packed with a selection of great art festivals and fairs. Sip wine and stroll a sunny suburban sidewalk or head into a massive urban pavilion packed with fine art and funky finds. There’s a festival for every art lover this season, but the following five are some of the very best the Bay has to offer.

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

September 24-25th, 2011

Mill Valley, CA

Set amidst the towering redwoods of historic Old Mill Park, The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival is a 53-year old community event that reflects the spirit of this charming Marin enclave. Scores of Festival volunteers staff the gates and information booths as hundreds of art vendors sell photographs, paintings, jewelry, leather goods, wooden artwork and gifts, sculpture and more. Live entertainment on the main stage includes bluegrass, jazz and stand-up comedy. Local schools sell everything from breakfast burritos to chow mein and be sure to bring the whole family. Not only does the playground remain open, but each day is packed with art activities for kids, face-painting and puppet shows in the ‘Children’s Grove.’

San Carlos Art and Wine Faire

October 8-9th, 2011
San Carlos, CA
San Carlos Art & Wine

Over 290 of high quality, hand-picked artists present their beautiful work for Faire goers. There will be a treasure trove of ceramics, pottery, watercolor, oil paintings, photography, wood working and jewelry. Don’t miss gourmet food, live entertainment and fabulous local wines and microbrews. Bring the little ones by the Family Fun Zone for special musical shows and activities at this sunny street faire.

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Fesitval

October 15-16th , 2011
Half Moon Bay, CA

Head down California’s Highway 1 and visit the historic seaside village of Half Moon Bay to celebrate the 40th Annual Art and Pumpkin Festival. Festivalgoers will be mesmerized by the remarkable carving of a gigantic, thousand-pound pumpkin, a special display of unique and amazing gourds, three stages of music and entertainment, a family-friendly parade, harvest-inspired crafts, pumpkin treats, lively events and contests for the whole family. Don’t forget, the search is on for your own personal pumpkin, waiting to be picked at one of the rustic pumpkin patches dotting the coast.

Celebration of Craftswomen

November 11, 12 and 13th, 2011

Fort Mason Festival Pavillion, San Francisco, CA
Celebration of Craftswomen

For thirty years, the Women’s Building Celebration of Craftswomen has allowed Bay Area residents, along with visitors from around the world to discover the work of the nation’s best female artisans and fine artists. The Celebration of Craftswomen is San Francisco’s largest holiday crafts fair and the largest event celebrating women’s artwork in the nation. Held at Fort Mason’s Herbst Pavillion and featuring lvie music and gourmet food, proceeds benefits just not the artists. The Woman’s Building serves the women and girls of San Francisco.

Renegade Craft Fair

December 2011 Date TBA

Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA

With over 200 of the nation’s finest indie-craft talents setting up shop that weekend, all of your last minute holiday-shopping needs are sure to be found at this funky and free craft, art, design and do-it-yourself spectacular! Find all sorts of incredible handmade goods at the Fair – everything from jewelry and clothing, ceramics and stationery, bath products and posters, housewares and comics, plush objects and more!