(credit: Melanie Graysmith)

Looking for a mix of solemn and sweet this Easter weekend? Look no further than our own back yard as Bay Area Easter events cover it all.

(credit: Steven Restivo Event Services)


San Francisco Union Street 25th Annual
Easter Parade & Spring Celebration
Union St. between Gough St. and Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Date: March 27, 2016, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Parade begins 2 p.m., rain or shine.
Price: Free

The 25th Annual Easter Parade & Spring Celebration cheers the diversity of the City in this only-in-San Francisco wacky and wonderful take on Easter Parade festivities. It’s packed with everyone’s favorite — free events – plus kids activities, live entertainment, yummy food and the highlight of it all, the Easter Parade (2 p.m.) Also making an appearance, let’s not forget the over-the-top Easter Bonnet Contest (11:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.), a combination fashion event and Laugh In session with categories like Best in Show, Best Couple, Most Elegant, Most Comical and more.

This is no ordinary parade, as the public is invited to join in for free. Over the years, this colorful parade has seen rollerblading cows, vintage cars, inventive floats and costumed characters in the mix. Kids and family activities are available throughout the day with kid favorites bouncy houses, a climbing wall, a petting zoo and pony rides along with hands-on activities, too. Union Street restaurants will be open to serve special Easter menus in an outdoor bistro setting. Festival food darlings like corn-dogs, funnel cakes, smoothies, gyros and kettle corn will be around all day, so be sure to bring your appetite along. Visit the website for complete information, including the entertainment schedule.

(credit: Steve Restivo Events)



Glide Memorial Church
330 Ellis St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 674-6090
Date: April 5, 2015, 9 a.m. through 11 a.m.
Price: Free

Celebrate Easter like never before at Glide Memorial, San Francisco’s best-loved church noted for its year round work with the city’s poor and homeless community. Church services take place each Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with special services on major holidays like Easter. These services are truly celebrations and a local one-of-a-kind experience. If you want to be part of a service that is entirely different, uplifting and open to everyone, then join in this Easter, or volunteer to help serve the community. Arrive about 30 minutes early to snag a seat for each Glide Memorial non-traditional service. Easter at Glide Memorial Church is an experience the family can enjoy together and remember for a lifetime.

93rd Annual Easter Sunrise Service
at Mount Davidson Summit Cross
125 Dalewood Way
San Francisco, CA 94127
Date: April 5, 2015 at 6:30 a.m.
Price: Free

The Annual Easter Sunrise Service at the Mt. Davidson Summit Cross begins at 6:30 a.m. Be sure to arrive early to join thousands of locals and visitors for an Easter holiday service at the highest point in San Francisco. The best way to get there is to take a Muni train to Forest Hill Station, where you can transfer to a free shuttle ride to the service. The shuttle starts at 4:45 a.m. and runs from this Muni station every 15 minutes. Take the shuttle service for the return trip back to the station after the service to easily make your way back home.

(credit: hornblower.com)



Easter Cruises
Morning Champagne Brunch Cruise
Hornblower Cruises & Events
Pier 3, San Francisco,
Date: April 5, 2015, 11:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. Boarding begins at 11 a.m.
Price: $82/person plus tax and fees

Celebrate Easter in a most delicious way with a cruise around San Francisco Bay. Begin the day with a two-hour Morning Champagne Brunch Cruise and dig in to a hearty brunch buffet as you relax with live music during the entire cruise. Kick back and unwind with postcard perfect views along with free champagne, orange juice, coffee, tea and water while onboard. Cocktails, beer and wine are available for purchase. There’s even a promised visit from the Easter Bunny himself, so you know the day is going to be great.

(credit: hornblower.com)



Dinner Evening Cruise
Hornblower Cruises & Events
Pier 3, San Francisco
Date: April 5, 2015, 7 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. Boarding begins at 6:30 p.m.
Price: $103/person plus tax and fees

If you are looking for something extra with a bit of romance thrown in, then sail the beautiful San Francisco Bay on the Hornblower Easter Evening Dinner Cruise. This two and a half-hour evening cruise features a four-course seated dinner, along with live entertainment and dancing. Champagne, soda, coffee, tea and water are included, and cocktails, beer and wine are available to purchase.

(credit: Cruisin’ the Boulevard, Inc.)



Easter Classic Car Show
Mt. Pleasant Parking Lot
1750 S. White Road
San Jose, CA 95127
(410) 263-0406
Date: April 4, 2015, Registration 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. Show 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Price: Free to the general public, $10-$50/show registration

This benefit Classic Car Show is packed with something for the entire family, including the kids. Of course, there are tons of classic cars vying for those coveted awards, such as People’s Choice, Best of Show, Best Car, Best Low Rider Bike, and Best Bike. Enter to win big at the 50/50 Raffle and join in the Easter Egg Hunt, plus kids will have fun at the Kidzone with its jumpers, obstacle course, rock climbing, and arts & crafts to keep them smiling. There is food, entertainment and lots of vendors too, so come and enjoy a fun day this Easter weekend. All proceeds will benefit the Life Homeless Outreach of San Jose, and Inner City Dream Center of Stockton.

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art, culture and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.