(credit: Steven Restivo Event Services)

Easter and spring are naturals together, as the arrival of Easter signals that spring is on its way. Easter holiday events open the door for kids and their families and friends to celebrate Easter and the beginning of spring and warmer days. Read on for five ways to celebrate Easter 2014 in San Francisco.

Union Street’s 23rd Annual Spring Celebration & Easter Parade
Union St. from Gough St. to Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94123

Date: Sunday April 20, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This 23rd annual event highlights San Francisco’s diversity and features Union Street, one of the city’s best-known areas for restaurants and stylish shops. The rain-or-shine event is known as the Biggest Little Parade in San Francisco, with a variety of children and family activities along with entertainment from some of the Bay Area’s absolute best musicians. Beginning at 10 a.m., fun for kids means an Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Hat Contest, inflatable bounces, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, a hands-on children’s activities area, costumed characters and a lot more. Not your normal street fair or typical parade, this Easter Day celebration can best be described as wacky, wonderful, elegant and fabulous all at once. Nowhere else can you find roller-blading cows along with sophisticated fashions, mini-floats, garden areas and an Easter Bonnet Contest. This is definitely a special event for the entire family to enjoy. Come on over to Union Street to see and experience it for yourself.

The 92nd Annual Sunrise Service at Mount Davidson
Mount Davidson Cross
125 Dalewood Way
San Francisco, CA 94127

Date: April 20, 2014 at 7 a.m.

The 92nd Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Mount Davidson, which begins at 7 a.m., is a long-time favorite Easter Sunday meeting spot for welcoming the day. Join 50,000 other locals and visitors alike for a non-denominational service at San Francisco’s highest point. The easiest way to get to this spot is by taking a Muni train to Forest Hill station where you can then hop on a free shuttle ride to the service. The shuttle service starts at 4:45 a.m. and runs from this particular Muni station every 15 minutes. After the service, hop back on the shuttle for a ride back to the Muni station. This family-friendly excursion can be an adventure for the kids, and just may start a new family tradition.

Glide Memorial Church
330 Ellis St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 674-6000

Date: April 20, 2014

Experience an Easter celebration like none other at Glide Memorial, San Francisco’s big-hearted and well-loved church known for its work with the city’s poor and homeless every day of the year. Celebration services take place every Sunday at 9 a.m and 11 a.m, with special services on major holidays like Easter. Arrive about 30 minutes early in order to grab a seat for each Glide Memorial non-traditional service. Glide, a local favorite, draws many volunteers who help serve meals to the community’s poor each week. Take the kids and join in this one-of-a-kind church experience.

2014 SF Cherry Blossom Festival
Post St. between Laguna St. and Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 563-2313

Dates: April 12-13, 19-20, 2014

This year marks the 47th festival for this wildly popular cultural event. Known as one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian culture and traditions, the Cherry Blossom Festival draws more than 200,000 people over two weekends to attend an amazing display of traditional foods, cultural arts, crafts and performances and to showcase the diversity of the Japanese American Community. A highlight of the event is the Grand Parade held on the final Sunday of the festival, which falls on April 20, Easter this year. The Parade begins at City Hall and makes its way to Japantown where it concludes and signals a grand finale to the festive celebration. While not an Easter event itself, the closing celebration on Easter gives kids and their families an opportunity to enjoy the spirit of holiday, family and tradition in a spirited and friendly way.

Beach Blanket Babylon
678 Green St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 421-4222

Date: April 20, 2014 from 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Join the Beach Blanket Babylon cast for its April 20 matinee performance that is open for all ages and makes for a family perfect holiday celebration. America’s longest-running musical comedy review, Beach Blanket Babylon has been incredibly popular from its start way back in the 1970s. With its ever-changing satirical songs, dances and outrageous costumes and hats, the show is a fast paced, non-stop encounter with pop-culture characters from politics, entertainment, sports and even royalty. No one is off-limits for this amazing cast. The under-21 crowd is welcome at Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Visit the website for more information and to buy tickets.

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