Millbrae Art & Wine Festival (credit: Miramar Events)
What are you doing Labor Day weekend? Lucky for you, being in the San Francisco Bay Area means there is no shortage of fantastic things to do, places to go and things to see and hear, with music all around. Try one of these five suggestions for a goodbye to summer fun weekend around the Bay.
44th Annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival
Millbrae, CA 94030
Dates: Sep. 3 – 4, 2016
This widely popular happening is a blast, and it’s the Bay Area’s largest and best Labor Day weekend event. The 2016 Last Blast of Summer event showcases a huge Mardi Gras–style festival pulsating downtown Millbrae streets with over 250 artists, festive and artisan specialty foods, a microbrew tasting tent, fine wines and margaritas, tons of live entertainment with a great musical lineup, a totally awesome kids’ area including zip-liners, bungee jumps, Waterballerz, children’s rides and amusements, and a “Classically Cool Car Show,” but that’s not all. Check out the fine art, cool crafts and the Organic, Healthy & Green products showcase where festival-goers can get free product samples for a greener lifestyle. The proceeds from the festival help fund the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce, whose dedicated efforts and volunteers make this event a reality each year.
Scottish Highland Gathering & Games
Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Date: Sept. 3, 2016 – Sept. 4, 2016
It’s the largest Scottish Gathering & Games in the Northern Hemisphere, see Championship Heavy Event athletic skills to semi-pro soccer and everything in between, this two day event has it all presented in the most family friendly manner. Learn about the rich Scottish culture and heritage, hear traditional and Celti rock , plus more than 35 pipe bands, taste authentic Scottish food, and take away some happy memories that will last a life time.
Free Shakespeare In The Park
The Presidio’s Civil War Parade Ground
Between Graham St. & Keyes Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94129
Date: Sept. 3, 2016 – Sept. 18, 2016 – Saturdays & Sundays and Labor Day Monday at 2:00pm
The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival has been bringing professional, free performances of Shakespeare’s greatest works to diverse audiences around the Bay Area and beyond for over 20 years. The festival has grown to be one of the nation’s top free Shakespeare producers, and is an important regional arts organization. This year’s free play is “The Winter’s Tale,” described as one of Shakespeare’s most luminous and heartbreaking, tragic and gloriously funny plays ever written. This is a terrific opportunity to introduce kids to the wit and wonderful story telling that is Shakespeare.
64th Annual Sausalito Art Festival
Sausalito, CA 94966
Date: Sept. 3 – Sept. 5, 2016
The 64th Annual Sausalito Art Festival is a Labor Day weekend event that brings together over 30,000 art lovers to one of the top art festivals in the United States to view and purchase work of 270 artists from across the country. The artwork exhibited includes paintings, woodwork ceramics, mixed media, photography, jewelry, glass, fiber arts and more. The juried show features artists both local and highly respected artists from across the country and Canada. Listen to continuous live music from more than 20 local and national bands on two stages while enjoying yummy international food and premium California wines — of course — plus top microbrews and Stella Artois, the Main Stage sponsor. A Beer Garden, making a fantastic event even better. Visit the website for complete information.
Related: Best Labor Day Weekend Events For Kids In San Francisco
Walking Tours by
San Francisco City Guides
c/o San Francisco Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
City Guides, a group of knowledgeable local volunteers “who love the City, its history, lore and legend,” are eager to take you on amazing tours all around San Francisco, and share what they know and adore with you. Select from a list of tours or select a neighborhood to explore here. Labor Day weekend tours include Pacific Heights Mansions, Coit Tower Murals, Castro: Tales of the Village, Haight-Ashbury, Gold Rush City, Japanese Tea Garden, 1906 Earthquake and Fire, North Beach by Night and much more. See the Labor Day weekend tour schedule here.
Union Square Live
333 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Date: Sept. 4, 2016
San Francisco’s Union Square steps up its energy every Spring through Fall with Union Square Live, a variety of free cultural performances on Wednesdays and Sundays when you can enjoy downtown San Francisco al fresco in Union Square. Performance events range all over the map and include salsa dancing, blues sounds, swing music and dance, jazz sounds, circus arts, country music, film nights, Filipino world music, opera, tango dancing, Hawaiian music and traditional dance, Brazilian music and so much more. Labor Day weekend 2016 brings Orquesta Z onstage, made up of Bay Area musicians who loves Argentine tango! Visit the website to view the entire 2016 event lineup.
Related: Best Labor Day Celebrations In The Bay Area
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.