This weekend kicks off the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations around the Bay Area and we are ready to party! Make some crafts for your loved ones and then admire the intricate maneuvers of the lion dancers. Tulips are a-bloom at PIER 39 and spring is in the air!


photo: Kalyn Gustafson

San Francisco

Celebrate the Year of the Pig at the SF Zoo
Soak up the ambiance of the occasion and marvel at traditional Chinese lion and folk dance performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily in The Depot. Go on a Zodiac Scavenger Hunt through the Zoo to learn fun facts about the animals found on the Chinese calendar. Make sure to stop by the Family Farm to see the kunekune pigs in celebration of Year of the Pig! Guests born in the Year of the Pig will receive free Zoo admission on that day. Sat.-Sun. Event details

Smell the Flowers During Tulipmania
PIER 39’s iconic floral festival, Tulipmania, returns from February 9-18 with more than 39,000 blooming tulips and other seasonal garden favorites!  Enjoy the flowers’ beauty and learn helpful gardening tips by taking free guided tours led by PIER 39’s landscaping experts. Self-guided tours can also be taken any time during Tulipmania. The tulips typically begin blooming in early February and will last through mid-March (weather dependent). Sat.-Sun. Event details.

East Bay

Annual Botanical Valentine Tea
Enjoy a Valentine’s Day celebration of herbs and flowers at this educational walk and tea party. You’ll use all of your senses as you explore the nature of these fragrant edibles, with a special opportunity to collect some for make-your-own tea party snacks and garden drinks. Finish the fun by making valentines from pressed botanical to take home. Sat. Event details.

18th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration
Join OMCA for a fortune-filled family-friendly event to welcome in the Year of the Pig. Celebrate with spectacular cultural performances, demonstrations, traditional and contemporary music and dance and delicious Asian-inspired food trucks. Explore connections among the diverse Asian cultures represented in California, including Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese and more. Sun. Event details


Choo-Choo Over to this Garden Railroad
Was you week a drag? Well then chug on over to the Bay Area Garden Railroad Society’s waist-high track featuring live steam locomotives. These railroad engines are designed to be run in anybody’s backyard garden. Many examples of old-time model steam locomotives will be seen running on the track, all the while puffing wonderful plumes of steam. Sat. Event details.

Lunar New Year Celebration
Join in this Redwood City celebration of the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Pig! The free fun will include lion dancers, martial artists, taiko drummers and other live performances, plus and arts and crafts. Sat. Event details

South Bay

February Nature Hunt and Crafts
Guides will lead young explorers on a nature hunt around this unique three-acre garden. In addition, children can enjoy nature crafts inspired by the plants and animals at Gamble. Afterwards, tour the first floor of the Gamble House as volunteer docents describe what life was like 100 years ago. Sat. Event details

Orchid Tour and Valentine’s Day Craft
Tour the colorful orchid display in Filoli’s mansion, then create a three dimensional orchid-themed Valentine’s card. Sat. Event details.

North Bay

Get Cooking in the Mud Kitchen
This new temporary exhibit at BADM is the perfect spot for children to test out their baking skills and exercise their imagination. Use pots, pans, baking sheets and even an old-school stove to whip up mud pies, mud cakes and more! Aprons are available at the entrance to Mud Kitchen and an outdoor sink is available for use. Fri.-Sun. Event details

—Kate Loweth