Memorial Day Weekend is here and we’re hitting a good stride on our way to summer. We know you’re excited and so are we because this long weekend is packed with parades, lives tunes and plenty of food, food, food. Maybe we’ll catch you sampling salsa at a taco party in San Jose, kicking back at a lake-side music festival or blowing goodnight kisses to San Francisco’s favorite penguins. Away we go!
Photo by Bob Hirschfeld
Penguins and Pajamas Sleepover at the Academy
Experience your own night at the museum. Explore the exhibits after-hours and discover the deepest depths of the oceans, travel to the tops of rainforests, blast off into outer space at your own private planetarium show, and then settle in for story time after snacking on milk and cookies. When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag next to the swaying kelp of the California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for breakfast. Fri. 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sat. California Academy of Sciences. $89-$109. Ages 5-17. Event details.
Head to Niñolandia at SF’s Carnaval Festival and Parade
The 38th annual Carnaval San Francisco is a free 2-day family Festival and Parade packed with the best of Latin American and Caribbean cultural arts and traditions.The largest multi-cultural festival on the West Coast, Carnaval features global cuisine, international music, dance, arts & crafts, Niñolandia with children’s activities for the kids and more. The Grand Parade is on Sunday, May 29, at 9:30 a.m. Sat.-Sun. Free. All ages. Event details.
Salute Veterans at this Memorial Day Parade
Join veterans, families and the community for the annual Memorial Day grand march and ceremony at the Presidio to honor the history and commitment of service men and women. The Grand March with veterans and the 191st Army Band begins at 10:30 a.m. from the Presidio Officers’ Club with a formal program to follow at 11 AM at the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. A 21-Gun Salute by the U.S. Army’s Pacific Training Division will take place at noon at Pershing Square, Main Post. A free tour of the cemetery will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Meet at the large tree near the cemetery crossroads. 18. Mon. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
Watch the Warriors Score on the Big Screen
Want to cheer on the Warriors NBA Playoffs among your fellow fans? Alameda Theatre is hosting Warriors Watch Parties on the big screen for just a dollar per person. Tickets are available at the box office beginning at 10:30 a.m. every game day. Games tip off at 6 p.m. Let’s go Warriors! (Monday game is if necessary).
Sat. and Mon. 6 p.m. Alameda Theater. $1 per person. All ages. Event details.
Kick It Kid Style At An Indie Music Fest
This EMF, or the 3rd Annual Eastlake Music Festival is warming up for its next crowd-funded show. This pay-what-you-wish all ages music and cultural festival features indie bands and performance artists along the shores of Lake Merritt for just one sunny day. So pack a picnic blanket and don’t forget to get your groove on, kids. Sat. 1-9 p.m. Lake Merritt Blvd. Amphitheater, Oakland. Pay as you like, all ages. Event details.
We’re Not Kidding About This Festival
This is it, kids. It’s all for you, well mostly you, from dozens of activities for littles as well as tweens to parents including face painting, balloon art, bounces and crawls. The 27th Annual Kidfest in Concord has hundreds of arts and crafts booths and non-stop entertainment on the community stage, plus food courts, a zip line, rides, you might need to go to all three days of this festival just to take everything in. Sat.-Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mt. Diablo High School campus in Concord. $6-$7; 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Maria, You’ll Never Stop Singing Maria!
The Mountain Play (and the most magical theater experience in this neck of the woods) is presenting the crazy tough, really cool, oh-so love struck musical West Side Story. Based on Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s infamous play about ill-fated young love, West Side Story is a Broadway classic written by Arthur Laurents. In addition to the headline show, preshow activities and musical acts provide entertainment for the whole family. Each day has a special theme with preshow entertainment at 12:30 p.m. Children of all ages will love the puppet shows of Fratello Marionettes. Puppet show times are 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on all show dates.g. Sun. Pre-shows begins at 11:30 a.m.; show starts at 2 p.m. The Cushing Memorial Amphitheater in Mill Valley. $20-$40, 3 and under are free. All ages. Event details
Get Into the Groove For Folks Sake
Join some of Marin Country Mart’s favorite pickers for a performance of folk, America, Appalachian and bluegrass music every Sunday afternoon at the mart. Joshua Smith leads a small ensemble of some of the area’s finest Bluegrass musicians. His sidemen have played with a Who’s Who of the Bluegrass world, including Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, and beyond. Come by for a performance of riveting songs and instrumental fiddle tunes played by the Dried Up Bones. Sun. 12:30-2:30 p.m. Marin Country Mart, Larkspur. Free. All ages. Event details.
March to the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade
Bust out the red, white, and blue and join the town of Mill Valley in honoring Veterans everywhere. Kids can collect candy, watch a wonderful parade and enjoy creative floats as well as inventive window displays. Mon. 10 a.m. Old Mill Park to Mt. Tamalpais High School. Free. All ages. Event details.
Whack a Pinata At This Spicy Taco Festival
School of Rock San Jose is a group of seriously cool and crazy-good kid musicians. In this newest performance called Rock 2K they’ll rehash some of the most memorable songs from the early parts of the 2000s such as Blink 182, My Chemical Romance, System Of A Down, Jimmy Eat World and Avril Lavigne. We salute you! Sat., Noon-7 p.m. History Park San Jose. $2.99-$34.99; Kids 3 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Get Fungi With It
Taste the star of this fungus festival, the mushroom, in soups, sandwiches as well as deep-fried, marinated, over rice, stuffed with all kinds of goodness and way more. The Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival, now in its 37th year, features family fun from arts and crafts cooking demos, strolling musicians, street performers and more. Local mushroom growers are hosting educational exhibits and there will be plenty of just-picked, locally-grown portabella, crimini and white mushrooms souvenirs to take home for dinner. Sat. 1- a.m.- 7p.m. p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Downtown Morgan Hill. City National Civic. $15-$85ree. All ages. Event details.
Ditch Your Saturday Cartoons For Nature
Take a hike! Yeah, we said it. It’s the best way to check out Filoli’s incredible nature preserve which consists of seven-plus miles of trails that criss-cross six different California native habitats. Nature education docents from Filoli will guide these two-hour, afternoon tours through the preserve, discussing plants, flowers and wildlife along the way. Fee includes admission to the regular gardens. Bring water, snacks and SPF. Sat. 1-3p.m. Fioli, Woodside. $10-$20. All ages. Event details.
This Roastest Is The Mostest
Get piggy with it at the Memorial Day Weekend Pig Roast at Domencio Winery. This all-inclusive event includes live music, beverages as well as the winemaker’s bbq and a pig roast. Don’t forget to come hungry! Sun. 1-4 p.m. Domenico Winery, San Carlos. $25-$50; children 5 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Do you have any favorite Memorial Day Weekend traditions? Tell us all about them in the comments below!