Time’s running out to perfect your Halloween 2021 look, so why not try out a few options at some fun, festive events this week? In addition to all sorts of celebratory seasonal soirees, there are plenty of educational events, lectures, exhibits and more to get you in the fall spirit.
Score one-of-a-kind collectables
The beloved San Francisco Fall Show kicks off with a collection of awe-inspiring goods from dealers from around the world. All sorts of fine and decorative arts from various periods will be up for sale — including paintings, prints, photographs and books. Presented in collaboration with InCollect, the annual event chaired by Suzanne Tucker and a team of volunteers will be fully virtual this year, so everyone has a chance to purchase a new favorite piece.
Now through Sunday, October 24
Hear a conversation between queer writers on the impact of AIDS in America
The San Francisco Public Library hosts award-winning writer Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore in a panel discussing her new anthology, Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing up with the AIDS Crisis. Alongside contributors Robert Birch, Keiko Lane, Aaron Nielsen and Andrew R. Spieldenner, Sycamore will discuss the book — which includes 36 personal essays on the ongoing impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in queer lives.
Wednesday, October 20, 7 p.m.
Boogie down at this burlesque and circus variety show and dance party
San Francisco’s cabaret and dance party Apothecary Raree presents Dark Roots, a chance to celebrate the season with plenty of burlesque, circus and variety performances. Electro-swing and neo-vintage sounds will be booming and acclaimed artist Cellista will celebrate her new operatic fairytale, Pariah, featuring collaborations with soprano Carla Canales and composer Mazz Swift.
Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m.
Get to know a legendary painter through the words of an award-winning author
Author Gabrielle Selz will discuss her newest book, Light on Fire: The Life and Art of Sam Francis, with writer, critic and teacher Paul Wilner (who regularly contributes to the Nob Hill Gazette). The biography examines the life of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists, the American painter credited with bringing abstract expressionism to Paris. Selz drew on exclusive interviews and private correspondences to create the masterpiece, and the result is an intimate portrait of a man full of contradictions.
Thursday, October 21, 5:30 p.m.
Explore the City through a literary lens
It’s that time again — Lit Crawl, the annual, massive, one-night literary pub crawl through San Francisco’s Mission District is back! Started in 2004, the unique experience allows bookworms and writing connoisseurs the chance to attend an eclectic mix of readings and events in a variety of venues, from bars and cafes to galleries and bookstores (not to mention unexpected locations like police stations, tattoo parlors and laundromats).
Saturday, October 23, 5–9 p.m.
Take in the sweet sounds of a classical staple
Symphony San Jose continues its 20th anniversary season with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Times Two). Violinist Christina Mok along with the orchestra capture each season of the year in this renowned masterwork, and composer Astor Piazzolla will also pay a Nuevo Tango tribute with violinist Lara St. John as lead.
Saturday, October 23, 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 24, 2:30 p.m.
Go on an interactive nature walk fit for the whole family
Take a walk through San Mateo’s Central Park and enjoy an interactive reading experience courtesy of Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago. All ages are welcome to join in for the adventure which will include corresponding activities along the way.
Now through Monday, November 1, 12 p.m.
Enjoy an outdoor show set against an iconic landscape
The San Francisco International Arts Festival presents two days of outdoor performances at Fort Mason this weekend. On Saturday, pack a picnic and start your weekend with a classical music lunchtime performance from Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Take in the sounds of Zoltán Kodály‘s Duo for Violin and Cello Op. 7, and the sights of the Bay as viewed from Black Battery Point.
Saturday, October 23, 12 p.m.
Get your best costume prepped and ready
There’s no better time of year to attend a block party in the City, so stop by the first annual Ocean Avenue Halloween Fair for games and prizes, live DJs, a costume contest and a photo booth to snap wicked selfies. This event is organized by the OMI Cultural Participation Project, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing arts and culture to the Oceanview-Merced Heights-Ingleside neighborhoods.
Saturday, October 23, 12–3 p.m.
Sing along live with this iconic band
Get ready to sing your heart out! Head over to the Chase Center for an evening with The Eagles. The acclaimed, genre- and generation-defying band will play all the major hits — including, of course, karaoke favorite “Hotel California.” The group’s last album, 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden featured their first new music in 28 years and earned the musicians two Grammys.
Friday, October 22, and Saturday, October 23, 8 p.m.