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NOTE: On December 6, San Francisco (and a few surrounding counties) will once again be on a stay-at-home order. This will last indefinitely. Click here for more information.
Do you love creating paper art? If so, then head to Japantown on August 25, 2019 for the annual Origami Palooza.
In its fifth year, this event features instructors that teach people of all ages and skill sets how to fold paper into amazing pieces of art. You will also find a large exhibit displaying beautiful Origami pieces, two contests, and a table dedicated to folding Paper Cranes for the World Tree of Hope in SF's City Hall.
All events are at the Japan Center Malls between 11am and 4pm. All activities are free!
One of the things that I love about this festival is that you can learn how to do Origami. Even if you have never done it before, you can stop by one of the dozens of tables to learn a few basic skills.
Are you already familiar with Origami? If so, you can head to Origami Palooza to improve your skills. They teach all levels here and it's a fun way to learn (or learn more)!
Are you already a master at paper airplanes? If so, then come to the Origami Palooza to show off your skills! It starts at 3pm.
This year's Paper Airplane Challenge is a contest to find real paper airplane masters. They award prizes for the best in the following age groups:
Origami Palooza also features a second contest. It allows you to enter your best Origami piece for a chance to win fun prizes. Judging is done for the following three age groups:
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
The Japantown area is a great place to stay if you plan to attend the Origami Palooza. There are several great hotels and all are within walking distance of this festival. Click here for my recommendations in this district.
You can also read up on current guest reviews and find some great deals for hotels on TripAdvisor. They show you what's available on top travel sites and point you to the best options for your stay. Click here to check out what's available on TripAdvisor.com.
Outside Lands Festival: One of the biggest festivals each year is the Outside Lands Event in early August. This three-day event offers live music, gourmet food, and fun with people from all around the world. Click here for details on this year's event.
Stern Grove Festival: If you love live music, you will also love the Stern Grove Summer Concert Series. From mid-June to mid-August, you can head over to Stern Grove for free concerts in the park every Sunday at 2pm. Click here for this year's schedule.
SF Theater: The SF Theater calendar is full of fun performances from top Broadway shows to smaller, more intimate presentations. Click here for all theater performances in SF this year.
Savings Tip: One of the best places to look for more events this weekend (or any day!) is on Goldstar. This online retailer offers dozens of tickets for tours and events at up to half-off the full price. It's one of my go to places to find great tickets and to save! Click here for a list of their current ticket offerings.
Sunday Streets: Get healthy at this year's Sunday Streets events. Once a month, a designated district hosts events on car free streets. It's a great way to get to know your community as well as get tips to improve your health. Click here for a schedule of this year's events.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: This festival features four to six performances each week between May and October. They include performances such as magicians, circus acts and other family-friendly shows. You can also catch a number of amazing world music shows for free each week. Click here for more details.
Union Square Live: Another way to see free performances is through Union Square Live. These events are mostly on Wednesday and Sunday from May to October. Click here for this year's calendar.
Cherry Blossom Festival: One of the must see events every year in Japantown is the Cherry Blossom Festival. This two-weekend long festival features free live performances, gourmet food, and more than a hundreds arts and crafts booths. You can also see special exhibits with traditional Japanese pieces as well as attend one of several tea ceremonies. Click here for more details.
Shopping for Traditional Japanese Items: Japantown is the best place to find traditional Japanese items. Throughout the Japan Center Malls, you will find dozens of shops with traditional tea sets, clothing and more.
Historic Walking Tour: One of my favorite things to do in Japantown is the self-guided walking tour. You will learn a lot about this area on the tour and you can go at your own pace.
Other Japantown Activities: In addition to the activities mentioned above, you will find other fun things to do each day in Japantown. Click here to learn more.
Take the 2, 3 or the 48 from Union Square. All drop you within a few blocks of Origami Palooza.
If you are coming from Fisherman's Wharf, take the 47 to Van Ness and Sutter Streets. From here, you can either walk four blocks west and two blocks south to the festival or pick up the 2 or 3 bus to finish your journey.
Take the 101 to the corner of Van Ness and Sutter Streets. From here, you can pick up the 2 or the 3 SF City Bus to the corner of Sutter and Buchanan and walk two blocks south. You can also walk four blocks west and two blocks south to find Origami Palooza.
Take BART to the 16th Street Station. From here, grab the SF Muni bus #47 to the corner of Van Ness and Sutter Streets. You can either walk six blocks from here or pick up the 2 or 3 bus to take you within two blocks of the festival.
Take BART to the Montgomery Street Station. From here, find the 38 bus on Market Street. Take this to the corner of Geary and Laguna Streets. At this point, you will walk one block north to the festival.
If you decide to drive to Origami Palooza, you will find a few parking options nearby. The most popular and best choice is the parking garage within Sundance Kabuki Theater. It sits on the west side of the Japan Center Malls.
You might also find parking within the neighborhood. Look for parking north of the Japan Center Malls along Post, Sutter or Bush Streets.