San Francisco Events in October 2013

Best Halloween Activities, Fleet Week Tips and Other Things to Do in SF

The weather is gorgeous in the city in October. You will also find several fun outdoor activities this month.

The top San Francisco Events in October 2013 include Fleet Week, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Open Studios. Other SF things to do include the Castro Street Fair, Halloween events, and the Ghost Engine Tour (offered only in October).

Half-Priced Tickets & Other Discounts for October

Goldstar is an online ticket agency that sells half-priced tickets for upcoming events and activities such as tours, theater performances and museum admissions. They are my go to resource to save money on all tickets for SF events.

Here are the top half-priced tickets for this month:

  • 2-Hour Champagne or Mimosa Cruise Around the Bay
    • Cruise the bay and see top SF attractions such as Alcatraz, Fort Mason and Fort Point
    • Raise your glass in a toast at 11:00am as you ride under the Golden Gate Bridge
    • See other sites along the way such as Sausalito, Angel Island and the SF Bay Bridge
    • Sit back, relax and as you enjoy two complimentary drinks such as champagne, mimosas, beer, white wine or soda
    • Most Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am (check-in between 9:30am and 9:45am)

  • Enjoy the Day in the Waterfront Towns of Monterey & Carmel
    • Day trip from San Francisco to both Monterey & Carmel
    • Cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway which includes some views of the Pacific Ocean
    • Spend two hours in Monterey's Cannery Row
    • Take the famous 17-Mile Drive where you will see glimpses of the famous Pebble Beach golf course as well as high-end homes
    • Stop again at Carmel-by-the-Sea and enjoy an hour in this cute, waterfront village

  • Grand City Tour of San Francisco
    • 3.5 hour tour of the top sites of the city
    • Learn more about the Victorians of Alamo Square, Fisherman's Wharf and Coit Tower
    • Cruise past the Marina District, the Palace of Fine Arts and Chinatown
    • Stop at Vista Point for gorgeous pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge
    • Make a second stop at Twin Peaks for an amazing panoramic of the entire city
    • Offered daily at 9:15am, 11:15am and 2:15pm

*Additional fees may apply

Halloween in SF

halloween in sfThousands of people travel to SF every year to celebrate Halloween. This year, it falls on a Thursday night, which means there will be even more parties and activities. Here you will find some of the best things to do on Halloween for 2013 including everything from 21+ parties to family friendly activities.

Learn More: Halloween in SF 2013

Haunted House of Horrors

mint haunted houseDo you love to get scared silly? If so, then head over to The Old Mint for Screams Galore: The Haunted House of Horrors. This historic building will be transformed into 25 rooms of terror.

This night of 'live-interaction' also includes an interactive movie theater with all the classics, a creepy candy store and Dracula's blood bar.

Ghost Engine Tour

ghost engine tourJoin Fire Engine Tours for a 90-minute ghost tour through the Presidio. This old army base covers several acres and has dozens of spooky stories.

This tour runs twice a night from October 1 - 31. Tickets are already on sale for all dates in 2013!

Theater & Best of Broadway Shows

wizard of ozThis month, you can see several theater performances. One of the largest is The Wizard of Oz. This classic follows the adventures of Tinman, Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and her dog, Toto. Other Broadway shows this month include the musical 1776, an intriguing ghost story called Underneath the Lintel and Beautiful, a musical about the life of Carole King.

More Performances: Full October 2013 Theater Calendar

SF Symphony Performs Dvorak & Schumann with Pianist Martin Helmchen

sf symphonyHead over to Davis Symphony Hall on October 17, 19 or 20 as the SF Symphony performs Dvorak & Schumann with Pianist Martin Helmchen.

Tickets for these performances are up to half-off on Goldstar.

Learn More: Full SF Symphony Calendar for October

SF Opera Performances

sf operaThis month, you can catch one of several shows by the SF Opera. Early in the month, you can see a few performances of Mephistopheles and Dolores Claiborne. The rest of the month, you can also see performances of both Falstaff and The Flying Dutchman.

Learn More: More Details on All October Performances

SF Concerts & Live Music

live musicSan Francisco is one of the best places to catch a live show. Top concerts this month include KT Tunstall at The Chapel, Bryan Adams at the Warfield and Moody Blues at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. You can also catch several performers at the Treasure Island Music Festival in mid-October.

Learn More: All Concerts in October

Two SF 49ers Games

49ersThis is the last season the 49ers will play their games within the city of San Francisco, so I highly recommend catching one of their games this year. In October, there are two home games at Candlestick Park. The first is on Sunday, October 6 at 5:30pm against the Houston Texans. The second game is on Sunday, October 13 against the Arizona Cardinals.

More: San Francisco 49ers Schedule & Tips to Attend a Game

Castro Street Fair on October 6

castro flag in sfHead over to the Castro District for the Annual Castro Street Fair on Sunday, October 6. From 11am to 6pm, enjoy live music, dancing in the streets and gourmet treats. You can also stroll almost a hundred booths with unique arts and crafts. A small entrance fee, that is donated to local non-profits, is requested at each entry gate.

Learn More: Full Musical Line Up & Fair Details

Free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in 2013

hardly strictly bluegrassOne of the largest music festivals in San Francisco is Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. This free, three day concert is on October 4, 5 and 6, 2013 in Golden Gate Park. Headliners for this year's show include Chris Isaak, Boz Scaggs and Bonnie Raitt. More than 30 bands will perform throughout the weekend.

Learn More: Full Line Up & Tips to Attend the 2013 Festival

MythBusters: Behind the Myths

mythbustersJoin Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, hosts of the Discovery Channel series "MythBusters", on October 12 at the Orpheum Theater for a behind the scenes look at the show. This exciting event will include on-stage experiments, audience participation, rocking videos and other behind the scenes stories. It's a once in a lifetime chance to also join these two stars on stage and assist them with some of their experiments.

Open Studios 2013

union squareAnother one of the popular, annual San Francisco events in October 2013 is Open Studios. During most weekends in October, you get the chance to take a sneak peak at hundreds of artists studios. Each one also has their original art for sale. Even if you aren't in the market for some new art, it's fun to mix and mingle with local SF artists.

Learn More: Open Studios 2013

Pier 39's Anniversary Party

pier 39On October 4, SF's famed Pier 39 celebrates its 35th Anniversary. Help them celebrate on October 5, 12, 19 and 26. On these days, you will find live music and other entertainment along the pier. Pier 39 is home to dozens of shops, restaurants and the popular Sea Lions. You will also find the family friendly Aquarium of the Bay.

More: Top Attractions & Activities at Pier 39

Brews on the Bay

jeremiah o'brienOn October 19, the San Francisco Brewers Guild invites you to attend Brews on the Bay. This annual event features beers from more than 50 different breweries. This unique SF event is held on the SS Jeremiah O'Brien. From 12pm to 5pm, you can jump aboard to enjoy your craft brews and soak in the sites of some of SF's most popular attractions. In addition, street food trucks will line up along the pier, so you can taste some of the best eats in the city!

More: See Pics & Find Out What It's Like on the SS Jeremiah O'Brien

Union Square Live

union square liveHave you always wanted to learn how to dance salsa or tango? Do you love listening to up-and-coming local bands? If so, then check out the events at this year's Union Square live. This free, ongoing festival offers music, theater and other performances most Wednesdays and Sundays.

More: Full 2013 Calendar of Performances for Union Square Live

Treasure Island Music Festival

treasure islandOne of the largest music festivals in the area is on Treasure Island in October. The Treasure Island Music Festival is a two-day event on October 19 & 20, 2013. More than 20 arts will perform including Atoms for Peace, Beck and the Animal Collective.

Learn More: Full Line Up, Tips to Attend & Ticket Info

Fleet Week 2013

fleet week 2013Fleet Week is typically one of the largest events in SF every October. However, with the Blue Angels cancelling all shows for 2013, this year's Fleet Week will include events at a reduced level. Most activities scheduled are part of the Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response efforts.

Learn More: Fleet Week 2013

Litquake: San Francisco's Literary Festival

litquakeLitquake is the premier event for all book lovers. This year's events will take place from October 11 - 19. This annual literary festival includes book readings, authors discussions and several other interesting events. This year's full schedule is not yet available, but should be posted soon.

Learn More: Litquake Website

Grand National Rodeo

grand rodeoThis year's Grand National Rodeo in SF is on October 18 & 19 and 25 & 26. This annual event is once again being held at the Cow Palace in Daly City at 2600 Geneva Avenue (just to the south of the city of San Francisco).

The rodeo starts at 7:30pm each night.

Whale Watching Tours

whale watchingAnother one of my favorite things to do in October is go on a whale watching tour. It's sunny most of the month and you will also find calm waters. Humpback and blue whales are the most common ones you will see this time of year. You will also get the chance to see schools of dolphins and maybe even a killer whale (orca) or two.

Tickets: Find More Details & Book Your Tickets Today

Free Museum Days in October

Most of the top SF museums offer a free admission day every month. Here are the days when you can visit them at no charge.

Date Museums with Free Admission
Tuesday, October 1
Wednesday, October 2
Thursday, October 3
Sunday, October 6
Tuesday, October 8
Sunday, October 13

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