An afternoon of German music, dancing, games, auto displays, and, of course, fine German beers
Up to 30% Off Newark OktoberFest Package
Newark OktoberFest 2014
Up to 68% Off at the San Francisco Green Festival
Browse 250+ eco-friendly businesses and explore a weekend of cooking demos, kids' activities, inspirational speakers, and live music
BANFF Mountain Film Festival Radical Reels Tour – Up to 40% Off
2014 BANFF Mountain Film Festival "Radical Reels Tour"
Short-film festival celebrates extreme athletes from around the world
Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival—the longest-running film festival in the Americas—San Francisco Film Society feeds the cinematic passions of fans, filmmakers, and students, showcasing more than 300 films every year. The Film Enthusiast membership entitles movie mavens to a plethora of perks worth rubbing in the noses of adversarial cinephiles who won’t stop boasting about how much popcorn they can eat in one sitting. Members also get the skinny on San Francisco International Film Festival special events and screenings, running April 21-May 5.
From November 23 through January 6, inside California’s Great America theme park will be transformed into a Global Winter Wonderland complete with twinkling displays of rainbow Christmas trees, snowmen, and Santa Town. A highlight of the seasonal event, the Holiday Lantern Festival sets the night aglow with eco-friendly LED and fluorescent lanterns, some of which stand more than 50 feet tall. Joining the lanterns—which have graced international sites including the Statue of Liberty, the London Bridge, and an Egyptian pyramid—are laser light shows, martial-arts displays, and acrobatic performances, all of which enhance the festive atmosphere of the holiday celebration.
At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.
Pinot noirs and chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. They host weddings, festivals, and open events such as Pathway to Pinot Paradise, a self-guided tour of the pinot noir hotspots.
The show features low prices on a plethora of name-brand golfing clubs, equipment, and accessories, as well as a free indoor driving range, goody bags and free giveaways, skills contests, and free lessons from NCPGA pros. Socialize with fellow ball-floggers as you witness new-product demonstrations and improve your skills by trying out brand-new discounted clubs at the indoor driving range. The first 1,000 customers each day receive a free round of golf at Spring Valley Golf Course and a sleeve of balls from Bridgestone Golf.
Because the ticket is a G-Pass, Groupon customers can use it to enter the venue directly; they will not need to redeem their Groupon at will call.
Peninsula Oktoberfest patrons gather each year in celebration of the quintessential autumnal combination of frothy beer, invigorating live music, and Germany’s timeless epicurean treats. After reflecting upon the brisk fall air or the practicality of lederhosen as business wear, guests can refuel thinking caps with authentic German fare and culinary craftwork by local vendors including Bavarian Pretzel Works, Harry's Hofbrau, and Olde Tyme Kettle Korn. German beer from the Spaten flows cordially into patrons' glasses, whereas local breweries such as Devil's Canyon Brewing Company and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. keep taste buds soaked with seasonal stein stuffers. Triple Voodoo Brewing, Lucky Hand Beer, and Uncommon Brewers also keep patrons supplied with specialty beers and secret handshakes, and musicians such as The Internationals integrate authentic accordion notes and brass harmonies to tempt visitors' ears.
At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.
The Alameda County Fair Association provides entertainment through daily horse races, live music concerts, food, kids' attractions, competitive exhibits, livestock awards, and more. Bring family, friends, and ribbon-worthy swine to enjoy activities like pig races, tractor races, dog races, food-eating races, and an anticlimactic petting-zoo race. This year's fair boasts an eclectic lineup of performers, such as the renowned Beatles cover band BeatleMajesty, Grand Funk Railroad, Lonestar, and War. The range of activities at the fastest-growing fair in America is so vast, it makes the great plains seem like the plain plains.
If you?ve ever wanted to go back in time, but didn?t have access to a wormhole, Valhalla Renaissance Faire is your next best bet. This annual festival showcases a reimagined Renaissance, complete with Queen Elizabeth I and her court, Master Shakespeare, princesses, fairies, a hard-hitting armored joust, and a town full of colorful characters. To experience every nook and cranny of this vast fair, guests can eat ye olde turkey legs and shop for leather wears and carved tankards. Live shows take place on three stages and feature the Naughty Minstrels, Captain Jack, and the Universe According to Galileo. And no visit to Elizabethan England is complete without seeing the queen, who may also make the occasional appearance to knight a brave warrior or banish a dragon from the realm.
The Ives Quartet's musicians—violinists Bettina Mussumeli and Susan Freier, violist Jodi Levitz. and cellist Stephen Harrison—wash two intimate venues with unexpected selections. One of Haydn's famous Prussian quartets opens the program with rich interplay between instruments and instantly accessible melodies before Quincy Porter's String Quartet no. 6 spotlights a 20th-century take on the classical form. To help perform Tchaikovsky's energetic Souvenir of Florence sextet and feed the metronomes during the earlier pieces, violist and co-founder of the Moab Music Festival Leslie Tomkins wields her bow alongside guest cellist Tanya Tomkins of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
Sandy Raulston and Ted Birbilis have lived in the world of art and antiques together for almost three decades. They've sold pieces in old farmhouses and and participated in The Los Angeles Modernism Show. They're particularly skilled with antiques, classifying and valuing entire collections in one easy sweep, and they now preside over the LA Living: Modern to Classic Antiques Show.
At that show, a range of aesthetic movements are represented, from industrialism to folk art. The designers themselves are just as varied, ranging from pop artists to Native American craftsmen. Oil paintings, of colorful landscapes and sepia country churches, hang above a tangle of art in every medium imaginable. There are carved canes, colorful instruments, vases, and furniture, glossy wooden masks and vintage-looking lamps, all curated by Sandy and Ted.
Though the Lumière brothers and Thomas Edison are often credited with groundbreaking discoveries that paved the way for modern cinema, history sometimes leaves out a key player: photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Commissioned to find out whether horses lifted all four legs off the ground while galloping, Muybridge invented a device called the zoopraxiscope to display his photographed findings. His first zoopraxiscope screening was held in Palo Alto in 1879, making the city the birthplace of film.
To honor Muybridge’s work, as well as the technological innovations bubbling throughout Silicon Valley, the Palo Alto International Film Festival was born in 2011. It focuses not only on new technology, but on breakthroughs in artistic expression, screening a collection of films from around the world. They range from major Hollywood releases, such as 2012’s Looper, to independent works, such as George Lucas’s home videos of himself practicing light-saber moves in his garage. Outside the theater, visitors can mingle at an array of talks, film workshops, and parties.
Pro Tip: Bring your friends, bring the kids, bring your appetite for good food, music, brews, and bring sunblock
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Classic cars, crafts, Microbrews, Music,
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Newark's sixth annual SummerFest assembles the best pieces of previous seasons into a single incredible street festival. The prime attraction continues to be a full, two-day line-up of live musicians with craft brewers in surrounding stalls pouring their creations. The marketplace features more than a few brews, though. Artists and crafters peddle their wares, and local community service organizations put together exhibits where guests can learn about their missions. As always, auto enthusiasts can find a selection of classic cars on display, metallic muscle carefully restored and preserved. Kids, on the other hand, can find entertainment suiting their tastes in the KidZone play area, which features inflatable playsets.
MoodTu fest draws yearly crowds of youngsters from ages 12 to 19 to a Memorial-weekend day of fun. Combining live music from up-and-coming teen sensations, displays from fashion brands and music companies, a kids' cook-off, and a pack of family-friendly activities, MoodTu sets youngsters and parents loose in The Warfield. Visiting colleges and universities also chip in, enticing older teens to start their school search and providing a unique opportunity for parents to help interest their kids in further education while attempting to breakdance.
In the current landscape of big-box stores and chain restaurants, many fear the dissolution of the small business. The worry is understandable, as many of these local ventures are what give cities, towns, and neighborhoods their distinctive flavor. It doesn't help that, on average, only 13% of the money spent at corporately-owned emporiums actually finds its way back to the community. This means that 87% of the dollars spent find themselves in a faraway bank account with nothing but a distant memory of the newborn pennies they left behind at home. When people give local shops and restaurants their business, however, an average of 45% of their money goes toward keeping the area and its unique culture thriving.
Fueled by this understanding, the folks at Localize It! helm The Alameda Summer Stroll, an evening of neighborhood appreciation, art, and live music. During certain days throughout the season, participants meander along several streets of the bay-adjacent burg to peruse the goods from local operations and sample locally crafted food, beer, and wine. They can even participate in a wine tasting and food pairings, as well as take advantage of discounts at area restaurants, such as Pasta Pelican, Calafia Taqueria, and East Ocean Seafood Restaurant. Along the way, neighborhood crawlers can stop to take in the musical strains of Jim Parodi and Friends or admire masterpieces by local Alameda and Oakland artists.