SF weekend events: Wharf Fest, Lit Crawl and here comes Halloween

SF weekend events: Wharf Fest, Lit Crawl and here comes Halloween
Photo: Savi Events Bay Area/Facebook
By Mike Pinzuti - Published on October 19, 2018.

Some of the most popular reasons people love San Francisco — great food, unique cultural events and the freedom to dress up any way you want — are all coming at you at once this weekend. 

Here's our top picks for some of the entertainment options in town this weekend.

Wharf Fest


For the sixth year in a row, bring your appetite down to the Embarcadero and dive into the Wharf Fest. Along with plenty of art, local vendors and food, the highlight is the already sold-out Chowder Competition where ticket holders can sample up to 10 different types of local chowder recipes. If you didn't land a ticket yet, there's a waitlist you can join and keep your fingers crossed. Last year's event also featured a Segway obstacle course, which should keep you busy between tastings.

When: Saturday, October 20, noon-3pm
Where: Pier 43, Fisherman's Wharf
Price: $20

Lit Crawl


"Where literature hits the streets," Lit Crawl is a pub crawl through the Mission, which brings together a whopping 500+ authors  for the city's biggest pop-up literary event. You'll get a chance to hear select readings and speak with local authors in a variety of Mission locales, including pubs, cafes, laundromats, barber shops, religious centers, consignment shops and night clubs. Plan your evening accordingly with the handy map and, if you don't want the night to stop, check out the after party at The Chapel (777 Valencia).

When: Saturday, October 20, 5-9pm
Where: The Mission (event map)
Price: Free

Halloween Parties, Haunted Houses and Dance Cruises


With Halloween less than two weeks away, expect to start seeing more costumes than you normally do. Here's some spooky fun you could get into this weekend:

  • If you prefer nautical over terrestrial scares: The 2nd Annual Cruisin' Dead Halloween party boat disembarks from Pier 40 and gives you the chance to dress up, chow down and dance the night away. (Friday, October 19, 8:30pm, $96)
  • If you're looking for more Casper and less Michael Myers: Bring the whole family to Kezar Stadium for free face painting, pumpkin decorating, games, animal balloons and plenty more at the 13th annual Children's Hootenanny, sponsored by the Haight Asbury Street Fair. (Saturday, October 20, 11am - 4pm, free)
  • If you prefer your bumps in the night to be 4D: Into the Dark: Terror Vault combines theater, haunted houses, escape rooms and special effects into a 45-minute spine-tingling experience for people 21 years old and up. Younger thrill seekers can check out the Dead Zone zombie tag game. (Sunday, October 21, 6:30-10pm, tickets start at $60)
  • If you want to dress up but don't want to skip leg day: The SF Parks and Recreation department is hosting a Zumba in the park Halloween party at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park (1199 9th Ave). Admission is free and costumes are highly encouraged. (Friday, October 19, 7pm, free)
  • If you're only reading this for the pumpkin beers: Seattle-based Elysian Brewing will be pouring its variety of pumpkin beers at the Verdi Club  (2424 Mariposa St.) for one night only. In addition to the seasonal beers, there will be a free Halloween makeup station, photo booth, live music and tons of other tricks and treats along the way. (Friday, October 19, 8pm, RSVP for free entry)

Enjoy your weekend!