30 Things To Do in the Bay Area this November

November (like every month since March) is looking a bit weird this year. But the ongoing pumpkin season does not have to be canceled — you can still get up, get out and get festive this fall with these fun November events happening around Bay Area.

November 1: Halloween Food Drive-Thru Spooktacular


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Trick or treat yourself at the Marin Center Halloween Fair Food Drive-Thru at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael. The Spooktacular will be open from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekends. Don your costumes and prepare to be spooked with family-friendly haunted surprises and activities all while staying inside your car.

November 2: Talking Politics with Jerry Brown

Join the San Francisco Chronicle for a series of live-streamed discussions, featuring reporters from across the newsroom and their guests. The Chronicle will unpack the issues on the ballot, examine the roles of women and race in 2020, and provide the latest updates on how to vote safely and more. The day before the election, Chronicle Senior Political Writer Joe Garofoli will talk politics and with Former California Governor Jerry Brown. 

November 3: Free admission to SF Conservatory of Flowers


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Whether you’re a native San Franciscan, a visitor from the other side of the world, or a budding botanist, the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park offers an intimate, up-close experience with nearly 2,000 species of rare, exotic and endangered plants from more than 50 different countries. Opened in 1879, the wood and glass greenhouse is the oldest existing conservatory of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Admission is normally $7 for SF residents ($10-12 for everyone else), but it’s free to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month. And remember to vote!

November 4: Diablo Ballet and Macy’s Walnut Creek present Live from the Runway


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Join Diablo Ballet and Macy’s Walnut Creek for their first ever Covid-safe fashion show featuring Diablo Ballet dancers modeling the latest men and women’s holiday fashions right off the runway on Wednesday, November 4, noon, at Macy’s 2nd Floor Dress Department. This free event is limited to 25 people safely distanced in-store, and will also be broadcast live in the comfort of your own home on Diablo Ballet’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

November 5: Exploratorium After Dark Online: Sustenance—Home Movies


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Indulge in a bit of joyful voyeurism as the Exploratorium screens and celebrates home movies. Created to capture the moments that become the almanac of a life lived, home movies have the power to link the past to the present and cultivate empathy for real people. While each home movie is unique, the personal experiences on view often capture moments that are familiar and widely recognizable. Also, they can be a lot of fun. This glimpse into the lives of strangers pairs screenings of exceptional home movies with stories and ideas from those who collect, archive, and study home movies. 

November 6: Art Guild of Pacifica 62nd Annual Members Show

The AGP presents its 62nd Annual Members Show, plus the 61st Annual Awards Artists, at Sanchez Art Center. Both exhibitions open Friday, Nov 6, and run through Sunday, Dec 13. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 p.m., beginning on Friday, Nov 6. Safety protocols for the health and well-being of guests, volunteers, and staff include face masks, physical distancing, and limited numbers of people in the galleries. (Due to the pandemic, there will be no opening reception.) Visits are by free appointments that can be booked online here.

November 7: What is Contemporary Art? Materials and Processes at SFMOMA


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The work of contemporary artists, such as Janine Antoni, Nick Cave, and Martin Puryear, reflects a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition. Co-presented by SFMOMA and Art21, this workshop is part of a series exploring three different aspects of the question, what is contemporary art? Each workshop encourages educators to think and work like artists, using thematic, inquiry-driven processes and strategies. If you are a Bay Area–based teacher, please consider applying for our small group workshop that follows this webinar. Please note that you must be able to attend the 10 a.m. webinar to attend the small group workshop. To keep the conversation interactive, space is limited. You can apply here

November 8: “Head West” Local Marketplace at the Ferry Building


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HEAD WEST is a local, outdoor retail marketplace providing a platform for new, emerging, and established brands to share their creations with Bay Area residents. Come by and shop handmade ceramics, locally sourced vintage clothing, jewelry, home décor, gifts, and more along with gourmet food and beverage favorites from the Ferry Building Marketplace

November 9: Tadich Grill Reopens


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Tadich Grill, California’s oldest continuously run restaurant, is proud and excited to announce its re-opening hours of 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Monday thru Saturday, (and Sunday for private parties only), beginning Monday, November 9th. All precautions will continue to be taken to maintain the health of  purveyors, employees and customers, as Tadich Grill is restored back into daily lives. Make a reservation for table seating, takeout and delivery via Tock.

November 10: West End Nursery Christmas House

Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael’s West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It’s a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale.

November 11: Veterans Day/Free National Parks Day


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In normal times, on certain “fee-free” days throughout the year, enjoy free entry to all national parks and monuments including Muir Woods and Yosemite National Park, and free admission aboard all of the historic vessels at the Hyde Street Pier of SF’s Maritime National Historical Park.

November 12: Nightschool — Heartless, Brainless, Lungless


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Jellies have no hearts, brains, or lungs, and are made up of 95% water—how interesting can they be? Find out during an evening with venomologist Anna Klompen, science writer Juli Berwald, and Academy biologist Riah Evin.

November 13: Dinosaur Adventure (Nov 12-15, 19-22, 25-29)


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Dinosaur Adventure is an all-new, one of a kind exhibit featuring realistic, life-sized dinosaurs that come alive with their life-like movement and roars. Learn about the most popular dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Diplodocus, Velociraptor, and explore recent finds with exciting discoveries. As part of Dinosaur Adventure, children of all ages will enjoy a variety of activities: fossil crafting, Jurassic jeeps, themed obstacle courses, riding their favorite dinosaur, and more.

November 14: California Symphony Cello-bration

Cello-brate good times with this free virtual Second Saturdays video concert. Join 30 minutes ahead of the concert to hear Maestro Cabrera in conversation with the featured artists. “Rock Star Cellist” and composer Joshua Roman plus California Symphony Strings Quartet perform an eclectic program that celebrates all things strings. Former TED fellow and returning favorite guest artist Joshua Roman demonstrates his range, with solo pieces including Bach, Caroline Shaw, and an original composition by Roman himself. The string quartet shares a lesser known gem by 19th century English composer of color Coleridge-Taylor, and Jennifer Higdon’s Amazing Grace.

November 15: Giacomini Wetlands Tour with Blue Waters Kayaking


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Giacomini Wetlands is located in the southern end of Tomales Bay. This completely restored wetlands is a haven for birders and kayakers alike. Gather at the White House Pool parking lot, get geared up with your guide and launch kayaks into the peaceful Lagunitas Creek. From there, paddle up and into the wetlands, keeping your eyes out for marine life and migratory birds. Blue Water’s guides will explain the rich natural and cultural history of the region as they lead you through this magnificent restoration site, a real treasure of Point Reyes.

November 16: Marin MOCA “Justice”


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“Justice” is a contemporary art exhibit that explores racial inequality and the need for social justice in our nation. From a 300-pound bronze fist by Woody De Othello to a whimsical collage of black femininity by Rashaad Newsome, the exhibit includes 40 artworks in all mediums. “Many art appreciators are unaware of the scores of accomplished local black artists who are collected by museums across the country and have international reputations,” explains museum director, Nancy Rehkopf. “We asked Karen Jenkins-Johnson, a leading San Francisco Black gallerist and Marin County resident, to bring them together in this exhibition.”

November 17: Seismic Salons – Amy Tan

Sheltering in place doesn’t have to mean skipping A-list social events. In keeping with these times, Litquake presents its summer fundraiser: a series of online author salons for very intimate audiences of ten. Grab your adult beverage of choice, kick back in your comfy chair and ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask of some of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed authors, who between them have written a staggering 50+ New York Times bestsellers. Proceeds to help the Bay Area’s premiere (and 85% free) literary festival. For this event, Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club, The Valley of Amazement, Saving Fish from Drowning) will answer your many questions, including what it’s like to appear with the all-author band Rock Bottom Remainders, and sing “These Boots are Made for Walking.” 

November 18: Farmers Market at Town Center (Every Wednesday)


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Come to Town Center Corte Madera’s Farmers Market. You’ll find organic and specialty farmers, food purveyors, bakers and more showcasing their bounty along the Mediterranean style courtyard. Rain or shine!

November 19: Farmers Market at Marin Civic Center (Every Thursday)


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The Thursday Marin Farmers Market is known as the local chef’s market welcoming premier chefs from around the Bay Area seeking out the freshest ingredients of the season. Centrally located at the Civic Center in San Rafael, the Thursday farmers market offers a mid-week shopping opportunity. The Thursday market is also one of the most anticipated lunch destinations of the week.

November 20: Oakland Zoo Glowfari 


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This brand-new, family-friendly experience features hundreds of larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Zoo, storytelling the ongoing journey of wildlife, the importance of every species on our planet, and Oakland Zoo’s commitment to conservation. Dozens of towering, and even interactive, glowing lanterns of every order await to entertain and enlighten you at every turn. Take a mile-long stroll (socially distanced, of course) through these illuminated and dazzling lanterns — from the ice-capped 15-foot tall penguin corridor to the breathtaking full-size elephants, giraffes, and lions — to the enormous, fluttering butterflies floating against the star-filled night sky. Ride brilliantly-lit gondolas to visit California Trail, where you’re transported back in time to a dinosaur world filled with prehistoric rock stars like the T-rex, stegosaurus, pterodactyls, and more.

November 21: San Francisco Zen Center Meditation Session


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Learn how to meditate with one of the teachers from the San Francisco Zen Center. This virtual session for beginners will introduce you to the benefits of meditation, which can help settle the body and mind amid the swirl of daily life. Sitting in a balanced posture creates a steady calm that, with training, can become the way you meet whatever arises. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and find a good place to sit, or lie down, during the session.

November 22: Free de Young and Legion of Honor day for Bay Area residents (every Saturday)


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Starting up again on October 31st after a 6-month closure, every Saturday, the Legion of Honor and the de Young is offering free general admission to the permanent galleries to Bay Area residents. Advanced tickets are required, and capacity is limited due to Covid-19 precautions. Please note that admission to any special exhibits is not included nor discounted and will require the full admission price. Saturdays feature engaging art experiences for the entire family, including art-making, gallery guides, and tours with discussion and sketching in the permanent galleries.

November 23: Under the Dome: Paul Celan at 100


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Paul Celan (1920–1970) is considered one of Europe’s greatest post-World-War II poets, known for his astonishing experiments in poetic form, expression, and address. His poetry, at times dealing directly with the personal aftermath of the Holocaust, has been a touchstone for so many since his passing, and his grappling with what poetry can mean or accomplish in the face of such atrocities has been a major reason why his legacy as one of the most important poets from the later half of the 21st century has endured so strongly. Join City Lights Books on the date of Celan’s 100th birthday as we celebrate his life and writings with readings and discussion with special guests, especially highlighting three new books published on this occasion.

November 24: The Book of Now: Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha


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Working in very different styles in the 1960s, Dieter Roth in Europe and Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles revolutionized the way artists work in the medium of books, each creating something immediate and new. The Book of Now: Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha demonstrates that by subverting the traditional fine art publication of deluxe livres d’artistes, the artists’ self-published editions — outwardly modest yet conceptually advanced — broke new ground. At the Legion of Honor through Sunday, February 28, 2021.

November 25: Free Admission Hour to the Japanese Tea Garden

The Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S., closed March 17 due to the shelter-in-place order. To re-open safely, the Tea Garden will limit guests to 100 and set up one-way pathways to avoid congestion. Free Hour: Monday, Wednesday and Friday only, 9–10 a.m. 

November 26: Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27: Levi Strauss: A History of American Style


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Discover the exhibition that celebrates Levi Strauss, the birth of the blue jean, and San Francisco, the city where it all began. Featuring over 250 garments, photographs, and ephemera from the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives, this exhibition is the largest public display of the company’s archival materials ever assembled. Experience the story of a Jewish immigrant who realized the American dream and inspired a style revolution. “Levi Strauss: A History of American Style” is organized by The CJM in collaboration with Levi Strauss & Co. Historian Tracey Panek and co-curated by The CJM’s Chief Preparator and Exhibition Designer, Justin Limoges and Senior Curator, Heidi Rabben. Through January 10, 2021 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

November 28: SF Chinatown “Walkway Weekends”

The event San Francisco Chinatown’s iconic Grant Avenue will be closed off to traffic and cars for a pleasant open walkway under vibrant red lanterns every weekend from July through December. Enjoy a historic street stroll, outdoor dining, and an Asian shopping experience. Update: Originally scheduled to end on September 20th, the SF Chinatown Merchants Association announced on 9/20 that the “Walkway Weekends” will be extended every Saturday and Sunday through December 27th. 

November 29: Sunday Farmers Market at Marin Civic Center (Every Sunday)


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Come join us, every Sunday, rain or shine, and see why the Sunday Civic Center market is one of the largest local gatherings in the state. The Sunday Marin Farmers Market first opened in 1987, and has grown to become the third largest farmers market in California. Despite gaining recognition throughout the country, the Sunday Civic Center market still maintains its Marin community roots. The majority of patrons are local eaters who visit the market religiously each week to take home the freshest foods of the season. The New York Times listed the Sunday Market as one of the top places to visit in Marin. 

November 30: Full Moon Sail on the San Francisco Bay


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Underway for a leisurely evening sail, take in the views of the San Francisco skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Marin Headlands, Alcatraz and Angel Islands, all while experiencing the magic of the moonrise. November’s Full “Beaver Moon” — For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full moon was also called the Frost Moon.