31 of the Best Things to Do in Marin and the Bay Area This May


We can’t wait to get out and explore the county this month as more events are returning to public spaces where we can interact with each other live and in-person. Look for streaming events to continue, too, as we all adjust to how we live during this pandemic phase.


May 1 Sittings


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Bay Area artist David Wilson, the first long term artist-in-residence at  San Francisco’s The David Ireland House, interacted with the house and its Mission neighborhood during pandemic times, resulting in this interactive exhibition of the house and its community.


May 2 Matchmaker

Part of A.C.T. Out Loud play readings series, Thornton Wilder’s comedy of errors centers around matchmaker Dolly Levi and her misguided efforts to find love for a wealthy widower.


May 3 Immersive Van Gogh


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In case you haven’t heard, Van Gogh has modernized his medium, his works now portrayed via digital projection for a “surround sound” experience that the master would not likely recognize, through September 16.


May 4 Brilliant Mind

Generational trauma and the weight of carrying on a family legacy are at the heart of Denmo Ibrahim’s sibling-based drama that takes off after their estranged father’s funeral.

May 5 Tiny Tim: King for a Day


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A biographical film about a musician, perhaps best known for “Tip Toe Through the Tulips” as much as his super-size public persona, is fittingly narrated by Weird Al Yankovic, opens April 23.


May 6 Bowen Yang & Michelle Zauner


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The freshest player of NBC’s Saturday Night Live sits down with the author of Crying in H Mart and the performer known as Japanese Breakfast for a heart to heat.


May 7 Party at the Piers: Emergence


The San Francisco Exploratorium’s annual gala fundraiser is designed to delight and inspire curiosity virtually this year, with cocktails, dinner kits and exclusive content served at home, while raising much-needed funds due to the extended pandemic-related closure.


May 8 Muse Hour with Las Cafeteras


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A pre-recorded concert of ranchera, hip-hop and rock sung in English, Spanish and Spanglish is followed by a live Q&A session with members of the group.


May 9 Run San Francisco

Celebrate Mothers’ Day with a virtual run that lets you go wherever you want and run a race of a length you choose.


May 10  Romeo & Juliet


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Shakespeare’s classic teen tragedy from San Francisco Ballet includes sword fights, plenty of choreography from Helgi Tomasson and a Prokofiev score, streaming through May 26.


May 11 Dena Grunt


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The proprietor of Nick’s Cove and Cottages in Marshall sits down with Avram Kosasky to discuss her new book, Table with a View: The History and Recipes of Nick’s Cove and celebrate the culinary bounty of West Marin.


May 12 Jhumpa Lahiri

The Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Interpreter of Maladies discusses her new book, Whereabouts, her first in nearly a decade. 


May 13 CAAMFest


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The nation’s largest festival of Asian American and Asian film, food, and music features virtual screenings, panels, and performances, as well as an opening weekend with drive-in programs at Fort Mason Flix. Among other local works, the documentary “Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir,” stars Sausalito’s Amy Tan and is directed by Mill Valley’s Jamie Redford, through May 23.


May 13 Stacey Abrams


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The force behind Georgia’s recent efforts at voter turnout and former Georgia House Representative discusses her new legal thriller, While Justice Sleeps, with Rebecca Traister.


May 14 The Sky this Month

Telescope, the sky this month
Chabot Space and Science Center Tales of the Maya Skies gala – Oakland, CA, USA

Join Chabot Space and Science Center’s astronomers for a short tour of May’s celestial alignments plus tips to recognize many constellations and bright stars visible in the Bay Area’s skies now.

May 15 The Barber of Seville


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Rossini’s well-known comedic opera about a lovelorn stylist is sung live, outdoors, in English at the Marin Center Fairgrounds while guests watch stage and simulcast from their automobiles.


May 16 Marin Music Chest

Up-coming, young Marin County classical musicians are featured at this annual celebration in conjunction with the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society.


May 17 A Spirit of Disruption

Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the San Francisco Art Institute’s exhibition reflects the school’s extraordinary legacy and its profound and sustained influence on contemporary art, shedding light on some of the seminal, but often overlooked, figures of the Bay Area arts scene, through July 3.

May 18 After Hope: Videos of Resistance


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Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by watching more than 50 short videos at the re-opened Asian Art Museum that explore the role of hope in activism and contemporary art.

May 19 Berkeley Labs’ Molecular Foundry Tour


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The East Bay center of science research is hosting a series of events to honor its 90th birthday, including a virtual tour of its nanoscience facility. 

May 20 Framers

Join a discussion with the three co-authors, Cukier, Mayer-Schönberger and de Véricourt, who discuss the mental model humans utilize to not only guide decision-making and obtain desired outcomes but enable us to find our way through pandemics and other seemingly unnavigable challenges. 

May 21 Calder and Picasso


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Conceived and curated by the grandsons of two of the most innovative artists of the 20th century, an exhibit juxtaposes and draws parallels between their visions, through May 23. 


May 22 Decorator Showcase


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New Perspectives, a conceptual, all-virtual tour, features ten of the West Coast’s premier design firms with all proceeds to benefit the San Francisco University High School Financial Aid Program.


May 23 Altered Book Exhibition

 Today is the last day to view and place a bid in the silent auction for the over 150 original book art objects, juried by Mary Austin, Founder of the San Francisco Center for the Book, and Donna Seager of Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley.


May 24 Legacy Film Festival on Aging

The 10th version includes over 30 international films that peer into the lives of those 65 and older and their caregivers and families and features two films with Marin connections: Mill Valley’s Carl Bidleman directed “No Time To Waste” that looks into the life of 99 year-old park ranger, Betty Reid Soskin, and her role at the Rosie the Riveter Historical Memorial Park in Richmond; and “Seniors Rocking,” an homage to 100-year old pioneer Anna Halprin and her celebration dance with seniors in Marin, through May 31. 


May 25 Rosie Lee Tompkins Retrospective


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Celebrate the reopening of The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive earlier this month by viewing in the craftsmanship of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated quilt-makers, just one of four major exhibitions that were installed during the museums 13-month closure.


May 26 Brilliant Mind

Inspired by the stories of first-generation Americans, playwright Denmo Ibrahim designed a play for the Marin Theatre Company’s digital stage that excavates the politics of gender in immigrant communities and the challenges that exist between tradition and culture, through June 6.

May 27 Cinematic SF Neon


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In partnership with the Tenderloin Museum’s “Seasons of Neon,” go on a live Zoom tour with Jim Van Buskirk, co-author of Celluloid San Francisco (and former San Francisco librarian) who uses film stills and clips to bring the Bay Area’s cinematic history to life. 


May 28 Next to You

A new exhibition of photography, painting, and sculpture from the McEvoy Family Collection asks viewers to consider how their interior and exterior selves meet again in time and space now that intimacy, as we once knew it, has been transformed, through December 4.


May 29 Convergence

After a year of redefining our personal and public spaces, an exhibit at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art features artists from around the country who explore concepts such as merging, verging, combining and coming apart in shape, form, color, and meaning in a variety of media. 

May 30 Golem: A Call to Action

Three video artworks pull themes from allegory, folklore and spiritual practice in an effort to confront societal and environmental disasters, through December 5. 


May 31 How Things Work

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is launching four new exhibits this year, including an exhibit that looks at the processes behind the functioning of musical instruments, pool tables and ramps and objects in every room of your house.


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Christina MuellerChristina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract PublishingSunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon SocietyPEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.s the Assistant Editor at Marin Magazine and a graduate of Elon University where she studied Professional Writing and Fine Art. Born and raised in San Francisco/Marin, she loves traveling just as much as coming home to the Bay Area. She has curated a sophisticated palate for food, travel and culture and uses her travels as an outlet to develop her photography portfolio and hone her writing craft.