October Events

With Fall in full swing, it’s a great time of the year to enjoy all the bounty that the season has to offer, including pumpkin patches, Oktoberfest events and the energy of Fleet Week. There’s also a new boat show to check out, plus the Mill Valley Film Festival brings a touch of Hollywood glam to Marin County, ushering in a fresh crop of films to enjoy.

Oct 11–12 Novato’s Nostalgia Days

Visitors walk through Downtown Novato's Nostalgia Days Classic Car show.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Novato Business Association.

Downtown Novato’s annual Nostalgia Days attracts loads of car aficionados, who drive in their retro vehicles from all over California to participate. The Nostalgia Days weekend includes two events. On Oct. 11, you can watch hundreds of classic cars drive through downtown during the Classic Car Cruise. Then, the 28th annual car show commences on Oct. 12. The city shuts down ten blocks of downtown for this famous show, which features food vendors, music and drinks, plus a grand prize for the best car.

Dates TBD Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Another stellar lineup of artists is set to take the stage in Golden Gate Park at one of the finest free music festivals in the U.S.

Dates TBD DjangoFest

This longstanding annual music fest at the Throckmorton Theatre is all about celebrating the infectious music and spirit of the great French/Belgian Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt. There are performances by a world-class line-up of gypsy jazz musicians from across the globe, along with workshops and a festival opening party.

Date TBD Mill Valley Block Party

This homegrown event in downtown Mill Valley which serves as a fundraiser for KIDDO—supporting local public schools—returns each year bringing community merriment. Expect a beer garden, fashion show, kid-friendly activities and lots of neighborly chitchat.

Dates TBD San Francisco Fleet Week

Once again, all eyes turn to the skies during Fleet Week, a long-standing tradition with multi-day celebrations involving local and national emergency responders and several branches of the U.S. armed forces. There’s plenty of action both on land, sea and in the air, including the world-famous Blue Angels who show off their prowess by performing death-defying air stunts and ear-splitting flyovers over the Bay and the city.

Dates TBD Mill Valley Film Festival

Photo by Tommy Lau

This film festival from the heart of Marin offers a wide selection of movies from both local filmmakers as well as global award winning films — gaining international recognition along the way for its commitment to showcasing exceptional films, supporting emerging talent, and fostering creative dialogue. A number of films premiering at the festival have gone one to secure Academy Award nominations and wins. 

The festival offers nearly two weeks of screenings in Mill Valley, San Rafael, Larkspur, Berkeley, San Francisco and online while continuing the tradition of celebrating the best in American independent and world cinema.

Dates TBD International Festival of Short Films

SF Shorts has explored a wide range of genres and cultures without dividing them into niches. The juried set of short films are screened at the Roxie in San Francisco over the course of two days.

Dates TBD Sausalito Boat Show

From nautical novices to serious sailors, the Sausalito Boat Show is the place for people to immerse themselves in the boating lifestyle, check out new boats, get on the water, attend educational seminars and more. Beyond boats, there’s a number of local food vendors offering seafood specialties and classic California cuisine, live music and activities for the kids.

Date TBD Biketoberfest

Enjoy delicious brews while conversing with like minded bike enthusiasts and dozens of bike exhibitors at this annual mashup event held at the Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax.

Dates TBD Dance Film Festival

Dance Film Festival
Photo courtesy of SF Dance Film Festival

This film festival focused exclusively on dance films and shorts is offered at theaters around the Bay and online.

Date TBD Sandcastle Classic

Each year, San Francisco’s Ocean Beach is taken over by architecture, design, technology, engineering and construction companies in partnership with students from local schools to build what they can while raising funds for arts and architecture education at Bay Area public schools.

Dates TBD Marin Endurance Festival

This event for sporty types offers the option of doing a triathlon, half marathon, 10K or 5K. All events begin at McNears Beach with race courses that promise picturesque views of the San Francisco Bay and Marin.

Dates TBD Champagne Week

Champagne Week
Photo courtesy of Rachel Weil

Not content to limit the thrill of France’s bubbly export to its anointed Day (Oct 28), Auberge du Soleil celebrates all week with Champagne tastings hosted by premier and Grand Cru houses, along with tantalizing Champagne-paired dining experiences in its Michelin Star restaurant.

Dates TBD Unhinged

A terrifying house tour with multiple “scare routes” is just part of the fun at Winchester Mystery House’s immersive haunted house, presaged by Madam Nightshade’s Spirit Carnival, with midway games, axe throwing, Fortuna’s Tent of Mystery, the Spookeasy Bar, and more.

Dates TBD The Haunt

While this group of passionate paranormal investigators and  storytellers offers “ghost tours” throughout San Francisco year-round, October just feels like the perfect month to learn about ghostly encounters found all around the city.

Through Oct 31 Nicasio Pumpkin Patch

Spend time amidst West Marin’s famous seasonal delight that includes a large hay maze, farm animals, and oodles of pumpkins to take home and carve later.