April Events

The Bay Area is prioritizing the environment this month, with Earth Day volunteer opportunities and nature-inspired art shows, to boot. 

Throughout April Marin Wildflower Walks 

April means spring flowers, and Marin’s open space promises them in abundance. Marin County Parks hosts multiple guided wildflower hikes throughout April, including trails on Ring Mountain, Mount Burdell/Olompais, Tiburon Upland and Baltimore Canyon. 

Throughout April Cal Parks Earth Day Cleanups 

For even more Earth Day activities, you can check out California’s state parks. Several Bay Area state parks host cleanups, such as Angel Island on April 6 and China Camp on April 20. 

Through April 21 Memento Mori | Memento Vivere 

Photograph of flowers, a skull, a globe and books — by Anthony Delgado and titled "Memento Mori" for Marin Art and Garden Center's exhibit, Memento Mori Memento Vivere
Memento Mori by Anthony Delgado.

Within the grounds of Marin Art and Garden Center, this multimedia art exhibit reflects on cycles of life and nature. Photography, sculpture and ikebana displays embody the exhibit’s title, which translates to “Remember that you must die | Remember that you must live.” 

Through April 28 Earth Month & Spring in the Garden 

Kids release DIY boats down a tabletop river at the California Academy of Sciences' Riveropolis for April's Spring in the Garden exhibit.
Photo by Gayle Laird, courtesy of the Cal Academy.

April at the Cal Academy is full of exciting events. First, the Spring in the Garden exhibit is bringing giant bugs to the East Garden. Six-legged animatronics are just one attraction at the spring event, which also features a water table for DIY boats and more nature-inspired activities. Hopeful visitors can also stop by the Academy on April 4 for the special, pay-what-you-can Academy Day, celebrating the Academy’s birthday by making its educational programming accessible for all.

Through April 30 Breaking Through: Black History at Tam High, 1910 to the Present 

On view for free at Mill Valley Public Library, Breaking Through documents and celebrates notable Black alumni of Tamalpais High School. An achievement of local historical preservation, this exhibit contextualizes Marin’s stories within national histories of race relations. 

April 2 Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott 

Cello great Yo-Yo Ma performs alongside his longtime collaborator, pianist Kathryn Stott, for a classical program that spans musical style and period as part of SF Symphony’s “Bucket-List Brilliance” series.

April 3 & 4 Fatoumata Diawara 

Afrobeats and Afropop dominated this year’s post-Grammys discourse, and anybody wanting to listen to the continent’s many musical traditions would be in good hands with Fatoumata Diawara. The Malian singer’s beautiful voice, casual guitar virtuosity and Wassoulou influences catapulted her to global stardom. 

April 4–June 23 The Speakeasy: Age of Scofflaws 

Two actors singing in 1920s period costume for the April production of The Speakeasy in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Peter Liu.

Want to practice your Mid-Atlantic accent? Party like Gatsby at The Speakeasy, a Prohibition-themed bar and immersive theatrical experience. Period actors coexist alongside patrons, living out storylines in this interactive play (that’s also a bar, casino and cabaret show). 

April 5–7 Birds & Balls 

The world is full of great pairings: wine and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, competitive finch singing and Billie Jean King… Opera Parallèle, in collaboration with SFJAZZ, presents a comedic double bill of new operatic works. First, follow Flemish finch sitting with Vinkensport, then pull it together for the one-act Balls about tennis’ infamous Battle of the Sexes. 

April 6–8 Eppur si muove & fly through the night, and land near dawn 

Two dancers in contemporary ensemble seen from above for Nancy Karp + Dancers show in April
Photo by John Hefti.

Artful contemporary dance set to music by the Friction Quartet: the Nancy Karp + Dancers’ April program presents two works choreographed by company director Nancy Karp. The evening promises intricate visuals, with both works inspired by the movement of songbirds. 

April 7 Joan Osborne 

Nearly 20 years since releasing her hit song “One of Us,” Joan Osborne continues to put out incisive country-infused rock. Osborne brings her band, noted for great live performances, to the Sweetwater for one night of performance. 

April 7 Persian New Year

From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at McNears Beach Park, a whole day of festivities is set aside for the second round of Persian New Year (or Nowruz) celebrations. Authentic food, music and dancing will take place, and community members from all backgrounds are invited. 

April 8 Solar Eclipse 

Grab your protective glasses because the moon will pass in front of the sun for a rare total solar eclipse… in the Midwest. But Marin will still see a partial eclipse starting at 10 a.m., with the eclipse peaking just after 11 a.m. 

April 12–14 International Ocean Film Festival 

Explore the deep ocean with groundbreaking films about our seas and underwater ecosystems. Can’t make it to the live screenings at Cowell Theater at Fort Mason? The festival also broadcasts films online from April 15–22.

April 13–14 & 20–21 57th Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival 

A dancer in traditional Japanese dance performing in the Parade for the April event, San Francisco's Cherry Blossom Festival.
Photo by Mark Shigenaga.

Taiko drumming, steaming ramen and the beautiful flowers of cherry blossoms — head to San Francisco’s Japantown for two weekends of events showcasing Japanese and Japanese American culture. 

April 13 Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta Holiday Parade and Festival 

Honor labor activists and United Farm Workers co-founders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in this yearly parade through San Francisco’s Mission District. A festival finishes out the afternoon with food, dancing and lots of union and Hispanic pride. 

April 13 & 14 Montgomery, Shostakovich & Mozart 

Principal pianist John Wilson shines in this set featuring a range of works from the modern “Starburst” to Mozart’s final symphony, “Jupiter.” The weekend of performances hits two venues: College of Marin and Novato’s Marin School of the Arts. 

April 14 Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes 

Another SF Symphony highlight this month, Patti LuPone reflects on her storied career through a “personal musical memoir,” in her own words. Musical theater’s darling and a three-time Tony Award winner, LuPone returns to the Davies Symphony Hall for the first time since 2019. 

April 14 Marin California Native Plant Society 50th Anniversary

Celebrate 50 years of the Marin chapter of the California Native Plant Society with a walk through Bowman Canyon. This field trip explores the Canyon — a new addition to Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve — and promises views of blooming spring plants.

April 17 Earth Day Symposium and Book Fair

Earth Day in Marin means reckoning with our changing world, growing fires and rising waters. Those themes inspire Sausalito Books by the Bay’s “Fire & Water: Facing an Elemental Future” symposium at The Spinnaker. A panel discussion includes environmental experts and local leaders, such as Sausalito city council member Janelle Kellman. Attendees can also partake in an environmental book fair and interact with local conservation groups. The event is free, but organizers encourage you to register in advance!

April 19 San Rafael Downtown Clean & Green Day 

Take care of your town this Earth Day with a morning of cleanup through San Rafael’s downtown. Volunteers will clean trash, pick weeds and cover graffiti while wearing oh-so stylish reflective vests. 

April 19–21 Point Reyes Birding and Nature Festival 

A burrowing owl seen in Point Reyes National Seashore, representing the annual Point Reyes Birding and Nature Festival
Photo by Carlos Porrata.

Did you know that Pt. Reyes National Seashore boasts the most avian diversity of any U.S. national park? Unplug for the weekend and enjoy the 15th year of this West Marin nature extravaganza.

April 20 Free National Parks Day 

Every year, the National Park Service grants a handful of free days for national parks around the country. Check out some of our great local parks like Muir Woods, or seize the opportunity to escape to far-flung places like Yosemite or Sequoia. 

April 20 Butter and Eggs Day Parade 

A man waves from a green vintage car, with a sign saying "Butter and Eggs" for Petaluma's annual Butter and Eggs Day Parade
Photo by Jim Johnson.

Petaluma’s agricultural history shines in the 41st annual parade celebrating the community and local business. Keep an eye out for local celebrity Clover the Cow, who usually makes an appearance. 

April 20 The Great Tomato Market 

Gardener holds a box of tomato starts at the UC Marin Annual Tomato Market.
Photo by Buzzed Media for Bon Air.

Not for throwing! UC Marin’s Master Gardeners sell tomato starts designed specially for growing in Marin gardens. This yearly fundraiser supports educational programming and community gardens organized by this extension of the University of California, which aims to sustain Marin’s environment and agriculture. 

April 20 Bay Area Brew Fest 

Empty pint glass sits in front of a view of the Golden Gate Bridge for Bay Area Brew Fest in San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Bay Area Brew Fest.

It’s a little intimidating. For one day only, 70+ breweries will set up shop on the Presidio Main Lawn. Admission includes unlimited samples from participating breweries, plus access to food trucks to keep you sane. 

April 21 Earth Day Mill Valley 

For family-friendly and earth-conscious activities, art and music, head to the Mill Valley Community Center and learn how to make a more sustainable world. 

April 24 Art Bash 

Party at the MOMA? Fundraising for the museum’s educational and family programming, SFMOMA’s much anticipated Art Bash is a night of dinner, cocktails and dancing from the first floor atrium to the rooftop pavilion. Installation artists and local DJs make the party’s environs unforgettable. 

April 24–28 San Francisco International Film Festival 

A row of movie watchers in a dark theater at the San Francisco International Film Festival April event
Photo by Tommy Lau, courtesy of SFFilm.

The longest running film festival in the Americas, the 67th annual SFFilm Festival attracts top filmmakers for a packed five days of premieres. If anyone sees Greta Gerwig, please get me an autograph. 

April 26–May 5 Alexander Valley Film Festival 

A film festival nestled in Sonoma Wine Country, AVFest highlights independent films from and about underrepresented communities. With discounted tickets for students and low-income neighbors, this festival seeks to connect filmmakers and their craft to the community. 

April 27 Heads Up Carnival 

San Rafael’s schools gather for a free carnival with music, games and pupusas. Chill out, get your face painted and support public schools. 

April 27 10,000 Degrees ONE Amazing Community Gala & Fundraiser

The annual ONE Amazing Community gala from the Marin-based nonprofit 10,000 Degrees returns! 10,000 Degrees helps students from low-income backgrounds succeed in college through scholarships and continued support through their education. Attendees can hear from 10,000 Degrees alumni and celebrate the organization’s 42+ years delivering educational equity. 

April 27 & 28 Céilí on the Lake Irish Festival 

Marin County Fairground will host the first-ever Céilí on the Lake, an Irish Dance and Music Festival. With live music, plenty of food and drink and even sheep herding demonstrations, this gathering (or “céilí,” pronounced KAY-lee) will be nonstop fun from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days.