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Labor Day weekend in the Bay Area: 6 things to do

The Kings Mountain Art Fair is a three-day event held in a redwood forest annually Labor Day weekend. | Source: Courtesy Kings Mountain Art Fair

Between Burning Man and Labor Day weekend travelers decamping for sunnier spots, the city may feel a bit empty right now. But if you’re in the Bay Area, there’s always plenty to do, even if half your friends are partying in the desert. Read on for our full guide to events going on in and around San Francisco this weekend—from an escape to an art fair in the middle of a redwood forest to San Francisco’s annual Zine Fest.

1. Off the Grid Fall Kickoff at Fort Mason

🗓️ Friday | 5-10 p.m.
📍 Fort Mason Center

Off the Grid, the recurring convocation of food trucks, is coming back to Fort Mason Center weekly for eight Fridays starting this week. Each event in the fall lineup is a different, themed celebration of food, kicking off with “I Love SF.” With dozens of local restaurant pop-ups to choose from, experience the diversity that makes San Francisco’s food scene so mouthwatering all in one, bite-size festival. 

2. The Park Market in Dogpatch

🗓️ Saturday | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
📍 Crane Cove Park

San Francisco has an abundance of secondhand shopping, but it’s rare to get to rifle through racks of vintage with a waterfront view. The Park Market pop-up at Crane Cove Park in Dogpatch will provide just that opportunity this weekend. Each Park Market this season comes with a theme, with this month’s “Secondhand Saturday” being a haven for vintage enthusiasts. Enjoy food and drink vendors, activities and live music, too, as you collect treasures while strolling through booths.

READ MORE: The Standard Guide to Thrifting in San Francisco

3. Art Walk in the Castro

🗓️ Saturday | Noon-5 p.m.
📍 Castro, Market, 18th and Noe streets

The Castro’s monthly Art Mart is getting supersized this Saturday for a collaboration with Art Walk SF. Local makers will fill several blocks in the Castro, and the neighborhood will transform into an open-air art fair and block party. Art Walk’s goal is to highlight the art, music, food and small businesses driving San Francisco culture with a pop-up event in a different neighborhood each month. 

4. Kings Mountain Art Fair in Woodside 

🗓️ Saturday-Monday | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
📍 13889 Skyline Blvd., Woodside

If you’re looking for an excuse to get out of the city for the long weekend, head to Kings Mountain where, in the middle of a redwood forest, you’ll find a massive art fair. The Kings Mountain Art Fair, completely planned and hosted by volunteers, has been an annual Labor Day Weekend event since 1963 and will showcase the work of over 120 juried artists–meaning their inclusion was determined through a competitive process–as well as artists local to Kings Mountain. With redwoods towering overhead, you’ll forget that you’re just over an hour south of San Francisco. The three-day event will also have ample food and beverage options, plus a craft and game area for bored kiddos. 

5. SF Zine Fest in SoMa

🗓️ Sunday | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
📍 City View at Metreon

SF Zine Fest, an eclectic celebration of DIY publishing, creativity and alternative art forms, is returning to the city this Sunday. Stop by to experience myriad artists, writers, illustrators and enthusiasts showcasing zines, comics, prints and other handmade creations. Attendees can explore a wide range of zines that cover an array of subjects, from personal narratives and social commentary to niche interests. The event will also feature workshops for attendees to explore their crafty sides, as well as panel discussions.

6. Hiero Day in Oakland 

🗓️ Saturday (Hiero on the Runway), Sunday (pre-party), Monday (main event and afterparty) | Various times
📍Various locations
🎟️ Free-$93

Hiero Day, started in 2012, first came to be when fans of Oakland-born hip-hop group Souls of Mischief wanted to celebrate their debut album, 93 ‘til Infinity on September 3, or 9/3. The event is named after Hieroglyphics, the hip-hop collective to which Souls of Mischief belongs and a household name in the Bay Area scene. Since its inception, the block party and music festival has become an integral community event and a celebration of the depth of musical culture in Oakland.

The main event, taking place on Labor Day, is free to the public this year, but general admission passes are sadly sold out. If you’re determined to get a slice of the action, though, there are options. VIP passes–promising a private bar, excellent views of the stages and other perks–to the Monday festivities are still available. You can also attend related events happening over the weekend, like “Hiero on the Runway” on Saturday for free with a reservation. Or you could attend the event’s pre-party and afterparty, happening Sunday at 2 p.m. and Monday at 9 p.m., respectively, with ticket prices ranging from $20-$30.