Skip to main content

Things to do in San Francisco this weekend: Flower Piano, Bhangra and Beats

Flower Piano is an annual event held at the San Francisco Botanical Garden that involves 12 pianos open for public use hidden around the garden. | Source: Courtesy Travis Lange/San Francisco Botanical Garden

Music and dance are the unifying themes for this week’s guide to events happening around San Francisco this weekend. Whether you’re listening to the dozen hidden pianos in Golden Gate Park or letting electrifying Bhangra music overtake you at the Bhangra and Beats night market, there are countless ways to move and groove your way through the weekend in the city. Read on for a few recommendations. 

1. Flower Piano in Golden Gate Park

🗓️ Friday-Tuesday | 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
📍 San Francisco Botanical Garden
🎟️ Free-$130

The annual Flower Piano event hosted by the San Francisco Botanical Garden transforms the already breathtakingly lush setting into a whimsical alfresco concert venue. For five days starting Friday, 12 pianos will be hidden around the 55-acre living museum, and there will be a schedule of performances from professional and community partners throughout the weekend. There will also be plenty of time for attendees to take the bench and play a tune themselves. 

Flower Piano is included with general admission to the garden, which is always free for members, school groups, veterans and San Francisco residents. Plus, the last day of Flower Piano falls on the second Tuesday of the month, which is free for all guests. Flower Piano is also incorporating a new, more intimate listening experience called the “Flower Piano Lounge,” from Friday through Sunday only, as a separately ticketed part of the event. Perks include comfortable lounge furniture, food vendors and a full-service bar. There are 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. time slots available each day of the Flower Piano Lounge. 

2. Bhangra and Beats in the Financial District

🗓️ Friday | 5-10 p.m.
📍 Battery and Clay streets

Bhangra and Beats, presented by Into the Streets and Non Stop Bhangra, is hosting its third and final Downtown San Francisco block party of the season this Friday, giving you one more chance to dance the night away if you got FOMO missing out on the last two. Bhangra, an energetic style of Punjabi folk dance and music, blended with the eclectic sounds of the Bay Area keeps the party going into the night. The aromas of charred meats, veggies, spices and other street foods will lure you away from the dance floor eventually, though. Once you’ve got a bite to snack on, there will also be dozens of local retail vendors to shop from. 

3. Autumn Moon Festival in the Richmond 

🗓️ Saturday | 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
📍 Clement Street between Seventh and 10th avenues

The Autumn Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, is a Chinese cultural celebration honoring the moon–historically tied to the harvest season–when it is supposed to be at its fullest and, therefore, will bring a successful harvest. Though a festival will be happening in Chinatown in a couple weeks, San Francisco’s Richmond District is hosting its seventh annual Mid-Autumn event this Saturday. You can shop from dozens of AAPI and Richmond-local vendors, share mooncakes and watch captivating performances at this three-block celebration. You can even pick up a fresh pack of signature Shui Mein noodles from a pop-up of the 91-year-old Mon Sing Noodle Company, a noodle factory that supplies noodles to many of San Francisco’s top restaurants. 

READ MORE: The Noodles From This 91-Year-Old San Francisco Factory Are the Secret of Many Top Chefs

4. Rock ‘N Swap Record Fair in NoPa

🗓️ Sunday | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
📍 McLaren Conference Center, University of San Francisco
🎟️ $3-$20

Whether you’re a hardcore collector or a casual listener, there is bound to be something worth haggling for at KUSF’s Rock ‘N Swap record fair, the largest such fair in San Francisco. The event is held at the University of San Francisco campus, where over 6,000 square feet fills with music lovers shopping crates of vinyl, CDs, memorabilia, apparel and other music-related items. Early birds can pay a little extra to start shopping as early as 7 a.m., but general admission starts after 10 a.m. for $3, and any student ID will get you in the door for free. 

5. World Arts West Dance Festival in the Presidio

🗓️ Sunday | 1-4 p.m.
📍 Presidio Tunnel Tops East Meadow

The World Arts West Dance Festival is a cultural event that presents a diverse and dynamic showcase of dance forms from around the world, including an Aztec dance performed by Calpulli Tonalehqueh and a performance from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. Hosted by World Arts West, an SF-based nonprofit, this festival is a celebration of global dance traditions, wisdom, beauty and joy. The event also includes interactive demos and abundant food options from one of the Presidio Pop-Up food trucks.