Come samba in the streets of San Francisco, run with the locals at Bay to Breakers and enjoy music in the meadows in the merry month of May.

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April 27, 2018

Things to Do in San Francisco this May

Come samba in the streets of San Francisco for the 40th anniversary of Carnaval, run with the locals at Bay to Breakers and enjoy music in the meadows in the merry month of May.

Curb Appeal
The West Coast’s top designers have transformed 465 Marina Blvd. in the heart of the Marina District for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, which continues through May 28, 2018 (closed Mondays except Memorial Day). Originally built by architect George McCrea in 1930, the house offers uninterrupted views of San Francisco Bay from its location opposite Marina Green. More than two dozen interior and landscape designers along with artists and photographers have been selected to transform the rooms and outdoor spaces in this three-level residence.

It’s Showtime!
A “direct hit to the heart,” The Color Purple, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival in 2016, brings its soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues to the stage of SHN Orpheum Theater, May 1-27, 2018. This stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning story by Alice Walker. The Mystery of Love and Sex continues through May 20, 2018, at the New Conservatory Theatre Center. The American Conservatory Theater presents Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) through May 20, 2018. Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey and set during the American Civil War, the play fuses classical Greek drama and the soaring spirit of the blues. When Pigs Fly opens at the New Conservatory Theater May 11. A hilarious musical testament to one man’s pursuit of his dreams, no matter how many things go wrong along the way, the show runs through June 10, 2018.

History with A Twist
In addition to providing a home for emerging and independent theatre artists and companies, the EXIT Theatre annually produces a full season of performances with resident artists and designers. Coming up next is Congresswomen, freely adapted and directed by Stuart Bousel from the play Aristophanes. A cynical romp depicting a community’s attempt to overhaul its corrupt power structure, it tackles the age-old question: are humans their own worst enemy? See it May 3-26, 2018.

SFMade Week
From May 7-13, 2018, SFMade presents a week-long celebration of San Francisco’s vibrant manufacturing sector. Discover more than 75 local brands, the people who make them, and where to buy the products at more than 25 events at local factories and retailers. You can also join factory tours, demos and shopping events. On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, don’t miss the City Hall Pop-Up, featuring 40-plus SFMade vendors offering one-of-a-kind gifts. Enjoy free prizes and live music throughout the event, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. SFMade currently supports more than 650 local manufacturers who collectively sustain more than 4,000 jobs in San Francisco.

Rugby Night at AT&T Park
Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held for the first time in the U.S. at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, July 20-22, 2018. On Monday, May 14, 2018, the San Francisco Giants will host an inaugural Rugby Night at AT&T Park. The Rugby Night ticket package includes a ticket to the game against the Cincinnati Reds; a custom, full size Giants-branded Rugby ball; and access to a pre-game reception. All past, present and future rugby players, coaches and fans are encouraged to take part in this first-of-its-kind event. These are the best areas to stay for Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Presidio Twilight Returns
Dubbed “San Francisco’s Community Campfire,” Presidio Twilight returns to the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground on Thursday evening, May 17, 2018. Featuring street food from Off the Grid, this event, a companion to the popular Presidio Picnic which occurs on Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., is held every Thursday from 5-9 p.m. A diverse and delicious menu of food options from local creators, live music, free outdoor games, and 30 lantern-lit cabanas and fire pits sets the mood for a “picnic at dusk” atmosphere.

Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men
The Walt Disney Family Museum’s newest special exhibition, Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation will be on view May 17, 2018-Jan. 7, 2019. This unique exhibition celebrates the distinctive talents and contributions of the Walt Disney Studios’ most celebrated artists, playfully dubbed the “Nine Old Men” by Disney himself. Masters of Animation will feature an array of artwork and family mementoes from each of the “Nine Old Men,” including sketchbooks, caricatures, snapshots as well as original art.

Wine Pour at PIER 39
Grab your friends and head to The PIER to enjoy the season with an evening of wine, beer, music and fun at the PIER 39 Spring Wine Pour on Friday, May 18, 2018. Stroll The PIER and stop by participating businesses to enjoy tastings, exclusive discounts, live music and entertainment from 4-8 p.m. Paying attendees will receive wine tastings, discounts at participating businesses, a commemorative glass and more. Advance tickets are $25 until May 17; a limited number of tickets will be available day-of at the PIER 39 Entrance Plaza for $30 (cash-only). A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Aquarium of the Bay's conservation education program for Bay Area children.

René Magritte: The Fifth Season at SFMOMA
On view at the at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from May 19-Oct. 28, 2018 is René Magritte: The Fifth Season, an exclusive special exhibition looking at the works of the famed surrealist during the latter stages of his career from the 1940s to 1960s. The Fifth Season features more than 50 oil paintings and a dozen gouaches across nine galleries. Many pieces within the exhibit are rarely-seen treasures from museums around the world and private collections. Together, they offer a provocative look at Magritte's use of the irrational to convey meaning and mystery in his artwork.

Bay to Breakers
Of all of San Francisco’s unique traditions, none captivates the entire city the way Bay to Breakers does. This year’s race is May 20, 2018. It’s an annual testament to the creativity, community and resilience that make San Francisco such a popular destination. The race began in 1912 and is now recognized as the longest consecutively run foot race in the world. It is also one of the most creative. Whether it’s a pink gorilla or a cadre of runners dressed as Wonder Woman, participants try to outdo one another by crafting some truly outrageous costumes every year. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of our favorites. Registration is now open. These are some of the best areas to stay in San Francisco for Bay to Breakers.

San Francisco International Arts Festival
Forty different artist ensembles and companies will present their work exclusively at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, May 24-June 3, for the San Francisco International Arts Festival. The 2018 festival pays homage to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 50 years after his death, as well as women’s leadership and everything from artificial intelligence to comedy.

Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art
This summer, hundreds of thousands of visitors will walk through the doors of the Exploratorium to discover gigantic, fantastical, air-filled art works inspired by the natural world. The renowned San Francisco museum is partnering with art, design and visual culture blog Colossal to present something huge: Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art, on view May 26-Sept. 3, 2018.

Carnaval San Francisco Sambas Through Mission District Memorial Day Weekend
Bursting with music, dance, cuisine, and arts and crafts from the many countries that celebrate Carnaval, Carnaval San Francisco will be celebrated in San Francisco’s Mission District on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27, 2018. With 400,000-plus attendees, the Carnaval San Francisco outdoor cultural festival and Grand Parade is the largest such multicultural celebration on the West Coast. VIP parade seating on May 27 is available. These are the best areas to stay for Carnaval San Francisco.

The Scoop: Museum of Ice Cream Extends Stay Through May
After selling out since arriving in the fall of 2017, the Museum of Ice Cream is extending its run through Sept. 3, 2018, debuting two new rooms—"Mint Jungle" and "Carnival"—enticing visitors to explore their imagination (or to come back and visit). Tickets are on sale now.

Shifting Gears: Museum Picks
Several exhibitions this summer pay tribute to the world of machines and technology. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), Contraption: Rediscovering California Jewish Artists continues through July 29, 2018. Also at the CJM through July 8, 2018, The Art of Rube Goldberg explores the career of this native San Franciscan. One of the most celebrated and influential cartoonists of all time, Goldberg was also fascinated by overly complicated chain-reaction machines. Suggesting possible parallels to the tech industries of Silicon Valley, Cult of the Machine continues at the de Young Museum through Aug. 12, 2018. Through paintings, photography, film, and design, the exhibition reflects on the impact of urbanization in the 1920s and ‘30s.

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)