Family-friendly fall festivals and fairs in the Bay Area that are a perfect family outing

Fall is officially here and with our perfect mid-70s weather, that also means it’s also family fall festival season! So grab the kids, put on your seasonal scarf, and head to one of these events in the Bay Area. Not to be confused with Halloween festivals in the Bay Area, pumpkin patches that deliver more than just pumpkins, or Bay Area corn mazes that are also a ton of fun, these Bay Area festivals and fall fairs are community fests and cultural events—picture autumn lights and on-the-vineyard harvest festivals that will delight, awe, inspire, and fill you with treats in a different kind of way. Find your next family-friendly fall festival and fair near San Francisco below and get ready to celebrate all the wonderful things that the fall season has to offer.

26th Annual Sunset Community Festival
Oct. 1: Enjoy live music, delicious local bites, and bring your kids to the Fun Zone for life-sized games, face painting, balloon animals, and more! This free family-friendly event for all ages draws Sunset residents and celebrates the diversity of the region, building bridges among neighbors and providing performances from dance groups, musical artists, and more. The festival features Sunset Mercantile’s pop-up marketplace, showcasing local eats, merchants, makers, and artisans. Event details.

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch
Oct. 1-2: More than 25 artists take months to hand-blow and hand-craft the more than 10,000 beautiful glass pumpkins, which range from teeny-tiny to gargantuan. The pumpkins come in all colors and various shapes. Event details.

Japanese Cultural Festival
Oct. 2: Live performances, demonstrations, hands-on activities for adults and children, food booths, wine, beer and sake booths all celebrate the Japanese culture. Event details.

San Francisco Fleet Week
Oct. 3-10: See air shows, take ship tours and watch the parade of ships at this epic celebration of patriotism. Event details.

California Seaweed Festival 2022
Oct. 7-8: The California Seaweed Festival is a free in-person family friendly event celebrating the seaweed diversity of California. The festival will showcase seaweed uses and applications in art, cooking, farming, science, sustainable technology, and conservation. At the all-day event, we will have booths, exhibits, workshops, galleries, and hands-on activities to immerse you and your family in seaweed fun and knowledge. We also encourage the use of masks when in a crowded and enclosed areas, following the California set guidelines. Event details.

Italian Heritage Festival Parade
Oct. 8: The Parade begins at 12:30 pm at the foot of Jefferson and Powell Streets in Fisherman’s Wharf, proceeds south through North Beach on Columbus Avenue and ends in Washington Square in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church. Parade viewing is available throughout the entire route. Event details.

San Francisco Water Lantern Festival
Oct. 8: The Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. Event details.

Life is Living Festival
Oct. 8: This multi-generational, multi-disciplinary festival celebrates and highlights everything that is beautiful about Oakland – the joy, diversity, adversity, and revolutionary spirit that vibrates through the streets of the city. Event details.

Day on the Bay 2022
Oct. 8: Come out and celebrate the Bay! This resource fair showcase the beautiful Alviso Marina, along with several family-friendly and recreation activities. This special event is a wonderful opportunity to share information, services, and resources with the local community. Event details.

Celebrate the Harvest at Bricoleur Vineyards
Oct. 9: Celebrate the 3rd Annual Harvest Party! Enjoy wine, music, bocce ball, and all-around fun at Bricoleur Vineyards. Event details.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Filoli
Oct. 10: Join Filoli this Indigenous Peoples' Day for an hour of history, dance, and storytelling by Sewam American Indian Dance and the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone. Eddie Madril will perform and share how native dancing and music represents a beautiful expression of Native American heritage. Jonathan Cordero and Gregg Castro will give an overview of Ramaytush village sites and touch on the Association's goals around cultural revitalization, land rematriation, and ecological restoration. Children and families are welcome! The hour-long free program will be repeated at 11:00 and 1:00 and will be held in Filoli’s Ballroom. Space is limited so registration is recommended. Event details.

Safeway World Champ Pumpkin Weigh-Off
Oct. 10: Pumpkin growers far and near will vie for heaviest pumpkin at the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. In a pay-by-the-pound system, the winner will take home a hefty $9 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin. In addition, a $1000 award will go to the most beautiful pumpkin. A special $30,000 bonus mega-prize will be awarded to any grower who breaks the world record at Half Moon Bay (the current world record is 2,703-pounds set at a 2021 weigh-off in Italy). The grand champion gourd (along with the top five overall) will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 15-16. Event details.

Autumn Lights Festival
Oct. 11-15: Art and nature enthusiasts from all over the region will flock to Oakland's Lake Merritt to immerse themselves in the 11th Annual Autumn Lights Festival, a one-of-a-kind interactive art experience that is always the talk of the town. Event details.

Diwali Festival
Oct. 15: Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated in India and other South Asian countries. Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance". During Diwali, people wear their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with diyas  (lamps) and rangoli, perform worship ceremonies of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where mithai (Indian sweets) and gifts are shared. Diya lighting, music, performances, arts and crafts, henna, kids zone, food trucks, costume parade and more! Event details.

Potrero Hill Festival
Oct. 15: Celebrate the Potrero community outdoors on 20th Street as we stretch out over 4 blocks with magic, music, food, family, and fun! The Potrero Hill Festival is a benefit for the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, our local community center providing essential services to Potrero’s most in need. Join us for this one-of-a-kind community event for all ages! Event details.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 15 & 16: Celebrate the "Great & Almighty Gourd" as Half Moon Bay presents its 50th annual bountiful pumpkin season with a special weekend filled with four stages of blockbuster entertainment, the Great Pumpkin Parade, harvest-inspired crafts, and home-style foods. Farmer Mike swill sculpt a monster pumpkin, plus there will be an opportunity to take photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, enter into pie-eating and costume contests, and so much more. Event details.

German Day in Golden Gate Park 2022
Oct. 16: Various German organizations and performers will showcase their talents and entertain the audience from the stage and each organization will also sponsor an informational table. There will be activities for children and adults, food available for purchase and beer and wine available in an enclosed "Biergarten." Event details.

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