Spring is here, and though in-person community celebrations have taken a back seat during the pandemic, Easter’s arrival on April 17 brings the return of many beloved events and festivities.
In addition to the news that many churches will be holding in-person Easter Sunday services once again, offerings for this year’s Holy Week are blooming with variety, from a solemn Good Friday concert at Grace Cathedral to the return of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s irreverent Easter in the Park celebration.
Here’s a look at how local organizations are planning to celebrate Easter this year in the Bay Area:
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Hip Hoppin’Historic Angel Island Tram Tour
Ferry over from Tiburon or San Francisco and enjoy a springtime adventure on Angel Island, including a one-hour tram tour of the island, with one adult and one kids ticket as well as a kids Easter basket included in the admission price. Additional kids tickets (with extra basket) available for $ 10; $ 15 for adults.
Saturday-Sunday, April 9-10 and 16-17. $ 25, reservations required. A round-trip ferry ride from SF or Tiburon adds an additional $ 5- $ 15 to the cost per ticket. Angelisland.com
Easter Pop-Up Celebration
Get a little hoppy for Easter with beer tastings, family-friendly holiday activities and shopping with local vendors and artisans on site, and pictures with the Easter Bunny in the lawn area.
Noon-4 pm Sunday, April 10. Free, registration encouraged. Solano Brewing Co., 5500 Weber Road, Vacaville. 707-999-7221. solanobrew.com
Vallejo Spring Carnival
Featuring carnival rides, games, vendors and fair foods.
5-10 pm Thursday-Friday, April 14-15; noon-10 pm Saturday-Sunday, April 16-17. Free admission. Unlimited rides wristband $ 30. Vallejo Waterfront, Mare Island Way and Georgia Street, Vallejo. 707-429- 4788. artvallejo.org
Nightlife with the SF Conservatory of Music
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music joins forces with the California Academy of Sciences for an evening featuring live, acoustic music performances and some seasonal surprises. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, including craft cocktails to be enjoyed outdoors.
6-10 pm Thursday, April 14. $ 18- $, vaccination proof, masks indoors and reservations required. 21 and older. California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, SF calacademy.org/nightlife
The Alexander String Quartet Presents:’The Seven Last Words of Christ’
Haydn was commissioned to write this piece in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in Cadiz, Spain. The celebrated chamber ensemble — featuring violinists Zakarias Grafilo and Frederick Lifsitz, violist David Samuel and cellist Sandy Wilson — is set to perform the piece, interspersed with verse readings by special guests..
6 pm Friday, April 15. Free, $ 15- $ 45 suggested donation. Registration. required. 415-749-6300. gracecathedral.org
Rodeo Beach Rumble 8k / Half Marathon / 30k
Close to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area location for this Easter weekend race event offers amazing views and military landmarks along the course routes. Come with family and friends to enjoy a day at the beach after a hard- earned finish in one of the events. The course maps / information are available online.
8 am-1 pm Saturday, April 16. Check-in / bib pick up 7-8:15 am; 8 am 30k start; 8:15 am half marathon start; 8:30 am 8k start. $ 25- $ 70, registration required . Rodeo Beach Coastal Trailhead, Mitchell Road, Mill Valley. 415-380-1785. urbancoyoteracing.com
Half-Day Meditation Retreat at the Botanical Garden
It will include sitting, walking and gentle moving meditation as well as qigong instruction. Bring your lunch and enjoy with fellow attendees in the garden after.
9 am-12:30 pm Saturday, April 16. $ 60, reservations required. San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, 1199 Ninth Ave., SF 415-661-1316. Sfbg.org
Family Program: Naturally Dyed Eggs at the Garden
A hands-on workshop introduces children to natural dyes and pattern-making techniques on eggs using bright, plant-based colors. Each class tuition includes four eggs and supplies needed per participant.
9:15 and 10:45 am Saturday, April 16. $ 16- $ 20, reservations required. UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. 510-664-7606. Botanical garden.berkeley.edu
Bunny Weekend at Children’s Fairyland
Enjoy the holiday weekend with family-friendly games and activities, arts and crafts, live music and theatrical performances, and an instrument petting zoo in addition to the amusement park’s regular offerings.
10 am-5 pm Saturday-Sunday, April 16-17. Included with park admission. Reservations required. Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. 510-452-2259. Fairyland.org
Native Plant Sale at Sutro Nursery
Join Sutro Stewards at their native plant nursery to purchase local plants for your garden. All proceeds from the sale help support their nursery operations and mission to increase biodiversity on Mount Sutro. Parking available in spaces directly above the nursery marked “Aldea Center Parking” in red. Additional street parking is available along Clarendon Avenue.
10 am-2 pm Saturday, April 16. Free admission. Reservations encouraged, masks required in nursery. Sutro Native Plant Nursery, 476 Johnstone Drive, SF sutrostewards.org
Easter Cookie Decorating Class
A family-friendly outdoor event in which participants deck out a dozen cookies with an Easter theme.
10 am Saturday, April 16. $ 40, reservations required. East Bay Provisions, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley. 510-549-8549. eastbay-provisions.com
Castro Easter Eggstravaganza Block Party
The inaugural Easter block party in the Castro is scheduled to include live music, drag performances, a petting zoo and story time, photos with the Easter Bunny, an Easter bonnet contest, art and craft vendors, sweet treats and more.
11 am-5 pm Saturday, April 16. Free. Noe Street at Market Street, SF 415-980-0011. Castromerchants.com
Bon Air Easter Bunny Burrow
In anticipation of their big 70th anniversary party, planned for May 7, the outdoor marketplace celebrates Easter with an event featuring free bunny ears, balloons, jelly beans and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny in its decorated Bunny Burrow. Pets are welcome.
11 am-2 pm Saturday, April 16. Free. Bon Air, 50 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae. 415-461-0200. Bonair.com
Ghirardelli Square Easter Jubilee
Celebrate with sweet treats, an Easter egg race, photos with the Easter Bunny, hands-on arts and crafts, and more. While you are at there, check out Leah Rosenberg’s colorful, site-specific art installation, “18 Colors for Ghirardelli Square . ”A guide for it can be found onsite at the Fountain Plaza and online.
Noon-3 pm Saturday, April 16. Free. Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., SF 415-775-5500. Ghirardellisq.com
Easter Weekend at Bees’n’ Blooms
Picnic, explore, walk the lavender labyrinth and shop for springtime goodies at this Santa Rosa organic honey and lavender farm. Preorder plants, honey, eggs and crafty gifts and pick them up during your weekend visit at the bees-n-blooms.square.site..
10 am-3 pm Saturday-Sunday, April 16-17. Free. 3883 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa. 707-293-8293. beesnblooms.com
Easter at the Fort Mason Farmers’ Market
Enjoy some Easter flair as you shop for seasonal, local fruits, vegetables, flowers and more at the Sunday market. The holiday part of the weekly event will feature an egg hunt; an egg drop competition, in which kids enter contraptions meant to protect an egg from breaking when dropped from three stories up; and a “Most Beautiful Bunch” of carrots contest.
9:30 am-1:30 pm Sunday, April 17. Free admission. Registration required for the egg drop competition. Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., SF 800-806-3276. cafarmersmkts.com
Back to Our Old Habits: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Easter in the Park
The 43rd anniversary celebration begins with children’s Easter activities 10 am-noon, followed by the main event noon-4 pm Peaches Christ is set to host a variety show featuring drag and other live entertainment, including performances from Connie Champagne, Kitten on the Keys, Carly Ozard, Kippy Marks, Nicki Jizz and the stars of “Reparations,” Oakland’s Rebel Kings, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Misfit Cabaret’s Kat Robichaud and others.
Patrons are encouraged to show off their Easter spirit and compete in an Easter bonnet contest, and the classic Foxy Mary and highly anticipated Hunky Jesus (3 pm) contests. These are open to all, and contestants are encouraged to show up in costume, ready to line up backstage for the show. Vaccinations are highly recommended.
10 am-4 pm Sunday, April 17. Free. Dolores Park, 19th and Dolores streets, SF thesisters.org/events
Meritage / Vista Collina Easter Brunch Buffet and Egg Hunt
An outdoor Easter brunch that includes a glass of sparkling wine, paired with a family-style first course, as well as carving and dessert stations. Brunch guests will enjoy complimentary access to children’s activities, including Easter egg hunts, petting zoo and photos with the Easter Bunny.
10 am-2:30 pm Sunday, April 17. $ 40- $ 95 per person, children under 5 are free. Reservations required. Meritage Resort, 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa. 844-238-5361. meritagecollection.com
Vallejo People’s Garden Easter / Earth Day Festival
Celebrate with a kids egg hunt, gardening classes, raffles, live music, vendors and more.
Noon-4 pm Sunday, April 17. Free, registration encouraged. Vallejo People’s Garden, 1055 Azuar Drive, Vallejo. 707-733-3874. vallejopeoplesgarden.org
Bring Your Own Big Wheel
Slap on your helmets and drag your plastic big wheel trikes up to the top of the hill for an eccentric San Francisco Easter tradition. Take a daring ride down one of the city’s steepest and curviest roads with a pack of people on big wheels. get their own hour to careen out of control before the big kids go down.
2-5 pm Sunday, April 17. Free, registration required to ride. 2301 20th St., SF bringyourownbigwheel.com