Now that days are getting longer and the clocks have sprung ahead, the Bay area is teeming with cheap and creative options for you and your next date. We’ve tried to find something to please every palate and every budget (actually, these are all free) so don’t be afraid to try something new; in fact, sharing new experiences is an important part of any healthy relationship. Even if you are without a date, head to these cool events and you never know who you will end up meeting! In fact, grab a friend and try all of these out, keeping an open mind and a fun attitude. Keep in mind that most of these are monthly (and sometimes weekly) events, so if April doesn’t work, May might be an option.
Tuesday, April 1st, hours vary: Be a Voyeur(or at least take in an exhibit or two)
Going to a museum is pretty standard early date fare; you can go at your own pace, find out things that interest each other, and follow it up with drinks/dinner/coffee… or even more. Thankfully, San Francisco is full of museums, and admission to some of the best happens to be free on the first Tuesday of every month. Check out the de Young , the SFMOMA, the Legion of Honor, the YBCA, and even the Conservatory of Flowers on the first day of April in 2014. And no, the free admission is not an April Fool’s joke.
Thursday, April 3rd, 6-10pm: Feed a Starving Artist (or just yourselves)
The Upper Polk/Tenderloin Art Walk takes place on the first Thursday evening of every month. More than a dozen galleries stay open late to participate in this mini-festival, and there are plenty of special events and food trucks to round out the experience.
Sunday, April 6th, 2pm: Visit the Gates of Hell (while keeping good company)
On the first Sunday of every month, you can take a free and guided tour of the Stanford University Outdoor Sculpture Collection. Artists include Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, and of course, Auguste Rodin.
Tuesday, April 8th, 6-9pm: War of the Words (Get ready for prattle)
Take part in the Radar Reading series at the Main Branch of the SF Public Library. The series focuses on upcoming and emerging local authors who write in a variety of styles. Hearing a piece in the author’s own voice can put any work in an entirely new perspective.
Saturday, April 12th, 10:30am: Expose Yourself to Some Art-chitecture
Have you ever wondered why Treasure Island looks so unlike the rest of San Francisco? Learn more about the lasting impact of architect Timothy Pflueger, and the his ideas behind the Art Deco structures that were the celebrated backbone of the Golden Gate Internation Exposition of 1939-40. We also have him to thank for some very outstanding local works by Diego Rivera.
Saturday, April 12th, 12-4pm: Get Your Hands Dirty (while doing a good deed)
Join the monthly volunteer work party at the ECO SF school farm, where the two of you can learn more about farming, ecology, sustainability while developing your green thumbs. All skill levels (and refreshments) are more than welcome.
Saturday, April 12th, 1-4pm: Get All Decked Out (but don’t go overboard)
Join the Cal Sailing Club for their monthly Open House, where you can get a free introductory sailing lesson. Quarterly memberships and lessons are cheap and available if you find yourself bitten by the sailing bug, but it all starts with getting (your feet) wet.
Wednesday, April 1th, 7:30-11pm: Spend a Night with the Gintelligentsia
This event isn’t actually free (it’s $8 per person), but Nerd Night at Rickshaw might be just your thing if you like hearing really smart people talk about their passions while consuming large amounts of ethanol. Recent topics included microbes, private space exploration, and what books to include in a library meant to survive beyond the end of civilization. Think and drink at the same time!
Thursday, April 17th, 5-8pm: A Different Take on Men’s Furnishings
The third Thursday of every month brings late hours at the SF Design Center, where you can shop for the furniture of your (or her) dreams while sipping on local wines and delectable edibles. You may want to stick with white wine, just in case you have to buy the couch if you stain it.
Thursday, April 17th, 7-10pm: Rate the Game, Date the Player
Every month, the Go Game Headquarters hosts an open “Sandbox” for developers of real world, real time games to test their newest logic and strategy creations on anyone willing to show up and play. Set up a friendly wager with your date, and help a fellow entrepreneur create their own kind of magic.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 7-9pm, Strive for Work-Life Balance (by walking a tightrope)
The Circus Center in San Francisco offers free monthly classes that give you the opportunity to ride a unicycle, learn to juggle, walk a tightrope, and practice myriad other circus skills. If you’ve ever been told you need more balance in your life, this might be the place for you. Clowning around may or may not be encouraged.
Saturday, April 26th, 11am-4pm: My Baby is a 10. We Dressing to the (Ca)nines
If the two of you need a double date with your dogs, or simply have one canine companion who’s tired of being a third wheel, the annual Dogfest in Duboce Park should be right up your alley. This is the biggest SF dog event of the year, so hang out with other dog owners while your own canine kid competes for Best Coat, Best Costume, and plenty of other high honors. Dogfest is also a great date opportunity for those of you who also have (human) children; there is face painting, a bouncy house, and plenty of other kid-friendly diversions. Beware: You might be tempted to add another member to your family, and volunteers in the Dog Rescue zone will be there to help you do just that.