SF Life: Spooktacular Events, Tea Fest, Tomato Choreographer, Fairs

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Spooky weekend ahead Tomatoes. And even though you may be too old to trick or treat, there are frights and delights to be had. Read on for some of the scariest we have found.  If a cuppa is your beverage of choice, the Tea fest is coming. 75-year-old choreographer Liz Lerman is going strong with a dance performance about witches this weekend. Time for more fairs – from art and literature to renegade crafts and yes, holiday shopping! And listen to my podcast interview this week about redefining age.

Listen in here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The Terror Vault

An immersive haunt like no other has been brewing in the basement of San Francisco Mint for almost a year. The “Terror Vault” is ready to play. An old school haunted house mashed with modern immersive theatre. “The Summoning”, as this event is called opens in the Fang Bang vampire bar and cabaret where patrons are asked for help with a séance, return the decapitated head of a vampire queen and more.

The hour-long show takes guests through the basement, vaults, and other hidden corners of the Mint. You will enter another dimension and be immersed in a different world. Fun facts, 10 months of planning, more than 130 local artists are hired and 90 actors form the cast. 6 – 10 p.m. Wednesday – Sunday, Halloween night and Nov 4 – 5th. $60 – $80.


Nightshade’s Curse

It wouldn’t be a Halloween if we didn’t include the Winchester Mystery House in our list of haunts.  Making its pandemic return after a 2019 debut, “Unhinged” is the historic estate’s response to guest feedback for a more intense upgrade to its seasonal flashlight tours.  This year’s ‘Nightshade’s Curse” transforms the eccentric estate into a creepy midcentury carnival come sundown.

Haunting carnival music, dense fog, mesmerizing lighting all soak the estate in an otherworldly ambiance. You will find carnival games, live music, and fortune readings. The Speakeasy bar provides an array of elixirs and fuel up with bites at Café 13.  See what we mean, they have truly upped the game. It’s a must haunt!  Hurry, hurry, ends October 31st.  www.winchestermysteryhouse.com

The Castro

Should you not have littles to trick or treat with, the Castro is the best place to see both children and adults in their finest costumes. Bring your pet outfitted in their favorite costume and enter the pet costume parade at 2 p.m. this Saturday. Then stick around for the adult costume contest at 4 p.m. Sights to behold, some not for kids of course.

Their Halloween block party features photo ops with the Castro wicked witch and her ghoulie friends, trick-or-treating, drag queen story time and performances, and costume contests; Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Noe St. at Market St. castromerchants.com

Nov. 5-6. Tea Fest 

It’s always teatime tomatoes and the Tea Fest gives those of us who enjoy a cuppa, the opportunity to indulge and taste all the delicious teas.  The organizers profess that every cup of tea is a story. There will be teas from local and global producers, a free swag bag with your very own teacup and access to hundreds of different types of tea.

There are workshops and lectures, including how to make the best matcha and Highly Functional Herbal Teas, Exploring the sensory role of cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanicals one sip at a time. Saturday and Sunday November 5th and 6th. Tickets are $25-$40. One Ferry Building. https://www.sfitf.com/why-sfitf

Oct. 28-30. Wicked Bodies

We love Tomatoes who keep sharing their gifts with the world. Enter Liz Lerman, who at 74, occupies an unusual place in the American dance world. Her work explores ideas such as the genome and war trauma in theatrical journeys that elicit on the spot conversations. Her newest work is being performed this weekend. “Wicked Bodies” is about a seasonally timely topic: witches.

It goes much deeper as the show’s diverse cast investigates the ways governments and institutions have stoked fear of the female body. Dancers celebrate witches’ wisdom and make surprising connections between the historical and the personal.  Runs Friday the 28th – the 30th. Blue Shield of California Theatre, 700 Howard St. $25-$40. www.ybca.org

Nov. 4-6. Marin Arts & Crafts Show

Let the Holiday Shopping begin….yes, it’s not even Halloween, but time to start thinking about what comes next – the gift giving time of year!

Shop handcrafted wares, fine art, jewelry, ceramics, woodwork, antiquities, and specialty foods from more than 200 artisans at the Marin Arts & Crafts Show. Plus, enjoy plein-air painting workshops, wine tasting from Haven Steadchocolate sampling, and live music; admission is free, November 4-6. Marin Center Exhibit Hall, 10 Ave. of the Flags. www.marinartsandcraftsshow.com.

Nov. 5. The Art & Lit Fest

Daly City is launching its first annual art and lit fest. This event will showcase local artists and encourage the cultural rise of Daly City’s art community. The Art & Lit Fest will be a day of arts and crafts, performances, workshops, live music, and fun – celebrating the talent in the community while raising funds for Daly City Public Library. In addition, the festival will include an art gallery, music workshops, hands-on art activities, cultural performances, and a poetry reading. Local artists and crafters will be selling their creations throughout the day, including street artist Mark Bodē, who will be offering his custom drawings. Saturday November 5th.

For more information about the Art and Lit Fest, or about DCPLA, please contact Victoria Magbilang at (415) 596-8194, or email her at info@dcpla.org.

Nov. 5-6. Renegade Fair

Renegade San Francisco returns for an inspired marketplace on November 5 + 6 at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. This Fair is indoors with some outdoor food trucks and features. Curated goods from local artists will have you on your way to (and maybe even finishing) your holiday gift giving. Many items under $30 – gifts from accessories and apparel to art, beauty, and wellness, BIPOC made, jewelry and living and home.  Saturday and Sunday November 5 – 6. Fort Mason Center. https://www.renegadecraft.com



  • Kim Selby

    Kim Selby, the SF life editor of The Three Tomatoes, is your gal for info on what’s hot and happening in the beautiful bay area. Having lived on the Left Coast for 27 years, after almost a decade in NYC, she has explored and continues to have adventures all over the San Francisco area. Passionate about fashion, formerly with GLAMOUR magazine and Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue , Palo Alto, Kim produced fashion shows in the bay area for over 20 years. She now creates events to empower, delight and inspire women, aka “Tomatoes”. Learn more about Kim at www.kim-selby.com

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