Friday, September 30:
Fairyland for Adults: It’s difficult to get into Fairyland without looking like a pedophile, mainly because you aren’t let in without a kid in tow. That all changes just for tonight, when adults are allowed to run amok within the confines of the children’s playground all on their lonesome. Thank Oaklandish for organizing a night where adults are allowed to play, drink, and stare wistfully at the rides (which will not be operational, due to the booze). Linden St. Brewery and Urban Legend Cellars will be providing free(!!) drinks, and Fiveten Burger and The Johnny Appleseed Café will supply kid-inspired dishes. Presale tickets sold out, so get there early if you’re hoping to snag a way in.
Lake Merritt at Grand Ave. and Bellevue, Oakland
O Zone at The Oakland Museum: You know how Cal Academy has nightlife? Well, Oakland Museum also has an adult event involving food, cocktails, and beards. Except these beards aren't just on attendees or working extra hard as Tom Cruise's wife (allegedly), but part of the museum's search for the "Best John Muir Beard in the Bay." Here's a link to a picture of John Muir for reference. Even the entertainment is facial hair-focused, with Whiskerman and Conspiracy of Beards providing the tunes wafting through the galleries. If luscious facial follicles ain't yo thing, you can also look forward to a beer garden stocked with local breweries.
5–11:45pm, free with museum admission ($12)
1000 Oak St., Oakland
Friday, September 30–Sunday, October 2:
Oktoberfest by the Bay: A goal of mine is to make it Germany one of these year’s for Oktoberfest. If you’re like me and like the foresight to purchase tickets months in advance, head out to Pier 48 for Oktoberfest by the Bay. They’ll be recreating that Munich-atmosphere with German beer, food, and music, including the 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band, which headlines. You get to dance the chicken dance! What’s better than the chicken dance after a few beers? Event organizers also encourage stereotypical German attire, so bust out those beer wench costumes and…lederhosen? Clogs? No one really knows that it is anyway….
Fri 5pm–midnight, Sat 11am–5pm, 6pm–midnight, Sun 11am–6pm
$25 general, $65 VIP
Pier 48, San Francisco
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: I refuse to go to another event in Golden Gate Fields due to the clusterfuck that is trying to leave. I mean, seriously, you will be stranded their for hours unless some nice man named Carolyn driving a Homomobile takes pity on you and picks you up (but seriously, Homomobile is the best and you should call them (415) 574-5023). The only thing that could get me there this year is the lineup. I’m particularly jazzed about M. Ward, Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene, and Gomez (“we haven’t turned” around was my JAM), but you can peep the full lineup and schedule here. http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com/2011/artists.shtml
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Saturday, October 1:
Pleasanton Tomato Battle: Do you hate your friends and dream of throwing overripe fruit at them? Does fruit squishing around in your nether regions sound like a good time? Are you fiercely competitive and have yet to find an appropriate venue in which to channel your rage? Head down to the Alameda County Fairgrounds for a day filled with flying tomatoes, beer, and live music. Costumes are encouraged (there will be a contest), and all of the tomatoes come from food banks or local farmers after they’re no longer fit for human consumption. For those of you concerned about the heft of the tomatoes, rules encourage that they are crushed before being hurled into the masses.
$60, fight starts at 12pm
Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton
Oaktoberfest: Oakland’s got their own Oktoberfest celebration going on in the Dimond District. Take THAT, San Francisco. You’re free to enjoy das boot full of beer from 20 different local breweries while imbibing outdoors on the four blocks designated for the event. In addition to beer there will be German food such as bratwurst and strudel, and wandering accordionists randomly performing German polkas, an alphorn player, and a homebrew competition.
Macarthur Blvd. at Fruitvale Ave.
Parktober Fest: And even the suburbs won’t be left out of the celebration! Oh no, the East Bay ‘Burbs are getting into the Oktoberfest spirit, even if we are charging $40 to join in the celebration. Hey, at least it includes drinks and food. The Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa is throwing a German soiree, complete with uber-local beer from EJ Phair, Ale Industries, Triple Rock, and Drake’s, as well as brats and live entertainment.
3627 Mount Diablo Blvd., Lafayette