Find Things To Do In The Bay Area For The Long Weekend

Women's March, Niners' Game And Chinese New Year Events

Bob Pryor
January 17, 2020 - 3:00 am
edestrians walk by red and yellow banners that are strung across Grant Street for Chinese New Year in San Francisco's Chinatown district on February 3, 2011

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Here are some of the biggest things to do in the Bay Area this weekend. On Saturday, there will be Women’s Marches in cities all around the Bay Area. The first of several events celebrating the Chinese New Year – the Flower Market Fair – takes place on Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco. All eyes will be on Levi’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon when the 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers for a spot in Super Bowl 54.

And along with the many events taking place as part of Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday, Bay Areans will want to keep in mind that some transit agencies will be running special schedules (For example, BART will be on a modified Saturday schedule , Muni will also run Saturday service, and AC Transit will be on a Sunday schedule. Meanwhile, VTA, San Francisco Bay Ferry, Golden Gate Transit buses, and SMART Train will all be on their regular weekday schedules. It’s strongly recommended you visit your favorite transit website ahead of time to see how exactly your service may, or may not, be altered.)

SAN FRANCISCO:

Sat, Jan 18 at 11:30am :The 4th Annual Women’s March will take place, beginning with a rally at Civic Center Plaza at 11am before the march starts at 1:30pm. (programmed events at 11:30am). The march starts at 1:30pm and proceeds from Civic Center Plaza down Market Street to the Embarcadero Plaza. Muni anticipates attendance of about 50,000 to 75,000.

  • Pro tip: Since you don’t want to even think of driving to this event, the easiest way to get to Civic Center Plaza is via Muni or BART. In fact, Muni will be running a Route 30/45 SoMa Shuttle that will operate in a loop between the Caltrain Station and Mission Street until the march is over. Muni information and a map of the march route are here.
  • Areas and roadways affected: Market Street will be CLOSED to traffic between 10th and Steuart streets during the march and no cross traffic will be permitted between gaps in marchers. Market Street Muni routes may be switched over to run on Mission Street instead.

Sat, Jan 18 (10am-8pm) and Sun, Jan 19 (9am-6pm): Chinese New Year Flower Market Fair takes place on Grant Avenue, Pacific Avenue, and a number of other streets in Chinatown. Fair features Chinese acrobats, magicians, folk dancers, opera, and over 120 booths selling all kinds of traditional and modern items. Held on the weekend before Chinese (Lunar) New Year Day (Saturday, Jan 25), this free, kid-friendly festival kicks off the festivities for the Year of the Rat.

  • Pro tip: If you’re heading to Chinatown on Saturday, don’t forget that the Women’s March will be causing congestion in Downtown San Francisco.
  • Areas and roadways affected: A list of street closures and (minor) Muni impacts related to the Chinese Flower Market Fair is here.

SOUTH BAY:

Sun, Jan 19 at 3:40pm: Levi’s Stadium: San Francisco 49ers play the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Winner goes to Super Bowl LIV. 

  • Pro tip: Caltrain, in addition to its regular weekend schedule, will provide one additional southbound pre-game express train which will leave San Francisco at 1:40pm, stopping at Millbrae, San Mateo, Hillsdale, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose Diridon stations (To get to the game, get off at Mountain View and take light rail to Great America). Following the game, Caltrain will operate one special northbound train, which will depart the Mountain View Station approximately 75 minutes after the game, or when full; that train will make all local stops to San Francisco. Capitol Corridor also has special game service; information is here.

EAST BAY:

Sat, Jan 18 from 11am-4pm: Oakland’s women's march will begin in Frank Ogawa Plaza, head north on Broadway into the Uptown neighborhood and circle back along Grand and Telegraph avenues to finish in the plaza. 

 

  • Pro tip: BART’s 12th Street/City Center station is right next to Ogawa Plaza, where the march starts and ends. The 19th Street BART station is also only about 2/10 of a mile away. The organizers’ webpage has a map of the march route.
  • Areas and roadways affected: Broadway, Telegraph, and Grand Avenue are all busy downtown streets. If you’re planning on driving in Downtown Oakland for a reason other than the march, at least try to avoid doing so from 11am to noon.

PENINSULA:

Mon, Jan 20 (Martin Luther King Jr Day): The free Caltrain NorcalMLK Celebration Train will depart San Jose's Diridon Station at 9:35am, making stops at Palo Alto Station at 9:55am and the San Mateo Station at 10:19am before arriving in San Francisco by 10:45am. There is no special southbound service; however, Celebration Train tickets will be accepted on southbound trains departing San Francisco after 1:00pm that same day. Celebration Train information is here and also here.

Once in San Francisco, celebrants will be free to head directly to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to take part in a full day of festivities; or they can choose to take part in the 11am MLK March to the same destination. The 1.5-mile march from the Caltrain station crosses the Lefty O'Doul Bridge, stopping at the Willie Mays Plaza at Oracle Arena to commemorate the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. A map of the march route is here.

  • Pro tip: For those unable to participate in the March from Caltrain, Muni will have shuttle buses standing by until 5pm. After 5pm, those needing post-event service back to Caltrain can take the 30 Stockton or 45 Union-Stockton bus routes south on 5th Street to the train depot. Since there’s a whole slew of MLK Day events taking place, attendees may want to peruse this website in advance.

NORTH BAY / SOLANO:

Sat, Jan 18 at 11am: Santa Rosa: The local Women’s March begins with a rally at Old Courthouse Square at 11am. The March itself begins at 12:15pm (it’s short, just a quarter-mile long) and events wrap up by 1:30pm.

  • Pro tip: If you take the weekend SMART Train to Downtown Santa Rosa, you can walk 3 minutes to West 3rd Street and Railroad Ave, catch a No. 20 Sonoma County Transit bus to the 2nd Street Transit Mall, then walk another 3 minutes to Old Courthouse Square. If you decide to drive, a guide to parking in Santa Rosa is here.