BARTable This Weekend: Dec. 31-Jan. 2

SF Playhouse’s production of “Twelfth Night." Photo courtesy of SF Chronicle’s Datebook.

There are lots of good luck superstitions that surface on the first of the year. Some say that how you behave on the first day of the new year dictates how the rest of your year will go. In Spain, eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight rewards you with a year of good fortune. Southerners swear by serving black-eyed peas and greens for the new year—a delicious way to welcome lady luck. Chinese folklore discourages cleaning or doing laundry on January 1—a great tradition to follow as you head outside, hop on BART, and enjoy the remaining days of the holiday season.

Editor’s Note: Please wear a face mask while riding the trains or at an in-person event. See the full details of BART's New Year's schedule. Before you travel, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. Learn what to expect when you return to BART here.

BARTable This Weekend Friday
Maurice Brown
Maurice “Mobetta” Brown playing at Black Cat. Photo courtesy of Black Cat.

New events

A BARTable low-key New Year's Eve

There’s a collective sigh of relief happening in the Bay Area with the end of 2021. And with 2022, we have a new year of possibilities to look forward to. Don’t stress if you don’t have the mental bandwidth to tackle pricy drink tickets and formal attire. We put together a list of low-key (and inexpensive) options that you can do with or without the kids, and all of them are within walking distance to a BART station.

Downtown Jazz | Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Black Cat is back open and offering a music-infused dining experience this New Year’s Eve. Early seatings (6:15pm and 6:30pm) are still available to hear jazz and hip-hop artist Maurice “Mobetta” Brown and his all-star band. Tickets include a gourmet 4-course meal and performance. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 10 minutes to 400 Eddy St.

Countdown to Comedy | Embarcadero

San Francisco native Greg Proops is ringing in the new year at the Punch Line for two live performances (7:30pm and 10pm), guaranteeing that 2021 will be ushered out with a bang. Snag general seating tickets for both performances here. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk eight minutes to 444 Battery St.

Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” | Powell St

What do you get when you put Shakespeare’s blank verse to music? Spend the evening at San Francisco’s SF Playhouse and you’ll realize how well poetry and music go together, especially when romantic comedy and gender-swapping are involved. This critically acclaimed production is another win for this beloved playhouse. Purchase tickets here. Take BART to Powell St and walk eight minutes to 450 Post St.

Afrodancehall’s Last Dance of 2021 | MacArthur

Toast to 2022 at one of downtown Oakland’s newest eatery/bar, Copper Spoon. The fun starts at 10pm when the music starts and craft cocktails are served in the indoor/outdoor space. J Songz will be spinning your favorite afrobeat, reggae and hip hop tunes. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased here. Take BART to MacArthur and walk 13 minutes to 4031 Broadway.

Events happening every Friday

Lego Art (through Feb. 27) | Montgomery St

“The Art of the Brick” exhibit includes more than 70 art installations using over one million Lego® bricks. Surrealist artist Nathan Sawaya works magic with these small plastic objects; some of the installations are reimagined works of art by world-famous artists like Da Vinci and Van Gough. Tickets start at $21.90 and can be purchased here. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk five minutes to 1 Grant Ave.

“The Matrix Resurrections” Map | Embarcadero

The second most memorable thing that happened in San Francisco last year was the filming of the latest Matrix movie. Though you probably won’t run into Keanu, you can use this map to trace his footsteps and visit many San Francisco spots that were included in the film. Take BART to Embarcadero and begin your search in the Financial District, North Beach, and Chinatown, among other neighborhoods.

Walnut Creek On Ice (through Jan. 9, 2022) | Walnut Creek

This partially covered ice skating rink is back for the 2021 holiday season. It’s the largest rink in the East Bay and offers gliders for the little ones and ice hockey drop-in times for those looking for some friendly competition. Tickets are $18 and provide 75 minutes of fun. Purchase tickets here to ensure you get a chance to glide on some ice. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 14 to 1365 Civic Dr.

Nocturne X Immersive Exhibition (now until Jan. 7, 2022) | 24th St Mission

Adventurers of all ages are invited on a journey to a massive otherworldly forest that responds to touch, sound, and movement. This expansive exhibition is home to hundreds of bioluminescent sculptures and unique interactive installations created by the newly formed Bay Area-based collective Numina Studio. Tickets start at $20. Take BART to 24th St Mission and walk two minutes to 2665 Mission St.

The Cassandra Sessions (through Jan. 2, 2022) | Ashby

Experience this world premiere play from Berkeley’s Shotgun Players. Actress Beth Wilmurt portrays folk singer and songwriter Malvina Reynolds during a recording session. Reynolds came from an activist family and struggled with balancing her songwriting gift with radical politics. She was well known in Berkeley during the ‘60s. The workshop-style performance includes lots of music performed by both Wilmurt and Jake Rodriguez. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased here. Take BART to Ashby and walk three minutes to 1901 Ashby Ave.

Glow 2021: Discover the Art of Light (through Jan. 30, 2022) | Embarcadero

Visit the Exploratorium this holiday season and enjoy the museum’s take on holiday lights. The exhibit is an interactive experience with lighted sculptures. Eight different artists created one-of-a-kind installations placed throughout the museum. Plan your visit around different family programming like Storytime Science. Children 4-12 are $19.95; teens and adults start at $24.95. Purchase your tickets here. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk 15 minutes to Pier 15.

BARTable This Weekend Saturday​​
Polar Bear Skate
Polar Bear Skate event. Image courtesy of Do The Bay.

New events

Polar Bear Skate | Powell St

Many cultures christen the new year with a plunge in icy cold waters, so the idea of ice skating in your skivvies (bathing suits) sounds pretty tame. Union Square’s Holiday Ice Rink is hosting a one-hour session on New Year’s Day (2:30-3:30pm) where attendees are encouraged to skate sans parkas and coats and don their favorite beach attire. Register and purchase tickets here. Take BART to Powell St and walk six minutes to 333 Post St.

Downtown Jazz | Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Black Cat is back open! If you missed out on their New Year’s Eve bash featuring Maurice “Mobetta” Brown, you’ve got another chance to hear him and his all-star NYC band. Brown’s trumpet playing is a unique blend of jazz and hip-hop, making him as relevant and revelatory as the greats like Davis and Coltrane. Purchase tickets to either the 7pm, 8:30pm, or 10:15pm showtimes here. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 10 minutes to 400 Eddy St.

New Day Block Party | 16th St Mission

If you didn’t get enough reverie on New Year’s Eve, head to The Great Northern as soon as trains start running and spend the day at the nation’s largest block party. This all-day event hosts countless DJs on various stages. Food trucks and drinks aplenty. Tickets are almost sold out; snag one here. Take BART to 16th St Mission and walk 18 minutes to 119 Utah St.

Forest Bathing | Glen Park

The tradition of forest bathing goes back thousands of years and involves activating all five senses. The practice is recognized as being a great stress reducer. To get a head start on a year of good health, hop on BART and take in some greenery at Glen Canyon, which offers 60 acres of endless trails, all within a couple of minutes from BART’s Glen Park station.

Events happening every Saturday

San Francisco Chinatown Walkway Weekends (through Dec. 2021) | Montgomery St

SF’s Chinatown’s iconic Grant Avenue is closed off to traffic and cars for a pleasant walkway every weekend (11am-5pm). Enjoy a historic street stroll, outdoor dining, and a cultural shopping experience. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk four minutes to the Grant Avenue Chinatown entrance.

Hayward Farmer’s Market | Hayward

Come out and join the good food and fun every Saturday! For over 20 years, the farmers market in Hayward has been the place for the local community to get their fill of fresh, healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The Hayward Market features over 35 farmers, food purveyors, and artisans selling their produce and goods. Market runs from 9am-1pm. Take BART to Hayward and walk three minutes to the market on Watkins between B and C Streets.

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market | Embarcadero

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is widely acclaimed for both the quality and diversity of its fresh farm products, and artisan and prepared foods. Some of San Francisco’s best chefs, and most famous farmers, can be seen at the market that is known as one of the top markets in the country. While you’re there, pop inside the Ferry Building to grab a coffee at Blue Bottle and a tidbit to go with it at one of the resident vendors – you won’t be sorry you did! Take BART to Embarcadero and walk five minutes to the Ferry Building.

BARTable This Weekend Sunday​​
Gently Down the Stream
“Gently Down the Stream”. Photo courtesy of New Conservatory Theatre Center.

New events

“Gently Down the Stream” | Civic Center/UN Plaza

Taking in a play about authenticity sounds like a pretty good way to start the new year. This west coast premiere, performed at the New Conservatory Theater Center, showcases the talents of Pulitzer and Tony Award nominee Martin Sherman in this touching romantic comedy. Tickets start at $36 and can be purchased here. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk six minutes to 25 Van Ness Ave.

King Tides Observation Tour | Fruitvale

Friends of Sausal Creek, a non-profit that educates the public about the history and science of Oakland’s estuary, will be conducting a walking tour of the estuary and how the King Tides affect rising waters and their impact on the city and coastal communities. The tour runs from 10am-12pm and RSVP is required. Take BART to Fruitvale and walk 11 minutes to 400 Lancaster St.

Free Museum Day | Civic Center/UN Plaza and Lake Merritt

On the first Sunday of each month, both the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Oakland Museum of California offer free admission. Both museums require you to register for tickets online. Visit the Asian Art Museum’s website here for tickets. Access the Oakland Museum’s ticketing site here. To visit the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk four minutes to 200 Larkin St. To visit the Oakland Museum of California, take BART to Lake Merritt and walk two minutes to 1000 Oak St.

Events happening every Sunday

Walnut Creek Farmers' Market | Walnut Creek

With the market’s mission to support the development of local and sustainable farming, this is the place where the community goes to show their love to the farmers, family-owned food producers and artisans that live and work where we live and work. Open every Sunday from 9am-1pm year-round, you will find fresh flowers, local honey, farm-fresh produce, coffee, baked goods, and more. Grab what you need for the week, snag a snack and a coffee and enjoy some local entertainment. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk three minutes to the market on Locust St.

Fog City Flea at the Ferry Building | Embarcadero

Fog City Flea is excited to be part of your visit to SF's historic Ferry Building. Every Sunday from 10am-5pm, this curated market of makers and merchants from San Francisco, the Bay Area and beyond offer their very best in handcrafted jewelry, apparel, accessories, apothecary, housewares, furnishings, and well-edited vintage. The event is in Suite 37 (the old Sur La Table space) and is free. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk five minutes to the Ferry Building.

San Jose Berryessa Flea Market | Berryessa/North San José

The San Jose Berryessa Flea Market is steps from our Berryessa/North San José station. The Flea Market is a not-to-be-missed San Jose tradition where "one person's junk is another person's treasure." With over 120 acres of shopping, activities, and food vendors, there's bound to be fun around every corner. The market is currently open from Wednesday, Friday-Sunday, 8am-5pm. Walk-in admission is $2-3 depending on which day you go, and the entrance is located near Garden at the Flea and the East Lot.

Heart of the City Farmers' Market | Civic Center/UN Plaza

This farmers' market is a uniquely independent, farmer operated, non-profit farmers' market located year-round on Sundays and Wednesdays in San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza. An iconic and beloved community resource, the market supports and sustains small farmers and makes fresh food accessible for all. The market is open every Sunday from 7am to 5pm and on Wednesdays from 7:30am to 5:30pm – rain or shine. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk three minutes to UN Plaza/Civic Center.

What are you doing this weekend?

We want to hear about your weekend plans! Show us on social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable events, places to eat and have fun around the Bay.

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