By Johnny Funcheap

Special to The Examiner

Climate Action Month: More than 50 events

Fretting about the state of the environment and climate change? Here’s your chance to get inspired and do something about it. The San Francisco Department of the Environment hosts a series of over 50 events (most of which are free) for their 4th annual Climate Action Month. Although many of the options are virtual, there are still plenty of in-person events where you can join like-minded neighbors to get outdoors and make a difference. Find a volunteer work party at a nearby park, enjoy a palm tree walk in the S.F. Botanical Garden, join a protest at U.N. Plaza, take a bike ride through Golden Gate Park, find Earth Day celebrations, tour beautiful native plant gardens or find dozens of other impactful ways to have fun and help the planet.Through April 30, all over San Francisco. Most events free with RSVP.

Fun, free, cheap: What to do in San Francisco this week

(Courtesy Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival)

Japantown hosts Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

In early 2021, some a**hole vandalized a pair of Sutter Street cherry blossom trees down to their trunks. A few months later, new trees from Oregon were planted and are now finally showing their first buds. Let that be a metaphor for slow but steady regrowth. The 55th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival returns to Japantown using measured steps as well. Although there’s no parade this year and there’s only one performance stage, the festival is (mostly) in bloom with a street fair, outdoor food bazaar and four days of taiko drumming, tea ceremonies, karate, cosplay and demonstrations of traditional arts such as origami, calligraphy and sword work. And giving inspiration to the newly replanted trees on Sutter, the rest of the dozens of cherry blossom trees around Japantown are expected to be in full bloom by the second weekend of the festival. This weekend and April 16-17, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Japantown, Post Street from Fillmore to Laguna. Free.

Fun, free, cheap: What to do in San Francisco this week

(Courtesy Together SF)

Paint-by-numbers mural for your inner artist

There are over 1,000 murals in San Francisco. If you want to help add to this number and bring more color to The City (but have absolutely no artistic skills), then nonprofits Paint the Void and TogetherSF are looking for you. Bring your lack of talent and your enthusiasm to Paint the Town — a community mural painting event that’s easy, paint-by-numbers easy. A local artist will sketch a wall-sized mural outline and you’ll help fill in the blanks. RSVPs fill up quickly so don’t dawdle if you want to doodle. And if spots are full, don’t worry — more chances are coming soon. The event takes place over two weekends and the goal is to create a new community mural every month. Friday and Saturday, April 22–23, noon–2:30 p.m., various venues in S.F. Free with RSVP.

Fun, free, cheap: What to do in San Francisco this week

The Rainbow Girls will perform at Pickin’ on the Polk. (Courtesy Rainbow Girls)

Pickin’ on the Polk: Free bluegrass festival

Will Hardly Strictly Bluegrass have an in-person festival in Golden Gate Park this year? Other than a vague “save the date” message listed on the website for Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, nothing is confirmed. In the meantime, some of the key team behind HSB have been fiddlin’ around with the Discover Polk community benefit district putting together the new two-day Pickin’ on the Polk Festival. Stroll up and down six blocks of Polk Street’s bars and restaurants to hear free indoor bluegrass concerts at nine pop-up stages. Or plop your banjo down at the outdoor “bandwagon stage” at Polk and Broadway on Saturday for six hours of old-timey jams from a handpicked lineup of great local twangers. Friday 7–11 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m.–midnight, various locations on Polk Street from Broadway to California, S.F. Free.

Fun, free, cheap: What to do in San Francisco this week

(Courtesy Treasure Island Sailing Center)

Treasure Island Sailing Center opening day on the water

If you’ve ever wanted to come sail away on the Bay but don’t know your jib from your keel, the Treasure Island Sailing Center is happy to have you climb aboard. During the TISC’s annual opening day event, arrive early to sign up for a spot and grab a lifejacket for a free 30-minute rental of a kayak or paddleboard or join one of their trained instructors for a free sailboat ride. It takes place in Clipper Cove on the south end of Treasure Island, a protected harbor with (relatively) calm waters, which makes it great for beginners. A bonus is the gorgeous views of the Bay Bridge. Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Treasure Island Sailing Center, 698 California Ave. #112, S.F. Free.

Visit for a hand-picked list of more fun, free and cheap things to do in San Francisco.

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