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

Betty White 100th birthday celebration, pandemic mural art, Minecraft tours of Chinatown

By Johnny Funcheap

Special to The Examiner

Betty White 100th birthday celebration + ‘Golden Girls’ marathon

As far as we’re concerned, Betty White made it to 100, and the slightly younger 95-year-old Balboa Theater is throwing her a party. Come to the historic Outer Sunset movie theater for a 6-hour marathon screening of classic episodes of “The Golden Girls” on the big screen.

Monday, Jan. 17, 1-7 p.m., Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa St., S.F.

(Photo by Lisa Vortman)

(Photo by Lisa Vortman)

Festival of S.F.’s pandemic mural art from boarded-up storefronts

When San Francisco shut down during shelter-in-place in early 2020, artists created gorgeous temporary murals throughout The City on boarded-up storefronts. Fortunately, as San Francisco has reopened, many of these works were saved and are now on view for the first time in the nation’s largest exhibit of its kind. The City Canvas: A Paint the Void Retrospective” displays 49 of these rescued large-scale plywood murals that helped brighten up S.F. during a dark time.

Saturday and Sundays, Jan. 22-23 + Jan. 29-30, 12-6 p.m. Plus evening events on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 27-28, 4-9 p.m., Pier 70, 588 22nd St., S.F. RSVP required, $10 donation suggested;



S.F. city job fairs

Everyone seems to be hiring these days, and the City of San Francisco is no exception. So if you’re looking for a new career but also want to do something meaningful and give back to the community, The City is hosting a series of job fairs highlighting openings and training opportunities. Work in the Mayor’s office, help people find supportive housing, protect renters’ rights at the S.F. Rent Board, train to be an EMT, join the Recreation & Parks department as a lifeguard or camp assistant or learn about jobs at SFO, the Public Library, SFMTA, Police, Fire, SFUSD and more.

Saturday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Bayview Park, 3rd and Armstrong, S.F. Also Saturday, Jan. 29, 10 a.m. -1 p.m. at County Fair Bldg, 1199 Ninth Ave. in Golden Gate Park, S.F.; and Saturday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at Hamilton Rec Center, 1900 Geary Blvd., S.F.

(Courtesy Chinatown Alley Tours)

(Courtesy Chinatown Alley Tours)

Minecraft tours of Chinatown’s alleyways for Lunar New Year

Let’s face it… most virtual tours on Zoom are kinda boooring. But since in-person tours are still on hold, the youth-led non-profit Chinatown Alleyway Tours decided to take online tours to the next level. A group of ambitious students age 14-20 spent nearly three months recreating San Francisco’s Chinatown block-by-block in the 3D video game Minecraft and then opened it up for monthly guided tours. (Don’t worry if you’ve never used Minecraft before, the guides screen-share using Zoom.) This month, it’s a special Lunar New Year-themed virtual tour where you’ll not only learn the history of Chinatown and explore many of its hidden alleyways but you’ll also discover a virtual neighborhood filled with dragons, lanterns, parade floats and other Chinese New Year surprises.

Saturday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., online. RSVP required.

(Courtesy S.F. Recreation & Parks)

(Courtesy S.F. Recreation & Parks)

Winter 2022 Mobile Rec Center pop-ups for kids

Does your kid want to star in the X Games someday, but you want them to learn how not to break their neck? Then get ready for a visit from S.F.’s roaming Mobile Rec Center, which is coming to eight different parks and playgrounds in The City over the next eight weeks. Kids of all abilities will learn to skateboard (starting with the basics but also advanced skills like nose and tail stalls, dropping in and kick turns); plus, the staff will set up ramps and obstacles for kids wanting to learn BMX racing and freestyle tricks. All bikes, skateboards, pads and helmets are provided if you don’t have your own.

Every Saturday, Jan. 15 to March 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Parks throughout S.F.

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

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