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

Bayview Winter Wonderland, ‘Howl’ fest, Salesforce Park silent disco, ‘The Matrix Resurrections’

By Johnny Funcheap

Special to The Examiner

Bayview’s 9th annual Winter Wonderland Festival

It hasn’t snowed in San Francisco for almost 50 years, but the Bayview Opera House wants to make up for lost time. Get the kids bundled up for S.F.’s annual “Winter Wonderland” festival with $1 ice skating for kids (skate rental included), a $1 snow-land (again, just for kids, sorry!) holiday market, s’mores and a Santa that assumes everyone has been nice and gives out free stockings. Thursday, Dec. 16, 5:00-8:30 p.m. Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St.., S.F. bvoh.org

(Courtesy Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night)

(Courtesy Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night)

Unsilent night: Boombox Xmas parade

Caroling has never been so awesome. Join scores of people bringing their own boomboxes or portable speakers to take part in this annual free holiday-themed roaming sound sculpture. Everyone downloads one of four mp3s of ethereal music and presses “play” at the same time, creating a wonderfully immersive and 3D sound cloud. Wind through the streets of the Mission playing your music as part of a block-long human stereo system bringing dreamy music to the masses. Saturday, Dec. 18, 7:00-8:30 p.m. 18th and Dolores, S.F. unsilentnight.com

Last full moon ‘Howl’ fest

After the last two years we’ve had, we really need this one. Get ready to let it all out during San Francisco’s month-long celebration of poetry and light. On the night of the last full moon of 2021, join legendary Bay Area jam band Moonalice at the Bandshell in Golden Gate Park for a new event inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s classic poem “Howl.” It’s hoped The City will come together to let out a collective cathartic release and a series of massive howls while Ginsberg’s poem scrolls along the 450-foot facade of the de Young. Bonus points if you come wearing lights and something furry. Dec. 3-12, 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. nightly. Golden Gate Park Bandshell, Music Concourse, S.F. thealterverse.org

Castro Theatre hosts U.S. premiere of ‘The Matrix Resurrections’

Usually most of the big movie premieres take place in L.A. But now San Francisco takes the red pill and gets to play center stage. Much of ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ was filmed in San Francisco in early 2020, so the 1,400-seat Castro Theatre was chosen to host the film’s premiere, and the film’s stars are expected to walk the red carpet. Although the screening is a private event, there will be a small “fan zone” in front of the theater to get you as close as possible to Keanu. Saturday, Dec. 18, red carpet walk around 5:30-7:00 p.m. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F. funcheap.com

(Courtesy Salesforce Transit Center)

(Courtesy Salesforce Transit Center)

Salesforce Park winterfest rooftop silent disco

Head up to Salesforce Park on the Saturday before Christmas and get ready to let loose on (but quietly) for a free winter silent disco after the sun goes down on the main plaza of the 5.4-acre rooftop park. No tickets are required but bring an I.D. for the free headphone rental. RSVPing makes you awesome, so that they know how many headphones to bring. Saturday, Dec. 18, 5:00-7:00 p.m. Salesforce Park Main Plaza, 425 Mission St. S.F. eventbrite.com

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

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