Win tix to Maker Faire and more: Our picks for May 18–20

Heads-up space cases—It’s Maker Faire! (Via Maker Faire Flickr)

It’s May, it’s May — and as Julie Andrews would say, it’s that darling month when everyone throws self control-away (anyone else a Camelot fan? Just us?). Anyway (we’ll stop with the rhyming), for the sake of all things spring, here are our best picks for things to do on the Peninsula for this super busy weekend of May 18–20. Brace yourselves ladies and gentlemen: it’s gonna be a fun one.

Picks of the Week:

Hey 7000-pound off-road racing mech….watcha doin’? (Photo via Maker Faire Website)

Win tickets to Maker Faire!!

It’s been more than a decade since the epic innovation festival began in San Mateo, and this weekend it will return to its avante-garde origins here on the Peninsula, with a full weekend of art, engineering and general DIY brilliance.

And we have a set of FOUR TICKETS TO GIVEAWAY!! Check out our contest guidelines on Instagram to enter, and surprise your friends and family with a fun-filled weekend outing.

This year’s schedule is packed out with an expectedly eclectic array of workshops, talks and demonstrations ranging from the Water Balloon Trebuchet (that’s a fancy word for catapult) to the cupcake and muffin cars. Really though, how does one choose between the 7000-pound off-road racing mech versus the Coke Zero and Mentos soda geyser experiment. Hmmmm…

May 18–20 // San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Dr., San Mateo

Buy Tickets Here

Remember—”There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind.” (Photo via

Observe the foot-fist fury of Kung Fu Magazine‘s championship tournament

In yet another Silicon Valley event celebrating a tenth anniversary, Kung Fu Magazine is hosting their annual Tiger Claw Elite martial arts tournament in San Jose, showcasing a wide cross section of styles—from tai chi to Taekwondo—competing across various age groups throughout the weekend.

The event’s VIP martial artist guest list is long, prestigious and features the likes of Shaolin Monk Shi Yanyue and Grandmaster Chiu Chi Lin (aka—the 650’s favorite actor from Kung Fu Hustle). Also, make sure to check out the authentic antique Chinese weapons exhibit on Day 2, with swords from the era of Genghis Khan.

May 19–20 // McEnery Convention Center (South Hall) 435 South Market St, San Jose

Get full event details here

Learn about the Japanese art of taiko drumming with Kristy Oshiroa at the Ted Adcock Center in Half Moon Bay. (Image via Facebook)

Keep the kids busy

The Palo Alto Firefighters are hosting a family movie night at the firehouse with free hot dogs and hot chocolate (arrive with the kiddos early to chat with the firefighters). Blossom birth services has family yoga on Saturday morning, while Gamble Gardens is offering a youth photography class for Elementary and Middle School students.

The Palo Alto Public Library kicks off its Summer Reading Program (and is giving out free ice cream for signing up!), while the Half Moon Bay Public Library celebrates Asian Pacific Heritage Month with a Taiko drumming showcase (other Heritage Month events can be found here).

Last but not least, this one’s for kids AND adults: Menlo Park presents their very own Comic Con this Saturday at the Menlo Park Library. Come one, come all. We’re talking to you, parent dressed in a full storm trooper outfit.

Freshly squeezed in San Carlos: Devil’s Canyon Beer Garden Fridays. (Photo by Charles Russo)

Get a sitter (…and a designated driver)

Kick the weekend off right with Devil’s Canyon Brewery’s Beer Garden Fridays, a hyper local event with food trucks and beer a plenty.

Like Rosé wine? The Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese company has an afternoon fest featuring the ever popular pink vino. Yes way.

Get your fill of dosey-doe on the hardwood floor at the always upbeat Pie Ranch Barn Dance this weekend in Pescadero.

And then embrace the last of your weekend on Sunday night at Vinoteca — the wine bar is opening up for wine & music (Latin Pop, specifically). Have a glass and enjoy some Spanish tunes (with some English hits thrown in).

Theater. Art. Music. Film.

English indie rock band Glass Animals headline the annual Frost Music and Arts Festival at Stanford Stadium, while the New Century Chamber Orchestra performs a Philip Glass Piano Concerto in honor of the famous composer’s 80th birthday.

Hitchcock classics continue at the Stanford Theater with Vertigo and Dial “M” for Murder. RBG—the Ruth Bader Ginsberg doc—is showing at Palo Alto Square (in both theaters), and Porco Rosso is at CineMark in Redwood City on Sunday (it’s part of the 3-day Studio Ghibli Fest 2018)

Los Altos has their 43rd annual Fine Art in the Park this weekend. Mediums on display range from watercolors to jewelry design, which is your cue to enjoy fine art from over 150 artists, food, and live music. Best of all, proceeds are donated to local charitable causes, including the art departments of local high schools.

A piece by Yucali Seki, one of the many artists displaying their work with Silicon Valley Open Studios. (Photo via SVOS Facebook page)

It’s the final week of Silicon Valley Open Studios: check this weekend’s listings and make a plan.

It’s also your last chance to check out Youth Art 2018, an exhibit featuring works from students in the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Learn something new

Learn how to make your own soap! (Insert Fight Club reference here.) SweetBloomsco offers up soap making class to teach you how to gather your own lather (take 4–6 bars home, too).

We could all use a moment to laugh and relax. In the name of new experiences and some self care, try some early morning Laughter Hatha Flow yoga this Friday (class is donation based, so contribute however much your mental health and wellbeing means to you. We’re kidding).

And for all you science nerds out there, if you’re looking for a (free) way to ease into an intellectual weekend, the very popular Cafe Scintifique at Hanahaus will host Stanford’s Harry Greenberg for a lecture on the history of the rotavirus vaccine Thursday night.

Get outside

Belmont’s annual Polish Heritage Festival takes place in Twin Pines Park, featuring a huge range of festivities throughout the day (not to mention a lot of old world food and beer offerings). Meanwhile the Half Moon Bay IDES Society hosts the 147th annual Holy Ghost Festival, with a parade down Main Street on Sunday morning featuring this year’s regional Queens (big and small) in their ornate regalia.

Beaming Beemer (Photo via Neu Klasse und Kaffee’s Facebook page)

Bay Meadows hosts an evening soiree for the canine member of your family, with Twilight Tails. Take your pup outside and mix with other members of the Peninsula’s dog lover community (and other furry friends).

If you’re big into cars or caffeine, here’s a tip: this weekend is Neue Klasse und Kaffe, a monthly community showcase of the Peninsula’s BMW New Klasse series. Post up outside Pete’s Coffee, enjoy a cup and some cars in a class of their own.

Help your neighbors

Access Books Bay Area will host a Swingin’ Cocktail Party this Saturday in the name of school libraries. Proceeds will help stock and support school libraries in underfunded districts. What better reason to have a glass of wine and some hors d’oeuvres?

Scenic trails abound in the Edgewood Preserve. (Photo by Veronica Weber)

Spend a day outside or at the beach helping Flows to Bay: either in Pacifica, for a beach clean up, or at the Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, for a guided nature walk. Do your part (and bring the kids, if you’re so inclined). You can also attend their gardening class Saturday (scroll down the page to find it), if that’s more up your alley.

Join A Cure In Sight Ocular Melanoma for their ‘Lookin for a Cure’ run (or walk) in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. Donate, register or come for the after party and face painting in the name of a cure. Learn more about the event and the cause here.

Sit down for your cuppa in RWC with the city’s police department. Cyclismo café will host Coffee with the Cops, a chance to meet Redwood City’s finest and engage in a community dialogue.

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Sometimes our work is a collaborative effort, hence the "staff" byline. The best of what to eat, see and do on the SF Peninsula.

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