Easter is all about Easter egg hunts, egg decorating, the Easter Bunny, parades and dressing up. Below is our guide to 2014 Easter-related activities in San Francisco and the Bay Area, which run from the traditional to the riotous and are listed in chronological order. Of course you'll need sustenance to hop to all of these events, and for that, we also have the scoop on Easter brunches and dinners.
Naturally Dyed Eggs
April 19, at 10-10:45 am and 2-2:45 pm
Kids and adults can learn about plant-based dyes and use them to decorate eggs.
At the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley 94720. Registration $15, $12 (includes four eggs and admission to Garden). Pre-registration required online or by calling (510) 643-2755. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.
Easter Derby Decorating Contest & Parade & Spring Festival
April 19, at 10 am-1:30 pm
Buy a derby (a hat, in this case, plastic) from a Lakeshore merchant in advance, and have your kid decorate it with whatever’s around the house. (Last-minute-types can go to the Lakeshore Baptist Church at 10 am on April 19 to do 11th-hour artistry). At 11 am, parade with other derby-donning kids. The best derbies are awarded prizes, followed by a festival with egg decorating, games and goodies. Sponsored by Lakeshore Avenue Business Improvement District and Lakeshore Baptist Church.
Parade starting point and festival are at Lakeshore Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland 94601. Free.
April 19, at 11 am–3 pm
Egg hunting, carnival rides, games and live entertainment. Taste the results of a barbecue cook-off among the city’s rec and park, police and fire departments (I’m betting on the firefighters).
At Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 94117. Admission $8.
The Great Egg Hunt
April 19, at 12-3 pm
Easter fun on a gorgeous lawn. Three separate egg hunts (times are staggered according to age); a petting zoo; jugglers, dancers and other entertainers; tours of the historic Dunsmuir mansion; egg-dying and arts and crafts; pet adoptions; and the Easter Bunny. Bring a picnic and a basket for eggs.
At Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland 94605. Admission: Free; $3; $5.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's Easter in Golden Gate Park
April 20, at 10 am-4 pm
The annual Easter bash by the spirited, cross-dressing Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence moves because of Dolores Park's renovation. A children’s Easter egg hunt and games kick off at 10 am. At noon it’s the adults’ turn, with music, burlesque, the Easter Bonnet and the Hunky Jesus contests, and the inauguration of the Foxy Mary Contest. The theme is "The Emerald Jubilee, A “Trip” To Oz"; Wizard of Oz costumes are encouraged.
At Hellman Hollow (formerly Speedway Meadow), Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 94117. Free; donations welcome.
Union Street Spring Celebration & Easter Parade
April 20, at 10 am-5 pm
This kid-centric event features games, hands-on activities and costumed characters galore, a climbing wall, a petting zoo, pony rides, live music and an Easter bonnet contest. Parade starts at 2 pm.
On Union between Gough and Fillmore streets, San Francisco. Free.
Ghirardelli Square Easter Festival
April 20, at 12-2:30 pm
An egg hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny, balloon artists and giveaways.
At Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., San Francisco 94109. Free.
Bring Your Own Big Wheel
April 20, at 4-6 pm
Dozens of drivers careen their Big Wheels (those giant yellow-and-red plastic tricycles for kiddies) on Potrero Hill. There’s a lap for the real children (ages 12 and under), and then the thrills-and-spills-filled race for the older folks who want to be children. Yes, you must sign a waiver.
Starts at Vermont and 20th streets, San Francisco 94107. Free, but recommended $5 fee for racers and spectators.