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Valentine’s Day in Oakland: The ultimate list of ways to celebrate (or avoid) it

on February 10, 2011

For Valentine’s Day weekend, we’ve put together a special list of community events and activities throughout the Bay Area. Whether you celebrate with chocolate, tattoos, zoo animals, power ballads, kissing booths, scientific lectures, blacksmithing lessons, tales of doom or your kids, we’ve got an event for you!

Got an event we didn’t hear about? Please add it in the comments!

Friday, February 11

Be Mine Valentine: Etsy Craft Show
11 am – 5 pm
Show Place Art Gallery: 1318 Tenth Street, Berkeley

Come shop directly from a number of your favorite Etsy stores.  More info here.

Edible Valentine Workshop
5 – 6 pm
Autumn Express: 2071 Mission Street, San Francisco

Decorate cookies and chocolate bars and turn them into fun Valentine’s Day cards!  Cost: $5 if you register online, $15 at the door.  More info here.

“On the Edge” Erotic Photography Opening
5 – 9 pm, Sunday 3 – 9 pm
Artists Alley: 863 Mission Street, San Francisco

400 erotic photos from 18 different photographers will be on display.  It is the largest exhibition on the West Coast.  At the opening reception you can meet the photographers and some of the models.  More info here.  More info here.

“Food From The Heart” $2 Wine & Food Tasting
5 pm
Ferry Building: 101 Embarcadero, San Francisco

The event will kick off Friday night in candlelit Grand Nave.  There will be hors d’oeuvres for $2-$4, and wine for $2-$4 per taste.  The marketplace shops will be open from 5 – 8 pm.  There will also be tango dancing and classical music.  Proceeds from the event will go to Slow Food San Francisco’s School Garden Projects.  More info here.

Woo at the Zoo: Our Annual Valentine’s Event at the SF Zoo
6 – 9 pm (Friday – Sunday)
San Francisco Zoo: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco

Hosted by Jane Tollini, come learn kinky animal facts and all about animal mating.  There will also be an up-close encounter with some of the zoo residents, and a romantic brunch or dinner.  Reservations required.  More info here.

Fireside Lounge: Amor Ardiente
6:30 – 9:30 pm
The Crucible: 1260 7th Street, Oakland

Gather around the fire for blacksmithing, jewelry, and enameling demonstrations.  There will also be a kissing booth, hand-typed love poems, a fortuneteller, and an appearance by Cupid himself.  There will be a discount on Crucible tuition, 20 percent off for new students and 25 percent off for members.  More info here.

Friday Night Drive-In: Anti-Valentine’s Cheap Date Night
7 pm
Big Umbrella Studios: 906 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

The Big Umbrella Studios artists collective will be screening My Bloody Valentine and 16 Candles.  Cost: $1, BYOB.  Bringing your own pillows, blankets, and/or chairs is encouraged.  More info here.

Love Hate art show; Roughneck Hardware Sk8 Team
7 – 9 pm
Lower Hater Gallery: 597 Haight Street, San Francisco

Come help celebrate skater Johnny Roughneck and the Love + Hate relationships that make up our lives.  There will be live music, giveaways, a raffle, and a mustache sticker photo contest.  More info here.

The Vagina Monologues
7 pm (also on Saturday)
Pauley Ballroom: MLK Student Union Building, 2475 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

V-Day presents the 10th annual benefit performance of the Vagina Monologues.  All proceeds go to local non-profits working to end violence against women.  Doors open at 6 pm.  More info here.

Paramount Movie Classics: “Casablanca” (1942)
8 – 10 pm
Paramount Theatre: 2025 Broadway, Oakland

The Paramount Theatre is one of the great Art Deco movie palaces, with over 3,000 seats, period newsreels, live music from the Might Wurlitzer organ, and audience participation in the “Dec-O-Win” game.  Doors open one hour before the show and cocktails, soda, and snacks will be available.  The curtain rises at 8 pm.  The feature film begins at 8:30 pm.  Cost: $5.  More info here.

Freak Bike Cabaret
8 pm
Cyclecide Swearhouse: 1660 Jerrold Avenue, San Francisco

The Derailleurs combine bikes and dance to create something amazing.  The local bike dance team competes internationally as well.  The team is throwing a warehouse cabaret party.  The part will include: a femme punk artist, booty shakers, burlesque, the chance to wrestle one of the Derailleurs, and a kissing booth.  Tickets: $7.  To purchase a ticket, click here, select the Fund Campaign option and then the Freak Bike Cabaret event.  More info here.

Oddball Films’ “Weirdsville 23: The Love Bug”
8:30 – 10:30 pm
Oddball Films: 275 Capp Street, San Francisco

Always wanted to see weird forgotten movies, shorts, and commercials?  Here is your chance.  Odd Films has found some great pieces to help you celebrate love, sex, and VD.  Showing: Skater Dater, Dating Do’s and Don’ts, Birds Bees and Storks, The Innocent Party, Lovemaking, VD: Attack Plan, Mae West Meets Mr. Ed, and Buried Treasure.  More info here.

Saturday, February 12

The XOX Experience: Brunch Drunk Love
11 am – 4 pm
Fort Mason: Laguna Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco

Come join Eye Heart SF for a romantic brunch with music and fashion.  Hip local designers San FranPsycho and Spirit Hoods will be displaying their clothes to great music.  There will also be bottomless Mimosas (or Manmosas/Beermosas) and wine until 3 pm.  Use discount code: FunCheapXOX and get 50% off the ticket price.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Edition of: “The Find” Vintage and Gift Fair
11 am – 5 pm
Jack London Square Pavilion: 98 Broadway Avenue, Oakland

Over forty vendors will be set up to sell jewelry, estate items, furniture, clothing and more.  The JLS and the Port of Oakland are sponsoring the event.  More info here.

“Corazon del Barrio” Festival with Valentine’s Card Making
12 – 4 pm
Mission Cultural Center: 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco

It’s the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts crew’s annual sidewalk open house.  There will be folkloric music from Latin America, a live Mariachi band, and a Valentine’s Day card workshop.  More info here.

Turn On Your Love Light
1 – 2:30 pm
Angel Light Books: 3347 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley

Learns spells to attract your perfect mate!  Cost: $20.  More info here.

Hear about the Love Stories of the Presidio
1 – 2:30 pm
Presidio Officers Club: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco

Come hear the romantic love story of the Spanish daughter of Presidio Comandante Arguello and the Grand Chamberlain to Alexander the First of Russia.  Call ahead for reservations.  More info here.

Eco-Homo Valentine’s Day Garden Workday
1 – 5 pm
SF Botanical Garden: 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco

Come join others of the LGBT community for some garden partying!  Meet at the main entrance of the SF Botanical Garden.  Volunteers will be working on California Native Habitat restoration.  Wear work clothes, you will get dirty.  Also suggested are water, sunscreen and comfortable shoes.  After all the work, come to the Queer Mixer and Dance Party at the SF County Fair Building, from 5 – 8 pm.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Love Missions
1:30 & 3:30 pm (also on Sunday)
Chabot Space & Science Center: 1000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland

Come enjoy a simulated space mission to Mars, the red planet.  The package also includes: an all access pass to Chabot, snacks, fizzy Martian beverages, and a souvenir of your trip.  Guests: $85 per couple, Members: $80 per couple.  More info here.

Write a Love Letter to Parks
2 – 4 pm
Dolores Park at the ring of palm trees, San Francisco

If you love parks, join the Neighborhood Parks Council at Dolores Park, and write a “love letter” to your favorite park.  Snacks will be provided.  To read others’ love letters, click here.  More info here.

Family Investigation Workshop: Heart Dissection
2 – 4 pm
Exploratorium: 360 Lyon Street, San Francisco

Spend the day that is covered in hearts, learning the mysteries of the organ.  The workshop will feature dissection and demonstrations.  Open to families with kids 7 and up.  Limited to 2 kids per adult.  Cost: Workshop for a family of 4 and under: $55.  Workshop and a copy of Exploratopia: $75.  $15 per each family member over 4 people.   More info here.

Cooking Food from Films You Love
2 – 3 pm
Joe DiMaggio Playground – Club House: 2000 Mason Street, San Francisco

Author Holly Erikson will be reading from her book, “Lights! Camera! Cuisine!”  There will also be a food scene trivia game and a demonstration on how to create simple dishes.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Cooking Class
2 – 3 pm
Macy’s Union Square: The Cellar: 170 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco

Join Rachelle Boucher, writer of the blog, “Drawn to the Kitchen.”  She will re-create her most romantic dinner.  Learn to make: Dungeness Crab Bisque, Red Endive and “Beet Heart” Salad, Seared Sesame Tuna with Blood Orange-Lemongrass Vinaigrette, Side of Thai Red Rice, and Red Velvet Cup Cakes with White Chocolate Hearts.  Participation is capped at 30, so you must RSVP.  Cost: $15.  More info here.

St. Valentine’s Event @ Paxton Gate for Kids
2 – 4 pm
Paxton Gate’s Curiosities For Kids: 766 Valencia Street, San Francisco

They will be making anatomical heart puzzles, mobiles, and healthy snacks.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Yoga and Thai Massage Workshop
4 – 6 pm
Niroga Center: 1808 University Avenue, Berkeley

Couples (or friends) can come to learn breathing techniques, meditation, and other tension-relief techniques.  More info here.

Good Vibrations Valentine’s Happy Hour
5 – 7 pm (also on Sunday)
Good Vibrations: 2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley

Guests will be offered complimentary chocolates and wine at all Good Vibrations locations.  Good Vibrations is also located at: 603 Valencia Street, 1620 Polk Street, and 899 Mission Street – all addresses in San Francisco.  More info here.

Eco-Home Mixer & Dance Party
5 – 8 pm
County Fair Building: 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco

It’s the first LGBT Gardener Valentines Mixer.  There will be a great DJ, snacks, and drinks.  More info here.

Awaken the Senses Presents: A Love Affair Dinner
6 – 9 pm
Niroga Center: 1808 University Avenue, Berkeley

A couple-oriented dinner with Tia Ukpe.  There will also be a discussion about demystifying aphrodisiacs with Lila Frechette.  Cost: 50.  More info here.

Emily Zisman & Steffy Sue In Concert with V-Day Crafting
6 – 10 pm
Actual Café: 6334 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland

Support local musicians, folk singer Emily Zisman and uke player Steffy Sue, as they perform a special Valentine’s Day show.  The two will warm up the audience with a special Valentine themed craft workshop.  Craft workshop at 6 pm.  The show starts at 7 pm.  More info here.

Live Music at The Joint with Marina V
7:30 pm
The Joint: 2628 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley

The chiropractic place The Joint is putting on a free show with Marina V.  Doors open at 7 pm.  The show starts at 7:30 pm.  More info here.

Win Tickets: Valentine’s Comedy Event “How We First Met”
8 pm
Herbst Theater: 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

Win free tickets to the fabulous improv comedy show.  The show is inspired by the real life romantic trials and tribulations of the audience.  Three couples are interviewed live on stage about their first encounter while the performers acts out what they hear.  To enter to win free tickets, click here. To purchase tickets, click here. Cost: $25.  More info here.

The Feel Good: Love Below Valentine’s Edition
Saturday 8 pm – Sunday 2 am
Shattuck Down Low: 2284 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Come for a great dance party!  The first 50 ladies will receive a rose and a shot!  More info here.

Mortified’s Annual Doomed Valentine’s Show
8 pm
Shattuck Down Low: 2284 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Come hear the best, worst, and most awkward love-related stories.  Doors open at 7 pm.  The show will be followed by an 80’s dance party, and special Freeze performance.  More info here.

Valentine’s Show: Of Love & Accordions
8 pm
Rhythmix Cultural Works: 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda

Come enjoy everything from tango to French musette, as Tara Linda & the Gila Monsters along with Jetty Stwart perform.  Cost: $15 in advance, $18 at the door.  More info here.

Cholo Love Jam
8 pm
Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space: 1227 18th Avenue, Oakland

DJ One Chance and Casper will be playing great music.  There will also be free tacos and cold beer, and a raffle with tattoo prizes.  Cost: $5 at the door.  More info here.

Valen-tiny Idea Night
8:30 – 11:30 pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts: 701 Mission Street, San Francisco

It will be an evening of artistic debauchery, with music activities and fun workshops.  YBCA and Michelle Tea’s RADAR Productions is putting on the event, featuring music by Lovers, a performance by Jess Curtis and an interactive cell phone game by Situate.  Free admission.  Drinks for 21+ with ID.  RSVP suggested.  More info here.

Blues Rock Pre-Valentine’s Day Concert
9 pm
Poor House Bistro: 91 South Autumn Street, San Jose

A special Pre-Valentine’s Day Concert featuring the Bay Area-based Jeffrey Halford & The Healers.  More info here.

Rocky Horror Picture Show: Lingerie Night
Saturday 11:45 pm – Sunday 2:30 am
Albany Cinema: 1115 Solano Avenue, Albany

Barely Legal presents The Rocky Horror Picture show with a live cast and a crazy Valentine/Lingerie theme.  The night will start with a sexy, 18 and over, Lingerie Contest.  Cost: $10.  More info here.

Sunday, February 13

Valentine’s Day at the Grand Lake Farmers Market
9 am – 2 pm
Renaissance Grand Lake Theatre: 3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland

Come express your artistic talent and help decorate the farmer’s market aisles with the spirit of the day. Sidewalk chalk will be provided.  The first five customers who stop at the information booth and tell us what they love about their AIM farmers market will get a free reusable tote.  More info here.

Valentine’s Blacksmithing Class Singles Mixer @ The Crucible
Morning Session: 10 am – 1 pm, Afternoon Session: 2 – 5 pm
The Crucible: 1260 7th Street, Oakland

Learn how to mold hot steel while meeting hot singles.  The morning session includes lunch and the afternoon session includes wine-and-cheese.  Cost: $120 per person (Tuition: $90, Studio Fee: $30), Members: $111.   More info here.

The Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt
2 pm
Legion of Honor: 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco

The hunt is presented by Watson Adventures and is for adults only.  There is finally an excuse to stare at all the naked bodies that so often show up in art.  Cost: $20.  21 and up only.  More info here.

Valentine’s Cruise
2 – 5 pm
Jack London Square: Broadway and Water Street, Oakland

Take a romantic ride on a turn-of-the-century-style riverboat.  There will be appetizers, desserts, and live music.  Boarding begins at 1:30 pm.  Reservations are required, call 877-499-4229.  Cost: $35 per person.  More info here.

2nd Sundays Dance
2 – 4 pm
CounterPULSE: 1310 Mission Street, San Francisco

Dancers’ Group and CounterPULSE present an open discourse project in which artists share works in progress and converse with each other and the audience.  This month’s work includes: Katie Faulker from the little seismic dance company, David Herrera Performance Co., and Anna Martine Whitehead.  More info here.

My Valentines: 21 Years of Family Portraits
2:30 – 5 pm
Noe Valley Branch of the San Francisco Public Library: 451 Jersey Street, San Francisco

Photographer Lucy Hilmer put together a photo book of a series of black and white portraits taken each year by her daughter Annie.  The 23 images were originally taken to send out as the family’s annual Valentine’s Day postcard.  Lucy Hilmer will be at the library to show her work and read poetry, also in the book.  More info here.

Good Vibrations’ Pop-Up Dildo Shop & Ice Cream Social
3 pm
Fifty 24 SF Gallery: 251 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

It will be a Sunday afternoon of comedy, music, giveaways, ice cream, and a naughty workshop.  More info here.

Hoodslam FML: This is Real (a love story)
6 – 9 pm
Victory Warehouse: 24th and San Pablo Avenue, Oakland

Hoodslam is a live-action show about wrestling, performance art, stunt presentation, and fun.  Their first show of the year includes: Otis the Gimp, Rasta Mysterio, Knights of the Roxbury, Zombie Vinny Butabi, and the 2010 Street Fighter Champion Juiced Lee.  There will also be performances by Einstye, Patricia Misery and Miss Prick.  BYOB, for adults only.  Cost: $6.  More info here.

A Valentine’s Love Fest with Stephanie Mills & The Whispers
7 pm
Paramount Theater: 2025 Broadway

Cost: Tickets are $45.75, $65.75, and $87.75.  More info here.

Sweetheart Trunk Show
8 pm to 12 am
The Blue Muse Bar & Restaurant: 370 Grove Street, San Francisco

There will be shopping, dancing, eating, drinking and more.  Local jewelry, knitwear, and glass ornament designers will be selling their creations.  Receive a raffle ticket with the purchase of a Sweetheart Specialty Cocktail.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day
Monday, February 14

OCC Noontime Concert Series – Valentine’s Day Celebration
12:01 – 1 pm
Oakland City Center: 1300 Clay Street, Oakland

Nicholas Bearde will perform on stage in the Plaza.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Gather
5 – 10 pm
Gather: 2200 Oxford Street, Berkeley

Gather is offering a four course prix-fixe dinner – with vegan options available – for $70 to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Chocolate & Champagne Party
5:30 – 8:30 pm
Beacon Clubhouse: 250 King Street, San Francisco

Dazzles, a new locally run website, wants to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day.  The event is free, but an RSVP is required.  RSVP here.  More info here.

Love is for Suckas
7 pm
Mama Buzz: 2318 Telegraph, Oakland

Come enjoy some great music.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day with Carolina Lugo’s and Carole Acuna’s Ballet Flamenco
7 pm (also on February 20 at 6:15 and 7:15 pm)
Pena Pachamama Cultural Center: 1630 Powell Street, San Francisco

A great show incorporating song, castanets, clapping, and guitar through dance.  More info here.

A Cheesy Valentine’s Day at Homeroom
7 pm
Homeroom: 400 40th Street, Oakland

Homeroom is celebrating their opening day with beer, wine, and Mac-painting.  Cost: $25 gets you three half pints of beer or wine along with three different mac and cheeses and a great dessert.  More info here.

Love Boat: Valentine’s Day Dance Cruise with Premium Hosted Bar
7 – 10 pm
Boat leaves from: The Embarcadero at Pier 40, San Francisco

There will be dancing and bars on all three levels.  An upgrade is available to also include a gourmet buffet dinner.  21 and over.  Purchase tickets here.  More info here.

How To Train Your Lover
7:30 pm
The Booksmith: 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco

Dr. Rhonda, a relationship expert, wants to help you apply the scientific method to your relationship.  There will be a one-hour lecture, demonstration, and performance workshop based on her upcoming book, How To Train Your Lover in Five Easy Steps.  Both singles and couples are welcome.  More info here.

A Special Valentine’s Evening with Jolie Holland
7:30 pm
The New Parish: 579 18th Street, Oakland

Cost: Tickets are $16.50 and $20.  More info here.

Albany High School Jazz Band & Rhythm Bound Valentine’s Day Concert
8 pm
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Come enjoy a fabulous Valentine’s Day concert.  Cost: $18.50 in advance, $20.50 at the door.  More info here.

$5 Valentine’s Comedy Night with Marga Gomez
8 – 9:30 pm
The Marsh Berkeley: 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley

Let comedian Marga Gomez help you celebrate your Valentine’s Day.  Gomez will be performing at The Marsh Berkeley with Candy Churilla, Dee Dee Russell, Casey Ley, and Ivan Hernandez.  Doors open at 7:30 pm, show starts at 8 pm.  BYOB.  Cost: $5 with password WOOF online or at the door.  More info here.

Comedy at El Rio: Queer Valentine’s Day Show
8 pm
El Rio: 3158 Mission Street, San Francisco

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy presents five fabulous LGBT comedians: David Hawkins, Janine Brito, Bob McIntyre, Loren Kraut, and Nick Leonard.  Cost: $7 and up.  More info here.

Valentine’s Day Mash Up, Dancing & Cheap Drinks
9 pm
800 Larkin: 800 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Music will be provided by Wrek One, The Priest, Major and Ealexer.  There will be fun Valentine’s Day cocktails – The Apple of My Eye, A Sparkling Kiss, The Cosmopolitan Lover, and My Chocolate Valentine – for $6.  There will also be $2 Pabst and two for one Jameson or Fernet shots.  21 and up.  More info here.

Love Bites: 80’s Power Ballad Sing-along
9:15 to 11 pm
Roxie Cinema: 3117 16th Street, San Francisco

Some people can’t stand Valentine’s Day.  So for those people, there are Power Ballads!  Hold lighters in the air and pound your fists to Guns n Roses, REO Speedwagon, Warrant, Bon Jovi, and Journey.  Cost: $11 per person.  Get your advance tickets here.


  1. Consuelo on February 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

    You missed one! The Find at Jack London Square! Sat Feb 12th 11am – 5p, FREE!! 50+ antique and vintage vendors + food + live music!

  2. anon on February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    what about the great annual pillow fight in san francisco?

  3. […] Looking for a fun Valentine’s Day event?  Check out Valentine’s Day in Oakland: The ultimate list of ways to celebrate (or avoid) it. […]

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