After this winter's onslaught of wind, rain and even snow in parts of the Peninsula, even those of us who had welcomed the storms in our parched state earlier in the season are anxious for some calm, cloudless days and opportunities to get out and explore the green hills and wildflowers of spring.
While the rain may not be done with us yet, spring's arrival on March 20 ushers in the return of more outdoor festivals and seasonal events and brings us that much closer to the long, warm days of summer. Here are 15 events this spring we have circled on the calendar:
Pacifica Rock and Roll Flea Market March 26: Over 40 vendors will be on hand at Winters Tavern in Pacifica, selling everything from records, musical instruments and memorabilia to tiki items and vintage clothing. Listen to live music from Rue '66, Three O'Clock Rock, Th' Losin Streaks and Muck And The Mires, with food from Satay By The Bay SF and a tap takeover from Alpha Acid Brewing Company.
Pacifica Rock and Roll Flea Market March 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Winters Tavern, 1522 Francisco Blvd., Pacifica. The event is free.
Growing Natives Garden Tour April 1-2: Visitors can find inspiration for their gardens (or just admire all the native plants) by touring up to 60 private and public gardens landscaped with California native plants. These gardens are low-maintenance and water-wise, with minimal or no chemical use. Register online to access maps and addresses.
Growing Natives Garden Tour April 1 for southern area gardens, April 2 for northern area. The tour is free.
Easter Eggstravaganza April 8: The Easter bunny flies in by helicopter at 11 a.m. for Hiller Aviation Museum's Easter Eggstravaganza. Kids can get an Easter egg straight from the bunny, run around a bounce house and slide, and enjoy a model train display and face painting.
Easter Eggstravaganza April 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos. Admission is $19 per adult, $12 for seniors and youth ages 5-17 and free for kids 4 and under.
Taste of Campbell April 15: A ticket to the fifth annual Taste of Campbell includes wine tasting for up to 24 different wines, wine bottle sales below retail, a silent auction, live music and dancing and cuisine from local restaurants such as Flights and Best Artisan Empanadas.
Taste of Campbell April 15 from 3-6 p.m. at Orchard City Banquet Hall, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell. Tickets cost $39-$54 per person plus fees.
Love Our Earth Festival April 22: Midpeninsula cities will come together for a free event celebrating the planet and teaching people how they can address the climate crisis. Stop by the green vendor fair to learn about sustainable eating, how to create a climate-friendly home and more. Check out the electric vehicle and electric bicycle showcase and cooking demos, and while kids can enjoy crafts, storytime, interactive animal exhibits and other activities. Food vendors include Vegan Hood Chefs, Casita Vegana, Nixta Foods, Annie's T Cakes, LL's Kitchen and Christine's Cookie Co.
Love Our Earth Festival April 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. The event is free.
Asha Stanford Holi April 22-23: Celebrate Holi with unlimited color (they'll have 5,000 pounds on hand for the weekend), Indian food and music. All net proceeds from the event will go toward funding the education of underprivileged children in India.
Asha Stanford Holi April 22-23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Sand Hill Fields on Oak Road at Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford. Tickets are $20 for youth under 15 and $40 for adults. Free admission for Stanford students with SUID. The 4-6 p.m. time slot April 22 is limited to Stanford students and affiliates.
Coastal Wildflower Day April 23: Visitors to Half Moon Bay State Beach will be able to buy native plants, take guided nature walks and listen to music from Half Moon Bay High's jazz band and Lighthouse String Band playing traditional Irish and Scottish Celtic music. The beach's volunteer-run nursery will provide sheet-mulching demonstrations and native planting sessions. Booths will offer various interactive activities, including face painting.
Coastal Wildflower Day Festival Sunday, April 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Half Moon Bay State Beach, 95 Kelly Ave. The event is free. Day-use parking is $10.
Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival April 29-30: The 39th annual festival honors Cupertino's sister city relationship with Toyokawa, Japan. Watch music and dance performances and martial arts demonstrations, and check out arts and crafts exhibits, cultural demonstrations and special interest groups such as koi fish clubs. Food options include yakisoba, sushi, gyoza and more, plus sake, plum wine, beer and other beverages. Children's activities range from a petting zoo and pony rides to games and arts and crafts.
Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival April 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Cupertino Memorial Park, the Quinlan Center and Senior Center, 21121 Stevens Creek Blvd. The event is free.
Dream Machines April 30: Dream Machines is back for its 30th year of shows featuring cars, motorcycles, airplanes and tractors — roughly 2,000 machines from the 20th and 21st centuries. Get an up-close look at all kinds of vehicles, from Ford Model T's and muscle cars to low-riders and dragsters. New additions this year include a showcase of next-generation vehicles, a special display by Niles Railway Museum, R-44 helicopter rides and more. There will also be live music, food and drinks and a kids' fun zone.
Pacific Coast Dream Machines April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay. Tickets are $25 in advance for adults ($30 at the gate), $15 in advance for youth 11-17 and seniors 65 and over ($20 at the gate) and kids 10 and under are free with a paying adult. Early bird vehicle registration is $40 plus fees.
May Fête Parade May 6: Get your costumes and floats ready for the 99th annual May Fête event. Enter your group for a chance to win big prizes or walk in the city's Friends, Family and Pets category. This year's theme will be announced soon.
May Fête Parade May 6 at 10 a.m. along University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. The event is free.
Silicon Valley Open Studios May 6-21 (weekends only): Check out the artwork of 300 artists across 121 sites at Silicon Valley Open Studios, which gives people the opportunity to peruse and purchase art directly from the artists. Art of every medium is included, from paintings and sculptures to photography and jewelry. The first weekend will focus on the San Mateo County Coastside, the second will include artists from San Bruno to Mountain View and the final weekend will focus on the southern stretch from Sunnyvale to Gilroy.
Silicon Valley Open Studios May 6-7, May 13-14 and May 20-21 at assorted locations (go online for the event directory). The event is free.
Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival May 13: The second annual celebration of jazz and California wine returns to downtown Half Moon Bay for one afternoon only. Participating wineries include a host of familiar names, including local establishments like Clos de la Tech and Half Moon Bay Winery, and artists scheduled to appear include Paula West, John Santos Sextet and Marcus Shelby Quintet, with more to be announced. Food from Breakwater Barbecue, Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese and Sam's Chowder Mobile will be offered, plus beer and cider for those who aren't fans of wine. VIP lounge tickets ($125 per person) offer exclusive seating, food and beverages. Don't want to drink? Music-only tickets are $25.
Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival May 13 from noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street. Tickets cost $25-$125 per person.
Soul Stroll May 20: Head to Coyote Point for the first in-person Soul Stroll since 2019. Walk or run 1, 3 or 5 miles and check out the health fair with over 50 vendors providing screenings and information. Ticket cost includes a light breakfast, professionally led warm-up sessions, a healthy lunch and a commemorative T-shirt.
Soul Stroll May 20 from 8 a.m. to noon at Coyote Point Recreation Area, 1701 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. Tickets are $30 plus fees.
The Silicon Valley Whisk(e)y Festival May 21: Sip whiskey (or whisky) at Domenico Winery's inaugural festival with Italian food from Osteria, music from local artists, and whiskies and cocktails. Special VIP lounge tickets will include a special guest host whiskey.
The Silicon Valley Whisk(e)y Festival May 21 from 2-6 p.m. at Domenico Winery, 1697 Industrial Road, San Carlos. Tickets are $50-$200 a person plus taxes and fees.
FoodieLand Night Market May 26-28: Carnival games, live music, an artisan market and over 170 food vendors converge for the return of FoodieLand at the San Mateo County Event Center. Booths will be selling a wide range of food and drinks all weekend, from ramen burgers and dim sum to boba and Khmer barbecue. Alcoholic beverages will be available at various bars, and options for vegan and vegetarian eaters are noted on the lineup with a green leaf.
FoodieLand Night Market from 3-10 p.m. May 26 and 1-10 p.m. May 27-28 at the San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. Tickets are $5-$7 per person; kids under 5 are admitted free. Parking is $15 per car at the venue.