Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial kickoff to summer for those too eager to wait for the solstice June 21. Whether you’re among those ready to dive right into summertime or you’re still savoring springtime, the holiday weekend presents a perfect opportunity to gather outdoors with friends and family for a barbecue, a concert or a hike – or congregate indoors for a final round of bowling at Pacifica’s Sea Bowl or one last Peninsula Restaurant Week meal. Here are nine ways to spend the long weekend on the Peninsula.
Bid a local landmark farewell. One of the few locally owned bowling alleys left on the Peninsula is closing at the end of the month: Sea Bowl Entertainment Center in Pacifica. After more than 60 years in business, the owners announced their retirement and the closure of Sea Bowl earlier this spring. The bowling alley first opened in 1958 and has been under the same ownership since 1996.
Lanes are now first come, first served, with special hours on Memorial Day (noon to 6 p.m.), May 30 (noon to 10 p.m.) and May 31 (noon to 8 p.m.) Weekday hours are otherwise noon to 10 p.m. and noon to 9 p.m. weekends.
Sea Bowl Entertainment Center, 4625 Highway 1, Pacifica. Rates vary; see website for details.
Dine out for Peninsula Restaurant Week. The third annual celebration of local restaurants winds down this weekend, with the final day of dining deals and special menus Saturday. More than 100 eateries up and down the Peninsula are participating; read our guide for more details and to catch up on our Q&A series with restaurateurs.
Peninsula Restaurant Week, at varying eateries through Saturday.
Browse bonsai at Filoli. All month long, the historic Woodside estate and gardens have hosted Bonsai Exhibit Month, with its collection of miniature trees including species such as ginkgo, wisteria, elm, pine, and redwood, among others. Some of the larger bonsai date back to the Bourn (1917-1936) and Roth (1937-1975) periods, while many of the smaller plants were donated after Filoli opened to the public in 1977, according to its website.
Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend sellouts are expected; register in advance here. General admission is $34 per adult ($32 for seniors 64 and up), $27 for students, teachers and military personnel, $24 per child ages 5-17 and free for kids under 5.
Take a hike. Join Greenbelt Alliance at 9:15 a.m. Saturday for a 5-mile round-trip hike beginning at Pillar Point Harbor north of Half Moon Bay and heading south toward Half Moon Bay State Beach, or head to Windy Hill Open Space Preserve in Portola Valley for a docent-led hike at 10 a.m. Saturday through Hawthorns Area, a limited-access location with an olive orchard, grasslands and sweeping views (reservations required and close at 2 p.m. Friday.) On Sunday at 9 a.m., Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve in Redwood City will host a 3-mile spring wildflower hike led by Friends of Edgewood docents and geared toward adults and older children (online registration required).
Memorial Day weekend guided hikes at various locations, free.
Head to a gathering of gourmands. 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 May 26-28. 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.
See a show. Memorial Day weekend concerts and performances include the Hui Tarava Spring Showcase in Daly City Sunday with Tahitian music and dance; Smuin Ballet‘s season finale, “Dance Series 2,” in Mountain View through Sunday; West Bay Opera‘s new production of the epic opera Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) in Palo Alto Friday and Sunday; Shania Twain at Shoreline Amphitheatre Friday, followed by The Cure Saturday and Monday; a clarinet duo at Stanford and a violin trio at Palo Alto’s Music in the Park series Saturday; Rock the Dock at the Port of Redwood City Saturday; the season finale of the Pear Pressure Cabaret Show in Mountain View Sunday; and the Pilipinx Cultural Night at Stanford on Sunday.
Memorial Day weekend performances, prices and locations vary.
Get your motor running. The Loma Mar Store & Kitchen hosts a monthly motor gathering the last Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Motorcyclists and car enthusiasts flock to this local landmark to show off their rides and take advantage of the $10 bottomless coffee and free pastry of your choice. The restaurant will also serve its full breakfast and lunch menu. This event is family-friendly and dog-friendly.
Loma Mar Store & Kitchen, 8150 Pescadero Creek Road, Loma Mar. The event is free.
Swing by San Carlos for a pig roast. Domenico Winery in San Carlos is hosting its 17th annual Memorial Day Pig Roast from 1-4 p.m. Monday. Enjoy all-you-can-eat barbecue with Domenico’s wines and dance to live music. The menu includes slow-roasted garlic suckling pig, cheeseburgers and veggie burgers, hot dogs and a variety of classic barbecue sides, plus chocolate Nilla Wafer pudding for dessert. Admission covers unlimited soft drinks and three drink tickets per person for wine and beer.
Domenico Winery, 1697 Industrial Road, San Carlos. Purchase tickets by Friday, May 26. No tickets will be sold at the door. Non-member tickets are $80 per adult, $60 per person under 21.
Recognize the meaning of Memorial Day. Commemorate Memorial Day in Redwood City or San Bruno. The historic Union Cemetery ceremony at 10 a.m. will include presenting the colors, patriotic singing, speeches, decoration of the veterans’ graves and an anvil firing. Parking is difficult, so carpooling, walking and biking is encouraged. Transportation is available for disabled attendees.
In San Bruno, Golden Gate National Cemetery will host its 71st annual Memorial Day observance from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The program includes a band concert at 10:30 a.m., speeches, vocalists, the Army color guard, U.S. Volunteers rifle detail and a Coast Guard flyover. An $8 luncheon will follow at the American Legion Hall (757 San Mateo Ave., San Bruno), with proceeds benefiting the American Legion Auxiliary and the Avenue of Flags Committee.
Union Cemetery, 316 Woodside Road, Woodside; Golden Gate National Cemetery, 1300 Sneath Lane (Veterans Way), San Bruno. The events are free.
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