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Walnut Creek Magazine

Cool Ways to Celebrate California's Grand Reopening

Jun 02, 2021 02:19PM ● By Harper Klein

Reserve your spot at Stern Grove. San Francisco's beloved summer tradition returns for its 84th season with a stellar lineup of free concerts beginning June 20 through August 29. Performances include SF Symphony, Thundercat, Fitz & The Trantrums, and more. Reservations required.

Join Diablo Symphony Orchestra for a free concert in Rudney Plaza. Percussion, wind, brass and string sections will play everything from Duke Ellington to Strauss and Mozart. June 26, 5:30pm Lesher Center for the Arts. Free event.

Go on a picnic at Heather Farm Park. Just off Ygnacio Valley Road sits a 102-acre community treasure filled with serene spaces, wild birds, an all-abilities playground, a fishing pond, and plenty of room to lounge on the lawn. 

Buy tickets to Maks & Val Stripped Down Tour. Support the return of live theater at the Lesher Center for the Arts at an evening of comedy, storytelling and breathtaking dance on July 24.   

Take a Public Art Walking Tour. Led by trained Bedford Gallery docents, explore the stunning murals, sculptures, and fountains in downtown Walnut Creek. 

Learn about the birth of blue jeans at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM). San Francisco museums are back and The CJM is opening its doors for a free visit on June 24 to experience current exhibits, including Levi Strauss: A History of American Style.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a blueberry shake. Gott's seasonal summer menu features lobster rolls, street corn, and organic vanilla ice cream hand-spun with blueberry puree.

Get a carb fix at Slice House. Sunday through Thursday, Tony Gemignani's Mt. Diablo pizza spot offers an XL cheese or pepperoni pizza $25 pick-up special, or grab a table outside for a beer and individual pie. 

Explore the de Young’s Bouquets to Art. Take a 360-degree virtual tour of stunning floral designs inspired by artworks in the museum’s galleries. A $10 ticket to this annual fundraiser buys you access to the beauty from June 9 to June 30. 

Climb the sandstone formations at Rock City. Plan a day trip or overnight campout at 4,000-feet in Mt. Diablo State Park. From Live Oak campground, it’s only a quarter-of-a-mile hike to Sentinel Rock. On a clear day, you can see for almost 200 miles.

Get tickets to the Bay Bridge series. San Francisco is making a comeback. Oracle Park plans to welcome baseball fans without capacity restrictions for the Giants and A’s games on June 25-27.

Tap your toes to the sounds downtown. Local musicians, artists, dancers, and poets are popping up in Walnut Creek plazas. Check out the weekly lineups at

Plunge into the ocean’s depths with sharks. At Cal Academy's Shark's exhibit, explore ancient fossils, impressive jaws, and life-size models of this iconic species—and discover their important role in ocean ecosystems. 

Get a popcorn and silver screen fix. What better way to celebrate your reunion with the movie theater than at the long-awaited release of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical "In the Heights" opening June 10 at Century 14 Downtown Walnut Creek.

Enjoy the Oakland Museum of California. After 15 months, OMCA is welcoming back visitors to view exhibitions including California Stories on the Map, Dorothea Lange Photography, and Black Power. 

Take your imagination out to play at the Exploratorium. Plan a visit to San Francisco’s bayside museum where you can explore hundreds of science and art exhibits beginning in July. Reserve a space at  

Nosh on New York-style deli sandwiches from Mark ‘n Mikes. Carry out a pastrami Rueben or Big Fresser for a waterfront picnic from the deli at San Francisco’s One Market Restaurant. Extra napkins required. 

Get some retail therapy at Makers Market. The new Hawaiian boutique on Main Street is packed with home décor, delicious scents, and hip styles for hot weather. Kids apparel and foodie gifts too.

Celebrate Pride Month at a drag show in the Castro. Colorful cocktails, lip syncs, small plates, and hot entertainment heat up Midnight Sun and other iconic spots on 18th Street.

Catch a glimpse of history at Land's End. This Golden Gate National Recreation Area gem includes a visitor center, walking trails, and access to the historic Sutro Baths. It's a good place to watch for porpoises, sea lions, seabirds and other marine life. 

Live it up with lobster paella on Teleferic’s rooftop. It pairs perfectly with a pitcher of sangria for an alfresco date night. 

Shop for flowers at the Farmer’s Market. This Sunday when you’re stocking up on  local fruits and vegetables on North Locust Street, add beautiful blooms from Ruvalcaba to your bag.

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