Arts and CultureSan Francisco

Awesome Free & Cheap Things to Do for the Long July 4th Weekend

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Let freedom ring over the long weekend. Independence Day is about celebrating America’s hard fought for freedom. An extra weekend day also means an extra day for weekend shenanigans.

Feel like clowning around or chilling out to some jams? Here is a great list of either free or cheap things to do around San Francisco for the long weekend ahead:

Start Friday Morning with a Puppet Show.

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival features over 75 free performances on its stages between May and October each year. On Friday, July 1st, check out Caterpillar Puppets with a Master Puppeteer. The show will take place in the Children’s Garden from 11 am to 11:30 am.

Wake up your inner child, and get your kids laughing, too. Joe Leon, Master Puppeteer, presents sly and humorous stories with unexpected twists and turns that all ages will love, especially his take on the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Bla-bla-blas.

Free Circus Training This and Every Friday.

Ever wanted to run away to the circus? After a long week of flying monkey attacks at the office, learn to fight back with fun via free circus training every Friday.

This Friday, July 1st from 7 pm to 9 pm, Circus Center will hold a free open play where ages 8+ can practice their skills on the tightrope, juggling, rolla bolla, clowning and more. The event is supervised by professionals there to guide and refine your skills. Students under 18 will need a parental release form, and children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Be a Flapper at Fillmore Street Jazz Festival.

The 32nd annual Fillmore Jazz Festival is going to be the bees’ knees, man! Last year, the famous festival drew over 100,000 people out to listen.

The free event lasts all day (10 am to 6 pm) and will be held on Saturday, July 2nd and Sunday, July 3rd. There will be jazz, come rain or shine. Tribute will be paid to David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Natalie Cole and more.

So, dress up as a flapper or the Goblin King celebrating Independence Day, grab an umbrella and bring your tap shoes to the Fillmore District, between Jackson and Eddy Streets.

Cars and Coffee, oh my!

Cars and Coffee runs every First Saturday of the month from 8 am to 11 am, held on the Green at Treasure Island. On Google Maps, pin “Bliss Dance” to find the location more easily. This monthly meetup focuses on exotic and muscle cars. Since it’s a meetup, the exhibit allows for an unique showing of only rare or exotic vehicles.

Dress as a pin up girl, fifties housewife or greaser, and kindly ask car exhibitors if you can take a photo with their vehicle for a fun, free photoshoot on Saturday, July 2nd.

The event is free for spectators. Car exhibitors are charged $5.00 and receive a free cup of coffee. So, it works out. Note that parking is $10, unless you arrive by Muni; then it’s free.

Camp Out and Jam On at Hollister Independence Motorcycle Rally.

Started in 1947, the rally is believed to have given fame to the “American Biker” and inspired the cult classic “The Wild One’ (1953), which starred Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando. Fans return to Hollister each year to celebrate the cultural icons. Look forward to amazing motorcycles, gear, live music, charity events and delicious festival food, with a pancake breakfast every morning.

Get your biker gear on, and don some fake tattoos for fun. The motorcycle rally is free to attend, but bring money for drinks and food. The event will run from Friday, July 1st to Sunday, July 3rd at San Bento Street in downtown Hollister. It all begins at 9 am and goes until 8 pm, except on Sunday, because people have to work.

Attendants are encouraged to camp overnight in a tent or trailer in Tres Pinos, only ten minutes from Hollister. The small town has beautiful rolling hills and expansive oaks throughout the grounds. Watch out for the camping sticker price, though. Tent camping is $30 per night, and RV/trailer camping is $55 per night. Motorcycles, campfires and s’mores may just be worth it.

Celebrate your freedom by letting your inner child out to play, to walk a tight rope or dress up as a greaser. Independence Day isn’t all about hot dogs and hamburgers. Though, those are pretty great, too, especially over a campfire. Happy Independence Day!

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Kacey Bradley

Kacey Bradley

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective. Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.

Kacey has been able to further her knowledge and interest for nature, understand the power of exploring other locations, and embrace the styles and cultures that surround her through her passion for writing and expression.