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7 awesome Bay Area things to do over Memorial Day weekend

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There’s nothing like a nice long weekend to take stock of what is really important in life. Or better yet, just forget all that and go out and have a blast. And we have some great ideas along those lines, including the huge BottleRock festival, summer cooking recipes and a cool museum show with — pay attention, parents — MASSIVE INSECTS.

And if you’re going out to a show or a meal, remember that the COVID landscape is still evolving, so be sure to check the venue or restaurant website for the latest safety updates before you go.

(Psst, if you want to get this Weekender lineup delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning for free, just sign up at www.mercurynews.com/newsletters or www.eastbaytimes.com/newsletters.)

1 SEE: We weren’t kidding about those massive insects

The new exhibit “Bugs,” opening this weekend in Golden Gate Park, goes inside the creepy-crawly world of bees, praying mantises and much more. And it’s put together by the same folks who created monsters for the “Hobbit” movies. Here’s what you need to know.

Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito is one of the cant-miss acts at BottleRock Napa(Noam Galai/Getty Images archives) 

2 SEE & HEAR: Here comes BottleRock

The BottleRock festival in Napa this weekend is one of the crown jewels of the Bay Area live music scene. But with so many acts (and places to eat and drink), you have to plan your time wisely. So here’s an hour-by-hour guide to the festival.

3 EAT: It’s taco time!

We know what you’re thinking: When isn’t it taco time? And you’ve got us there. But the thing is, we asked readers to list the Bay Area’s best taco joints and trucks, and they came up with these 19 winners.

4 PLAY: Visit a military museum

This is a great weekend to sample the Bay Area’s surprisingly rich collection of historic military sites and museums. Here are nine of our favorites.

Tom Cruise stars in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Paramount Pictures) 

5 WATCH: A terrific ‘Top Gun’ sequel

The original “Top Gun” movie (36 years ago!) gave us amazing plane-flying stunts and taught us that Tom Cruise’s teeth could cause temporary snow blindness. Now comes the sequel and, wow, it’s way better than the original. It tops our list of new movies and shows you need to know about.

6 COOK & EAT: Recipes to rock your summer

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer which means the summer cooking season — which requires a whole different vibe than the rest of the year — begins now. So here are five cookbooks to guide you along the tricky transition.

7 SEE & PLAY: A cool dance, video game … thingie

San Francisco’s CandyBomber troupe specializes in the kind multimedia shows that you won’t find anywhere else. Their latest show “FRAY” comes with its own video game. It tops our list of cool live shows you need to know about.


There’s nothing like a nice long weekend to take stock of what is really important in life. Or better yet, just forget all that and go out and have a blast. And we have some great ideas along those lines, including the huge BottleRock festival, summer cooking recipes and a cool museum show with — pay attention, parents — MASSIVE INSECTS.

And if you’re going out to a show or a meal, remember that the COVID landscape is still evolving, so be sure to check the venue or restaurant website for the latest safety updates before you go.

(Psst, if you want to get this Weekender lineup delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning for free, just sign up at www.mercurynews.com/newsletters or www.eastbaytimes.com/newsletters.)

1 SEE: We weren’t kidding about those massive insects

The new exhibit “Bugs,” opening this weekend in Golden Gate Park, goes inside the creepy-crawly world of bees, praying mantises and much more. And it’s put together by the same folks who created monsters for the “Hobbit” movies. Here’s what you need to know.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Musician Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz of Fantastic Negrito poses backstage during the Meadows Music and Arts Festival - Day 3 at Citi Field on September 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito is one of the cant-miss acts at BottleRock Napa(Noam Galai/Getty Images archives) 

2 SEE & HEAR: Here comes BottleRock

The BottleRock festival in Napa this weekend is one of the crown jewels of the Bay Area live music scene. But with so many acts (and places to eat and drink), you have to plan your time wisely. So here’s an hour-by-hour guide to the festival.

3 EAT: It’s taco time!

We know what you’re thinking: When isn’t it taco time? And you’ve got us there. But the thing is, we asked readers to list the Bay Area’s best taco joints and trucks, and they came up with these 19 winners.

4 PLAY: Visit a military museum

This is a great weekend to sample the Bay Area’s surprisingly rich collection of historic military sites and museums. Here are nine of our favorites.

Tom Cruise stars in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Paramount Pictures) 

5 WATCH: A terrific ‘Top Gun’ sequel

The original “Top Gun” movie (36 years ago!) gave us amazing plane-flying stunts and taught us that Tom Cruise’s teeth could cause temporary snow blindness. Now comes the sequel and, wow, it’s way better than the original. It tops our list of new movies and shows you need to know about.

6 COOK & EAT: Recipes to rock your summer

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer which means the summer cooking season — which requires a whole different vibe than the rest of the year — begins now. So here are five cookbooks to guide you along the tricky transition.

7 SEE & PLAY: A cool dance, video game … thingie

San Francisco’s CandyBomber troupe specializes in the kind multimedia shows that you won’t find anywhere else. Their latest show “FRAY” comes with its own video game. It tops our list of cool live shows you need to know about.

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