Escape into beauty in San Francisco this week as Butterflies and Blooms returns to the Conservatory of Flowers after a three-year break. There’s an alternative form of escape on Friday, as the Dirtybird Players house DJs play their quarterly night at Mezzanine. If you’d rather indulge your epicurean side, there’s a chocolate salon at Hotel Kabuki, and a new restaurant has opened in a historic building on Larkin Street. Finally, head up to Napa and get your skates on: The holiday ice rink is now open.
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November 17 - June 30 | Exhibit
Butterflies & Blooms
One of the Conservatory of Flowers’ most popular and asked-about exhibits is back just in time to make us grateful for the small wonders in life: Butterflies & Blooms returns after a three-year hiatus. Check out a Victorian-era greenhouse as it is changed into a butterfly wonderland where you can closely interact. After you pay admission, this special exhibit is free, but for a supporting donation, you can be trained to release your own newly emerged butterfly. Or simply watch one burst from its chrysalis in the Butterfly Bungalow. (Note: Conservatory of Flowers is closed Mondays.)
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr., San Francisco | From $6 | website
November 18 - 19 | Music
If you’re looking for a friendly place to dance all night and blow off some steam in the midst of positive vibes, head to Mezzanine to roost with the Dirtybird Players, a house music label that has brought the San Francisco feeling to the world. DJs and producers from Dirtybird convene on this dance-floor quarterly to virtually raise the roof. This time, J. Phlip, Christian Martin, Worthy, and Ardalan will be joined by a secret guest.
9:00 PM - 4:00 AM | Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., San Francisco | From $20 | website
November 20 | Food festival
The Fall Holiday Chocolate Salon
The seasonal Chocolate Salons are always a smart place to shop for gifts while sipping wine and sampling treats from a wide array of independent chocolate and confection companies. This weekend’s edition will feature more than 30 vendors for delicious and efficient holiday finds, including coconut milk chocolate from Endorfin, fair trade bars from Alter Eco, and vegan dark chocolate by Firefly. Two new features have also arrived: a screening of the film Semisweet: Life in Chocolate and the opportunity to experience chocolate in virtual reality.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St., San Francisco | From $20 | website
November 19 - January 8 | Escape the city
Napa on Ice
This is a good weekend to skate up to Napa and get to gliding at the opening of the annual holiday ice rink, Napa On Ice. It’ll be up and running through the first week of January and is also available for private party rentals for a unique Wine Country weekend. Admission includes free skates rental if you don’t have your own pair of Harlicks or Riedells. Holiday ice rinks are also launching on this day in San Rafael and San Mateo.
575 Third St., Napa | From $13 | website
November 17 | New opening: Restaurant
The Saratoga is a new restaurant from the Bacchus Management Group, the company behind popular Bay Area eateries like Spruce in San Francisco and Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto. It feels like it has always been here because, well, the building has been a city fixture for 109 years. The two-level property includes a reservations-only dining area and an upstairs walk-in bar. Bacchus’s executive chef Mark Sullivan has created a menu of light snacks and substantial plates, including New Caledonian blue prawns baked in rock salt, a Cubano frank, and a signature burger with Taleggio cheese. The selections are meant to pair with an imaginative spirits program that features a lot of Chartreuse.
1000 Larkin St., San Francisco | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.