September 30, 2016

Savoring the End of Summer with Friday Nights @ OMCA

See exhibits till 10 pm and picnic on the lawn

By Cynthia Taylor, Associate Director, Public Programs

With contributions from Claudia Leung

Q: If you had only one way to celebrate the end of summer, what would you do?

a)    Go to a street festival.
b)    Eat some delicious Barbecue or ice cream.
c)    Picnic with my family.
d)    Hang out with my friends at a beer garden.
e)    Dance at a outdoor concert.
f)     All the above.

If you picked any of these answers, you’re in luck! Friday Nights @ OMCA, the Bay Area’s best weekly Friday Night event, in my humble opinion, is your go-to combination street festival/block party/happy hour/arts and culture/live music/food truck/family-friendly destination. And in October, we’re ending the summer season on a high note. Read on for three reasons to come to Friday Nights @ OMCA this month:

Enjoy seasonal weather

The October hue of the late afternoon and evening sky is stunning in Oakland. Take advantage of the remaining daylight hours by checking out a free Books & Blankets bag for a picnic with the family in the Museum Gardens. Better yet—plan ahead and hang out with friends and families by reserving picnic tables or the Blue Oak cafe terrace for larger celebrations, birthdays, or your office happy hour (with local brews and cocktails from the Blue Oak beer garden, of course)! Acoustic music at the entrance on Oak Street Plaza sets the mood through October, with tributes to the jazz era of West Oakland on the first and final Fridays.

Never fear missing out

Even the most social of us can sometimes come down with a case of FOMO. But whatever your pleasure—be it food, drink, music, quality time with friends and family, and engaging with art and culture—Friday Nights @ OMCA’s got something for you. Plus, now through the end of October, we’re open an extra hour, till 10 pm, giving you more time to get here early and enjoy everything Friday Nights @ OMCA has to offer. Check one of the 20 tantalizing vendors from Off the Grid off your list—I recommend the summery flavors of trucks like Kenny’s Heart and Soul, Street Dogs, and Frozen Kuhsterd. And parents with kids, don’t worry about missing out on the fun, bring the whole family along! Enjoy a free hands-on art activity all month—making paper marigolds for Días de los Muertos—and story time with the Oakland Public Library on Friday, October 28.

Explore hot topics

All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 has already been named a must-see fall exhibition in outlets like Sunset Magazine, The Guardian, and The San Francisco Chronicle, to name just a few. Lucky for you, OMCA’s galleries and exhibitions stay open ‘til 10 pm on Fridays, with half-off admission for adults and free admission for ages 18 and under. Start on October 7 with a special exhibition preview for OMCA Members only—if you’re not a Member yet, join now to get unlimited admission to our incredible exhibitions for the year. Also on October 7, check out the Makers & Tasters Series, highlighting local organizations that do food activism inspired by the revolutionary free breakfast programs of the Black Panther Party. DJs will be spinning sounds of the Black Panther Party era all month to set a righteous and revolutionary mood. You can also get knowledgeable about the buzzword on everyone’s lips these days—gentrification—with the final month of special exhibition Oakland, I want you to know... focusing on demographic and cultural change in The Town.

It’s been a great summer season here at OMCA—and it’s not over yet! There’s still so much to enjoy the last month of summer at Friday Nights @ OMCA. Don’t forget to return starting Friday, November 4 when the galleries, exhibitions, and food trucks stay open till 9 pm.