Autumn Lights Festival, Gardens at Lake Merritt, October 19-21, 2017
There’s nothing I love more than festive lights and even more so if I don’t have to wait until the holiday season! So leave it to Oakland to create a tradition bringing together the community and supporting the public Gardens with an extravagant festival. Bring the whole family and give yourselves ample time to wander through gardens lit up with ethereal and experiential installations by local artists. There are water works, fire works (a snail that shoots fire out of its eye tentacles as you pull on its reins), and even a light show as a piano is played.
Come earlier to catch some of the garden in the light (especially if you’ve never been before) and also to avoid the crowds, it will get very crowded towards the latter half of the night. Wear your light gear or purchase some at the event, plenty of people don fun outfits — just don’t forget a jacket because it can get quite chilly. There are also food trucks and wine + beer stalls set up for the event, if you can’t manage to wait, otherwise I’d opt to grub nearby, as there are so many choices in that area of Oakland. In case you’re wondering, we walked the couple of blocks and went to True Burger, one of my favorite gourmet burger spots (and of course a shake).