There's something inherently spooky about solitary confinement, damp concrete, and the lurking spirits of former prisoners. The Alcatraz Night Tour is limited to a few hundred brave souls, and the island's emptiness only increases the ominous vibe. Just riding the ferry over in the creeping fog is menacing enough, to say nothing of the chilling Cellhouse Audio Tour (included in the ticket price). The tour operates year-round, Thursday through Monday evenings; during November, ferries leave at 4:20 p.m. from Pier 41 at Fisherman's Wharf, S.F. Admission is $14.25-23.50; call 705-5555 or www.blueandgoldfleet.com.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer
All Things Good and Green
If you want to learn more about sustainable living, a green economy, and social change from dozens of free thinkers and hundreds of eco-product hawkers, bike your healthy-eating behind over to the Green Festival (and yes, there are valet services for your wheels). Enviro-friendly Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Eric Utne (founding publisher of Utne Readermagazine), Dame Anita Roddick (founder of the Body Shop), and pro-hemp movie star Woody Harrelson are among the high-profile speakers during the two-day tree-hugger blowout. In between mike sessions, attendees can wander around and check out vendor booths, chow down at the vegetarian food court, sit in at green-living workshops, hook up with local activists, and explore new career avenues that carry Mother Nature's seal of approval. The festival starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St. (at Brannan), S.F. Admission is $11-15; visit www.greenfestivals.com.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer
Vroom and Zoom
It seems clear that a major portion of auto racing's appeal is the likelihood that a driver will be scraped off the speedway, a fact that makes motorcycle sports seem more captivating. Not only do drivers perform crazy stunts at ridiculous speeds, but they're not even protected by a metal box! Feel the agonizing tension at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, a three-day cavalcade of two-wheeled diversions. Bring your helmet and riding gear to test drive bikes on a variety of surfaces -- and the kids, if you want them to try out pint-sized ATVs and cycles. Or just leave the riding to the maniacs in the Ball of Steel Stunt Show. The engines rev at 4 p.m. on Friday (and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) at the San Mateo County Expo Center, 2495 S. Delaware (at 25th Ave.), San Mateo. Admission is free-$12; call (650) 574-3247 or visit www.sanmateoexpo.org.
-- Joyce Slaton