Schlepping through the Embarcadero Center laden with heavy bags is enough to keep almost any shopper in shape. But in case running from Parkway Pizza to Just Desserts to See's Candies isn't the kind of exercise you had in mind, the trendy and bustling downtown shopping center is hosting its annual Total Wellness Fair. Give your credit cards a much-needed breather and stroll through this wide-ranging event focused on a variety of approaches for achieving physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. The well-toned and the well-rested alike can check out 35 different interactive fitness and health booths; learn about nutrition and sample wholesome foods; take free glucose, cholesterol, osteoporosis, and body fat screenings (oy); or enter to win one of more than 50 door prizes. There will also be seminars given by some of the fitness industry's top experts on such subjects as surviving stress at work. If trekking from booth to booth makes you too tired, you can indulge in a free chair massage and then sit down to enjoy a performance by dance troupe Culture Shock. And for those who just can't set foot in the Embarcadero Center without at least checking on the latest styles, Speedo and Club One are staging an athletic-wear fashion show. (Time to stock up on those banana hammocks, guys). The fair is spread out over three buildings, so even if you're not a workout buff, you'll get plenty of exercise. Afterward, reward yourself with some goodies from Godiva Chocolatier and a well-earned rest in the Embarcadero Center Cinema. It all begins at 11 a.m. at the Embarcadero Center, Clay between Battery and Drumm, S.F. Admission is free; call 772-0754 or visit www.embarcaderocenter.com.
-- Jack Karp
After 66 years, the Stern Grove Festival is still so popular that fans of the annual performance series are willing to dangle from tree branches to get a glimpse of the open-air stage when the 33-acre clearing becomes too full. Once again, this season's schedule is bound to be a crowd-pleaser: It includes a Django Reinhardt program as well as today's performance by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra of Scott Joplin's Treemonisha, the first opera written by an African-American. Concerts start at 2 p.m. (but folks are advised to arrive several hours earlier) every Sunday through Aug. 17 at the Sigmund Stern Grove, Sloat at 19th Avenue; call 252-6252 or visit www.sterngrove.org.
-- Lisa Hom
Couch potatoes may be inspired to get off their duffs after seeing "Inspiration Perspiration," an exhibit of athletic equipment and designs that explores sports trends of the last decade and looks ahead at what's to come. Jocks and bench warmers will itch to get moving after checking out prototypes and sketches of the latest gear, like Specialized's concept bikes, Speedo's FastSkin Suit, Lunar Design's Biosentient Suit, and Naish kites and kite boards. The exhibit runs through Aug. 17 at Meandra, the San Francisco Design Museum at the Metreon, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), Second Floor, S.F. Admission is free-$5; visit www.meandra.org.
-- Lisa Hom
Even if you didn't move here to experience San Francisco the way Armistead Maupin described it in his beloved Tales of the City series, you probably know someone who did. Maupin's glorious vision of anything-goes S.F. has perhaps inspired more relocations than the dot-com boom. Visit some of the locales the author immortalized during the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Tales of the City Bike Tour, a three-hour cruise to spots like Macondray Lane (fictionalized as Barbary Lane) and the Endup, where Michael/Mouse wins the Jockey Shorts dance contest. Rumor has it Maupin will show up during the ride, which departs at noon from A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 431-BIKE.
-- Lisa Hom