The holiday season is upon us. If you’re looking for the best way to celebrate while in San Francisco, we’ve got you covered with events happening all month. Browse through our favorite options for ways to take care of your holiday shopping and embrace the festive atmosphere.
One of the best parts of the holiday season is watching the city light up with festive decorations. Take a Classic Cable Car Holiday Lights tour, leading you through the city’s landmarks as they stand lit up. Visit the SF Zoo to experience ZooLights, or explore the Union Street Fantasy of Lights to see Victorian houses decked out in holiday decor while getting some holiday shopping done. Be sure to check out some of the incredible light displays that decorate the city throughout Illuminate SF, too.
One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season is to embrace the winter chill with some festive ice skating. San Francisco has several ice rinks that open up during the holiday season, including the Holiday Ice Rink In Union Square and the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center. Alternatively, be sure to check out the options available at the Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center. This rink is open year round and offers public skating, figure skating and hockey practices and lessons.
The end of November marks the beginning of Illuminate SF, a series of light-focused art installations that transform San Francisco into a gallery of lights at night. These installations will be up from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, with offers of free guided tours and illuminated bike rides to help you get the most out of them.
Midway through the fall, San Francisco turns into a mecca for holiday shopping. The most popular shopping district is the area surrounding Union Square, featuring the massive Macy’s holiday tree. The streets are lined with huge department stores with festive window displays, and the Westfield Centre is just three blocks south. If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, check out some of San Francisco’s other crucial shopping districts. For something more unique, check out one of San Francisco’s seasonal craft fairs, like the Renegade Craft Fair and the Etsy Holiday Emporium. Alternatively, find something at one of the city’s awesome independent bookstores or record stores.