Thursday December 1st – Sunday December 4th
FESTIVAL | The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Sat Nov 19th – Sun Dec 18th
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is quite a unique event, bringing old English Victorian Christmas traditions to life at the Cow Palace. The event will feature theaters, a music hall, dance parties, taverns, shops, stalls, food, street vendors and period costumes. Explore it all through offerings of unique holiday gifts and festive treats accompanied by the sounds of holiday carolers.
ART | Illuminate SF
Thurs Nov 24th – Sun Jan 1st
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.
THEATER | A Christmas Carol
Fri Nov 25th – Sat Dec 24th
If you’re looking for a festive and traditional way to celebrate the holidays, buy tickets to go see the annual performance of A Christmas Carol at ACT’s Geary Theater. This play is directed by Domenique Lozano, features a lively cast, authentic costumes, spooky ghosts and sweeping music by Karl Lundeberg. The performances are expected to sell out quickly, so buy your tickets ASAP.
HOLIDAY | Fairmont Gingerbread House
Sat Nov 26th – Sat Dec 31st
Every year, the Fairmont Hotel opens up a giant Gingerbread House inside its lobby for the holidays. Enjoy two stories of gingerbread bricks decorated with tons of icing, which will be open through New Year’s Eve. Visiting the gingerbread house is free, and there will be gingerbread holiday tea available, as well.
FOOD | Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk
Thurs Dec 1st
On the first of December, enjoy a foodie and wine lover’s heaven at the Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk. The event will take place on 24th Street between Diamond and Church from 4 pm. to 8 p.m., and will feature wine samples, finger foods and more. Advance tickets are $20 and include a wine glass and map outlining all of the tasting locations.
HOLIDAY | Union Street Fantasy of Lights Kick Off
Sat Dec 3rd
The Union Street Fantasy of Lights will light up tons of Victorian houses on Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner for a month long holiday celebration. The event kicks off on December 3rd, featuring jugglers, costumes, singers, face painters, carriage rides, reindeer and Santa himself.
FUN | Run Wild San(ta) Francisco
Sun Dec 4th
Strap on your Santa hat for Run Wild San(ta) Francisco, a Santa hat 5K. The main race, kids’ dash and post-race expo will take place at Crissy Field. The course is a flat loop out to Fort Point, giving runners gorgeous views of the bay and the San Francisco skyline. The main race will start at 8 a.m.
FUN | ZooLights
Sat Dec 4th – Tues Jan 3rd
Visit the San Francisco Zoo this month to experience the annual ZooLights tradition. This event will feature trees covered with lights, Santa, reindeer, an indoor tropical rainforest, games, nightly shows, costumes, the Education Open House and a train ride. Purchase ZooLights tickets here for $8 general admission.
Monday December 5th – Sunday December 11th
FUN | SantaCon
Sat Dec 10th
Celebrate SantaCon this month, one of San Francisco’s most beloved traditions. The event will feature thousands of people dressed up as Santa all over the city, especially concentrated in the bars around Union Square and Polk Street. The official event starts at noon, and big crowds are to be expected.
FESTIVAL | Parol Lantern Festival and Parade
Sat Dec 10th
This year’s Parol Lantern Festival and Parade will take place at Jessie Square, St. Patrick’s Church and the Yerba Buena Gardens. This Filipino festival will feature more than 1,000 lanterns in addition to music, games, prizes and more family fun. You can even participate in the parade yourself by joining a lantern-making workshop. The parade will start at 6:15 p.m.
MUSIC | Unsilent Night
Sat Dec 10th
Unsilent Night is a boombox and smartphone concert that will take place this December, starting at the Civic Center Plaza promenade at 4:45 p.m. To participate, download the event music, an original composition by Phil Kline; play it when cued at the event and join the gathering as it walks through the city streets.
Monday December 12th – Sunday December 18th
HOLIDAY | Lighted Boat Parade
Fri Dec 16th
This year’s holiday Lighted Boat Parade will take place on December 16th from 6 to 8 p.m. The parade will feature 60 boats decorated in holiday goodies and bright lights traveling through the bay alongside Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort Mason, the Marina Green and more. The event is free to come watch from any of the locations mentioned.
HOLIDAY | SFMade Holiday Gift Fair
Sun Dec 18th
The SFMade Holiday Gift Fair is a craft fair hosting 60 local artisans and manufacturers. Come buy your holiday gifts at this fair on December 18th between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., hosted at California College of the Arts. Enjoy the accompanying food trucks, wine, beer, music and art exhibits. All of the artisans here make their wares right in San Francisco.
Monday December 19th – Sunday December 25th
FOOD | All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast
Sun Dec 20th
This year marks the third annual All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast. Tickets are available on Eventbrite, offering you unlimited Dungeness crab, garlic noodles, freshly baked sourdough bread, salad, draft beer or house made sangria and live music. The event will take place from 12 to 3 p.m. at SoMa StrEat Food Park.
FUN | Jingle Ball
Sat Dec 24th
Put your dancing shoes on and make your way out to the Grand Nightclub for the fifth annual Jingle Ball, a huge holiday dance party featuring electronic dance music, hip hop and pop. This event is for people 21 years and older, and attendees are encouraged to show off their holiday spirit by wearing read and green. Bottle service and tables are available.
HOLIDAY | Community Menorah Lightings
Sat Dec 24th – Sat Dec 31st
Celebrate Hanukkah at one of San Francisco’s Community Menorah Lightings. The lightings are often accompanied by live music, food and crafts. One of the most popular is the Bill Graham Menorah, located in Union Square, which was the first giant menorah to be built in the country. The first lighting will take place on December 24th.
HOLIDAY | Jewish Christmas
Sun Dec 25th
Enjoy a multi-holiday celebration at the fifth annual Jewish Christmas, which will fill the Make-Out Room with a selection of holiday entertainment. At the event you can expect a Chinese buffet, comedy, burlesque, Woody Allen movies, a Hanukkah bush and a DJ. This event is 21+ and will take place from 6 to 11 p.m.
Monday December 26th – Sunday December 31st
HOLIDAY | NYE Massive
Sat Dec 31st
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the San Francisco NYE Massive. This party will feature five dance floors, each themed like a different city, including Las Vegas, New York, Hollywood, Miami and San Francisco. Plus, there will be huge balloon drops, casino-style games, party favors and massive video screens. The event will take place at the Parc 55 Hilton Hotel, just off of Union Square.
HOLIDAY | NYE Fireworks
Sat Dec 31st
San Francisco’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks will be launched from the barges to the south of the Ferry Building. One of the best spots to catch a great view of the show will be on the Embarcadero between Mission and Folsom Streets. This is a family friendly event, and will be completely free.
HOLIDAY | Streets of San Francisco
Sat Dec 31st
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Streets of San Francisco, the eighth annual EYE HEART NYE event. This party will take place at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, offering all attendees an open bar, art installations, interactive displays and live music. This year’s lineup features Klingande, and there will even be a ferris wheel.