Events

Everything Festive You Need to Do in SF This Holiday Season

Updated On 12/14/2017 at 11:53AM EST Updated On 12/14/2017 at 11:53AM EST
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol | American Conservatory Theater
November
San Francisco City Hall
Tony Prince/Shutterstock
November
Monday - Sunday
Nov 20-Dec 31

Go ice skating in Union Square

Go ice skating in Union Square

Is it even the holidays if you don’t go ice skating? At this point, it’s tradition in SF. So lace ‘em up and head out to join the other wobbly people as you skate round and round under a ton of beautiful lights.
Cost: $18 includes admission and skate rental
Wednesday - Sunday
Nov 22-Dec 31
Club Fugazi
If you’ve never been to "Beach Blanket Babylon," you should really change that this year. The headpieces are extravagant, the performances are campy, the songs are hilarious, and holiday version of the world’s longest running musical revue will make even the biggest Scrooge chuckle.
Cost: $25 to $155
Wednesday - Monday
Nov 22-Jan 8
California Academy of Sciences
‘Tis the Season for Science when the Academy of Sciences celebrates the adaptations that allow Arctic and Antarctic animals to thrive in snowy ecosystems. Expect indoor snow flurries, a hands-on polar-themed exhibit, two live reindeer on the roof (it’s fine, Santa doesn’t need them until Christmas Eve), and for the first time ever, an ice skating rink.
Cost: $25.95 to $35.95 + $12 for ice skating
Friday
Nov 24
Union Square Park
Enjoy performances from the San Francisco Boys’ Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir while seeing the city’s most recognized tree light up for the very first time of the holiday season.
Cost: Free
Friday - Saturday
Nov 24-Dec 30

Raise your pinkies for a holiday Nutcracker Afternoon Tea

Raise your pinkies for a holiday Nutcracker Afternoon Tea

The St. Regis San Francisco
Do something unquestionably decadent this holiday season and enjoy the special winter-themed afternoon tea at the St. Regis. And don’t worry, “tea” can totally mean “Champagne.”
Cost: $60 to $180
Friday - Sunday
Nov 24-Dec 31
North Beach
A trio of SF beverage veterans are opening a winter wonderland pop-up bar in the old The Squarespace. There will be holiday cocktails and completely over-the-top (in the best way possible) decorations to make spirits *even* brighter.
Cost: That depends on how bright you want your spirits to be!
Friday - Sunday
Nov 24-Dec 24
Pacific Cocktail Haven
Miracle, the Christmas pop-up bar, is spreading cheer at over 50 locations this year, one of which is SF’s very own PCH. The bar will transform into a nostalgic holiday spectacle and there will be a special drink menu with extremely Christmas cocktails.
Cost: That depends how merry you want to get!
Saturday - Sunday
Nov 25-Dec 31
Stockton Street, between Ellis and Geary
Two blocks of Stockton Street will transform into a pedestrian-only holiday pop-up plaza with open-air beer and wine gardens, food trucks, live performances, carolers, and many more festive surprises.
Cost: Free to attend
Saturday - Monday
Nov 25-Jan 1
Fairmont San Francisco
Walking through the two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the Fairmont’s lobby is fun for kids and adults because who isn’t wowed by a 25-foot edible abode made with 10,250 homemade gingerbread bricks, 1,650 pounds of candy, and 3,300 pounds of icing? Just know if you pull the candy off of the wall, you automatically get put on Santa’s naughty list.
Cost: Free
Saturday - Sunday
Nov 25-26
Cow Palace
Over 120,000 square feet of the Cow Palace transform into Victorian London during the holidays for The Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Every weekend through December 17, there will be costumed players performing and interacting, lamplit shops with holiday gifts, music halls, pubs, and of course, roasted chestnuts and delicious food from fish n’ chips to a traditional English tea. You might even spot Tiny Tim hobbling around on his crutch...
Cost: GA tix start at $30
Thursday - Sunday
Nov 30-Dec 3

See local drag stars performing 'The Golden Girls' Christmas episodes

See local drag stars performing 'The Golden Girls' Christmas episodes

Victoria Theatre
If you love Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, then you must attend this drag send-up of two Christmas episodes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll thank whomever you go with for being a friend, and hey, you might even finally come to terms with how much you actually love The Golden Girls. Also on December 7. 
Cost: $25 to $40
December
SF Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker
SF Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker | Erik Tomasson
December
Friday - Sunday
Dec 1-24
ACT's Geary Theater
Don’t be a Scrooge. Go see A Christmas Carol and it’s delightful music, elaborate costumes, and spooky ghosts. It’s the perfect way to remind yourself what the Christmas spirit is truly all about.
Cost: $15 to $125
Friday - Sunday
Dec 1-31
Fat Angel
Fat Angel is pouring pints of its annual “12 Beers of Christmas,” seasonal brews from notable breweries and bars, including Santa's Little Helper, an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels from Port Brewing; St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, a classic spiced Belgian ale from St. Bernardus; Seriously Bad Elf, a spiced imperial English amber from Ridgeway Brewing, and more.
Cost: Varies depending on the beer
Saturday
Dec 2
Union Street, between Van Ness and Steiner
See the twinkling lights on Victorian houses and shops, ponies dressed up like reindeer, live entertainment, and Santa. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides and kids activities... as well as some bars to hit for those over 21.
Cost: Free to attend
Monday - Friday
Dec 4-15
Dandelion Chocolate
Dandelion Chocolate is inviting guest chefs to take over their space for 12 days and use their chocolate however they see fit. There will be screenings of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, fancy dinners, an ice cream social, and more. All proceeds go to the SF-Marin Food Bank.
Cost: $25 to $120
Thursday
Dec 7
Union Square Park
Drag Queens on Ice is one of the holiday season’s most popular events. Watch SF’s fiercest drag queens skate, lip-sync, and show off just how truly fabulous they are.
Cost: $20 to $25
Friday
Dec 8
Main Post, Presidio
Sing holiday carols and watch the tree light up... and then take a lantern-lit walk through the forest.
Cost: Free, but registration is encouraged
Saturday
Dec 9
All over San Francisco
SantaCon is the SF holiday tradition that just won’t die. So either put on a costume and embrace it, or hide in your house and know it will all be over tomorrow.
Cost: Free-ish (‘cause drinks aren’t free)
Sunday
Dec 10
Davies Symphony Hall
Mariachi Sol de Mexico is playing a festive musical tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions with the ensemble singing and playing holiday favorites from both Mexico and America. Don’t be surprised if you end up dancing in the aisles.
Cost: $30 to $85
Tuesday - Wednesday
Dec 12-13
Davies Symphony Hall
The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir will perform powerful renditions of soul, jazz, and Christmas classics with the SF Symphony. You know this one is going to be good... especially when 10-time Grammy winner CeCe Winans will be singing along with you.
Cost: $25 to $85
Wednesday - Saturday
Dec 13-30
War Memorial Opera House
Journey to the Land of Dreams, meet a Sugar Plum Fairy, and get swept away by the beautiful music and dance at this stunning performance by the SF Ballet.
Cost: $36 to $398 (depending on the seats you want)
Thursday
Dec 14
Union Square Park
Silent Skate Party is silent disco meets ice skating. Headphones will be provided to all skaters and you’ll have one of three stations to skate to. The whole shebang runs from 6pm - 9:30pm. What could go wrong?
Cost: $25
Thursday
Dec 14
Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences opens up at night for anyone 21+ for a festive celebration where you can explore the museum, buy gift-worthy treasures, visit the reindeer on the roof, ice skate on the new rink, and, of course, drink some delicious cocktails and beer.
Cost: $10 to $12, plus $12 for ice skating
Friday
Dec 15
Fisherman’s Wharf
Boats decked out in lights and holiday decorations will glide around the water in this oldest and largest lighted boat parade on San Francisco Bay. The best places to watch are at Aquatic Park, Pier 39, the Marina Green, and Crissy Field
Cost: Free
Friday
Dec 15
Presidio Officers' Club
Sing all of your favorite carols, led by performers from the 42nd Street Moon. There will also be drinks from Arguello available to purchase in case you need liquid courage to do belt out everything that happened during Days 1-12 of Christmas.
Cost: Free, but registration is required
Saturday - Sunday
Dec 16-17
Davies Symphony Hall
See Kevin eat junk food, insult Bif, watch rubbish, and defend his home on the big screen while the San Francisco Symphony plays the score live.
Cost: $79 to $175
Saturday - Sunday
Dec 16-17
Grace Cathedral
If you love all Christmas carols -- secular and religious -- then you have to go to the Christmas concert at Grace Cathedral, a SF tradition since 1948. The Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys perform your favorite carols and sacred songs with a full orchestra and organ.
Cost: $15 to $60
Sunday
Dec 17
Union Square
Celebrate the 6th day of Chanukah SF-style at Bill Graham Menorah Day. The fun for kids starts at 2pm with a Dreidel house and activities and then at 3:30pm, Jerry’s Kosher Deli plays a mix of Grateful Dead, Reggae, and Jewish music. That’s followed by the Menorah lighting ceremony at 5pm which will be attended by lots of Bill Graham’s friends and colleagues.
Cost: Free
Thursday - Sunday
Dec 21-24
Davies Symphony Hall
There’s nothing more Christmas than Charlie Brown, Snoopy, a tree that just needs a little love, and the rest of the gang. See a live performance with singers, dancers, and actors, while the San Francisco Symphony performs the music.
Cost: $15 to $89
Sunday
Dec 24
The Castro Theatre
This raucous Christmas Eve concert from The SFGMC has become one of SF’s holiday must-dos. Enjoy fun new takes on holiday favorites, beautiful choral works, hilarious hijinks and stunning choreography.
Cost: $30 to $40
Sunday
Dec 31
In the sky
Head down to the waterfront for the best view of San Francisco’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show. The spectacle starts at 9pm so you still have plenty of time to make it to a party before midnight.
Cost: Free
Sunday
Dec 31
Fume Blanc Commodore, Pier 40
Take in the views, play some blackjack, dance to Top 40, and drink from an open bar for four hours on this Speakeasy 2018 New Year’s Eve Cruise.
Cost: $249 to $2,195
Sunday
Dec 31
W San Francisco
If you like to mingle, then head to the W where there will be five rooms of music on three floors, six DJs spinning house and Top 40, and a four-hour open bar.
Cost: $125 to $3,195