Winter is officially nipping at our toes in San Francisco. And even though that doesn’t mean waking up to fresh blankets of snow, sledding down hills, or playing pond hockey (or really even needing to wear those mittens that have been shoved in the back of your dresser), it does mean experiencing the likes of a beautiful show under a Big Top, wine walks, crab feasts, Restaurant Week, Beer Week, Chinese New Year, and so much more. Plus, if you really want snow, all you have to do is drive a couple of hours to Tahoe. It’s the best of both worlds! #LuckyUs
November
luzia cirque du soleil
Cirque du Soleil's LUZIA | Courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil

November

Monday - Sunday
Nov 28-Jan 29
AT&T Park
LUZIA, the newest Big Top show by Cirque du Soleil is beautiful, funny, and will have you on the edge of your seat with all of the jaw-dropping feats. Whatever you do, don’t miss this magical journey to an imaginary Mexico; this may be the best Cirque du Soleil yet.
Monday - Monday
Nov 28-Jan 16
Union Square
Ice skating in Union Square is probably the most festive/dangerous thing you can do this holiday season. Don’t want to risk a broken tailbone? We get it. Go to the Drag Queens on Ice show on December 8th instead and say yas to lip-syncing and twirling.
Monday - Saturday
Nov 28-Dec 31
SHN Orpheum Theatre
The Lion King musical has some of the most amazing costumes and set designs you’ll ever see -- and you know you love the music. After seeing this long-running show, the soundtrack will now be stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.
December
santacon
Santacon | Flickr/Ed Hunsinger

December

Thursday
Dec 1
Noe Valley
The sixth annual Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk goes from 4 to 8pm. $20 gets you wine samples and special treats from merchants all along 24th St, along with a chance to be merry (and a little tipsy) with other locals.
Thursday
Dec 1
Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences is channeling its inner Jedi with a Nightlife dedicated to Star Wars. Explore the museum while imbibing on drinks and learning about light sabers (seriously). Costumes are encouraged, of course.
Thursday - Monday
Dec 1-12
Various restaurants
Dandelion Chocolate’s 12 Nights of Chocolate is a yearly sweet and savory celebration of all things chocolate. And all of the proceeds go to benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank, so you can feel good about indulging. As if you really needed an excuse.
Saturday
Dec 3
Verdi Club
Dusty Stax Presents returns with its popular winter formal, complete with classic soul music, festive cocktails, and a huge dance floor to strut your stuff. No date required, but you do need to dress to impress.
Thursday
Dec 8
Academy of Sciences
It’s the last NightLife of the year, so head to the Academy of Sciences to do all of your Christmas shopping with local vendors before throwing back a few drinks and dancing to Silent Disco (powered by Silent Storm). Oh, and be sure to say hi to the reindeer, which will be parked sans-Santa, outside the museum.
Friday - Saturday
Dec 9-10
Oracle Arena
Are you listening? Live 105’s Not So Silent Night is two nights of all your favorite ‘90s and early-aughts bands, like Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, Green Day, and a few bands from this decade as well.
Saturday
Dec 10
Bars all over SF
You have two choices during SantaCon: embrace the magical mayhem or hide inside. We support you either way, but watch out for the hordes of bearded and buzzed folks roaming the streets of SF.
Saturday - Thursday
Dec 10-29
War Memorial Opera House
A Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, Mouse King, and the little girl who dreams them all up... There’s nothing more magical than Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker during the holidays, particularly at San Francisco’s beautiful Opera House.
Sunday
Dec 18
SoMa StrEat Food Park
SoMa StrEat Food’s All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast is back for your cracking pleasure. $50 gets you as much Dungeness crab, garlic noodles, and salad as you can stand -- all in a glorious not-to-chilly outdoor setting.
Wednesday
Dec 28
Levi’s Stadium
The 49ers suck, but hopefully the Foster Farms Bowl will be a chance to see some not-terrible football at Levi’s this year. We’ve still got red and gold pride, though (and the Niners colors sure are festive).
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January
Golden Gate Restaurant Association
SF Restaurant Week | Golden Gate Restaurant Association

January

Thursday
Jan 5
Exploratorium
The first adults-only After Dark (6 to 10pm) every month at the Exploratorium focuses on one topic. This January, it’s waves. Learn all about ‘em while enjoying beers and cocktails, and exploring the Embarcadero’s science museum.
Sunday
Jan 8
Golden Gate Park Music Concourse
The Hot Chocolate 15/5K is a race with a delicious chocolate reward at the end, effectively putting all other races to shame. You’ve never ran so quickly to get a cuppa the sweet stuff before, we guarantee it.
Thursday - Sunday
Jan 12-29
Venues all over SF
SF SketchFest is back with performances from The Kids in the Hall, Tim and Eric, Christopher Guest, Tony Hale, and so much more. And come January, you’re going to need to laugh more than ever.
Friday - Monday
Jan 13-16
A variety of wineries
You’ll have to drive about an hour for the Napa Truffle Festival, but it’ll be worth it to attend the seminars, meals, and to get to hang out with truffle dogs (dogs covered in truffle oil or sausages? You’ll have to go to find out). Find a DD and get ready to feast on Napa County’s bounty.
Wednesday - Sunday
Jan 18-29
All over SF
SF Restaurant Week is your chance to eat at 130 restaurants around San Francisco that are offering special prix fixe menus to showcase their best dishes. Start making your list and checking it twice -- there’s a lot to try here.
February
chinese new year parade
Chinese New Year Parade | Flickr/Bryan Thompson

February

Thursday - Thursday
Feb 2-16
Roxie, Vogue, and Great Star
The San Francisco Independent Film Festival celebrates awesome films that didn’t get a wide distribution, but probably should have. The City is blessed with a few amazing movie houses, each of which will host a variety of films over two weeks.
Tuesday - Sunday
Feb 7-19
SHN Golden Gate Theatre
OK, well do that on the 1st and then a week later, go see Rent, the Tony Award-winning musical that’s celebrating its 20th anniversary and is the only reason you know exactly how many minutes are in a year. Or that you might measure a year in cups of coffee (San Franciscans do love their coffee).
Friday
Feb 10
The Chapel
To help you get prepped for Valentine’s Day, digital mag OZY is bringing its sex column to life. Editor-in-chief Eugene Robinson will be joined on The Chapel’s stage by performance artist Jennifer Locke, dancer and drag queen Fauxnique, and former Hustler copyeditor Allan MacDonnell for a night of sex… talk. The talk show-meets variety show will be the best way to kick of the cupid-filled holiday weekend since that night in college spent burning your ex’s photos.
Friday - Sunday
Feb 10-19
All over SF
OK, so that’s probably what you’d be doing anyway, but SF Beer Week is a chance to really celebrate craft beer and the craft beer community. The week kicks off with a big opening gala, which is produced by the San Francisco Brewers Guild, on Friday, February 10th.
Saturday
Feb 11
Chinatown
Calling all Roosters (and everyone else)! Head to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year parade where you’ll see amazing floats, gorgeous costumes, and a 268ft Golden Dragon. This long-running parade is a tradition that is not to be missed.
Saturday
Feb 11
AT&T Park
KNBR’s 24th Giants FanFest goes from 10am to 3pm for those who are forever faithful. Roam the field, get autographs from your favorite players, and take photos with the World Series trophies.