The holiday season is a great time to spend with family and friends at the many seasonal events in San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay area in 2017. Celebrate the Christmas season with festive gatherings, Santa Claus sightings, ice skating, and enjoying the joyous sounds of holiday music.
Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
Nov. 1-Jan. 15 @ 10 a.m.
Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square is presented by Alaska Airlines during the holiday season. Take the family for an invigorating day of ice skating amid beautiful holiday decorations and lights. Tickets are $18/Adults and $13/Children 8 years old and under. Figure skate or hockey skate rental is included in the ticket price.
Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero
Nov. 3-Jan. 7 @ 10 a.m.
Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA
Celebrate the holiday season at the largest outdoor ice rink in the Bay area. The Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center presented by Hawaiian Airlines is a terrific place to have fun with the family. Tickets are $12/Adults, $7 Children 8 & under, and $5 for skate rental.
Visit Santa at Macy’s Santaland
Nov. 24-Dec. 24
Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102
Take the kids to visit the delightful Holiday Lane on the seventh floor of Macy’s Union Square, decorated with decorated Christmas trees and ornaments. The kids will be able to see Santa and tell him their Christmas wishes. Photos with Santa will be available for purchase. While you are at Macy’s, be sure to check out the iconic Macy’s Christmas window displays.
Classic Cable Car Holiday Lights
Nov. 24-Dec. 30 (Closed Dec. 25) @ 6 p.m., 7 p.m., & 8 p.m.
766 Taylor St. St., San Francisco, CA 94133
Take the family for a delightful ride on the decorated trolley to see the holiday lights in San Francisco. The 80-minute tour will take you to see Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach/Little Italy, Union Square, the Financial District, Pier 39, and The Embarcadero. Enjoy breathtaking views and the holiday decorations. Join the holiday sing-along and have fun with the family. Tickets are $39/person.
The Great Dickens Christmas Faire and Victorian Holiday Party
Nov. 18-19, 24-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, & 16-17 @ 10 a.m.
Cow Palace, Exhibition Halls, Daly City, CA 94948
Take a holiday adventure into Victorian London, where hundreds of costumed players perform and interact with patrons. The event recreates an evening in Charles Dickens’ London Town, where street vendors hawk their wares and the air is fragranced with the smells of hearty foods and roasted chestnuts. Tickets are $30/Adults and $14/Children.
Gingerbread House at Fairmont Hotel
Nov. 25 through the holidays
Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
The Fairmont Hotel will be decorated and transformed into an enchanting holiday destination for the Christmas season, so take the family to delight in the decorations and the two-story high Gingerbread House in the main lobby. Admission is free but the attraction might be closed to the public occasionally if it gets too busy, out of consideration of hotel guests.
Caltrain Holiday Train
Dec. 2-3 @ Various Times
Various Locations, starting at Union Station, San Francisco, CA 94587
The Cal Train Holiday Train will stop and nine train stations over two nights, starting in San Francisco on Dec. 2 @ 4 p.m. Join the crowd to see the glittering train pull into the station for a 20-minute stop. Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with their elves and helpers, will get off the train to greet children and spread holiday cheer. They will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for the Holiday Train Toy Drive. The Caltrain Holiday Train is presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Admission will be free.
Holidays at Bay Area Discovery Museum
Dec. 2-3, 9-10,16-17, & 23
Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito, CA 94965
The Bay Area Discovery Museum will feature holiday events during the weekends before Christmas. Each week, the BADM will offer a new entertainment for kids and families, including live reindeer, Santa Claus, and winter-themed projects. Admission tickets are $13.95-$14.95, free for members.
Parol Lantern Festival & Parade
Dec. 9 @ 5 p.m.
Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103
The Parole Lantern Festival & Parade will celebrate this Philippine tradition with the theme Let Tradition Be Our Light.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, Ninth Ave, San Francisco, CA
Take the family to enjoy the beauty of the plants and flowers at the Botanical Garden. They will be open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, which will be free admission days. They are also free daily from 7:30 -9 a.m. and the second Tuesday of the month (Dec. 12).