Christmas Events in San Francisco

Published Oct 30, 2018 | Updated Nov 8, 2018

San Francisco, an always-brilliant city, will be even more beautiful in just a few short weeks as holiday cheer spreads through our fine city!

Holiday Ice Skating

November 7 - January 21 in Union Square

A holiday tradition, ice skating in Union Square promises to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Plan your visit to the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines – the coolest place to be this winter!


River Otter Snow Days

November 11, and December 31 at the Aquarium of the Bay

Come visit the river otters as they play in their snowy winter wonderland habitat at the Aquarium of the Bay.


Macy's 29th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 23 at Union Square

Macy's 29th Annual Tree Lighting will take place in Union Square Park between Sutter & Geary streets and Powell & Stockton Streets. San Francisco's most recognized Christmas tree will be lit at the end of the ceremony, around 6:50 p.m.


The Nutcracker Sweet with Orchestra and Puppets

November 24 at Noe Valley Ministry

Presented by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and The Puppet Company from Children’s Fairyland, this version of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic depicts many of the characters from the familiar ballet, including Clara and the Mouse King in the famous climatic fight scene with the Nutcracker.



CJM's 2018 Family Gala: Express Yourself

December 1 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

The Family Gala is a time for family and friends to celebrate as the museum transforms into a spectacular setting for dance performances, art-making, games, and fun!  Proceeds from the Family Gala support the CJM.


SF Youth Ballet's 18th Annual Nutcracker Performance

December 1-2 at Mercy High School Theatre

Nominated for the Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award, the SFYBT celebrates its 18th annual performance.

In addition to tickets, you can also purchase a Sugarplum VIP ticket which includes preshow photos with the main characters, premium seating, a special gift, and a treat!


Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting

December 5 at the SF Civic Center Plaza

Come by for the tree lighting ceremony, featuring musical performances, Santa, a toy giveaway, and check out the Winter Park Ice Rink!


Peter and the Wolf

December 9 at the San Francisco Symphony

Watch and listen as the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra brings this delightful fairy tale to life, illustrating each character with a particular instrument and melody. 


Soulful Christmas - A Gospel Holiday Concert

December 13-23 (multiple shows) at the African American Art & Culture Complex

Gospel solo artist, Yvonne Cobbs, directs the legendary Lorraine Hansberry Gospel Choir with inspirational holiday music both old and new, sacred and secular. The show is guaranteed to be a roof-raising, hand-clapping, joyful good time for all ages.


Home Alone - Feature Film with Live Orchestra

December 19-21 at Davies Symphony Hall

See the beloved holiday hit Home Alone on the big screen like you never have before, with John Williams’ exuberant score performed live by the San Francisco Symphony and unforgettable carols sung live by three children’s choruses.




See more wonderful Christmas and other Winter Holiday Events in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area!


Francesca Stahl
By Francesca Stahl
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