Best Ways to Enjoy the Holidays in San Francisco

When it comes to the most wonderful time of the year, we’ve pulled together a list of the best places and things to do to celebrate Christmas in SF. From Christmas light displays, live music and dance parties to food and drink events, these Christmas events in San Francisco will help you enjoy the perfect holiday season by the bay.

Get ready for the Christmas events in San Francisco to be crowded and wait for a long time in line. However, this is a magical time that only happens once a year and it will be totally worth it.

Celebrating Christmas in San Francisco is different than the other cities in the US because here it does not get too cold and does not snow. The average high temperature around this time is 58F and the low temperature is 47F. We also want to remind you that it is the rainy season, so bring with you umbrellas and boots.

Christmas Events San Francisco

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Broadway brings to San Francisco this classic that kids and adults will love.
Date: December 16 at 7:30 pm and December 17 at 2 pm.
Location: Davies Symphony Hall 

A Cathedral Christmas

The Choir of Men and boys will go with a full orchestra performing our favorite carols and holiday masterpieces. It is a San Francisco Tradition.
Date: December 10 at 3:00 pm and December 23 at 7:30 pm.
Location: Grace Cathedral

SF Ballet’s Nutcracker

SF Ballet, the oldest ballet company in the United States, performed for the first time this popular show in 1944. Since then, it is a San Francisco holiday tradition.
Dates: From December 8 to 27
Location: War Memorial Opera House
Tickets: Ticketmaster | TicketNetwork

A Christmas Carol

This year, it will be performed the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. He is an angry business owner who does not like to celebrate Christmas. His life changes on Christmas Eve, when three ghosts visit him and show him memorable moments in his life and his miserable future. When he wakes up on Christmas Day, he is a totally different person, who becomes more generous with his employees and a happier man.
Dates: November 30 – December 24
Location: American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)
Tickets: Tickemaster | Ticketnetwork

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus

Get ready to have a lot of fun watching this spectacular chorus singing our holiday favorites.

Holiday Spectacular
Dates: December 2 at 8:00 PM and December 3 at 3:30 PM/8 PM
Location: Sydney Goldstein Theater

Holiday Spectacular: Home for the Holidays
Dates: December 24 at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Location: Castro Theater


Breakfast with Santa at the Westin St. Francis 

Bring your family and friends to have a delicious American breakfast with the special Old Saint Nick. Everybody will have the opportunity to meet Santa and take pictures with him.
Date: December 10 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Ice Skating

The most popular ice skating in San Francisco. We recommend you buy the tickets in advance.
Dates: 11/2 – 1/16 10 am to 11:00 pm November 2nd, 2022 to January 16, 2023. From 10 am to 11 pm.
Location: Union Square
Tickets: General admission is $20. Children 8 and under $15. They include skate rental too!

Christmas Things to Do in San Francisco

Christmas Tree Lighting

Union Square
This famous tree is so vibrant, and it shines every night until the end of the year. Take time also to admire the jolly Macy’s windows.

Pier 39
The beautiful tree transforms into a kaleidoscope of spiral colors that everybody will have a chance to contemplate until the end of the year.

Christmas Displays

Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House
A tradition in San Francisco is to visit the hotel’s lobby to see a massive two-story-high gingerbread house measuring 25 feet high, 35 feet wide, and 10.5 feet deep. Moreover, they have gorgeous Christmas decorations that will delight you.
Dates: November 24 to December 31.
Location: 950 Mason Street
Tickets: Free

Tom and Jerry’s House
Another tradition of San Franciscans is to visit this magnificent house and you will be overwhelmed by the decoration. Unfortunately, the owners of the house passed away. However, the community keeps their actions alive continuing the spectacular decoration to the public.
Location: 3650 21st Street
Tickets: Free

Sugar Castle at the Westin St
Since 2005, this has been an annual holiday tradition in the hotel, and it gets bigger every year.
Dates: November 23, 2022 to January 2, 2023
Location: 335 Powell Street
Tickets: Free