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Celebrate the Holidays in San Francisco!

Posted by on November 29, 2015

San Francisco always hold a little bit of magic to it, but imagine, celebrating during the Holidays.  Don’t miss some of these TOP NOTCH Holiday Musts in the City:

1) Stopping into Ghirardelli Square


A photo posted by Jamie Gall (@jamiegall1930) on

After a full day of sightseeing, stop into Ghirardelli Square to get your Chocolate Fix, end the day with a cup of Hot Chocolate, or your favorite ICE CREAM SUNDAE.  Enjoy the magic around the Ghirardelli Tree, and shop at the stores all around the Square

2) Shop Your Heart OUT around Union Square

SF Travel Holidays in The Cty

Photo Credit: San Francisco Travel Association

Nothing is more magical than shopping around San Francisco’s Union Square.  Peek into Macy’s Holiday Windows, Hop in and out of your favorite stores as you shop for all your favorite loved ones.

3) Spend an Evening enjoying “Winter Walk” in Union Square

Winter Walk, a holiday pop-up plaza in the heart of Union Square (2 Blocks of Stockton Street!) (Nov. 27-January 1, 2016.)  This Holiday Pop-Up is sure to bring you into the Holiday spirit:

Some Highlights include:

SF Travel Holidays in The Cty

Photo Credit: San Francisco Travel Association

Ice Skating in the Square

Holiday Light Show (every night from 5pm to Midnight!) Enjoy snowy adventures in San Francisco via 3D Holiday Light show on the side of Macy’s Men’s building. 

Enjoy Carolers every Thursday and Saturday (4-8pm). 

Off the Grid Food Trucks will also be present every Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and Sundays from 11am-2pm and 5-9pm.  3 Trucks Most Days and 6 Live TRUCKS with Music every Wednesday night!

Saturdays 2-4pm Macy’s will offer makeup demos!

Dec. 11: The Annual Salvation Army Celebrity Bell Ringing Event will take place on Winter Walk

Dec. 12: Join Macy’s for a special WINTER Fashion Show from 1-2pm

Saturdays, Ghrardelli will offer chocolate samples!

Dec. 11 and 18: Snoopy will be on the Winter Walk ready for Selfies!

4) Take in a Show!

There’s a ton of GREAT shows happening throughout the City during the Holidays.  Grab some dinner at one of the FANTASTIC San Francisco Restaurants then head to a show:

San Francisco Ballet: The NutCracker: Opens December 16-December 31, 2015.

A Christmas Story: Orpheum Theatre: Opens December 9-December 13

A Charlie Brown Christmas: San Francisco Symphony: December 18-24, 2015.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker: December 19, 2015

Cavalia: Odyssey O: Now through January 10, 2016.

and many, many more.

5) Experience San Francisco Zoo’s Lights This December

Come enjoy the Zoo under twinkling lights and experience the wonder of the holiday season. This year’s Zoo Lights will include the brand new South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary (which is a pretty warm indoor spot), the Little Puffer Steam Train and our new Station Café (formerly known as Terrace Café).

Friday – Sunday, December 4-6

Friday – Sunday, December 11-13

Friday – Sunday, December 18-23

Saturday – Wednesday, December 26-30

Friday – Sunday, January 1- 3 

(Please note: Zoo Lights is dark on Dec. 24 -25 and New Year’s Eve Dec. 31)

 • Nightly shows and costume characters near the Elinor Friend Playground

• Visit with Santa’s reindeer Belle, Holly, Peppermint and Velvet

• There will be light snow flurries at Zoo Lights, so bundle up!

• Take a ride on the Little Puffer Steam Train ($5 charge, weather permitting)

• Meet the “man” himself, head to the Pachyderm Building to get your photo with Santa!  (after Dec. 23 Santa will be working hard and then taking a well needed vacation)

Zoo Lights General Admission:

Adults: 8 Dollars

Children: 4-14: 6 dollars

Children 3 and Under: FREE

Parking after 5pm: 5 Dollars

6) Embarcadero Holiday Light Celebration and Ice Rink
Nov. 4, 2015 –Jan. 3, 2016: Ice Rink Open

Ice skate along the San Francisco Waterfront with your loved ones.  A great Holiday Night idea!

7) The Great Dickens Christmas Faire & Victorian Holiday Party:
Nov. 21-Dec. 20: Weekends Only: Cow Palace Exhibition Halls

Take a trip back in time to gaslit, 19th-century London for The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party. Roasted chestnuts, carolers and Father Christmas himself harken back to the era’s bygone innocence (although the Victorian component can get a little saucy). In a venue stuffed full of gifts and seven stages’ worth of live entertainment, this is no abridged version of a Dickens classic.

8) California Academy of Sciences Holiday Exhibition

Of course there’s science behind all the Holiday Magic, right?  In this exhibition explore ALL there is in relation to science. Meet a pair of live reindeer, brave an indoor snowstorm, compete in quiz shows and enjoy live performances — all under one roof in Golden Gate Park.

9) The Fairmont San Francisco: Holiday Gingerbread Tea
Nov. 28-Dec. 30 at The Fairmont San Francisco

This legendary hotel atop Nob Hill showcases an enormous holiday-time gingerbread house made with thousands of ginger bricks baked by the hotel, adorned with icing and candy and displayed in the Fairmont’s splendid mail lobby. Marvel at the work of the hotel chefs while enjoying tea at the Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar.

10) Decorated Boat Parade

Being the city on the bay, OF COURSE, they have a Boat Parade. December 11, 2015 at Fisherman’s Wharf.

11) Illuminate SF

Nov. 26, 2015-Jan. 1, 2016, citywide

Illuminate SF shines a light on San Francisco’s ever-expanding light art scene. Embrace the power of light any night of the year and enjoy exploring the city’s many neighborhoods with luminous public artworks by some of the world’s most notable light artists — including Jim Campbell, Ned Kahn, James Turrell and Leo Villareal. Best yet, these brilliant light art installations are accessible by public transport and free for all.


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