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SF Holiday Activities 2021

Jeff Howard December 6, 2021

The holiday season is here, and San Francisco presents many excellent ways to spend the happiest time of the year. Whether you’re looking for light shows, ice skating, fireworks, or holiday performances, all of it can be found right here in The City by The Bay! Let’s take a look at the many joyful SF Holiday Activities available to all.

SF Ballet’s Nutcracker


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The SF Ballet invites you to journey with Clara into the wonderland of toy soldiers, a blizzard of snowflakes, and of course, the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy. This yearly performance is a must-see holiday event accompanied by a live orchestra at the War Memorial Opera House.

Ice Skating @ Union Square

The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without an ice rink, and the Union Square Rink has fully reopened in 2021! Located in the center of Union Square near the SFSPCA-Macy’s Holiday Windows and many other popular stores, a trip downtown is a perfect way to get yourself into the holiday spirit.

SF Holiday Destinations Map

Renowned San Francisco photographer “The 415 Guy” has taken the liberty to create a helpful interactive map with icons showing where to find the best holiday decorations and light displays across San Francisco. His website and Instagram profile also contain many tremendous shots of SF locations, making him a must-follow for any lover of San Francsico scenery, architecture, or culture.

Find Your Home For The Holidays


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Your brand-new home for the holidays is available now in the heart of The City at 1177 Market at Trinity Place. Book an in-person or virtual tour today to see these never-lived-in 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, or 2 bedroom plus den apartments. With holiday specials available through the end of the year, now is the time to give us a call!

SF Symphony


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Positioned in the heart of The City a couple of blocks from Trinity Place, the award-winning SF Symphony hosts a variety of holiday-themed performances at the Louise M. Davis Symphony Hall. Shows include Love ActuallyHome AloneHoliday GaietyThe Nutcracker & The Mouse KingHoliday Brass, and more!

16th Annual SF Kwanzaa Celebration

The entirely free and official 16th annual San Francisco Kwanzaa Celebration (hosted by the Museum of African Diaspora) will take place on December 26th from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Golden Gate Park Music Concourse.  Another local organization, The Village Project, will also host a free virtual celebration online from December 26th to January 1st, with one in-person event at noon on December 27th at City Hall.

SF Festival of Lights


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IlluminateSF has once again created an installation of beautiful colored lights spread across The City of San Francisco. These lights displays are viewable on a map of the city at The Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, and many other iconic locations. The 40+ installations are in 17 neighborhoods designed by 30+ unique artists.

A Christmas Carol


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The Theatre District is one of the best places to be during the holiday season as both BroadwaySF’s Orpheum Theatre and Golden Gate Theatre offer winter showings. Positioned right outside the brand-new 1177 Market apartments at Trinity Place, residents can easily stroll across Market Street to catch a showing of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair


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If you’re really looking to get involved in the literature of Charles Dickens this holiday season, no place is better to visit than the “drive-thru” Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace! This trip back to 19th Century London is exclusively available via the comfort of your car, and you can also enjoy a selection of virtual “Dickenson Delights” from the online store.

Holiday Fair Sale

If you’re looking to elevate your holiday decoration game, the first-ever holiday artist and makers fair sale will occur at The Box SF event center this year! Choose from a wide variety of crafts, Christmas trees, nutcrackers, ornaments, New Year’s Decorations, and more in SF’s SoMa neighborhood!

Gingerbread House at The Fairmont

While San Francisco businesses around The City take holiday decorations very seriously, it is hard to find anywhere that tops the intricate 22-foot tall Gingerbread House at The Fairmont Hotel. Open for photos daily, you can also book a private party with seven friends within this life-sized Gingerbread House! Gingerbread friends will not be provided, so you’ll need to bring real friends.

Decorated Boat Parade


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Holiday celebrations across San Francisco don’t just take place on land! The St. Francis Yacht Club hosts a yearly decorated boat parade viewable from Crissy Field or the Marina Green. Locals of the Marina District’s 1550 Bay apartments can stroll right outside to catch this colorful show!

NYE Fireworks at The Embarcadero


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Nothing rings in the new year better than the sound of fireworks exploding over the bay! The show takes place yearly near the Ferry Building and can be viewed across The Embarcadero, atop Telegraph Hill, or from Treasure Island. Reservations are also available at the many swanky waterfront restaurants and bars with front-row seats!

You can’t go wrong no matter where you choose to celebrate the holiday season in The City by The Bay!

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