San Francisco events December 2018. Things to do in San Francisco.

San Francisco
Best events for 12 months

San Francisco events December 2018

Jingle Ball concert

December 1, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles south
KYLD FM radio 94.9 brings big-name music artists to the annual Jingle Ball at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Swedish Christmas fair

December 1, 2018
0.7 miles NW
Enjoy Swedish folk music and dancing in costumes, shop for Swedish crafts, drink mulled wine, eat Swedish food, and meet Santa at the SWEA San Francisco Christmas Fair at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Holiday dance party

December 1, 2018 (8 p.m.)
2 miles NE
Men wear elf costumes, and women dress as Santa or other holiday characters for The Elf Party, which has dance music, photos with Santa, and cash bars at Broadway Studios for age 21+. Buy tickets online.

Santa hat run

December 1, 2018
4.1 miles NW
Your registration fee for Run Wild San(ta) Francisco 5K and kids dash includes a Santa hat to wear, a race-day T-shirt, a finish-line award, a timing chip, and a post-race expo at Crissy Field.

Pop music in San Jose

December 1, 2018
48 miles south
Poptopia is an annual concert with big-name performers at SAP Center at San Jose.

Zombie convention

December 1 - 2, 2018
48.3 miles south
Zombie lovers unite at Walker Stalker Con, which has celebrities, panel discussions, vendors, and artists at San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

Superhero convention

December 1 - 2, 2018
48.6 miles south
Heroes & Villains Fan Fest celebrates comics, sci-fi, TV, and movies with guest actors, panel discussions, costume contests, role-playing, and vendors at San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

Family holiday concert

December 2, 2018 (11 a.m. & 3 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
San Francisco Symphony performs holiday favorites and leads a sing-along for children at Deck the Hall, followed by a post-concert party with entertainment, arts and crafts, and snacks at Davies Symphony Hall.

Menorah lighting

December 2 - 9, 2018
1.1 miles NE
See the schedule of lighting ceremonies held every day at the giant Bill Graham Menorah in Union Square.

Christmas tree lighting

December 3, 2018 (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)
0 miles
World Tree of Hope Lighting Ceremony includes a presentaiton, entertainment, a blessing by Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and a tree hung with letters wishing hope and peace that are folded into origami cranes at Grace Cathedral. Free.

Cirque + symphony

December 5, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Watch aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, and strongmen of Cirque de la Symphonie move to music played by the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall.

Christmas play in Walnut Creek

December 6, 2018 (8 p.m.)
24 miles NE
A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Christmas ghosts at Lesher Center for the Arts.

Vanessa Williams: gospel holiday

December 7 - 8, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Holiday Soul features Vanessa Williams singing “soul, jazz, and Christmas classics” with the San Francisco Symphony and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at Davies Symphony Hall.

Men’s chorus

December 8, 2018
0.3 miles SW
Brassy and Sassy features clever production numbers, holiday humor, and pristine harmonies by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at Nourse Theater.

Live art making

December 8, 2018 (4 to 8 p.m.)
1 mile east
Watch artists make “small sculptures and other giftables” and then sell them for $20 to $60 at Misfit Maker Factory & Creative Marketplace, with poster printing and artist books at Root Division. Free.

Lantern parade

December 8, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)
1.1 miles NE
Attend a workshop to build a lantern you can carry in the Parol Lantern Festival & Parade starting at Jessie Square and going through Yerba Buena Gardens, or join the spectators. Although people gather at 5 p.m., the actual parade began later in previous years.

Pub crawl dressed as Santa

December 8, 2018
1.1 miles NE
Wear a Santa suit to SantaCon, which begins at Union Square and then heads out to city bars. Free.

Holiday boats in Sausalito

December 8, 2018 (6 to 9 p.m.)
8.6 miles north
Watch dozens of boats with colored lights and decorations at the Lighted Boat Parade, followed by fireworks and a dance party with food trucks and bars at Gabrielson Park. Free.

Zine festival

December 8, 2018
11.7 miles east
A zine is a cheap, self-published, underground publication. East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest has vendors, guest speakers, and workshops in Oakland. Free.

Home tour in Alameda

December 8, 2018
15.3 miles east
Buy a ticket to visit five homes decorated for the holidays during Alameda Holiday Home Tour, which includes a dessert tea at the First Presbyterian Church. The gift market at the Elks Lodge is free. Hours vary.

Holiday market

December 8 - 9, 2018
3.1 miles west
Shop from 90 art and food vendors at Sunset Holiday Mercantile, which also has beer and wine tasting, kids’ activities, and entertainment at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Free.

Holiday show in San Jose

December 8 - 9, 2018
50 miles south
Joy! is a madcap spectacular with world-class acrobats, dancers, circus artists, and musicians for all ages at Hammer Theatre Center in San Jose.

Run in your underwear

December 9, 2018
1.4 miles SW
Wear red to the Santa Skivvies Run, a festive half-naked run for one mile through the Castro District to support charity, plus an after-event on Noe Street.

Santa run

December 9, 2018
4.1 miles NW
A ticket to San Francisco Great Santa Run includes a Santa suit, a commemorative holiday medal and a 5K/1-mile run at Crissy Field.

Winter solstice celebration

December 9, 2018 (doors open 6:30 p.m.)
19.2 miles east
Bay Area Secular Solstice includes a planetarium show and snacks at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. Reserve a seat online. Donation.

Handel’s Messiah

December 14, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
1.2 miles north
Hear the American Bach Soloists perform Handel’s Messiah with a choir and period instruments in awe-inspiring Grace Cathedral.

Christmas boat parade

December 14, 2018 (6 to 8 p.m.)
2.3 miles north
Watch 60 boats covered in bright lights and holiday decorations cruise past Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, Marina Green, and Crissy Field and back again in the Lighted Boat Parade. Free.

International holiday night

December 14, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)
12.9 miles east
Winter Fest celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Balinese, and Latin American winter festivities with live music, dance performances, activities, and exhibits at Oakland Museum of California.
CityPass San Francisco

Handel’s Messiah

December 14 - 15, 2018
0.1 miles SW
It’s a holiday tradition to hear joyful Handel’s Messiah sung by the San Francisco Symphony Chorus at Davies Symphony Hall.

Nutcracker in San Jose

December 14 - 16, 2018
48.3 miles south
San Jose Dance Theatre performs The Nutcracker as a symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s music at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.

Santa train in Napa

December 14 - 28, 2018
46.9 miles north
Watch a stage show before boarding the Santa Train, and then take a 90-minute ride with cookies, cocoa, and songs to meet Santa at “the North Pole.”

ZooLights in S.F.

December 14 - 30, 2018
7.7 miles SW
See trees covered with lights, Santa (through December 23), reindeer, roaming carolers or a brass band, and even snow at ZooLights at San Francisco Zoo. Closed Dec. 17, 24, 25.

South Bay holiday lights

December 14 - 30, 2018
53.4 miles south
Drive 1.5 miles past colorful lights and 50 fun displays while holiday music plays on your radio during Fantasy of Lights at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos. Walkers only Dec. 1 & 2. Closed Dec. 3 & 25.

Gingerbread houses in Sausalito

December 14 - 31, 2018
9.1 miles north
Walk around Sausalito to see 40 gingerbread houses displayed in businesses and vote for your favorites on the self-guided Gingerbread House Tour. Free.

Holiday cheer at Great America

December 14 - 31, 2018
43.2 miles south
WinterFest includes an ice rink, falling snow, lights, decorations, live shows, and rides at Great America in Santa Clara. See schedule.

Ticket deal $22

Gingerbread House

December 14, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019
1.3 miles NE
See a life-sized Gingerbread House made of thousands of homemade gingerbread bricks and tons of icing and candy in the lobby of the Fairmont San Francisco hotel. Free. The optional Holiday Gingerbread Tea sells out early.

ZooLights in Oakland

December 14, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
19.2 miles east
ZooLights has colorful light displays, laser light shows, gondola rides, Christmas trees, and Santa some nights at the Oakland Zoo. Free parking. Closed Dec. 24-25.

Christmas concert in San Jose

December 15, 2018 (7 p.m.)
54.8 miles south
Carols in the California is a traditional sing-along of Christmas carols with a choir and brass ensemble in the beautiful California Theatre in San Jose. Afterward, walk a few blocks to see Christmas in the Park at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, free and open until midnight.

Adventurous women

December 15 - 16, 2018
0.3 miles east
An all female cast plays “a brawny band of soldiers, trappers, and adventurers” exploring waterways of the American West with a sly bit of subtext in Men on Boats at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater.

Ticket deal $30 to $51

Classic musical by Gershwin

December 15 - 16, 2018
0.9 miles NE
Set in the 1930s, Crazy For You tells the story of a wealthy bachelor determined to become a professional dancer, with comedy, romance, and plot twists, at Alcazar Theatre.

Ticket deal $18 to $33

Family Christmas show

December 15 - 16, 2018
11.3 miles east
Christmas Revels is a family-oriented celebration of the winter solstice with music, dance, song, stories, and humor at the Scottish Rite Center on Lake Merritt.

Ticket deal $7 to $18

San Jose craft fair

December 15 - 16, 2018
54.3 miles south
Shop from hundreds of craft makers, food producers, artists, and designers at San Jose Craft Holiday Fair at South Hall in San Jose. Free.

A Bronx Tale

December 15 - 23, 2018
0.6 miles NE
Set in the 1960s, A Bronx Tale is about a young man caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he longs to be, co-directed by Robert De Niro at SHN Golden Gate Theatre.

Ticket deal $45 to $70

Fun Nutcracker

December 15 - 23, 2018 (weekends)
2.3 miles north
Nutcracker Sweets is a 50-minute contemporary take on the beloved holiday ballet for all ages at Fort Mason Center.

Victorian fair

December 15 - 23, 2018 (weekends)
6.5 miles south
Great Dickens Christmas Fair ofers holiday shops, seven stages of entertainment, costumed carolers, pubs, and tearooms built to look like old England at the Cow Palace in Daly City, weekends and the day after Thanksgiving.

Wizard of Oz in Berkeley

December 15 - 23, 2018
12.9 miles NE
The Wizard of Oz takes Dorothy and her dog Toto over the rainbow to a magical kingdom filled with munchkins, witches, flying monkeys, wizards, and timeless songs at Berkeley Playhouse.

Ticket deal $28

Christmas play

December 15 - 29, 2018
0.6 miles NE
A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the transformation of miserly Scrooge at ACT’s Geary Theater.

Ticket deal $15 to $63

Circus on Treasure Island

December 15 - Jan. 6, 2019
6.4 miles NE
Circus Bella presents its latest show Kaleidoscope, featuring aerialists, acrobats, family foot jugglers, and clowns performing to music played by a live six-piece band in a big-top tent on Treasure Island.

Ticket deal $9 to $40

Daytime cruise

December 15, 2018 - March 22, 2019
2.5 miles north
Golden Gate Bay Cruise is a scenic one-hour ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and then around Alcatraz.

Ticket deal $20

Holiday concert

December 16, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Holiday Brass is a festive mix of classical and popular holiday music played by the San Francisco Symphony brass section at Davies Symphony Hall.

Crab feast

December 16, 2018 (12 to 3 p.m.)
0.8 miles SE
A ticket to the All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast gets you Dungeness crab, garlic noodles, salad, and iced tea at SoMa StrEat Food Park.

Gift fair

December 16, 2018
1.5 miles SE
Shop for locally made gifts from 75 vendors at SFMade Holiday Fair at California College of the Arts. Free.

Santa run in San Jose

December 16, 2018
54.4 miles south
Dress up as your favorite holiday character for Santa Run Silicon Valley, which has a kids’ dash for ages 2 to 7, a 5K run/walk through downtown San Jose, and a costume contest. Afterward, visit Santa at free Christmas in the Park.

Evening cruise

December 16, 2018 - March 2, 2019
2.6 miles north
California Twilight Cruise includes two hours of romantic views on San Francisco Bay, live guitar music, a drink, and appetizers, departing from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Ticket deal $44


December 18, 2018 (2 p.m.)
0.2 miles west
San Francisco Ballet performs the Nutcracker, the story of a young girl’s Christmas fantasy, at War Memorial Opera House.

Ticket deal $39 to $59

Bawdy family show

December 18 - 30, 2018
1.1 miles NE
A British pantomime is a funny musical play based on a traditional children’s story. Boo the villains and cheer the heroes in Sleeping Beauty the Panto, with concessions and a bar at Custom Made Theatre.

Spanish food & wine

December 20, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)
2.3 miles SE
A ticket to National Sangria Day! Wine Not? gets you unlimited sangria in six flavors if you’re age 21+. You won’t need a ticket to shop from the special lineup of Latin food trucks at Spark Social SF.

Holiday cabaret

December 20 - 29, 2018 (8 p.m.)
1.7 miles NE
A Very Merry Misfit Cabaret blends musical theater, rock ‘n’ roll, high-flying aerialists, burlesque, drag, and vaudeville starring singer Kat Robichaud (of The Voice) and a live band at Z Space.

Ticket deal $10 to $25

Nutcracker in San Jose

December 21 - 24, 2018
55.4 miles south
The New Ballet includes references to the history of Santa Clara Valley in its performance of The San Jose Nutcracker with live orchestra at Hammer Theatre Center. A shorter version is offered for children.

Oakland Nutcracker

December 22 - 23, 2018
11.4 miles east
Oakland Ballet performs a whimsical version of The Nutcracker with dynamic dancing, gorgeous costumes, and beautiful sets at the Paramount Theatre.

Holiday crafts fair

December 22 - 23, 2018
18.2 miles NE
Shop from 200 exhibitors at the Craneway Crafts Fair for one-of-a-kind, handmade, and limited edition goods in a variety of media at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond to support public radio.

Nutcracker in Redwood City

December 22 - 29, 2018
26 miles south
Featuring beautiful choreography and Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, The Nutcracker by Peninsula Ballet tells the story of a girl’s magical dream at Fox Theatre.

Ticket deal $40 to $64

Flamenco show

December 22 - 30, 2018 (7 p.m.)
2.1 miles NE
The mother-daughter team of Carolina Lugo & Carolé Acuña entertain with pulsating sounds of footwork, songs, castanets, syncopated hand clapping, and guitar at Peña Pachamama in North Beach. (Minimum purchase of two food or drink items.)

Ticket deal $11

Holiday concert

December 23, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
‘Twas The Night: A Festival of Carols is “a warm and intimate holiday program and sing along with your favorite seasonal tunes” featuring S.F. Symphony’s brass section and singers from the chorus, plus the Ruffatti organ at Davies Symphony Hall.

Jewish comedy

December 23 - 25, 2018
See comedy with cocktails or dinner during Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant in Chinatown.

Jewish party

December 24, 2018 (9 p.m.)
0.6 miles SE
Join 800 others celebrating at the Latke Ball with DJ music at Oasis for age 21+.

Free art museum

December 25, 2018 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
1.1 miles NE
The Contemporary Jewish Museum is one of the few establishments open today, and it’s free on CJM Community Free Day, when you can explore the art galleries and buy lunch in the deli.

New Year’s Eve - restaurants

December 31, 2018
San Francisco Bay Area
OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Gaiety

December 31, 2018 (8 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Starring drag sensation Peaches Christ, Edwin Outwater, and the San Francisco Symphony, New Year’s Gaiety promises “surprise guest stars, delectable vocalists, and drag queens galore” to celebrate the new year at Davies Symphony Hall.

Ticket deal $40

New Year’s Eve - Market Square

December 31, 2018
0.3 miles SE
Dress semi-formal for New Year’s Eve in The City, which has DJ music on two dance floors, an outdoor deck, bars, and a balloon drop at Cadillac Bar + Grill for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve - jazz

December 31, 2018
0.4 miles SW
The Maceo Parker: New Year’s Eve Shows include funk music, sparkling wine, and a countdown to the new year at SFJazz Center. (The 8 p.m. show counts down to “East Coast” New Year’s at 9 p.m.)

New Year’s Eve - Regency

December 31, 2018 (9 p.m.)
0.7 miles north
Mother of all New Year’s (MOANY) features three dance rooms, DJs, cash bars, and casino tables at the Regency Ballroom for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve at PianoFight

December 31, 2018
0.7 miles NE
PianoFight’s New Year’s Eve Super Bash includes live music, DJs, karaoke, drag performers, balloon drops, champagne toasts, confetti cannons, and multiple bars at PianoFight for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve - Parc 55

December 31, 2018 (9 p.m.)
0.8 miles NE
NYE Massive has five dance floors, each with the theme of a different city, casino games, and balloon drops at Parc 55 for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve - St. Francis

December 31, 2018 (9 p.m.)
1 mile SW
Passport to the World promises a “premium hosted open bar, five different rooms with 10 DJs & 2 live bands, live performances, live exhibitions, and interactive visuals” at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Black tie requested.

New Year’s Eve - Palace Hotel

December 31, 2018 (9 p.m.)
1.2 miles NE
NYE International Ball has a premium open bar, 10 DJs, four rooms with music and performances, and a midnight balloon drop at the Palace Hotel for age 21+.

Ticket deal $95 (VIP $130)

New Year’s Eve - fireworks

December 31, 2018 (midnight)
1.9 miles NE
San Francisco New Year’s Eve Fireworks launch for 15 minutes from barges 1000 feet offshore of the Ferry Building, and a soundtrack plays along Embarcadero from Mission to Folsom. Free

New Year’s Eve speakeasy

December 31, 2018 (9 p.m.)
2 miles NE
Step back in time to the Roaring Twenties at New Year’s Eve 1928, which offers a night of handcrafted cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres, a swing band, and a balloon drop behind a secret door in North Beach.

New Year’s Eve - Fort Mason

December 31, 2018 (9 p.m.)
2.3 miles north
Eye Heart New Year’s Eve promises a “world-class music festival production” with state-of-the-art lighting and sound, interactive displays, art installations, and an open bar at Fort Mason Center for age 21+.

Ticket & open bar $135 (VIP $180)

New Year’s Eve - comedy

December 31, 2018
18.4 miles north
Laugh your way into the new year at New Year’s Eve Stand up Comedy Showcase in San Rafael (bar opens at 7:30, five comedy acts 9 to 11, and after-party 11:30 with big-screen countdown and champagne).

New Year’s Eve in San Jose

December 31, 2018
47.6 miles south
Wear black and white to the Black Tie NYE Event, a trendy party playing top 40, hip hop, and club classics at SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant for age 21+.

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