San Francisco events December 2019. Things to do in San Francisco.

San Francisco
Best events for 12 months

San Francisco events December 2019

Santa hat run

December 1. 2019
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.

Short Nutcracker in Walnut Creek

December 1, 2019
(begins Nov. 29)
24 miles NE
The Nutcracker is a family-friendly one-hour version featuring Contra Costa Ballet in colorful costumes on whimsical sets at Lesher Center for the Arts.

Discount tickets

Parade in Los Altos

December 1, 2019
(6 p.m.)
42 miles south
Watch floats, bands, and costumed characters at the Festival of Lights Parade in downtown Los Altos. Weather may postpone. No pets. Route map. Free.

San Jose art fair

December 1, 2019
(begins Nov. 29)
48.3 miles south
Shop for handmade items from 200 vendors at the Harvest Festival, which offers strolling entertainment, stage acts, a food court, and a kids’ area at San Jose Convention Center.

Auto Show

December 1 - 2, 2019
(begins Nov. 28)
1.2 miles NE
Manufacturers display their new cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans at the San Francisco International Auto Show at Moscone Center, and some offer test drives.

Family theater

December 1 - 8, 2019
(begins Nov. 29)
1.2 miles NE
The Velveteen Rabbit “keeps kindergartners on the edge of their seats while moving some parents to tears” [S.F Chronicle] with its compelling narration, charming music, and modern dance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Discount tickets

Victorian fair

December 1 - 22, 2019
(begins Nov. 23)
6.5 miles south
Great Dickens Christmas Fair offers 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.

Christmas play

December 1 - 24, 2019
(begins Nov. 29)
0.6 miles NE
A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the transformation of miserly Scrooge at ACT’s Geary Theater.

Discount tickets

Santa train in Napa

December 1 - 27, 2019
(begins Nov. 19)
46.9 miles north
Watch a stage show before boarding the Santa Train, and then take a 75-minute roundtrip to “the North Pole” as Santa gives each child a stuffed bear. The ride features songs and games, with cookies and cocoa on the way back. Closed Nov. 28 and Dec. 24 & 25.

Christmas dance show

December 1 - 29, 2019
(begins Nov. 22)
multiple locations
A holiday tradition, The Christmas Ballet is a mix of ballet, tap, and swing by Smuin Ballet. Dates in 2019:
  • Nov. 22 - 23: Walnut Creek
  • Nov. 29 - Dec. 1: Mountain View
  • Dec. 12 - 23: S.F. at Yerba Buena Center

    Discount tickets

  • Dec. 28 - 29: Carmel

Gingerbread houses in Sausalito

December 1 - 31, 2019
9.1 miles north
Walk around Sausalito to see 21 gingerbread houses displayed in businesses and vote for your favorites on the self-guided Gingerbread House Tour. Free.

Holiday cheer at Great America

December 1 - 31, 2019
(begins Nov. 29)
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.

Discount tickets

Gingerbread House

Dec. 1, 2019 - Jan. 1, 2020
(Nov. 30+)
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 Gingerbread Holiday Tea sells out early.

Holiday castle

Dec. 1, 2019 - Jan. 2, 2020
(Nov. 27+)
1 mile NE
Stop by the lobby of the Westin St. Francis to admire the rotating holiday Sugar Castle. Free.

Holiday film with live score

December 3, 2019
(7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Watch the heartwarming film It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen about the difference one life can make while the San Francisco Symphony performs its timeless score live at Davies Symphony Hall.

Discount tickets

Hip-hop Hamilton

December 3, 2019 - May 31, 2020
0.3 miles east
Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway tunes, Hamilton tells the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton with amazing emotion and energy at the Orpheum Theatre.

Discount tickets

Pop music in San Jose

December 5, 2019
48 miles south
Poptopia is an annual concert with big-name performers at SAP Center at San Jose.


December 6, 2019
43 miles south
Pac-12 North and Pac-12 South champions play for the conference title at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Men’s chorus

December 6 - 7, 2019
0.2 miles south
The annual holiday show by San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus features clever production numbers, holiday humor, and pristine harmonies at Sydney Goldstein Theater.

Nutcracker in San Jose

December 6 - 24, 2019
48.3 miles south
  • Dec. 7 to 15 - San Jose Dance Theatre performs The Nutcracker as a symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s music at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

    Discount tickets

  • Dec. 13 to 24 - New Ballet Studio Company and students perform The Nutcracker with an orchestra at Hammer Theatre Center.

Japanese Christmas story

December 6 - 29, 2019
1.4 miles NW
Using traditional Japanese theater forms of noh, kyōgen, kabuki, and avant-garde butoh dance, A Noh Christmas Carol moves Charles Dickens’ classic story about the redemption of a miserly man from old England to old Japan. See it live at Theater of Yugen.

Discount tickets

ZooLights in Oakland

December 6, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020
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.

Holiday Gaiety

December 7, 2019
(7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Starring drag sensation Peaches Christ, conductor Edwin Outwater, and the San Francisco Symphony, Holiday Gaiety promises “a star-studded lineup of iconic guests, delectable vocalists, and drag queens galore” to celebrate the holidays at Davies Symphony Hall.

Discount tickets

Swedish Christmas fair

December 7, 2019
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.

Pub crawl dressed as Santa

December 7, 2019
1.1 miles NE
Wear a Santa suit to SantaCon, which begins at Union Square and then heads out to city bars. Free.

Zine festival

December 7, 2019
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.

South Bay holiday lights

December 7 - 30, 2019
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. Buy tickets online in advance.
  • Dec. 7 to 8 (4 to 9 p.m.) - walk through only
  • Dec. 10 to 30 (6 to 10 p.m.) - drive through

Family holiday concert

December 8, 2019
0.1 miles SW
Deck the Hall is “a concert of festive favorites and sing-alongs with members of the San Francisco Symphony, guest artists, and special appearances by beloved holiday characters” at Davies Symphony Hall.

Holiday dance party

December 8, 2019
1.2 miles NE
Jingle Ball brings big-name music artists every December to SF Masonic Auditorium.

Run in your underwear

December 8, 2019
(9:30 a.m.)
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 8, 2019
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.

Christmas tree lighting

December 10, 2019
(6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)
0 miles
World Tree of Hope Lighting Ceremony includes a presentation, 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.

Holiday concert

December 10 - 11, 2019
(7:30 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Holiday Soul features Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in “an exuberant performance of soul, jazz, and Christmas classics” with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall.

Christmas spectacular in San Jose

December 11 - 12, 2019
(7:30 p.m.)
48.4 miles south
Cirque Dreams Holidaze features flying reindeer, jumping gingerbread men, rousing music, amazing costumes, and Santa at San Jose Civic.

Discount tickets

Handel’s Messiah

December 11 - 13, 2019
1.2 miles north
Hear the American Bach Soloists perform Handel’s Messiah with a choir and period instruments in awe-inspiring Grace Cathedral.

Chocolate and Art Show

December 12 - 13, 2019
1 mile SE
The Chocolate and Art Show features artists, live body painting, live music, face-painting, and free chocolate at SOMArts Cultural Center for age 21+.

Christmas play in Walnut Creek

December 12 - 22, 2019
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.

Discount tickets (Dec. 12 or 15)


December 12 - 29, 2019
0.2 miles west
San Francisco Ballet performs the Nutcracker, the story of a young girl’s Christmas fantasy, at War Memorial Opera House.

Discount tickets (weekdays)

Christmas boat parade

December 13, 2019
(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 13, 2019
(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.

Handel’s Messiah

December 13 - 14, 2019
(8 p.m.)
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.

Family Christmas show

December 13 - 22, 2019
11.5 miles east
Christmas Revels is a family-oriented celebration of the winter solstice with music, dance, song, stories, and humor at First Congregational Church of Oakland.

Holiday cabaret

December 13 - 28, 2019
0.9 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 the Alcazar Theatre.

Discount tickets

Family holiday concert

December 14, 2019
(2 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Music for Families: Holidays Around the World is “an enchanting winter wonderland of holiday music” performed by the San Francisco Symphony and preceded at 1 p.m. by pre-concert activities at Davies Symphony Hall.

Live art making

December 14, 2019
(4 to 8 p.m.)
1 mile east
Watch 40 artists make “small sculptures and other giftables” and then sell them for $20 to $60 at Misfit Maker Factory & Creative Marketplace at Root Division. Free.

Lantern parade

December 14, 2019
(4 to 8 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.

Holiday boat parade in Sausalito

December 14, 2019
(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.

Women’s art fair

December 14, 2019
11.3 miles east
The Holiday Market Extravaganza promises “120 local, female identified makers, healers, and lady bosses, as well as a DJ, bar, and food truck” at the Scottish Rite Center on Lake Merritt. Free.

Home tour in Alameda

December 14, 2019
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.

Christmas concert in San Jose

December 14, 2019
(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.

Holiday market

December 14 - 15, 2019
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.

San Jose craft fair

December 14 - 15, 2019
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.

Holiday concert

December 15, 2019
(8 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.

Discount tickets

Gift fair

December 15, 2019
1.5 miles SE
Shop for locally made gifts from 75 vendors at SFMade Holiday Fair at California College of the Arts. Free.

Winter solstice celebration

December 15, 2019
(6:30 to 10 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.

Santa run in San Jose

December 15, 2019
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.

Crab feast

December 15, 2019 & Jan. 19, 2020
0.8 miles SE
A ticket to the All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast gets you Dungeness crab, garlic noodles, salad, and iced tea.

Holiday concert

December 19 - 20, 2019
(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.

Discount tickets (Thursday)

Spanish food & wine

December 20, 2019
(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.

Oakland Nutcracker

December 21 - 22, 2019
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.

Discount tickets

Holiday crafts fair

December 21 - 22, 2019
(10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
18.2 miles NE
Shop from 200 exhibitors at the Craneway Craft 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 21 - 28, 2019
26 miles south
Watch a full-length reimagining of The Nutcracker by Peninsula Ballet that “reinvigorates this beloved holiday tradition with a 21st century sensibility, while cherishing all of our favorite Nutcracker moments” at Fox Theatre.

Discount tickets

Menorah lighting

December 22 - 29, 2019
1.1 miles NE
See the lighting of the giant Bill Graham Menorah in Union Square.

Magic show

December 23, 2019
(7:30 p.m.)
4 miles west
Dan Chan weaves feats of mentalism, perception, and improv comedy with sleight-of-hand showmanship and jaw-dropping illusions at K-Elements BBQ.

Discount tickets

Jewish party

December 24, 2019
0.6 miles SE
Join 800 others celebrating at the Latke Ball with DJ music at Oasis for age 21+.

Jewish comedy

December 24 - 26, 2019
See comedy with cocktails or dinner during Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant in Chinatown.

Free art museum

December 25, 2019
(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, 2019
San Francisco Bay Area
OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve - Seth McFarlane

December 31, 2019
(8 p.m.)
0.1 miles SW
Seth McFarlane performs jazz standards and holiday favorites with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall.

New Year’s Eve - jazz

December 31, 2019
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 - Bergerac

December 31, 2019
0.7 miles SE
Wear a flapper dress or a three-piece suit to A Gatsby Affair NYE, which features an open bar; a DJ spinning top 40, hip hop, house, and mashups; and a countdown with a complimentary glass of champagne and party favors at French-themed Bergerac.

New Year’s Eve - PianoFight

December 31, 2019
0.7 miles NE
PianoFight’s New Year’s Eve HyperBash 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, 2019
(9 p.m.)
0.8 miles NE
New Year’s Eve Massive has five dance floors (each with the theme of a different city), casino games, and balloon drops at Parc 55 for age 21+.

Discount tickets

New Year’s Eve - St. Francis

December 31, 2019
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, 2019
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+.

New Year’s Eve - Park Central

December 31, 2019
1.2 miles NE
Dress semi-formal for Epic New Year’s Eve, which has DJ music on four dance floors, party favors, and a balloon drop at Park Central Hotel for age 21+.

Party at the Commonwealth Club

December 31, 2019
1.9 miles NE
“Revel in indulgent cuisine, top-shelf spirits, and lively entertainment” at $299 Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Commonwealth Club, “with three separate party spaces, unlimited cocktails to 1 a.m., hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a midnight balloon drop on the dance floor, and a front row seat to the Embarcadero fireworks display” at the Commonwealth Club.

New Year’s Eve - AT&T Park

December 31, 2019
2 miles east
New Year’s Eve at Oracle Park includes private ball park tours, a World Series trophy display, DJ dance music, food, and a full open bar at Oracle Park’s Public House.

New Year’s Eve - Fort Mason

December 31, 2019
(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 in Fort Mason Center for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve casino

December 31, 2019
2.4 miles NW
Casino Royale NYE has casino games plus an “open bar, great music by Russell Vargass, and a live NYE countdown with a complimentary glass of champagne, and party favors” at the Dorian for age 21+.

New Year’s run

December 31, 2019
3.5 miles NW
Run a mile around the lagoon at Crissy Field for 6, 12, or 24 hours to win cash prizes as you admire views of the Golden Gate Bridge during New Year’s One Day.

New Year’s Eve - comedy

December 31, 2019
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, 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, 2019
46 miles south
Billed as the South Bay’s biggest New Year’s Eve party, Cirque promises world-class DJs, Brazilian samba dancers, and a magic show at The Province, a “massive indoor and outdoor venue with plenty of lounge areas and free parking” for age 21+.

Discount tickets

New Year’s Eve in San Jose

December 31, 2019
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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