San Francisco events calendar for December 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend shows, Christmas events, lights, New Year’s Eve parties, San Francisco, CA.

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December 2017
Best events for 12 months

Enjoy the best events, festivals, and things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area with this calendar.

Miles are from from San Francisco City Hall.


December 1, 2017

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.

Victorian fair

December 1 - 17, 2017 (begins Nov. 18)

6.5 miles south

Great Dickens Christmas Fair offers holiday shops, 7 stages of entertainment, costumed carolers, pubs, and tearooms built to look like old England at the Cow Palace in Daly City, weekends and Nov. 24.

Christmas play

December 1 - 24, 2017

0.9 miles NE

A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about the transformation of miserly Scrooge at ACT’s Geary Theater.
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Holiday cheer at Great America

December 1 - 30, 2017 (begins Nov. 24)

43.2 miles south

WinterFest includes an ice rink, falling snow, lights, decorations, live shows, and rides at Great America in Santa Clara. Closed Dec. 24-25.

Glowing art

Dec. 1, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2018 (Nov 23+)

multiple locations

See dozens of dramatic glowing art installations in different neighborhoods during Illuminate SF Light Art Festival with free guided tours, an illuminated bike ride, self-guided walks, and artist talks. Free.

Gingerbread House

Dec. 1, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2018 (Nov. 25+)

1.3 miles NE

See the two-story giant Gingerbread House made of thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks and more than a ton of icing and candy in the lobby of the Fairmont San Francisco hotel. Free, but you may have to wait in line. Optional Gingerbread Holiday Tea.

ZooLights in Oakland

Dec. 1, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2018 (5:30 - 9 p.m.)

19.2 miles east

See lights on animal-themed structures and a music-themed light show during ZooLights at Oakland Zoo. Free parking. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Holiday castles

Dec. 1, 2017 - Jan. 2, 2018 (Nov. 23+)

1 mile NE

Stop by the lobby of the Westin St. Francis to admire the St. Francis Holiday Display, featuring two castles with circular towers, individual rooms, and illuminated windows, surrounded by holiday sugar cakes. Free.

Swedish Christmas fair

December 2, 2017

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 on Union Street

December 2, 2017 (3 to 7 p.m.)

1.9 miles NW

Union Street Fantasy of Lights features thousands of lights on Victorian homes, jugglers, costumed characters, singers, face painters, carriage rides, ponies dressed as reindeer, and Santa himself.

Superhero convention

December 2 - 3, 2017

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.

Discount tickets $9.

Family holiday concert

December 3, 2017

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.

Holiday concert

December 3, 2017 (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.

Santa hat run

December 3, 2017

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.

Christmas dance show

December 6 - 24, 2017 (begins Nov. 17)

1.2 miles NE

A holiday tradition, The Christmas Ballet is a mix of ballet, tap, and swing by Smuin Ballet.
  • Nov. 17 - 18: Walnut Creek
  • Dec. 6 - 10: Mountain View
  • Dec. 14 - 24: S.F. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Family theater

December 6 - 24, 2017

2.3 miles NE

The Secret Garden is a musical based on an English children’s book about an orphaned girl and a sickly boy who discover a secret garden and uncover family secrets at The Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson Street.

Discount tickets $15 to $25.

Wine walk

December 7, 2017 (4 to 8 p.m.)

2.4 miles SW

Taste wine at businesses located along 24th Street during Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk. Repeats Aug.

Family Christmas show

December 8 - 10 and 15 - 17, 2017

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.

Lantern parade

December 9, 2017 (5 to 9 p.m.)

1.2 miles NE

Attend a workshop to build a lantern you can carry in the Parol Lantern Festival & Parade or join the spectators. Music begins at 5 p.m. and the parade at 6:15 p.m. at Yerba Buena Gardens. In case of rain, all events are inside St. Patrick’s Church at 6:30 p.m.

Boombox & smartphone concert

December 9, 2017

1.5 miles SW

Download the music, and then play it on cue with the crowd at Unsilent Night, which starts its promenade at Mission Dolores Park (at Dolores & 18th Streets).

Zine festival

December 9, 2017

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.

Run in your underwear

December 10, 2017

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.

Holiday market

December 10, 2017

3.1 miles west

Shop from 70 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.

Santa run

December 10, 2017

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.


December 13 - 30, 2017

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 $33 to $95 (weekdays).

Handel’s Messiah

December 14 - 15, 2017 (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.

Christmas boat parade

December 15, 2017 (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.

Hip Nutcracker

December 15, 2017

26 miles south

Hip Hop Nutcracker adds new twists to Tchaikovsky’s music and features 17 hip-hop dancers plus ballet dancers at Fox Theatre in Redwood City.

ZooLights in S.F.

December 15 - 31, 2017

7.7 miles SW

See trees covered with lights, Santa (through December 23), reindeer, an indoor tropical rainforest, games, nightly shows, and take a $5 train ride at ZooLights at San Francisco Zoo. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Light-saber battle

December 16, 2017

Location uncertain

Glow Sword Battle is an all-ages event outdoors. Buy a glow sword or bring your own. Free.

Holiday crafts fair

December 16 - 17, 2017

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.

Discount tickets $7.

Nutcracker in Redwood City

December 16 - 17, 2017

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.

Jewish comedy

December 23 - 25, 2017

San Francisco & San Jose

  • Dec. 17 (San Jose) - Latkes & Laughs offers potato pancakes & punchlines at Temple Emanu-El.
  • Dec. 23 - 25 (San Francisco) - See comedy with cocktails during Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant in Chinatown.

New Year’s Eve - restaurants

December 31, 2017

San Francisco Bay Area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve - symphony

December 31, 2017 (8 p.m.)

0.1 miles SW

Seth MacFarlane lights up the stage in a concert with San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall.

New Year’s Eve - Regency

December 31, 2017 (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 - Parc 55

December 31, 2017

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.

New Year’s Eve - dance party

December 31, 2017

1 mile NE

Disco San Francisco promises a “top notch production, premium open bar, specialty cocktails, DJs, live music and dancers, plus a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight” at boutique Hotel G.

New Year’s Eve - St. Francis

December 31, 2017

1 mile SW

Passport to the World is an upscale event with seven rooms of music & entertainment, a live band, DJs, and a fashion show at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

New Year’s Eve - Palace Hotel

December 31, 2017 (9 p.m.)

1.2 miles NE

NYE International Ball promises 4.5 hours of premium open bar, four rooms with DJ music and performances, and a midnight balloon drop at the famous Palace Hotel for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve - Park Central

December 31, 2017 (9 p.m.)

1.2 miles NE

Dress semi-formal for Epic New Year’s Eve, which has six DJs playing music on four dance floors, cash bars, and balloon drops at Park Central Hotel for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve - fireworks

December 31, 2017

1.9 miles NE

San Francisco New Year’s Eve Fireworks launch for 15 minutes from barges 1000 feet offshore of the Ferry Building. A soundtrack will be played along the Embarcadero from Mission to Folsom. Free. (Drinking in public is illegal.) Free Muni service after 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve - Fort Mason

December 31, 2017 (9 p.m.)

2.3 miles north

Streets of San Francisco (Eye Heart New Year’s Eve) has state-of-the-art lighting and sound, interactive displays, art installations, and an open bar at Fort Mason Center for age 21+.

New Year’s run

December 31, 2017

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, 2017

11.9 miles NE

Coast To Coast: All-Star Comedy Classic features four comedians, with optional dinner at the Black Repertory Group in Berkeley.

New Year’s Eve - comedy

December 31, 2017

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 concert

December 31, 2017

23 miles SE

Ambrosia performs “an exclusive intimate up close and personal concert” at Bal Theatre in San Leandro.

New Year’s Eve in San Jose

December 31, 2017

47.6 miles south

Wear black and white to the Black & White Affair, a trendy party playing top 40, hip hop, and club classics at SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant for age 21+.

Holiday dance party

December 2017 (undated)

0.7 miles north

Men wear elf costumes, and women dress as Santa or other holiday character for The Elf Party, which has dance music, photos with Santa, and cash bars at The Regency Ballroom for age 21+.

Crab feast

December 2017 (undated)

0.8 miles SE

A ticket to the annual All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast gets you Dungeness crab, garlic noodles, salad, a drink, and live music at SoMa StrEat Food Park.

Jewish party

December 2017 (undated)

1 mile NE

Join 800 others celebrating at the Latke Ball with DJ music at Ruby Skye for age 21+.

Menorah lighting

December 2017 (undated)

1.1 miles NE

See the schedule of lighting ceremonies held every day at the giant Bill Graham Menorah in Union Square.

Local gift fair

December 2017 (undated)

1.5 miles SW

Shop for gifts made by 50 S.F. manufacturers and artisans at the SFMade Holiday Gift Fair, which also offers nearby food trucks, wine and beer, music, and art exhibits at California College of the Arts. Free.

Christmas tree lighting

December 2017 (undated)

0 miles

World Tree of Hope Lighting Ceremony includes a concert by San Francisco Boys Chorus, words from the mayor, a blessing by Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and a tree decorated with white origami cranes with written peace notes in City Hall. Free.

Christmas concert

December 2017 (undated)

0.1 miles SW

A Classic Christmas by the SF Symphony and guest singers features selections from The Nutcracker, Ceremony of Carols, and Hansel and Gretel at Davies Symphony Hall.

Christmas concert

December 2017 (undated)

0.1 miles SW

Hear the vocal harmonies of Grammy-winning “a cappella” ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock perform Celebrating the Holydays at Davies Symphony Hall.

Pub crawl dressed as Santa

December 2017 (undated)

1.1 miles NE

Wear a Santa suit to SantaCon, which begins at Union Square and then heads out to city bars. Free.
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© December 2017 calendar of events in San Francisco, CA. SF events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. sfo-12