San Francisco events, festivals, things to do – November 2018

San Francisco
calendar of events

November 2018
best events in San Francisco

Country dance weekend

November 1 - 4, 2018

San Francisco locations

Join hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls line dancing, two-stepping, and attending dance workshops at the LGBT friendly Sundance Stompede.

Haunted house - San Jose

November 1 - 5, 2018 (begins Oct. 1)

52.6 miles south

The Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions include a pre-show Midway of Terror, The River Styx, and DethworX at 2501 Tully Road in San Jose.

Whisky festival

November 2, 2018

1 mile NE

Taste from a selection of 350 whiskeys, and learn from master distillers and blenders at $275 WhiskyFest San Francisco at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
CityPass San Francisco

Day of the Dead - S.F.

November 2, 2018

1.8 miles SE

Mexican Day of the Dead includes a 7 p.m. parade starting at Bryant & 22nd Streets plus candle-lit altars in Garfield Square to honor the departed until 11 p.m.

Haunted house - San Leandro

November 2 - 3, 2018 (starts Sept. 28)

23 miles SE

Fear Overload Scream Park offers two popular attractions in San Leandro.

Art & antiques show

November 2 - 4, 2018

21.4 miles south

Shop from 200 vendors of fine antiques and decorative arts ranging from the 17th century to modern day at the Hillsborough Antiques + Art + Design Show at San Mateo Event Center. Repeats in April.

Coffee festival

November 3, 2018

3 miles SE

“Twenty specially curated roasters and coffee shops share with you unique beans and flavor profiles” at the San Francisco Coffee Festival, with live entertainment at Dogpatch Studios. No children.

Half marathon & 5K

November 4, 2018

2.1 miles north

The 13.1 mile Golden Gate Half includes scenic views as you run from Aquatic Park across the Golden Gate Bridge. The 5K goes to Crissy Field Marsh and back.

Napa film festival

November 7 - 11, 2018

52.5 miles north

See 100 new independent films, and attend food and wine events at the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF).

San Mateo art fair

November 9 - 11, 2018

21.4 miles south

Shop from 200 vendors of handmade arts and crafts at the San Mateo Harvest Festival, with entertainment and a food court at San Mateo County Event Center.

Craft fair

November 10 - 11, 2018

2.3 miles north

Renegade Craft Fair has indie crafts, artisan food, and workshops in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. Repeats in July. Free.

Free national park day

November 11, 2018

U.S. National Parks

Entry is free at Muir Woods National Monument and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park on Free Entrance Days in the National Parks. Expect more people and less parking than usual.

Embarcadero festival

November 16, 2018 (4 to 7 p.m.)

1.7 miles NE

Visit Embarcadero Center’s Building Lighting Ceremony & Carnival for a family carnival, a Disney ice skating show, fireworks, and the lighting of 17,000 Christmas lights at 6 p.m. Free.

Belmont craft fair

November 17, 2018

23 miles south

Shop from 70 art and craft makers at the Holiday Craft Faire inside various buildings at Twin Pines Park, with live music and food trucks. Free.

Gluten-free expo

November 17 - 18, 2018

21.2 miles south

Sample and buy products from vendors at Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo, and take classes at San Mateo County Event Center.

Holiday castles

November 21, 2018 - Jan. 2, 2019

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.

Free garden day

November 22, 2018

3.3 miles west

Visit the 55-acre San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park on Free Days, which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and second Tuesdays. Always free with S.F. identification.

Christmas tree lighting

November 23, 2018

1.1 miles NE

Expect crowds at the Union Square Tree Lighting, which begins at 6 p.m. with singers, a chorus, a gospel choir, and visits from Snoopy and Santa. The tree is lit at approximately 6:50 p.m. Free.

Victorian fair

November 23 - Dec. 23, 2018 (weekends)

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 the day after Thanksgiving.

Parade in Los Altos

November 25, 2018

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.

Film festival

November 28 - Dec. 10, 2018

1.1 miles NW

Another Hole in the Head Film Festival screens horror, sci-fi, dark fantasy, and exploitation films at New People Cinema in Japantown.

Science Festival

November 2018 (undated)

San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Science Festival offers 40 fun events about science and technology, including exhibitions, lectures, debates, concerts, plays, and workshops.

Urban films

November 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

Organized by urban planners, SF Urban Film Fest (SFUFF) screens compelling films about cities and civic engagement to help shape urbanist ideas and improve our cities.

Visit art studios

November 2018 (undated)

San Francisco locations

Visit up to 800 emerging and established artists in their studios during the weekend SF Open Studios, and attend preview and tasting parties on weekdays.

Pinot Noir tasting

November 2018 (undated)

0.8 miles NE

Taste Pinot Noir wine from 90 producers and attend an optional seminar during Pinot Days San Francisco at Bespoke Coworking in Westfield San Francisco Centre.

Auto Show

November 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles NE

Manufacturers display their new cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans at the International Auto Show at Moscone Center, and some offer test drives.

Gingerbread House

November 2018 (undated)

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. Optional Holiday Gingerbread Tea.

Local gift fair

November 2018 (undated)

1.4 miles SE

Shop for gifts from S.F. manufacturers and artisans at the 38Makers Holiday Gift Fair, with free holidays treats at Pinterest, 651 Brannan Street. Donation.

Mexican mole tasting

November 2018 (undated)

2 miles south

Taste homemade mole recipes and vote for your favorite at Mole to Die For at Mission Cultural Center.

Wine tasting

November 2018 (undated)

2 miles north

Taste fine wine from 100 vintners at SF Vintners Market and then purchase the bottles you like at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion for age 21+. Repeats in April.

Ski and snowboard sale

November 2018 (undated)

2.7 miles NE

Shop for skis, boards, apparel, and lift tickets at SnowBomb, which also has a climbing wall, BMX/skate ramp show, and beer and wine tasting at Pier 35. Free.

Chocolate show

November 2018 (undated)

3.1 miles west

Taste fine artisan and gourmet chocolates and confections at the Fall Chocolate Salon in the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.

Day of the Dead - Berkeley

November 2018 (undated)

13.7 miles NW

Dia de los Muertos is a celebration that includes the building and blessing of an altar, art projects, face painting, food trucks, music, a beer & wine garden, and a procession at Kittredge Street and Harold Way. Free.

Jewish film festival

November 2018 (undated)

Palo Alto & San Jose

Watch two dozen feature-length films at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival, with special events opening and closing nights.

Model train show

November 2018 (undated)

36.2 miles SE

The Great Train Show features model train layouts and hundreds of vendors, with bounce houses and train rides for the kids at Alameda County Fairgrounds.

Holiday cheer at Great America

November 2018 (undated)

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.

Jingle Ball concert

November 2018 (undated)

48 miles south

KYLD FM radio 94.9 brings big-name music artists to the annual Jingle Ball at SAP Center in San Jose.

San Jose art fair

November 2018 (undated)

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.

Santa train in Napa

November 2018 (undated)

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.” [Check the availability for both show times since it varies.]

San Jose tree lighting

November 2018 (undated)

54.8 miles south

The annual Tree Lighting event includes music and Santa Claus at Plaza de César Chávez, where you’ll also see lights and animated exhibits all season long at Christmas in the Park. Free.