Día de los Muertos has vendors of art and traditional Mexican food, free craft making and altars in San Mateo County History Museum at 5 p.m., welcoming speeches, a procession on Broadway at 7 p.m. (from Courthouse Square to Jefferson), and then dancers and musicians. Free.
Attend an emotional wedding ceremony, have light bites and a signature drink (included), and dance at a reception while you check out wedding vendors in action at The Big Fake Wedding San Francisco at Fort Mason Center.
November 6 - 7, 2020
0.8 miles NE
IncivilitySF: Join the Resistance is “an irreverent showcase of election-inspired work from San Francisco’s underground ... with themes of social justice, community-empowerment, and political awakening” at Exit Theatre.
November 7 - 8, 2020
2.1 miles SE
Taste 20 ciders, shop from a dozen food trucks, warm up by a fire pit, and hear live music at The San Francisco Fall Cider Festival, which is $7 entry-only or $50 with unlimited cider tasting at Spark Social SF. Children age 10 and younger can enter free.
November 7 - 8, 2020
2.3 miles north
Renegade Craft Fair has 200 vendors of indie crafts and specialty foods, food trucks, and DJ music in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. Held in April, July, November. Free.
“The top specially curated roasters and exhibitors share with you their unique beans and flavor profiles with a soundtrack provided by live entertainment” at San Francisco Coffee Festival in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason. No children.
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 admission and parking.
Stylish craft fair
November 21 - 22, 2020
2.3 miles north
Shop from artists and designer craftsmen “inspired by the mood and aesthetics of the West Coast lifestyle” at West Coast Craft in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. Held in June and November. Free.
November 21 - Dec. 20, 2020
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.
See the lights and animated exhibits all season long at Christmas in the Park at Plaza de César Chávez. Opening Night has a parade (5 p.m.), Santa (6 p.m.), a tree lighting (6:20 p.m.), and music (7 p.m.). Free.
San Jose art fair
November 27 - 29, 2020
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.
November 28, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
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.
The schedule for Cabfest includes four pairing dinners and a party at multiple locations on Friday, and a walk-around Grand Tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon on Saturday, with 40 wineries, chefs, and guest speakers at Westfield San Francisco Centre for age 21+.
Burning Man fundraiser
1.1 miles SE
Artumnal Gathering Celebration raises funds for the Burning Man Project with a dinner plus a party that features “performative stories in art, dance, and music” at The Great Northern.
Watch live performances by professional vocalists at Dare to Love. Your $50 ticket includes “pre-concert and intermission receptions with hors d’oeuvres from some of the Bay Area’s finest restaurants” at The Masonic. Festive attire is encouraged.
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.
Middle Eastern theater
1.9 miles SE
Watch seven short plays “diverse in content and style, highlighting the multiplicity of Middle Eastern perspectives and identities” during ReOrient Festival of Short Plays at Potrero Stage.
Mexican mole tasting
2 miles south
Taste homemade mole recipes and vote for your favorite at Mole to Die For at Mission Cultural Center.
Beer party - Golden Gate Park
2.5 miles west
A ticket to Botanicals and Brews Beer Garden includes one craft beer. Hear live music (7 to 10 p.m.), visit the Conservatory of Flowers (timed entry), and hang out in the Palm Terrace beer garden (until 11 p.m.) for age 21+. Monthly from June to November.
Snow sports sale
S.F. & Santa Clara
Shop for skis, boards, apparel, and lift tickets at SnowBomb, which also has a climbing wall, and a BMX/skate ramp show at Pier 35 in San Francisco or Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose. Free.
undated - San Francisco
undated - San Jose
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.
4 miles NW
Taste highly rated wine from 100 vintners at San Francisco Vintners Estates, and then purchase the bottles you like at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio for age 21+. The event also has music, art, and specialty foods for sale.
11.4 miles east
The Hip Hop Nutcracker gives Tchaikovsky’s score a modern twist with 12 hip-hop dancers (including “King of Rap” Kurtis Blow), an on-stage DJ, an electric violinist, and a digital background with an urban vibe, at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.
Day of the Dead - Oakland
15 miles east
Dia de los Muertos Festival has entertainment on three stages, art and food vendors, face painters, altars, and a children’s area at International Boulevard & Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland. Free.
21.4 miles south
See 250 cats from a large variety of breeds compete for awards at TICA International Cat Show, with rescue cats available for adoption at San Mateo Event Center.
Short Nutcracker in Walnut Creek
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.
Jewish film festival
Palo Alto & San Jose
Watch two dozen feature-length films “that showcase Jewish spirit, culture, traditions and humor” at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival at three venues in Palo Alto and San Jose.
Holiday cheer at Great America
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.
Handel’s Messiah - South Bay
46.7 miles south
San Jose Symphonic Choir performs Handel’s Messiah in its entirety with San Jose Baroque Orchestra at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga.
Day of the Dead - San Jose
48.5 miles south
Community Day: Día De Los Muertos features live entertainment, cultural demonstrations, and art-making activities at San Jose Museum of Art. Free registration online.
American Indian celebration
52 miles south
American Indian Heritage Celebration promises “entertainment for the entire family” including dancers, drummers, a craft market, Indian tacos, and fry bread in the Pavilion Hall at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose. Free, except parking.
Haunted house - San Leandro
23 miles SE
Fear Overload Scream Park offers two haunted houses “rich with monsters and unsavory demons from the darkest depths of your fears” in San Leandro. See schedule.
Enjoy pumpkin painting & trick-or-treating in daylight, but beware of ghosts, ghouls, and zombies at night during Fright Fest at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo. Enjoy 6 haunted mazes, 5 scare zones, 4 shows, and many rides on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
A holiday tradition, The Christmas Ballet [website has sound] is a mix of ballet, tap, and swing by Smuin Ballet.
Santa train in Napa
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 Thanksgiving & Christmas.
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