8 Must-Sees for This Holiday Season

The holiday season in San Francisco is just another of our best-kept secrets. It’s the perfect time for you to visit! Hotels and airfare are more affordable than other times of the year, and there’s no shortage of things to do. Here are just eight of the can’t-miss holiday events coming to San Francisco in 2018.

See A Tree

San Francisco loves the holidays so much that it can’t limit itself to a single giant Christmas tree. There are actually dozens, including Macy’s soaring tree in Union Square, an officially nondenominational tree at City Hall, and another majestic tree at PIER 39. Lightings, concerts, and other events will be scheduled soon. Don’t forget that you can strap on your skates beneath the Union Square tree. An ice rink is always constructed for the season.

Visit PIER 39

The tree lighting won’t be the only holiday event at PIER 39. One of San Francisco’s most popular visitor destinations, PIER 39 has shops, restaurants, an aquarium, and more. Stay tuned for future announcements about other special, seasonal events.


Marvel at Museums

San Francisco’s world-famous cultural institutions don’t slow down during the holidays. This season, you can see the photography of Brassaï and the varied artwork of Vija Celmins at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), exquisite Indian jewelry at The Legion of Honor, and stunning Muslim fashions at the deYoung Museum. There’s even a season-specific exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum called Home for the Holidays at Carolwood, where you can see how the famous Disney family spent their Christmases.


See What’s on Stage

San Francisco’s major theaters will have plenty of top-notch productions to see this holiday season. The Curran welcomes the national tour of Tony Award-winning sensation Dear Evan Hansen, Dec. 5-30, 2018. SHN will have both its houses full with A Bronx Tale at the Golden Gate Theater (Nov. 27-Dec. 23) and Bat Out of Hell at the Orpheum (Dec.4-23). And we couldn’t forget A.C.T.’s annual staging of their beloved adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Dec. 6-29, 2018.

Feel Like A Pro at AT&T Park

Baseball season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that AT&T Park is closed to visitors. No matter what time of year, you can get a behind-the-scenes tour of the beautiful ballpark. Go on any of the regularly scheduled tours or plan a customized, private one of your own. It could be the perfect holiday surprise for the aspiring sluggers in your family.

Get Illuminated

Light art will brighten block after block of San Francisco from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day for the Illuminate SF Festival of Light. The annual display includes more than 30 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations that are accessible by public transit and admission-free. Many of San Francisco’s neighborhoods will also light up shopping districts, streets and galleries, and host participatory holiday activities.

Explore San Francisco with Big Bus

Tight on time? The best way to see the city is aboard Big Bus. Their hop-on, hop-off routes take you to all the major sights and attractions. During the holiday season, take their special Holiday Lights tour. You’ll see San Francisco’s festive holiday trees, trimmings, and twinkling lights. Enjoy jovial jingles along with a complimentary seasonal treat from Ghirardelli Chocolate.


Ring in the New Year

If you’re looking for something even more sparkly, consider staying in San Francisco for New Year’s Eve. Fireworks at midnight over the bay are a sight you won’t soon forget. Restaurants, bars, and hotels around the city will be planning special events to say good-bye to 2018. Keep checking our website for more details.