Looking for something fresh and new for the holidays? Now is the perfect time for a San Francisco trip! The weather is still warm during the day, airfare is more affordable, and there is no shortage of fun holiday events to explore. From the traditional tree-lighting ceremony, and a Santa-themed pub crawl to Kwanzaa and Hanukkah events and parades, there’s something for everyone this holiday season. When you book your stay at the Kensington Park Hotel, you are booking in the epicenter of holiday cheer.
To make navigating the top holiday events easier, we’ve created a list of fun, conveniently located, events for you to enjoy near the hotel.
Find a Tree-lighting Ceremony
San Francisco is so in love with the holidays, they have multiple Christmas trees for you and the family to enjoy. When shopping in Union Square, you’ll see a tree in the center, and another at Macy’s, an officially nondenominational tree at City Hall, and another majestic tree at PIER 39. Union Square also has an ice-skating rink, so don’t forget to strap on some skates while you’re in town.
Head to Union Square from November 23 through December 3, 2018, to enjoy nightly events.
Go for a Winter Walk
Unwind with a Winter Walk around San Francisco and enjoy the lights, laughter, delicious restaurants, holiday cocktails and more in the bustling downtown shopping district.
Watch the Lighting Boat Parade
A holiday tradition since ’94, The Lighted Boat Parade on the San Francisco Bay is a must-see during the holiday season. Don’t miss the flotilla with over 60 holiday decorated boats, on Friday, December 14, 2018, from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Become Santa (SantaCon)
Are you more of a drink connoisseur, enjoy holiday costumes, or both? SantaCon may just be the thing for you! Beginning at noon Saturday, December 8, SantaCon makes its return to Union Square with thousands of revelers dressed up in holiday attire; think reindeer, elves and Old St. Nicholas.
You must be 21 or older to participate. For more information go here.
See a Show
Come to one of San Francisco’s major theaters for top-notch productions. The Curran welcomes 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.
Beginning Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, more than 30 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations will brighten the block for the Illuminate SF Festival of Light. The annual display is accessible by public transit and is admission-free.
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.
Hanukkah at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Come celebrate Hanukkah at the Contemporary Jewish Museum with an evening of dance, drink, and decorating during “Night at the Jewseum: Shimmer” on Thursday, December 6, 2018, from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Admission is $8 after 5 pm (includes Museum admission). More information here.
The Village Project Presents: Kwanzaa
The Village Project, a youth-centered nonprofit geared toward community building and diversity programs, will host events for its 13th annual citywide Kwanzaa celebration.
Each event is themed upon a different core principle of the Kwanzaa tradition—Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith)—and features a different performer each night.
For a detailed explanation of each of these special celebratory days, visit the official Village Project website here.
For more things to do in San Francisco check out our blog Stay and play in Union Square.