Christmas in San Francisco 2018

Discover Christmas events, holiday markets, gift ideas and more with our guide to Christmas in San Francisco

City Hall at Christmas
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Shawn CloverCity Hall at Christmas

While you won’t ever find Market Street covered in fresh snow, you can still experience some cozy, classic, festive fun right here in the city. From ice-skating to hot chocolate consuming, the city is filled with myriad things to do, see, experience and eat during the briskest of
seasons.

What day does Christmas land on? 

Christmas is on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

San Francisco Christmas

Festive Christmas events in San Francisco
Things to do

Festive Christmas events in San Francisco

December is here! Assuming you've already set up your Christmas tree, celebrate the season with festive shows, ice skating, drunken Santas and fun Christmas events around San Francisco. And don't forget to pick up some holiday gifts for your friends and family along the way!     

Where to see Christmas lights in the Bay Area
Things to do

Where to see Christmas lights in the Bay Area

Even before we've sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, San Francisco starts its transformation into a magical wonderland of Christmas lights and Christmas trees. Revel in the magic and get ready to “ooh” and “ahh” at these lit up Bay Area landmarks that create the most picturesque light displays during the holiday season.  

Best ice skating rinks in the Bay Area
Things to do

Best ice skating rinks in the Bay Area

Take a break from the holiday shopping, and head to one of these seasonal rinks. 

Where to buy a Christmas tree in the Bay Area
Things to do

Where to buy a Christmas tree in the Bay Area

Ready to set up your Christmas tree? Even if you only have space for a tiny tabletop version, there are plenty of options when shopping Christmas tree farms in the Bay Area. 

The best San Francisco craft fairs
Shopping

The best San Francisco craft fairs

Make your list and check it twice at these inspiring Bay Area craft fairs, where you can indulge your senses and get to know SF’s most creative makers. You never know what sort of treasures you’ll find—like vintage clothing and furniture and handmade jewerly—but it’s safe to assume that everyone loves a unique, homemade holiday gift. RECOMMENDED: The best design and gift shops in San Francisco

The Christmas-themed pop-up bar Miracle is back inside P.C.H. this year
News

The Christmas-themed pop-up bar Miracle is back inside P.C.H. this year

Sure, pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider are great, but it’s Miracle’s holiday-themed cocktails that really ring in the holiday season. The pop-up bar, now in its fifth year, is at it again with over 80 locations (up from 50 last year) around the world. The concept will be traveling to cities across the U.S. as well as overseas to Europe and Asia, and down south to Central America, with a special stop in San Francisco.  Launching the day after Thanksgiving inside Pacific Cocktail Haven, Miracle will be serving up seasonally-themed sips through New Year’s Eve. Belly up to the bar inside the cozy, winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights, bartenders donning Santa hats, gifts hanging overhead, and colorful tinsel and ornaments. It’s the adult version of sipping hot cocoa with loved ones around a tree. There will even be a candy cane punch bowl and mugs made to look like Santa’s boots and pants.     Gingerbread Flip Photograph: Melissa Homm   Concocted by manager Joann Spiegel and bartender Nico de Soto of Mace and Danico, the much buzzed about cocktail roster includes favorites like the Snowball Old Fashioned (gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters, and lemon zest) as well as new sips like Christmas Carol Barrel with rum and pumpkin pie, and the spiced A Partridge In A Pear Tree with tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, and cinnamon. All drinks will be served in custom Miracle glassware of course, which include mugs, coupes, highballs, and rocks glasses. These will eve

A new winter wonderland is coming to Civic Center this month
News

A new winter wonderland is coming to Civic Center this month

The weather outside is hardly frightful, but that doesn't mean we're not ready for the holiday season's ice-cold attractions. New this year in San Francisco is the Winter Park at Civic Center, which opens this month right across from City Hall and the Asian Art Museum. Modeled after the internationally-famed Wiener Eistraum ice-skating rink in Vienna, Austria, the winter wonderland comes complete with 100x60-foot ice rink and dozens of illuminated trees. Along with adding a third ice rink to the city, the new attraction includes a 400-foot skating track (for those who really want to zoom) which winds through the lighted tree forest. Rendering courtesy of the Winter Park at Civic Center The park will officially open on Friday, November 30 with an inaugural celebration featuring a guest appearance from Sunnyvale-born Olympic champion skater Brian Boitano, a live DJ, family-friendly activities, and more. Throughout the season, the Winter Park will also host iHeart Wednesdays, weekly themed dance parties on the ice, and a HolidayBreaker, an early-morning yoga sesh on the ice. Learn to Curl sessions will happen every Sunday in December and mark your calendar for the holiday tree lighting on December 5. Rendering courtesy of the Winter Park at Civic Center The Winter Park will be open daily from noon–10pm from November 30 through Sunday, January 6, 2019. Tickets are $15–$20, and include skate rentals. Public school child (grades K–12) in the Tenderloin get into the par

The Museum of Ice Cream is getting a Christmas-themed makeover
News

The Museum of Ice Cream is getting a Christmas-themed makeover

The Museum of Ice Cream is updating their delicious exhibits for Pinkmas, including new Christmas-themed delights to immerse yourself in the magic of the holiday season.   Kicking off on November 23, the 12,000-square-foot enchanted winterscape will include a glowing, pink forest (naturally) which leads into reimagined festive spaces. Step into a life-size gingerbread house, dance under disco lights, and get a taste of their brand new flavor, Gingerbread Disco. Sweet treats from MyMo Mochi, La Michoacana, and Ghirardelli will remain to keep your sugar high on full throttle. The historic bank turned permanent ice cream museum will still have 10 installations with favorites like the unicorn, cookie carousel, and of course, the rainbow sprinkle pool to get that quintessential IG capture. And what’s an event on Black Friday without a sale? They’ll be offering up to 50 percent off select merchandise in store and online, plus you’ll get a free travel cocktail kit with a purchase of $35 or more. And there’s no leaving the Museum of Ice Cream without sprinkles, especially when they’re buy two, get one free. In true holiday spirit, the museum will also be opening its doors for free to the first 350 guests every Thursday evening to encourage the spirit of connection. We’re feeling all the warm fuzzies. The exhibition will run Wednesday through Monday from November 23, 2018 through December 30, 2018. Tickets ($38) are now available at museumoficecream.com/san-francisco.

Where to eat Christmas dinner in San Francisco
Restaurants

Where to eat Christmas dinner in San Francisco

You’ve decked the halls, bought gifts made in San Francisco and even chopped down your own Christmas tree. Next on the agenda: planning Christmas dinner. By which we mean making reservations at one of these restaurants open on Christmas Day and Eve. RECOMMENDED: Christmas in San Francisco guide

A fail-safe holiday gift guide starring Bay Area brands
Shopping

A fail-safe holiday gift guide starring Bay Area brands

We all know ’tis better to give than to receive, but giving local is the B-E-S-T. We’re more than happy to help you oblige this season with these cool gift ideas from Bay Area brands we love. So, skip the snaking lines and relentless Christmas soundtrack at the mall and shop our gift guide focused on products made right here in the Bay Area. From classic jewelry to small-batch clogs, you can support Bay Area makers and knock out your holiday shopping in one swoop. Let the holiday shopping—we mean cheer—begin! RECOMMENDED: Best places to go ice skating in the Bay Area

The 50 best Christmas movies
Movies

The 50 best Christmas movies

We thought we’d take the reindeer by the horns and sift out the best Christmas movies of all time, the ones that give you a lump in the throat

The 50 Christmas songs you really will love (we promise)
Music

The 50 Christmas songs you really will love (we promise)

If the idea of holiday music makes you think of the godawful song from Love Actually (“Christmas-is-all-around-us” anybody?), then let us soothe your pain with our list of yuletide hits—made up specifically of Christmas songs you really do love. Follow it up with a marathon viewing of the best Christmas movies. Then, once you’ve been properly inspired, head to these fantastic Christmas events around town. RECOMMENDED: Christmas in San Francisco guide