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8 amazing events to check out this weekend in San Francisco

Written by
Ivy McNally

The North Beach Holiday Wine Walk

Is this North Beach or Napa or the North Pole? A few rounds into the North Beach Holiday Wine Walk, and worlds may begin to blur. Take a tour of this charmingly historic district, as restaurants and merchants on Grant and Columbus Avenues and Vallejo and Green Streets invite you in for a sip and nosh. Wineries represented are hyperlocal with a few based right here in the city. Pick up a few extra bottles for hostess gifts while you check off your shopping list.

Lakehouse Jazz

Head to a semi-secret location in the heart of Golden Gate Park for a night of smooth jazz in a DIY venue. Mingle with like-minded music lovers over hot coffee, then settle in for a soundtrack perfect for welcoming the rolling fog. It would be a challenge to find a more San Francisco experience than supporting local artists while exploring a hidden urban gem, so locals and out-of-town guests alike will thrill to this unique outing.  

Sweater-Con Holiday Pub Crawl

There is but a small window of opportunity to don your finest so-ugly-it’s-cute holiday sweater. Do it in the most public way possible at this busy bar crawl. This one cycles through a familiar pack of Polk Gulch hotspots, from Mayes Oyster House, Lush Lounge and Playland with many more stops along the way. Good news for folks still coming down from SantaCon: Santas welcome.

ASL: Cringeworthy Tales From the Early Days of the Internet

Bid farewell to the wonders of AOL Instant Messenger at this evening of storytelling about the early days of the Internet. For a very specific segment of the population, the late-90s world wide web opened the window to plentiful opportunities for public humiliation: Whether you got your kicks luring lonely strangers into private chat rooms or composing Star Trek erotic fan fiction, this show is sure to stir up some fond/troubling memories.    

Photograph: Courtesy Saunakkah


The name says it all. Head to San Francisco’s premier Turkish-inspired bathhouse to spend the 5th night of Hanukkah among friends in the coziest confines. The evening kicks off with a rooftop Menorah lighting, followed by traditional treats and surprises in the party room. Once guests are ready to loosen up, the spa’s private soaking tubs, plunge pools and saunas are calling. It’s a great night to celebrate both community and self-care.


Now that the twins have arrived and he's apologized to Beyoncé, Jay-Z can finally hit the arena circuit behind his unusually confessional hip-hop opus, 4:44. This is a far more humbled (through still characteristically boastful) rap mogul than was showcased on his most recent post-retirement LP, Magna Carta Holy Grail. It won't all be mea culpas and meditations on broken friendships though — expect Hova to demonstrate that he can still "Run This Town." 

Adopt a Living Tree for Christmas

Start a new holiday tradition and make a new contribution to the city’s growing urban forest by picking up a non-traditional living tree that will be planted post-holiday. If the sight of dried out evergreens blocking the sidewalk post-Christmas gives you the blues, this is a great way to make a difference. You can order your tree online, then find the pick-up lot in the Presidio at the Friends of the Urban Forest office in building 1007.   

Maria Bamford

The Bammer is a tumult of cheery weirdness, winning hearts with a childlike whisper as she presents her idiosyncratic vision of the world. She drops comedic bits—unexpected impressions, goony faces, far-flung metaphors—like bread crumbs, keeping the audience intrigued regardless of how bizarre things seem. See the star and creator of Netflix’s winning Lady Dynamite live this week. 

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