Christmas events San Francisco
Beach Blanket Babylon’s Holiday Extravaganza is a festive twist on the long-running musical revue. The holiday celebration is full of world-class singing, music and plenty of cha cha cha, includes Christmas carol parodies, an legendary extra-large Yuletide Hat and the sort of hilarious political spoofs that have kept this show up and running for over 16,000 performances.
Through Dec 31 at various times; $30–$155.
Nothing rings in the holidays like visiting the Fairmont’s massive gingerbread house. Each year the hotel’s talented culinary and engineering teams work together to create an edible two-story Victorian with more than 10,250 gingerbread bricks and 1,650 pounds of candy that stands more than 25 feet high. Parties of up to ten people can reserve the dining room for a private, super-sweet afternoon tea, dinner or special occasion.
Through Jan 1; Free, Afternoon tea $89–$119.
The second annual Decemberfest at The Guardsmen Tree Lot will include Bay Area craft beer, delicious German baked goods and bratwurst with a mustard tasting bar. All proceeds from the event, and from all Christmas trees sold, go to benefit at-risk youth in the Bay Area—$2.8 million was raised for their programs las year. Go ahead, wield your Christmas tree for good this year.
Nov 30, 6–10pm, $30-$40
For the first time ever, San Francisco’s Civic Center will play host to a winter-themed park modeled after the Wiener Eistraum in Vienna Austria. Glide along on a 6,000-square-foot rink at the center of a forest of lights or along a 400-square-foot track woven among the plaza’s trees. The rink will feature special events like Drag Queens on Ice and Sunday morning curling lessons ($20). General admission for a 75-min skating session is $5-20 (depending on age and time of day) and includes skate rental.
Nov 30–Jan 6, noon–10pm; $5-20
Tim Burton’s stop-motion favorite takes center stage at the San Francisco Symphony this season as Jack Skellington plots to celebrate Christmas in Halloween Town. Watch the plot unfold as the symphony’s musicians skillfully bring Danny Elfman’s quirkily delightful score to life.
Nov 30, Dec 1, Dec 6 at 8pm, $89-$175
Join emcee Donna Sachet, drag queen extraordinaire Heklina, and a variety of artists, musicians and local dignitaries as they light up the night at Grace Cathedral. The performances, sponsored by the Rainbow World Fund, will help restore your faith in humanity and rebuild your hopes for our local, national and global communities.
Dec 3, 6:30–8:30pm, free
This December, drink in the glorious music of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at Davies Symphony Hall. Singer-actress Vanessa Williams will be joining the choir’s seasoned vocalists for a powerhouse performance of soul, jazz and Christmas classics. Stand up and cheer for explosive harmonies that will keep your feet tapping all season long.
December 7, 8 at 7:30pm, $25–$99
This twist on the Charles Dickens classic reimagines Ebenezer Scrooge (Ebezo Sukurooji) in Meiji-era Japan. Told through traditional noh, kyōgen, kabuki and butoh, the Yugen’s Christmas Carol is an inventive and beautiful reminder of the universal truths of love and selflessness that anchor the holiday season.
Dec 7-30 at various times; $15-$45
Since the 1944 American premiere of The Nutcracker, San Francisco audiences have embraced the sensational ballet as a true holiday tradition. From composer Peter Tchaikovsky and choreographer Helgi Tomasson, this magical event will delight your family and set the tone for the festivities to come.
Dec 12–29 at various times; $29-$285
The boat parade is a de-light-ful holiday tradition 25-years running. Watch as yachts adorned in lights and decorations sail from Pier 39 to Crissy Field and back again. For the best views of the parade, head to Aquatic Park, Pier 39, the Marina Green or Crissy Field or make a night out of it with a window seat at a waterfront restaurant.
Dec 14, 6-8pm; free
San Francisco’s annual presentation of Handel’s timeless score moves this year from Grace Cathedral to the Davies Symphony Hall. Experience the majesty of 100 voices in harmony as the Grammy-Award winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus belts out songs like “Hallelujah” that will send your holiday spirit soaring.
Dec 14, 15 at 8pm; $35–$180
Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito takes to the stage at the historic Herbst Theater this December for a concert benefitting Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. Accompanied by the San Jose State University Orchestra, Esposito will serenade his audience with arias, Neapolitan classics, holiday songs and original compositions.
Dec 15 at 8pm; $65-$95
Pianist Adam Shulman takes centerstage with the a tribute to Bay Area jazz legend Vince Guaraldi's classic, festive score: A Charlie Brown Christmas. Bring along the kids for a performance full of Peanuts favorites and Christmas standards from “Christmas Time is Here” to “O Tannenbaum.”
Dec 21 at 7:30pm and Dec 22 at 11am; $15-$70
Since emerging from the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, the Blind Boys of Alabama have been leaving their mark on gospel music. Their holiday performance this winter will include songs from their new “Talkin’ Christmas” album and their Grammy-winning 2014 release “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Experience this legendary musical phenomena 70+ years in the making.
Dec 22 at 7:30pm and Dec 23 at 3pm; $17-$95
Drag queen Alaska, international siren of stage and screen, will join forces with her sidekick Handsome Jeremy for a holiday-themed musical romp across the galaxy. Cheer on the intrepid pair as they glamp their way through the perils of outer space in search of alien civilizations.
Dec 21, 22 at 7pm; $30-$60
Every December, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and the entire Peanuts gang bring this television classic to life at Davies Symphony Hall. With live actors, an animated backdrop, and Vince Guaraldi’s timeless score performed live, it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas experience you won’t want to miss.
Dec 21–24 at 2, 7:30pm; Starting at $102
Abstaining from this year’s Christmas celebrations? Grab a seat at Jackson Square’s New Asia Restaurant for the city’s longest running comedy show, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy. It’s a hilarious comedic romp that celebrates the classic Jewish answer to Christmas dinner, the Chinese restaurant. Catch the show with an early evening dinner or late evening cocktails.
Dec 23-25 at 5, 8:30pm; $52–$72
Join the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus for a hilarious, sometimes irreverent and always brilliant evening of music and laughter. Be dazzled by the 250-man strong choir harmonizing everything from “Silver Bells” to “Silent Night,” a brass quartet, and the solo stylings of SF Opera soprano Marnie Breckenridge.The final concert of the night is slightly bawdier than the first two family friendly performances.
Dec 24 at 5, 7, 9pm; $30–$40