If you’re looking to celebrate the festive season somewhere new, Christmas in San Francisco could be for you. Going to the zoo, ice skating, and watching a play are just some of the top activities you can try during the holidays. So what are the best things to do in San Francisco for Christmas? Read our guide below to help you decide!
Related: Find Rooms For Rent In San Francisco
10 Best Things to do During Christmas in San Francisco
If you’re looking for the most awaited San Francisco Christmas events, look no further! We’ve included a mix of activities and attractions so you can fully experience the festivities while you’re here.
1. Skate at Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
Celebrating Christmas is never complete without ice skating! Whether you’re with friends, family, or your date, ice skating at Union Square is a must-try for getting into the holiday spirit. You’ll even get to skate alongside the huge Christmas tree next to the rink!
2. Go Union Square Shopping
What’s Christmas without some shopping? Christmas shopping in Union Square is a delight with a host of different stores to browse. Go to Macy’s Department Store for Christmas souvenirs or the Westfield Mall for clothes shopping (don’t forget to pass by their upside-down Christmas tree!). Plus, if you get hungry, The Winter Walk SF has food trucks just across the street!
3. Dress up at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair
One of the best things to do in San Francisco for Christmas is the Great Dickens Christmas Fair! It’s a favorite holiday tradition in the city, with shops, bars, stages, and dance halls set in the 19th century. You’ll see fairgoers dressed as Victorian characters and even a tableau of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol! Experiencing the fair is truly a one-of-a-kind Christmas experience in San Francisco.
4. Experience the Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House
What makes Christmas in San Francisco so festive are its numerous attractions. One of which is Fairmont Hotel’s 22 feet high Victorian-style gingerbread house. It’s a two-story house in the hotel’s lobby where kids and adults can walk right through. You can even have a meal inside the house for the full experience!
5. Be amazed at Tom and Jerry’s House
Tom and Jerry’s House is a privately owned house with a huge display of Christmas decorations around it. It’s an ageless attraction with tourists coming over to see the house since the 1980s. The house has a 65-foot Norfolk Island Pine tree in life-sized stuffed animals, toy roller coasters, working trains, and even dancing dolls. Passing through the house on 21st street gets you in the Christmas spirit right away!
6. Walk around Ghiradelli Square
Walking around Ghiradelli Square is a norm for San Francisco locals, but it becomes a Christmas wonderland during the holidays. With a giant Christmas tree, streams of lights, and plenty of hot chocolate, Ghiradelli Square encapsulates Christmas in San Francisco.
7. Chill at the Fisherman’s Wharf
If you’re looking to chill and enjoy the Christmas spirit at the same time, the Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to be. Walk through the numerous lights and decorations, see the sea lions off Pier 39, and sing along to the live entertainment. Don’t forget to check out their 19-foot Christmas tree surrounded by illuminated sea creatures!
Related: Money-Saving Tricks for Christmas
8. Watch the classic “A Christmas Carol” live
Now playing at the Golden Gate Theatre, “A Christmas Carol” is a must-see when celebrating Christmas in San Francisco. The play retells the timeless Charles Dickens classic featuring 12 of the most cherished Christmas carols.
9. See SF Ballet’s Nutcracker
The San Francisco Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition in the city. Since 1944, the SF Ballet has performed The Nutcracker for everyone looking to witness a girl’s Christmas fantasy coming to life. Just make sure you book early as it’s one of the most anticipated San Francisco Christmas events!
10. Enjoy the San Francisco Zoo
With a classic ZooLights evening event to kick off the Christmas spirit, the San Francisco Zoo is a joy to visit during the holidays. During the whole month of December, the zoo transforms with various events and train rides for kids. You can even meet and have breakfast with Santa!
11. Go on a Holiday Lights Love Tour
If you’re big on Christmas lights and decorations, you need to try the Holiday Lights Love Tour. In a classic Volkswagen van, you’ll tour the beautiful light displays around the city like the Tom & Jerry House, Lombard Street, Macy’s Holiday Display, and more. They even give out a free Santa hat! What’s not to love?
12. Explore Christmas in the Park, San Francisco
Christmas in the Park has been a tradition in San Francisco since the 1950s. This event is one for the books with light displays and a giant Christmas tree in San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park. Not to mention the all-new inflatable beer and wine garden! Christmas in the Park San Francisco is a must when celebrating in the city.
Now, where to begin?
With all the festive activities and events going on in San Francisco, it can be tough to decide which to do first! But before anything else, you need to make sure you have a safe place to stay while you’re in the city. With that in mind, check out Roomi — an all-in-one room and roommate finder!
With Roomi, you can find rooms for rent that fit your needs. Whether you’re staying for a few days or even a month, Roomi can make that happen. More than that, you can narrow down your search with our vast choices of filters (you even get to decide on the house rules!)
Lastly, at Roomi we take the privacy of our users very seriously. We ensure that all our users’ private information is kept safe and that there are no phony listings. We also make sure everyone goes through a thorough verification process before being given access to our site or app. What more can you ask for? Sign up now and enjoy Christmas in San Francisco!