23 Bay Area Christmas Events 2022

December 8, 2022

23 Bay Area Christmas Events 2022



1. SF Symphony Plays Christmas Classics

Nov-Dec: A lot of families have the holiday classics like Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas running on repeat during Christmas. You can switch it up this festive season and see it live in the symphony hall where all the music is played by the world-renowned SF Symphony Orchestra. Event details.

2. The Velveteen Rabbit

Nov 26-Dec12: This beloved tattered nursery animal comes to life in SF this holiday season. Event details.

3. Sleeping Beauty

12/1-30: Panto in the Presidio returns with Sleeping Beauty, a wildly funny musical mashup of true love, talking dogs, singing chickens, dancing ghosts, and enough fairy magic for the entire family. Audiences can join in the Panto traditions of booing the villains, cheering the heroes, singing along to popular songs and helping the fairies cast magic spells. Event details.

4. Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

11/9-1/31: Already in its 10th year, you can see 62 eco-friendly displays in 17 neighborhoods, all accessible by public transportation within San Francisco. Take the free guided tour to learn more about the artists that have brought these installations to life. Event details.

5. Bayer Ballet Company's Snow Queen 

12/16-18: Inspired by one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved fairytales. When the Snow Queen's spell captures Kai, his sister Gerda sets out on a quest to save him. This two-act ballet features hand painted sets, original costumes, and an award-winning cast of dancers from Bayer Ballet Company and guest artists. Event details

6. Gingerbread Man at PA Children's Theatre.

Dec 17-18: The Palo Alto's Children's Theater, presents this short and sweet story for little ones. Interaction and dancing along is encouraged. Event details.

7. Presidio Christmas Tree Lighting

12/2: For over 30 years, the 55-foot-tall Christmas tree in the Presidio has cast a glow of magic starting the first Friday evening in December. Event details.

8. Civic Center Tree Lighting 

12/7: The annual Civic Center Plaza Tree Lighting will take place on December 7, 4-7pm. This free event offers performances, food, music, a toy giveaway for children, and Makers Village DIY activities for kids and adults. Event details.

9. Hanukkah Pop-Up Party at Ghirardelli Square

12/18: JCCSF’s Glowing Hanukkah Party returns to Ghirardelli Square. This free, family-friendly event will see the lighting of candles, live music, Hanukkah crafts, games and  tasty treats from the merchants at Ghirardelli Square. Event details.

10. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

11/19-12/19 (Weekends): This beloved one-of-a-kind immersive adventure includes hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 140,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and festive shops. The Dickens Christmas Fair has been a Bay Area tradition for over 50 years. Event details.

11. Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Drive-Through

11/25-12/25: This half a mile drive-through experience at the Fairgrounds with spectacular lighted giant Christmas trees, Santa, reindeer, snowmen, lighted tunnels and many more magical moments will delight all. Event details. 

12. Half Moon Bay’s Nights of Lights

11/25 & Fridays until 12/16: This year’s Nights of Lights extends to four Fridays as downtown welcomes your family for the holiday spirit, fun activities, music, and more. Each Friday night is themed differently with tree lighting, a holiday market, a parade, and caroling. Main Street shops will be open late and there will be beautiful lights adorning the trees. Event details.

13. IlluminOdyssey Lights

11/4-1/16: Their slogan “Electrify your child’s imagination at CuriOdyssey's spectacular light exhibition” is spot on. CuriOdyssey’s approach to education awakens kids’ curiosity, builds critical thinking skills, and inspires an interest in science and the natural world. The non-profit outdoor science museum and zoo make serious science and nature exciting and fun for kids. Don’t forget to go play at the nearby Magical Bridges Playground after. Event details. 

14. Gamble Garden’s Festival of Trees Family Night

12/2: Escape to a winter wonderland at Gamble Garden’s Festival of Trees for one night only where there will be Santa photo ops, a ballet performance, holiday shopping, a festive marketplace with over 20 vendors, a Winter Plant Sale, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine for adults, complimentary cookies and cider, complimentary raffle ticket to win a decorated holiday tree and holiday arts & crafts. Event details.

15. Winter Wonderland at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

11/24-1/1: A winter wonderland at the beach is true California dreamin'.Rides, games, arcades, pedal karts, photos with Santa, s'mores and other holiday treats are all here under the bright illumination of festive lights. Event details.

16. Glowfari at Oakland Zoo

12/1-23 (weekends): A mile-long walk through hundreds of larger-than-life animals lit up by lanterns. You can also ride the gondola to the Land of Bugs, hop on the Express Train through Winter Wonderland and finish the evening with a visit to Santa. Event details.

17. Christmas Tree Lane, Alameda

Early Dec - New Year: The best-lit neighborhood in the Bay is in Alameda, on the 3200 block of Thompson Ave. Every year, the street puts on a dazzling display and is affectionately known as Christmas Tree Lane, this has been an annual tradition for 84 years. Event details.

18. Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks

12/10: Imagine a magical parade of lighted boats floating by the Sausalito waterfront while you enjoy a festive flotilla, and watch fireworks. This is essentially the wonderful event in Sausalito. Event details. 

19. SF Broadway Theater in December: Disney's Frozen

11/18 - 12/30: Your kiddos will be demanding to see Disney’s Frozen at the Orpheum Theatre this holiday season. This musical features many of the songs you've grown to love from the hit movie. The award winning writers of the movie expanded the stage. Event details. 

20. A Christmas Carol at the A.C.T.

11/30 - 12/24: The American Conservatory Theatre puts on A Christmas Carol for over 40 years now. Enjoy the lively cast, colorful costumes, and spooky ghosts. Event details.

21. SF Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

12/8 - 12/27: The SF Ballet will perform The Nutcracker again this December at the War Memorial Opera House. Fun fact, it was performed for the first time in San Francisco on Christmas Eve in 1944. Event details.

22. The Great Santa Run San Francisco

Crissy Field hosts quite a spectacle with hundreds of Santas running a 5K run or the Rudolph one-miler along the city’s picturesque waterfront. Event details.

23. Gingerbread House at the Fairmont

The Fairmont hotel hosts a massive gingerbread house this festive season. Each year the hotel’s talented culinary and engineering teams work together to create an edible two-story Victorian with more than 6,000 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 ($89–$129), dinner, or a special occasion. Event details.

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