11 Festive Things to do in San Francisco During the Holidays

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Santacon at City Hall, SF.

  1. Join in on Santacon, a citywide Christmas themed pub crawl that happens the second or third weekend in December. Don your Santa gear, fill your flask with some peppermint schnapps and get ready for some holiday shenanigans that may or may not involve one of the following: secret service elves, a Giant Gingerbread man, and lots of, dare I say, Santa’s slutty helpers. NOTE: Must love crowds. 
  2. Yes, we have ice-skating in California AND you don’t have to break out the parka and snow pants. You might get lucky and be able to skate in a short sleeved shirt. Check out Justin Herman Plaza or Union Square ice rinks.
  3. Head to the Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee, Nutty Irishman or hot chocolate for the youngsters. Yes, I know, I’m always recommending this place, but if you go you’ll see why.
  4. Watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on the big screen or enjoy the Gay Men’s chorus as they belt out Christmas classics with a colorful twist. They are both featured at The Castro Theater.
  5. Visit the Fairmont Hotel for their huuuuuge Gingerbread mini-mansion (no you can’t eat it) and don’t miss the gingerbread dog house(no, you can’t bring your dog).
  6. No matter what your religious affiliation, if you go to a Glide Memorial Church service during the holidays and don’t sing or at least sway a bit to the joyful noise, you must be a zombie.
  7. Puppies and kittens in the Macy’s window in Union Square–and they are available for adoption. They are the perfect size for your favorite someone’s stocking.  Oh and bring a few buck to donate to the SPCA.
  8. Make it a day in Sausalito-take the ferry across the bay, get some Christmas shopping done, do some wine tasting at Bacchus and Venus then enjoy the Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks.
  9. Sexy, fun and festive, the Smuin Christmas Ballet is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.
  10. Check out the big balls at 111 California–don’t ask questions, just go. Great photo op.
  11. Get tickets to the Dickens Fair at the Cow Palace. You don’t have to get dressed up but if you happen to have a spare renaissance costume in the back of your closet, you will fit right in.

Have any to add or a question? Please feel free to comment. Thanks for stopping by and happy holidays from San Francisco!!



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