5 Best Holiday Activities in San Francisco

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Stories May 10, 2019 5 Best Holiday Activities in San Francisco

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks,

Dressed in holiday style,

In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas…


There is nothing quite like Christmas time in the city: the lights, the music, the trees, the window displays, the ice rinks, the undeniable merry vibe.

And no city does it better than San Francisco.

Okay, okay, maybe I’m a little biased. I’ve been celebrating Christmas Eve in San Francisco for as long as I can remember.

Whether you are a local or traveling through for the holiday season, we’ve got the list for you!

Here are the five best holiday activities in San Francisco happening right now.

#1: Spend The Afternoon In Union Square

It’s impossible to talk about the holidays in SF without bringing up Union Square!

Here are a few of the main things to do in and around Union Square:

  • The Tree: This year’s reusable tree is 83 feet tall and covered with 30,000+ lights and 1,000+ decorations.
  • The Ice Rink: Check out the ice rink’s full list of festive events here. It includes a silent skate party!  
  • #WinterWalkSF: This pop-up pedestrian plaza is adjacent to Union Square, on Stockton Street between Geary and Ellis. Head over for food trucks, beer, wine, holiday craft cocktails and more!
  • Westin St. Francis’s Enchanted Sugar Castle: This 12-ft tall sugar castle takes more than 300 people to make. They start in July!

#2: The Reindeer Romp at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen…

But do you recall Belle, Holly, and Peppermint?

Okay, you’ve got us: these reindeer aren’t exactly part of Santa’s original crew. These reindeer have another very special job… spreading holiday cheer at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens.

Every day from 11:30-4:00 until January 1st you can find these very real reindeer romping around SF Zoo’s Playfield Lawn.

#3: Pinkmas At The Museum of Ice Cream

If you thought the Museum of Ice Cream couldn’t get any cooler, you were wrong…

This insta-famous (and now permanent) part of the San Francisco scene has revamped its one-of-a-kind totally immersive experience to include a winter wonderland unlike any other …

Their new holiday exhibit is full of hot pink Christmas trees, spinning disco balls, and twinkly lights.

Even their most famous rooms (AKA the one with the sprinkle pool) have holiday-themed makeovers.

Pinkmas will be open through January 6th.

#4: Beach Blanket Babylon’s Holiday Extravaganza

Beach Blanket Babylon’s Holiday Extravaganza is a San Francisco classic. An oldie but goodie. A performance like no other. An epic combination of song, dance, drag, and comedy. A story of self-discovery, full of romance, travel, pop culture and political spoofs. Not to mention the world famous costumes!

The Holiday Extravaganza is all this and more!

Buy tickets here.

#5: Christmas Themed Pop Up Bars

Who doesn’t love a great theme bar?

Outrageous amounts of kitschy decor and a list of cocktails with punny names to match…

This year, San Francisco has not one but TWO Christmas themed pop bars!

Enjoy the cozy atmosphere and over-the-top Christmas decorations with your squad while sipping an on-point holiday cocktail like “Who Stole Christmas” or a “Nog Shot.”

Happy Holidays, San Francisco!! 🎅🍻

P.S. As always let us know in the comments if we missed any f***ing awesome holiday events! We’d love to hear from you!

written with 💖 by Taylor Gmahling

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