It's starting to look a lot like Christmas! A California Christmas that is, where short sleeves are acceptable and the only snow man in sight is on your Instagram feed (jealous).
Even though San Francisco is not known as a Winter Wonderland, we still know how to celebrate the season. From life-size gingerbread houses to silent disco ice skating rinks, we're ready for another occasion for spiked egg nog and holiday festivities. Follow my Insider Guide for the best of the season.
W SAN FRANCISCO HOLIDAY POP UP
Shop till you drop at W San Francisco's annual Holiday Pop Up Shop. We'll be serving up champagne to help relieve anxiety about your last minute buying frenzy. Some of favorite local treasures will be joining us: Argent, beGlammed, Forage Paper Co., Inspired Luxe, Swank by Just Glam, Skincare by Felicia, and Beauty Bar by Meko.
WINTER WALK SF
Winter Walk returns to Union Square for the third year this holiday season. Until January 1st, Stockton Street (between Ellis and Geary) will open for all kinds of seasonal festivities. Beer and wine gardens, reindeer scooters, live performances and our favorite food trucks from Off the Grid.
Insider Tip: Visit between 11-2 PM for lunch or between 5-8 PM for dinner from the rotating selection of food trucks.
GINGERBREAD HOLIDAY TEA
What could you possibly do with thousands of gingerbread cookies and more than a ton of icing? You can find your answer at the Fairmont San Francisco. Every year, the culinary team constructs a life-size, two-story-high Victorian gingerbread house in the hotel lobby. Yes, you can actually walk in individual rooms in the house that stands more than 22 feet high and spans more than 23 feet wide.
You can stop by for a quick visit to see this San Francisco Christmas tradition, or stay a while and enjoy the festivities with holiday tea. Seatings are at 1:30 and 3:30 PM through January 1st.
UNION SQUARE ICE RINK
No snow, no problem. San Francisco is the city of innovation, so naturally, we've created our own winter wonderland in Union Square. Strap on your skates and hope for the best.
Insider Tip: Join for one of the special events, such as the Silent Night Skate Party or the Polar Bear Skate.
Open daily from 10 AM - 11:30 PM
LIGHTED BOAT PARADE
Light it up! The trees aren't the only things getting lit this season. The boats on Fisherman's Wharf will parade along the waterfront on December 16th. The route will begin just off of Pier 39 and proceed to Fisherman's Wharf, Fort Mason and the St. Francis Yacht Club, and will turn around at Crissy Field to return to the waterfront. The best views can be found at Pier 39, the Marina Green, or Crissy Field.
Friday, December 16
6 - 8 PM
'TIS THE SEASON AT CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
For the inquisitive and intellectuals out there, 'tis the season for science. Explore the science behind the festive season at the California Academy. This interactive exhibit features a Snowman Theater to learn more about the northern lights, explores reindeer adaptation with REAL REINDEER, and life performances on the Piazza stage.
Through January 8
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL'S LUZIA
Cirque Du Soleil's latest show Luzia takes you through an imaginary Mexico, evoking all of your senses with light, rain, music and dance.
Shows through January 29
CHILDREN'S MAGICAL TEA
Marshmallow snowmen, cookie decorations and a visit from Santa. For the inner-child in us all, Top of the Mark presents Children's Magical Tea - high tea for kids, except better. Because who doesn't want that marshmallow snowman?!
SHINOLA HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS
Still not done with your Christmas shopping? Yep, me either. Ease the stress of the holiday shopping season at Shinola's happy hours every Friday from 4-7 PM. They've partnered up with Filson and Allbirds, so down that cocktail and check everyone off your shopping list. Cocktails from Rye on the Road and sweets from my favorite Dandelion Chocolate.
Every Friday 4-7 PM
53 Hotaling Place