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San Francisco's Ultimate 2022 Winter Bucket List
San Francisco's Ultimate 2022 Winter Bucket List

San Francisco's Ultimate 2022 Winter Bucket List

See the top winter activities, events, and attractions happening in SF this holiday season, all in one handy list. ⛸🎄


Published November 09, 2022

Winter is upon us, and the holidays are right around the corner. We've rounded up some of our favorite holiday treats, winter activities, and LED-lit experiences in San Francisco so you can make the most of the season.

Visit The Two-Story Gingerbread House At The Fairmont Hotel Lobby

Visit The Two-Story Gingerbread House At The Fairmont Hotel Lobby

What is 22 feet high, 23 feet wide, and full of royal icing and candy decor? The much beloved two-story-high Victorian Gingerbread House, back this year in the Fairmont Hotel lobby! On display from Thanksgiving through the New Year, guests can come and marvel at the structure, and even book a dining experience inside the private Gingerbread for up to eight guests.

Where: 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
For more information on the Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread Lobby.

What is 22 feet high, 23 feet wide, and full of royal icing and candy decor? The much beloved two-story-high Victorian Gingerbread House, back this year in the Fairmont Hotel lobby! On display from Thanksgiving through the New Year, guests can come and marvel at the structure, and even book a dining experience inside the private Gingerbread for up to eight guests.

Where: 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
For more information on the Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread Lobby.

Experience The Magic At Holly Jolly Cocktail Bar

Experience The Magic At Holly Jolly Cocktail Bar

Holly Jolly is bringing the over-the-top holiday bar vibes we’ve been craving. The pop-up bar’s halls (located within Westwood), will be decked with floor-to-ceiling tinsel, trimmings, ornaments, and more, allowing you to immerse yourself in holiday magic from every angle. Entry tickets cost $30, and include a 90-minute reservation and a holiday-themed welcome cocktail or mocktail on your arrival.

Where: Westwood Annex: 2036 Lombard Street San Francisco, CA 94123
For more information on Holly Jolly.

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location_on Westwood Annex, SF

Holly Jolly Holiday Bar at Westwood Annex

$9
  • event 2022-11-01
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Holly Jolly is bringing the over-the-top holiday bar vibes we’ve been craving. The pop-up bar’s halls (located within Westwood), will be decked with floor-to-ceiling tinsel, trimmings, ornaments, and more, allowing you to immerse yourself in holiday magic from every angle. Entry tickets cost $30, and include a 90-minute reservation and a holiday-themed welcome cocktail or mocktail on your arrival.

Where: Westwood Annex: 2036 Lombard Street San Francisco, CA 94123
For more information on Holly Jolly.

Pick Up Hot Chocolate From The Famous Dandelion Chocolate

Pick Up Hot Chocolate From The Famous Dandelion Chocolate

Indulgence and the holiday season were meant to be experienced together. That's why we are all about a cup of hot cocoa from Dandelion. Order a hot chocolate, a small ginger cake, and maybe a few chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and churros, definitely churros.

Pro tip: the Valencia location offers a small complimentary cookie with each hot cocoa.

Where: 740 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
For more information on Dandelion Chocolate.

Indulgence and the holiday season were meant to be experienced together. That's why we are all about a cup of hot cocoa from Dandelion. Order a hot chocolate, a small ginger cake, and maybe a few chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and churros, definitely churros.

Pro tip: the Valencia location offers a small complimentary cookie with each hot cocoa.

Where: 740 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
For more information on Dandelion Chocolate.

Embark On A Glowfari

Embark On A Glowfari

This immersive experience features larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Oakland Zoo! Stroll through these dazzling creatures: from kangaroos and koalas to breathtaking full-size whales, and finish with a train ride through a world of fabled creatures like unicorns and fairies. 

Where: 9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605
For more information on Glowfari.

This immersive experience features larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Oakland Zoo! Stroll through these dazzling creatures: from kangaroos and koalas to breathtaking full-size whales, and finish with a train ride through a world of fabled creatures like unicorns and fairies. 

Where: 9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605
For more information on Glowfari.

Immerse Yourself in Holiday Cheer at the Tinseltown Pop-Up Bar

Immerse Yourself in Holiday Cheer at the Tinseltown Pop-Up Bar

It's time to make every day cheery again, and Tinseltown is doing just that. This holiday pop-up bar's halls are more than fully decked with baubles, bows, hanging trees, wreaths, and just about every festive goodie you can imagine!

You can also expect Santa, elves, presents, tinsel, festive tunes, and lots of winter warmer drinks, including a fabulous Christmas cocktail menu! Tickets include entry to the themed bar and a themed drink on arrival. No Grinches allowed!

Where: Trademark Bar: 1123 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
For more information on Tinseltown Pop-Up Bar.

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location_on Trademark Bar, SF

Tinseltown: Where Everyday Is Christmas

$22
  • event 2022-12-01
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It's time to make every day cheery again, and Tinseltown is doing just that. This holiday pop-up bar's halls are more than fully decked with baubles, bows, hanging trees, wreaths, and just about every festive goodie you can imagine!

You can also expect Santa, elves, presents, tinsel, festive tunes, and lots of winter warmer drinks, including a fabulous Christmas cocktail menu! Tickets include entry to the themed bar and a themed drink on arrival. No Grinches allowed!

Where: Trademark Bar: 1123 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
For more information on Tinseltown Pop-Up Bar.

Watch The SF Ballet's Nutcracker Performance

Watch The SF Ballet's Nutcracker Performance

Watch Clara as she enters a magical wonderland of toy soldiers and sugarplum fairies, a blizzard of snowflakes, and a kaleidoscope of more than 150 dancers. You can catch this year’s Nutcracker performance from December 8th through the 27th.

Where: War Memorial Opera House 301 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, California 94102
For more information on the SF Ballet Nutcracker.

Watch Clara as she enters a magical wonderland of toy soldiers and sugarplum fairies, a blizzard of snowflakes, and a kaleidoscope of more than 150 dancers. You can catch this year’s Nutcracker performance from December 8th through the 27th.

Where: War Memorial Opera House 301 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, California 94102
For more information on the SF Ballet Nutcracker.

Go Ice Skating at Union Square

Go Ice Skating at Union Square

The iconic outdoor ice rink is back on November 2nd with daily ice skating for all ages! General Admission is $20 (children under 8 are $15) and includes skate rental. Head to the ice for their 15th anniversary, with views of Macy's giant glowing Christmas tree, and holiday decor and lights to take in as you glide.

Where: 333 Post Street
For more information on ice skating at Union Square.

The iconic outdoor ice rink is back on November 2nd with daily ice skating for all ages! General Admission is $20 (children under 8 are $15) and includes skate rental. Head to the ice for their 15th anniversary, with views of Macy's giant glowing Christmas tree, and holiday decor and lights to take in as you glide.

Where: 333 Post Street
For more information on ice skating at Union Square.

Explore The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Explore The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Experience London at the historic Cow Palace Exhibit Halls! You’ll enter the winding “Victorian England” lanes into this world of musical theater, pubs, dance parties and one-of-a-kind artisan holiday treasures. Happening for five weekends from November 19th through December 18th (including the Friday after Thanksgiving).

Where: Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City.
For more information on the Explore The Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

Experience London at the historic Cow Palace Exhibit Halls! You’ll enter the winding “Victorian England” lanes into this world of musical theater, pubs, dance parties and one-of-a-kind artisan holiday treasures. Happening for five weekends from November 19th through December 18th (including the Friday after Thanksgiving).

Where: Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City.
For more information on the Explore The Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

Volunteer Or Donate To The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank

Volunteer Or Donate To The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank

One of the most rewarding and vital things you can do during the holidays is help those in need. Support the SF-Marin Food Bank, which provides meals to those in need, by donating or volunteering at one of their various locations. For every $1 donated, two healthy meals are provided to neighbors experiencing hunger.

Where: 
San Francisco: 900 Pennsylvania Avenue San Francisco, CA 94107
Marin: 2550 Kerner Boulevard, San Rafael, CA 94901
For more information on the SF-Marin Food Bank.

One of the most rewarding and vital things you can do during the holidays is help those in need. Support the SF-Marin Food Bank, which provides meals to those in need, by donating or volunteering at one of their various locations. For every $1 donated, two healthy meals are provided to neighbors experiencing hunger.

Where: 
San Francisco: 900 Pennsylvania Avenue San Francisco, CA 94107
Marin: 2550 Kerner Boulevard, San Rafael, CA 94901
For more information on the SF-Marin Food Bank.

Get a Christmas Tree from Clancy’s Christmas Farm

Get a Christmas Tree from Clancy’s Christmas Farm

Nothing beats a real, fresh Christmas tree (the woodsy scent! the rustic charm!), and we know the perfect spot to snag one. Clancy's Christmas Trees is a three-generation San Francisco company, that first opened for business in December 1949 with the goal of bringing San Franciscans the finest and freshest trees available. 

Where: 2101 Sloat Blvd., San Francisco 
For more information on Clancy's Christmas Farm.

Nothing beats a real, fresh Christmas tree (the woodsy scent! the rustic charm!), and we know the perfect spot to snag one. Clancy's Christmas Trees is a three-generation San Francisco company, that first opened for business in December 1949 with the goal of bringing San Franciscans the finest and freshest trees available. 

Where: 2101 Sloat Blvd., San Francisco 
For more information on Clancy's Christmas Farm.

Check Out Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

Check Out Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

Back for its tenth year, Illuminate SF will light the city up with both permanent and temporary installations. From a drone show over the San Francisco Bay to the colorful Winter Lights at Golden Gate State Park, you’ll see the 7x7 from a whole new perspective this winter.

Where: Various locations.
For more information on Illuminate SF.

Back for its tenth year, Illuminate SF will light the city up with both permanent and temporary installations. From a drone show over the San Francisco Bay to the colorful Winter Lights at Golden Gate State Park, you’ll see the 7x7 from a whole new perspective this winter.

Where: Various locations.
For more information on Illuminate SF.

Explore Bay Area Holiday Displays

Explore Bay Area Holiday Displays

Spend an evening touring the Bay Area's most festive spots. Christmas Tree Lane in San Carlos boasts house after house of over-the-top holiday lights each with its own unique display and glittering lights. A row of impressive illuminated arches in Outer Sunset spans almost an entire block on Rivera Street between 42nd Ave and 43rd Ave., and of course, Fisherman's Wharf is always worth strolling through, especially when the iconic sign is lit up in twinkle lights.

Where: Various locations.

Spend an evening touring the Bay Area's most festive spots. Christmas Tree Lane in San Carlos boasts house after house of over-the-top holiday lights each with its own unique display and glittering lights. A row of impressive illuminated arches in Outer Sunset spans almost an entire block on Rivera Street between 42nd Ave and 43rd Ave., and of course, Fisherman's Wharf is always worth strolling through, especially when the iconic sign is lit up in twinkle lights.

Where: Various locations.

See A Christmas Carol

See A Christmas Carol

Don’t be a Scrooge! Showing November 30th through Christmas Eve at the American Conservatory Theater, see the classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens come to life with a lively cast, delightful music, costumes, and spooky showmanship. 

Where: Toni Rembe Theater 415 Geary St.
For more information on A Christmas Carol.

Don’t be a Scrooge! Showing November 30th through Christmas Eve at the American Conservatory Theater, see the classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens come to life with a lively cast, delightful music, costumes, and spooky showmanship. 

Where: Toni Rembe Theater 415 Geary St.
For more information on A Christmas Carol.

Watch Holiday Movies With The SF Symphony

Watch Holiday Movies With The SF Symphony

What’s better than a viewing party of your favorite Christmas movies? How about watching them play out in sync with the San Francisco Symphony. See classic, heartwarming holiday films like Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas on a giant screen as the orchestra plays each note of the score.

Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. 
For more information on Holiday Movies with the SF Symphony.

What’s better than a viewing party of your favorite Christmas movies? How about watching them play out in sync with the San Francisco Symphony. See classic, heartwarming holiday films like Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas on a giant screen as the orchestra plays each note of the score.

Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. 
For more information on Holiday Movies with the SF Symphony.

Try a Holiday treat from Craftsman and Wolves

Try a Holiday treat from Craftsman and Wolves

The contemporary San Francisco bakery and patisserie will serve up decadent treats all season long, from tarts and pastries to rich hot chocolate. Grab a limited-time holiday cookie tray to give as a hostess gift at your next holiday party, or to share with Santa on Christmas Eve...but we won't blame you if you keep them for yourself. Try flavors like raspberry cardamom snickerdoodle, golden milk coconut macaron, orange caraway thumbprint chocolate caramel, fennel almond biscotti, and douglas fir blueberry ginger shortbread wreath.

Where: 746 Valencia; 1598 Yosemite
For more information on Craftsman and Wolves.

The contemporary San Francisco bakery and patisserie will serve up decadent treats all season long, from tarts and pastries to rich hot chocolate. Grab a limited-time holiday cookie tray to give as a hostess gift at your next holiday party, or to share with Santa on Christmas Eve...but we won't blame you if you keep them for yourself. Try flavors like raspberry cardamom snickerdoodle, golden milk coconut macaron, orange caraway thumbprint chocolate caramel, fennel almond biscotti, and douglas fir blueberry ginger shortbread wreath.

Where: 746 Valencia; 1598 Yosemite
For more information on Craftsman and Wolves.

Celebrate Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year and accompanying parade in the Bay Area is nothing short of spectacular. The parade is one of the few remaining illuminated night parades in North America and the biggest lunar new year celebration outside of Asia. Activities run from mid-January through March, and include a Flower Market Fair, a basketball Jamboree, Miss Chinatown Pageant, and more.

Where: CNY Parade: 24438 Santa Clara St, #3629 Hayward, CA 94544
For more information on SF’s Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year and accompanying parade in the Bay Area is nothing short of spectacular. The parade is one of the few remaining illuminated night parades in North America and the biggest lunar new year celebration outside of Asia. Activities run from mid-January through March, and include a Flower Market Fair, a basketball Jamboree, Miss Chinatown Pageant, and more.

Where: CNY Parade: 24438 Santa Clara St, #3629 Hayward, CA 94544
For more information on SF’s Chinese New Year.

See The Pacific Orchid Exposition

See The Pacific Orchid Exposition

If you’re feeling any post-holiday blues, the 70th Annual Pacific Orchid Expo will dazzle your senses. The POE is an absolute marvel, and one of the best orchid shows in the US, displaying an impressive array of diverse fauna from all over the world. 

Where: SF County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers): 1199 9th Ave San Francisco 94122
For more information on the Pacific Orchid Exposition.

 

EXPLORE MORE:
The Ultimate Guide to Fisherman's Wharf

38 Fun Activities in San Francisco That Don’t Involve Alcohol or Food
The Best Restaurants for Group Dinners in San Francisco

 

If you’re feeling any post-holiday blues, the 70th Annual Pacific Orchid Expo will dazzle your senses. The POE is an absolute marvel, and one of the best orchid shows in the US, displaying an impressive array of diverse fauna from all over the world. 

Where: SF County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers): 1199 9th Ave San Francisco 94122
For more information on the Pacific Orchid Exposition.

 

EXPLORE MORE:
The Ultimate Guide to Fisherman's Wharf

38 Fun Activities in San Francisco That Don’t Involve Alcohol or Food
The Best Restaurants for Group Dinners in San Francisco

 

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