It’s here, the season of go, go, go. The time of year when there is so much to do, and you want everything to be magical. With so many events, shopping to be done and making plans for everyone all while working a full-time job and taking care of everything else. It’s a whirlwind but you wouldn’t have it any other way. With so much to do and so little time, you’re naturally looking for ways to make the holidays special without too much effort. We make it easy for you with this bucket list of must-sees this holiday season in San Francisco.
5 Most Wonderful Things To Do For The Holidays in San Francisco
Tilden Hotel is proud to be one of the sponsors of The Winter Park Ice Rink at Civic Center to promote the creation of a holiday experience that brings the community together, revitalizes Civic Center Plaza and gives back to those in need. Look for our banner as you skate and then come to The Douglas Room for #TildenOnIce. Beginning Friday, November 30, The Winter Park ice rink will bring a creative new holiday experience to a well-established Bay Area neighborhood. Book our Tilden on Ice package for free ice skating tickets!
Located in the historic Civic Center Plaza, The Winter Park is San Francisco’s first-holiday ice rink and track—and the first attraction of its kind in the Bay Area! In addition to the ice rink, the 400-foot skating track will weave ice skating fun through a lighted tree forest. This season, The Winter Park at Civic Center will also host fun San Francisco-based special events such as a holiday tree lighting ceremony and Learn to Curl, weekly curling lessons with instructors from the Granite Curling Club. Buy Tickets
The streets around Union Square will transform into a San Francisco style winter wonderland for five weeks of performances and entertainment, family-friendly activities, food trucks, beer and wine gardens, craft holiday cocktails, and plenty of things to Instagram. As you shop, check out the cute kittens and puppies for adoption in the Macy’s windows as part of SF SPCA & Macy’s 32nd Annual Holiday Windows. Enjoy ice skating by the beautiful and reusable tree decorated with more than 43,000 twinkling energy-efficient LED lights and 700 shining ornaments. Union Square has a large annual menorah public celebration of Chanukah that started back in 1975. At that time, it was the largest outside of Isreal. It continues today and events start on December 2nd. On December 6th, The Union Square Ice Rink is never more fabulous during one of the City’s most popular events of the holiday season — Drag Queens on Ice. Watch some of San Francisco’s fiercest Bay Area drag queens lip-sync and skate the night away for the ninth consecutive year.
There’s nothing like seeing 8,000 Santas in one place at one time: hundreds to thousands of Santas will take over as the annual commotion that fills the streets and dive bars with booze laden Santas traversing Union Square and the rest of The City! All are welcome but we ask that you wear a full Santa/Elf suit (T-shirts don’t count and just a hat isn’t enough). Please bring one new, unwrapped toy that can be donated to the Toys for Tots effort by the United States Marine Corps.
Saturday, December 8th
Starts at Union Square at 12pm
The Dickens Christmas Fair revives the tradition of an old English Victorian Christmas with theaters, a music hall, dance parties, taverns, shops, stalls, food, street vendors and period costumes. Visit London – at the historic Cow Palace Exhibition Halls! Enter the winding lanes of Victorian London and immerse yourself in a world of music halls, theatres, pubs, dance parties, and charming shops overflowing with hand-made holiday treasures. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Discover holiday revelry in this lamp-lit city brimming with over 800 lively and colorful characters from the imagination of Charles Dickens, the pages of history, and the sometimes saucy world of the Victorian stage.
November 17 – December 23
Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, San Francisco
New Year’s Eve is a non-stop celebration all around the city. Just stumbling distance from Tilden Hotel, the ALIST New Years Eve Party at the Westin Union Square features 10 different DJs playing top 40, EDM, house, mashup, international beats, 80s/90s and more! For the best fireworks, head down to the waterfront near both the Ferry Building and the SF Bay Bridge for one of the most attended fireworks displays with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. The display kicks off at 11:59pm and lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you want to avoid the crowds, head out into the bay for unobstructed views. City Kayak takes about 30 experienced paddlers out for midnight outing. The lucky group, led by guides in a motorboat, paddle out for a front-row fireworks view and a glass of ice-cold champagne. If you want a less aerobic celebration, The Speakeasy New Year’s Eve Cruise aboard the Fume Blanc is one of the first San Francisco celebrations to sell out every year, and it’s no wonder when you think about the music and blackjack tables to keep you entertained when you aren’t looking at the scenery.
If all that is just too much excitement, San Francisco is a city of variety. New Year’s Eve Meditation Party at the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center. Ring out the Old and Ring in the New with Meditation, Games, Live Music, Refreshments, Words of Wisdom, “Letting Go Of The Old” contemplative Fire Ceremony.