Christmas in San Francisco is a magical time. The air is crisp, but warm enough to walk around and explore this beautiful city. I also love this time of year as the city is full of gorgeous holiday lights.
You will find quite a few things to do this holiday season from theater performances to shopping in Union Square or Pier 39.
Many attractions close on Christmas Day, but you can still find fun activities such as cruising down Lombard Street, visiting the Japanese Tea Garden, or walking through the Mission to see its colorful murals.
You will also find several recommendations on places to eat for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Each section below offers several options at every price point.
Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate the holidays? How about jumping aboard a Hornblower Cruise? You will find cruises each day that include dinner, dancing, and fun on the SF Bay.
Additional events will be added as they are finalized. Here are just a few that are already scheduled.
Some attractions close early on Christmas Eve, even if they are open the next day. Before you finalize your plans for Christmas Eve Day, make sure to check out the closing times for many of SF's major attractions.
The San Francisco Ballet performs two shows on Christmas Eve in San Francisco. You can catch their interpretation of The Nutcracker at 11am or 4pm at the War Memorial Opera House. This is one of their most popular performances every year and tickets sell out quickly. If you plan to go to one of these performances, I recommend buying your tickets right away.
Disney's The Lion King takes the stage on Saturday, December 24 at 2pm. This Broadway musical brings its cast of animals to life at every performance. It's the perfect way to kick off this special holiday with friends and family.
Learn More: Full December theater calendar
Catch one of two Cirque du Soleil performances on Christmas Eve. This year's show is called Luzia, a magical and colorful Walking Dream of Mexico. All performances are under the Big Top behind AT&T Park. This year's Christmas Eve shows are at 1:30pm and 5pm.
Don't miss out on the final performance of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. This classic musical tells the story of a song and dance team in Vermont that is falling for a sister act. It's a funny, high energy performance that you will remember for years to come. There are two shows on Christmas Eve, one at Noon and a second at 5:30pm.
Discounted Tickets: Find a limited number of tickets at up to 50% off
Enjoy this year's performance of Santaland Diaries at The Eureka Theater. For 15 years, this hillarious holiday show, written by David Sedaris, will keep you laughing all night long. There are two shows on Christmas Eve at 2pm and 4pm.
Tickets: On sale at up to 50% off on Goldstar
Here are a few additional tickets for events on Christmas Eve. All of them are on Goldstar with discounts at up to 50% off.
*Small fee applies.
Dozens of restaurants in San Francisco open their doors on Christmas Eve. Most offer special menus so you can sit back, relax, and let the chef do all the work.
If you want a unique experience for dinner this Christmas Eve, then check out this dinner cruise offered by Hornblower Cruises:
The best way to save on your hotel stay is to shop around a little before you book. Here are just a few of the great places to save! Click on the links below to find the best deals in San Francisco for Christmas.
Many paid attractions close on Christmas in San Francisco. However, several key attractions are free and open almost every day of the year.
Many restaurants open on Christmas Day also feature a special menu. Click the link below for my recommendations for your entire family.
Even though many attractions close this day, you will still find a number of fun tours running. They range from the standard bay cruise to walking tours around SF's top districts. Here are a few of my favorites that plan to run on Christmas Day 2016.
Are you looking for something fun to do on Christmas night? One of the best options is to head out to find the best Christmas lights displays. Even though some of these places are closed, you can still take a look at their gorgeous displays. Many turn their lights on around dusk.
Hornblower will offer two great cruises on Christmas Day 2016.
Many churches throughout San Francisco will offer a Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day Mass. To help you find one, I complied this list of the best churches in the city.
It includes some that you can visit as attractions. Others on the list offer less traditional services. Use it to find the experience you seek during your stay.
Learn More: A list of churches in SF