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Christmas in San Francisco

Things to Do on Christmas Eve & Day in 2015

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.

Christmas Window at Macy's in SF

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.

Click here to skip down to events and activities planned on Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve in San Francisco

Additional events will be added as they are finalized. Here are just a few that are already scheduled.

Holiday Attraction Schedule for Christmas Eve

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.

Learn More: Holiday Attraction Schedule for Christmas Eve & Day

SF Ballet's Nutcracker on Christmas Eve in San Francisco 2015

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.

Tickets: On Sale Now

Learn More: Additional Information on SF's Ballet

A Christmas Carol

This Dicken's Christmas classic plays at the Geary Theater through A.C.T on Christmas Eve Day. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge as he gets a second chance to change the way he deals with Christmas each year. It's the perfect way to kick off this special holiday with friends and family.

Tickets: Tickets at Up to 50% Off on Goldstar

Learn More: Full December Theater Calendar

The Santaland Diaries

This funny production is heading into its 14th year in San Francisco. Written by funny guy David Sedaris, The Santaland Diaries is a hilarious look at traditional Santalands that you find in shopping malls all around the US. It's a solo act, performed by Crumpet the Elf, as he talks more about the people that work and visit Santalands during the holidays.

Dates: December 24 at 3pm, and Other Dates in December

Tickets: On Sale at Up to 50% Off

Brian Setzer Orchestra

Enjoy the music of the Brian Setzer Orchestra on Christmas Eve. This swing and jump blues band plays at The Warfield at 8pm.

Tickets: Find Tickets at Up to 50% Off on Goldstar

Learn More: Find Additional Concerts in SF this Christmas Eve

Your Insider's Guide to San Francisco eBook

ebook for SF Tourism TipsSave time and money with my eBook, Your Insider's Guide to San Francisco. This 300+ page book is full of information on top attractions, museums, and activities. It also includes recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and nightlife activities, as well as, eight self-guided tours.

The best part is that you can grab it up for only $2.99! That's right, for less than $3, you get all this information in just seconds. It will make your planning much eaiser! This deal is available until the 2016 edition becomes available on December 15. Click here to learn more or click the button below to buy your copy today!

Christmas Eve Dinner Recommendations

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.

Here are just a few of the special menus scheduled for Christmas Eve Dinner.

  1. 501 Zingari: Four-course dinner from 3pm to 10pm for $69 per person

  2. 750 Restaurant & Bar: 3-course prix fixe menu with roasted beef tenderloin, smoked salmon, or roasted rack of lamb

  3. Bobo's: Serving off their regular steak menu from 5pm to 11pm on Christmas Eve

  4. Bourbon Steak: 4-course prix fixe menu for $125 per person

  5. Burritt Room & Tavern: 3-course meal with spiced brined Sonoma duck with a Niman Ranch honey glazed ham for $48 per person from 4 - 8pm

  6. Campton Place: 5-course meal at $145 per person

  7. L'Olivier: Serving a special menu and regular menu from 5:30pm to 10pm

  8. Luce: Special 3-course prix-fixe menu $95 for adults, $140 with wine pairing, $45 for kids 4 - 12 years old

  9. OneUP Restaurant & Lounge: 4-course Christmas Eve Dinner for $68 per person, $38 for children 4 - 12

Secure your spot early, by booking a table on

Hornblower Supper Cruise 2015

If you want a unique experience for dinner this Christmas Eve, then check out this dinner cruise offered by Hornblower Cruises:

  • 3-hour cruise
  • Holiday dinner buffet with gourmet selections
  • Live entertainment and dancing
  • Wine and cocktails available for purchase
  • Cruise leaves at 3:30 pm and returns around 6:30 pm (boarding starts at 3pm)
  • Dress code is upscale casual to business casual. Jeans are not allowed
  • Per person cost is around $129 per person (cruise is $98+ taxes and other fees)
  • Discover a limited number of seats available on Goldstar starting at $77 each
  • Buy tickets on Goldstar today!

Sunset Cruise with Heavy Appetizers

You can also head out on the open waters on this more casual cruise. It lasts two-hours and offers plenty of food for dinner in their buffet.

  • 2-hour cruise
  • Hearty appetizer buffet with sandwiches, salads, desserts, and one cocktail (you can purchase additional cocktails at the bar)
  • Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Dress code is casual and has open seating
  • Cruise leaves at 5:30pm
  • Per person cost is around $64.00, find a limited number of tickets on Goldstar starting at $32 per person
  • Buy your tickets on Goldstar today!

Save on Your Stay

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.

TripAdvisor: What's the #1 hotel in San Francisco? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor!

Bookings: Save on your Hotel with, Planet Earth's #1 Accommodation Site. No booking fees ever!

Expedia: Book early and save! Find special deals in hot destinations only at!

Christmas Day in San Francisco 2015

Attraction Schedules for Christmas Day

Many paid attractions close on Christmas in San Francisco. However, several key attractions are free and open almost every day of the year.

Learn More: Click here for a full Christmas Day schedule of SF's top attractions.

Supper Cruises

Hornblower will offer two great cruises on Christmas Day 2015.

  • Premier Christmas Day Dinner Cruise
    • 3-hour cruise that leaves at 3:30pm from Pier 3
    • Three-course seated premier dinner plus a dessert buffet
    • Hosted premium bar
    • Beautiful holiday decor
    • Business casual dress, jeans are not allowed
    • Price starts at $168 per person + taxes (estimated at $224.60 per person with taxes)
    • Buy your tickets to this dinner cruise today!

  • Christmas Day Supper Cruise
    • 3-hour cruise on the SF Bay
    • Holiday supper buffet with gourmet selections
    • Live entertainment and dancing
    • Wine and cocktails available for purchase
    • Cruise leaves at 3:30 pm and returns around 6:30 pm
    • Dress code is upscale casual to business casual. Jeans are not allowed
    • Tickets are available now: Starting at $98.00 per person + taxes (estimated at $129.91 per person with taxes and other fees)
    • Buy your tickets today!

  • Casual Twilight Cruise with Hearty Appetizer Buffet
    • 2-hour cruise on the SF Bay
    • Leaves Pier 43 1/2 at 5:30pm
    • Casual cruise that offers heated indoor seats as well as outdoor seating
    • Cruise past top attractions such as Alcatraz Island, Sausalito, & the Bay Bridge
    • Ride under the Golden Gate Bridge - twice!
    • Enjoy the SF Skyline at dusk
    • Full per person price starts at $64, limited number of tickets on Goldstar starting at $32 per person
    • Buy your tickets today on Goldstar!

Lunch & Dinner Recommendations

Many restaurants open on Christmas Day also feature a special menu.

  • 501 Zingari: Four-course meal from $69 per person, 1pm to 10pm, kids menu available as well

  • 750 Restaurant & Bar: 3-course prix-fixe featuring roasted beef tenderloin, smoked salmon, and roast rack of lamb

  • Americano Restaurant: 3-course holiday dinner starting at 2pm, wine pairing available

  • Bobo's: Serving steak from their regular menu from 5pm to 11pm

  • Campton Place: Multiple choice 5 course tasting menu for $145 per person

  • The Cavalier: Prix fixe menu for $85 per person, 10:30am to 7:30pm

  • L'Olivier: 4-course dinner at $60.50 per person, serving from 3pm to 10pm

  • Luce: Serving both Christmas Brunch and Dinner; Brunch for $85 per person with bubbly, $45 for the kids; Dinner for $95 per person, $140 with wine, $45 for kids

  • McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant: Serving holiday specials

  • The Oak Room: Appetizer and dessert buffet with 5 entree choices: turkey, prime rib, pork loin medallions, maple glazed salmon, wild mushroom ravioli, $97 for adults, $47 for kids under 12

I recommend you book a table as soon as possible, as restaurants fill up quickly. The easiest way to book your table is through

Tours Operating on Christmas Day

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 2015.

  • Golden Gate Bay Cruise
    • Cruises depart several times this day between 10am and 3:45pm
    • One hour cruise on the SF Bay
    • Starts at Fishermans Wharf, sails under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz and many other attractions along the bay
    • Narrated tour, available in several languages, where you will learn all about SF's history and these famous attractions
    • Full bar with drinks and snacks
    • Buy your tickets on sale on Goldstar for up to 50% off today

  • San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour
    • 3 hour guided tour from Fishermans Wharf to Sausalito
    • Bike along SF's waterfront and over the Golden Gate Bridge
    • After the tour, you can continue biking or explore Sausalito
    • Ticket includes a ferry ride back to SF from Sausalito
    • Tours offered at both 10am and 1pm on Christmas Day
    • Tickets start at around $60 per person
    • Buy your tickets today

  • Chinatown Walking Tour
    • Two to three hour walking tour of the famous Chinatown Neighborhood
    • Highlights include a stop at an Herbal Pharmacy, the Fortune Cookie Factory, and a Chinese Temple
    • You'll also walk past and learn more about other historical landmarks throughout the district
    • Walk through the Stockton Street Food Market
    • Tour starts at 10am
    • Tickets start at around $35 per person
    • Buy your tickets today

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Mass

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

Other Events in December

sf symphony
new years eve
ice skating
SF Symphony
New Year's
Eve Events
Full December

> > Christmas & Christmas Eve 2015

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