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New Years San Francisco 2016

Top Events & Activities for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in SF

San Francisco is one of the best places to celebrate New Year's Eve. You'll find a variety of celebrations from 21 and older pub crawls to the SF Symphony's annual Masquerade Ball.

On New Year's Eve, you can also take a cruise, catch some live music, or join friends for a night out on the town.

This year, New Year's Eve falls on a Wednesday night.

You'll find plenty of activities on New Year's Day too. You can head out on a special New Year's Day cruise, visit a few of the famous San Francisco attractions, or lay low watching some great college football games.

New Year's Eve Activities and Events

Holiday Attraction Schedule

Many attractions close early on New Year's Eve. As you plan your visit, make sure to check out my list of closing times for top SF attractions on New Year's Eve.

Learn More: Holiday Attraction Schedules


Fireworks Over the Bay

One of the largest events this New Years in San Francisco is the Fireworks display over the Bay. This annual event is just to the south of the Ferry Building near the SF Bay Bridge. The show kicks off at 11:59pm.

Learn More: Tips to Attend the New Year's Eve Fireworks Display


21+ Parties & Events

One of the most popular ways to ring in the New Year in San Francisco is at a fun 21+ party. You will find dozens of options, many are at high-end hotels. They feature a variety of music options, dancing, and a night full of fun and entertainment. My favorite part about them is that most charge a set fee and include drinks all night long.

Learn More: Check Out the Top 21+ Parties for New Year's Eve 2015/2016


New Year's Eve Cruises

A unique way to spend your New Year's is aboard a cruise on the SF Bay. It's one of the few places in the US you can enjoy this type of adventure on NYE. You will find a variety of cruises from family friendly options to 21+ party boats. You will also find some upscale dinner and fireworks cruise options.

Learn More: Check Out SF Bay Cruises for New Year's Eve


New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball with the SF Symphony

Dress to the nines in your favorite ball gown or tuxedo and head over to the War Memorial Opera House to celebrate with the SF Symphony. The event starts at 9pm with the SF Symphony concert. After the show, the night continues with complimentary La Marca Prosecco, desserts, dancing, and a toast at midnight. Tickets range from around $100 to $200 per person.

Learn More: Read More about the SF Symphony


SF BAllet: Nutcracker

Catch one of the last San Francisco Ballet performances of the Nutcracker. On NYE, they offer two shows. One is a day time show that starts at 11am. The second is an afternoon show that starts at 4pm.

Tickets: On Sale Now

Learn More: Find Out More About the SF Nutcracker


New Year's Eve One Day Run

Run into the new year on the New Year's One Day. You can choose from the 24-hour (starts at 9am), 12-hour (starts at 12pm), or the 6-hour (starts at 6pm) run on Thursday, December 31. You'll run a 1.061 mile loop in Crissy Field with beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island.

Learn More: Click Here to Register Today


NYE at the SF Jazz Center

Head over to the new SF Jazz Center on New Years Eve for Maceo Parker. This funky New Year's Eve Party includes two shows. The first is at 8pm. The second is at 10:30pm and is for members only The second show includes complimentary champagne and a balloon drop at midnight. Tickets start at $40 for the GA Dance Floor. Reserved seats start at $65 per person.

Learn More: SF Jazz Center's Official Website


Concerts & Live Music

There are several great shows on NYE in San Francisco. One of the biggest performances is Patti Smith at The Fillmore. She take the stage at 9pm. Click the link below for a full list of performers this night in SF.

Learn More: NYE Live Music Performances


Paula Poundstone at The Palace of Fine Arts

Make it a NYE to remember with Paula Poundstone. She is well known for her one hour comedy shows on HBO. She is also a frequent guest and National Public Radio's weekly news quiz show called Wait...Don't Tell Me. Her NYE show starts at 8pm.

Learn More: Find the Full Comedy Schedule for NYE


Top Hotels in SF

I always recommend checking out the deals on TripAdvisor too before you book your room. They have an entire section of hotel deals. You will find discounts at hotels in Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and throughout the city. Click here for a list of their current deals for New Year's Eve.


Fancy Dinner Options

If you love heading out for a nice dinner to celebrate NYE in San Francisco, then you have many of great options. Here are a few places to check out this year. I recommend making your reservations ASAP, as they fill up quickly.

The list below is from 2014. The 2015 menus should be ready some time in November. Check back then for my updated recommendations.

  • 5A5: Prix-fixe dinner, close to the fireworks/pier, so you can enjoy your dinner and walk down after, Financial District/Embarcadero

  • 750 Restaurant & Bar: 3-course meal feature Prime Rib, Surf & Turf, or Salmon, $55 for adults, 5pm to 11pm, Financial District/Embarcadero

  • A16: 5 course meal for $95 per person, wine pairings also available at an additional cost, Marina

  • Anzu: 5 course meal with options within each course, $95 per person, with $125 cost per person with wine pairing, Downtown/Union Square

  • Campton Place: 5 course meal from 5:30pm to 8pm for $145, from 8pm on they will serve a special 8 course meal for $235 per person, Downtown/Union Square

  • First Crush Restaurant Wine Bar & Lounge: 3-course prix fixe menu for $65, including wine for a total of $115 per person, vegetarian options available, Downtown/Union Square

  • One Market Restaurant: Four-course meal, 1st seating from 6pm to 7:30pm is $80 per person; 2nd Seating is 8:30pm to 10pm and $135 per person, Financial District, Embarcadero

  • The Palace: Pre-paid prix fixe menu with 13 courses and all you can drink wine pairing (tax and tip included), $500 per person, Mission

  • Range: 4 course meal for $125 per person, regular menu offered in the bar, Mission

  • Red Dog: 4-course dinner and champagne toast for $75 per person, seating at 7pm or 9:30pm, SOMA
Make your reservations for these and other great places on OpenTable.com today.

Public Transit Hours

On New Year's Eve in San Francisco, you will find extended hours for BART, Caltrain, and SF's Muni. The details below are from 2014, but they are often the same from year to year. All of these agencies typically announce their schedules about a week prior to NYE. I'll update these once the new details are available.

BART (2014 Details)

BART runs trains until around 3am. Special service running to and from San Francisco will start at 8pm. This gives you a little extra time to catch a ride home. Also, please note, due to the additional trains running after 8pm, not all trains stop at all stations. Here is what you can expect.

Into San Francisco after 8pm
BART Line Service Details
Pittsburg/Bay Point Exit at Montgomery (no stop at Embarcadero)
Richmond Exit at Montgomery (no stop at Embarcadero)
Dublin/Pleasanton Exit at Embarcadero (no stop at Montgomery)
Fremont Exit at Embarcadero (no stop at Montgomery)
Millbrae/Daly City Exit at Montgomery to avoid overcrowding

Leaving San Francisco after Midnight
BART Line Service Details
Pittsburg/Bay Point Board at Montgomery (no stop at Embarcadero)
Richmond Board at Montgomery (no stop at Embarcadero)
Dublin/Pleasanton
  • Board at Embarcadero (no stop at Montgomery)
  • First East Bay stop is Lake Merritt (no West Oakland stop)
Fremont
  • Board at Embarcadero (no stop at Montgomery)
  • First East Bay stop is Lake Merritt (no West Oakland stop)
Millbrae/Daly City Board at Montgomery, skips Embarcadero and then makes all stops

Click here to download BART.gov's timetable for New Year's Eve.

Caltrain (2014 Details)

Caltrain offers a few additional late night trains that make all local stops between SF and San Jose's Diridon Station. They are at 12:45am, 1:15am, 1:45am, and 2:15am. All trains will leave when full (this means the 2:15am train might leave early with no additional train running after it). They expect the last train to be the fullest, so plan on taking an earlier train if possible.

Caltrain also offers free rides on NYE starting at 8pm and ending when the final special train arrives in San Jose.

SF Muni (2014 Details)

SF's Muni offers free transit from 8pm to 5am. Here are a few additional details:

  • Muni Metro hours will extend to 4am between West Portal and the Embarcadero; they will extend to 2:15am between West Portal and 4th and King Streets
  • F Market streetcar line will be serviced by buses after 4pm
  • Extra Owl Service for the following routes: 5 Fulton, 14 Mission, 22 Fillmore, 24 Divisadero, 38 Geary, 90 and 91 Owl and the L and N Owl bus routes

Do not tag your Clipper Card during these times or you will be charged the regular fee.

Free Cab Rides Home: Berg Injury Law Offices (2014 Details)

You can also catch a free cab ride home thanks to Berg Injury Law Offices. This program includes a ride home (not to another drinking establishment) for those up to $35. They start on Wednesday night at 10pm and last until 4am on Thursday morning.

Call 415.282.4141 to request your ride (no guarantees are made due to the high volume this night). Riders should then request that their receipt be sent to Berg Injury Lawyers. Please tip your drivers when you arrive too.


New Year's Day

If you didn't party too hard on New Year's Eve, you can also enjoy a number of fun activities the next day. Here are just some of the top things to see and do on New Year's Day in San Francisco.

Attractions Open on New Year's Day

On New Year's Day, you will find a number of attractions open including the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39, the SF Zoo, and the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. One special treat this day is that you will also get free admission into the gorgeous Botanical Gardens.

Learn More: Hours for All Top Attractions on New Year's Day


Tours & Cruises

Bay Cruise Adventure

  • 60-minute ride around the SF Bay
  • Cruise past Alcatraz Island, the Palace of Fine Arts, and Fort Point
  • Ride under the Golden Gate Bridge - twice!
  • Listen to narration along the way about the attractions and SF's history
  • Several cruises between 10:15am and 5pm
  • Buy your tickets today

Bike the Golden Gate Bridge

  • Guided three-hour tour from SF to Sausalito
  • Ride along the SF waterfront, up and over the Golden Gate Bridge, and on some small hills until you reach the seaside town of Sausalito
  • Stop along the way for pictures and to learn more from your expert guide
  • Ferry back to SF from Sausalito
  • Reserve your spot today

Best Places to Watch College Football

One of my favorite things to do on New Year's Day is watch some college football. Here are some great sports bars where you can enjoy the games.

Nickies: Lower Haight neighborhood; pub food available all day including beer battered fish & chips, mac & cheese and gourmet burgers; normally opens at noon; 466 Haight Street (between Webster & Fillmore Streets)

Final Final: Marina District; fun, but often crowded sports bar; mostly locals; very limited food menu; 2990 Baker Street (at Lombard)

Green's Sports Bar: Russian Hill/Nob Hill area; great place to watch football; bar only - no food; normally opens around 10am; 2239 Polk Street

Kezar Pub: Haight Ashbury/Cole Valley; small, but popular sports bar near Golden Gate Park; full pub menu that includes wings, tacos and burgers - their Bangers and Mash is also amazing!; usually opens around 11:30am; 770 Stanyan Street

Union Square Sports Bar: Union Square; it's a little bit of a dive bar, but has several TVs and centrally located; drinks only - no food; usually opens around 11am; 115 Mason Street

Additional pages You will Enjoy

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The Perfect Day in the Civic Center Area

> > New Year's Eve & Day

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