January in San Francisco is often cool and rainy, but you will find dozens of great indoor activities to keep you busy. The top San Francisco events in January 2014 include The Book of Mormon at the Orpheum Theater, the ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Wine Festival and opening night for the SF Ballet.
Other top things to do this month include several free museum days and SF Sketchfest, one of the largest comedy festivals in the world.
The first place to look before booking any tours or event tickets is Goldstar. This online ticket retailer offers almost 200 tickets for San Francisco and the Bay Area for up to half off the full retail price.
I love using them for theater performances, walking tours and bay cruises. They are also the first place I look for tickets to annual events and comedy shows.
Here is just a sample of what you will find on Goldstar.com for January.
North Beach & Chinatown Food and Walking Tour
Cabaret: Kander & Ebb Masterpiece
Hornblower Supper Cruise on the SF Bay
*Additional fees apply
Are you planning on celebrating the New Year in San Francisco? If so, here you can find the best activities for both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day 2014. You will find a list of which attractions are open, the top things do to each day and recommendations on where to watch your favorite football teams in action.
Learn More: New Year's Eve & Day Events and Activities
The hottest ticket in town this January is The Book of Mormon at the Orpheum Theater. This hit musical, from the creators of South Park and the co-creator of Avenue Q, will keep you laughing all night long. Due to some explicit material, no children under 5 allowed.
Run Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Dates: November 27, 2013 - January 19, 2104
Location: Orpheum Theater
Full Theater Calendar: All January 2014 Performances
Are you still looking for the perfect place to stay during your visit? Here you will find several recommendations based on location, price and/or amenities.
Every month, many of the top SF museums offer one free admission day. Here are the days in January when you can visit your favorite SF museum free of charge.
|Date||Museums with Free Admission|
One of the largest comedy festivals every year is SF Sketchfest. This year's festival is from January 23 to February 9. For two weeks, you can catch dozens of shows throughout the city including both up-and-coming talent and internationally recognized comedians.
Learn More: Full Line-Up for This Year's Event
The public tasting for this year's ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) Wine Festival will be held on Saturday, January 25th. Head over to the Presidio between 10am and 6pm to taste some of the best Zinfandel wine from top California producers and beyond.
Learn More: Event Schedule & Ticketing Info
The 2014 season for the San Francisco Ballet starts on January 24th. Their opening performance is Giselle, with shows through February 2, 2014.
All performances are at the War Memorial Opera House across the street from San Francisco's City Hall.
Learn More: Full 2014 Schedule & Ticketing Info
Every Thursday night, the California Academy of Sciences features a 21+ special nighttime event. All include a special theme where you can learn more about a specific topic such as how earthquakes occur or the science behind fireworks. On the night of the event, you can walk around the museum visiting the exhibits, sampling a few cocktail as you mingle with locals and enjoying hands on exhibits about that night's topic. The event starts at 6pm and lasts until 10pm.
I recommend buying your ticket in advance, as the line to get in is long!
The January event themes are not yet available, but I will post them as they are announced!
Buy Tickets Today: Academy of Sciences Nightlife
The San Francisco Symphony also has several performances throughout the month of January. This month's schedule kicks off on January 8 when Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Beethoven and Bates. Other performances include Chamber Music with the Symphony on January 12 and Pinchas Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on January 26.
Twenty four years ago, for some unknown reason, a group of sealions began to make their home in the waters near Pier 39. As the numbers of sealions grew, the staff at Pier 39 decided to add platforms to encourage them to spend more time in the area. These sealions are now one of the biggest draws at this SF attraction. Head over on January 17 - 20, 2014 to help celebrate these funny characters and watch them as they jockey for position on their now famous platforms.
Learn More: Tips to Visit Pier 39 in Fisherman's Wharf
If you plan to visit a number of attractions during your stay, then I recommend looking into these three discount passes. Each one includes admission to many top museums and attractions. Read more about each one to find the perfect one to use during your visit.
Not sure which one is right for you? Check out this quick comparison chart to determine which one meets your needs the best.
The 3rd annual Bay Area Brew Fest is on January 11, 2014. This year's event is at the Fort Mason Center. Head over between 2pm and 5pm to sample craft beers from dozens of national and international brewers. Several of SF's popular gourmet food trucks will also be on hand during the festival (food sold separately).
The tickets are $40 for general admission. You can also buy VIP tickets for $50 which includes an additional hour of beer sampling starting at 1pm.
Head to the Fort Mason Center on January 16 - 19 from the San Francisco Fog Design & Art Fair. This event, sponsored by the SF MOMA, features 20th century and contemporary art from design dealers throughout the world.
January is your last chance to see A Bigger Exhibition by David Hockney. It's on display at the de Young Fine Arts Museum in SF's Golden Gate Park. This amazing exhibit features some of his most popular works and is open through January 20.
Learn More: Calendar of All Museum Exhibits in January
Grab your camera and set off on a cruise to catch gray whales during the heart of their migration. These large creatures spend most of January off the coast of Northern California and its the perfect time to head out and find them. The water can get choppy and it rains at times, but if you really want to see these amazing animals, then January is a perfect time to go!
Spots in SF
Tours of the City