The SF Ballet is the oldest ballet company in the United States. They got their start here in 1933.
The San Francisco Ballet Company was the first to perform the Nutcracker in the US. It premiered at the War Memorial Opera House on Christmas Eve, 1944. It's turned into a tradition for this dance company and one of their most popular performances each year.
Most of their performances are still held at the historic War Memorial Opera House at 301 Van Ness - right across the street from City Hall. It first opened its doors in 1932. After the 1989 earthquake, the building had to be retrofitted and is now a state-of-the-art facility.
The typical season for the SF Ballet is from January - May. They also perform the Nutcracker every December.
Here are the performances remaining on this spring's SF Ballet calendar.
One of the most highly anticipated performances by the SF Ballet every year is the Nutcracker. They offer several performances throughout the month of December.
The first performance in 2013 was on Wednesday, December 11. The final show was on Sunday, December 29.
The 2014 performances will run on a similar schedule. I'll post more details once they announce their schedule in the early fall of 2014.
During a performance of the San Francisco Ballet Company, you will see attendees wearing everything from jeans to cocktail dresses. While you are allowed to go casual, I always think it's a fun excuse to dress up a little.
Most people choose business casual attire as they are coming after work. If you dress in business casual attire, you will fit right in.
There are dozens of great restaurants within a few blocks of the Opera House in Hayes Valley. To remain close, you will want to look for restaurants near Hayes and Gough Streets.
One of the great things about choosing a restaurant nearby is that the staff working at these restaurants will ensure you make it to your SF Ballet performance on time. The restaurants in this area service theater, symphony and ballet attendees all the time, so just tell them you are going to a performance and they will get you there on time.
I do recommend making reservations in advance. That way you know you will get a table quickly without having to rush through dinner.
They do not seat latecomers while a work is in progress, so make sure you have plans ahead of time that will allow you to get to the performance before it begins.
In addition to the nearby restaurants, you can also eat right at the War Memorial Opera House. They offer an elegant dinner buffet (brunch on Sundays) before every performance.
The buffet includes a number of gourmet options. They begin serving two hours before the show starts.
You can also grab a more casual meal either before the show or during intermission. There are two options: Patina's Cafe Express and Dress Circle Cafe. Both offer light sandwiches, a few salads and meat or cheese plates. They also have some fun drinks and yummy desserts.
You will find hundreds of great hotel options in San Francisco. Here are several recommendations based on budget, amenities and location. You will also find a few that are near the War Memorial Opera House.
These performances are centrally located, so you have several great options to get here.
Driving: If you decide to drive, there are several parking garages nearby. All stay open for one hour after the performance. Many are only a block or two away, so this gives you plenty of time to get back to your car. Here are a few of the best options.
Want to book a parking spot in advance? Use GottaPark to reserve and pay for a spot before you arrive. On the day of the ballet, all you have to do is hand your voucher to the parking attendant and pull right into your pre-paid spot.
There are several great options that stop within a few blocks of the War Memorial Opera House. Here are your best ones based on the neighborhood you are staying in.
From Union Square:
From Fisherman's Wharf:
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