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Thanksgiving in San Francisco 2017

Things to Do on Thanksgiving Day & Weekend

Are you spending Thanksgiving in San Francisco? If so, you will be excited to learn that there are a lot of fun events scheduled on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the weekend. In 2017, this popular holiday falls on November 23.

Several restaurants open their doors to serve up a variety of gourmet dishes. You can also do something a little different and enjoy your meal while cruising around the bay. In addition, many tour companies run most of their fun adventures throughout the day.

thanksgiving dinner

The rest of the weekend is also full of activity including the lighting of the Union Square Holiday Tree and Black Friday Shopping.

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Details for Thanksgiving Day

Holiday Attraction Schedule

The best place to start your planning for 2017 is to check out the opening and closing times for all of SF's main attractions. While many museums and a handful of attractions close this day, you will still find several that open their doors to visitors.

>> Click Here for a Detailed Attraction Schedule for Thanksgiving 2017


Lunch & Dinner Recommendations

You will find dozens of restaurants open on Thanksgiving in San Francisco. Many will offer a prix-fixe meal with turkey, dressing, and all of the fixings. Some also offer you the chance to choose a meal from their menu.

>> Find my top picks for lunch or dinner this Thanksgiving


Events & Tours at Up to 50% Off on Goldstar on Thanksgiving Day

  • 60-Minute Bay Cruise: Cruises around the bay, leaves from Fisherman's Wharf, several cruises a day, Full price $31, Goldstar price $15.50*

  • Cable Car Hop On/Hop Off Tour: Ride around SF on a cable car on wheels, hop on and off at up to 15 stops around town, Full price $30-$45, Goldstar $20-$30*

  • Sunset Cruise: 2-hour sunset cruise around the SF Bay, step aboard the Privateer, each ticket includes two drinks, offers spectacular views of the city of San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and more, Full price $60, Goldstar $45*

*Small service fee at checkout.


Additional SF Cruises & Tours Running on Thanksgiving Day

Hornblower Cruises

There are three Hornblower Cruises scheduled for this Thanksgiving in San Francisco. They include a Premier Dinner Cruise, a Seated Dinner Cruise, and a Dinner Buffet Cruise. All three are 3-hours long and leave from Pier 3 at 3pm or 3:30pm on Thanksgiving Day.

>> Find out more about all three cruises

San Francisco Hop On/Hop Off Tour

Spend the day visiting some of SF's top attractions. On Thanksgiving Day, you will find many of our top free attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square open. It's a fun day to explore the city on this Hop On/Hop Off tour as you learn more about SF's history.

>> More about the 24 and 48-hour tour option

Find other top tours for Thanksgiving Day


Hotel Recommendations

Book your hotel early and save! Click the links below to find the best deals currently running during your stay.

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

Booking: Find great deals all around San Francisco for your upcoming stay!


Are you visiting with kids? Here is a quick guide to the 25 most kid friendly places in the city. All offer a fun experience for both your kids and you!


Shopping Options for Thanksgiving Day 2017

If you plan on going shopping, I recommend heading over to the Fishermans Wharf area. Most shops in that area are open this holiday.

Chinatown is another great option as most of the shops and restaurants run their regular hours.

If you head to Union Square, plan on most shops being closed as they prepare for Black Friday.

  • Ghirardelli Square: The management here lets the shops decide if they want to open or not on Thanksgiving Day. However, they did confirm that at least some of the shops will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

  • Pier 39: About 75% of the shops and restaurants on the pier are open

  • Union Square: A few shops in Union Square area also open, but it's more hit or miss in this neighborhood.

  • Chinatown: Here you will find inexpensive items such as San Francisco gifts, clothing and jewelry.

Other Events on Thanksgiving in San Francisco 2017

San Francisco Turkey Trot: This annual event only takes a limited number of entrants, around 1,400, and registration is open for 2017. The cost is $38 per person. The run takes place in Golden Gate Park. The kids race is at 8am and the Turkey Trot starts at 8:40am on Thanksgiving morning. The course is mostly flat.

Date & Time: Thursday, November 23 at 8:30am

Location: Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park

Learn More: Visit their website to register today


Thanksgiving Day 5k: Starts at 8am at AT&T Park and runs along the waterfront. Registration is open and it starts at around $20 per person. It benefits the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks.

Date & Time: TBD for 2017

Location: AT&T Park

Learn More: Visit their website to register today


Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz, also called Unthanksgiving Day: This one day event is to commemorate the 1969 - 1971 occupation of Alcatraz by the "Indians of All Tribes." This sunrise celebration includes traditional Native American dancing, singing, and other performances.
  • Boats leave Pier 33 every 15 minutes between 4:15am and 6am
  • Everyone must return from Alcatraz on the last boat at 8:45am
  • Tickets are $14 per person, kids under 5 are free
  • Get tickets by calling 415-981-7625 or from the ticket booth at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing, the ticket booth opens that morning at 4:15am

Details for Thanksgiving Weekend

All museums and attractions run regular schedules for the rest of the weekend. All tour companies run their full schedules also. In addition to these activities, here are a few other fun things to check out this weekend.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies

You will find a variety of tree lighting ceremonies this weekend in SF. The biggest is the annual lighting of the tree in Union Square. This year, it's scheduled for Friday, November 24. The ceremony begins at 6pm with the tree lighting finishing at around 6:40pm.

More: All the details you need to see the Union Square tree lighting ceremony

More: Click here for a full list of tree lighting ceremonies and other holiday festivals this weekend.

Trevor Noah at the Masonic

This weekend, Trevor Noah is in town performing several shows througout the weekend. He will perform 4 shows this weekend including two on Friday and two on Saturday. Don't miss out on your chance to see him live on stage. Click the links below for ticketing information.

SF Theater: Disney's Aladdin

This weekend's top show is Disney's Aladdin. This take on the popular movie is sure to please the entire family. With colorful costumes and gorgeous sets, this musical follows the story of a young Middle Eastern boy struggling to survive on the streets. His luck changes when he finds a magic lamp. You will find several performances this weekend.

>> Find tickets for Aladdin this weekend on Ticketmaster.com

Symphony

On Friday, Saturday or Sunday, head over to Davies Symphony Hall to see MTT Conducts Mahler's Fourth. Performances begin at 8pm on Friday and Saturday. The Sunday performance is a mantinee and it begins at 2pm.

>> More about attending a performance and ticketing information

San Francisco Opera

There are three performances by the SF Opera this weekend. The first is Girls of the Golden West on Friday (11/24) at 7:30pm and Sunday (11/26) at 2pm. The second show Turnadot. It runs on Saturday (11/25) at 7:30pm. Both are at the War Memorial Opera House.

More Details: 2017 SF Opera calendar

Ice Skating Rinks

Each year throughout most of November and December, there is a temporary ice skating rink in Union Square. Each session is 90 minutes and starts on the hour, every even hour starting at 10am.

A second temporary ice skating rink is open at the Embarcadero Center throughout November and December at the Embarcadero Center.

Santa in San Francisco

Santa will make an appearance several times over the Thanksgiving Weekend. You will find him at special holiday events as well as at malls and shopping centers all around town.

More: Click here to find out where he will be

Concerts & Live Music

This Thanksgiving in San Francisco you will also find several great live shows. You will find top shows at Nob Hill Masonic Center, Bill Graham Auditorium, and several small venues all around town.

More: Find a full list of shows this weekend in SF

Black Friday Shopping in San Francisco

Black Friday is a big shopping day in SF. This is when you'll want to head back to the places with larger retail stores for the best deals.

  • Union Square: Here you will find several shops with great Black Friday deals. Macy's is the anchor store here - with several others that surround it.

  • Westfield Shopping Center: There is also a large shopping center about five blocks from Union Square. It's an indoor mall with dozens of stores. It is on the corner of Market and Fifth Streets.

Read more about the 8 places I recommend for you to shop on Black Friday.

Find more details, maps and tips for shopping in the Union Square area.

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