San Francisco Events in December 2017

Festivals, Lighting Ceremonies, & Christmas Activities

San Francisco events in December 2017 include several tree lighting ceremonies, Christmas activities, and other fun things to do. You can head to the theater to see Disney's Aladdin, catch one of the SF Ballet's popular Nutcracker performances, or visit Santa Claus at one of several locations around town.

City Hall at Christmas

For some of the links on this page, I receive a small commission when you purchase. You don't pay more when you buy through me and it gives me the chance to offer you all this great content for free!

Most Popular San Francisco Events in December 2017

Click the links below to jump to the section with more information on these top December events.

Eve & Day
New Year's
Eve Activities
Holiday Tree
Lighting Events
SF Ballet's
Christmas NYE tree lighting Nutcracker

SF Theater: Disney's Aladdin

Dates: 11/1 - 1/7

Tickets: Find tickets to all performance

In December 2017, you will have the chance to see Disney's Aladdin on stage at the Orpheum Theater. It follows the same story as the popular movie of the same name. It includes some of the most popular songs from the movie as well as a few new ones. It's one of the best family San Francisco events in December.

Additional Shows this Month: Click here for a full calendar of theater productions in SF in December

SF Theater: A Christmas Carol

Dates: 12/1 - 12/24

Discounted Tickets: Ticket discounts on select performances

Tickets: Find tickets to all performances on Ticketmaster

A Christmas Carol is a beloved San Francisco tradition this time of year. For more than 40 years, the SF American Conservatory Theater has performed this musical version of Charles Dickens' classic tale with a lively cast, colorful costumes, and spooky ghosts. You can catch this holiday favorite at the Geary Theater all month long, even on Christmas Eve. Make sure to plan ahead as tickets sell out quickly!

Additional Shows this Month: Click here for a full calendar of theater productions in SF in December

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Dates: Saturdays & Sundays from November 18 - December 17

For the first three weekends of December in San Francisco, you have the unique opportunity of immersing yourself in a world centuries and half a globe away, to Charles Dickens' Victorian London, where it's always Christmas Eve.

Here you'll find hundreds of costumed guests, as well as lamplit lanes, pubs, theaters, music halls, and shops, like a Victorian Christmas card come to life.

Learn More: Visit their site for details and tickets

SF Ballet: The Nutcracker

Dates: December 13 - 30

The SF Ballet will perform The Nutcracker again this December at the War Memorial Opera House. It was performed here for the first time in the US on Christmas Eve, 1944. Enjoy a performance with your entire family. Shows run from December 13 - 30.

Learn More: Find out more about these shows

Half-Priced Tickets for San Francisco Events in December

Save on your visit with these great deals on Goldstar.

Holiday Lights Double Decker Bus Tour: The best way to see SF's gorgeous holiday displays including Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and more, leaves at 5:30pm and 7pm most nights, Full price $29.99-$39.99, Goldstar $20.99-$27.99*, check availability

SF Bay Cruise: Explore the SF Bay on this popular 60-minute cruise, ride under the Golden Gate Bridge and near Alcatraz as you learn more about them and the history of SF, Full price $32, Goldstar COMP-$16*, check availability

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour - 24 Hour Ticket: Spend the day exploring SF's top attractions, 14 stops on the tour, go at your own pace, good for 24-hours, Full price $19.99-$30.99, Goldstar $13.20-19.80*, check availability

*Small service fee at checkout

Avenue Q at the New Conservatory Theater

Dates: 12/1 - 1/7

Discounted Tickets: Find discounts to select shows on Goldstar

Tickets: On sale

Avenue Q will keep you laughing all night long. This entertaining Tony Award winning musical is the adult version of Sesame Street. This entertaining show features puppets finding that the realities of adulthood are different from the shows they watched and learned from in their childhood.

More: Find a schedule of all musicals on stage this December in SF

SF Opera

Dates: Turandot: 9/8 - 12/9; Girls of the Golden West: 11/21 - 12/10

Don't miss the concluding performances of two great shows at the SF Opera. The first is Turandot, the story of a cold hearted princess that likes to challenge her suitors to a game of wits.

The second is Girls of the Golden West, which tells the story of what really happened during the days out west as everyone was fighting for gold.

Learn More: See the full Opera calendar

Free Museum Days

Dates: Several in December

Whether your interest is art, history, technology, or gardening, you are sure to be delighted by SF's variety of world-class museums, including the Asian Art Museum, Exploratorium, California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, de Young Fine Arts, Legion of Honor, and more.

Even better, you don't have to break the bank to visit them!

Learn More: Click the link below to find out which museums offer free admission on which days in December

More: Additional free things to do this month

Live Music & Concerts in SF

Dates: Several

Lucky for live music fans, San Francisco is a city with lots of great concert venues. They range from large auditoriums to more intimate spaces, and they welcome big and small names from all different genres. This month, catch top performances at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the Nob Hill Masonic Center or The Fillmore. You will also find several top shows around the SF Bay Area.

Learn More: See a full list of the top upcoming shows as well as ticketing information

Three Perfect Days in SF

Dates: Every day in December

With this three-day itinerary, you will discover the very best of San Francisco, including top attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Chinatown. You will also get to ride a cable car, go shopping, see colorful murals, and explore great neighborhoods on foot.

Make the most of your 72-hour visit to the city!

Learn More: Get the detailed itinerary

Top Places to Stay

If you plan to check out some of these great San Francisco events in December, then I recommend staying a few nights as well. The best places to stay are in SF's Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf. Both offer great access to the rest of the city. You might also want to try one of our lovely boutique hotels or splurge on a five star gem.

Five Star
Union Square Fishermans Wharf Boutique Hotel Five Star Hotels

Check out recent guest reviews and great deals today!

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

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

Tree Lighting Celebrations & Other Holiday Festivals

Dates: Several in December

The whole city is getting into the holiday spirit. Tree and Menorah lighting ceremonies continue to illuminate San Francisco this month as the holidays draw near, and it doesn't stop there!

Union Street's beautiful Victorian homes, the Embarcadero, and even the SF Zoo will all come to life with lights, and you can be a part of it!

Learn More: Check out the full schedule of ceremonies and holiday festivals

Ice Skating in SF

Dates: 11/3 - 1/7

Without a white Christmas, San Francisco still manages to bring the wintry magic of the holidays right to the heart of downtown. While you're out shopping, eating, and taking in the urban holiday decor of Union Square or the Embarcadero, take a break to catch a nice breeze on one of the outdoor skating rinks that only appear during this season. 90-minute sessions are affordable and skate rentals are available.

Learn More: Get more details about session times and rentals at Union Square

Learn More: Find out more about the Bay Area's largest outdoor rink at the Embarcadero

>> 12 top outdoor rinks in the SF Bay Area this season

Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends

Date: 12/8

Another one of the hottest San Francisco events in December is a performance at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. On Friday, December 8, Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends will take the stage for a unique performance. Their show highlights core American values in literature and music. The show starts at 8pm with the doors opening at 7pm.

Santa Con

Date: 12/9

Santa Con is huge annual event held in large cities all over the country and world, in which thousands of everyday people dress up as Santa and walk through the streets together spreading holiday cheer. Either put on your jolly red suit to join in, or head towards downtown to take in the unique sight.

Learn More: Find out more about this funky Santa event

Parol Lantern Festival & Parade

Date: 12/9

Don't miss the 15th Annual Parol Lantern Festival and Parade, a Filipino-American tradition in San Francisco showcasing the beautiful colors of their culture. This year's theme is "Let Tradition Be Our Light." Festivities start at 5pm and the parade of star-shaped lanterns and dozens of local organizations takes off from Yerba Buena Gardens at 6:15pm. Leading up to the event, you can make your own parol lantern at the Bayanihan Community Center.

Learn More: Get the details for this year's festival

Santa Skivvies Run

Date: 12/10

This is not your average run to raise awareness and fight HIV/AIDS. This is a festive and fun tradition in San Francisco's Castro district, where you get to jog approximately one mile through this neighborhood among hundreds of other Santas in their underwear!

Click the link below to register today!

Learn More: Visit their site to register

Nick Offerman at the Nob Hill Masonic Center

Date: 12/10

Nick Offerman is scheduled to perform two shows this December at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. Offerman is best known for his role in Parks and Recreation. Both shows are on 12/10. The first is at 6pm and the second starts at 8pm.

More: Find additional comedians on stage in SF

Golden State Warriors Basketball

Dates: 12/11, 12/14, 12/20, 12/22, 12/23, 12/25, 12/27, 12/29, & 12/30

Don't miss your chance to see the 2016/2017 Golden State Warriors on the court this month. It's one of the hottest San Francisco events in December. This month, they play more than a half dozen games at home in Oracle Arena in Oakland. It's a quick 20-minute train ride away from SF, so pick up your tickets today!

More: Find additional information on seeing a game in Oakland

Santa Claus in SF

Dates: Several in December

Another one of the top San Francisco events in December is when Santa Claus starts to make his rounds.

You can find him and take pictures with him at the Westfield, Japantown and Stonestown malls, as well as at the SF Zoo, the Fairmont's life-sized gingerbread house, the Ritz Carlton, Ghirardelli Square, and more!

Learn More: Click here for details on how to track down the man in the big red suit

Lighted Boat Parade

Date: 12/15

The Lighted Boat Parade has been a holiday tradition and one of the popular San Francisco events in December since 1994. It is a unique event that brings the holiday spirit out onto the bay and invites everyone to enjoy San Francisco's waterfront.

Watch the decorated boats parade past Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, Fort Mason, and Crissy Field. It runs from 6pm to 8pm.

Learn More: Read more on the Fisherman's Wharf website

SF 49ers at Home

Date: 12/17 & 12/24

The SF 49ers have two home games this month at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. They play host to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, December 17 at 1:25pm. The second game is on Christmas Eve against the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1:05pm. Head down early for pre-game tailgating and to check out their new stadium.

Learn More: Find the 49ers full schedule for 2017 + details on attending a game at Levi's Stadium

Christmas Eve & Day

Dates: 12/24 & 12/25

If you're planning to be in town for Christmas Eve and/or Day, don't worry; you'll find plenty of things to do and see. Check out the list of attractions, tours, and restaurants that remain open on this holiday and even offer special menus and services. In addition, you may want to catch a holiday performance of The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol.

Learn More: Discover the full list of what to do on Christmas Eve and Day

New Year's Eve

Date: 12/31

Whether you prefer getting dressed up for a fancy dinner, having a night out dancing, watching fireworks, or attending a special performance of the SF Symphony, you will love New Years Eve in San Francisco.

Ring in your 2018 in the City by the Bay!

Learn More: Get the details on this year's parties, which SF attractions are open, how to take public transit, and more

What to Pack

Are you looking for ideas on what to pack for your visit? My weather guide for December will give you information on the average temperatures, what to expect during your stay and some ideas on what to bring along. It's a great way to help you prepare for your visit.

>> Tips to prepare for your visit in December

Additional December Events in the SF Bay Area

SF Bay Area Calendar | Napa | Sonoma | Monterey

Other Pages You Will Enjoy

Holiday Events
Diego Rivera
Holiday Attraction
Tips to Find
SF Murals
Self-Guided Tour
of Chinatown

> SF Events > San Francisco Events in December 2017

Add your questions or comments below!

Back to the Top

Jill top right nav

Hi there! I'm Jill and I love writing about San Francisco travel as much as I love exploring my amazing city. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how I can help!

Today's top deals

Free 2018 Plannng Guide
Sign up for email updates & get your free guide today!

We respect your email privacy

Upcoming Events Right Nav Graphic

Top Attractions

Twin Peaks

Hop On Hop Off

Wine Tours

Free Museum Admission Days

Sports Events

Theater Calendar

Contact | Home