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San Francisco Events in January 2020: Theater, Concerts, Festivals, and More in SF this Month

San Francisco events in January 2020 include sporting events, concerts, Broadway theater, and the SF Ballet. Additional fun things to do include SF Sketchfest, the Martin Luther King, Jr. March & Festival, New Year's Day activities, and free walking tours.

Read on for a full calendar of this month's events.

Golden State Warriors

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

Dates: 1/4, 1/8, 1/14, 1/16, 1/18, 1/22, & 1/24

Location: Chase Center

Head over Mission Bay in San Francisco to catch and exciting game with the Golden State Warriors. This January, you will find a half a dozen home games.

Cheer on their top players including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and others.

They take on other top teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and the Utah Jazz.

>> Golden State Warriors schedule and ticketing information

>> Find a schedule of all upcoming sporting events in SF

SF Bay Cruises

SF Bay Cruise

As you are enjoying some of our top San Francisco events in January, make sure to spend a little time on the water. The SF Bay offers amazing views of the skyline, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

You will find several cruises each day this month. 

The daytime cruises offer narration so you can learn more about the attractions you cruise by. All of them go under the Golden Gate Bridge twice, near Alcatraz and along the SF waterfront. You will also find some great ferries that will take you to and from Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island.

The night cruises offer wonderful views of the sunset. Some offer drinks, dinner and/or dancing too. 

Here are a few of the top options this month.

Hamilton at the Orpheum Theater

Hamilton

Dates: 2/12/2019 - 5/31/2020

Head over to the Orpheum Theater to see Hamilton. This award winning Broadway musical is the story of one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. 

Learn more about his life growing up on an island in the Caribbean Sea and how he made his way to the US. You will also learn more about that fateful night when he agreed to a duel with then vice president Aaron Burr. 

This Broadway production is one of the top San Francisco events in January.

January Concerts 2020

San Francisco Concerts - Set of drums

Dates: Daily this month

Every day of the week, you will find some amazing concerts at SF's top venues.

Some of the biggest performers take the stage at the Chase Center, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the Warfield, and the Nob Hill Masonic Center

Some of your will also want to see amazing shows at The Fillmore, Slim's, and the Great American Music Hall.

>> Find a full schedule of shows this month in SF

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child at the Curran

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Dates: 10/23 - 7/12

Location: Curran Theater

Harry Potter is now an adult with three children. His oldest is plagued with many of the same struggles as Harry had in his youth.

Find out what happens as his son works through his struggles and demons with the help of his father. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child includes two parts, so make sure to double check the tickets before you buy as you'll want see both part one and two!

It's one of the hottest San Francisco events in January.

Other top shows this month include Groundhog Day the Musical at the SF Playhouse (11/20 - 1/18), and Head Over Heels at the New Conservatory (12/6 - 1/12).

>> See all theater productions this month

Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna

Amaluna

Dates: 11/14 - 1/12

Location: Under the Grand Chapiteau near Oracle Park

Cirque du Soleil rolls into town this year and is offering a few San Francisco events in January. This year's performance is Amaluna.

It takes place on an island with all women. The queen is performing a coming of age ceremony for her daughter. At the conclusion of the ceremony, she creates a storm which causes several men to wash onto the island.

Her young daughter falls in love with one of the young men. The story follows their quest for love and how they overcome each obstacle in their way. With colorful costumes and high-energy performances, this is one Cirque du Soleil show you will not soon forget.

>> Learn more about this year's performance

Top Tours & Activities at a Discount

Find some great deals around town for top tours, events, and more. Here are a few popular options.

60-Minute Bay Cruise: Cruises around the bay, leaves from Fisherman's Wharf, several cruises a day, Full price $34, Goldstar price $17*

California Twilight Cruise: 2-hour evening cruise on the SF Bay, includes light appetizers and one drink per ticket, Full price $80, Goldstar $55*

North Beach Food Tour: 3-hour walking tour, offers a variety of samples in this Italian district, Full price $69, Goldstar $48*

Chinatown Food Tour: Sample traditional dishes in the popular Chinatown district as you learn about its history, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am, Full price $75, Goldstar $49*

*Small service fee at checkout.

SF Symphony

Violin from the SF Symphony

Dates: 1/5 - 1/31

Location: Davis Symphony Hall

San Francisco events in January 2020 include several performances by the SF Symphony. 

Their first show, Organ Recital with Jens Korndorfer, is January 5.

Other top performances include MTT & Mahler: Love & Lyricism (1/9 - 1/12), Beethoven250: MTT & Emanuel Ax: Beethoven & Julia Wolfe (1/16 - 1/18, and Blomstedt, Berwald, & Brahms (1/30-2/2).

All shows are at the Davies Symphony Hall in the Civic Center District.

>> Find their full schedule here

Uncorked Wine Festival at the Fort Mason Center

Ripe red grapes on the vine

Date: 1/26

Location: Fort Mason Center

Sample delicious local and international wines at the Uncorked Wine Festival at the Fort Mason Center. You will get the chance to select wine tastings from up to 200 different wines. There will also be a good variety of sparkling wines.

The event is on a Sunday afternoon from 1pm to 4pm. You can also purchase VIP tickets for early entry at 12pm. 

In addition to wine tasting, you can enjoy live music, grab some food at one of the food trucks (additional charge), and a chance to meet other local wine lovers.

>> Find tickets on their official site

>> Find additional wine festivals all year long

Hotels Deals for Your Stay

If you are looking for a great hotel for your stay, I recommend starting your search on one of these three sites. The links below take you directly to their deals page, so you can find the best rate right away! 

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

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

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k

Hot Chocolate

Date: 1/12

What better a way to fight the cold and explore the city than in a fun footrace with thousands of others, all working your way towards a mug of hot chocolate and chocolate fondue at the finish line! 

The course will take you by some star attractions in Golden Gate Park and along SF's Ocean Beach, and periodically there will be "Sweet Stations," where you can grab an energizing bite of marshmallows and chocolate. 

It's one of the sweetest San Francisco events in January 2020!

>> Visit their site to register

SF Sketchfest

SF Sketchfest

Dates: 1/9 - 1/26

One of the largest comedy festivals and San Francisco events in January is SF Sketchfest. 

It features two and a half weeks of comedy sketches and performances by well known comedians. 

There are also a handful of workshops, panels, and other fun activities. Each day, you will find three to four shows at venues all around SF.

You will find a limited number of discounted tickets to some of their fun performances. Here are just a few. Click the links for details.

>> Additional details on this year's festival

FOG Design+Art Fair

FOG Design + Art Fair

Dates: 1/16 - 1/19

Location: Fort Mason Center

If you are fascinated by art, innovation, and design, you won't want to miss the 2020 FOG fair at the Fort Mason Center, put on in collaboration with the SF Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). 

The event will feature dozens of dealers and galleries of furniture, fine art, and design objects, in addition to special panel discussions and forums about the industry.

It's one of the top San Francisco events in January for those that love art and design.

>> Visit their website for more details

Additional Festivals this Month

Untitled Art (1/17 - 1/19): This art festival is a curated art fair on Pier 35 along the Embarcadero. It started in 2012 and focuses on contemporary art. It will feature pieces from galleries, the artists themselves, and other non-profit organizations. 

Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival (1/18 - 1/20): This comics festival celebrates works from artists of color. You will find displays at both the Main Public Library (100 Larkin St) and the City View at the Metreon (135 4th St #4000). Most activities for this festival are free and open to the public. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. March & Festival

Martin Luther King Jr. NorcalMLK logo

Date: 1/13 - 1/20

The MLK, Jr. March & Festival is on Monday, January 21. 

This annual event includes a march over the Lefty O'Doul Bridge near Oracle Park and through downtown San Francisco. It commemorates the famous Selma-to-Montgomery march over the Edmunds Pettus Bridge. 

Other events include a Health & Wellness Festival, and the Liberation Film Festival. You will also find a few activities and events the days leading up to this important national holiday. 

>> Additional details for the MLK Jr. annual event

Free Museum Admission Days

Free Museum Days

Dates: Several early in the month

Touring museums can be a hefty investment, and you may feel limited to picking just one or two if you're on a budget during your visit. 

But seeing the city's intellectual and artsy side doesn't have to be expensive. 

Throughout the year, there are several free admission days at San Francisco's world-renowned museums, including the de Young Museum of Fine Arts, the Legion of Honor, and more. 

>> Find the full schedule for January

>> Additional free things to do this month in SF

ZinEx

Zinfandel Experience

Dates: 1/30 - 2/1

Love a good Zin? Want to find out what makes this variety of wine so tasty and special? 

At the three-day ZinEx (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), you have the chance to meet with the top producers of this lovely red and sample the best zinfandels around. 

Head over to the The Palace Hotel and Pier 27 to enjoy this event. 

>> Additional festival details

Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences

Earthquake Exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences

Dates: 1/2, 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, and 1/30

Location: California Academy of Sciences

Are you looking for a fun 21+ museum event this January in SF? If so, then check out Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences.

Every Thursday night from 6pm to 10pm, this science museum in Golden Gate Park offers adult a chance to learn and mingle. Each night is based around a different theme. Previous themes include Fermented Nightlife and Brain & Body Nightlife.

You can sip on cocktails as you meet other nature and science lovers. You can also explore the entire museum and learn as you go.

>> Find tickets for this fun, adult-only event

San Francisco Museum Traveling Exhibits

Legion of Honor

Dates: All month long

Another one of the top San Francisco events in January is our museum exhibits. All of our major museums welcome traveling exhibits from around the world to enhance your experience when you visit.

Here are just a few top picks this month.

Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks -- at the Asian Art Museum, runs all month in January

Soul of the Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power -- at the de Young Museum, runs all month

Elemental Calder -- at the SF Museum of Modern Art, all month long

>> Find a full schedule of museum exhibits this month in SF

Winter Fancy Food Show

Fancy Food Winter Show

Dates: 1/19-1/21

Location: Moscone Center

Attend the 43rd Winter Fancy Food Show, the largest specialty food and beverage convention on the West Coast, which welcomes over 33,000 industry professionals. 

You'll discover the next big trends, innovative products, and creative companies as you sample and mingle with the producers. 

For foodies and folks in the restaurant business, this is an amazing opportunity to enjoy three full days of talks, workshops, and tastings of the latest in this industry. 

>> Read more details about this exciting, delicious conference

SF Ballet's 2020 Season

Ballets legs

Dates: 1/21 - 1/26

Location: War Memorial Opera House

The SF Ballet kicks off their 2020 season this month on January 21. 

Their first performance of the season is also their only show this month. 

The show is Cinderella and it runs from January 21 - 26. All performances are at the War Memorial Opera House in SF's Civic Center district.

>> Additional details on the SF Ballet

San Francisco Events in January: Comedy

Comedy in January

Dates: Several in January

You will find a variety of comedy shows all month long in San Francisco.

Top comedians from around the world perform here each month and January is no exception.

Catch a show at one of our internationally known comedy clubs such as Cobb's or the Punchline. You will also find some great comedians at other venues around town including the Nob Hill Masonic Center.

One of the biggest shows this month is John Oliver. He will be performing several shows at the Masonic on Nob Hill.

>> Additional comedy shows this month in SF

Noir City Film Festival

Noir City Film Festival

Dates: 1/24-2/2

This year, the Noir City film festival will again be held at the Historic Castro Theater. 

You'll enjoy 10 days of not only great movies, but live music performances and presentations by some of the actors and artists of these classic films. 

The festival is put on by the Film Noir Foundation, which celebrates film noir as an original American cinematic movement. In the past, they've shown such films as Rear Window, The Dark Corner, Los Tallos Amargos, and Deception. 

>> Get the full movie lineup and more on their website

Arrival of the Sea Lions at Pier 39

Pier 39

Dates: 1/17 - 1/20

A beloved icon of the popular Pier 39, the barking sea lions lounging about on the docks were not always part of the attraction. 

These playful creatures began frequenting the Fisherman's Wharf area shortly before the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, and have been an institution ever since. 

Every January, San Francisco celebrates the anniversary of their arrival, and this is year marks 28th. 

>> Discover even more things to do & see on Pier 39

SeaLion Palooza

Jellyfish

Date: 1/17

Location: Aquarium of the Bay

Head over to the Aquarium of the Bay to celebrate 30 years of sea lions at Pier 39. A larger number started to arrive in 1989. No one is sure why, but they are a fun attraction to see when you visit the pier.

This event is a way to celebrate their arrival. You will be combining science and socializing in one evening.

This 21+ event allows you to sip on drinks as you explore the aquarium. You can also enjoy live music as well as some hands on science projects.

SF Restaurant Week

SF Restaurant Week

Dates: 1/22 - 1/31

SF Restaurant Week is your chance to dine at nearly 130 of the city's best restaurants at a fixed price and try some star dishes as well as new menu items. 

All week long, these participating restaurants will be offering specially designed prix-fixe menus that show off the best of their unique cuisine. 

Two-course lunches will cost $15 - $25 and three-or-more-course dinners will cost $40 - $65. Take advantage of these offers and head out on the town to check out SF's booming food scene. 

Bay Area Brew Fest

Bay Area Brew Fest

Date: 1/25

The annual Bay Area Brew Fest features dozens of international and domestic beers, as well as the top gourmet food trucks in SF. 

The event is held at Pier 35 with two afternoon sessions, one for general admission and one for VIP tickets only. All tickets include unlimited pours.

>> Read more on the festival's website

New Year's Day Events & Activities

New Year's Day Events & Activities

Date: 1/1

Start 2020 off right, with whatever makes you happy. For some of you, that might mean a hearty brunch to recover from a long night out on the town. For others, that might mean heading back out to the bars for some good college football. 

And if you're only in SF during the holidays, don't worry; lots of attractions will still be open on New Year's Day for you to enjoy, including the California Academy of Sciences, the SF Zoo, the Japanese Tea Garden, bay cruises, and more. 

>> Find more events and activities this NY Day in SF

What to Wear in SF

Are you looking for some tips on what to bring with you to San Francisco? If so, then check out my guide to the weather in January. It offers tips on what a typical day is like this month as well as packing advice and a few other fun things to consider when visiting in January.

>> Weather in SF this month

Additional Tips to Plan Your Stay in January

Are you looking for some additional ideas and advice for your stay? While you will find plenty of fun San Francisco events in January, you will also find other fun things to do including visiting Muir Woods and Yosemite. You will also find some great tours and discounts all throughout the month.

>> More tips to plan your stay in January

More SF Bay Area Events in January

San Jose Sharks Hockey

Dates: 1/9, 1/11, 1/27, & 1/29

Location: San Jose (South Bay)

Another popular sport this time of year is hockey. A little winter chill outside sets the mood for entering the "Shark Tank" (SAP Center) to watch the San Jose Sharks play an exciting game on ice. Watch them take on teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and the Vancouver Canucks. The arena is just about an hour southeast of SF.

>> Sharks schedule and more

Live Jazz at Yoshi's 

Dates: Several nights a week

Location: Oakland (East Bay)

It started as just a small sushi bar, but for years Yoshi's has been combining its fabulous Japanese cuisine with top notch live jazz. They've welcomed greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Betty Carter, Diana Krall, Max Roach, and hundreds more to their stage. Check out what this exciting night scene is all about at Jack London Square in Oakland.

Silicon Valley Auto Show 

Dates: 1/9 - 1/12

Location: San Jose (South Bay) 

This March, you can attend Northern California's largest car show, showcasing the latest automotive technology in the business. You'll see a selection of electric cars and exotic concept vehicles, as well as classic cars and celebrity-owned luxury vehicles. 

You'll also have the chance to test drive some products that aren't even on the market yet. Head over to the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose to marvel at Cadillac, Bentley, Audi, and Rolls Royce's top innovations. 

>> Get tickets

Gem Faire 

Dates: 1/3 - 1/5

Location: San Rafael (North Bay) 

Among the other SF Bay Area events in January, the Gem Faire is a wonderland for jewelry lovers, as it offers a whole convention center full of precious gems, crystals, beads, and more--at fair prices, straight from the importers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. Pick up great new pieces of jewelry for yourself or as gifts for people special to you, or take home some beads to make your own creations. 

Santa Cruz Fungus Fair

Dates: 1/10 - 1/12

Location: Santa Cruz (2 hours south of SF) 

You've probably never been to an event like this Fungus Federation Fungus Fair! You'll see, learn, and taste everything you ever wanted to about different species of fungi through cooking demonstrations, speakers, hands-on activities, and a re-created woodland featuring hundreds of wild mushrooms. The event takes place over three days at the Louden Nelson Community Center in Santa Cruz.

>> More facts about the fabulous Fungus Fair

Napa Truffle Festival

Dates: 1/17 - 1/20

Location: Napa (North Bay) 

This four-day festival held in the heart of California's wine country celebrates truffles, one of the most prized elements of international high cuisine. This unique event combines two essential aspects: chef expertise on fine cooking with truffles, and scientist expertise on truffle cultivation. Throughout the weekend, you'll have the opportunity to hear from both sides, as well as taste at the Truffles and Wine Dinner, and buy at the festival Marketplace.

>> All about the Napa Truffle Festival

>> Additional things to do this January in Napa

Winter WINEland in Sonoma 

Dates: 1/18 - 1/19

Location: Sonoma (North Bay) 

This year marks the 28th anniversary of Winter WINEland in Northern Sonoma County. During this two-day event, you'll have the opportunity to choose among the participating wineries along Wine Road to visit the vineyards, meet the winemakers, and sample some of their best bottles. Each winery will highlight limited production, new release, and library wines.

>> Find out more 

Whalefest at Monterey Fisherman's Wharf 

Dates: 1/25 - 1/26

Location: Monterey (2.5 hours south of SF) 

One of the most unique SF Bay Area events in January is the 9th Annual Whalefest, a free event that educates guests about the migration of gray whales in Monterey, the "whale watching capital of the world." This is an educational and interactive event for the whole family that includes documentaries, musical performances, a 60-foot model of Humphrey the Humpback Whale that attendees can climb inside, and other displays about marine life.

>> More info about the Whalefest

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