San Francisco Events in January 2018

Theater, Concerts, Festivals, and More in SF this Month

San Francisco events in January 2018 include Ricky Gervais at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, Sketchfest, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. March & Festival. Additional things to do this month include New Year's Day activities, free walking tours, concerts, and SF Ballet performances.

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

Golden State Warrirors
© Eric Broder Van Dyke |

New Year's Day Events

Start 2018 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 SF Zoo, the Japanese Tea Garden, bay cruises, and more.

Date: 1/1

Learn More: Find more events and activities this NY Day in SF

Golden State Warriors

Spend an evening in Oakland watching the 2016/2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. This month, you can catch more than a half dozens games in Oracle Arena.

Dates: Several in January

Info: Golden State Warriors schedule and ticketing information

Additional Sporting Events: Find a schedule of all upcoming sporting events in SF

Shen Yun Performing Arts

The Shen Yun Performing Arts company--the world's premier classical Chinese dance and music company based in New York--makes their way to San Francisco this January. Their shows are acclaimed for their demandingly athletic yet graceful movements, the color and energy, the fusion of eastern and western music, and of course the exquisite costumes and backdrops. All shows will be performed at the elegant War Memorial Opera House.

Dates: 1/1 - 1/7

Top Tours & Activities at a Discount

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

  • 48-Hour Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour: Save $5 per ticket when you book online through City Sightseeing. You can select their most popular 48-hour ticket or their 24- or 72-hour options. It's a great way to easily get from attraction to attraction around town.

  • 60-Minute Bay Cruise: Enjoy a cruise around the SF Bay, runs several times a day and leaves from Fisherman's Wharf, up to 50% off on Goldstar

  • 2-Hour Sunset Cruise: See San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the rest of the Bay Area at night during this twilight cruise. Includes light appetizers and one drink per ticket (additional drinks available for purchase). Tickets up to 50% off. Leaves each evening from Fishmerman's Wharf.

SF Symphony

San Francisco events in January 2018 include several performances by the SF Symphony. Their first show, Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart and Schoenberg with the SF Symphony, is January 11-13. Other top performances include MTT Conducts Bernstein's Candide (1/18 - 1/21). All shows are at the Davies Symphony Hall in the Civic Center District.

Dates: Starting January 11

Details: Find their full schedule here

Free Walking Tours

One of the great things about this city is its pride in its rich history, neighborhoods, architecture, parks, and other famous sites. That's why SF City Guides offers fantastic FREE walking tours throughout the year based on a variety of themes, where you get to explore virtually every corner of the city in depth with the experts. "Tastes and Tales of North Beach," "Gold Rush City," and "Downtown Deco" are just a few of the tours offered.

Dates: Every day of the month

Learn More: Find the full schedule this January

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!

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!

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k

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.

Date: 1/7

Learn More: Visit their site to register

SF Sketchfest

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.

Dates: 1/11 - 1/28

Learn More: Additional details on this year's festival

FOG Design+Art Fair

If you are fascinated by art, innovation, and design, you won't want to miss the 2018 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.

Dates: 1/11 - 1/14

Learn More: Visit their website for more details

Martin Luther King, Jr. March & Festival

The MLK, Jr. March & Festival is on Monday, January 15. This annual event includes a march over the Lefty O'Doul Bridge near AT&T 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.

Date: 1/13 - 1/15

More: Additional details for the MLK Jr. annual event

Free Museum Admission Days

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, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and more.

Dates: Several early in the month

Learn More: Find the full schedule for January

More: Additional free things to do this month in SF

SF Theater

You will find dozens of performances all month long on stage in San Francisco. Some of the top productions include Aladdin at the Orpheum (11/1-1/7), Born Yesterday at the SF Playhouse (1/23 - 3/10), and The Birthday Party at the ACT (1/10-2/4).

Dates: Several dates this month

Learn More: See all theater productions this month

ZAP Experience

Love a good Zin? Want to find out what makes this variety of wine so tasty and special? At the three-day ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) Experience, you have the chance to meet with the top producers of this lovely red and sample the best zinfandels around. Head over to the Bently Reserve and Pier 27 to enjoy this event.

Dates: 1/18-1/20

Tickets: Discounted tickets available on Goldstar

More: Additional festival details

SFMOMA Exhibit: Louise Bourgeois Spiders

One of the top exhibits on display this month at the SF Moma is Louise Bourgeois Spiders. Bourgeois created these dark, yet intreging sculptures when she was in her 80s. You will find them on the 5th floor of the museum all month long.

Dates: All month long

Learn More: Visit the SFMOMA page for details on visiting this newly remodeled museum

More: Find a full schedule of museum exhibits this month in SF

Winter Fancy Food Show

Attend the 42nd 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.

Dates: 1/21-1/23

More: Read more details about this exciting, delicious conference

SF Ballet's 2018 Season

The SF Ballet kicks off their 2018 season this month on January 23. Their first performance of the season is also their only show this month. The show is Sleeping Beauty and it runs from January 23 - February 4.

Dates: Starting 1/23

More: Additional details on the SF Ballet

Ricky Gervais on Stage

One of the top San Francisco events in January 2018 is Ricky Gervais at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. Gervais is a well known British comedian, actor, producer, director, and musician. He's well known for writing the original and British version of The Office, An Idiot Abroad, and his stand up comedy. He is performing two shows this month.

Dates: 1/24 & 1/25

>> Additional comedy shows this month in SF

January Concerts

The San Francisco concert scene is hot this January. You will find shows most nights all around the city. Top concerts include Marshmello, Spoon, and St. Vincent.

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

Noir City Film Festival

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.

Dates: 1/26-2/4

More: Get the full movie lineup and more on their website

Two Days in SF: A Self-Guided Itinerary

Is your visit to San Francisco a short one? There is so much to see in this beautiful city, it may seem impossible to cover in 48 hours, but I have designed a two-day itinerary that allows you to visit all the top attractions, and sample some of the city's best food, without having to backtrack. Click the link below to find out how to squeeze in the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, a cable car ride to crooked Lombard Street, Coit Tower, Chinatown, and more.

Dates: Every day of the week

Learn More: Find the full itinerary here

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

Arrival of the Sea Lions at Pier 39

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 after 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.

Dates: 1/1-1/28

Learn More: Discover even more things to do & see on Pier 39

SF Restaurant Week

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.

Dates: 1/22-1/31

More: Find more details on the event website

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

Top Tours in January

More Fun Things to Do this Month in San Francisco

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