San Francisco events in January 2019 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.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Start 2019 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.
Dates: 1/3, 1/8, 1/11, 1/16, & 1/31
Location: Oracle Arena
Head over to bay to Oakland to catch and exciting game with last year's NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. This January, you will find a half a dozen home games.
Cheer on their top players including Kevin Durrant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
They take on other top teams such as the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the New York Knicks.
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.
60-Minute Bay Cruise: This popular cruise leaves from Fisherman's Wharf several times each day. You will cruise along the SF shoreline, under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz and back to Fisherman's Wharf. Along the way, you will learn all about SF's history and some of our top attractions. Find tickets for this January.
Sausalito Ferry: Spend a few hours in this cute waterfront town in Marin County. Sausalito offers gorgeous views of the SF Bay, fun places to shop and some of the best seafood restaurants around. This ferry runs to and from SF several times a day. Check for ticket availability in January.
San Francisco Dinner & Dance Cruise: This fun dinner and dancing cruise is the perfect night out on the town. It features a four course dinner with a selection of entrees, live music and cocktails for purchase at the bar. This 2.5 hour cruise leaves every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in January at around 7:30pm. See ticket availability for this month.
Dates: 1/8 - 2/3
Location: Golden Gate Theater
On September 11, 2001, all flights were grounded. Thrity-eight flights ended up being grounded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland.
Come From Away tells the real story of some of the 7,000 people that landed here as well as the locals. This highly regarded musical shows what happens how people react in the fact of dark times and some of the lifelong relationships that were formed.
It's one of the hottest San Francisco events in January.
Other top shows this month include Mary Poppins (11/14-1/12), Avenue Q (11/30-1/6), and Late Company (1/18-2/24).
Dates: 11/16 - 2/3
Location: Under the Grand Chapiteau
Cirque du Soleil rolls into town this year and is offering a few San Francisco events in January. This year's performance is Volta.
It's the story of a young man and his dreams for a more fulfilling life. He's selected to be a game show contestant and thinks this might be his big break. What he finds out is that he needs to reach deep inside himself to create the life he's always dreamed.
It's a story of self-acceptance and transformation. With colorful costumes and high-energy performances, this is one Cirque du Soleil show you will not soon forget.
Dates: 12/31 - 1/6
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.
Find some great deals around town for top tours, events, and more. Here are a few popular options.
*Small service fee at checkout.
Dates: 1/5 - 1/31
Location: Davis Symphony Hall
San Francisco events in January 2019 include several performances by the SF Symphony.
Their first show, Mary Poppins in concert, is January 5 & 6.
Other top performances include Jaap van Zweden-Mozart & Bruckner (1/11 - 1/13), Mirga Grazinyte Tyla-Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto (1/18-1/20), and Christian Reif-Prokofiev's Fifth (1/24-1/26).
All shows are at the Davies Symphony Hall in the Civic Center District.
Dates: Every day of the month
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.
Explore everything that San Francisco has to offer on a guided city or bus tours. These 3 to 4 hours tours offer you the chance to cruise by and learn about SF's top attractions, districts, and activities.
Some stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, others drive through Golden Gate Park, and all of them are a lot of fun. You will learn about top districts as well such as Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and the Haight-Asbury neighborhood. Learn all about SF's past, present and get a look into our future.
Here are a few of my top picks.
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours: These are my favorite because you can get on and off at one of more than two dozens stops along the route. City Sightseeing offers one of the best with more than 30 stops on their route. Find out more about their most popular tour.
Grand City Tour: 3.5 hour tour on a luxury motor coach bus. You will see SF's highlights including the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Twin Peaks (weather permitting). Your knowledgable guide will tell you all about SF, our history and give you additional ideas for the best things to see and do while you are here. Tours run daily in January at 9am and 2pm. Find tickets for this month.
Night Tour: City Sightseeing also offers a fun double decker night tour each January. SF is gorgeous during the day, but it lights up in great detail at night. Drive past Ghirardelli Square, the Ferry Building and see the Bay Bridge lights. 2.5 hour tour also includes two short walking tours so you get to see even more of SF. Find tickets for this January.
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!
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 2019!
Dates: 1/10 - 1/27
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: 1/17 - 1/20
Location: Fort Mason Center
If you are fascinated by art, innovation, and design, you won't want to miss the 2019 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.
There is so much to see and do in San Francisco, but did you know that we are also close to many other fun destinations?
January is a great time to head north for a little wine tasting. Both Napa Valley and Sonoma are just a short drive away from SF. Both offer a variety of wine varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
You can also head south to visit Monterey or Carmel-by-the-Sea. These two cute seaside towns offer dozens of fun activities from whale watching to high-end shopping. You will also find some amazing seafood restaurants here.
Another top pick is less than an hour away, Muir Woods. Here you can stare up at some of the tallest coastal redwood trees around. Many are hundreds of years old and you will never tire of looking at their grandness.
Here are some of the top guided day trips from SF.
Date: 1/19 - 1/21
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 (formerly 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.
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.
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: 1/3, 1/10, 1/17, 1/24, and 1/31
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.
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.
California Boomtowns: Photographs of San Francisco and Los Angeles at the California Historical Society
Lew the Jew and His Circle: Origins of American Tattoo at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Apocalypse 1906: Photographs of the San Francisco Earthquake by Arnold Genthe at the Legion of Honor
Location: Moscone Center
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: 1/25 - 2/2
Location: War Memorial Opera House
The SF Ballet kicks off their 2019 season this month on January 25.
Their first performance of the season is also their only show this month.
The show is Don Quixote and it runs from January 25 - February 2. All performances are at the War Memorial Opera House in SF's Civic Center district.
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.
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 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.
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: Every day of the week
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.
Dates: 1/19 - 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 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: 1/23 - 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.
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.
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.
the Haight Ashbury