Enjoy the best San Francisco events in November 2023. This month, you will find dozens of fun activities from free walking tours to holiday lights celebrations.
Other highlights this month include the festivals, SF 49ers games, and Thanksgiving Day and Weekend activities. You can also enjoy a night out at the theater, opera, or symphony. Read on for more about what's on this month in SF.
In addition, you will find special ice skating rinks in the city this time of the year.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Date(s): Thanksgiving Day is November 23; Weekend is November 23 - 26
You will find dozens of fun events this Thanksgiving in San Francisco. Use my planning guide to find the best places for a traditional or not-so-traditional holiday meal.
You will also find many other fun things to do on Thanksgiving Day from riding a bike over the Golden Gate Bridge to cruising around the SF Bay on boat. Many of our top attractions are open also including the California Academy of Sciences, the Palace of Fine Arts, Botanical Gardens and others.
The holiday weekend is also full of fun activities and most attractions, tours and activities offer a regular schedule all weekend long.
My guide also gives you recommendations on what do to all weekend long.
This November make sure to check out one of the tree lighting ceremonies and/or holiday celebrations in San Francisco and beyond. The tree lighting ceremonies typically begin the weekend before Thanksgiving.
You will also find several large celebrations the weekend of Thanksgiving as well as in early December.
Use the link for this year's schedule of San Francisco events in November and December.
Though it doesn't snow in San Francisco, the city has ways of bringing wintry fun right to the heart of downtown. People of all ages love the holiday ice rinks all around SF and the Bay Area.
These 60 to 90-minute sessions are refreshing and a great break from all the hustle and bustle of this part of town. Find a list of the 12 top rinks in the SF Bay Area.
Celebrate the holiday season at this unique festival. The Great Dickens Fair is a recreation of Victorian London and includes costumed characters, lively entertainment, and food and drink.
It's a great place to also pick up some interesting holiday gifts for those on your list. The event is held at the Cow Palace and runs from 10 am to 6 pm.
You can either pick up tickets from their website in advance or buy them at the door when you arrive. Visit their site for more event details.
Santa Claus is coming to town! He will be making his way all around San Francisco in both November and December.
Some of his most popular stops are at the Westfield Mall, the Japantown Center Malls, and the SF Zoo. You can also see him at tree lightning ceremonies around town.
Don't miss your chance to let Santa know if you've been naughty or nice! Uncover a list of places Santa plans to stop this year.
Dates: 11/1, 11/11, 11/12, 11/14, 11/16, 11/18, 11/20, 11/24, 11/30
Some of the best San Francisco events in November also include games at the Chase Center.
The 2021/2022 NBA Champs play almost a half a dozen games this month against the Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Clippers.
All games are played in the new facility here in San Francisco, the Chase Center. It's an easy train ride from Union Square or bus ride from other locations throughout the city. Head over to cheer on (or against!) the Warriors.
Location: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara
Head over to Levi's Stadium to watch the San Francisco 49ers play their regular season games in Santa Clara.
The stadium is about an hour south of San Francisco and is easy to get to by both public transit and by car.
This month, the 49ers will be taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1:05 pm.
Dates: 11/2, 11/4, 11/7, 11/9, 11/14, 11/16, 11/24, 11/25, & 11/27
The San Jose Sharks hockey games are another one of the more popular SF Bay Area events in November. This month they take the ice at home for seven home games.
They play host to teams such as the Blues, the Canadiens, and the Oilers.
Dates: Several in November
You will find one popular Broadway shows on stage this month - Disney's Lion King. Some of the top San Francisco events in November include this show and other theater performances.
Dates: 11/22 - 12/30
This month's big Broadway performance is The Lion King! It's based on the Disney movie with the same name that was released in 1994.
It's the story about Simba, a young lion cub that wants to be king. After his father is killed by his evil uncle, Simba flees and grows up away from his pride. As he learns more about how his uncle is treating everyone, he decides to return and fight for his rightful title.
The show is at the Orpheum Theatre with several performances each week.
Dates: Nightly in SF
Every night of the week, you will find a variety of great concerts all around San Francisco.
Top performances are at venues such as the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the Nob Hill Masonic Center, and the Fillmore. Additional top venues include the the Independent and the Great American Music Hall.
Below are just a few of the top shows. Make sure to visit the November concert page for a full list of performances this month. Click the names of each performer for ticketing information.
This is your chance to visit some of SF's top museums for free! Toward the beginning of the month museums such as the Asian Art Museum, the de Young, and the Conservatory of Flowers invite you to visit their exhibits for free.
On free days, they open their permanent collection to all visitors. You can spend just an hour cruising around or all day long. Some of their temporary exhibits do require a paid ticket even on free days.
Take advantage of SF's world-class museums, each offering unique exhibits throughout the year. These are a few of the top exhibits scheduled for display this month.
Click the links below for a full schedule of upcoming San Francisco events in November at our top museums.
San Francisco has a fantastic comedy scene. You can enjoy live performances of improv or stand-up nearly every night of the week.
This month, you can catch both international and local comedians on stage at SF's biggest comedy clubs.
Our comedy shows are some of the best San Francisco events in November.
San Francisco International Tea Festival (11/4 & 11/5): This year's International Tea Festival is scheduled for November at the Ferry Building. At this event, you will get the chance to sample a variety of teas from around the world. You will also receive your own teacup to sample during the event. All of the teas will be on sale too, so you can easily pick up anything you want!
SF Coffee Festival (11/11 & 11/12): This is the perfect festival for those that are in love with coffee! Sample unique flavors from a large variety of exhibitors. You can also listen to live music as you savor your coffee samples. The event is at the Fort Mason Center and runs from 9 am to 4:30 pm both days. More details here.
Renegade Craft Fair (11/4 & 11/5): This year's holiday Renegade Craft Fair is on November 5 and 6 at the Fort Mason Center. More than 300 artists will be on hand showing and selling their handmade goods.
The event is free to enter and lasts from 11 am to 6 pm both days. Find out more about this November's event
SF International Hip Hop Dancefest (11/11 - 11/12): This year marks the 25th annual SF International Hip Hop Dancefest, the first festival of its kind to honor the artistry of hip hop in a non-competitive environment. The festival features performances by professional dance companies from all over the world.
American Indian Film Festival (11/3 - 11/11): If you are curious about American Indian culture, traditions, and current struggles, join the American Indian Film Festival this November.
This festival lasts over a week, showing a variety of short stories, documentaries, and feature films, several of which have been directed by American Indian filmmakers.
Transgender Film Festival (11/8 - 11/19): Each day of this annual film festival offers a different program that includes four to seven films selected from independent filmmakers internationally.
These works of art showcase and raise awareness about the transgender community.
California College of Arts Open Studio (TBD): Head over to the American Industrial Center (2565 3rd Street, 2nd Floor) to see unique works from California College of Arts students. Refreshments will be served. It runs from Noon to 5 pm.
Golden Gate Half Marathon (11/5): The Golden Gate Half Marathon is an annual event that takes runners over the Golden Gate Bridge during the race. Your run starts near Fisherman's Wharf at the Municipal Pier. You will then run along the waterfront, up and over the Golden Gate Bridge, and return back to San Francisco. The race ends in the beautiful Presidio. Click here to visit their site and to register today
San Francisco International Auto Show (11/22 - 11/26): This is the 63rd year for the San Francisco Chronicle International Auto Show. It will once again be held at the Moscone Center in SF's SOMA District. For five straight days, check out the latest vehicles on display throughout the showroom. See up and coming models from Chevy, Ford and BMW. You will also get the chance to see unique cars all weekend long. It's a fun way to spend some time this Thanksgiving Day Weekend and one of the most highly anticipated San Francisco events in November. Visit their site for the full schedule of events and ticketing info
SF Symphony (Several performances all month long): Spend an evening at the elegant Davies Symphony Hall, steps away from City Hall, for a performance of the world renowned San Francisco Symphony. See the complete schedule of performances.
SF Opera (Several dates from 11/11 - 11/29): This November, you will find three performances by the SF Opera. The first is Lohengrin with one performance this month. The second is Omar with six performances this month and the final show this month is The Elixir of Love with four performances in November. All shows are at the War Memorial Opera House in the Civic Center District. Visit the SF Opera page for more information.
Day of the Dead (11/2): SF's Mission District has been celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) since the 1970s. Every year, the community sets up a festival of altars in Potrero Del Sol Park from Noon - 11 pm, and holds a Ritual Circle from 5 pm to 6 pm. If you want to see what this Latin American tradition is all about, head over to check out the art and alters. If you want to honor a deceased loved one yourself, feel free to bring flowers, mementos, and candles. Read more about the SF celebration.
Some of the top San Francisco events in November are our daily cruises. You can head out on the SF Bay for an hour or two and enjoy the amazing views all around you.
Many of these cruises leave from Fisherman's Wharf and return to the same place they started. Almost all of them cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge, along the San Francisco shoreline, and make their way near or around Alcatraz Island.
Some of the cruises also offer dinner, dancing or a few drinks along with your ticket. The sunset or evening cruises are also popular.
Here are a few of my top picks for November.
Sunset Sailing Cruise: This 90-minute sunset tour is a fun way to relax and unwind during your stay in November. This month, it runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and leaves at 4pm. Also included with your ticket, you will get two complimentary beverages and some light appetizers. Find availability for the Sunset Sailing Cruise.
60-Minute Bay Cruise: The most popular cruise all year long is the 60-minute Bay Cruise. This one provides you with a great highlight of the bay. It takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. It starts and ends in Fisherman's Wharf. It leaves several times every day of the year. Find tickets for this cruise.
Our bus and city tours are also very popular San Francisco events in November. You will find a variety of options that take you all around town to learn more about our top attractions.
The Hop On Hop Off buses are great for those visiting for the first time. In one or two days, you will get a great lay of the land and be able to easily get from one attraction to the next.
Our city tours are also popular. In just a few hours, you will drive past and learn all about places such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and others. Many of them offer photo stops along the way.
Here are a few more details and some of my recommendations.
Big Bus Tours Hop On Hop Off: Big Bus Tours is one of my top picks for hop on hop off bus tours. They offer 1- and 2-day tickets which will give you plenty of time to get around SF. They include more than 20 stops and the entire round trip tour is just over 2-hours. Find out more about their options.
SF Movie Sights Tour: If you love movies, you are going to really enjoy this fun movie tour around San Francisco. You will drive past and learn more about spots around town that were featured in movies and shows such as Mrs. Doubtfire, The Princess Diaries, Full House, and Interview with the Vampire. Find more details here.
Big Sur Food & Wine Festival (11/2 - 11/4): The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival is known is without question one of the premier festivals in Northern California. If you are looking for great views, food, wine, and music, this is definitely the place for you. Not only are there 4 days of wine and food, but there are also special tours, trips and the always amazing, "Wine and Swine at the Henry Miller Library" where you will have a special celebrity chef dinner, with over 20 different wine makers and bands all night long. Visit their site for more details. More events in the Monterey Bay Area this month.
Napa Valley Film Festival (TBD): A favorite of all the SF Bay Area events in November includes the incredible Napa Valley premiere film festival. This year's even features four screenings. Each screening will also include a special food and wine experience that compliments the theme of each film. All events take place at CIA at Copia. Full calendar of Napa events this month.
Calistoga Food & Wine Festival (11/18): The Calistoga Food & Wine Festival is another one of the fun and delicious SF Bay Area events in November. The Grand Tasting on Saturday will feature live music, samplings from 30 Calistoga wineries, and small bites and live cooking stations from top chefs of the area's best restaurants. Visit their site for details
More Things to Do in SF in November: In addition to all of our fun San Francisco events in November, you will also find a variety of other fun things to do. These include cruises, tours, and free activities. You can also head out on a day trip, visit one of our top museums, and shop at some in some of our most popular districts. Find 50+ fun things to do this month
What to Wear in November: Do you need some advice on what to wear in November? To make sure you are prepared for these San Francisco events in November, you will want to bring along a jacket and some great walking shoes. What else should you bring? Check out my insider's guide on what to expect from the weather and some tips on what to pack for your stay. Tips on what to pack and wear in SF.