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Santa Claus in San Francisco: The Top Places to Find Him in 2021

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: November 15, 2021

He's making a list and checking it twice! Yes, it's Santa Claus and he is coming to San Francisco!

Every year, Santa is a busy man and is all over SF. You can have breakfast with him at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, get pictures taken with him at Ghirardelli Square, and enjoy the lights with him at the Zoo Lights event.

Santa in San Francisco

Macy's in Union Square

Address: 170 O'Farrell Street

Dates & Times: 11/26 - 12/24, must make reservation online at least 5 days before your visit

Other Details: Where else will you find Santa Claus in San Francisco? Well, of course, Union Square! He will be making stops daily at the Macy's in Union Square. Head up to the 7th floor to visit Santaland and tell Santa what you want this Christmas! Photo opportunities are also available.

>> Other fun places to shop in Union Square

Stonestown Galleria

Address: 3251 20th Ave

Dates: 11/18 - 12/24

Other Details: Get your picture taken with Santa at the Stonestown Galleria Mall. Reservations are not required to visit with Santa, but if you book a visit ahead of time, you can save 30% or more on your photo package. He will be there all day during normal Stonestown Galleria hours.

Black Santa at the Selfie Market

Location: Westfield San Francisco Centre, Level 3

Dates: 11/26 - 11/28

Other Details: For three days, you can visit Black Santa & Mrs. C at the Selfie Market at the Westfield Mall on Market Street. Tickets to this event include entrance to the market, a music themed photo studio, and a meet and greet with Black Santa and Mrs. C in their holiday area. While you are here, make sure to also check out the exclusive Black Santa merchandise in their gift shop. 

Tickets will go quickly for this limited time engagement so make sure to pick up your tickets early! 

>> More details and ticketing info

San Francisco Zoo

Address: Sloat Boulevard at the Great Highway

Dates & Times: TBD

Other Details: You will have several chances to see Santa at the SF Zoo this holiday season. He will be visiting every Saturday and Sunday from Thanksgiving Day Weekend through to December 29. Their festival this year is called Joy at SF Zoo. In addition to visiting with Santa, you can also visit Candy Cane Lane, Poinsettia Plaza, and learn more about his reindeer. There will be fun activities and goodies all season long.

>> What else there is to see and do at the SF Zoo

Japantown Center Malls

Address: East Japan Center Mall at 1737 Post Street

Dates & Times: TBD

Other Details: Santa will make an appearance at the Japantown Center Malls for two days in December. Pose with him for your holiday pictures and don't forget your Christmas wish list! There is no photographer on hand, so bring along your own camera for that perfect photo. Free.

>> More things to do in Japantown

>> Additional free kids activities in San Francisco

Ritz Carlton

Address: 600 Stockton Street

Date & Time: TBD

Other Details: Join the Ritz Carlton for their annual tree lighting ceremony and visit from Santa Claus. Santa and his helpers will light the tree and then stick around for photos with the kids. The Ritz will also offer cider, hot chocolate, and cookies.

Other Fun Holiday Events

San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker: One of the biggest events of the season is the SF Ballet's Nutcracker. This company was the first to perform this international classic in the US. It's a holiday tradition here and one you do not want to miss. Click here for details.

SantaCon SF: The adults version of celebrating the season is to dress up as Santa for a holiday bar crawl. Join thousands of others in red and white as you head all around the city enjoying drink specials and making new friends. Click here for this year's event details.

All December Events: Are you looking for other fun things to do this month? In addition to holiday events and activities, you will also find some great theater and SF Symphony performances. Other top events this month include the Charles Dickens Festival, 49ers games, and more. Click here for the entire December calendar.

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