Santa Claus in San Francisco: The Top Places to Find Him in 2023

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: November 29, 2023

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 Westin St. Francis, get pictures taken with him at Ghirardelli Square, and say hello to him at Macy's in Union Square.

Santa in San Francisco

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

Stonestown Galleria

Address: 3251 20th Ave

Dates: 11/17 - 12/24

Other Details: Get your picture taken with Santa at the Stonestown Galleria Mall. Reservations are encouraged. He will be there all day during normal Stonestown Galleria hours.

Each spot is for 15 minutes and several families will be scheduled during each time slot

>> Book your spot today

Ritz Carlton Tree Lighting Ceremony

Address: 600 Stockton Street

Date & Time: 11/30 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

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.

Breakfast with Santa at the Westin St. Francis

Address: 335 Powell Street

Date & Time: December 9 and 10 from 9 am to 11:30 am

Santa will be on hand this December at the Westin St. Francis. During breakfast, you will overlook the gorgeous SF skyline, take some photos with Santa, and enjoy a fantastic breakfast buffet (which will include mimosas for the adults).

You will also get the chance to celebrate by making a holiday-themed craft. 

The breakfast starts at $95 for adults and $70 for children (plus a service fee).

>> Visit this page for reservations

Santa at Boudin Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf

Address: 160 Jefferson Street

Dates and Times: Saturday and Sunday through December 24th from 11 am to 5 pm, Santa will also make a special stop on Friday, December 22nd

Other Details: Visit Santa this holiday season at the Boudin Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf. Spend some time with him and then warm up with some tasty Boudin Bakery bread or hot drinks. 

>> Visit their Facebook page to learn more

Macy's in Union Square

Address: 170 O'Farrell Street

Dates & Times: 11/24 - 12/24

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 6th floor to visit Santaland and tell Santa what you want this Christmas! Photo opportunities are also available.

Must make your reservations five days in advance of your visit. Find reservations here.

>> Other fun places to shop in Union Square

Santa at Ghirardelli Square

Address: 900 North Point Street in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf

Date & Time: Friday, November 24 from 4:30 pm to 8 pm

Other Details: Enjoy a few hours with Santa at "Santa Lights the Square." This annual Ghirardelli Square event takes place the day after Thanksgiving from 4:30 pm to 8 pm. 

The Boys Chorus will perform starting at 4:30 pm. You can then welcome Santa starting at 5:30 pm as he lights the Square. Photos will Santa start at 5:40 pm.

>> More details here

Santa Brunch Cruise

Address: Pier 3 with Hornblower Cruises

Dates & Times: 12/2, 12/3, 12/8, 12/9, 12/10, 12/15, 12/16, 12/17

Other Details: Head out on the water for this year's Santa Bruch Cruise. This event runs for two hours and includes a brunch buffet. 

You will get the chance to take photos with Santa on board and enjoy live music throughout your cruise.

For the adults, you will also find unlimited mimosas and free-flowing champagne.

The cruise leaves several times in December from Pier 3. 

Dress code is casual attire. 

>> Learn more and find tickets here

Storytime with Santa at the Disney Museum

Address: Disney Museum in the Presidio at 104 Montgomery Street

Date: Friday, December 15 at 4 pm

Other Details: Santa J Claus will be at the Disney Museum in the Presidio this Friday, December 15 starting at 4 pm. He will be reading "T'was the Night Before Christmas" and sharing other Disney memories he cherishes. 

The cost is $5 for members, $10 for adults general admission, $10 for seniors and students, $5 for youths, and free for children 5 and under (registration is required). 

>> Visit their site for more details and to book your spot today

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.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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