The Best Holiday Events in San Francisco for Kids

It’s hard to believe, but the Holiday Season is upon us again! Make the most of it this year with these festive Holiday Events in San Francisco, especially for kids. Create new traditions and enjoy these Holiday Celebrations with your family.

Holiday Events in San Francisco for Kids

Mark Foehringer Dance Project presents: Nutcracker Sweets

Nutcracker Sweets

Ready to share the The Nutcracker with your child but worried they might not be able to sit through the full two hour show? This unique 50-minute version of the Nutcracker is geared towards families with young children. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the Holiday Classic with the whole family. Featuring a live orchestra – a 9-piece chamber orchestra with Keisuke Nakagoshi (San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Opera Parallele) as pit conductor and the talents of Carlos Venturo as Drosselmeyer, Vincent Chavez as the Nephew/Nutcracker and Megan Kurashige as Clara. 

When: December 4th- 19th

Where: Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Marina Blvd. and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

More info:

Children’s Magical Tea- Top of the Mark

gingerbread cookies decorated with white frosting

The Top of the Mark in the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel offers stunning, panoramic views of the city. In December, visit the iconic hotel in Nob Hill for a Children’s Magical Tea. Featuring a full Buffet, a Balloon Artist, and a Cookie Decorating Station, it is a fun and fancy way to celebrate the Christmas season. What’s more, Santa visits the lobby of the hotel on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm- 4:00pm!

Bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive a $5 discount. All toys will be donated to the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive.

When: Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19

Where: Top of the Mark, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Nob Hill

More Info:

Glowing Hanukkah Party Pop-Up at Ghirardelli Square

ghirardelli square

JCCSF’s Glowing Hanukkah Party returns to Ghirardelli Square this holiday season! Light Candles, make Hanukkah crafts, play games, and enjoy tasty treats all while listening to live music from a LED piano with Luminescent Grand. This is a free, family-friendly event. Light up the night by dressing up in your favorite light-up, glittery, glow-in-the-dark outfits.

When: Sunday, December 5th (3pm- 6pm)

Where: Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St Suite F301, San Francisco, CA 94109

More Info:

Sing You A Merry Christmas at Grace Cathedral

sing you a merry christmas at Grace Cathedral
Image Courtesy of

Sing along to your favorite Holiday Carols with the Toys of Santa’s Workshop in this especially-for-families show. Introduce your young children to live entertainment and the performing arts with this one hour event. It will fill your hearts with cheer and joy!

When: December 18th- 31st

Where: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street San Francisco, CA 94108

More Info:

Holiday Tree Lighting and Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park

winter lights in golden gate park
Image Courtesy of

Be part of a brand new tradition this year with Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park! The lighting of Uncle John’s Tree will take place on December 2nd from 4-8 p.m., with the Christmas tree lighting at 6pm. This free family-friendly event will feature food trucks, carnival rides, a tobogganing hill, live performances and more.

After the event, stroll down car-free JFK drive to visit the Winter Lights. Winter Lights include Entwined by Charles Gadeken at Peacock Meadow, Psychedelic Photosynthesis light show at the Conservatory of Flowers, dazzling illuminations light displays at 6th and JFK by designer Joshua Hubert, ride the SkyStar Wheel, and listen to the George Washington High School Choir in the Musical Concourse. The event will feature a free bike valet courtesy of the SF Bike Coalition. Also, the Golden Gate Park shuttle will run a loop between McLaren Lodge and the Music Concourse.  

When: Tree Lighting Event December 2nd, Winter Lights running nightly until February

Where: McLaren Lodge, 501 Stanyan Street (and Fell)

More Info:

Ice Skating in Union Square

Holiday Ice Ring in Union Square San Francisco
Image Courtesy of

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square is the ideal San Francisco Holiday experience. It’s the best way to enjoy all of the decorations Union Square has to offer, including Macy’s 86 Foot Tall Giant Christmas Tree, while you skate.

If you’re skating on a Saturday or Sunday, pop in to theSt. Francis Holiday Sweet Shoppe. There, you can enjoyExecutive Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Houdré’s selection of freshly baked decorative cookies, brownies, gingerbread men, hot chocolate and more! Located in the Westin St. Francis Landmark Lobby (335 Powell Street.)

When: November 19th- January 17th

Where: 333 Post Street San Francisco, CA

More Info:

Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House

Fairmont life size Gingerbread house

The Historic Fairmont Hotel is dressed to the nines during the Holidays! Visit their beautiful lobby where a life size, two-story Gingerbread house stands, along with many other beautiful and festive decorations.

Also, for a special treat, reserve a spot at the Fairmont San Francisco’s Holiday Tea on Thursdays- Sundays between 1pm and 3:30pm.

When: November 27th- January 2nd

Where: Fairmont San Francisco 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, California, United States, 94108

More Info:

Sunset Holiday Mercantile

Sunset Mercantile Holiday Events in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of

The 6th Annual Sunset Holiday Mercantile is back in person this year! Enjoy holiday treats, fun activities and shop for unique and one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists at this Holiday marketplace.

On December 4th, after visiting the Holiday Mercantile, stroll up the Inner Sunset Business Corridor for the Inner Sunset Holiday Lights Stroll. There will be decorated shop windows, trolley rides, music, a scavenger hunt and more!

When: December 4th and 5th

Where: County Fair Building (9th and Lincoln) and Inner Sunset

More Info:

The Great Dickens’ Christmas Fair

Drive Thru Dickens Fair Holiday Event in San Francisco
Image Courtesy of

This year, to keep everyone safe, The Great Dickens’ Fair will be enjoyed from the comfort of your car. Immerse yourself in a Victorian London Winter Wonderland while you enjoy hot cocoa, traditional hearty English Food and the sights and sounds of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s a great way to get your family into the Holiday Spirit!

When: December 4-5, 11-12 & 18-19

Where: Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Blvd., Daly City, CA 94014.

More Info:

Holiday Events in San Francisco for Kids

Where can I find Holiday Events in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area?

Check out Tinybean’s Holiday Bucket List for Holiday ideas and Christmas Events in Walnut Creek, Downtown San Jose, Half Moon Bay, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and other Bay Area cities.