Fun Things to Do with the Family in San Francisco this November
Dusted with the magic of the holiday season but not fully given to the madness, November is a charming time to visit San Francisco with your family. It's the perfect month to savor the pleasures of this kid-friendly city, from dazzling acrobat shows to wow-worthy landmarks. Put yourself in the heart of San Francisco at Hotel Nikko – we're located on the edge of Union Square. From our choice location, it's easy to explore all the most exciting things to do in San Francisco with kids. Check out some of our favorite happenings for the month of November and plan your getaway today.
Leap's Sandcastle Classic: Sandcastle Building Competition
Taking place at Ocean Beach on Saturday, November 3, Leap's Sandcastle Classic is the biggest sandcastle building competition in Northern California. The sand sculptures here will amaze parents and kids alike with their creativity and sheer size. See giant sea turtles, dragons, movie characters, spaceships, and monsters – all made out of the beach. The fun gets started around 11:00 a.m., with most sculptures finished by 4:00 p.m.
Discovery Day at AT&T Park: Hands-On Science Fun
One of the top things to do in San Francisco for families in November is Discovery Day, an annual science wonderland that features more than 150 interactive exhibits. Held this year on Saturday, November 3, the family-friendly event covers the field of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants MLB baseball team. Join thousands of kids and parents for exciting science experiments that will ignite your love of learning. Discovery Day is suitable for all ages and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Skating at Holiday Ice Rinks at Union Square and the Embarcadero
It may not snow in San Francisco, but you can still have wintery fun at the city's outdoor ice rinks. You'll find one of the best right by our hotel at Union Square – just look for the giant holiday tree. Glide across the ice and soak in the holiday spirit, surrounded by stores decked out with fancy window displays. The Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square will be open this year from November 7 through January 21, and you can rent skates there. Buy tickets online to save time. Another popular outdoor rink is at Embarcadero Plaza across from the historic Ferry Building. This large rink opens on November 5.
Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion
For tweens and teens that love to shop, this holiday gift market is a fun place to find unique items for friends. Open on November 11-12, the Renegade Craft Fair showcases handmade goods from more than 300 artists. It's open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and interactive elements while you shop for beaded jewelry, wooden toys, cool designer clothes, accessories, decor, and more.
Cirque du Soleil Volta: Find Your Free Under the Big Chapiteau
Located near AT&T Park, Cirque du Soleil's big-top tent is the setting for a whirlwind of wonders. Their new show Volta: Find Your Free opens on November 16 and will run through January 1. Shows take place every Tuesday through Sunday evening, including on Thanksgiving Day, plus matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday. Volta is the story of a game show contestant who dreams of being on TV – and who learns that all the recognition and love he needs can be found within.
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies: Kick Off the Holiday Season
Get into the spirit of the season at tree lighting ceremonies all over the city, which are often accompanied by live music and entertainment, kids activities, and holiday refreshments. Santa also usually makes an appearance! The biggest tree lighting ceremony in the city takes place very close to our hotel in Union Square on the day after Thanksgiving, and you'll find plenty more throughout this month and next. Here are the details:
- Pier 39 Tree Lighting Ceremony – Wednesday, November 21 at 5:00 p.m., repeating every hour on the hour from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night through January 1.
- Macy's 29th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Union Square – Friday, November 23 at 6:00 p.m.
- Rainbow World Tree of Hope at San Francisco City Hall with the SF Boys Choir – Wednesday, December 4 at 5:30 p.m.
- Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Presidio – Friday, December 7 at 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with the Fam in San Francisco
Many of the city's top attractions are open during the holiday, so you don't have to miss a minute of sightseeing on your trip to the Bay Area. Some of the biggest museums and attractions that are open on November 22, 2018 include:
- Botanical Gardens
- Aquarium of the Bay
- California Academy of Sciences
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Muir Woods
- Twin Peaks
- Japanese Tea Garden
- San Francisco Bay Sightseeing Cruises
Family-Friendly Boutique Hotel in San Francisco with Indoor Pool
Kids are more than welcome at our charming, Asian-inspired hotel. We cater to families with everything you need to relax and keep kids entertained. Our spacious rooms and suites feature 24-hour room service, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Our glass-enclosed, heated indoor pool is a highlight of any trip; it's one of the best in the city. Meet our resident dog Buster and find convenient services on-site, including an ATM, restaurant, a concierge desk, car rentals, and valet parking. Family travel is easier at Hotel Nikko. Plan your November adventure and make new memories together in San Francisco.