Winter is a magical time of year to explore San Francisco. The weather is mild, and the city is buzzing with holiday events, sparkling lights, and the joy of the season. Whether you're coming home to visit family, getting away for an adventure or holiday shopping, San Francisco is a truly captivating destination. From Christmas tree lightings to shopping at Ghiradelli Square, SF is the place to make magical memories and new holiday traditions.
- Shopping at Ghirardelli Square
Experience San Francisco's best holiday shopping at historic Ghiradelli Square with art galleries, clothing shops and specialty stores. Aglow with sparkling lights, decorations, and a 50-foot Christmas tree, this open-air shopping destination offers local lifestyle stores and amazing views of San Francisco Bay and Angel and Alcatraz Islands. Stop for dessert at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop and enjoy wine tasting at the Wattle Creek Winery.
- Civic Center Tree Lighting Ceremony
Get into the holiday spirit at the Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting on December 1. See the lighting of Civic Center Plaza's 50-foot noble fir right at sunset. This festive event features holiday music and entertainment, festive food and drinks, free holiday crafts, and a toy giveaway for four hundred kids. Meet Santa and the Elves, warm up with an Irish coffee or mulled wine, and snap a photo in front of the Shine On installation. The beautiful tree will be on display all month.
- Union Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink
Skate through the holiday season at the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square. Spend a magical afternoon gliding on the ice surrounded by the stores, sights and sounds of Union Square and the landmark Macy's. A holiday tradition, ice skating in Union Square is the coolest winter event in San Francisco. Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square through mid-January. Bring your skates or rent a pair for less than 20 dollars.
- Rainbow World Tree of Hope Lighting at Grace Cathedral
See the lighting of the Rainbow World Tree of Hope at Grace Cathedral on December 6. This event kicks off at 7 pm with performances by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. Standing twenty-three feet tall in the Nob Hill neighborhood, the World Tree of Hope is the largest origami holiday tree in the world and decorated with 17,000 origami cranes and stars inscribed with wishes for the world.
A gift to the San Francisco Bay Area from the LGBT community, the Rainbow World Fund (RWF) World Tree of Hope is a symbol of global unity, peace, love, and humanitarianism. See the tree throughout the holiday season against a backdrop of Grace Cathedral's dramatic Gothic arches.
Enjoy Live Theater and Holiday Shows
The Christmas season lights up San Francisco with iconic live performances and shows. Delight the family with a performance of A Christmas Carol at the Golden Gate Theater, or experience Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker performed by the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial. Enjoy music, dance, and holiday traditions like a true San Franciscan.
- SF Broadway Theater in December: A Christmas Carol - Golden Gate Theater – 11/26- 12/26
- SF Ballet: The Nutcracker - War Memorial Opera House - 12/10 - 12/30
San Francisco Holiday Package from Hotel Nikko
Celebrate the holidays in luxury with Hotel Nikko's Holiday Package. Enjoy a relaxing stay with us this season in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square. Whether coming home to the Bay Area for the holidays or making magical memories in California's most amazing destination, have a festive season at Hotel Nikko San Francisco.
Our SF Holiday Package includes:
• Breakfast Daily in Restaurant ANZU per adult booked
• Waived Amenity Fee, a daily savings of $34
• Valet parking in our secured, covered garage
• Exclusive Union Square shopping coupons
• Rates from $245 per night
Hotel Nikko San Francisco – The Heart of Union Square
Hotel Nikko San Francisco is a luxury boutique hotel with Asian inspired hospitality and ambiance steps from historic Union Square. This landmark hotel is within walking distance of the Theater District, Chinatown, and SF's best shopping and dining experiences.
Enjoy dining at Restaurant ANZU serving Japanese cuisine, sushi, and sake. Celebrate with friends with a musical show at Feinstein's at The Nikko and festive cocktails at the Kanpai Lounge. Hotel Nikko also offers a glass-enclosed indoor pool, fitness center, and a Pet Terrace – your holiday oasis in San Francisco.