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What to Do in San Francisco in December

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This post covers the best things to do in San Francisco in December, including free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly activities, all updated for 2022. 

For tips on the best activities in San Francisco, check out our  other popular pages: 

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER

This list includes concerts, sporting events, Christmas-themed activities, things to do with kids, and tours, among other fun entertainment! 


1. See a Concert

San Francisco has an abundance of big-name artists performing in the area.

You can find artists in almost any genre from Metallica to Marc Anthony (on the same weekend, no less). 

You can find all the San Francisco Bay area concerts here

Again, you can find all the San Francisco Bay area concerts here


2. Take a Tour

December means there will be smaller crowds of people, which makes it the perfect time to take a tour! 

San Francisco is full of interesting neighborhoods, diverse cultures, and years of history to discover. We have tours to cover all of it! 

Here are several that we provide:

  • The Original San Francisco Tour
  • San Francisco in One Day
  • Lombard Street, Little Italy, & Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Secrets, Scandals & Scoundrels of San Francisco
  • The Gold Rush, Wild West & Early Years of San Francisco
  • The Castro and the Fight for Equal Rights
  • Downtown San Francisco
  • Chinatown

Check out our full schedule of tours here.


3. Attend a Sporting Event

There are several football and basketball games happening in San Francisco this month.

Find all the December games you can attend here.

NFL Football

NBA Basketball

NHL Hockey

Find all the December games you can attend here


4. Enjoy the Theatre

There a few great theatrical productions you can enjoy this month, and almost all of them will be holiday themed.

The San Francisco Ballet will be putting on their annual performance of The Nutcracker, with shows running from December 8th - 22nd.

You'll also have the chance to Aint Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations on December 2nd and 3rd

If you're willing to go further afield, in San Jose you'll find Disney Junior Live on Tour - Costume Palooza on December 8th.

The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show comes to The Warfield in San Francisco on December 17th.

And if magic is what brings you thrills, the Champions of Magic: The Worldwide Wonders Tour is making an appearance in San Jose, December 27th - 29th.

You can find all of San Francisco’s theatrical productions here.

Be sure to read our post on things to do at night in San Francisco for more nighttime activity ideas.


5. Major Attractions

December is the perfect time to explore the city. In addition to festive lights and decorations, you'll have fewer crowds and smaller tour groups. 

One of the most popular activities is taking a ferry ride to Alcatraz and touring the island.

Even though baseball season is over, you can still take tours of Oracle Park, where the San Francisco Giants play. 

If you're in the Golden Gate or Chinatown areas, you should make a stop at the fortune cookie factory, where you can watch fortune cookies being made by hand.

In the city center itself, bus tours and walking tours are fun options that help visitors get a good feel for San Francisco.


6. See a Comedy Show

Some great comedians are making their way through San Francisco this month.

Here's who will be appearing in San Fracisco in December:

If you're willing to drive a bit further out, here is who will be appearing in San Jose in December:

Click here to see all the comedy and theatre in San Francisco this month.


7. Celebrate New Year’s Eve 

Ring in 2023 with a number of events in the city by the bay!

Look out for restaurant drink and meal specials, as some will offer special menus for the evening.

For those wanting to hit the town before the clock counts down, there are a variety of events to choose from (most are 21+).

You can find parties and themed galas on land, as well as cruises in the bay.


8. Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

There are several tourist passes you can use to save a lot of money on popular attractions and activities in San Francisco.

Here are a few of the most notable services included with these passes:

Depending on which service you choose, you can expect to get anywhere from a 20% – 50% discount.

Most passes also provide skip-the-line entry at some popular attractions.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering San Francisco tourist passes.


9. Attend a Holiday Concert

If you're looking for holiday music, there are a quite few options in December in San Francisco.

The Grammy award winning San Francisco Boys Chorus will be at Episcopal Church of the Incantation on December 10th from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm.

Tickets are $20 - $25 and can be purchased here.

Also at the Episcopal Church of the Incatation is the San Francisco Youth Chorus. They're singing on December 4th at 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

The San Francisco Symphony is putting on a Holiday Brass Concert. It takes place at Davis Symphony Hall on December 20th.

It will also be performing Handel's Messia from December 9th - 11th.

And on December 15th they are joining the Holiday Gaiety with drag icon Peaches Christ. She is hosting a "retro-inspired holiday variety show".

You can purchase tickets to those or any other December Symphony events here.


10. Attend a Craft Fair

If you're looking for holiday gifts or something to take home with you, a craft fair might worth visiting.

You can expect to find a variety of interesting and unique Christmas gifts, decorations, jewelry, ceramics, and other great examples of local artwork.

The Girl Gang Holiday Craft Fair takes place in Oakland, at Scottish Rite, on December 3rd.

The Crucible will hold the GIFTY 2022 Holiday Craft Fair, selling one-of-a kind sculptures, pottery, soap, and more, December 3rd and 4th.

advertisement showing holiday craft fair in Mill Valley on December 3rd.

If you're willing to go outside San Francisco itself, there are a couple of options.

The Mill Valley Holiday Craft Fair is still scheduled to take place on December 3rd, 2022. Mill Valley is just half an hour north of San Francisco.

Also in Mill Valley is the Open Air Artisan Faire | Markers Market, taking place on December 10th.

Also just about half an hour from the city is Richmond. They will hold A Procrastinator's Pop Up Shop Artisan Market on December 18th.

For more fun Christmas-themed activities, check out our guide to Christmas in San Francisco .


Glofari at the Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo will be hosting Glowfari which has larger-than-life glowing animal lanterns placed throughout the zoo.

There will also be a chance to meet Santa on select dates, and the opportunity to ride in a gondola and on a train

Glofari takes place in December from the 1st - 23rd and the 26th - 31st. Times tickets can be purchased here.

Find more family-friendly activities on our full post

If you’re looking for more Christmas activities, take a look at our post about the holidays in San Francisco .


Great Dickens Christmas Fair 

Great Dickens! This Christmas fair and Victorian holiday party is sure to delight. 

Head to the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls in Daly City to enjoy an atmosphere that is set for Victorian-era London.

It is filled with music, pubs, dance parties, food, and shops filled to the brim with handmade holiday gifts. 

Don’t miss over 800 colorful characters from the imagination of Charles Dickens.

Events take place November 19th - December 18th, 2022.


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About The Author

Britt

Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city. A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.
Updated: November 1st, 2022
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