California Christmas
San Francisco, Ca


San Francisco, CA Tree Lightings

SAN FRANCISCO  Tree Lightings, Snowflakes and Menorah Lightings prove that San Francisco, Calif. is the epi-center of holiday celebrations. If you pick one city to encapsulate all the best of the holidays, San Francisco would be the first choice of countless Californians and visitors who seek more than a sandy beach (though SF has that). In addition to the holiday lights and spectacular tree lighting ceremonies, there are several holiday ice skating rinks, lots of great themed entertainment and a real shopping area fashioned after the traditional downtown districts Back East.  Shown in the photo is the tree lighting at Union Square in front of Macy's.

Macy's Great Tree Lighting

Friday, November 29, 2013 at 6 p.m. at Union Square

The annual illumination of Macy's Great Tree includes more than 1,500 ornaments adorning the tree. For information, visit

PIER 39 Tree Lighting Celebration
Nov. 24, 2013  Noon – 6 p.m.

PIER 39 annual holiday tree lighting ceremony in 2012 features friends and family welcoming the holiday season with a day of holly-jolly magic and merriment at PIER 39! Engage in fun for the whole family with interactive exhibits, special meet-and-greets, live holiday music sing-alongs, and more. Everything culminates at 5:30pm as PIER 39's majestic 60 foot tree adorned with glistening ornaments, bows and twinkling lights is illuminated against a stunning backdrop of the San Francisco City skyline 5:30pm in PIER 39's Entrance Plaza. Visit for more information.

Bill Graham Menorah Lighting in Union Square November 27- December 4, 2013

A tradition that dates back many decades, the giant menorah in Union Square will be lit each evening as part of Hanukkah festivities. For information, visit

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 29, 2013  at 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy free, live entertainment for the entire family throughout the day culminating with the lighting of the Ghirardelli Square tree at 5:30 pm. For more information, visit

3 p.m.  Yuletide Carolers
4 p.m.  Rocketship Radio
5:30 p.m.  49th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony with Christina Loren & Santa
6:15 p.m. Kevin Toqe

The Ritz-Carlton Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 4, 2013, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The holiday season begins at twilight when The Ritz-Carlton's 40-foot holiday tree is illuminated by Santa Claus and his little helper from the Make-A-Wish  Greater Bay Area. Hosted by veteran Bay Area TV anchor Tom Sinkovitz, this annual tree lighting ceremony begins with Dickens-era costumed carolers performing holiday favorites throughout the hotel while guests enjoy cider, hot chocolate and cookies. After the ceremony, children may take photos and visit with Santa in the Terrace Room. Complimentary and open to the public.

Annual Embarcadero Center Building Lighting and Winter Carnival Friday November 22, 2013:  Winter Carnival 4-6 p.m.  Tree Lighting 6-7 p.m.

 Each year, the weekend before Thanksgiving, marks the annual Building Lighting Ceremony. Once the sun sets, the countdown to the official lighting leads up to the illumination of One, Two, Three and Four Embarcadero Center, followed by a grand fireworks display. On the same evening each year, we proudly present our Winter Carnival event. The festivities include children's activities, entertainment, visits with Santa, and a very special appearance by Mickey Mouse, including a live sneak peek Disney on Ice performance! So gather your friends and family, and come take in a San Francisco holiday tradition at Embarcadero Center! Free Holiday Parking!

Hyatt Regency San Francisco  Lighting Ceremony November 22, 2013

 Festivities When you stay at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco during the holiday season, guests are treated to a host of joyful events. It all kicks off with a stunning 30-foot tree, and the fun doesn't let up with daily indoor snow falls in the atrium, special Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, and New Year's Eve dinners at the onsite restaurant Eclipse, breakfast with Santa on weekends beginning November 30, and a giant Snow Village inside the lobby until December 30th. And don't miss the 300,000 cascading lights decorating the inside of the hotel, which is conveniently located right next to the Embarcadero ice skating rink!

San Francisco
Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
The 24th annual illumination of Macy’s Great Tree includes more than 1,500 ornaments adorning the tree. For the best viewing location, stop by Union Square early to stake out your spot. Fri., Nov. 29, 6 pm (tree lighting at 6:40pm). Union Square. Free.
Holiday Tree Lighting at 555 California Street

San Francisco former 49er Ronnie Lott and his wife Karen, current 49ers Marcus Lattimore & Alex Boone, music by Carley Rae Jepsen (Call me Maybe, anyone?), the Dick Bright Orchestra, and the Pacific Boys Choir, mean that this is an all-star evening for the whole family. The fun holiday event benefits the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Tues., Dec. 3, 5pm-6:30pm. Free.

Ghiradelli Square’s 49th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Come on over, ‘cause Ghiradelli Square celebrates the coming holiday with free, live entertainment for the family throughout the day (including music from the Yuletide Carolers). The festivities culminate with the tree lighting at 5:30 pm. Fri., Nov. 29, 5:30 pm.

Bill Graham Menorah Lighting in Union Square
Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of the two-story tall Bill Graham Menorah in Union Square Park. A lighting ceremony will be held each day of Hanukkah from Wed., Nov 27 through Tues., Dec 3 . Time varies by day, so check the event details. Union Square. Free.

The Ritz-Carlton Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
It’s a regular Christmas wonderland at the Ritz-Carlton. The hotel’s 40 foot tree will be lit by Santa and some of his helpers as Dickens-era costumed carolers sing the songs of the season. Sample hot apple cider, hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and other holiday confections during the ceremony. Then stick around for a chance to meet with Santa. Wed., Dec. 4, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Free. All.

East Bay
Jack London Square Lights Up for the Holidays!
Oakland is ringing in the holidays with festivities galore! Music, snow flurries, real reindeer, colorful dancing Christmas trees, and parades with floats and costume characters will all be apart of the event. Officials will be lighting up the skies with the Jack London Square’s 55-foot Mount Shasta Fir Tree. Fri. Dec. 6, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Oakland. Free. All.

South Bay
Christmas in the Park Tree Lighting Ceremony in San Jose
This year’s Annual Community Giving Tree Lighting Ceremony includes a festive tree lighting ceremony at 6pm. Holiday cheer continues throughout the month so be sure to check the event details and website for a full rundown. Fri., Nov. 93, 6pm. San Jose. Free.

North Bay
San Rafael Winter Wonderland
Downtown San Rafael will once again host its annual holiday Parade & Winter Wonderland. In its 34th year, the event will feature a Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, free snow sledding and one of the largest Holiday Parades in the Bay Area. After the parade, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the mayor of San Rafael will join together to light the dazzling Christmas Tree. Fri. Nov. 29, 12:00 pm. Fourth Street

Castro Holiday Tree TBD

Join the Castro neighborhood as they light their holiday tree in the middle of this historic district, accompanied by music from the Lesbian/Gay Chorus, the Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band and assorted special celebrity guests. The crowd grows every year for this seasonal event. Immediately afterwards, start holiday shopping in the great variety of shops nearby, offering classic gifts and unique selections. For more information, visit

Although it never snows in San Francisco, this year the Hyatt Regency San Francisco is predicting snowfall throughout the holiday season in its dramatic, Guinness Book of World Records' Largest Atrium Lobby in the world. Complementing thousands of cascading lights and a dramatic 45-foot tree, snow will fall three times a day in the hotel's lobby, from November 19 through December 31, 2011. Free. For reservations and information, visit or call 415.788.1234 – extension 4241.

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