Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the San Francisco Symphony
Treat yourself—and your ears—to something special with the San Francisco Symphony.

Listen to the Sounds of the Holiday Season in San Francisco

From timeless classics to bright and bold new works, here are some holiday performances you shouldn't miss in San Francisco.

The holidays are music to the ears of San Franciscans, figuratively and literally. You can enjoy all kinds of performances this time of year, from chorales to comedy. Treat yourself to any of these exciting holiday performances.

San Francisco Opera

A world-renowned company, San Francisco Opera is a must-see for all serious opera fans. See their production of Gaetano Donizetti’s effervescent comedy "The Elixir of Love," a quest for passion and romance on the sunny Mediterranean Riviera, playing through Dec. 9.

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San Francisco Ballet

From December 13 to 30, see San Francisco Ballet perform a holiday tradition, "The Nutcracker". The world of ballet and Christmas cheer will come together for a festive production this holiday season.

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San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will perform its "Holiday Spectacular," the latest holiday extravaganza full of seasonal classics. It's guaranteed to be uproarious and tongue-in-cheek, but also sweet and sentimental. Performances at the Sydney Goldstein Theater take place on Dec. 8 and 9, and at the Castro Theater on Christmas Eve.

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"A Christmas Carol"

The holiday classic returns to A.C.T.'s Toni Rembe Theater, December 6 - 24. The legendary Charles Dickens tale gets its own unique retelling here, as it has been adapted and directed by A.C.T.'s former long-time artistic director, Carey Perloff. This is a local favorite, so tickets will go quickly!

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Grace Cathedral

One of San Francisco’s most beautiful landmarks, Grace Cathedral, will be hosting a number of concerts this holiday season. Hear jazz and gospel tunes at "Soulful Joy" on December 9; "A Brass and Organ Christmas" on December 18; and Handel's "Messiah" on December 14 and 15. There are other performances scheduled for the season, as well.

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San Francisco Symphony

The Grammy-winning San Francisco Symphony has plenty of offer this holiday season, including live film performances of "Home Alone" and "Love Actually"; "Holiday Gaiety", featuring the uproarious drag stars Peaches Christ and Bianca Del Rio; and more!

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Kung Pao Kosher Comedy

Looking for a laugh this holiday? Don’t miss “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy," happening December 23-25 in Chinatown. Join the celebration, savor an authentic meal Chinese meal at the Imperial Palace Restaurant, and crack up while local and visiting Jewish comedians tell jokes and stories. This popular annual event is celebrating its 31st anniversary this year!

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Tyler Cohn headshot
Tyler Cohn

Tyler is the Sr. Manager of Global Content & Communications at San Francisco Travel. He has lived in San Francisco since 2015 and has been part of the San Francisco Travel team for just as long. He enjoys splashy production numbers and outdoor sporting events equally, which means you can usually find him at one of San Francisco’s many great theaters or at Oracle Park, cheering on the Giants.