Things to Do in San Francisco This November
Now is the moment before the holidays when San Francisco seems to breathe deep and take stock. Here are a few things we’re thankful for that visitors can experience.
Dia de Los Muertos Procession
On Nov. 2, 2019, the annual Festival of Altars and Day of the Dead procession will take place in the Mission District. Staging of the Day of the Dead procession will begin on Bryant St. and the Festival of Altars will take place in Potrero Del Sol Park from 4 to 11 p.m. The procession begins at 22nd and Bryant streets at 7 p.m.
Cirque du Soleil's "Amaluna"
Cirque du Soleil returns to San Francisco with its production of "Amaluna" under the Big Top at Oracle Park's Lot A. Inspired by William Shakespeare's "The Tempest," "Amaluna" has a strong storyline that takes place on a mysterious island ruled by goddesses, performed by amazing acrobats, and accompanied by live music. See "Amaluna" Nov. 3 - Jan. 12, 2020.
Macy's Union Square Renovation Celebration
Join Macy's Union Square on Nov. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. to celebrate their revamped space. Take a tour of the store and collect passport stamps from celebrity chefs along the way. Collect all five stamps to receive a free copy of Karl the Fog: San Francisco's Most Mysterious Resident (Chronicle Books), a $10 Macy's Rewards card and other culinary gifts.
Topgolf Live at Oracle Park
It's time to get competitive! Oracle Park will transform into an interactive golf entertainment experience, Nov. 8 - 10, 2019. Colorful targets placed on the field and Topgolf's Toptracer Range technology will track the accuracy of your swing. You can even enjoy Topgolf at night for a unique glow-in-the-dark experience.
Final months of "Hamilton" at BroadwaySF
Don't miss your chance to see "Hamilton" at BroadwaySF's Orpheum Theatre. This Broadway production will be in San Francisco until Jan. 5, 2020. See this award-winning musical with your friends and family, or make it a group experience.
Now in its seventh year, Illuminate SF Festival of Light includes 43 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations and a variety of light-related events and activities. Accessible by public transportation and free to view, the diverse range of works by light artists is found throughout the city.
From the return of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party to the twinkling tree at Union Square, there will be much to delight and enchant you this holiday season. Skate in front of City Hall or beside the Embarcadero Center, catch the special (and final) holiday edition of Beach Blanket Babylon, or take a holiday lights tour on Big Bus.
Save on Transportation with Capitol Corridor
Traveling car-free has never been easier. Bring the whole family for a fun-filled getaway by taking advantage of the Capitol Corridor's Friends & Family Deal. Capitol Corridor is a fast and easy way to travel in Northern California, with up to 30 daily trains connecting the Bay Area, Sacramento and San Jose, and direct connections to select BART stations. Buy one full-fare ticket and bring up to five others for 50% off. Redeem this deal online only through Jan. 1, 2020.
Napa Valley Film Festival
The annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) lights up Northern California’s premier wine country destination, Nov. 13-17, 2019. Now in its ninth year, NVFF has established itself as the ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, and as one of the most entertaining, inspiring and memorable experiences for cultural travelers and film fans. This year's program is comprised of 75 films spanning eight categories. And unlike most big events, during which locals head for the hills, NVFF is embraced by locals as one of their favorite events of the year.
More Film Fare
The American Indian Film Festival takes place through Nov. 2, 2019 at the AMC Theater. Launching at the New People Cinema, 3rd i’s San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival promotes diverse images of South Asians through independent film, Nov. 7-10, 2019.
Unique Markets and Craft Fairs
Get set for the holidays and shop at some of these upcoming markets and fairs featuring unusual and locally made gifts. Be sure to check out the Renegade Craft Fair, Nov. 16-17, 2019, and the West Coast Craft, Nov. 23 and 24, 2019, too. For more singular gifts and souvenirs, don’t forget San Francisco’s street artists. Since 1972, the San Francisco Arts Commission has licensed artists to sell their original works on the city’s bustling streets. Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero Plaza at the foot of Market Street, and Union Square are among the areas where they’ll be found.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
This month, SFMOMA will exhibit, “Soft Power,” featuring new commissions and recent works by 20 international artists. This exhibition will be filled with works representative of how these artists deploy art to explore their role as citizens and to express our differences. Also on view this November is "2019 SECA Art Award," a collection of award-winning art from three Bay Area artists, each with a dedicated gallery: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Sahar Khoury, and Marlon Mullen.
de Young Museum
Beginning Nov. 9 at the de Young Museum is "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963-1983." This internationally acclaimed exhibition celebrates art made by black artists during two decades that were pivotal in the exploration of race and identity. It focuses on Bay Area artists whose work promoted cultural pride and social activism.
Be Book Smart at the American Bookbinders Museum
Want to learn more about core bookbinding structures and where book artists come from? "Book Smart: Learning to Break the Rules", the American Bookbinders Museum's exhibition on all things book structures, continues through Nov. 30, 2019. Skilled instructors from San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College and Oregon College of Art & Craft will present unique forms of bookbinding.
Watch a Warriors Game
The 2019-2020 NBA season has kicked off and November is a perfect time to watch the Golden State Warriors at the brand new Chase Center. On Nov. 25, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Draymond Green San Francisco edition bobblehead. Be one of the lucky 10,000 fans to get a Klay Thompson Headband edition bobblehead on Nov. 27. Staying the night? Here are a few of our favorite places to stay near Chase Center.
49er Football at Levi's Stadium
Watch the San Francisco 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers during the month of November. Named Venue of the Year in 2015, Levi's Stadium is an attraction in and of itself. You'll find a ton of restaurants and even a 49er Museum within this premier sports and entertainment venue. Located just south of San Francisco in Santa Clara, Levi's Stadium is accessible by car or by Caltrain.
The Velveteen Rabbit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Brimming with wit, festive costumes and tons of holiday cheer, ODC/Dance returns to Yerba Buena Cener for the Arts for their 33rd season performing The Velveteen Rabbit, Nov. 29 - Dec. 8, 2019.
San Francisco Art Institute Art Sale & Open Studios
Each year, the San Francisco Art Institute's (SFAI) second campus at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture transforms into an all-campus art sale. This free-entry event, Nov. 16 and 17, 2019, will include exhibitions, open studios, a student art sale and more. The 67,000-square foot pier, with spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, is the new home for more than 160 art studios for students, faculty, and visiting artists. There's also 4,300 square feet of new exhibition space, open to the public and free of charge, including a flagship gallery, a graduate student-run gallery, and Gray Box media and performance space.
Veterans Day Parade
On Nov. 10, 2019, the 99th annual San Francisco Salute to Veterans Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at North Point St. and the Embarcadero and wend its way through Fisherman’s Wharf. All veterans will be honored, including a special tribute to the 100th anniversary of the American Legion. Visitors can also see special exhibits in the lobby of the War Memorial Veterans Building on Van Ness Ave., just across from City Hall. These artifacts trace how San Francisco was shaped by the entire wartime experience.
Opening Nov. 21, 2019 at The Exploratorium is “Curious Contraptions: Flights of Fancy,” an interactive exhibition of more than 30 charming and often playful sculptures known as automata. These whimsical machines are brought to life by intricate arrangements of handmade cranks and other simple mechanisms. Each sculpture performs an absurd miniature drama, often reflecting its maker’s sense of humor. Visitors will be able to see and investigate the simple mechanisms used to make these automata move. Curious Contraptions is included in the price of Exploratorium admission.
Botanicals and Brews: A Night in the Tropics
Stroll through the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park for A Night in the Tropics on Friday, Nov. 15. Craft brews from northern California's own Almanac Beer Company and Original Pattern Brewing will be part of admission to this event. You can also be the first to experience the five-week light and sound exhibition, "Night Bloom," on Nov. 22, 2019. Journey through different luminous displays and indulge in light-up activities, selfie stations, and of course, dazzling flowers in full bloom.
Scrumptious Seasonal Favorites
Check out 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat English-style ale, available through December in six pack cans and on draft, or Anchor Brewing's Coffee Porter made with Four Barrel Flash-Chilled Coffee. Ghirardelli Chocolate has the perfect upgrade for a traditional s’more: Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel. There's not a more perfect time to gear up for holiday treats.
It’s Ale Time!
Anchor Brewing will soon release its 45th annual Christmas Ale, sold only from early November to mid-January. Always laced with rich and decadent flavors, their Christmas ales continue a long tradition of featuring a tree on the label. Available at the Anchor Public Taps on De Haro St., Christmas Ale is also sold at select stores throughout the Bay Area and, of course, at local bars and restaurants.
Leap for Joy
Celebrating 21 years of world-class hip-hop, sixteen of the most sophisticated hip-hop dance companies from across the globe will gather at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, Nov. 22-24, 2019, for the annual San Francisco International Hip-Hop DanceFest (SFIHDDF). In addition to performers from Norway, Paris, Austria, and Montreal, there will be dancers from New York and Chicago, and locally from the Bay Area. More than 100 individuals will take the stage at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, mixing skillfulness with artistry and storytelling.
San Francisco International Auto Show
One of San Francisco’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the 62nd annual International Auto Show at The Moscone Center, Nov. 28 - Dec. 2, 2019. Northern California’s premier auto exhibition features vehicles from global manufacturers. In addition to 2019 model vehicles, the Auto Show will feature Ride & Drive opportunities, classic cars, tricked-out vehicles and aftermarket products.
Winter Park Ice Rink at Civic Center
Scheduled to open on Nov. 22, 2019 is Civic Center's ice skating rink and winter-themed park. Festivities will take place right in front of City Hall through Jan. 5, 2020. This 6,000-square-foot ice rink and lighted forest will be the perfect place for date night or family fun!
Macy's 30th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Macy's Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Nov. 29, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Be sure get there early for the best spot! Following the tree lighting, explore the shops around Union Square. After all, it's never too early to start checking gifts off your holiday shopping list!