No weekend is ever the same in San Francisco, but it always leaves you with the same feeling. You always want more. Here's what you shouldn't miss this weekend.

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December 7, 2018
The weekend is finally here.

Things to Do in San Francisco This Weekend

The holiday season is in full swing in San Francisco. Find out which special seasonal events are available to you this weekend.

Illuminate SF Festival of Light

The Illuminate SF Festival of Light revolves around 37 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations, accessible by public transportation and free for all. Through New Year’s Day 2019, art lovers are invited to embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s art installations, created by a diverse range of local and world renowned light artists.


Home for the Holidays at the Walt Disney Family Museum

See how one of the biggest kids-at-heart celebrated the holidays at the Walt Disney Family Museum's "Home for the Holidays at Carolwood" exhibit, on display through Jan. 7, 2019. A replica of the Disney home and Walt's personal steam locomotive, the "Lilly Belle", are among the items featured.


See Holiday Lights with Big Bus

Beginning Dec. 8, Big Bus offers a special 90-minute Holiday Lights tour. See the city's many lights and decorations on one of two nightly departures, at 6:30 and 7 p.m.


Cold Play

No, not the British pop-rock group. We’re talking about a few twirls around the outdoor ice rinks at Embarcadero Center, Union Square and Civic Center. Located at the foot of Market Street, the Embarcadero Center rink is open until Jan. 6 and the Union Square rink is open until Jan. 21. The city's newest ice rink addition at Civic Center will debut on Nov. 30 and remain through Jan 6, 2019.

A Holly Jolly Holiday

Two-time Emmy Award and five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein returns to San Francisco, the city where he launched his career, with "A Holly Jolly Holiday," Dec. 6 through Dec. 9. In this all new show celebrating the magic of the season, Feinstein will perform holiday favorites as well as classic standards from the Great American Songbook at Feinstein's at The Nikko.

MoAD: Recipes for Resistance

Join the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) Chef-in-Residence Bryant Terry on Dec. 8, 2018 for a not-to-be-missed interactive holiday party for children and their families. The party will include a cooking demo and tasting of plant-based foods to highlight the importance of sustainable food and healthy eating. Visiting from Denver, CO, DJ Cavem will wow the crowd with a performance using vegetables as a beat machine, in addition to spinning classic hip-hop, soul and jazz. There will be small bites and warm drinks, too. Cheers!

SantaCon 2018

Wondering why there’s a gaggle of Santas marching en masse through Union Square or gathered around Grant Avenue’s Buddha Bar in the heart of Chinatown? It’s the annual SantaCon 2018 on Dec. 8, 2018. Get your elf or Santa suit out of the closet (t-shirts and a hat don’t count) and show up at noon in Union Square. Bring one new, unwrapped toy that can be donated to the Toys for Tots charity and practice your ho-ho-hos.

Shop Small in San Francisco

Whichever neighborhood you want to scour for holiday goodies, there will always be opportunities to support local businesses. An extension of Small Business Saturday, the Shop Small program sponsored by American Express celebrates and supports the businesses that help give places like San Francisco its unique character. Check out our ideas for how to shop small in San Francisco this season.

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