Skaters take to the ice at one of San Francisco's seasonal rinks.

Things We're Excited About This Winter in San Francisco

Check out what's new this winter season in San Francisco

There are plenty of events, exhibits and festivals in San Francisco that are worthy of a save-the-date on your calendar. While it’s tough to narrow down the list, make sure to save a spot for these can’t-miss fall and winter happenings.

Must-See Art Exhibitions

Glow: Discover the Art of Light at the Exploratorium

Get excited about the science of light this winter! Check out Exploratorium galleries for luminous artworks big and small, like crystals, a mechanical mirror and a giant glowing moon. These exhibits include U.S. premieres. Through January 28, 2024. 

Buy Tickets

Takashi Murakami: Unfamiliar People — Swelling of Monsterized Human Ego at The Asian Art Museum

Takashi Murakami is making his debut solo exhibition in San Francisco, marking a significant artistic milestone. Internationally acclaimed, Murakami not only stands as a prominent figure in global pop culture, but also wields considerable influence in realms spanning fashion, consumer products, curation, and entertainment. Beneath the surface of his work, one discovers a nuanced exploration of human behavior, infused with historical and art-historical references, and a clever sense of humor.

Buy Tickets


Takashi Murkami painting of a monster sitting on a cloud

Illuminate SF

The days may be shorter, but the city is an especially bright place to be from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, when the Illuminate SF Festival of Light shines across several neighborhoods. More than 60 installations by both local and international artists come to life at dusk each night, making for an illuminating adventure. 


Van Ness Avenue Installation
Van Ness Avenue Installation

The Nuttiest Nutcracker

The annual production of the Dance-Along Nutcracker takes place on December 16 and 17 at the Yerba Buena Gardens Center for the Arts. Join the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band for this spectacular performance and be prepared to shake your own rump when the “Dance Along” signs lights up. Waltz through spooky Halloween Town during this year's "Nutmare Before Christmas" theme.

Buy tickets


Funny Business

Sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy are all on the docket for SF Sketchfest, January 18 – February 4, 2024. The renowned festival features a diverse mix of local favorites, up-and-comers and national headliners. Performers from hit shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “Arrested Development” and “Veep” have all appeared in years past. Tributes and panel discussions round out the schedule, offering a rare opportunity to see so many comedic talents in one place.

Buy Tickets


Eat, Drink and Be Merry

The 12th Annual SF Beer Week hits San Francisco from February 9 – 18, 2024, with hundreds of beer-focused events across the city and beyond. Founded to highlight America's home of craft beer, SF Beer Week has become an annual tradition for the Bay Area's extensive network of brewers and enthusiasts. If you’re not lucky enough to be here for SF Beer Week, don’t despair. These breweries are worth a stop at all year long.



A group of travelers share a drink at a San Francisco bar.

The Great Outdoors

The weather cools down a bit in the Bay Area at this time of year, but the year-round mild climate means you can still get outside and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

In fact, this can be a particularly lovely season to go for a hike or bike ride, with the fog lifting to show off clear views and rain turning the hillsides green. It’s the perfect time to experience Golden Gate Park, and its miles of lush lawns, gardens and lakes. Rent a bike to weave your way through the tree-lined roads and take in the many spectacular vistas.

In the Presidio, you can stroll along the Promenade Trail, a leisurely loop featuring lots of historical points of interest and Golden Gate Bridge photo ops.

Just 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, Mt. Tamalpais' summit rises almost straight up from sea level and offers 360-degree views of the Bay Area. The park has numerous parking areas, trailheads, scenic overlooks and two drive-in picnic areas.



Hikers chatting with the San Francisco skyline in the distance
You can thank our steep hills for the many fantastic views throughout the city.