Celebrate the season with Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa events and so much more! Think of it as FREE, fun activities and events.
Looking for something to do to switch up the holidays and refresh, admire, connect and enjoy the City and all it offers -- and at no cost? Here are some ideas, but there's even more.
Free Peet's Coffee Day, Christmas Eve 2019
San Francisco Botanical Garden, Free Admission on Christmas Day -- All Day
SF City Hall Lights Up for Christmas Eve 2019, FREE
First Day of Kwanzaa 2019: San Francisco City Hall Ceremony & Evening Celebration -- All Day
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Free Peet's Coffee Day, all day. The annual Peet’s Holiday Donation Program is entering its 34th year, supporting No Kid Hungry, a national nonprofit that works to end child hunger in America. To celebrate the program’s success and thank donors to the charities, Peet’s is treating Peetnicks to a free small drip coffee or tea; donations appreciated.
FREE Guided Walking Tours in SF: San Francisco City Guides offer free guided walking tours of many different neighborhoods in the city and will be offering a full slate of free tours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Have friends and relatives in town with nothing to do? Gather up the family & friends and show them the city you love with one of the many tours around Christmas.
Pier 39's Christmas Eve Nightly Tree Lighting Show, FREE: PIER 39 is spreading holiday cheer on San Francisco’s waterfront. Pier 39 is unwrapping their nightly tree lighting show for the holiday season. Synchronized to holiday music, the tree transforms into a kaleidoscope of swirling colors every half hour from 5 pm-10 pm, through January 5, 2020.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
San Francisco Botanical Garden, FREE Admission: The San Francisco Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse gardens in the world. A unique urban oasis, the garden is a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, and showcasing over 8,500 different kinds of plants from around the world. Always free admission for SF residents, but Christmas Day is free for visitors/out-of-towners.
Contemporary Jewish Museum FREE Day, SoMa:Think everything’s closed on Christmas Day? The CJM’s Community Day is a free, fun-filled day of art that has become an annual tradition for Bay Area families. Enjoy the day exploring the galleries with your family and friends or nosh on latkes at Wise Sons.
Thursday, December 26, 2019
First Day of Kwanzaa 2019; SF City Hall Ceremony & Evening Celebration: The Village Project presents San Francisco’s 14th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration, with seven days of community events striving to unite and strengthen the family, community, and nation, by highlighting each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa (the Nguzo Saba).
Bank of America's Bonus FREE Museum Days, Dec 26-31: This holiday season Bank of America is inviting their cardholders to enjoy an additional six days of free admission through Museums on Us, from 12/26/19 through 12/31/19.Participating Bay Area museums include the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Legion of Honor, de Young Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Computer History Museum and San Jose Museum of Art.
Looking to strap on some skates and head outdoors to ice skate? There are tons of pop-up ice rinks in San Francisco and all around the Bay Area. Start skating!
SF Bay Area residents, visitors, and tourists alike will find lots of spots around the region to enjoy one of winter's most loved outdoor activities... even in California!
Here is a list of the biggest and best SF and Bay Area ice skating rinks for 2019:
San Francisco Union Square Ice Rink – Dates: November 6, 2019 to January 20, 2020 – Where: Union Square, SF – Cost: $18 adults; $13 kids (includes skate rental) A San Francisco holiday tradition in the heart of Union Square, in the shadow of an 83-foot Christmas tree. Fun theme nights include Drag Queens on Ice (12/5), Silent Skate Party (12/12) & the Polar Bear Skate (1/1/2020).
Civic Center: Winter Park – Dates: November 22, 2019 to January 5, 2020 – Where: Civic Center, San Francisco – Cost: $18 adults; $13 kids (includes skate rental) Modeled after the internationally-famed Wiener Eistraum ice-skating rink in Vienna, this ice rink also features a 400-foot skating track that weaves ice skating fun through a lighted tree forest. Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero – Dates: November 6, 2019 to January 5, 2020 – Where: Embarcadero Plaza, SF – Cost: $12 Adults, $7 Kids ($5 skate rental) The self-proclaimed “largest outdoor ice rink” in the Bay (though San Mateo may actually be bigger) celebrates three decades of skating in SF.
Yerba Buena Ice Skating(Indoors) – Dates: Open Year Round – Where: 750 Folsom St., SF – Cost: $13 ($6 skate rental) San Francisco’s only year-round full-service ice skating facility with a large NHL-sized skating rink.
East Bay San Ramon: Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Skating Rink – New for 2019 – Dates: November 15 2019 to January 5, 2020 – Where: City Center Bishop Ranch, 6000 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon – Cost: $10-12 depending on date/time ($5 skate rental) – Skate at the first and only outdoor ice skating rink in the Tri-Valley. Discounts include free skate rentals on weekdays before 5 pm with student I.D. during non-holiday schedule only.
Concord: Ice at The Veranda – Dates: November 8, 2019 to February 17, 2020 – Where: The Veranda, 2001-2003 Diamond Blvd., Concord – Cost: $15 per person; $50 for family 4 pack This 3,500 sq. ft. rink features special midweek discounts on Tuesdays ($6 off).
Walnut Creek on Ice – Dates: November 8, 2019 to January 20, 2020 – Where: Civic Park, 1365 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek – Cost: $13 – $15 depending on date/time Get your skate at the 13th annual Walnut Creek on Ice with themed nights, live music, family night, skating lessons and more.
North Bay Napa on Ice – Dates: November 22, 2019 to January 12, 2020 – Where: Napa – Cost: $14 (includes skate rental) The outdoor rink in downtown Napa is surrounded by restaurants, shops, the riverfront, picnic areas, and, of course, a Wine Train.
Peninsula Palo Alto: Winter Lodge – Dates: September 30, 2019 to April 11, 2020 – Where: Palo Alto – Cost: $15 ($5 for skate rental) The ice is cold, the fireplaces are warm. Outside Magazine ranked Winter Lodge as one of the Top 10 Outdoor Ice Skating Experiences in the US.
San Mateo on Ice – Dates: November 9, 2019 to January 12, 2020 – Where: Central Park, San Mateo – Cost: $17 Get your skate on at the Bay Area’s largest outdoor ice skating rink featuring 11,000 square feet of real ice.
Sunnyvale: Winter Ice Rink – New for 2019 – Dates: November 22, 2019 to January 20, 2020 – Where: CityLine Sunnyvale, Sunnyvale – Cost: $18 Adults, $15 for 10 & under or Military Located in the heart of downtown Sunnyvale, skate beneath historic Redwood trees at the inaugural Winter Ice Rink. – Confirmed 10/31/2019
South Bay and Beyond San Jose: Downtown Ice – Dates: November 15, 2019 to January 12, 2020 – Where: San Jose btwn. Fairmont and SJ Museum of Art – Cost: $18 Adults; $13 for 8 & Under (Includes skate rental) Skate in true California style. Downtown Ice in San Jose is the only rink in the world that offers skating in and around a circle of 32 palm trees.
Santa Clara on Ice – Dates: November 21, 2019 to January 20, 2020 – Where: 969 Kiely Blvd Santa Clara – Cost: $15 Adults, $10 Youth (Includes skate rental) Get your skates ready and come experience outdoor ice skating in Santa Clara’s Central Park.
San Jose: Holiday Ice at Solar4America Ice (Indoors) – Dates: Has daily public hours, please see website. – Where: 1500 South Tenth Street, San Jose – Cost: $12.50 ($5 skate rental) Skate your way through the holidays at the largest rink facility west of the Mississippi. Practice your moves at the San Jose Sharks’ official practice facility. Santa Cruz: Boardwalk Holiday Ice – Dates: November 16, 2019 to January 5, 2020 – Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Cost: $14.95 Bring the family to enjoy ice skating by the beach – on real ice with ocean view fire pits. Their new 32′ x 90′ covered ice skating rink is open rain or shine.
Due to the fires and the air quality in the Bay Area, several museums are offering free admission to help people cope. Note: some museums are free for all, while others are just for people in mandatory evacuation areas.
This week, the SFMOMA permanent collection on Floor 2 will be free to the public through Friday, November 1.
Hopefully these galleries can offer a place for reflection as we all find ways to cope with the impact of the fire and smoke.
2019 San Francisco Greek Film Festival coming October 20-26 Olympia Dukakis documentary will be Opening Night feature at the Castro
- The 2019 San Francisco Greek Film Festival (SFGFF) will be held October 20 through 26. Opening Night film is Olympia, a documentary feature on multiple award winning actress Olympia Dukakis, screening on Sunday, October 20 at the Castro Theater (a first for SFGFF.)
- Closing Night film is the poignant dramatic comedy Smuggling Hendrix, screening on Saturday, October 26 at Dolby Cinema at 1275 Market. The remaining screening dates October 21 through 25 will be presented at the Delancey Street Screening Room. Following the formal Closing Night, there will be a Bonus Screening on Sunday, October 27, also at Delancey.
Click image to go to trailer for the 2019 San Francisco Greek Film Festival
Classic French film double feature screens October 13 at the Roxie Theatre, San Francisco Monelle, with Shadow and Light 3rd in series THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOST CONTINENT, reclaiming glories of France’s “Cinema de Papa,” focus on comedy & romance
Sunday October 13, 2019 – double feature starts 12:30pm
The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA - (415) 863-1087
Tickets: $15 general / $13 senior
Monelle (AKA Les Amoureux Sont Seuls Au Monde) – starts 12:30pmDirected by Henri Decoin, with Louis Jouvet, Dany Robin, Renée Devillers, Philippe Nicaud, Brigitte Auber, Philippe Lemaire (1948)
Shadow and Light (AKA Ombre Et Lumiere) – starts 2:20pmDirected by Henri Calef, with Simone Signoret, Maria Casares, Jacques Berthier, Jean Marchat, Pierre Dux (1951)
Terror Vault, San Francisco's premierehaunted attraction returns for 2019 with an all-new terrifying experience of horrors! Tour SF's historic Mint and immerse yourself in terror! The San Francisco Mint, 88 5th Street, San Francisco, Tickets $10-$65
This Halloween, you’re invited to take a tour of the historic San Francisco Mint building where you’ll come face to face with the despicable horrors that plague all who visit this secret prison. Your forty-five minute tour immerses you in scene after scene of horrific history.
Admission to all Midway rooms is included with the purchase of this event.
Discount offered on Apocalypse ticket when purchased together with a Terror Vault ticket
Exclusive Friday previews of every production during A.C.T.'s 2019-20120 season, $15 tickets The Geary and The Stand Theaters, San Francisco
A.C.T. opens its doors at The Geary and The Strand for Drinks & Drama Fridays—an evening of drinks, pop-up food, and low-priced theater — taking place every first Friday preview performance of the season. Tickets are just $15 and include one drink and orchestra seating
The Geary Theater, 405 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA The Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
A Soiree and Performance at Mechanics' Institute 57 Post Street, 4th Floor Meeting Room Wednesday, August 21, 6 pm~8:30 pm 57 Post Street, 4th Floor Meeting Room period dress encouraged!
2019 marks the 125th anniversary of the California Midwinter Exposition, commonly known as the Midwinter Fair. Held in Golden Gate Park, the fair featured more than 100 buildings and hosted 2.5 million visitors over six months in 1894.
Visitors saw the latest innovations of arts, culture, manufacturing, industry, and agriculture; and heard glorious music!
Join the Mechanics' Institute and the San Francisco Historical Society for a soiree that samples the music played at the fair: waltzes, marches, polkas and more! Midwinter Fair historian Ed Herny will provide historical context and the pieces will be performed and sung by pianist Frederick Hodges and vocalist Noah Griffin