5 Top San Francisco and Peninsula Holiday Events
Union Square – Get into the spirit of the season with a visit to the beautifully decorated Union Square. See the big Macy’s tree, visit decked-out store windows, take a turn on the ice, check out hotel lobbies for festive fun including the Westin St. Francis’ Sugar castles, get a photo with Santa and more. The tree will be lit Fri., Nov. 24, at 6pm.
San Francisco Ballet’s The Nutcracker – The first Nutcracker in the United States premiered in San Francisco in 1944. This favorite holiday production features snowflakes, dancing flowers and a little girl who dreams about a whole new world. The first 500 children under 12 to arrive during family performances get a gift, and everyone enjoys complimentary beverages and treats during intermission. For age 3 and up only. Dec. 13-30. Check website for times. $25-398. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave. 415-865-2000.
Great Dickens Christmas Fair – Take a holiday adventure into Victorian London and marvel at hundreds of costumed characters in music halls, pubs and more. Dozens of lamp-lit shops will be stocked with Christmas gifts. Enjoy roasted chestnuts and hearty meals. Nov. 18-19 and 24-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17. 10am-7pm. $30 adults. $14 children 5-12, under 5 FREE. Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City. 800-510-1558. .
IlluminOdyssey: A Winter Light Experience For Kids – Electrify your child’s imagination with this spectacular light exhibition. Redwood Hall will be transformed into a dazzling world of child-friendly interactive brilliance and wonder. 10am-8pm. Exhibit runs Nov. 10 through Jan. 7. Included with admission: $11 adults, $8 children. CuriOdyssey, 1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. 650-342-7755.
San Rafael Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland – This event features a snow-sledding hill with more than 40 tons of snow, a holiday marketplace with unique arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, a tree lighting ceremony and one of the biggest holiday parades in the Bay Area. Snow sledding is Fri., Nov. 24. 12-4:30pm and 6-8pm (kids only) on A street between 4th and 5th avenues and continues Nov. 25. The holiday marketplace is 12-8pm on Fourth Street between B Street and Lootens Place. The parade begins at 5:30pm at E and Fourth streets with the tree lighting scheduled immediately afterward. 800-310-6563.