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 KidsElectrify 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 WonderlandThis 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.


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