Bay Area Tree Lightings
Kick off the 2018 holiday season with festive tree lighting events throughout the Bay Area.
Christmas in the Park Tree Lighting – Kick off the festivities at the two-acre Christmas in the Park with this community tree lighting. Fri., Nov. 23. 6pm. FREE. Plaza de Cesar Chavez, S. Market Street, San Jose.
Community Tree Lighting Celebration – Enjoy live holiday music, refreshments, lights and the arrival of Santa Claus. Mon., Dec. 3. 5:30-7:30pm. FREE. Civic Center Plaza, 500 Castro St., Mountain View.
Gilroy Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting – Watch a festive holiday parade and see Santa light the community tree at this annual event featuring live entertainment and activities for all ages. Sat., Dec. 1. 2:30-8pm. FREE. Downtown Gilroy.
Santana Row Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony – Enjoy live music, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, photos with Hello Kitty, a meet and greet with Super Why, performances from Children’s Musical Theatre and San Jose Dance Theatre, and more. Leave a letter for Santa at tree mailbox through Dec. 11 and get a reply. Tree lighting ceremony starts at 7pm. Tue., Nov. 13. 3-8:30pm. FREE. 377 Santana Row, San Jose.
SF, Marin & Peninsula
Macy’s Tree Lighting – See the lighting of the iconic holiday tree and kick off the holiday season. There will be live performances by American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the cast of San Francisco Playhouse’s Mary Poppins and Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love, and a visit from Santa. Fri., Nov. 23. 6pm. FREE. Union Square Park, 333 Post St. .
Pier 39 Holiday Tree Lighting – For the first time this year, see a nightly lighting display involving a 60-foot tree. On the top of the hour, synchronized holiday music will play while the tree shows off its swirling lights and specialty ornaments. Nov. 21-Jan. 1. 5-10pm. FREE. Pier 39, San Francisco..
Burlingame Tree Lighting – Watch the tree light up and then head to the parade (see below under Winter Holiday Celebrations.) Fri., Dec. 7. 5pm. FREE. City Hall, 501 Primrose Road.
Hillsdale Shopping Center Tree Lighting – Ring in the season and Santa’s big arrival with jingle bells, stroll along Santa’s set through an enchanted tunnel with dancing lights and make a holiday craft. Entertainment will be provided by Broadway by the Bay and the Great Dickens Christmas Fair Carolers. Fri., Nov. 16. 6pm tree lighting. 6-9pm photos with Santa. 6-7:30pm activities. FREE. Macy’s Center Court lower level, 60 31st Ave., San Mateo. 650-571-1029.
Jack London Square Lights Up! – Enjoy an enchanting evening of festivities including a 55-foot-tall tree covered in more than 5,000 sparkling lights, musical entertainment, Santa Claus, holiday art, treats and more. Fri., Nov. 30. 5-9pm. FREE. Jack London Square, Broadway and Embarcadero, Oakland. 510-645-9292.
Holiday Tree Lighting- Enjoy the mayor’s yuletide celebration with performances from community groups and special guests followed by the tree-lighting ceremony. Sat., Dec. 1. 4:30-7pm. FREE. Park Street Business District in front of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. .
“It’s a Wonderful Night” – Celebrate the start of the holiday season with a tree lighting in the plaza followed by photo opportunities with Santa and "It's A Wonderful Night," including entertainment, games, performances, cookie decorating, arts and crafts, and horse-drawn carriage rides. Fri., Dec. 7. 5:30-9pm. FREE. Estudillo Plaza, 1301 E. 14th St., San Leandro. 510-281-0703.
Contra Costa County
Light Up the Night – Santa and friends will appear for family holiday fun with a crafts fair, carriage rides, choral groups, dancers and free hot chocolate and cookies. Wed., Nov. 28. 6:30-8:30pm. FREE. Downtown Pleasant Hill, Crescent Drive. 925-671-5229.
Concord Tree Lighting – A holiday sing-along, school choirs, Santa's grand arrival and on-stage entertainment will enhance a traditional tree lighting in downtown Concord. Sat., Dec. 1. 4pm. FREE. Todos Santos Plaza, Willow Pass Road between Mt. Diablo and Grant streets. 925-671-3464.
Annual Tree Lighting – Witness the magic of a 32-foot Christmas tree lighting followed by a character parade featuring Mr. Jelly Belly and his friends, photos with Santa and live entertainment. Sat., Nov. 24. 5-8pm. FREE. Jelly Belly Candy Company, One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. 800-953-5592.