The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
The 34th annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a “Victorian Christmas card come to life,” having become a Bay Area tradition since 1970. Starting November 23rd and going through December 23rd, visitors can wander the streets of “Victorian London,” take in the scent of pine boughs and purchase freshly baked scones. Indulge in a hot toddy or a pint of Lagunitas at Mad Sal’s Dockside Ale House. Later on partake in a champagne toast inside Fezziwig’s Warehouse. If tee totaling isn’t your style, opt for a cuppa tea and cucumber sandwich at Cuthbert’s Tea House. Shops will be decked in all the holiday glory they can muster, while live entertainment will be on-going on one of the seven stages set-up throughout the area. Fair sponsors encourage Victorian dress, but costume or no-costume, all guests are welcome, just leave the Dicken's character impersonations to the professionals. Gourmet chefs will offer a range of delicacies from English bangers and fish’n chips to French onion soup and homemade pastries. Children will enjoy interacting with Father Christmas and Victorian fairies while also having the opportunity to play games and get involved in some arts and crafts.
Photo Courtesy of Raymond Van Tassel/The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Gingerbread House Holiday Open House on Nob Hill
Head to the Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill on November 26th, from 11 am to 1 pm, to witness one of the sweetest abode’s ever built. The Gingerbread House Holiday Open House includes a “lovingly built” gingerbread house crafted from 7,500 home-baked gingerbread bricks, 1,200 pounds of icing, 650 pounds of candy, and 12 gallons of chocolate. The two-story mansion of candy sits sweetly beside a 23-foot tall Christmas tree, tucked neatly inside the Fairmont San Francisco’s main lobby. Guests can enjoy holiday treats while carolers from around the area bring the Christmas spirit with holiday music favorites. One rule — no eating the neighbor’s porch!
Photo Courtesy of The Fairmont San Francisco
Union Street Festival of Lights
An annual San Francisco holiday affair, the Union Street Festival of Lights has been adding a little shine and Christmas magic to Union Street. During the event on December 1, visitors can expect an icy parade, led by the Snow Queen herself, who will be followed by a troupe of children in possession of toys to be donated to San Francisco charities and the SF Firefighters Toy Program. Thousands of holiday lights sparkle against the Victorian homes along Union as Santa and his elves encourage the festivities which include jugglers, face painters, “pony reindeer,” and live entertainment. Between 3 and 5:30 cup cake decorating will be on-going at the Cudworth Mansion, where good little boys and girls can await Santa’s arrival at 7:00 pm.
Photo Courtesy of The Union Street Festival of Lights
San Francisco Ballet
A San Francisco tradition since 1944, The Nutcracker is perhaps one of the moved-loved theatrical productions of all-time. From December 7 to December 28, guests of all ages can enjoy this classic Christmas story, put on by the talented dancers of the San Francisco Ballet Company. When it initially premiered on Christmas Eve nearly seventy years ago at the War Memorial Opera, it became an instant success and a Christmas tradition in San Francisco ever since. For those wishing to instill an extra special touch this season, The Nutcracker VIP, Family Performances, Nite Out, and Nutcracker Groups are available to patrons, including premiere seating, private reception admission, and complimentary sweets and beverages. America’s oldest professional ballet company, The San Francisco Ballet boasts some of the most enigmatic dancers in the country as well as an award-winning artistic director.
Photo Courtesy of The San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Symphony
There’s nothing like classical music during the Christmas season. Enjoy holiday favorites like Peter and the Wolf, Deck the Hall, and Colors of Christmas. On the second of December families will enjoy attending Deck The Hall, a festive Symphony tradition including a pre-concert reception that will offer gourmet food, holiday crafts and an appearance from Santa Claus. Performers will include Beach Blanket Babylon, Dance Through Time, San Francisco Boys Chorus, SF Jazz High School All-Stars Orchestra, and San Francisco Ballet School Trainees. Another family friendly event, Peter and the Wolf, opening on December 8th, will delight parents and children alike as this classic storybook tale is performed by The San Francisco Youth Orchestra and narrated by a special guest. Finally on December 10, 11, and 12, Colors of Christmas, featuring Grammy® Award-winner Peabo Bryson, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., James Ingram, and Stephanie Mills, will light up Davies Symphony Hall during an evening of Christmas music and pop favorites.
Photo Courtesy of The San Francisco Symphony
Sara graduated from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia with a degree in creative writing. As a military child she spent her childhood living and travelling overseas which shaped her passion for travel, language, food, and intercultural exchange. She has recently joined the JustLuxe editorial team....(Read More)