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November Calendar of Fun Events page

December Calendar of Fun Events

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Tips & Ideas
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies
San Francisco Bay Area, Napa Valley, New York City & London

San Francisco Tree Lightings
Pier 39, San Francisco
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco
555 California Street
Union Square, San Francisco

South Bay / Monterey Tree Lightings
Santana Row, San Jose
Los Altos, South Bay
Cannery Row, Monterey

North Bay / Napa Valley Tree Lightings
San Rafael, North Bay
Napa & Yountville, Napa Valley

East Bay Tree Lightings
Jack London Square and Oakland
Jelly Belly Co, Fairfield

New York City Tree Lighting
Rockefeller Center, New York City

London, England Tree Lighting & Christmas Lights
Trafalgar Square, London
Christmas Lights London (Oxford St, Regent St, Covent Garden)

San Francisco

Pier 39

Pier 39 Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 23-24, 2013
12 noon-6pm

Pier 39's Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa always draws a crowd. The festive multi-cultural celebration showcases Christmas, Chanukah and Kawanzaa — Bay Area groups will perform seasonal favorites from around the world. Tree Lighting Celebration at Pier 39's Entrance Plaza — its 400 ornaments, 500 multi-colored bows and 2,000 twinkling lights will be illuminated at 5:30pm.

12-5pm: Live entertainment / 5:30pm: Tree Lighting



Union Square, SF

Macy's Union Square
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 29, 2013

Get a jump-start on your Holiday shopping — visit Union Square in downtown San Francisco for its annual "day-after Thanksgiving" Macy's Tree Lighting Ceremony. Free admission. 6pm-6:30pm.

Fun all-day festivities begin at noon. Arrive early because it gets VERY crowded. Last year, Union Square and the surrounding areas were filled with thousands of spectators — it was one of the largest crowds we've ever seen in San Francisco for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Ghirardelli Square, SF

Ghirardelli Square
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday festivities include free live musical entertainment for the entire family throughout the day. Bring your kids to see Santa Claus at the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Arrive early for a good spot because it gets VERY crowded. Last year, the square was packed with spectators.

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place at 5:30pm in the West Plaza of Ghirardelli Square. The Square's spectacular 35-ft Holiday tree will be trimmed with ribbons, ornaments and over 2,500 sparkling lights.



555 California Street, SF

555 California Street
Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

555 Annual Holiday Tree Lighting takes place on the plaza in front of 555 California Street in downtown San Francisco. The event is held annually on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Festivities are free and open to the public.

Enjoy live Holiday Entertainment and Celebrity Guests:

  • Grammy-nominated recording artist Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Dick Bright Orchestra
  • Pacific Boys Choir
  • 49ers Ronnie Lott, Marcus Lattimore & Alex Boone

Last year, the event featured Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Dwight Clark formerly of the 49ers and three-time Grammy Award Winner, American Music Award and MTV Music Award nominee Robin Thicke. Other previous guests included Natasha Beddingfield, Pia Toscano, current San Francisco 49er’s stars Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis and Hall of Famer and legend Jerry Rice.

Festivities begin at 5pm;
Tree Lighting at approximately 6pm

Due to anticipated crowds, you may want to arrive early (between 3:30-4:30pm) to get a good viewing spot.


South Bay

Santana Row
San Jose

Santana Row
Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 19, 2013

Santana Row Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at the Giant Chessboard in Santana Row Park (across from the Left Bank Restaurant). Enjoy fun Holiday festivities throughout Santana Row:

Photos with Santa Claus at Park Valencia (on Olin Avenue), near Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant.

Tree Lighting Ceremony — the lighting of the 40-ft Christmas tree takes place at the Giant Chessboard at Santana Row.

Llive holiday music and performances, carolers, choirs, hot chocolate, special guest appearances... and kids activities throughout Santana Row. the lighting of the 40-ft Christmas tree in Valencia Park.



Los Altos

Los Altos
Festival of Lights Parade
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade always takes place on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving in downtown Los Altos at 6pm. Enjoy lighted floats, High School marching bands, costumed characters — and Santa and his reindeer! Enjoy a festive 25-minute horse-drawn carriage ride in downtown Los Altos. Carriage hold up to four adults and two children.


Steinbeck Plaza
Cannery Row

Cannery Row
Holiday Tree Lighting
Friday, November 29, 2013

Cannery Row Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony always takes place the day after Thanksgiving at Steinbeck Plaza, in the heart of downtown Monterey.

4:30pm: Christmas carols begin
6pm: Tree Lighting countdown

6pm-9pm: Join Santa in his workshop. 
Santa will be in his workshop every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon-4pm until Christmas (time/date subject to change).



North Bay

San Rafael

San Rafael Parade of Lights & Winter Wonderland
Friday, November 29, 2013
12 noon-8:30pm

San Rafael Parade of Lights & Winter Wonderland

Snow-Sledding: 12 noon-4:30pm and 6pm-8pm:
Holiday Marketplace: 12 noon-8pm:

Parade begins: 5:30pm

After the parade, Santa Claus, Ms Claus, the Mayor of San Rafael and other costumed characters arrive at City Plaza for official Tree Lighting Ceremony. Visit with Santa after Tree Lighting.

Saturday, November, 30, 2013
Snow & Kids' Activities — 9am-12 noon



Wine Country

Napa Valley


Napa Tree Lighting
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tree Lighting Party takes place in Veteran's Park (corner of Third and Main) at 6pm. Enjoy free hot chocolate, cookies and live entertainment as Napa's Mayor lights up the Christmas Tree.


Christmas Parade
Saturday, November 30, 2013

Napa's Annual Christmas Parade

The parade begins at First and Franklin Streets in Napa. Visit with Santa after the parade and enjoy free cookies and hot chocolate at Oxbow Public Market. Rain or shine. Both events are free and open to the public. Parking available in Downtown Napa



Festival of Lights
Friday, November 29, 2013

Yountville Festival of LightsFun all-day festival with gourmet food, fine wine and FUN entertainment. Festivities include a visit with Santa Claus, carolers and horse-drawn carriage rides. Shops will stay open for late Holiday shopping.

2-6pm: Festival of Lights
5:30pm: Yountville Lighting (lighting of the town)



East Bay

Jack London Square / Oakland

Jack London Square
Lights Up the Holidays
Friday, December 6, 2013

Celebrate the Holiday Season along Oakland's waterfront — Jack London Square Lights Up the Holidays. Enjoy festive holiday music and the lighting of their 15-ft 8,000-lb Christmas Tree (at the foot of Broadway and Embarcadero) at approximately 6pm.


Oakland Children's Holiday Parade
Saturday, December 7, 2013

Oakland Children's Holiday Parade is one of the nation's premier parades, drawing over 100,000 spectators every year. The parade takes place on Saturday, December 7th at 2pm — at Broadway and 11th Street to 20th Street, to Harrison Street. Festive Holiday Parade floats and costumed characters — fun for kids and big kids too!


Lighted Yacht Parade
Saturday, December 7, 2013

Come and see the magical Lighted Yacht Parade as it sails through the Oakland/Alameda estuary. Each year, on the first Saturday in December, the Lighted Yacht Parade kicks off the Holiday Season.


Jelly Belly Co.

Jelly Belly
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, November 30, 2013*

Jelly Belly Tree Lighting Ceremony usually takes place on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center (Jelly Belly Candy Company in Fairfield) at approximately 6pm.

Festivities begin at 4:30pm with stage-side entertainment and a Holiday sing-a-long. Santa arrives to help with the countdown of the 40-ft Christmas Tree and over two million lights around the Jelly Belly Factory.Free admission. 4:30-8pm.

Character Parade, FUN Live Entertainment, Free Cookies and Cider! Santa Photos are available after Tree Lighting Ceremony until 7:30pm.

*Date, time and activities are subject to change. Be sure to call ahead to confirm.

1-800-JB-BEANS / 1-800-522-3267 / 707-428-2800


New York City
Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
Christmas Tree Lighting

Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 7pm-9pm EST

The annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony signals the beginning of the Holiday Season in New York City. It's been a NYC tradition since 1933 — back then, the tree had only 700 lights; today it has over 25,000.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony is an annual star-studded event. NBC's annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" special features celebrity appearances and live entertainment including:

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Toni Braxton
  • Mariah Carey
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Kenny Edmonds
  • Goo Goo Dolls
  • Ariana Grande
  • Jewel

The world-famous event is broadcast live on NBC 7-9pm. This year's co-hosts include: Matt Lauer, Savanah Guthrie and Natalie Morales.

Tree Lighting
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting takes place at approximately 8:55pm on November 30, 2011. Note: Tree Lighting usually takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Illumination Hours
Daily 5:30am-11:30pm;
Christmas Day: All day (24 hours);
New Year's Eve: 5:30am-9pm

The world's most famous tree will be on display until January 7, 2014.



London, U.K.
Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square
Tree Lighting Ceremony

December 5, 2013

Trafalgar Square Carol-Singing
Dec. 9-22

Celebrate the Holidays! London's famous Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square in December. What began in 1947, today draws huge crowds, so get there early for a good viewing spot. The tree will be on display in Trafalgar Square until just before the 12th Night of Christmas. Enjoy traditional Christmas Carols during the Holiday Season.


"Christmas Lights London"
— Oxford Street (Nov. 12, 2013-Feb. 5, 2014)
— Regent Street (Nov. 9)
— Covent Garden (Nov. 6)
Don't miss seeing London's spectacular Christmas Lights along Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden during the Holiday Season.
Christmas Lights London


Times/dates subject to change so be sure to confirm


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