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for the Holidays

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November Calendar of Fun Events page

December Calendar of Fun Events

Love to Eat and Travel
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 TBD
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. Live entertainment. 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 approximately 5:30pm.

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Union Square, SF

Macy's Union Square
Tree Lighting Ceremony
November (day after Thanksgiving)
6pm-6:30pm

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
November (day after Thanksgiving)
5:30pm

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.

415-775-5500

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555 California Street, SF

555 California Street
Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
November or December (first Tuesday after Thanksgiving)
5pm-6pm

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.

Past performers/guests have included: Carly Rae Jepsen, Dick Bright Orchestra,Pacific Boys Choir, Hall of Famers 49ers Joe Montana, Dwight Clark and Jerry Rice, entertainers Robin Thicke, Natasha Beddingfield, Pia Toscano... and more!

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.

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South Bay

Santana Row
San Jose

Santana Row
Tree Lighting Ceremony
November  TBD
7pm-7:30pm

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:

5pm-7pm
Photos with Santa Claus at Park Valencia (on Olin Avenue), near Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant.

7pm-7:30pm
Tree Lighting Ceremony — the lighting of the 40-ft Christmas tree takes place at the Giant Chessboard at Santana Row.

6-9pm
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.

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Los Altos

Los Altos
Festival of Lights Parade
November or December (first Sunday after Thanksgiving)
6pm

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.

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Steinbeck Plaza
Cannery Row
Monterey

Cannery Row
Holiday Tree Lighting
November (day after Thanksgiving)
6pm

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

5m: 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).

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North Bay

San Rafael

San Rafael Parade of Lights & Winter Wonderland
November TBD

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.

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Wine Country

Napa Valley

Napa

Napa Tree Lighting
November TBD
6pm-8pm

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
November TBD
5pm-7pm

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


Yountville

Yountville
Festival of Lights
November TBD
2-6pm

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)

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East Bay

Jack London Square / Oakland

Jack London Square
Lights Up the Holidays
December TBD
5pm-7:30pm

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
December TBD
2pm

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
December TBD
5:30-9pm

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.

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Jelly Belly Co.
Fairfield

Jelly Belly
Tree Lighting Ceremony
November (usually first Saturday after Thanksgiving)*
4:30-8pm

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

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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. The world-famous event is broadcast live on TV (check local listings and times).

Tree Lighting
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting usually takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving at approximately 8:55pm.

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 is usually on display until the first week of January.

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London, U.K.
Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square
Tree Lighting Ceremony

December TBD
6:30pm

Trafalgar Square Carol-Singing
December TBD

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
— Regent Street
— Covent Garden
Don't miss seeing London's spectacular Christmas Lights along Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden during the Holiday Season.
Christmas Lights London

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Times/dates subject to change so be sure to confirm

 

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