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Home | Family Holiday Activities and Events in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area

Family Holiday Activities and Events in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area

Get the whole family into the holiday spirit with one of these fun activities, celebrations, performances, and events in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area! Many beloved holiday events are back in 2021 after being either canceled or held as virtual events in 2020 due to COVID.

Keep in mind that many of these holiday events and performances may require advance reservations or have restrictions due to the ongoing COVID situation. Check with the organizer before you go. We'll update our list with new Marin and Bay Area Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year's events as we learn about them and plans are finalized, so check back often.

West End Nursery Christmas House, San Rafael
West End Nursery — San Rafael

Opens Saturday, November 6

Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery.

Glowfari, Oakland Zoo
Oakland Zoo — Oakland

November 12–January 30, 5–10 pm

An unforgettable experience for all ages, with hundreds of larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the zoo. Santa will be on hand for visits through December 23!

Pier 39 Christmas Tree
Pier 39 — San Francisco

Daily November 23–January 9, 5–10 pm

Enjoy the holidays all season long with The PIER’s nightly tree lighting musical moments on its 60’ Christmas tree.

Santa in sleigh with reindeer
The Village at Corte Madera — Corte Madera

November 26–December 24

The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland in the Village's Center Court.

Cirque de Boheme
Cornerstone Sonoma — Sonoma

Weekends, November 26–December 26

Cirque de Bohème is back with an old-style circus show based on the French tradition of the 1920s.

Fairmont San Francisco — San Francisco

November 26–January 2, 1 & 3:30 pm

The holiday season is not complete without a celebration of tradition and magic with Fairmont’s Holiday Tea.

Gingerbread house and Christmas tree at the Fairmont San Francisco
The Fairmont — San Francisco

Open daily November 27–January 1

Step into the ultimate winter wonderland at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill!

Holiday teddy bear tea Ritz Carlton San Francisco
The Ritz-Carlton — San Francisco

Saturday & Sunday, November 27–December 19, 10 am & 1 pm

Gather for a holiday Teddy Bear Tea in the festively decorated Terrace Room at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

Menorah Lighting
Union Square — San Francisco

Daily, Sunday, November 28–Sunday, December 5

Join the Bill Graham Menorah Project for in-person and virtual lighting events for Chanukah.

The Magic Lamp at Presidio Theatre
Presidio Theatre — San Francisco

December 1–31

This December the newly renovated Presidio Theatre is presenting The Magic Lamp, a new holiday show for San Francisco

Transcendence Theatre Broadway Holiday Spectacular
Belos Cavalos — Kenwood

December 3–19, Friday, 7:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 2 & 7:30 pm

Experience an all-new holiday show in 2021 from Transcendence Theatre Company live on stage at Belos Cavalos in Kenwood.

Costeaux French Bakery — Healdsburg

Saturday, December 4–18, 7:30 am–2:30 pm

Come meet Santa Claus during the Breakfast with Santa Program at Costeaux French Bakery, a Healdsburg fixture since 1923.

Tilden Park Berkeley Breakfast with Santa
Tilden Park Merry Go Round — Berkeley

Saturday, December 4–18, 8:30–11 am

Enjoy unlimited rides, a buffet breakfast, and a visit with Santa at the Tilden Park Merry Go Round.

Wreath Making Workshops at McEvoy Ranch, Petaluma
McEvoy Ranch — Petaluma

Saturday–Monday, December 4–6, 9 am–1 pm

At our most popular workshop of the year, learn how to create your own Holiday wreath with seasonal elements from the Ranch. Tickets include a glass of wine.

Winter Craft Faire at Tara Firma Farms
Tara Firma Farms — Petaluma

Saturday, December 4, 10 am–5 pm

We will be hosting crafters, makers, and artists from around the area, featuring a selection of curated goods. Enjoy a cup of homemade hot chocolate or glass of wine as your browse!

Photos with Santa
Marin Country Mart — Larkspur

Saturdays, December 4–18, 10:30 am–1:30 pm

Santa is coming to Marin Country Mart every Saturday in December.

Santa Claus at Larson Family Winery in Sonoma
Larson Family Winery — Sonoma

Saturday & Sunday, December 4 & 5, 11 am–3:45 pm

Get your photo taken with Santa on his annual visit to Larson Family Winery!

Drive thru Dickens' London carolers
Cow Palace Lower Exhibition Halls — Daly City

Saturday & Sunday, December 4–19, 11 am–5 pm

Drive Thru Dickens’ London is a taste of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair experienced from the comfort of your car!

Holiday Tea with Crown & Crumpet
Marin Art & Garden Center — Ross

December 4–23

An elevated holiday tea featuring seasonal ingredients and classic British holiday recipes, presented by Crown and Crumpet.

Free Photos with Santa at Northgate in San Rafael
Northgate — San Rafael

Saturday, December 4, 11 & 18, 12–4 pm

Visit Santa at Northgate mall and snap your own photo!

Santa at Bon Air Center
Bon Air Center — Greenbrae

Saturday, December 4, 11 & 18, 12–3 pm

Drop off letters to Santa and take socially distanced photos with the kiddos at Bon Air Center in Greenbrae!

Gingerbread cookies and candy cane
Mark Hopkins Hotel — San Francisco

Saturdays & Sundays, December 4–19, 12–3 pm

Join the Mark Hopkins for a magical afternoon at their Children's Magical Tea.

Stapleton Ballet Nutcracker, 2021
Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium — San Rafael

Saturday, December 4 & Sunday, December 5, 1 & 5 pm

The vibrant Stapleton Ballet Nutcracker provides a magical start to the holiday season!

ODC/Dance Velveteen Rabbit
Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA — San Francisco

Saturday & Sunday, December 4–12, 2 pm

ODC/Dance returns to the stage for this beloved Bay Area holiday tradition.

Sensitive Santa San Rafael
All Children Academics — San Rafael

Saturday, December 4, 2–5 pm

Sensitive Santa is a special event for children with disabilties and their families.

San Anselmo Holiday Tree Lighting
Imagination Park — San Anselmo

Saturday, December 4, 5 pm

Holiday tree lighting, Santa and much more at Imagination Park

Holiday Choral Concerts
Saint Raphael Church — San Rafael

Saturday, December 4, 7:30 pm & Sunday, December 5, 4 pm

Traditional and contemporary holiday music and carols in the beautiful setting of Saint Raphael Church.

Hanukkah Inside Out! Osher Marin JCC
Osher Marin JCC — San Rafael

Sunday, December 5, 11 am–2 pm

Bring the kids to the Osher Marin JCC parking lot for free, fun holiday activities

Cavallo Point — Sausalito

Sunday, December 5, 3–5 pm

Bring the whole family into Santa’s Workshop as jolly old St. Nick himself makes his first appearance of the holiday season!

Fort Mason Flix Deck the Halls
Fort Mason Flix — San Francisco

Sunday, December 5, 4 & 6:30 pm

Experience Deck the Hall as never before in a family holiday program presented on the big screen at Fort Mason Flix.

Rombeiro Christmas House, Novato
Rombeiro Christmas House — Novato

December 5–January 6, 6–10 pm

The famous Rombeiro Christmas House will be back again in 2021 for its 30th anniversary season!

SFTS Christmas Concert 2021
Stewart Chapel — San Anselmo

Sunday, December 5, 6 pm

Let heaven and nature sing at this SFTS Christmas tradition.

Gingerbread House Decorating, Terra Linda Community Center
Terra Linda Community Center — San Rafael

Wednesday, December 8, 3–5

It’s time to get festive! Come decorate gingerbread houses and take them home to share with your family and friends.

Corte Madera Town Center Free Santa Photos and Gift Wrapping
Town Center Corte Madera — Corte Madera

December 10–12 & 17–24, 12–6 pm

Celebrate the holidays at Town Center Corte Madera with free photos with Santa and gift wrapping.

San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
War Memorial Opera House — San Francisco

December 10–30

SF Ballet's Nutcracker is back live at War Memorial Opera House in 2021! Evening and matinee performances available.

Margaret Todd Senior Center — Novato

Saturday, December 11, 9 am–12:30 pm

Join Novato Parks & Recreation Staff for a morning of holiday splendor and a free picture with Santa!

Grace Cathedral Christmas
Grace Cathedral — San Francisco

December 11, 18 & 21–23

Sing along with your favorite holiday carols as the toys of St. Nicholas’s workshop lead you on an extraordinary journey.

Grace Cathedral Christmas
Grace Cathedral — San Francisco

December 11, 12, 18 & 19, 3 pm; December 21, 7:30 pm

The Choir of Men and Boys accompanied by full orchestra and organ will transport you with their exquisite performances of favorite carols and holiday masterpieces.

Marin Ballet's Nutcracker, San Rafael
Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium — San Rafael

December 11 & 12, 1 & 5 pm

Delight in the Magic of Marin Ballet’s Nutcracker!

Holidays on the Northern Frontier, Sonoma
Sonoma State Historic Park — Sonoma

Saturday, December 11, 5–8 pm

Come stroll through the decorated buildings at Sonoma State Historic Park.

Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade
Gabrielson Park — Sausalito

Saturday, December 11, 6 pm

Set up a chair anywhere along the Sausalito waterfront to view the brightly decorated boats in the 34th annual Lighted Boat Parade.

Petaluma Lighted boats
Petaluma Turning Basin — Petaluma

December 11, 6:30 pm

A family favorite holiday event for decades, Petaluma's Holiday Lighted Boat Parade returns in 2021!

Breakfast with Santa, San Francisco CA
Neiman Marcus — San Francisco

Sunday, December 12, 8:30 am

Join Neiman Marcus San Francisco for Breakfast with Santa and get your picture taken in a photo booth!

Gingerbread houses
Belvedere Community Center — Belvedere

Sunday, December 12, 10 am & 1 pm

Come decorate your gingerbread house and get a photo with Santa himself!

San Rafael lighted boat parade
San Rafael Yacht Club — San Rafael

Sunday, December 12, 6 pm

This lighted boat parade is one of the biggest in the country and has been a Marin tradition since 1966!!

Marin Symphony holiday pops concert
Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium — San Rafael

Tuesday, December 14, 7 pm

Celebrate the season as the Marin Symphony Orchestra presents a program of holiday-inspired music.

Children's Fairyland — Oakland

December 17–30, 4–7 pm

Evenings in late December are lit with the return of Fairy Winterland at Children’s Fairyland.

Gingerbread Build
Margaret Todd Senior Center — Novato

Saturday, December 18, 10 am–1:15 pm

Help Novato Parks & Recreation build the City of Novato out of Gingerbread!

Dollie + Me Holiday Tea St. Francis Hotel San Francisco
Westin St. Francis Hotel — San Francisco

Saturday & Sunday, December 18 & 19, 12–2 pm

Introducing the first annual holiday tradition at The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco: Dollie & Me Tea.

Snowman Day Strawberry Village
Strawberry Village — Mill Valley

Sunday, December 19, 11 am–2 pm

Come watch handcrafted snowmen spring to life from REAL SNOW in our Winter Wonderland setting.

Penngrove Holiday Parade of Lights
Downtown Penngrove — Penngrove

Sunday, December 19, 6–7 pm

Kick off the holiday season with the Holiday Parade of Lights in downtown Penngrove.  

    Sewer Band Holiday Concert
    Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium — San Rafael

    Monday, December 20, 7 pm

    Join the Sewer Band for a free Holiday Concert at Marin Center.

    Noon Year's Eve BADM
    Bay Area Discovery Museum — Sausalito

    Friday, December 31, 10 am–2 pm

    Ring in the new year without keeping your family up past bedtime at the BADM.

    Charles M. Schulz Museum Balloon Drop with Snoopy
    Charles M. Schulz Museum — Santa Rosa

    Friday, December 31, 12–4 pm

    Celebrate the New Year with the Peanuts Gang! Do your best Snoopy dance and ring in 2022 with an Up Down Balloon Drop and Baby Balloon Drop.

    Chabot Space & Science Center — Oakland

    Friday, December 31, 11 am–4 pm

    Ring in the new year without staying up late! When it’s noon in Oakland, it will be 2022 somewhere on the planet.

    Asian Art Bell Ringing
    Asian Art Museum - Virtual — San Francisco

    Friday, December 31, 11 am

    Usher in the New Year with the purifying rings of a Japanese Buddhist temple bell.

    Bouncy Ball New Year Downtown Novato
    Trek Winery — Novato

    Friday, December 31, 12 pm

    Kids of all ages are invited to Downtown Novato to see what happens when 22,000 small bouncy balls are dropped onto the street from a ladder truck 40 feet in the air!

    Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop
    Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium — San Rafael

    Saturday, January 15, 5 pm & Sunday, January 16, 2 pm

    Join Marin Dance Theatre for the 26th anniversary of their beloved holiday production.