Bay Area Holiday Events

Local Area

Bay Area Holiday Events
The 2023 holiday season is officially underway and our calendars are filling up by the day! We are lucky to live in an area where there are so many fun events happening this time of year. View our list of Bay Area holiday events below, plan ahead and always double check before you go for any last minute changes. Feel free to share our list and tag Arrive Real Estate in your holiday photos! Does your family have a favorite holiday event we missed below? Let us know so we can add it!


Ice at The Veranda is open for its sixth year now and will remain open through the holiday season before closing on Feb. 14. The 3,500 square foot rink is situated in front of The Veranda Luxe Cinema. Click here for more details.

Half Moon Bay

The Nights of Lights is Fridays from November 24 through December 15 with the Christmas Tree Lighting taking place on Friday, November 24. Their Annual Lighted Parade down Main Street is on December 1 followed by an ugly sweater party on December 8 and an Elf movie night on December 15th. Click here for more details.


The Meritage Resort & Spa is showcasing fun-filled activities this holiday season with “Merry Meritage.” The ice rink is open now through January 7. Along with skating, refreshments can be purchased from the on-site tasting rooms and guests may reserve a s'mores fire pit or VIP Igloo Experience to stay warm after a day on the ice. Participants are encouraged to bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots through December 12.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus is coming to town. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, he can be found strolling through The Meritage Holiday Village. As the afternoon progresses Santa settles into his reading room and invites the little ones in to listen to him read a story.
The tinsel tea includes a scrumptious three-tier presentation of desserts, scones, and tea sandwiches, storytelling hosted by a visiting princess, and ice skating at this unforgettable holiday experience. Reservations required. Click here to learn more about Merry Meritage holiday events.


Fairyland – Weekends from December 15th through December 30th Children’s Fairyland brings back Fairy Winterland. This magical multicultural event brings families together to share in the season’s festivities and the halls are decorated with thousands of twinkly lights. Fairyland also hosts a culturally-inclusive holiday scavenger hunt and special performances. And, yes, you’ll be able to cozy up with a complimentary cup of hot cocoa and cider. Click here for details.
Jack London Square – On Saturday, December 2, the annual tree lighting celebration will take place from 5:45 pm to 8 pm on the plaza near Plank. Entertainment will include a laser show with snow, photos with Santa, Frosty and Christmas teddy bear (bring your own camera), illuminated LED ballerina and special performances by Oaktown Jazz Workshops' Performance Ensemble and The Lyric Performing Arts Academy. In addition, the 47th Annual Lighted Yacht parade with begin at 5:30 on the Oakland/Alameda estuary. Santa is available to take free selfies with on weekends December 9 through the 24th across from Plank. Click here for more details.
Oakland Zoo – The Oakland Zoo is once again opening its doors after hours for the spectacular illuminating lantern exhibit, Glowfari, now through January 28th, advanced tickets required. This year's experience features new displays including a walkabout through the land down under with kangaroos and koalas, icons of the California coastline including whales, otters, and jellies, exotic animals of the tropical rainforest, and a trip to the past with a towering t-rex and a megalodon shark tunnel! Finish your experience with a ride on the train through a fantasy wonderland full of fabled creatures like fairies, unicorns, and more mythical beasts and don't forget to visit Santa in the rides area! Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Palo Alto


Winter Lodge is now open for public skating, classes and private events. Since 1956, Winter Lodge has delighted and entertained people of all ages on our outdoor, recreationally sized rink. Smaller in size and designed for family fun, our skating rink is a destination for healthy, outdoor activity! Click here for more details.


San Francisco

Civic Center – The annual Civic Center Plaza Tree Lighting event returns December 6 from 4-7pm! Add this fun, free, family-friendly event to your holiday calendar! Featuring festive holiday performances, food, music, a toy giveaway for children, and Makers Village DIY activities for kids and adults, you won’t want to miss it! The event will begin promptly at 4 p.m. The lighting of Civic Center Plaza’s 50-foot noble fir by Mayor London Breed will take place at 5:30 p.m. Click here for more details.
Pier 39 – Enjoy the Holidays all season long with The PIER’s nightly Tree Lighting Musical Moments on our Christmas tree which will come to life every half hour from 5pm – 10pm, now through January 7, 2023 on the 60 foot tall tree. Synchronized to Holiday music, the tree transforms into a kaleidoscope of swirling colors, adorned with thousands of specialty lights and ornaments. Click here for details.
Nob Hill – The Fairmont in Nob Hill, is the place to be for the holiday season! Known for their 2-story, 25 foot tall Gingerbread house which features more than 1,500 pounds of candy, it’s an amazing site to see! The display is now open through the end of the year. Reserve a holiday tea or spend the night in an exclusive Santa suite! Click here for more details.
SF Ballet – With performances from December 13th through the 30th, step into the reverie of little Clara in this unforgettable holiday tale and enter a magical wonderland of toy soldiers, a blizzard of snowflakes, and a kaleidoscope of more than 150 dancers. Battle the Mouse King and of course, dance through the land of the Sugarplum Fairy. They are pleased to announce their first ever Sensory Friendly Performance of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker on Saturday, December 30th at 11 am. Click here for more details.
Union Square – The Ice Rink in Union Square is now open through January 16th. While there won't be a tree lighting ceremony this year, the Macy's holiday tree will be as visible as ever throughout the holiday season. Snap a photo at one of the oversized shelter animal Instagram-able outposts in the Macy's windows. Celebrate the first night of Chanukah at 4:30PM with music, traditional foods, and a Menorah Lighting with dignitaries. Lighting continues nightly through Chanukah. Click here for more details on all of the holiday events at Union Square.

San Jose

Plaza de Cesar - A family oriented Christmas tradition of lights, trees and exhibits at Plaza de Cesar Chavez! Open daily form 12 pm - 11 pm through January 1. Click here for more details and learn about the drive through light show!
PayPal Park - Presented by Hallmark Channel, Enchant San Jose features a story-themed Christmas Light Maze, ice skating through a dazzling forest, meet Santa, an ice bar for adults, a little elves play place and a village of tiny shops of artisan vendors, specialty crafts, and boutiques. Open now through December 31st. Click here for more details. 

San Mateo


CuriOdyssey’s IlluminOdyssey - Electrify your child’s imagination at CuriOdyssey’s IlluminOdyssey, a dazzling winter light experience for kids now through January 28th. Four levels of walls, floors and ceiling come alive with radiant, moving color. Carry a colorful lantern with you as you explore a world of luminescent wonder. Venture through a gleaming jungle of soft sculptures and under an illuminated canopy of fiber optic strands. Watch the mesmerizing motion of a glowing blossom-like sculpture as you control it’s changing appearance. Click here for more details. 


San Ramon

City Center - Returning for the 2023 holiday season, the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Rink at City Center is now open through January 9th. This year the ice rink is larger and features smores and themed skate nights. Located at the southeast corner of City Center Bishop Ranch on the corner of Bollinger Canyon and Camino Ramon. Show your same-day ice rink ticket at select retailers and restaurants to receive special offers. Other holiday events at City Center include a tree lighting celebration on December 1st from 6pm - 7pm, selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the weekends, and a community Chanukah celebration on December 10th from 4pm - 6pm. Click here for more details.
Holiday on the Farm - Fun on the Farm Activities are FREE crafts and activities that highlight farm life and the late Victorian era. These Saturday events are an opportunity to step back into history and enjoy the simple things of life. December events include wreath making, candle making, visits from Santa and holiday card making. Click here for more details. 

Santa Clara

WinterFest brings holiday cheer to California’s Great America as the park is magically transformed into a winter wonderland and holiday festival now through December 31st. Guests can ice-skate in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, take in the dazzling sights, sip on crafted hot chocolate and marvel at spectacular live shows. With more than 60 rides and holiday attractions, such as sending letters to the North Pole, checking out Santa’s workshop and baking cookies in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and all the scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations—WinterFest has something for guests of all ages and appetites. Click here for more details.

Santa Cruz

During the holiday season, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will host its Winter Wonderland now from to December 31st. Featuring special event days, rides & games, mini-nutcracker performances and fire pit rentals with s'mores. Click here for more details.

Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek On Ice - The 18th annual Walnut Creek On Ice, in the heart of downtown at Civic Park, is excited to welcome back skaters of all ages and abilities to tie on a pair of ice skates and skate beginning December 15th through January 15th. Click here for more details. 
Lesher Center For The Arts - Holiday shows include performances of the Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, just to name a few. The Lesher Center is also home to the East Bay's North Pole experience! Join Santa and Mrs. Claus in the North Pole, during this immersive, live theatre experience. Watch as the holiday magic brings a smile to your entire family! In this exclusive visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in their kitchen and workshop, your group of up to 6 members will enjoy a private meeting and photo opportunity. Click here for more details.



Holidays at Filoli is the season to make special memories, bask in the vibrant landscape, and spend time together. Step into the magic of the House adorned in holiday cheer and explore the winter Garden, where inspiration glows now through January 7th. Click here for more details. 

As your holiday resource for Bay Area family events, discover the difference in who we are at Arrive Real Estate Group. Our team of passionate, connected and innovative professionals adjust to current market conditions to consistently help our clients sell their homes quicker and achieve higher results than the local market average. Contact us today to learn more about the strategic systems we offer our clients.

Let's Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.

Follow Us on Instagram