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5 Unmissable Experiences of Christmas in San Francisco

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Christmas in San Francisco
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San Francisco has only one drawback. ‘Tis hard to leave,” said Rudyard Kipling.

And if you visit San Francisco during the holiday season, you will find it even harder to leave this place, where holiday decorations and events embody the magic of Christmas in every sense. You cannot expect snowfall in Fog City during Christmas, but you can expect everything else – from holiday lights to festival fun – and this city surely doesn’t disappoint! Below are some of the best attractions of Christmas in San Francisco, which you should not miss if you are booking flights to the ‘Golden City’ this holiday season.  

Union Square Holiday Decorations

Union Square Holiday Decorations
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Head to Union Square to witness the extravaganza of Christmas in San Francisco. It is the place to experience the city’s best holiday decorations, events, and activities. All the iconic stores surrounding this square (such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus) deck up their heritage buildings to the hilt and bring back spectacular displays to their windows for the holiday season. And the glowing red star perched on top of the 80-ft Macy’s Christmas tree set up at the heart of Union Square shines through as the ‘star’ of the show!

Also Read: Ultimate Travel Guide to San Francisco

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink
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Right in front of the towering Christmas tree at Union Square sprawls the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink, probably the most popular of all ice rinks in the Bay Area. Ice skating with your family at this outdoor skating rink is one of the best things to do in San Francisco during Christmas. This winter fun gets all the more magical at night when you glide across the smooth rink under the soft glow of the lit-up Christmas tree. The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink remains open until January 16, 2023. Other popular ice-skating rinks in the city include the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center and T-Mobile Winter Park at Civic Center. 

Winter Wanderland Holiday Market

Winter Wanderland Holiday Market
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 This year, there’s a new attraction in store for everyone celebrating Christmas in San Francisco and it is the Winter Wanderland Holiday Market. Eye-popping holiday tree decorations, live-entertainment, handmade gifts, and delicious treats and drinks await you at this holiday market arranged in Hallidie Plaza (at the Cable Car Turnaround at Powell & Market Streets). And there’s hot cocoa (the season’s favorite drink) plus holiday carols (the season’s best melodies). This holiday market will run for a month, from 25 November to 24 December 2022.

Also Read: Things to Do in San Francisco at Night

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Party

Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Party
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The Cow Palace in Daly City throws an elaborate Christmas party that is unlike any other. One of the best Christmas events in San Francisco; this themed party, complete with period holiday decorations and arrangements, transports you into Victorian London and offers an immersive experience of holiday celebrations during Victorian times. Artists dressed up in period costumes entertain guests at Christmas gift shops, tea rooms, pubs, dance floors, and other pop-up stalls, where you can enjoy holiday treats (roasted chestnuts, anyone?). Classic Christmas characters from Charles Dickens’ world also grace this Victorian Party that takes place on weekends till 18th December 2022. 

Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House

Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House
Source: architecturaldigest

A visit to Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House has become kind of a holiday tradition for the locals and an unmissable holiday experience for travelers booking flights to San Francisco from far and wide. The two-story Gingerbread House installed in Fairmont Hotel’s lobby is made of 6,000 gingerbread bricks baked in the hotel’s kitchen and is decorated with 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,300 pounds of royal icing. Not only can you walk into this life-size gingerbread house (which is about 25 feet tall and 35 feet wide), but you can also enjoy holiday tea in the dining room while the sweet aroma of the gingerbread bricks wafting through the air spreads the Christmas vibe all around.    

What else can you do for Christmas in San Francisco? Catch the play ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the American Conservatory Theater, enjoy the Nutcracker (ballet) at War Memorial Opera House, witness the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Pier 39, take part in the winter events at the California Academy of Sciences, and hop onto the vintage open-air fire engine for the Holiday Lights Tour.

The holiday season brings about a certain charm to the city of San Francisco. Haven’t experienced Christmas in San Francisco before? ‘Tis the season for it! Plan your trip soon and dial up the Indian Eagle customer care number to book the cheapest international flight tickets.

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