The best time of the year is here in San Francisco, and we’ve compiled a list of exceptional activities to celebrate the holiday season with families and friends.

Cable Car Caroling Cable Car Caroling – On Saturday, December 2, the Institute on Aging’s 33rd Annual Cable Car Caroling fundraiser event will take place to bring some holiday cheer to isolated older adults and adults with disabilities. Join the organization as they board cable cars at 12:30pm to visit 3-4 senior homes, singing holiday songs to hundreds of seniors and disabled adults. A hosted dinner will take place after, complete with wine, prizes, and holiday fun. Tickets can be purchased here for both attendees and those unable to attend but would like to donate to the cause.
Nutcracker Ballet Nutcracker Ballet – On Christmas Eve 1944, the American premiere of Nutcracker took place at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera and became an immediate sensation. Fast forward to today and the ballet is still lauded as a national holiday tradition. Experience the breathtaking show, filled with swirling snowflakes, dancing flowers, and a beautiful, magical world at the San Francisco Ballet from December 13-30. Music composed by Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky. Choreography by Helgi Tomasson. Tickets can be purchased here.
Chanukah in Union Square – Since 1975, The Bill Graham Menorah has been lit in the Union Square with the support of the late rock promoter and Holocaust survivor Bill Graham. The first lighting will take place at 5pm on Tuesday, December 12, with Men’s Wearhouse Founder George Zimmer participating in the festivities, and will continue until the following Tuesday. The official Bill Graham Menorah Day is on Sunday, December 17, from 3-6pm, which will include kids craft activities, live musical performances by Jerry’s Kosher Deli, and the lighting ceremony featuring long time Bill Graham colleagues and Lori Starr, the executive director of The Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Ice Skating in the City Ice Skating in the City – We have some great options when it comes to outdoor ice skating, but we definitely have our favorites. The Union Square Ice Rink is in the heart of downtown’s Union Square and is open daily from morning until late at night. Grab a pair of skates for $6; 1.5-hour long sessions range from $13-18. Another stellar option is the massive Holiday Ice Rink on San Francisco’s Embarcadero right across from the historic Ferry Building. The rink is open late for adult-skewing evenings on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $7-12.