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Where to See Christmas Tree Lightings in San Francisco

Where to See Christmas Tree Lightings in San Francisco

Get up-to-date on where to see beautiful Christmas tree lightings in San Francisco. Team


1 min read

November 30, 2023

San Francisco, with its iconic landscapes and vibrant culture, offers a spectacular array of Christmas tree lightings. These events are not just about illuminating trees but are a celebration of community, music, and holiday cheer. Here's a guide to the most magical tree lightings in San Francisco this holiday season.

Holiday Lights: The Presidio’s Traditional Tree-Lighting

  • Date: December 2
  • Time: At dusk
  • Location: Presidio, San Francisco

The Presidio, known for its breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay, hosts a traditional tree lighting that has been a staple for over two decades. The event takes place on the first Friday of December. As it's close to the bay, it's recommended to dress warmly with jackets, beanies, scarves, and gloves to enjoy the festivities comfortably.

Presidio provides scenic views in the shadow of the towering Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Park's Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

  • Date: December 7, 2023
  • Time: 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Location: 501 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Golden Gate Park lights up its iconic Monterey cypress tree, a tradition dating back to 1929. Organized by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, this event includes live music, cookie decorating, carnival rides, food trucks, and more. The carnival rides, arts and crafts, hockey shoot-out, and other attractions ensure a fun-filled evening for all ages.

Winter Fest at Salesforce Park

  • Dates: December 8-10
  • Highlight: December 8 - Holiday Lighting Celebration, 5 - 7 p.m.
  • Location: Salesforce Park, Main Plaza

Salesforce Park transforms into a winter wonderland with its annual Winter Fest. The festivities kick off with a holiday lighting celebration featuring live music, dancing, crafts, and a special circus performance by Circus Bella. Highlights include an Ugly Sweater Silent Disco and a wreath-making party, all free to the public.

Salesforce Park is a sprawling outdoor park in the middle of San Francisco.

Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting

  • Date: December 6
  • Time: 4 - 7 p.m. PST
  • Location: Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco

The Civic Center Plaza Tree Lighting is an enchanting experience with performances by The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, The Topman All Stars, and other entertainers. The event is marked by “snow” flurries, a toy giveaway, and a Makers Village of activities. The highlight is the lighting of the 50-foot noble fir by Mayor London Breed, set against the backdrop of an illuminated City Hall, perfect for holiday photos.

Each of these locations offers a unique experience, from the historic and scenic to the fun and festive. Whether you're a local or a visitor, these tree lighting events in San Francisco promise to fill your holiday season with light, joy, and unforgettable memories. Remember to dress warmly and arrive early to get the best views and partake in the myriad of activities each event has to offer.

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