San Francisco Union Square Tree Lighting Ceremony

Things to Do in San Francisco November 2015

Looking for things to do in San Francisco this month? Here’s our list of best bets. Plus, you can download the SpotHero app for iPhone or Android and reserve affordable parking in advance.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies

To kick off the holiday season, San Francisco has back-to-back weekends of tree lighting ceremonies downtown. Here are the highlights of each one.

Union Square Tree Lighting Ceremony 11/27 | Reserve Parking near Union Square

The annual illumination of Macy’s Great Tree includes more than 1,500 ornaments adorning the 80-foot tree. The ceremony starts at 6pm and they will light the tree at 6:40 pm. Get there early to reserve your spot!

Pro tip: “For the best viewing location, stop by Union Square early to stake out your spot. One tip is to manage to get a spot at the Cheesecake Factory – top of Macy’s which looks down over Union Square. They have outdoor dining with heat lamps and the view to the ice rink and skaters is spectacular.” —Union Square Shop

Learn more here.

Embarcadero Center Building Lighting Ceremony 11/20 | Reserve Parking
The 29th Annual Building Lighting Ceremony & Carnival is a free event. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities from 4-7pm. Plus, there will be a sneak preview of Disney On Ice presents Frozen. Learn more here.

Tree Lighting at Pier 39 11/21 – 11/22 | Reserve Parking at Pier 39
This annual free event features friends from Disneyland® Resort. Get ready for holiday arts and crafts, letters to Santa, and caroling. The tree lighting is at 6pm each night. Learn more and see a complete schedule here.

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony 11/27 | Reserve Parking at Ghirardelli Square 
Where else can you see a 50-foot tree light up *and* enjoy delicious chocolate? Learn more here.

Annual Favorites

The Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason Center 11/21 – 11/22 | Reserve Parking
Looking for that perfect holiday gift? You’re in luck. The Renegade Craft Fair is a free event showcasing handmade arts and crafts. It features a thoughtfully curated selection of the finest indie-craft goods, perfect for all of your holiday gift-giving needs. You’ll enjoy a weekend of shopping handmade, participating in DIY workshops, and joining in on the festive holiday vibes. Learn more here.

San Francisco Auto Show at Moscone Center 11/21 – 11/28 | Reserve Parking
Want to scope out new cars? The 58th annual San Francisco Auto Show will have the 2016 models from the world’s leading 30+ manufacturers. You’ll see the latest in electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles. Tickets are $10 for adults with children 12-years and under free when accompanied by an adult. You can buy tickets online or pay cash at the door. Learn more here.


  • Saturday, Nov. 21: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 22 – Thursday, Nov 26: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday Nov. 27 – Saturday, Nov. 28: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 29: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.