November always seems to sneak in like a thief in the night. Before you know it, the holiday season is upon us in all its glory. As we collectively prepare for another period of wonderment, entertainment, and retail enthusiasm, organization is key. With such a vibrant assortment of holiday events mere minutes from the Fulton 555 condos in Hayes Valley, you could get a bit lost in the joyous barrage. But do not worry; we have you covered. Take our hand as we whisk you through a few of our can’t-miss holiday events.
While there are many large communal Christmas trees around San Francisco, the massive 80-foot Macy’s tree at Union Square is our favorite. The tree, which is reused (not discarded) every year, features more than 43,000 LED lights and 700 ornaments. The lighting ceremony, which takes place on November 24th, will feature performances by the cast of the SF Playhouse’s Christmas musical (more on this later) and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. You can also rent some skates and do a few laps around the Union Square rink. And Santa will be on hand for the festivities.
Sticking with the theme of illumination, the Parol Lantern Fest is another stunning event. The 15th annual festival takes place on December 9th and will feature thousands of handmade lanterns (known as parols) that will illuminate the parade route. Crafting parols to bring peace and hope in the holiday season is a beautiful Filipino tradition, and there are many parol-making workshops leading up to the big parade. There will also be dancing, musical performances, and games; the whole night is sure to be enchanting.
From November 22, 2017 through January 13, 2018, the San Francisco Playhouse will be staging the Tony-nominated musical based on the classic holiday film from 1983. There are not many films as iconic as A Christmas Story, and the musical interpretation does a wonderful job capturing the comedic, youthful exuberance of the original while spicing it with some stellar musical numbers. Crafting a musical from such a beloved movie was a risky venture, but it paid off.
There is no ballet more associated with the holiday season (and perhaps none more whimsically beautiful) than The Nutcracker. From December 13th to the 30th, the San Francisco Ballet will be performing the Tchaikovsky masterpiece. It promises to be a great experience for all ages, and there are even five family-specific shows where the first 500 children will receive a special gift and the chance to meet the dancers after the performance. The Nutcracker is a timeless show and a great gateway into the world of ballet.