We already rounded up 25 Festive Holiday Events in the San Francisco Bay Area which includes festivals, races, parades, lighting ceremonies and more. If you were wondering where all the spectacular ballets, concerts and performances were on that blog post, they’re right here!
Because the region hosts some of the most prestigious and beloved shows in the country, we thought they deserved their own dedicated guide. Below, you’ll find family classics, annual musical celebrations, and traditional shows with modern twists. To celebrate the 25 days of Christmas, we went a little overboard with 27 festive Bay Area events. Enjoy!
November 16 – December 17 at Ross Valley Players
Elliot Hanson as Simon Bright and Ellen Brooks as Martha Gillette, photo courtesy of Gregg Le Blanc, Cumulus Light Photography
Get ready to gasp and laugh through this lively and glittering whodunit set during the holidays in 1936. Join the fun as Broadway star William Gillette plays Sherlock Holmes and invites his fellow cast members to his castle for a weekend of holiday revelry. When one of the guests is stabbed to death, this event quickly turns dangerous. Directed by TheatreBayArea award winner Christian Haines, it’s a must-see this season! Buy your tickets online.
November 17 – December 24 in Walnut Creek, Carmel, Mountain View and San Francisco
The Christmas Ballet from Smuin Contemporary American Ballet is touring through four Bay Area cities this year. You can see the local holiday favorite in Walnut Creek from November 17 and 18, in Carmel December 1 and 2, in Mountain View December 6 – 10 and in San Francisco December 14 – 24. Choose your show and buy your tickets here!
November 22 – January 13 at San Francisco Playhouse
Did you know everyone’s favorite holiday movie has been turned into a beloved live musical? See the magic and laugh your heart out all the way through January 13, 2018, at San Francisco Playhouse! Tickets start at $35 and you can buy them online here.
December 1 – 24 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
Performances for this Bay Area holiday tradition sell out quickly so buy yours ASAP! The show returns this year with a sparkling, music-infused production. Bring your family, bring your friends and check your humbugs at the door.
December 1 – 24 at Theatre of Yugen
Photo courtesy of Alex Sinclair
A Noh Christmas Carol is an avant-garde Japanese-influenced retelling of the Dicken’s classic everyone has come to know and love. Ebezo Sukurooji is visited by the ghost of his business partner Mashima Jabukei and warned to change his miserly ways. Using the classic Japanese theatre styles noh, kyogen and kabuki, Sukurooji is taken on a fantastical journey to remind him of the value of life beyond money and figures. Buy your tickets here.
December 3 at Davies Symphony Hall
On December 3, Holiday Brass is returning to Davies Symphony Hall. Including seasonal songs like Joy to the World, Silent Night, and Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé Suite, the San Francisco Symphony brass section will fill the space with a festive mix of classical and popular holiday favorites.
December 3 at Davies Symphony Hall
For this new family favorite, there are four different shows throughout the day on December 3. Sing and dance along with members of the San Francisco Symphony, guest artists and costumed characters. And your tickets include post-concert festivities with treats, arts and crafts, entertainment and more!
December 5 – 31 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
(front row) Emily Fightmaster; (back row) Laurel Krabacher, Ian Owens, Scotty Nelson, Carley Moseley and Jo Scott in The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue at Berkeley Rep; photo by Timothy M. Schmidt
With shows throughout the month of December, Chicago’s legendary comedy theatre The Second City is making its first-ever Berkeley Rep appearance! With a healthy dose of satire, you’ll laugh along to twisted holiday film classics, family gatherings and Christmas carols. Buy tickets here and arrive early for Holiday Happy (Half) Hour.
December 6 + 7 at Davies Symphony Hall
Alexander Streltsov and Christine Van Loo, photo courtesy of San Francisco Symphony
For two nights in a row, you can watch and listen as Cirque de la Symphonie and San Francisco Symphony merge great music with spectacular acrobatics. With a festive selection of holiday hits mixed in, it’s the perfect show for anyone looking for festive sounds and plenty of excitement!
Not So Silent Night 2017 | Oakland
December 8 + 9 at Oracle Arena
This rocking show is hosting two nights of fun this December. Whether you’re buying tickets for Night 1 or Night 2, you’re sure to find a band on the lineup that you can jam to — especially if you love The Killers, Weezer or Manchester Orchestra! See the full lineups for each night here.
December 8 – 17 at Scottish Rite Center
Photo courtesy of California Revels
This year, The Christmas Revels are celebrating the shortest day of the year with song, dance, spirited folk tales and Scottish flare. Be there for haggis and Hogmanay, first-footing, wool-waulking, mouth music and even Guising! Buy your tickets here.
December 8 – 23 at Left Edge Theater
This festive David Sedaris comedy is based on the outlandish and true chronicles of his brief stint as an elf in Macy’s SantaLand. Leave the kids at home for this one and laugh your way through this new holiday classic. Choose your show and buy tickets online.
December 9 at Davies Symphony Hall
This holiday season, internationally-renowned conductor Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan present J.S. Bach’s magnificent Christmas Oratorio in their Davies Symphony Hall debut. There’s just one show on December 9, so don’t miss out! Buy your ticket here.
December 10 at Ruth Finley Person Theater
Image courtesy of Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
This 3 p.m. Sunday show is the perfect festive event for your whole family! Featuring the Santa Rosa Symphony along with special guests Roustabout Theater, Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus and Bay Area vocalists Tina Meals and Jonathan Poretz, you’ll hear Sleigh Ride, We Need a Little Christmas, White Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy and Ave Maria plus dancing Santas and an audience sing-a-long! Buy tickets here.
December 10 at Davies Symphony Hall
Mariachi Sol de Mexico is returning to Davies Symphony Hall for one show this holiday season. Their boisterous show will be a festive musical tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions for a truly international celebration. Buy tickets online today!
December 12 + 13 at Davies Symphony Hall
You have two chances to hear the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir’s powerhouse vocals and gorgeous harmonies this December. For 2017, they’re joining forces with the best-selling female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans, and Edwin Hawkins, the Grammy-winning originator of Oh Happy Day. Choose your date and purchase your tickets online.
December 13 – 30 at War Memorial Opera House
Koto Ishihara in Tomasson’s Nutcracker (c) Erik Tomasson
On Christmas Eve 1944, the audience at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House experienced the American premiere of Nutcracker. Today, thanks to the San Francisco Ballet, you can still see all the glory, the dancing and the beautiful choreography that made it an instant classic.
December 14 at Ruth Finley Person Theater
Featuring former leading cast members of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys,” Under The Streetlamp is a rock and roll celebration of music from the 1950’s – 1970’s. At their holiday show, Hip to the Holidays, they’ll be performing all the holiday classics with the rocking twist we’ve come to love! Get tickets here.
December 14 + 15 at Davies Symphony Hall
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Symphony and Orange Photography
This breathtaking performance of Handel’s Messiah will feature the San Francisco Symphony and the famous “Hallelujah” Chorus of 100 voices in harmony. Make it your new holiday tradition and buy tickets online today.
December 15 + 17 at Fox Theater
If you’re looking for an exciting spin on holiday classics, look no further than Peninsula Ballet Theater’s Hip Hop Nutcracker! Paying homage to both the traditional Nutcracker and the future of dance, you’ll see the beloved story and dance to a whole new genre of song. Buy tickets here.
December 15 – 17 at Carston Cabaret
Support the award-winning training program for student actors, singers and dancers this holiday season and attend one of four White Christmas performances. Now a famed family favorite across the globe, the show will include I Love a Piano, Blue Skies, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm and all the other classics we’ve come to know and love.
December 16 + 17 at Fox Theater
You’ll have three chance to catch the Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s production of Nutcracker this holiday season. Tickets start at just $35 and you’re sure to be wowed as over 125 characters in sumptuous costumes dance their way across the stage.
You can also see the autism-friendly performance of the Nutcracker on December 14!
December 17, 18 and 19 in Cupertino, Santa Rosa and San Francisco
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is the original show right out of Russia and they’re touring the entire country this holiday season. They have four shows coming up in the Bay Area: Cupertino on December 17 at 3 and 7 p.m., Santa Rosa on December 18 and San Francisco on December 19. See every city on the website here and buy your tickets.
December 21 – 24 at Davies Symphony Hall
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Symphony
Buy your tickets to this festive event so you can welcome Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang to the Davies Symphony Hall. With seven shows throughout the weekend, your family has plenty of chances to catch the heart-warming, kid-friendly show. Choose your showtime here.
December 23 at The Warfield
Gilbert Milam Jr., better known as Berner, is a Bay Area artist who is making fast strides in the local rap scene. Find out why at this festive party at The Warfield this December! Get your tickets here.
December 24 at The Warfield
Grammy-Award winning artist Brian Setzer and his 19-piece orchestra are serving a huge dose of retro holiday cheer with their festive show Christmas Rocks! Featuring music from their latest Christmas album, “Rockin’ Rudolph,” their three other best-selling holiday albums and other original Brian Setzer hits, it’ll be a rousing show you don’t want to miss.
December 27 at The Warfield
Join contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race as they perform live on stage and rock the catwalk to celebrate the holidays even after Christmas Day! All ages are welcome at this fun-loving show and you can get your tickets here. Find full tour details on the website.
Looking for more?
You can find even more events — like holiday-themed races and festivals — on our blog post 25 Festive Holiday Events in the San Francisco Bay Area.