Union Square Lights Up This Season
San Francisco happens here. Simply a half mile from Serif, you’ll discover the most magical spot to be during the holiday season. Dripping with dazzling lights and activities designed to spread cheer, Union Square is made to light up your season. Festive lighting decorates palm trees in Union Square Park, trees and festival lighting on Maiden Lane, and trees at the Powell Street Cable Car turnaround. A magical Winter Wonderland beckons as lights turn on November 1 and run through February. Hit the ice, catch a show, experience the wonder and shop ‘til you drop.
Neighboring Union Square is home to West Coast flagships of some of the world’s most distinguished fashion houses—an ever-evolving destination for stylish pursuits and luxury finds. The perfect place to spend a day shopping, discover a mix of department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Crocker Galleria, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, San Francisco Centre Westfield as well as a number of unique boutiques in the Union Square district. A luxury renaissance has brought the arrival of global brands which include Hermès, Harry Winston, Chanel, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Valentino.
With nearly as many restaurants as there are stores, you’ll find just the spot to recharge your batteries before heading back out to the shops. Gaspar Brasserie is located near Union Square with richly-designed interiors that make you feel as if you are truly in Paris and provide the perfect setting for enjoying exquisite classic and modern French fare such as Duck Leg Confit and always popular Steak Frites. Bartlett Hall is a gastropub and brewery that fuse the city’s historic elements with its present-day lively personality—serving as an authentic reflection of San Francisco where quality, comfort, and craft reign supreme.
Slip into the sultry Clock Bar which takes guests on a journey through time with a menu inspired by a specific era. Every detail from the glassware to the decor, brings to mind bygone eras like San Francisco in 1904 and Paris in the 1920s. ENO Wine Bar serves up a fantastic selection of wines, cheeses and chocolates in a sleek yet relaxing ambiance. Step into the California of yesteryear at Sample irresistible American cuisine made with an international touch at The Oak Room Restaurant. Make sure to spy the elaborate sugar castle.
Union Square Ice Rink, November 3-January 17. Skate through the holidays at San Francisco’s favorite outdoor rink with daily ice skating and special events scheduled throughout the holiday season.
Macy’s Great Tree Lighting, November 19 – Jan 1. The annual great tree will be decorated with thousands of twinkling energy-efficient LED lights and shining ornaments. Macy’s 32nd Annual Tree Lighting can be viewed in Union Square Park between Sutter & Geary streets and Powell & Stockton Streets, right across from the front of Macy’s. The tree will stay lit each night for you to enjoy through the beginning of January.
Twelfth Night, November 24 – January 15. Twelfth Night at San Francisco Playhouse features an original jazz-funk score by Shaina Taub, a soulful shake-up of a Shakespearean classic, perfect for the 12th night of Christmas or any day of the year.
A Christmas Carol. November 26 – December 28. Charles Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol comes to the Golden Gate Theatre. First debuting in 2017 at London’s iconic Old Vic Theatre, this adaptation from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne and Old Vic Artistic Director Matthew Warchus, has been praised for its joyful and warmhearted approach to the fable.
Menorah Lighting, November 28-December 6. The Bill Graham Menorah Project is an annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting in Union Square and this multiday San Francisco tradition continues to shine bright. Join the Bill Graham Menorah Day celebration on the first night of Chanukah: Sunday, November 28 at 2:00 p.m. for music, traditional foods, and a Menorah Lighting with dignitaries.
Drag Queens on Ice, December 2. Watch some of San Francisco’s fiercest Bay Area drag queens lip-sync and skate the night away for the 11th consecutive year.
San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, December 10-30. Step into the reverie of little Clara in this unforgettable holiday tale and enter a magical wonderland of toy soldiers, a blizzard of snowflakes, and a kaleidoscope of more than 150 dancers.
Polar Bear Skate, January 1. Put on your chicest, wildest, and most inventive beach attire, grab your shades and “take the plunge” in the ice rink for this New Year’s Day Union Square tradition.
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Image credit: Union Square