San Francisco is positively bursting with great festivals and shows this month – from a Santa train, a Dickensian village, light festivals, shows to wow you like San Francisco Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and Justin Timberlake on tour, to the brightly lit Sausalito boat parade and Swedish and Filipino festivals plus massive holiday markets packed with entertainment. The year ends in a burst of fireworks over the bay to usher in 2019.
About: This Victorian style Fair is built to look like a scene from a Charles Dickens novel, and it is all happening inside Cow Palace Exhibition Hall where you can enter the winding lanes of Victorian London to find music halls, theatres, pubs, dance parties, and shops overflowing with hand-made holiday treasures. The lamp-lit ‘city’will have around 800 lively and colourful characters in costume. Join in a dance, watch a show, settle down for tea, enjoy a hearty meal, have a pint of ale, grab a bag of freshly roasted chestnuts… it’s all there in this immersive experience.
When: December 1-23 over weekends and the day after Thanksgiving. Opens Saturday, November 17.
Cost: Online general admission $30 per adult over 13, $14 for children aged 5-12, free for kids under 5.
About: Head to the Napa Valley region 47 miles north of San Francisco where you will watch a stage show before boarding the train. The 90 minute round trip goes to the “North Pole”, where kids can meet Santa. On the way, cocoa and fresh baked cookies will be served, plus there’ll be a sing-along with the elves who have transformed the Wine Train into an enchanting holiday experience. Board the Santa Train and watch kids faces light up on this special mission to help Jolly the Bear. Additional beverages and snack boxes will be available for purchase.
When: December 1-28 (begins November 19)
Cost: $39 per person.