While San Francisco’s December temperature may seldom dip below a brisk 55 degrees, that doesn’t prevent the Christmas Spirit from taking hold. From shimmering snowflakes on Market Street lightposts to Santas in their undies, San Francisco knows how to fab it up for the most wonderful time of the year.
Strip down to your skivvies for a good cause. The Santa Skivvies Run (Dec. 6), an annual romp down Market Street from UN Plaza to the Castro, benefits the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is sponsored this year by Lookout Bar.
Cocktails and Crafts
The California Academy of Sciences NightLife becomes a shopping bonanza (Thursday, Dec. 11), hosting local artisans and craftsmen peddling local wares in time for gift-buying season. That’s in addition to a full bar and super-cool science exhibits. Not that they’ll make much sense after a few fizzy drinks.
If You’re a Fan of Peppermint Patty
…then you’re in luck, Chuck! The “Peanuts” gang is paying a visit to the San Francisco Symphony (Dec. 19 – 24) for a stunning, live-action performance “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Get ready for some jazzy tunes, dazzling vocals and mesmerizing animated backgrounds—and, of course, a feel-good holiday story.
Bending Minds and Bodies
You may have already noticed Cirque du Soleil’s whimsically colored tent bedecking the overflow parking lot at AT&T Park. They’ve been in town since Nov. 14, and will tightrope walk their way through San Francisco’s Indian Summer until Jan. 18. Sure the show is not exactly Christmas fodder, but the indoor venue is a perfect spectacle for friends, family and out-of-town visitors who may have gotten tired of the other spectacle that is Castro Street.
San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater is being taken over by drag queens and fetishists Dec. 2 – 28 with Harvey Fierstein and Cindy Lauper’s raved-about musical, “Kinky Boots.” About a flagging shoe factory that finds its saving grace in a drag queen, this show is pretty much home away from home for anyone who loves a shimmying, singing chorus of boys dressed as girls.
Make the Yuletide Gay
Join the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and Well-Strung, a highly versatile string quartet, for less-traditional renditions of holiday favorites. The Chorus is hosting three fabulous events—on Dec. 12, 13 and a not-to-be-missed extravaganza on Christmas eve, featuring local drag celebrities, a 1980s Nativity and a de rigeur ugly sweater contest. Watch out for gay hipsters in their natural habitat.
This year, San Francisco is home 16 high-tech “dramatic light art installations” scattered across the city as part of Illuminate SF. Through January 2015, ditch the drama on television and experience it in a more positive way in neighborhood art tours, illuminated walks, artist talks and other events. Check out the schedule of events on their website.
Bonus: Pointy, Large and Covered in Fir
If you’re into pointy, large things covered in fir—namely, Christmas trees—you’re in for a treat. San Francisco’s festive Christmas trees are springing up all about town: Displays at Union Square, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square are ideal outdoor distractions on a holiday walkabout of the City by the Bay.