Marin and Bay Area Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting Events 2016

November 26, 2016

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting

All across Marin and the Bay Area, communities celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a traditional tree lighting ceremony. Here's our list of tree and menorah lighting ceremonies and celebrations in Marin County, San Francisco, and Sonoma County. We'll be adding more events as the holidays near, so check back often!

  • San Rafael 37th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
    Downtown San Rafael
    Friday, November 25, noon–8 pm & Saturday, November 26, 9 am–noon
    Downtown San Rafael will once again commence the holiday season with its Winter Wonderland, Parade of Lights, and Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts that starts the Friday after Thanksgiving. On Friday: free snow sledding, kids activities (noon–4:30 pm & 6–8 pm), Holiday Marketplace (noon–8 pm) and the Parade of Lights (5:30 pm) with Santa and Mrs. Claus's arrival and a tree-lighting immediately after. On Saturday: kids activities and snow sledding continues (9 am–noon). Location: On Fourth Sreet from B Street to Lootens Place in downtown San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • 17th Annual Tree Lighting Celebration
    Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield
    Saturday, November 26, 5–8 pm
    Celebrate the Holiday Season with Jelly Belly, and mark your calendar for this annual event. Santa, puppet shows, and live music are all part of the fun. Watch us light our 20-foot Christmas tree. PLUS, catch our character parade! Santa photos available after Tree Lighting Ceremony until 8:00pm. Location: One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. For more info, visit their website.
  • 555 California Street Tree Lighting Ceremony
    San Francisco
    Tuesday, November 29, 5 pm
    The 555 California Street Tree Lighting is San Francisco’s premier annual tree lighting event. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016, it kicks off the holiday season with a special performance by the legendary Doobie Brothers along with performances by the Dick Bright Orchestra and Pacific Boy Choir! For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Tree Lighting Ceremony
    Thursday, December 1, 5 pm

    Celebrate the lighting of Marin Country Mart's holiday tree and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and a star treasure hunt with Emily Butterfly. Location: 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle. More information
  • Presidio Community Tree Lighting
    San Francisco Presidio Main Post
    Friday, December 2, 5:30–8 pm
    Light the tree and sing holiday classics along with the Golden Gate Carolers. Light refreshments and kids activities will follow in the Presidio Community YMCA gymnasium (63 Funston Avenue). After the tree lighting, don’t miss the lantern-lit evening forest walk, which will start at 6:15 pm. Meet in the Presidio Community YMCA gym. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Light Up a Life Tree Lighting
    Center Park, Petaluma
    Friday, December 2, 7–8 pm

    Now in its 30th year in Sonoma County, this evening includes community tree lighting, music, inspiration and remembrance during the holiday season. Thousands of bright lights will shine to symbolize the lives, hopes and dreams of the community. With a $10 donation, a light can be dedicated in memory or honor of a loved one. Hospice will also send an acknowledgment card to your family and friends sharing your gift of light. Contact Hospice of Petaluma at (707) 778-6242 to name a light or for additional event details. Location: 21 Petaluma Boulevard, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tiburon Holiday Festival
    Downtown Tiburon
    Saturday, December 3, 2:30–6 pm

    Tiburon’s Mayor and Santa Claus make the holiday season official by lighting the town’s Christmas tree after Santa arrives by fire truck. Come ready to sing some favorite Christmas carols! Santa photos from 2:30–6 pm, gingerbread house decorating from 2–4 pm, and tree lighting ceremony at 6 pm. See complete schedule of activities on their website.
  • Lighting of the Snowmen Holiday Festival
    CornerStone Sonoma
    Saturday, December 3, 4–8 pm

    Bring the family to watch the annual 12th annual Lighting of the Snowmen. Enjoy live holiday music, lights and decorations, face painting and ornament making, pictures with Santa, hot soup, beer and wine, and much more. Free admission. Parking $10. Location: 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Annual San Anselmo Holiday Lighting Ceremony
    Imagination Park, San Anselmo
    Saturday, December 3, 5–6:30 pm

    This old-fashioned evening of warmth and spirit is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Santa Claus arrives in a fire truck, then the young and old are treated to free pictures with St. Nick himself. Enjoy delicious refreshments donated by local businesses along with holiday music and children’s activities. Location: Imagination Park, 535 San Anselmo Avenue. For more info, visit their website.

  • Mill Valley Winterfest
    Depot Plaza, Downtown Mill Valley
    Sunday, December 4, 11 am–6 pm
    Mill Valley's annual celebration of the holiday season features a snow hill, the one and only Santa Claus, great food and drinks, an array of fun games, and a bounty of great musical performances. This is one of Mill Valley's hallmark events. Depot Plaza, downtown Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Festival of Lights
    Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Sunday, December 11, 11:30–2:30 pm
    This all-ages fun family festival is free and all are welcome! Enjoy traditional Hanukkah treats like latkes and sufganiyot (donuts), live music, an artisanal marketplace, face painting, holiday songs and stories, arts and crafts, a bounce house, and more. You can also experience the JCC fitness center and pools! Location: 200 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Light the Menorah
    hirardelli Square, San Francisco
    Saturday, December 28, 4 pm
    Celebrate Hanukkah at Ghirardelli Square with free kids activities and lighting of the menorah by Rabbi Peretz. Event will start at 4 pm, and the ceremony will begin at 5 pm.
  • Grand Menorah Lighting
    Whole Foods Market, Novato
    Wednesday, December 28, 5 pm

    Light up the night at Whole Foods Market with Chabad of Novato. More information

Photo: Ghirardelli Square