Marin and Bay Area Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting Events 2017

November 17, 2017

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!

  • Building Lighting Ceremony and Carnival
    Embarcadero Center, San Francisco
    Friday, November 17, 4–7 pm

    Four iconic buildings lit with 17,000 holiday lights, fireworks bursting in the sky, and a magical show presented by Disney on Ice. The Building Lighting Ceremony at Embarcadero Center is a San Francisco tradition and the official start of the holiday season in the City.  The festivities begin at 4 pm with a family fun carnival followed by the building lighting ceremony at 6 pm. Free! For more info, visit their website.
  • Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza
    Downtown Sonoma
    Saturday, November 18, 5–8 pm

    Experience Sonoma Valley and celebrate the fourth annual Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. Enjoy 8-acres of 100,000+ sparkling lights plus music and holiday treats! Free to the public and family friendly. Bring a picnic, including wine and beer! For more info, visit their website.
  • PIER 39 Tree Lighting Celebration
    PIER 39, San Francisco
    Sunday, November 19, 2–6:30 pm
    PIER 39 invites you to spread holiday cheer at their annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Sing songs, meet friends from Disneyland Resort, and welcome the holiday season with a day of merriment for the whole family. The fun culminates with the lighting of PIER 39’s majestic 60-foot tree. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Rafael 37th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
    Downtown San Rafael
    Friday, November 24, 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.
  • Ghirardelli Square Annual Tree Lighting
    San Francisco
    Friday, November 24, 4–8 pm

    This Black Friday, Ghirardelli Square will be hosting its 53rd annual tree lighting ceremony with free kids' activities, tenant promotions, live music, Santa, and more Location: Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street (at Beach and Larkin), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Winter Lights
    Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa
    Friday, November 24, 4–8 pm

    Santa Rosa's annual tree lighting event brings together community to celebrate the holidays with activities for all ages. Watch as Santa arrives on a fire truck, take part in children's activities and games, enjoy delicious local food and drink, and more. This year's theme is "I Believe in Santa Rosa", and celebrates resiliency, volunteerism, and hope. Location: 25 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Macy's 28th Annual Union Square Tree Lighting
    Union Square Park, San Francisco
    Friday, November 24, 5:30 pm

    Macy's gift to the city and San Francisco's most recognized Christmas tree will be officially lit in Union Square at approximately 6:50 pm. Macy's 28th Annual Tree Lighting will take place in Union Square Park between Sutter and Post and Geary and Stockton Streets, right across from the front of Macy's. Enjoy musical performances, visits from Santa and Snoopy, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato's Annual Community Tree Lighting
    Sherman Avenue, Novato
    Saturday, December 2 from 4-8 pm

    Come enjoy special holiday performances, food and hot drinks at this annual event to kick off the holidays in Downtown Novato! Festivities begin at 4pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Light Up a Life Tree Lighting
    Walnut Park, Petaluma
    Friday, December 1, 6–7 pm

    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.
  • Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony
    Imagination Park, San Anselmo
    Saturday, December 2, 5–6:30 pm

    Join your community and celebrate the holiday season at the annual San Anselmo Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, December 2nd. Come downtown to shop, dine and enjoy an evening for all ages. Cub Scout Pack 50 kicks off this celebration, which includes complimentary refreshments, holiday entertainment, and FREE pictures with Santa himself. Location: 541 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Presidio Tree Lighting Ceremony
    San Francisco Presidio Main Post
    Friday, December 8, 5–6:30 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 6:30 pm. Meet in the Presidio Community YMCA gym. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tiburon Holiday Festival
    Downtown Tiburon
    Saturday, December 2, 2–6 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! Enjoy Santa photos, snow play, horse-drawn carriage rides, ornament making, gingerbread house decorating, 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 2, 4–8 pm

    Bring the family to watch the annual 13th annual Lighting of the Snowmen. Enjoy live holiday music, lights and decorations, wine and beer tasting, delicious food, kids' crafts, and much more. Free admission. Parking $10 (benefits local charities). Location: 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Annual San Anselmo Holiday Lighting Ceremony
    Imagination Park, San Anselmo
    Saturday, December 2, 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 selfies 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 3, noon–5 pm
    Mill Valley's annual celebration of the holiday season features a snow sledding hill, the one and only Santa Claus in an antique fire truck, great food and drinks, an array of fun games, great music and entertainment, and a tree lighting. 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 10, 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.
  • Grand Menorah Lighting
    Whole Foods Market, Novato
    Tuesday, December 12, 5 pm

    Come see the lighting of a 10-foot menorah at Whole Foods Market in downtown Novato. This free community event also features music and dancing, a raffle, refreshments like hot latkes and donuts, and an appearance by city dignitaries. Location: Whole Foods Market, 790 De Long Avenue, Novato. Learn more.
  • Bill Graham Menorah
    Union Square, San Francisco
    Tuesday, December 12–Tuesday, December 19
    The Bill Graham Menorah lights up San Francisco's Union Square, beginning with a lighting ceremony on Tuesday, December 12 at 5 pm. Sunday, December 17, from 2–6 pm is Bill Graham Menorah Day, featuring local officials and longtime Bill Graham colleagues, musical performances, the Dreidel House, and kids' music and crafts. Kids' activities start at 2 pm and the lighting takes place at 5 pm. Location: 333 Post Street, San Francisco. Learn more.
  • Marin Chanukah Lighting
    Town Center Corte Madera
    Thursday, December 14, 6–7 pm
    Come celebrate with music, singing, candle lighting, and treats. Gather by the elephant fountain inside the south end of the mall, near the inside-mall entrance to Barnes and Noble. For more info, visit their website.

Photo: Ghirardelli Square