Marin & Bay Area Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting Events

One of the most traditional ways families celebrate the start of the holiday season is with a tree lighting ceremony. Below a is list of tree and menorah lighting festivities taking place in Marin County, San Francisco and Sonoma County over the next few weeks. 

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 Street from B Street to Lootens Place in downtown San Rafael. 

Ghirardelli Square Annual Tree Lighting
San Francisco
Friday, November 25, 4–8 pm

This Black Friday, Ghirardelli Square will be hosting its annual tree lighting ceremony with free kids activities, tenant promotions, live music, snow, Santa, and more Location: Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street (at Beach and Larkin), San Francisco.

Winter Lights
Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa
Friday, November 25, 4:30–8 pm

Winter Lights is an annual event that brings together community to celebrate the holidays and remember our loved ones. This all-ages event is family-oriented and multi-cultural, and features a tree lighting celebration, remembrance candle lighting ceremony, Santa Claus arriving on a fire truck, Taste of Santa Rosa, live entertainment, children's activities, photos with Santa, ornament painting, and ugly sweater contest, and more. Location: 25 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. 

Macy's 27th Annual Union Square Tree Lighting
Union Square Park, San Francisco
Friday, November 25, 6 pm

Macy's gift to the city and San Francisco's most recognized Christmas tree will be officially lit in Union Square at 6:40 pm. Macy's 27th 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. 

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! 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Light the Menorah
hirardelli Square, San Francisco
Saturday, December 24
Free kids activities and lighting of menorah by Rabbi Peretz.

The Costa Group wishes you a warm and wonderful holiday season!

List courtesy of