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City Hall Holiday Lights at the Civic Center

Tree Lighting at City Hall and Civic Center in San Francisco

San Francisco City Hall holiday season
Tree Lighting at Winter Park at City Hall and Civic Center in San Francisco Photo By: Winter Park at Civic Center
Tree Lighting at Winter Park at City Hall and Civic Center in San Francisco
Photo By: Winter Park at Civic Center

As the holiday season descends upon San Francisco, the city’s iconic City Hall transforms into a breathtaking spectacle of festive lights and decorations, captivating both locals and visitors alike. Nestled in the heart of the city, San Francisco City Hall stands as a beacon of holiday cheer, with its magnificent architecture taking on a new life under the glow of seasonal colors.

A Seasonal Transformation

During the holiday season, San Francisco City Hall sheds its usual soft white illumination for a more vibrant display, glowing in the traditional Christmas colors of red and green. This transformation is achieved through the use of over 220 state-of-the-art LED lighting fixtures that bathe the building’s grand façade and golden dome in festive hues. The result is a striking visual treat that stands out against the chilly winter nights, turning the building into a must-see destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit.

The Best Vantage Point

For those looking to capture the magic of the season, the best spot for photos is from the Civic Center Plaza on the eastern side of City Hall. This location offers a magnificent view of the building’s illuminated exterior, with the added bonus of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree and holiday lights that adorn the plaza. Getting here is a breeze with public transportation options like BART or Muni light rail, with just a short walk from the Civic Center Station.

A Celebration for All

The lighting of City Hall in red and green is not just a nod to Christmas; it’s a celebration of all the December holidays, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s. This inclusive approach ensures that the display resonates with a diverse audience, reflecting the city’s commitment to celebrating the cultural richness of its community. The main lighting event, led by the Mayor, sees the illumination of a massive 50-foot tree in Civic Center Plaza, creating a festive focal point that draws crowds eager to partake in the holiday festivities.


Other Holiday Tour Destinations in San Francisco

PIER 39 Holiday Tree with Nightly Tree Lighting Shows Experience the holiday magic at PIER 39 in San Francisco, where a towering Christmas tree lights up the waterfront, offering a festive backdrop to a season full of joy, shopping, dining, and the famous sea lions

Fisherman’s Wharf for the Holidays -Fisherman’s Wharf celebrates with lighted fishing boats in the harbor, a Boat parade, and the Crab wheel sign light for the holidays

Experience the holiday magic at the Fairmont San Francisco with its life-sized Gingerbread House, crafted from thousands of gingerbread bricks and adorned with candy. A festive tradition that delights visitors of all ages.

Union Square Christmas Tree, Ice Skating Rink, and more – Take in one of the largest holiday displays in San Francisco including the 83-foot tree at the center of Union Square

Cable Cars are decorated for the Holiday Season: open to the public since 1873, this fascinating mode of transportation conveys visitors from Market Street to Beach Street, where Fisherman’s Wharf is less than a ten-minute walk away. Be sure to watch operators move the cable car on a turntable to point it in the right direction for the return trip to Market Street!

Experience the magic of the holiday season at San Francisco’s City Hall and Civic Center. 50′ Tall Holiday Tree with City Hall light up in holiday colors as the perfect backdrop.

Holiday Magic at Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco’s historic landmark, where festive lights, holiday movies, and the aroma of chocolate create a perfect holiday escape

Umbrella Alley All Holiday Lights and Sights Tours start at Umbrella Alley in Fisheman’s Wharf. Mural-filled alley with perfect backdrops for Instagram and Tik Tok. Located at 757 Beach Street near Hyde St.

Featured on these holiday Lights Tours:

Lucky Tuk Tuk holiday lights sites tour San Francisco

Holiday Lights & Sites Lucky Tuk Tuk Tour in San Francisco

Celebrate the season in a Tuk Tuk! Our 1.5 hour San Francisco Holiday Lights outings include yummy hot chocolate, candy canes, fuzzy Santa hats and plenty of sing-along holiday karaoke tunes on board.

Jump Aboard these Other Fun Tours and Rentals to Explore San Francisco

Buckle in and explore the city with an entertaining driving tour of or a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge to walk among the .
San Francisco Jeep Tours will drive you and up to 6 guests in a convertible Jeep. You’ll see all the iconic sites and attractions on exclusive routes with a fun and experienced tour guide.

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