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Union Square Christmas Tree, Ice Skating Rink and more

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

Union Square Holiday Festivities: A Dazzling Winter Wonderland in San Francisco

San Francisco’s Union Square transforms into a magical winter wonderland each holiday season, drawing visitors from around the globe to experience its festive splendor. At the heart of these celebrations stands the majestic 83-foot Christmas tree, a beacon of holiday spirit adorned with over 43,000 twinkling LED lights and 700 ornaments. This tradition, coupled with a myriad of events and attractions, makes Union Square the epicenter of holiday cheer in San Francisco.


Union Square San Francisco Christmas Tree with Macy's holidays windows in background
Union Square San Francisco Christmas Tree with Macy’s holidays windows in background


The tradition of the Union Square Christmas tree dates back many years, with the tree being gifted to the city by Macy’s. It’s a symbol of community and joy, serving as a focal point for the holiday season’s start, usually on the Friday following Thanksgiving. This year’s tree, standing tall at 83 feet, is decked with more than 30,000 lights and approximately 1,100 decorations, creating a spectacle that captivates and delights all who gaze upon it.


Union Square’s holiday festivities have expanded to include a plethora of attractions, such as the Winter Wander-Land. This event showcases the Bill Graham Menorah, the towering Macy’s Tree, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink, and the Miracle at PCH pop-up bar. The Winter Walk, a pedestrian paradise, offers food trucks, bar gardens, and holiday activities set against a backdrop of stunning arctic decorations.

Union Square San Francisco Christmas Tree and Ice skating rink
Union Square San Francisco Christmas Tree and Ice skating rink

Not to be Missed

  • Macy’s Great Tree: The centerpiece of Union Square’s holiday celebrations, this 83-foot wonder is a must-see, glowing with red and gold decorations and a shining star.

  • Bill Graham Menorah: Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of a 25-foot menorah, an annual tradition that illuminates Union Square with each night of Hanukkah.

  • Safeway Holiday Ice Rink: Offering a unique blend of festive fun and physical activity, the ice rink hosts special events like Silent Skate Party, Polar Bear Skate, and Flashback Fridays.

  • Winter Walk: Experience a holiday-themed pedestrian zone filled with food, entertainment, and Arctic-themed decorations from December 15-24.

  • Macy’s SFSPCA Windows: A heartwarming tradition that showcases adoptable pets in Macy’s windows, running through December 31.

Why You Should Visit

Union Square during the holidays offers a unique blend of festive cheer, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Whether you’re skating under the holiday lights, marveling at the giant Christmas tree, or enjoying the Winter Walk, Union Square provides endless opportunities for creating holiday memories.

Fun Facts

  • The Union Square Christmas tree is one of the largest holiday displays in San Francisco.
  • Macy’s SFSPCA windows have helped countless pets find homes for over 37 years.
  • The Westin St. Francis’s sugar castle adds a sweet touch to the holiday festivities, complete with an AR experience.

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.

the Union Square Holiday Tree is part of the Holiday Lights and Sites tour:

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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