This is the weekend you get to ditch the office early, eat cookies by the handful and wait for a merry older gentleman (or Amazon drone) to deliver some fabulous gifts that you’ll unwrap in a frenzy Sunday morning.
Yes, dear readers, we’ve made it to Christmas and are quickly trucking toward the end of 2017.
Put a little love in your heart
When: Friday, December 22nd and Monday, December 25th
Where: 330 Ellis St., Tenderloin
Why: Glide is a San Francisco institution – last year, they served 726,500 meals to San Franciscan residents in need. You may remember Glide from the Will Smith movie Pursuit of Happyness. Kitchen prep volunteers are still needed for this Friday. If you have a few hours to spare, this is the perfect way to give back. // Sign up here, If you have a car and availability from 8 A.M. – 1 P.M. on Christmas Day, the Salvation Army has openings for meal delivery drivers. Learn more and sign up here.
See all of the lights
When: All weekend
Where: The greatest city ever, ever
Why: You’ve seen San Francisco and you may have even seen it from the top of a Double Decker bus, but this Holiday Lights Night Tour is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit (and get some fresh air!). Sip on hot chocolate, sing some holiday songs, and snap some ultra-extra pics of the holiday displays at Union Square and Pier 39. You’ll even pass over the Bay Bridge and cruise around Treasure Island. Bring a scarf. And gloves. And probably earmuffs. Chill factor is a thing here.
Wow your in-laws for free
When: Saturday 12/23 11 A.M. – Monday 12/25 1 P.M.
Where: Everywhere, San Francisco
Why: Take a walk back into the quake of 1906, or learn about the history of Alamo Square. Learn why San Francisco was once dubbed the “Paris of the Pacific.” Finally brave the Telegraph Hill Stairway Hike, and live to humble brag about it to your friends well into Spring 2018. Free walking tours are back. If you missed them on Thanksgiving weekend, do yourself a grand old favor and pencil one into your calendar. It’s the perfect excuse to take a break from your beloved family.
Do John Muir proud
When: Check with the National Parks Services to verify start time
Where: Muir Woods, North Bay
Where: Yes, you’ll have to be up early, but if you pack warm clothes and a thermos of hot chocolate, it’ll be well worth it. After witnessing a magnificent Christmas sunrise, you’ll learn about the local plant and animal residents which are more likely to be seen in the early morning. // This is a fairly flat three-mile hike that’s free, but requires reservations at (415) 388-2596. And no worries if you can’t make this one – there are future sunrise tours scheduled for 2018.
Don’t feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree
When: Monday, December 25th, 11 A.M. – 4 P.M.
Where: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., SoMa
Why: The museum isn’t just a place to browse—it offers opportunities to create art and groove to live music, too. Of course, you can always explore the galleries, including Jewish Folktales Retold and Sabbath: the 2017 Dorothy Saxe Invitational.