Best Places to See Santa in San Francisco
December 6, 2023

Find the best events and places to see Santa in San Francisco, and don’t miss taking a photo or having breakfast with Saint Nick as he parks his sleigh with his reindeer this holiday season!

The Christmas season is here. It’s time again to explore the Christmas spots and attractions in San Francisco. You will see stores covered in lights, building facades adorned with beautiful Christmas decorations and gifts, and meeting Santa in his magical sleigh and reindeer — the most awaited moment for your little ones. The sight of this big guy in a red suit is undoubtedly a dream come true for every child, and besides, they have been nice all year round. Bring your kids with you to take a souvenir photo or have a special breakfast from the lined-up events and activities in the best places to visit and see Santa in San Francisco this holiday season!

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After the quest for the perfect firs and pines from the Christmas tree farms in San Francisco, the whole family already knows the drill. That is to find the most spectacular places to see Santa and attend the events in San Francisco! For sure, your kids are now grinning with excitement because, finally, they’ll be seeing the man who’s secretly coming down the chimney at night to fill in those stockings. You can also add to your holiday tradition by joining an event breakfast with Santa and taking a photo in the best places you can find and see him in San Francisco. 

Take a break from the heavy shopping holiday craze and take a photo or have a big breakfast with Santa from our list of the best places in San Francisco. Whether you want a traditional meet and greet, or a not-so-traditional Santa sighting, these spots are a must-add holiday bucket list to your family!

Our Featured Santa Event in San Francisco

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop San Francisco
Photo by: Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

2131 Peaceful Garden Way, Rescue CA 95672
Phone Number: (530) 677-5369

Oct. 10 – December 10, 2023

One of the best places and events to see Santa in San Francisco is visiting Santa’s Enchanted Workshop. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, just 15 minutes up HW 50 from Folsom in the greater Sacramento area, they offer kids a personal one-hour visit with Santa in his beautiful cottage workshop and have pictures or take a portrait to create heirloom art pieces for you to cherish for years to come.

This experience offers your children a chance to meet Santa privately while enjoying an enchanted time with him. Your children can share their Christmas wish list with Santa and even find their names on his nice list. They will enjoy milk and cookies, learn about the North Pole, help in his workshop, read a book, and enjoy other sweet moments with our beautiful Saint Nick.

Best Places and Events to See Santa in San Francisco this Holiday Season

Best places to see Santa events in San Francisco this holiday season - Pictures with Santa at Lower Level Center Court
Photo by: Stonestown Galleria

Pictures with Santa at Lower Level Center Court

Stonestown Galleria
3251 20th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone Number: (415) 564-8848

November 17 – December 24, 2023
Monday – Sunday | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Make this holiday merry and visit the Big Guy to capture unforgettable picture moments. Embark on an enchanted adventure to take a photo with Santa in San Francisco this holiday season. Join him to create magical memories you and your family will always remember.

Children’s Santa Cruise
Photo by: USS Potomac

Children’s Santa Cruise

USS Potomac
540 Water St., Oakland, CA 94607
Phone Number: (510) 627-1215

December 10 & 17, 2023
Sunday | 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Join Santa and elves for treats on the historic ship, USS Potomac. One hour on the San Francisco Bay, friendly elves circulate and are available to help you take a photo with Santa, who will give small toys to each of the kids. Printed photos will be delivered before disembarkment. Guests will also receive a souvenir Christmas tree ornament at the check-in table and will have unlimited holiday cookies and cocoa while on board.

The USS Potomac leaves the dock on time and takes a one-hour round-trip route along the Oakland estuary. Volunteer docents answer questions and give impromptu tours of the historical boat. Guests can visit most areas of the yacht. Learning about the ship’s history is quite interesting for older children and adults.

Breakfast and photo with Santa in San Francisco - Santa Visits the Square

Photo by: Ghirardelli Square

Santa Visits the Square

Ghirardelli Square
900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA, 94109
Phone Number: (415) 775-5500

December 18, 2023
Friday | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

2023 Holiday photo time has officially arrived. Visit Ghirardelli Square on a Christmas night with your loved ones to take a photo with Santa for the memories in San Francisco. Enjoy holiday dinner at one of their restaurants and enjoy a sweet treat at Ghirardelli Chocolate.

Best places to see Santa events in San Francisco this holiday season - Winter Wonderland at RWOH
Photo by: Bayview Opera House

Winter Wonderland at RWOH

Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre
4705 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124
Phone Number: (415) 824-0386

December 16, 2023
Saturday | 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

The annual Winter Wonderland event is back to bring warmth and cheer to the Bayview Hunters Point Community. These jam-packed San Francisco events will include ice sculpting, snowman building, video gaming stations, arts and crafts stations with the Museum of Craft and Design, toy giveaways, local vendors, food trucks, and a very special visit from Santa Claus.

There will be performances by Feline Finesse Dance Company, Scout Troop 88, George W. Davis Senior Choir, and August Lee Stevens. This free community event is made possible by the generous support of Prologis, Parsons, Waymo, SF Giants, SF Bayview Newspaper, NAMC, Recology, and Sundt Walsh, as well as the generous community.

Thrive City Winter Wonderland
Photo by: Thrive City

Thrive City Winter Wonderland

Thrive City
1 Warriors Way, San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone Number: (888) 479-4667

November 29 – December 26, 2023
Select Days and Time Varies

Celebrate the holidays with an array of festive experiences. Winter Wonderland presented by Fanatics is designed for guests of all ages to enjoy the ultimate holiday season, inclusive of live entertainment, multicultural experiences, photo opportunities, whimsical attractions, seasonal treats, and more!

Registration does not guarantee admission. Space is limited and subject to availability. First come, first served.

Breakfast and photo with Santa - San Francisco Neiman Marcus
Photo by: Neiman Marcus San Francisco

Breakfast with San Francisco Neiman Marcus

The Restaurants of Neiman Marcus
150 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number: (877) 634-6264

December 10 & 17, 2023
Sunday | 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Neiman Marcus San Francisco invites you and your family to join one of its best events this holiday season – Breakfast with Santa and get your picture taken in a photo booth. Santa’s helpers make dazzling balloons. The special menu includes brioche French toast with whipped cream, fresh berries, Vermont maple syrup, a choice of coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, or apple juice, plus preset on-the-table assorted breakfast pastries.

They will also serve applewood smoked bacon and breakfast sausage crispy red bliss potatoes with red peppers, onions, and winter fruit compote. Kids will have scrambled eggs with herbed creme fraiche.

Santa Visit + SF German Band Deutscher Musiverein
Photo by: Ghirardelli Square

Santa Visit + SF German Band Deutscher Musiverein

Santa Visit + SF German Band Deutscher Musiverein

Ghirardelli Square
900 North Point St., Suite E100, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone Number: (415) 673-3530

December 17, 2023
Sunday|12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Enjoy live German Holiday music with Deutscher Musikverein, and visit with Santa to snap a photo, share your wishes, and take home a Ghirardelli Chocolate treat.

Tam Valley Community Center
Photo by: Tam Valley Community Center

Breakfast with Santa – Tam Valley Community Center

Tam Valley Community Center
203 Marin Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941
Phone Number: (415) 388-6393

December 9, 2023
Saturday | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Join Tam Valley Community Center for this beloved community tradition. Meet Santa, have a hearty breakfast, play games, and spend time with friends and neighbors in the San Francisco Bay Area, getting into the holiday spirit.

Storytime with Santa at the Disney Museum
Photo by: Walt Disney Family Museum

Storytime with Santa at the Disney Museum

Disney Museum
104 Montgomery St., Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
Phone Number: (415) 345-6800

December 15, 2023
Friday | 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to welcome back a very special guest this holiday season. Santa J Claus will be joining us to read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and share his favorite Disney memories and holiday traditions. Santa J Claus will be joined by Ethan Reed, author and illustrator of Santa Stops at Disneyland (Disney Publishing & Random House).

Santa J. Claus is a legendary figure who embodies the spirit of joy, giving, and spreading cheer. Santa’s jolly demeanor and timeless kindness bring smiles to faces and spread Christmas cheer throughout the year. Children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who shall be responsible for the child at all times.

Finding Santa This Holiday Season in San Francisco

There’s a lot to love about San Francisco, especially during Christmas time — one of them is meeting the man in the red suit. It is every child’s dream to meet Santa in person. That’s why the Christmas season is the most cherished holiday of all. Make your child’s dream come true by taking them to an event visiting the best places to see Santa in San Francisco, and creating beautiful memories with your kids as you take a photo together or have a holiday breakfast with father Christmas.

So, what are you waiting for? Get the whole family ready, get the car key, and make your holiday as memorable as ever! 

San Francisco offers so many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our things to do in San Francisco with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in San Francisco? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region and our highly recommended seasonal blog posts.

Best Places to See Santa in the Sacramento Area
Best Places to See Santa in San Jose this Holiday Season
12 Best Christmas Tree Farms in San Francisco Bay Area
15 Things to do on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco with Kids

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