Best Holiday Shows in San Francisco for 2017: Getting Seniors into the Holiday Spirit

best holiday shows san franciscoOnce, for three years in a row, my whole family got together around the holidays to see live shows in the city. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all got dressed up for it. It was a uniquely memorable activity because otherwise distant family members were in town for the season. I’ve missed the tradition since we stopped it many years ago. A tradition like this is a great one to help avoid isolation and loneliness around the holidays. And, because I know my grandma really loved it too, I started looking for holiday shows that will be playing in San Francisco for 2017. We may just reignite that tradition this year, and perhaps you’d like to start one too.

What Are the Best Holiday Shows Playing in San Francisco This Year?

This time of year, it turns out to be perfect that the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t golden at all. Its towering red beams stand as symbols of the season, and you could almost imagine the fog as snow falling all around it. Apart from traveling around the city to admire its festive decor, what opportunities do we have for bountiful holiday fun for the whole family? Here are a few to consider making family events:


Adam Shulman: A Charlie Brown Christmas at SFJazz

December 14–17, 2017

Pianist Adam Shulman, along with bassist John Wiitala and drummer James Gallagher, play Bay Area icon Vince Guaraldi’s classic jazz soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas.


Charlie Brown Christmas at Davies Symphony Hall

December 21–24, 2017

More than just music, this theatrical performance brings A Charlie Brown Christmas to life. This is a great event to bring the grandchildren to. There will even be a sing-along segment at the end of the show.


Nutcracker from the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House

December 13–30, 2017

At the very site where Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker premiered in the United States in 1944, you can watch it this Christmas with a spectacular San Francisco Ballet performance.


Home Alone in Concert with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall

December 16–17, 2017

Watch this favorite holiday movie on the big screen while the full orchestra plays the live score and local children’s choruses sing carols.


Brian Setzer Orchestra: Christmas Rocks at the Warfield

December 24, 2017

Brian Setzer is a Grammy-winning musician. He and his band tour the country every year to bring you a rockin’ holiday show in lights and sounds.


A Christmas Carol at A.C.T. Geary Theatre

Most dates between now and December 24, 2017

This Charles Dickens story of ghosts and the spirit of giving is a universal Christmas tradition. Bring family and friends to see it this year with a full cast, impressive costumes, and a musical twist.


ZooLights at the San Francisco Zoo

December 15–17, 19–23, 26–30, 2017

Enjoy the zoo you know and love but decked in holiday cheer: lights, music, Santa Claus and his reindeer, hot cocoa, the holiday train, live entertainment, and other activities. Just remember, you’ll be outside, so bundle up.


The Christmas Ballet at the San Francisco Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

December 14–24, 2017

The Smuin Ballet knows how to bring together a diverse range of dance styles with Christmas spirit. Be ready for surprises; this is no ordinary ballet performance.


Celebrating the 2017 Holiday Season in San Francisco

We can celebrate the holidays all winter season long with togetherness and everyday gratitude. Now is the perfect time to reconnect with or get to know your neighbors and your wider community. Sharing in holiday events and festivities is one way to do so, as we embrace the spirit of the season.

Here at Institute on Aging, we’re already looking forward to our Cable Car Caroling event for next year. Our 2017 event was a huge success. We brought carolers and holiday cheer throughout San Francisco for older and disabled adults to enjoy and to feel wonderful connection—and we did it on cable cars!

Is this year the time to shake things up and get in the spirit with a San Francisco holiday show? You’ll be giving and receiving gifts just by sharing in the joy. So, take advantage of this bright spot in the winter, and let the excitement usher in a merry 2018.

Institute on Aging is committed to offering programs that help bring grace and joy into older adults’ lives all year round. To learn more, check out our blog, and feel free to reach out anytime to chat about all that we offer.


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Institute on Aging

Committed to offering thoughtful discussions and resources to older adults, their families, and their caregivers.

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