Fun Holiday Activities for Seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area


During the holidays, San Francisco’s neighborhoods come alive with festive lights and buzz with fun activities and events. With many fun holiday activities available to seniors, this time of year can be a fun time not only for seniors but the whole family as well.

Here are some ideas of activities seniors and their loved ones may want to consider during this holiday season.

Theater and Concerts

San Francisco is always full of new concerts and theater productions. Producers pull out all the stops with special holiday performances, and you’ll find many informal performers in the streets or at markets. Here are some of the exciting stage productions currently running that seniors may want to see:

  • The Morrison Chamber Music Centre at the San Francisco University provides free chamber music performances

  • The San Francisco Symphony has an incredible lineup this holiday season, including A Classic Christmas and the Singing in the Rain film accompanied by a live orchestra

  • The War Memorial Opera House is showcasing The Nutcracker ballet, an annual tradition

  • The Golden Gate Theatre is showing Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

  • Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia is on stage at the AT&T Park

This list is by no means extensive. Check out san-francisco-theater.com for more concerts.

Hotel Displays

Many hotels throughout the city have magnificent holiday displays in their lobbies, guest rooms, and outside, and often serve hot chocolate and other treats to visitors.

One holiday tradition that stands out is that of the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. Their 2-story gingerbread house is world famous, and they have a huge Christmas tree in the lobby with a champagne bar accompanying the festivities. They have exciting social events throughout the holiday season, such as their Gingerbread Holiday Tea which can be a fun activity for seniors to attend.

San Francisco Museums

The holidays are a good time to learn about the history of San Francisco, making museums the go-to places. Most museums are wheelchair accessible, but make sure you check beforehand if this is needed.

Here are some of the museums and historic places that seniors will enjoy:

  • The newly renovated City Hall

  • The Asian Art Museum with its current exhibition, The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally Foe

  • The Maritime Museum houses the West Coast’s largest maritime history collection, including ship plans, maps, photographs, and films, as well as historic ships moored at Hyde Street Pier

  • The Walt Disney Family Museum has a Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio display showing a behind-the-scenes view of animated film, which is ideal for family outings

San Francisco Botanical Garden

The gardens span 55 acres and boast 8,000 different plant species. With San Francisco’s ideal year-round climate, numerous plants thrive in winter, making it a wonderful place for seniors to unwind while enjoying nature.

The Botanical Garden holds gift-making workshops over the holidays, such as the Beehive to Lip Balm class, as well as interesting art exhibitions.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden offers discounted rates to seniors over 65, but residents of San Francisco can enter for free provided that they can provide proof of residence.

Holiday Lights in Downtown San Francisco

The city is full of lights over the holidays: lighted gardens, hotels, shop and office fronts, and parks. These lively areas can be explored on foot or with wheels. A great option for seniors is to book a 70-minute tour with Classic Cable Cars which takes people through the northern part of the city in one of their famous cable cars, passing beautifully lit up landmarks.

Each year, Macy’s decorates an 80-foot tree in Union Square Park with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments. They also team up with the San Francisco SPCA to display adorable puppies and kittens that are up for adoption in their windows. And if lights and cute baby animals aren’t enough to get you into a festive mood, the live street performers sure will.

Another incredible light display comes from the San Francisco Festival of Light that illuminates walls with light art throughout the city with 35 eco-friendly light art installations.

Memory Care Café

The Memory Care Café holds informal meetings and outings for seniors with forgetfulness, or early-stage dementia, and their caregivers. They meet every Tuesday at a different location in the city, and some of the activities include luncheons and Bocce Games.

Westfield San Francisco Centre

The iconic Westfield dome comes to life each night during the holidays with a marketplace, live performers, and thousands of lights. This holiday bazaar under the dome is a great place to find unique holiday gifts and to soak up the festive atmosphere.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

This fair is a unique holiday adventure, taking guests back to Victorian London. With over three acres of vintage exhibition halls and shops, lamp-lit streets, theaters, music halls, tea rooms, dance parties, and Dickens’ stories coming alive around you through live performances, this is a place not to be missed.

The Dickens Fair is handicapped accessible, and wheelchairs are available for rental if needed, making it the ideal location for seniors with mobility issues to visit.

Did You Find Your Fun Senior Holiday Activity?

San Francisco sure is a magical place during the holidays. With so many senior-friendly things to do, seniors can have an incredible holiday time.

It may be a good choice to get a professional home caregiver on board to help out during this time. Reach out to Alegre Home Care for more senior-friendly activities, or for a home caregiver to assist you and your family. We love helping to make the holidays magical for seniors!

Enjoy the holidays!

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