Thanksgiving in San Francisco

2014 Activities, Restaurants, Volunteering & Entertainment

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For most of us, food is foremost on Thanksgiving, If your dinner plans for Thanksgiving 2014 are still uncertain and you don’t want to cook, let someone else do it--and clean up, too. The restaurants at the Mandarin OrientalRitz-CarltonFairmontWestin St. FrancisGrand HyattSt. RegisInterContinental San Francisco and other major hotels are serving holiday feasts. Stand-alone restaurants from Buca di Beppo to Michael Mina to to RN74 have special Thanksgiving menus, and there’s still time to reserve a table.

Find a list of restaurants open on Thursday and make reservations through Open Table.

Of course there’s more to Thanksgiving than gluttony and the official start of holiday frenzy. On November 27, 2014, you can help serve meals to others. Go on a fun run or walk (check our guide to the area's several turkey trots). The day and weekend after, bypass the Black Friday shopping hordes and catch a tree-lighting ceremony or see a show.

Salvation Army Thanksgiving Meal Delivery
Nov. 27, at 8 am-1 pm
Drivers and deliverers are needed to help take Thanksgiving meals to 4,000 home-bound individuals. Register in advance online, by e-mailing volunteer@tsagoldenstate.org, or by calling Jaime Smith at (415) 238-5405. 

Thanksgiving Day Outreach
Nov. 27, at 8:30 am-2 pm
Help prepare, serve and deliver hot meals and groceries during this service party in the Tenderloin organized by San Francisco City Impact. Delivery people, cooks, ushers, servers, greeters, crowd controllers, baggers and medical services professionals are all needed.


Check in Thursday morning at San Francisco City Impact, 230 Jones St., San Francisco 94102. Bring your printed registration ticket with you to speed up the process. Registration fee $25; free for those under age 10. 

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 28, from 4 pm 
Live music and entertainment for kids from 4 pm, with the lighting of the tree at 5:30 pm and a visit from Santa.


At 900 North Point St., San Francisco. Free.

Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
Nov. 28, at 6 pm
Santa, tap-dancing Christmas trees, musicians and the turning on of 33,000 lights on an 83-foot fir. Performers include the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Beach Blanket Babylon and 12-year-old Quintavious Johnson of America’s Got Talent.
At Union Square Park, Geary and Powell streets, San Francisco. Free.

Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG
Nov. 28-30
Satirist Will Durst honors, analyzes and skewers baby boomers, their egos and their obsessions. The hilarious segments in his solo show include such gems as “Everything You Wanted to Know About Decrepitude But Were Afraid to Ask.”
At The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco 94110. Tickets $15-100. Ages 18+.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Nov. 28-Dec. 14
ODC/Dance’s adaptation of the Margery Williams classic about a child’s stuffed toy rabbit that becomes real. The tale of love, hope and loyalty moves even cynical adults.
At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard St., San Francisco. Tickets $15-75. 

The Jewelry Box
Nov. 28-Dec. 20, Thursdays through Saturdays; and Dec. 27

In this autobiographical one-man show,  Brian Copeland returns to his childhood in Oakland one Christmas, when he searched town for the perfect present for his mom and then set out to earn the money to buy it.


At The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco 94110. Tickets $30-100. Ages 10+.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Nov. 28, and Saturdays & Sundays, Nov. 22-Dec. 21, at 10 am-7 pm
Victorian London is re-created with decorated lanes, shops full of Christmas finds, roving carolers, pubs, high tea, games, dance and stage performances for all ages, and characters such as Father Christmas, Tiny Tim, Scrooge, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and even Charles Dickens. 
At Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City 94014. Ticket prices vary.

Gingerbread Open House
Nov. 29, at 11 am-3 pm 
The Fairmont’s two-story house--made with thousands of gingerbread bricks, buckets of royal icing and hundreds of pounds of candy--officially opens. Santa makes an appearance, too.
At the Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St., 94108. Free.