While San Francisco’s nightlife is not to be missed, that’s why we’ve compiled this list of options for ringing in the New Year!
The Union Square rink is open through January 20. Put on some ice skates and enjoy the holiday fun. A new 90-minute skating session begins every even hour, so you’ll get plenty of time no matter when you show up. The ice skating rink is in the heart of Union Square, near Powell and Geary streets.
The Embarcadero Center rink is the largest outdoor rink in the Bay Area. It’s conveniently surrounded by dozens of eateries and shops. You can rent skates and glide around the rink, admiring the views of the bustling neighborhood that surrounds it. Skating sessions start every even hour and last for 90 minutes of holiday skating fun. The Holiday Ice Rink is located in Embarcadero Plaza, across the street from the Ferry Building.
One of the best ways to share in the holiday cheer in San Francisco is by visiting the Winter Park in the Civic Center Plaza. This popular plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland with a huge ice rink as its standout feature. It even has a 400-foot skating track that runs through a festive forest full of lighted trees!
If you want to keep skating after the holidays are over, head to the Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center. This indoor, heated rink is open year-round. And as the name suggests, it even features a bowling alley for when you need a break from skating. This center adds extra public skate sessions in December and January. Be sure to visit on Frozen Fridays, when every Friday night skating session has a different theme! If you’re new to skating, feel free to sign up for lessons.
Fireworks by the Bay
The Embarcadero waterfront will make you awestruck! You’ll be front and center of the spectacular fireworks show amidst hundreds of others.
Head over to the Asian Art Museum to take a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th century Japanese temple bell. This Buddhist ritual is meant to welcome the New Year with a clean slate. The bell is rung 108 times to represent the 108 “mortal desires that torment humanity.” Get there early to make sure you get to be one of the lucky few to strike the bell!
Exploring the one-of-a-kind exhibitions at Aquarium of the Bay, California Academy of Sciences, Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, the Exploratorium, and SFMOMA.
Fireworks aren’t the only thing that will be lighting up the city. See 40+ light art installations that are part of San Francisco’s festival of light. Explore different neighbourhoods on this light art trail to capture instagrammable shots for your feed.
Speaking of dining options, there’s something delightful to be had in every neighborhood of San Francisco. The holidays are the time for enjoying the best food and drink, so go ahead and be a little bit gluttonous before your New Year’s resolutions kick in come January.
Union Square restaurants attract local foodies, so you know they have to be good. For fine French cuisine, try Gaspar Brasserie or 398 Brasserie. For incredible Thai food, head to Kin Khao, a Michelin-starred favorite.
Cruise the Bay
Dinner, dancing and fireworks await aboard the Cabernet Sauvignon Commodore. Enjoy a gourmet dinner buffet, hosted standard bar, and live music as you cruise across San Francisco Bay.
Board the Freda B and take a delightful trip around San Francisco Bay before the clock strikes midnight. Keep cozy with a mug of hot chocolate or make a toast with a glass of sparkling wine. A cash bar will be open during the cruise, serving California craft beer and Napa Valley wine.
Party in style aboard the Hornblower. Start with a seated gourmet dinner and open top shelf bar, then dance the night away on the Bay. Also included in this four-hour yacht cruise are party favors and one keepsake Hornblower boarding photograph.
Be transported back to the Roaring ’20s aboard the Fume Blanc. Blackjack tables, live music, and four hours of open bar are just some of the happenings on board. You’ll be surrounded by movers and shakers, so be sure to wear your bonnets and fur coats and dress to impress!