Union Street Fantasy of Lights and Christmas Celebration

It’s Fun for the Whole Family

There’s an old saying that states “Moms make Christmas” and that is most definitely true. You can also make a case that children make Christmas, too, as their laughter, enthusiasm and love for this special time of year is infectious and irresistible. If you’re looking to regain some of that childlike wonder and shed some everyday concerns, take your family to the Union Street Fantasy of Lights and Christmas Celebration. For more than twenty years, Bay Area families have headed down to Union Street to get into the Christmas spirit, have a wonderful time and check out the incredible lighting displays provided by Union Street merchants. The fun lasts all afternoon and well into the evening and includes lots to see and do, including:

  • The Snow Queen leading a sidewalk parade of kids, who distribute donated toys to San Francisco children’s charities
  • The official welcome of Santa Claus and his elves in front of the historic Cudworth Mansion
  • Balloon artists, clowns, musicians, jugglers and many other costumed characters entertaining crowds from early afternoon and well into the evening hours
  • Roaming bands of carolers to enhance the festive mood
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Open houses, complete with complimentary refreshments at many Union Street merchants
  • Face painting
  • Cupcake decorating
  • Pony and horse rides
  • Many other free activities, including the Lighting Ceremony!

This family-friendly celebration includes businesses on Union Street from Van Ness to Steiner, as well as Fillmore Street from Union Street to Lombard. Except for any shopping you may be inspired to do, this event is free and is a great way to spend most of a day with family members strolling, singing, eating and generally having a wonderful time. The light displays are stunning and well worth checking out whether you live in the Bay Area or are just visiting. The month-long event usually kicks off on the first Saturday in December each year and donation barrels for toys for needy kids are located throughout the neighborhood. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, buy some toys and head down to Union Street to help make a child’s Christmas a little brighter this year. There’s no better way to recapture that magical feeling you thought you’d outgrown years ago!