Best holiday lights in the Bay Area

You don't need to travel to Paris or Vegas to get your fix of bright lights - we have plenty of dazzling illuminated holiday displays right here in the Bay. From the wonderfully whimsical to the garishly gaudy, choose BART as your sleigh to experience these spectacles.

Photo courtesy of Widmer World.

Widmer World

More than 13,000 visitors turned up in 2018 to experience the Widmer Wonderland, which includes an elaborate light display, miniature and large-scale holiday scenes, games and mechanical toys. Each year the scene gets a little bigger and this year promises not to disappoint.
 
When: Dec. 1-Jan. 5: 6-9pm daily
Where: 3671 Chelsea Court, Pleasanton, CA 94588
Station: Dublin/Pleasanton
Bike time: 10 minutes or transfer to LAVTA 10R and walk 13 mins from Las Positas Blvd and Santa Rita Rd
Website: Widmer World
 
Photo courtesy of The Bubbly Bay.

Tom & Jerry’s House

Head to Dolores Heights for a fantastically tacky Christmas display at 21stand Church Sts. Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein have been together almost 50 years and have showed their Christmas spirit since the 1980s through illuminated icicles, oversized gifts and stockings, dancing dolls and ferris wheels and one massive Christmas tree.
 
When: Dec. 1-31 (historically): illuminated from 6-10pm each night
Where: 3650 21st St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Station: 24th St Mission
Walk time: 20 minutes
 
Photo courtesy of The Modesto Bee.

Inverted Christmas Tree at Westfield San Francisco Centre

If you’re part of the camp that thinks Christmas tree orientation should be open to interpretation, then the 50-foot inverted tree under the iconic Emporium Dome is perfect for you. The tree is hung each year like a chandelier and adorned with crystals at Westfield San Francisco Centre. Get
 
When: Dec. 6 lighting-Dec. 31
Where: 865 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Station: Powell St
Walk time: 2 minutes
 
Photo courtesy of SFGate.

Macy’s Great Tree in Union Square

If upright Christmas trees are more your speed, join the crowds in Union Square and admire Macy’s 83-foot tall Christmas tree that illuminates the night with 33,000 LED lights and 1,100 shining ornaments.
 
When: Nov. 29-Dec. 31
Where: 333 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Station: Powell St
Walk time: 4 minutes
 
Photo courtesy of Travel + Leisure.

Fairmont Gingerbread House

For more than a century, Fairmont San Francisco has enchanted guests with holiday festivities and exuberant ambiance. This season, experience a dazzling winter display, feature a holiday Cirque bar, a 23-foot tall Christmas tree in the lobby, a Santa Suite decked out in Santa-inspired décor and a two-story life-sized gingerbread house. The house features 6,000 house-made gingerbread bricks, 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,300 pounds of royal icing.
 
When: Until Dec. 31
Where: 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Station: Powell St
Walk time: 16 minutes
 
Photo courtesy of Jack London Square.

Jack London Square Christmas Tree

Walk along the waterfront and explore the latest dining and entertainment options, complete with a 55-foot Mount Shasta fir tree for the holidays. The tree is decorated with 5,000 sparkling lights to create the perfect holiday backdrop.
 
When: Through the holidays
Where: 70 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607
Station: 12th St/Oakland City Center
Walk time: 14 minutes
 
Photo courtesy of Holiday Nights & Sights City Tour

Holiday Nights & Sights City Tour

If you have friends and family coming from out of town, take them on this tour of holiday dressed sights such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Mrs. Doubtfire House, the Embarcadero and Pier 39. Don a complimentary Santa hat and plush blanket to keep you warm and experience the magic of the City during the holidays. Tickets are available here
 
When: Until Dec. 31
Where: 2766 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Station: Embarcadero
Walk time: 30 minutes or transfer to Muni F Wharves and ride 18 minutes
 

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