BARTable New Year events: December 31

When:

Dec. 31

Happy New Year! Photo courtesy of Adobe.

This is most likely the day we’ve all been waiting for – the day we say goodbye to 2020! We look forward to the entry of 2021 with hope while putting what the past year has dished out, behind us. It is a time for reflection, to look at where we’ve been, to recognize the good (and the not-so-good) and to look toward something better in the months ahead. We’ve pulled together a little list of some fun ways to celebrate and laugh, mostly from your own home, that we hope you will take advantage of while ringing in the New Year. With that we say, so long to 2020 and hello to 2021 – we here at BARTable wish for everyone healthy and happy new beginnings!

Editor's Note: Please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or at an in-person event. See BART's New Year schedule here and 15-step plan to safely welcoming riders hereBefore you go, use our Trip Planner to get estimated travel times. 

Chabot Balloon Drop NYECelebrate the New Year with a mid-day virtual balloon drop + activities. Photo courtesy of Chabot Space and Science Center.

Virtual

SF Ballet's "Nutcracker"  

Watch SF Ballet’s spectacular Nutcracker stream in HD, tour the virtual opera house full of fun activities, send downloadable holiday snaps to your friends and family, enjoy historical highlights of San Francisco Ballet’s "Nutcracker," and learn steps from the choreography. You can even grab a late holiday gift or a momento with a visit to SF Ballet’s online Holiday Shop! The show runs through Dec. 31. Tickets are $49 for 48-hour access.

American Conservatory Theater's A Christmas Carol: On Air 

For the first time in its 44-year history, the Bay Area’s favorite holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol, will come to life as A Christmas Carol: On Air from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). It's an enthralling radio play that the whole family can enjoy from the comfort of their home. The show streams through Dec. 31 and tickets start at $40.

ODC's "The Velveteen Rabbit"

This feel-good musical tale tells the iconic tale of a boy and his beloved stuffed rabbit. Brimming with wit, festive costumes, madcap characters and a good dose of holiday cheer, don’t miss the digital presentation of The Velveteen Rabbit performed by contemporary dance company, ODC/Dance. Performances run on-demand through Dec. 31. Tickets start at $35.

Christmas at Grace Cathedral

The 25 days of Christmas continues from San Francisco’s magnificent church atop Nob Hill as it opens its virtual doors for three 50-minute concerts through “Twelfth Night” (Jan. 5). “A Cathedral Christmas”, “Soulful Joy”, and “A Merry Christmas” will add sparkle to your holiday with all the seasonal favorites featuring sing-alongs, the beloved Choir of Men and Boys, the famous 7,466-pipe organ, and more. Tickets run $15-100 - confirmation email with link to streamings following ticket purchase.

Asian Art Museum 35th Annual Japanese Bell Ringing Storytelling & Ceremony | 10am and 11am

Start the NYE celebrations off with the Asian Art Museum annual tradition of Japanese bell ringing. The bell is struck 108 times to usher in the new year and curb the 108 mortal desires that, according the Buddhist belief, torment humankind. As you listen to each ring of the bell, imagine leaving behind the unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds, or ill luck from 2020(!). Storytelling begins at 10am with the ceremony to follow at 11am - tune in for this first-ever cultural celebration in the virtual format. Tickets are required and are donation-based.

Noon Year’s Eve virtual balloon drop celebration | 11am

Chabot Space and Science Center presents an online version of their annual family-friendly celebration of the new year, which doesn’t require the kids to stay up late. The celebration is set to feature hundreds of colorful, biodegradable balloons raining down from above. Attendees will receive a virtual activity guide with supply lists for activities happening during the event. Tickets run $10 – Zoom link will be emailed upon registration.

Comedy OaklandBring in the New Year with Comedy Oakland... laughing. Top L-R: Subhah Agarwal, Shawn Felipe. Bottom L-R: Matt Kirshen, Leighann Lord. Photos courtesy of Facebook.

Freight & Salvage presents: Lu's Jukebox - It's Only Rock and Roll: A Tribute to The Rolling Stones | 5pm

On New Year's Eve, Lucinda and her band tear through the material of The Rolling Stones in a way that only one irreverent, Honky Tonk Woman can. As a bonus, she’ll introduce an occasional Lu-rarity or new song. End the year with a bang! The show begins at 5pm and tickets start at $20.

Comedy Oakland Live – Goodbye to 2020 | 7pm

Tune in as Comedy Oakland features funny, diverse, industry pros alongside up-and-coming comedians and get your NYE laugh on. This show is sure to be a goodie as they bid farewell to 2020 with MORE THAN ENOUGH material to throw your way from the past 12 months. Tickets are not required but donations are welcomed and go directly to the comedians.

Snoop Dogg 2021 NYE Special | 8pm

Tune in from anywhere in the world as the Go-Big Show presents Snoop Dogg live on NYE! Enjoy the one-hour performance with surprise cameos by some of Snoop’s illustrious friends, a dance party and Go-Big stunts. The show is free - RSVP is required for notification when the party goes live.

New Year’s Eve Musical Celebration | 8pm

Join the “Cal Performances at Home” artists for a celebratory evening of exclusive performances recorded especially for NYE. Artists include Yo-Yo Ma, Julia Bullock, Bria Skonberg, Leif Ove Andsnes, Matthew Whitaker, and more! All performers have carefully chosen their programs to convey joy, hope, warmth, along with the spirit of the holidays. Bring in the New Year with the uplifting power of music and the arts! Tickets are required and run $5-$98.

New Year’s Eve Black Laughs Matter |10:30pm

Live from San Francisco, it’s time for 2020 to be over! Get your last laughs of the year from a fantastic lineup of comics while supporting black comedians and counting down the last days of this tumultuous year… laughing. The show runs 90-minutes with a midnight countdown. Tickets run $20-$35.

NYE Crazy Funny Asians | 10:30pm

Featuring comedians from Netflix, Comedy Central, Clusterfest, SF Sketchfest and CBS, join this live capstone New Year’s Eve comedy showcase to kiss 2020 goodbye and good riddance with some love and the best of medicines… laughter. The show runs 90-minutes that also includes a midnight countdown. Tickets run $15-$35.

NYE Desi Comedy Night | 10:30pm

Say good riddance to 2020 and ring in the new year with all the laughter and energy you need from the funniest Desi comics in the country. Celebrate with comedians of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Afghani, and South Asian descent from SNL, Comedy Central, NBC, SF Sketchfest, Desi Comedy Festival and more, you’ll wake up in 2021 glad you did! Tickets are $10-$15.

EntwinedVisit "Entwined" in Golden Gate Park for some light magic. Photo courtesy of SF Weekly.

In-person

New Year's Eve Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market | 10am-2pm

Get ready for a healthy New Year at a special Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Thursday, Dec. 31, from 10am-2pm. You’ll find the regular Thursday farms along with some special pop-ups to help you get a fresh and delicious start in 2021. Thank you for supporting local farmers and food crafters year-round, rain or shine! To get there, take BART to Embarcadero and walk four minutes to the Ferry Plaza.

Inverted Christmas Tree at Westfield San Francisco Centre | 11am-7pm

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. This is the last day to view this amazing feat!

Gold Happy New Year San Francisco City Hall Lighting | Sunset

Every evening at sunset, over 220 state-of-the-art LED lighting fixtures illuminate City Hall's exterior. Normally, a soft white glow shows off the play of light and shadow on the full façade and dome. Frequently, special plaza façade lighting schemes honor or celebrate events, seasons, and holidays. On New Year's Eve the lights will be all in gold! 

"Entwined" art installation | Sunset-8:30pm (UPDATE: THIS EVENT WILL BE CLOSED ON NYE)

An amazing art installation gracing Golden Gate Park transforms Peacock Meadow into an enchanted forest of otherworldly shapes and ever-changing light. “Entwined,” by San Francisco artist Charles Gadeken, honors Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary.

Let's get social. 

How are you celebrating on NYE? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay. 

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