Dazzling holiday lights in the Bay Area

The "Entwined" art installation in Golden Gate Park. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Recreation & Parks.

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. Before you go, use our Trip Planner to get estimated travel times. See BART's 15-step plan to safely welcoming riders here.

This year, we could all use some more light in our lives. Thankfully, there are still 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.

Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda. Photo courtesy of SFGate.

Christmas Tree Lane, Alameda

The Christmas spirit comes to life on this lively, lit-up block in Alameda that has the whole package: beautiful lights, friendly neighbors and people strolling—and it's been going on since 1938! Decades later, the street is now known as Christmas Tree Lane and draws people from all over the Bay Area with its extravagant light displays and loads of holiday spirit. Things will be a little different for 2020 but the festive spirit remains. 

When: Through Dec. 31: illuminated from 5:30-10pm each night
Where: 3200 Thompson Ave, Alameda, CA 94501
Station: Fruitvale
Transportation time: Walk 25 minutes or ride your bike 10 minutes via our guide here.
 
Tom & Jerry's House in The Castro. Photo courtesy of The Bubbly Bay.

Tom & Jerry’s House

A 65-foot-high Norfolk Island Pine that started life as a houseplant is the centerpiece at 3650 21st Street in San Francisco. This fantastically tacky Christmas display was created by Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein, a real-life Tom and Jerry. Unfortunately, Tom passed away in October, but his spirit lives on through illuminated icicles, oversized gifts and stockings, dancing dolls and Ferris wheels and one massive Christmas tree.
 
When: Through Dec. 31: illuminated from 6-10pm each night
Where: 3650 21st St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Station: 24th St Mission
Walk time: 20 minutes
 
The Inverted Christmas Tree at Westfield San Francisco Centre. 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.
 
When: Through Dec. 31
Where: 865 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Station: Powell St
Walk time: Two minutes
 
The Christmas tree at Jack London Square. Photo courtesy of Jack London Square.

Jack London Square Christmas Tree

Walk along the beautiful waterfront and witness a 55-foot Mount Shasta fir tree for the holidays. The tree is decorated with 5,000 sparkling lights and hundreds of ornaments to create the perfect holiday backdrop.
 
When: Through Dec. 31
Where: 70 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607
Station: 12th St/Oakland City Center
Walk time: 14 minutes
 
Macy's Great Tree in Union Square. 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: Through Dec. 31
Where: 333 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Station: Powell St
Walk time: Four minutes
 
THE LADDER (SUN or MOON) art installation in SoMa. Photo courtesy of Illuminate SF.

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

Experience San Francisco as a shining gallery of light during the eighth annual Illuminate SF Festival of Lights, now through Jan. 23, 2021. This year's annual event celebrates 44 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations – including iconic works in the Mission Bay and Civic Center neighborhoods. Take a self-guided tour along the Light Art Trail, 11 hand-picked art installations on and near Market St.
 
When: Through Jan. 23
Where: Across SF, see map
Station: Multiple
Walk time: Varies
Website: Illuminate SF
 
The "Entwined" art installation in Golden Gate Park. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Recreation & Parks.

"Entwined" art installation

An art installation coming to Golden Gate Park will transform Peacock Meadow into an enchanted forest of otherworldly shapes and ever-changing light. “Entwined,” by San Francisco artist Charles Gadeken, will honor Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary.
 
When: Dec. 10-Feb. 28: Sundown-10pm
Where: Golden Gate Park, SF
Station: Civic Center/UN Plaza 
Transportation time: Transfer to SF Muni or ride your bike via this route.

Let's get social. 

Where are you seeing holiday lights? 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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