Bay Area Holiday Tree Lighting Events


I love this time of year! Ever since Starlight was a little girl we have always enjoyed tree lighting ceremonies all over the Bay Area - from San Jose to Mountain View to San Francisco.

I've compiled a short list of Bay Area Holiday Tree/Menorah Lighting Events. I can guarantee there are tons of other events in the Bay Area so be sure to look to your local newspaper or events guide for more events.

Santa Claus is coming to downtown Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
This year's tree-lighting event is from 5 to 8 p.m. on Highway 9.
Entertainment and caroling will take place at 5 p.m. on the main stage behind Boulder Creek Hardware. Most Unique Parties & Ponies will perform a magic show, followed by face painting and balloon twisting, plus the local Jazzercise dancers.
Santa is scheduled to arrive at 6 p.m. After the tree is lit, he'll be at the Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub with Mrs. Claus for photos.
Horse-drawn carriage rides will depart in front of Jenna Sue's, carriage rides and Santa photos cost $5 each, with proceeds going to the Boulder Creek Business Association CANpaign Fund to Light Up The Town. For information, go to

The Brentwood Chamber of Commerce's annual holiday lighted parade is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown.
The event will also include a Winter Walkabout from 3 to 7 p.m. It features activities for children and pictures with Santa. Those who want to set up a booth of handmade items should call Kathi Tilli at 752-1378.

Cupertino's annual tree lighting is set for Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. The event features the lighting of the community tree, music, singing, cookies and a visit from Santa.
The event is free and open to all. The city is suggesting attendees bring a new toy or nonperishable food item to the lighting. All items will be donated to West Valley Community Services for distribution to the needy during the holiday season.
The event takes place at the Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Road, near Cupertino Memorial Park. A portion of the event will be outdoors, rain or shine, so attendees are encouraged to dress warmly.
For more information, visit

2013 Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting is Saturday, December 7 in Downtown Gilroy
Visit Events page for more information.

Visit downtown Half Moon Bay during Night of Lights and find the trees decorated in dazzling lights and many stores will stay open late for you to do some holiday shopping in the unique coastal shops.
The event generally features a tree lighting ceremony in Mac Dutra Park, a Parade of Lights down Main Street, carolers and musical entertainment, roasted chestnuts and activities for the kids.
The 2013 Night of Lights is scheduled for Friday, December 6 from 6-9pm.

Saturday, November 30, 2013 Downtown Hollister
Holiday Boutique — 10:00am to 8:30pm Veteran's Memorial Building
Lights On Parade "A Family Tradition" starts at 5:30pm
More info

Name: Morgan Hill Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
Date: December 7, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Monday, December 9, 2013 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Civic Center Plaza, 500 Castro Street
More info

Jack London Square Lights Up for the Holidays! Oakland is ringing in the holidays with festivities galore! Music, snow flurries, real reindeer, colorful dancing Christmas trees, and parades with floats and costume characters will all be apart of the event. Officials will be lighting up the skies with the Jack London Square’s 55-foot Mount Shasta Fir Tree.  Fri. Dec. 6, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Oakland. Free. All. Event details.

Christmas tree lighting set for Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at City Hall, 3231 Main St., where elementary and high school choirs will kick off the event in song.
Children can participate in arts and crafts projects, and there will be free edible treats for all.
The city will illuminate its 26-foot Christmas tree (31 feet if you include the 5-foot star, and bedecked with about 1,500 ornaments) at about 6:15 p.m., and, of course, Santa Claus will pause from drawing up his lists of the naughty and nice to make an appearance (Hint: Bring your cameras, parents).

Annual tree lighting takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave., Piedmont.
Santa Claus will be on hand to greet the children. The Piedmont High Troubadours will sing Christmas carols.
Piedmont Council Boy Scouts will serve refreshments and candy canes will be passed out to all who have been good.

Macy’s Great Tree Lighting The 24th annual illumination of Macy’s Great Tree includes more than 1,500 ornaments adorning the tree. For the best viewing location, stop by Union Square early to stake out your spot. Fri., Nov. 29, 6 pm (tree lighting at 6:40pm). Union Square. Free. Event details.

Holiday Tree Lighting at 555 California Street San Francisco former 49er Ronnie Lott and his wife Karen, current 49ers Marcus Lattimore & Alex Boone, music by Carley Rae Jepsen (Call me Maybe, anyone?), the Dick Bright Orchestra, and the Pacific Boys Choir, mean that this is an all-star evening for the whole family. The fun holiday event benefits the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Tues., Dec. 3, 5pm-6:30pm. Free. Event details.

Ghiradelli Square’s 49th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Come on over, ‘cause Ghiradelli Square celebrates the coming holiday with free, live entertainment for the family throughout the day (including music from the Yuletide Carolers). The festivities culminate with the tree lighting at 5:30 pm. Fri., Nov. 29, 5:30 pm. Free. Event details.

Bill Graham Menorah Lighting in Union Square Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of the two-story tall Bill Graham Menorah in Union Square Park. A lighting ceremony will be held each day of Hanukkah from Wed., Nov 27 through Tues., Dec 3 . Time varies by day, so check the event details. Union Square. Free. Event details.

The Ritz-Carlton Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony It’s a regular Christmas wonderland at the Ritz-Carlton. The hotel’s 40 foot tree will be lit by Santa and some of his helpers as Dickens-era costumed carolers sing the songs of the season. Sample hot apple cider, hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and other holiday confections during the ceremony. Then stick around for a chance to meet with Santa. Wed., Dec. 4, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Free. All. Event details.

Santana Row: This day of holiday festivities includes live music, costumed characters, special guests, performances by local theater and dance groups and the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree. Nov. 19, 3-9 p.m.; tree lighting 7 p.m. Santana Row Park, 377 Santana Row, San Jose. Free. 408-551-4611.

Christmas in the Park
Where: Plaza de Cesar Chavez, on Market Street between San Fernando and San Carlos streets, San Jose When: Tree lighting will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 29; the park will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight daily through New Year's Day.

San Rafael Winter Wonderland Downtown San Rafael will once again host its annual holiday Parade & Winter Wonderland. In its 34th year, the event will feature a Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, free snow sledding and one of the largest Holiday Parades in the Bay Area. After the parade, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the mayor of San Rafael will join together to light the dazzling Christmas Tree. Fri. Nov. 29, 12:00 pm. Fourth Street. Event Details.

Jingle Shells Art & Craft Festival Ocean  December 2, 2012
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab 100 Shaffer Road- End of Delaware Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (831) 459-3800
Lighting of Ms. Blue, the  87-foot blue whale skeleton at 5:45 p.m. offers one of the most unique holiday lightings in California. It's as unique as Surfing Santa who arrives in nearby Capitola!
Ocean - inspired gifts and presentations with live music, children's activities (crafts for the kids), and festive whale lighting ceremony at dusk are in store at the Jingle Shells Ocean themed Christmas lighting ceremony.
Join the annual holiday celebration down by the sea! Do some local shopping for unique goods from local artisans and enjoy a holiday discount in Ocean Discovery Shop where all proceeds go toward educational programs.

Saturday, December 7, 2013, 8 -10pm
where: Scotts Valley Community Center

Broadway Plaza's Parade of Lights and Tree Lighting 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5. Parade of Lights 7 p.m., concludes when Santa Claus lights the 40-foot tree in the promenade at Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek Menorah Lighting Everyone can join Chabad on Broadway Plaza (across from Nordstrom) for a Menorah lighting everyday from November 27 through December 4. The Grand Menorah Lighting takes places on December 1 from 4pm-6pm. Event details.