(Courtesy of @unionsquarerink)

21 Fun Things: Holiday Markets, Major Performances, the Union Square Tree Lighting + More


It may be a holiday week, but it's anything but sleepy.

Look out for opening night performances ranging from the SF Opera's rendition of It's a Wonderful Life to Taylor Mac's fabulously irreverent Holiday Sauce, plus plenty gift markets, special dinners, and the lighting of Union Square's annual Christmas tree. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19th

A dish by chef Martha Ortiz, from her Mexico City restaurant Dulce Patria. Ortiz is cooking at Atelier Crenn tonight and tomorrow evening.

Atelier Crenn welcomes chefs from around the world.

When: Reservations from 5pm to 9pm, Monday and Tuesday night

Where: Atelier Crenn, 3127 Fillmore St. (Cow Hollow), ateliercrenn.com

Why: Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn is opening her Cow Hollow kitchen over the next six months to some of the best culinary talent from around the world who will be preparing special, collaborative dinners. Things kick off this week as Crenn hosts chef Martha Ortiz of Mexico City's Dulce Patria. // Tickets ($450 per person) are available at exploretock.com.

Esperanza Spalding

When: 8pm

Where: Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St. (Marina)

Why: The impossibly gorgeous and talented four-time Grammy Award–winning jazz artist brings her "12 Little Spells" tour to one of SF's most intimate venues. // Tickets ($50 and up) are available through facebook.com.

Weed the People

When: 7pm

Where: Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness Ave.

Why: The one-night-only showing of this documentary film from Ricki Lake and Ebby Epstein follows the stories of a few American parents on a quest to heal their children with cannabis. // Tickets ($15) are available at landmarktheatres.com.

Tuesday, November 20th

Cirque du Soleil's Volta.

(Patrice Lamoureux)

Cirque du Soleil's Volta

When: Through February 3rd

Where: AT&T Park, Parking Lot A, 3rd St. (Mission Bay)

Why: Take a break from already ubiquitous holiday-themed festivities and catch the annual return of Cirque de Soleil under the big top in Mission Bay. Volta is an extremely sporting journey filled with water and air acrobatics. // Tickets ($104 and up) are available at cirquedusoleil.com.

It's a Wonderful Life

When: Through Sunday, Dec. 9th

Where: SF Opera, 301 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center)

Why: It's opening night at San Francisco Opera's world premiere of the operatic rendition of Frank Capra's classic Christmas movie—with a twist. In this version, a lady angel named Clara (in the place of old Clarence) tries to save George Bailey and earn her wings. // For schedule and tickets ($26 and up), go to sfopera.com.

Wednesday, November 21st

CUESA's Special Thanksgiving Market

When:10am to 2pm

Where: The Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, 1 Ferry Building (Embarcadero)

Why: If you've not yet had time to shop for ingredients for your Thanksgiving feast, get over to the Ferry Building stat to shop CUESA's special Wednesday market stuffed with all the autumnal bounty you'll need. // For more info, go to facebook.com.

Sweet Thursday Pie Sale

When: Noon today through noon on Thursday

Where: Pietisserie, 1605 Second Ave. (Oakland),

Where: Taunt your teeth at this 24-hour pie sale inspired by...John Steinbeck. For more on that and to register (for free), go to eventbrite.com.

Opening Night of Taylor Mac's Holiday Sauce

When: Through December 1st

Where: The Curran, 445 Geary St. (Tenderloin), sfcurran.com

Why: Let Taylor Mac entertain you in a way that only he can: The MacArthur Genius Fellow returns to the Curran stage—along with designer Machine Dazzle and music director Matt Ray—for a seriously eclectic holiday production featuring all the old songs you love—and hate—spectacularly remixed. // Tickets ($29 and up) are available at sfcurran.com.

Thursday, November 22nd

Support Fire Relief Programs

When: Anytime!

Where: Various locations

Why: Today is a day for giving thanks...and giving back. Don't forget to take time out from stuffing your piehole and remember those who've lost so much in the Northern California forest fires. To donate money, supplies, or volunteer, check our ongoing list of resources. // 7x7.com/help-camp-fire-victims

Thanksgiving on the Waterfront

When: Noon to 8pm

Where: Lungomare, 1 Broadway, Oakland (Jack London Square)

Why: Friendsgiving turns epic with a pre-fixe at Jack London Square favorite Lungomare, where the meal has everything from smoked heritage turkey, porchetta, and prime rib to all the family-style fixin's and pies. // $60/person; for reservations, call 510-444-7171.

Thursday Night Trivia

When: 7 to 9pm

Where: SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th St. (Mission), somastreatfoodpark.com

Why: Get out of your TG feast food coma and show off your knowledge at Thursday Night Trivia, where you can wash down your pumpkin pie with a craft beer or homemade sangria while you compete with your friends to win prizes from the StrEat Brew Bar and Sporcle. // Free admission, more info at facebook.com.

Friday, November 23rd

(Courtesy of @pch580)

Christmas Pop-Up Bar

When: Open daily during hours of operation until December 21st

Where: Pacific Cocktail Haven, 580 Sutter St. (Union Square), pacificcocktailsf.com

Why: Duck out of the downtown cold and into Miracle, PCH's cheery holiday pop-up bar festooned with fake snow, Santa and snowmen figurines, stockings, mini Christmas trees, and all the shiny metallic decor. Make merry with specialty holiday cocktails. // Free to attend, drinks available for purchase, more info on Facebook.

Wine Country Holiday Marketplace

When: 11am to 5pm Friday and Saturday

Where: CIA at Copia, 501 1st St. (Napa), ciaatcopia.com

Why: The CIA is extra festive this weekend as various Bay Area artisans set up for holiday gift-shopping pop-up complete with treats and bevvies. // Free to attend; more info can be found on ciaatcopia.com.

Macy's Tree Lighting in Union Square

When: 6pm to 7:30pm

Where: Safeway Holiday Ice Rink, 333 Post St. (Union Square), unionsquareicerink.com

Why: It's the most magical time of the year, when San Francisco's ritzy shopping district gets the official go-ahead for Christmas mania with the annual holiday tree lighting. Tickets for skating on the rink are already sold out for tonight, but you can still bundle up in your best ugly Christmas sweater and bask in the glory of 33,000 twinkling bulbs.

Amy Schumer & Friends

When: 7pm to 10pm

Where: Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway (Oakland), paramounttheatre.com

Why:Laugh your way through the end of the week with a hilarious stand-up routine from Amy Schumer. // Tickets (starting at $70) can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.

Saturday, November 24th

Etsy Holiday Emporium

When: 11am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday

Where: Pier 35, 1454 The Embarcadero, sfport.com

Why: Walk off your turkey at the Embarcadero's cruise terminal for an indie mart put together by Etsy's extraordinary crafters. Shop goods from more than 200 local makers while enjoying eats, live music, art demonstrations, and crafting workshops. // Free to attend; more info can be found on etsysf.com.

Snovember Holiday Market

When: 10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday

Where: 500 Ave N (Treasure Island), treasurefest.com

Why: Twenty tons of snow guarantees this holiday version of the monthly TreasureFest flea market will be extra, super duper fun. Plus, shop more than 300 independent vendors, get snacks from more than 30 food vendors, and hit up one or all of three different bars. Hang with Santa Claus while you dive deep into the fluffy white stuff, and make sure to utilize the free snowman building kits. Don't forget to bring an extra gift for the toy drive. // Tickets ($5/adults) can be purchased online or at the event.

Sunday Skate Night

When: 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive (Golden Gate Park), calacademy.org

Why: Close out the long holiday weekend with a night of ice skating in Golden Gate Park, where there will be penguin-y programs, cookie decorating, hourly snow showers, and appearances from Santa. // Tickets ($15/person, $10 for Cal Academy members) include skating and rentals, and can be purchased on site or at ticketing.calacademy.org.

Sunday Steak Feast

When: Starting at 6pm

Where: Alexander's Steakhouse, 448 Brannan St. (SoMa), alexanderssteakhouse.com

Why: Still hungry? Alexander's Steakhouse is hosting a family-style dinner with fine wine, bourbon, and Scotch, roasted turkeys, ribeye roasts, and whole roasted foie gras, plus pie and ice cream. Hic! // Tickets ($120/food, $80.drinks) are available at exploretock.com.

Sunday, November 25th

Après Yoga

When: 9:30am

Where: Barebottle Brewing Company, 1525 Cortland Ave. (Bernal Heights), barebottle.com

Why: Yogi Denelle Numis leads the launch of Breathe, Bend & Brew, with a yoga sesh in the taproom followed by pints from Barebottle. // Tickets ($20 early bird; $20 same day) are available at nightout.com.

SF Comedy Showcase

When: 8pm

Where: The Punchline, 444 Battery St. (North Beach)

Why: Cap the holiday with a good laugh at The Punchline's weekly lineup of local comics. // Tickets ($14; two-drink minimum) are available at punchlinecomedyclub.com.

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