It is the season for holiday spectacle: a myriad of lights, animated projections, twinkling Christmas tree displays, and a dazzling Boat Parade! Once more, the San Francisco Bay Area is aglow in a kaleidoscope of colors, with the City, the South Bay, and the East Bay all showcasing imaginative and creative endeavors to envelop us in the enchanting spirit of Christmas.

MerciSF.com shares its favorites with you.

Let’s Glow SF (including some French Artists!!)
America’s largest holiday projection mapping festival returns to downtown San Francisco this December, celebrating the season with 10 nights of light, animation, and music crafted by artists from the Bay Area and across the globe. Be among the first to see this year’s enthralling shows.

Several French Artists are featured in the selection this year : take a look at Jérémie Bellot‘s work as well as the creative lab Spectre.

Let’s Glow SF 2023 will kick off on December 1, 2023 at 6 PM, at the foot of Market Street facing the Ferry Building, with a Countdown To Glow that is FREE and open to the public.  Starting at 6 PM, complimentary hot chocolate, ube hot chocolate, s’mores, ube s’mores, and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes from Marley’s Treats and FREE Let’s Glow SF swag will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can also go and warm up at Café Bastille with your Let’s Glow Cocktail

From December 1 to 10 from 5-10 p.m.
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Entwined : Elder Mother In 2023, the installation is returning as Entwined: Elder Mother, a new iteration of the art installation that features a monumental shade-bearing tree that moves in the wind. Elder Mother is a monumental shade-bearing tree that moves in the wind. The 30-ft metal sculpted tree carries a 25-ft canopy offering a place for park-goers to gather day and night with ever-changing illumination and color. Eldermother also incorporates six unique QR codes on the tree ‘leaves’ which allow attendees to control the tree’s lighting patterns.
From December 7, 2023 to April 28, 2024
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holiday lights pier 39 MerciSFPier39
Come see the PIER 39 Christmas Tree, a 60′, live Tree that “comes to life” nightly from 5 – 10pm on the half hour. Synchronized and choreographed to festive Holiday music, the tree actually “performs” and becomes a kaleidoscope of swirling colors and songs, adorned with thousands of glittering specialty lights and ornaments
From now through January 7, 2023.
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The fantasy of Lights Los Gatos
First presented in 1999, Fantasy of Lights is a spectacular 1.5 mile Drive-Thru extravaganza of holiday lights and displays for the entire family. It is now in its 25th year and has become a cherished holiday tradition. It is bigger, better and brighter than ever before thanks to the transition to environmentally friendly LED displays. Enjoy a magical evening in the warmth of your vehicle as you drive through large animated displays while listening to holiday music on your car radio.
From December 5 to 30. (closed on Dec 25th)
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The Light Yacht Parade
The 47th Annual Lighted Yacht Parade hosted by the Encinal and Oakland Yacht Clubs will take place on Saturday, December 2nd at 5:30 PM on the Oakland/Alameda Estuary.
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Holiday Tree Lighting Oakland
Come and enjoy the Holiday Tree Lighting at Jack London Square. There will be live entertainment featuring Laser light shows , Photos with Santa, Frosty, Holiday Teddy Bear and The Peppermint Princess , Special performances by Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ Performance Ensemble and The Lyric Performing Arts Academy.
Saturday, December 2nd, from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM located in the plaza near Plank.
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Enchant San Jose
Enchant Christmas, the spectacular, multi-sensory experience returns to San Jose, Calif. to once again light up PayPal Park with an all-new maze adventure this holiday season. Featuring the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Village, a visit from Santa, delicious seasonal food and beverages, live entertainment, and so much more.
From November 24  through December 31, 2023
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Holiday at Filoli
Holidays at Filoli is the season to make special memories, bask in the vibrant landscape, and spend time together. Step into the magic of the House adorned in holiday cheer and explore the winter Garden, where inspiration glows.
From November 18, 2023 to January 7, 2024.
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Oakland Zoo Glowfari: A Wildly Illuminating Lantern Festival
This year’s experience features new themes including the forests of North America with iconic native wildlife like mountain lions and wolves, our frosty friends of the Arctic with puffins and polar bears, the Deep Ocean featuring rarely seen sea creatures, and a stroll through the swamp as you encounter alligators and other animals of the Bayou!
From November 29 to January 28.
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Enjoy!

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