San Francisco Winter Calendar


SF Discovers some  of the best things to see and do in  San Francisco this winter.

Theater and Performances

San Francisco Jazz Festival

Through Dec. 7; Herbst Theatre

The San Francisco Jazz Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with performances from legendary musicians including award-winning Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and The Blind Boys of Alabama. (866-920-5299;

“The Book of Mormon”

Through Dec. 30; Curran Theatre

Dreamed up by the creators of “South Park,” “The Book of Mormon” is a nine-time Tony Award winner that tells the tale of two Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in northern Uganda. The show that Vogue called “the funniest musical of all time” is guaranteed to entertain. (888-746-1799;

Russian National Orchestra

Feb. 12 – 13, 2013; Davies Symphony Hall

Conducted by Patrick Summers, the Russian National Orchestra and award-winning pianist Daniil Trifonov perform a concert including Smetana’s captivating overture to “The Bartered Bride,” Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” and Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 6.”  (415-864-6000;


Jan. 23 – Feb. 17, 2013; Orpheum Theatre

“Wicked,” the beloved award-winning Broadway show, brings the story of the unlikely friendship between the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch of the North to center stage with magical sets and an incredible score. (888-746-1799;

“St. Clair Conducts Musical Treasures”

Jan. 12 – 14, 2013; Weill Hall

Seasoned music director Carl St. Clair and violinist Karen Gomyo team up for a
program that includes well-known works such as Beethoven’s “Overture to Egmont.” (866-955-6000;


Feb. 15 – 17, 2013; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

The city’s leading contemporary opera company, Ensemble Parallèle, presents the San Francisco premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ainadamar.” Combining riveting music with a theatrical production, the opera tells the story of playwright Federico Garcia Lorca and the Fascist regime during the Spanish Civil War.  (415-978-2787;



“The Parade”

Through Jan. 27, 2013; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Inspired by actual bird species, artist Nathalie Djurberg creates an unsettling avian menagerie, exploring physical and psychological transformation through more than eighty freestanding bird sculptures and five animated films set to music by her partner Hans Berg. (415-978-2787;

“Gifts From the Gods: Art and the Olympic Ideal”

Through Jan. 27, 2013; Legion of Honor

Opened in conjunction with the 2012 Summer Olympics, “Gifts From the Gods: Art and the Olympic Ideal” explores the idea of art in relation to the ancient and modern Olympics.  (415-750-3600;

“William Cordova: Smoke Signals”

Through Feb. 17, 2013; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Cordova’s exhibit focuses on the historical landscape of the Bay Area with 150 geography and architecture-based drawings. Through his portrayal of San Francisco’s architecture from varying time periods, Cordova explores the city’s culture in an intriguing way. (415-978-2700;

“South Africa in Apartheid and After”

Dec. 1 – March 5, 2013; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

This exhibit focuses on the racial divide in South Africa as seen through the eyes of three photographers—David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole and Billy Monk. The photographers’ backgrounds and experiences create a full picture of past racism in South Africa and the progress made since then. (415-357-4000;

“Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis”

Jan. 26 – June 2, 2013;
de Young Museum

Featuring 35 paintings from the 17th century Dutch Republic, including Johannes Vermeer’s famous “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” this exclusive exhibit comes from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. See firsthand the variety of subject matter and technique rendered by the Dutch Golden Age masters at de Young Museum. (415-750-3600;


Family-Friendly Activities

“The Velveteen Rabbit”

Through Dec. 9; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Presented by ODC Dance, “The Velveteen Rabbit” has been a Bay Area tradition for more than 25 years. Based on the classic beloved children’s book,  the performance features inventive choreography, engaging narration and a delightful score. (415-978-2787;

Fantasy of Lights Holiday Celebration

Dec. 1; Union Street

The Fantasy of Lights event adds festive cheer to the 22nd Annual Union Street Holiday Program, which transforms Union Street for the magical season. Thousands of holiday lights twinkle amidst a cheerful parade with Santa and his elves as well as live ponies disguised as reindeer, jugglers and other entertainers. (800-310-6563;

“The Nutcracker”

Dec. 7 – 28; War Memorial Opera House

A San Francisco holiday classic since 1944, “The Nutcracker” showcases the talents of the San Francisco Ballet’s international dancers while bringing the heartwarming story to life with intricate staging and breathtaking dances. Don’t miss this must-see show that will enchant the whole family. (415-861-5600;

Penguins + Pajamas

Dec. 30; California Academy of Sciences

Join the museum for its final sleepover of the year, featuring live animal demonstrations, two planetarium showings and an overnight stay in African Hall, the aquarium, Lower Swamp or Islands of Evolution. (415-379-5333;