The winter holidays are upon us again! It’s time for turkeys, pine cone craft projects and of course, good cheer. To help raise spirits and celebrate this unique time of year, readers can take advantage of holiday theater. San Francisco is blessed with a rich cultural tradition that provides family favorites as well as edgier fare. Whatever your tastes, the coming months should have something to fit every palate.

San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker (Photo credit by SF Ballet)

War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 861-5600

Dates: December 7 – December 28

“Nutcracker” is a winter classic in more ways than one. The San Francisco Ballet has been performing the grande dame of holiday ballet to rave reviews since 1944. Traditions are created and repeated by bringing the whole family to see “Nutcracker” at SF Ballet’s beautiful old world theater. The pageantry of the performance, the glamor of the theater and the excitement of the season will create memories. Tickets are on sale now.

Related: Best Dance Studios in San Francisco

“The Christmas Ballet”
Smuin Ballet
Yerba Buena Center For the Arts
701 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 556-5000

Dates: November 25 – December 24

Modern, classic and refreshing, Smuin Ballet is a smaller ballet company that provides a changing revue for the holidays. You can expect one act to be classic ballet and ensuing acts to be unconventional performances inspired by the Lindy Hop, jazz and the like. Every year is different to maintain an element of surprise. Being a smaller ballet company, the performance space at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts also gives a more intimate feel during the performance.

“A Christmas Carol”
American Conservatory Theater
415 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 749-2228

Dates: November 30 – December 24

The American Conservatory Theater brings the definitive Christmas cautionary tale to life from the end of November up until Christmas Eve. The acclaimed theater livens up the classic with music, costumes and stage design. The theater also provides a performance guide, “Words on Plays,” so patrons can delve deeper into the story and performance.

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
New Asia Restaurant
772 Pacific Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 522-3737

Dates: December 22-25th

For something irreverent and Jewish, this San Francisco tradition will not fail to please. You’ll leave laughing and full of tasty, mostly non-kosher Chinese food. Teens and children are welcome at their guardians’ discretion but please leave babies at home. The 20th year of this holiday comedy revue also marks the return of the fortune cookies with Yiddish proverbs. Food is served banquet style and tickets go on sale October 29th at 9 a.m.

Related: Best Kosher Food in San Francisco

Christmas Cabaret
The Rrazz Room
Hotel Nikko San Francisco
222 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(800) 380-3095

Dates: December 2 – December 17

Who says the winter holidays can’t be sassy and adult-themed? Cabaret won’t let you down! The Rrazz Room is San Francisco’s resident nightclub hosting a rotation of national acts. There are three Christmas-themed acts to choose from: Sharon McNight’s “Twisted X-Mas: A Druid’s View of the Holidays,” Connie Champagne’s Judy Garland tribute “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and drag queen Katya Smirnoff-Skyy’s “Katy’s Holiday Spectacular.” The Rrazz Room is noted for its intimate space and two-drink minimum.

Lollie Hopper loves to drink deeply from the well of culture. If it’s beautiful, interesting or timely, this Bay Area native wants to cover it. Her work can be found on