By Tim Falk
Published: 11/22/2022, edited: 11/22/2022
The holidays are all about spending time with those you love, which of course includes your fur-baby! And if you’re looking for dog-friendly holiday activities in San Francisco in 2022, you’re spoiled for choice.
Whether you’re picking out a tree, enjoying the excitement of a holiday parade, or admiring the best holiday light displays, it’s always more fun with your pup by your side. Check out these “pawsome” San Fran holiday activities to share with your dog.
Want to bring your holiday hound along to find the perfect tree? Several Christmas tree farms in SF are dog-friendly — here are Wag!'s top 3 picks.
For many San Francisco pet parents, visiting Clancy's is just as much a Christmas tradition as caroling and decorating the tree. A local institution since 1949, Clancy's welcomes leashed, well-behaved dogs with open paws. This is a "pawpular" spot with pet parents, so expect to make some new four-legged friends while you're here. Make plans to visit next Halloween, when Clancy's transforms into a pumpkin patch complete with hay rides and a maze.
Location: Marina District
festive cheer and goodwill since 1947, The Guardsmen Tree Lot is
another historic dog-friendly Christmas tree farm in San Francisco. This
tree farm is fully staffed by volunteers, and all proceeds benefit
children in need living in the Bay Area, which means your pup can accompany you to
find your tree and support a "grrreat" cause at the same time!
Location: Half Moon Bay
Tree Farm and Village in Half Moon Bay is the place to go if you're
looking for a dog-friendly tree farm that offers fun activities for
the whole family — fur-children included.
At this 480-acre farm, you and Fido have plenty of room to sniff out the "pawfect" tree, and you can even cut it down yourselves. Bring the kids on a weekend to take photos with Santa, listen to a story from Mrs. Claus, enjoy some festive baked goodies, and more.
Looking to spread some winter wonder to the dogs of SF this year? Here are a few non-profit animal adoption and rescue orgs you can support this holiday season.
Location: Mission District
Opening hours: Open daily 12 PM–5 PM
Looking for a way to help pets and wildlife this holiday season? Check out SF Animal Care and Control, an open-admission facility that rescues animals of all shapes, sizes, and species. And if you think you've got what it takes to foster a pet, consider opening your home to a furry friend in need. As of late October 2022, the facility was running out of space and overwhelmed with small animals like pet rabbits and guinea pigs.
Location: Mission District
Adoption center operating hours:
The SF SPCA is doing some "pawsome" work for the local community — you can read all about it in our Animal Rights Org Spotlight — and you and your pup can be part of it!
SF SPCA offers several ways to give. Whether you're donating your
gently loved pet accessories, ordering some goodies from the shelter's Amazon wishlist,
or setting up a recurring monthly donation, you'll be supporting
essential programs like animal-assisted therapy and legislative action
you don't mind the short drive down to Dublin, East Bay SPCA is a
"grrreat" organization to support this holiday season. Your donation
will fund critical initiatives like East Bay's biweekly pet food pantry
drive, low-cost spay/neuter clinics, and youth education programs. Or,
check out East Bay SPCA's Amazon wishlist to support the shelter without leaving the comfort of your couch!
Ready to go walking in a winter wonderland with your woofer this holiday season? Check out some of these "petacular" Christmas light displays in San Francisco.
Location: Downtown San Francisco
When: November 10, 2022 to January 1, 2023
Wondering where to see Christmas lights in San Francisco? Head to Union Square. Located at the heart of the bustling downtown area, Union Square is a must-visit if you're looking to see some of the best Christmas lights in San Francisco with your pupper in tow. With thousands of lights and an 80-foot Christmas tree every year, this is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit.
While in Union Square, take a brief detour to admire the heartwarming Macy's Holiday Windows. The SF SPCA even has its own Holiday Windows where you can see some adorable, adoptable puppies and kittens. And if you fancy warming up after seeing the lights, head to one of the nearby dog-friendly cafes for a mug of warm cocoa.
Location: Fisherman’s Wharf
When: Every half hour from 5 PM–10 PM, November 22, 2022 to January 8, 2023
A tourist hotspot, Pier 39
provides one of the best Christmas light displays in San Francisco. One
of the biggest draws of Pier 39 during the holidays is its towering
Christmas tree. Every half hour from 5 PM, the tree transforms into a
beautifully colorful musical showpiece for Tree Lighting Musical Moments
— “pawfect” to enjoy with your pup by your side.
Dogs are welcome on Pier 39 as long as they stay on a leash, and it’s a great spot to take your dog for a walk while you admire the sights. This area can get busy, so ensure your pup is well adjusted to large crowds.
Location: Palo Alto
When: December 10, 2022 to December 31, 2022 from 5 PM–11 PM
Christmas Tree Lane, or Fulton Street, has been wowing the residents of Palo Alto
for 80 years. The 1700 and 1800 blocks of this run-of-the-mill suburban
street transform every year into one of the best festive neighborhoods
in the Bay Area.
With carolers and vintage lawn displays, Christmas Tree Lane will help you recapture a bit of Christmas magic from your childhood. Plan a road trip down to Palo Alto with Rudolph and take your pup on a leashed stroll along Fulton Street.
When: Every night from 5 PM until January 2023
Head for downtown Berkeley for another stunning Christmas light display. Here, you’ll find 3 blocks' worth of sparkling holiday lights along Fourth Street, so why not take a stroll with your pooch to check them out? There are also other special events held along Fourth Street during the holiday season, so it’s a good idea to time your visit for a Saturday to make the most of the festive cheer.
Location: Fisherman’s Wharf
When: December 16, 2022, 6 PM–9 PM
The Holiday Lights Boat Parade, at Pier 39, is held the week before Christmas every year. If you normally go out for an evening stroll with your dog, then why not make a slight detour and see some stunning lights? The Parade is held along Pier 39, Aquatic Park, Crissy Field, and Marina Green, and it’s truly a sight to behold.
Location: San Rafael
When: November 26, 2022, 1 PM–5 PM (parade from 5:30 PM)
A winter wonderland at Christmas is a magical feeling, something you'll undoubtedly want to enjoy with your four-legged companion. Why not take a trip to downtown San Rafael at the end of November for the Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland? This festive event features everything from food trucks and face painting to Christmas markets and entertainment, but the real show-stopper is the Lighted Classic Car Parade.
When: December 10, 2022, 3 PM–8 PM
you and your furry friend want to celebrate both Christmas and cultural
diversity, then attendance at the Parol Lantern Festival and Parade is a
must. This annual cultural festival is held at the Yerba Buena Center
for the Arts, and the highlight for many is the beautiful parade.
Featuring handmade parol lanterns along with music and performances for
the crowd, the parade takes place in Yerba Buena Lane and Jessie Square.
From all of us here at Wag!, we wish you and your fur-family a happy holiday season!
Whether you're bringing your pup along for the adventure or leaving them
behind, Wag! has got your pet care needs covered. Download the Wag! app today for walks, drop-ins, pet insurance, and more!
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