The first night of Hanukkah begins on December 18th and we’ve got a great list of how families can celebrate in San Francisco this year

While we love celebrating the Festival of Lights at home with creative Hanukkah crafts  and our favorite Hanukkah books, this year we’ve compiled a list of in-person Bay Area Hanukkah celebrations you and your little ones are sure to enjoy! From LEGO-built menorahs to live music, hot latkes and sweet sufganiyot, these Hanukkah events and menorah lightings nearby promise to generate warmth, togetherness, and lots of fun for the entire family. Good to know: This year, the last night of Hanukkah coincides with Dec. 25—so if you’re looking for things to do on that day, don’t miss our list of family-friendly activities that are open in the Bay Area.

Hanukkah Celebrations in San Francisco

1. Hanukkah Pop-Up Party at Ghirardelli Square

Dec. 18: JCCSF’s Glowing Hanukkah Party returns to Ghirardelli Square this holiday season! This free, family-friendly event will see the lighting of candles, live (glowing!) music, Hanukkah crafts, games and tasty treats from the merchants at Ghirardelli Square. Event details.

2. Sherith Littles Happy Hanukkah Celebration

Dec. 11: Designed for parents and children 6 and under, this free event is filled with music, puppets, Hanukkah crafts and stories, a menorah lighting, and yummy latkes and sufganiyot. Event details.

3. Community Hanukkah Party (CBS Koret Hall and Eva Gunther Plaza)

Dec. 18: The party begins at 5pm with dinner and libations! Stay for a communal candle lighting, children’s activities, a Hanukkah game show, and a special music appearance by Hip Hop Hanukkah with Assist & The Scrappy Maccabee. Event details.

4. Union Square Menorah Lighting

Dec. 18-Dec. 25: Join Bill Graham Menorah Events every night during Hanukkah. The first lighting ceremony starts on Dec. 18 with dreidel house crafts for kids and children’s entertainment. From Dec. 19-Dec. 25, enjoy evening lighting ceremonies and music. Event details.

5. 11th Annual Chanukah Street Festival in Cole Valley

Dec. 18: Something fun for everyone! This annual event offers menorah lighting, children’s entertainment (including a bouncy house!), latkes, a hot drinks bar, live music, and a San Francisco Fire Department gelt parachute drop! Event details.

6. Hanukkah Candle Lighting in the JCCSF Atrium

Dec. 19-23: Stop by this free event for one night or celebrate Hanukkah at the JCCSF throughout the week. The menorah will be lit in the atrium every evening, accompanied by live music from Jonathan Bayer, family crafts, and traditional fried treats. Event details.

Hanukkah Celebrations on the Peninsula

hanukkah celebrations around SF
Elisheva Gohar via Unsplash

7. Latkepalooza (PJCC Community Center)

Dec. 10: Start the celebrations early with dancing and family activities, like blacklight face painting and Hanukkah-themed crafts! Light Hanukkah candles and sing family favorite Hanukkah songs! And keep your energy up with latkes, pizza, and other tasty treats! And a fun bonus—kids get to wear their pajamas and participate in a kid’s PJ fashion show! Event details.

8. Festival of Lights Hanukkah Party (Los Altos Hills)

Dec. 11: Join this Peninsula community for a special free Hanukkah celebration and early menorah lighting. Invite grandparents, friends, and anyone at all—everyone is welcome to this multigenerational party! Event details.

9. Chanukah in Burlingame

Dec. 18: This free event features a Lego menorah! And better yet—you can help build it! And you can also create your own lego-like dreidel and make other Hanukkah-themed crafts. Make sure to refuel with hot latkes and jelly donuts and stay for the firetruck gelt drop and live music by Saul Kaye band. Event details.

10. Hanukkah Celebration (Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto)

Dec. 18: Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with the entire family. From craft making to candle lighting, games, and live music from the Capriccio Chamber Orchestra—there’s something for everyone! Event details.

11. Hanukkah Concert at the Wornick Jewish Day School (Foster City)

Dec. 18: For ages three to five and their families, this party includes Hanukkah-themed activities and music by Isaac Jones. Advanced registration is required by Dec. 14.  Event details.

Hanukkah Celebrations in the East Bay

12. Hanukkah Family Farm Festival (Berkeley)

Dec. 11: For families with kids 7 & under, join Wilderness Torah, PJ Library Bay Area, Urban Amadah, and members of Octopretzel for this interactive celebration. There will be Hanukkah-themed performances with music and puppets, menorah making, cookie decorating and story time. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch. Your kiddos will love the playground as much as you’ll love mingling with the community. Event details.

13. Shine Your Light: Beth El’s Chanukah Festival (Berkeley)

Dec. 10: For all ages, this Hanukkah event includes dinner, latkes, a performance by Beth El’s Chorus, a concert and puppet show by the Banana Slug Band (aimed at children 8 & under and those young at heart!) and a Maccabean race (for teens only). Event details.

14. Hanukkah Candle Making for Families with Young Children (El Sobrante)

Dec. 10: Candle-making and Hanukkah-themed stories, food, and crafts! Aimed at kids 7 & under, but all ages are welcome! And if you’re able to, please join #PJGIVESBACK by bringing nonperishable food items to the event. PJ Library will deliver them to the Berkeley Food Pantry to help feed neighbors this holiday season. Event details.

15. A Tie-Dye Chanukah (Oakland)

Dec. 11: This workshop at Chabod Center for Jewish Life is geared at ages five to twelve. Whether your kiddos tie-dye winter beanies or compete in a rainbow menorah making challenge—this event is sure to add a splash of color to your Hanukkah celebrations! Event details.

16. The Home Depot Menorah Workshop (El Cerrito)

Dec. 11: This special menorah workshop lets kids build, paint, and decorate their very own menorah! RSVP required. Event details.

17. Chanukahfest at the JCC East Bay (Berkeley)

Dec. 11: Celebrate the festival of lights with candle rolling, menorah creating, dreidel spinning, latke tossing, doughnut filling, potato science exploration, LEGO menorah construction & more! Event details.

18. The Alameda Can-Orah

Dec. 18: At this year’s 6th annual public menorah lighting, a huge menorah will be lit made entirely out of cans collected by the Alameda community. After the menorah is lit, all cans will be donated to the Alameda County food bank. Event details.

19. Hanukkahpalooza at the Temple Beth Torah (Fremont)

Dec. 18: A celebration for all ages, this event features the San Francisco Yiddish Combo-Klezmer Band! Come for the music and dancing and stay for the latkes and the jelly doughnuts. Please bring your Hanukkah menorah and two candles. Event details.

20. Grand Chanukah Celebration on Lake Merritt (Oakland)

Dec 18: Light up the darkness with Oakland’s largest menorah! Presented by Chabot of Oakland, this free event includes a mesmerizing fire performance, live music, balloon twisting, Hanukkah crafts, and of course, latkes, sufganiyot, hot drinks and matza ball soup. Event details.

21. Hanukkah Celebration with Kehilla (Oakland)

Dec. 18: The Jewish Baby Network and Kehilla Community Synagogue offer this free and fun event for your kiddos to decorate a card, sing Hanukkah songs and learn the blessings. Event details.

22. Hanukah Community Celebration in Downtown Martinez

Dec. 18 - Dec. 26: Every evening at dusk, check out the traditional lighting of the menorah at the Main Street Plaza! On Dec. 18, celebrate the first lighting with music, sufganiyot, and more family fun! Event details.

23. Urban Adamah Hanukkah (Berkeley)

Dec. 18: Welcome the first light of Hanukkah with a joyful Simcha on the farm! Fry up some latkes in the community kitchen or enjoy treats on the farm with friends. Snacks and drinks will be provided, but your favorite potluck dishes are also welcome. Decorate a dreidel or maybe make a Hanukkah card—all ages will enjoy the crafts! Bring your dancing shoes and move to the beat of live Klezmer music. Event details.

24. Piedmont Chanukah Celebration

Dec. 20: Outside the Piedmont Community Hall, celebrations will ensue! From a drone gelt drop and a giant menorah lighting to hot latkes, jelly donuts, dreidels, crafts, music & more—this free event is sure to delight every age. Event details.

25. Oakland Car Menorah Parade

Dec. 22: Starting at Chabad of Oakland, drive through the streets of Oakland with a menorah on top of your car! Every car receives a party box to enjoy during the parade. After the parade, head back to Chabad of Oakland for refreshments and music. To join the party and reserve a menorah for your car, email by Dec. 15. Event details.

Hanukkah Celebrations in the North Bay

26. Hanukkah Inside Out (San Rafael)

Dec. 11: Bring the entire family to the Osher Marin JCC! This FREE fun Hanukkah event includes music from Jonathan Bayer and latkes from Wise Guys. Learn Hanukkah yoga moves and hear creative retellings of the Hanukkah story. Don’t miss this fun Hanukkah holiday event! Event details.

27. Hanukkah Concert & Café (Napa)

Dec. 11: With children’s Hanukkah activities, a community sing-along, and a café offering breakfast bites and holiday treats, this event promises and fun and tasty morning for the entire family. Event details.

28. Giant Menorah Lighting (Downtown San Rafael Plaza)

Dec. 18: Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with Chabot of Marin in downtown San Rafael. In addition to the giant menorah lighting, there’ll be music, dancing, hot chocolate, chocolate gelt drop & more! You won’t want to miss this free event! Event details.

29. Chanukah Celebration & Drone Gelt Drop (Petaluma Fairgrounds)

Dec. 18: This 8th annual celebration promises to celebrate the power of light over darkness with a marvelous community. Check out the world’s largest dreidel and enjoy a drone gelt drop, 9-foot menorah, fire juggling, latkes, jelly doughnuts, DJ, crafts, face painting & more. Event details.

30. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting (City Hall, Novato)

Dec. 18: Come for the menorah lighting and stay for more Hanukkah fun! With a grand gelt drop, craft for kids, a raffle, entertainment (like a fire juggling show by Frisco Fred!), music, donuts, and hot latkes—this is an event your entire family will enjoy. Event details.

31. Chabad of Larkspur Hanukkah Events

Dec. 18–Dec. 22: On Dec. 18 join Chabad of Larkspur at Menke Parke for a grand gumball menorah, gelt drop, inflatable gym and slide, latkes, hot soup, crafts for the kiddos and a dreidel contest! Then, on Dec. 22, celebrate again at the Corte Madera Town Center. All are welcome to the public menorah lighting, latkes, gelt, giant light-up dreidel, and Hanukkah music! Event details.

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