When was the last time you and the kids had the chance to get dressed to the nines (hello, 2019)? Dust off your fascinators because it’s holiday tea time! From high tea at San Francisco’s poshest hotels to cozy tea time in a cafe, your finest holiday spirits will be brought on by noshing on tiny sandwiches, clotted cream and mini cookies. Don’t miss out—holiday teas are super popular so you need to add one of these celebrations to your holiday calendar pronto!

Taryn R .via Yelp

Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz Carlton
The cherished winter tradition of Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz is back! The classic event, which tends to tip towards the fancier end of holiday teas, stars Stretchy the Elf, his side-kick elf and the super cuddly Ritz-Carlton teddy bear. Petite party-goers can indulge in hot chocolate, teddy bear cookies and assorted sandwiches, while the grown ups can snack and enjoy some tea or champagne. There will be holiday stories and sing-a-longs to keep the kids entertained. Each child will take home a photo with the giant Ritz-Carlton teddy bear and a teddy of their own. $157/guest.

Bonus: A portion of the proceeds benefits Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area.

When: Weekends Nov. 27- Dec.19

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
600 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA



Intercontinental Mark Hopkins

Magical Tea at Top of the Mark

It's that time of the year again! The Top of the Mark hosts a family-friendly tea time that is more than your average afternoon tea. While you sip, your kids will enjoy face painting, balloon artist creations, as well as the chance to make their own edible art at the cookie decorating station. Grown-ups will love an array of tea sandwiches, scones and special eats from the hotel’s Executive Chef. For the kids, the chef will serve up kid-friendly bites like pigs in a blanket, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. An elaborate dessert station includes an array of sweet delights including Christmas Yule logs and homemade marshmallows. $90/guest, $85 with toy donation.

Bonus: Guests who donate a new, unwrapped toy to the San Francisco Fire Department toy drive will receive a $5 discount on the price of the tea service.

When: Sat. & Sun. Dec. 4-19, 12-3 p.m.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
One Nob Hill
San Francisco, CA


Dollie + Me Holiday Tea at the Westin St. Francis
Founded by three native Bay Area best friends, kit & sis presents an inaugural holiday tea tradition inviting children to gather with their dolls for a whimsical afternoon of hot cocoa, tea sandwiches and special sweets. The magic begins as little guests step through the lobby with its two handcrafted castles, the "St. Francis Enchanted" and the "Medieval Sugar" castles. Imaginations will run and that's what inspired kit & sis-for girls to explore with their imagination and through creativity. A crafting event will follow tea time and all participants will go home with a goodie bag to enjoy with their dolls. $65-$86

When: Sat. & Sun., Dec. 18 & 19

Westin St. Francis at Union Square
335 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA



Fairmont San Francisco

Gingerbread Tea at the Fairmont
A stroll through the Fairmont’s massive gingerbread house (standing 22 feet high created with thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks and 1,500 pounds of royal icing) will definitely make your little elves’ mouths water. So head to Laurel Court for the hotel’s annual Gingerbread Holiday Tea, where the famed kitchen will turn out plenty of delicious treats alongside your tea. $149 Adults / $89 Children under 12

When: Thu.-Sun., November 26–Jan. 2; daily the weeks before and after the Christmas holiday
1 and 3:30 p.m. seating

Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA



Michelle C. via Yelp

Winter Wonderland at Lovejoy's
If you're looking for an off-the-beaten path holiday tea experience then take the fam out to Lovejoy's in Noe Valley. This cozy room offers a quaint British tea experience with quirky decorations and decor that will delight the little ones. And, during the holidays the folks at Lovejoy's transform their tea room into a winter wonderland and offer extended hours so be sure to check their website or call ahead because reservations are recommended. There is an extensive menu, including a dedicated "Wee Tea" (for kids under 10) that features cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, a scone, fresh fruit, a petit four and tea or hot chocolate, all for $20.95. 

When: Thu-Sun, 11a.m.-3 p.m.

1351 Church St.
San Francisco, CA

Online: lovejoystearoom.com

Tyme for Tea
With antique furniture, fountains, vintage clothing and jewelry decorating the store, you're bound to think you've been transported to the Victorian era. This lovely tea room will enchant all ages and is serving holiday tea on the weekends in December. 

When: Sat. & Sun., December

37501 Niles Blvd.
Fremont, CA

Online: tymefortea.com

Matt Armendariz

Heritage Holiday Champagne Tea
Take a trip to Dickenson's Christmas with delicious food, tea and cheerful company! Enjoy a beautiful festive Holiday Tea experience on the second floor of the Empire Firehouse, which oversees the History Park grounds. Spend some time reconnecting with friends and loved ones while enjoying a delicious and fresh seasonal assortment of pastries, sandwiches, chocolates, tea, and coffee.$40/person.

When: Dec. 11, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. seatings

Empire Firehouse
San Jose, CA


Christine Lai

High Tea by Candlelight
Feel like you've escaped to the old world at Lisa's Tea Treasures in Los Altos, with their dainty tea ware, embellished silverware and servers that are dressed the part. Enjoy a prix-fixe five course menu with champagne and tea with friends and family.  $75/person.

When: Sat., Dec. 10, seatings at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

167 Main St.
Los Altos

Online: lisastealosaltos.com

Erin Feher

Ainsley House Holiday Teas & Tours
Enjoy not only a special holiday tea at this historic Ainsley House but a tour of the house after. Choose from sparkling cider or champagne (or both!), finger sandwiches and desserts but no matter what you choose, definitely consider coming dressed to impress! 

: Select dates Dec. 3-12, 12 p.m.
300 Grant St
Campbell, CA

More info

Holiday Tea at the Marin Art & Garden Center
Guests big and small will be invited to dig into a sweet feast of tea sandwiches, savories and sweet treat served up by Crown and Crumpet. Adults can sip on tea and champagne, while the kiddies can choose from caffeine-free tea, hot cocoa or sparkling cider. Kids will take home a treat and craft. $95/adults, $55/children 11 & under.

When: Sat. & Sun. Dec. 4-19 & 20-23. Seatings at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., & 4 p.m.

The Marin Art & Garden Center in Marin County
22 Ross Common
Ross, CA



Holiday Victorian Teas by San Francisco Heritage
***Cancelled for 2021***

This holiday season take a trip back in time to the formal dining room and parlors of the Haas-Lilienthal House for a proper holiday tea. Inside this San Francisco historic mansion, guests will enjoy scones, savory finger sandwiches, an array of desserts and a pot of tea. $50-55/adult, $25-30/kids.

When: Dec. 8-10

The Haas-Lilienthal House
2007 Franklin St.
San Francisco, CA


Worth the Drive

Wine Country Holiday Tea at Hotel Healdsburg
The annual holiday tea service is back!. Live piano music plays in the background while guests enjoy a variety of delectables including lemon cured salmon, roasted peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches and chive-cheddar buttermilk biscuits to name a few.  Thirsty? A specialty cocktail menu is also offered. Kid-friendly beverages such as hot chocolate with marshmallows or apple cider will keep the smallest of high tea drinkers happy. 

When: Sat.-Sun., Dec. 4-19, plus Dec. 22, 1 p.m.

25 Matheson St.
Healdsburg, CA


—Christine Lai & Kate Loweth

featured photo by 2018 Galdones Photography

2021 Holiday Bucket List

Holidays on Stage: Festive Theater Performances for All Ages
All Aboard! Holiday Train Rides
Twinkle, Twinkle! Sparkling Bay Area Light Displays to See

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