Get the winter holidays started in San Francisco this week. For a new twist on the season, head to Victoria Theatre to see some of the city’s most famous drag queens perform Christmas episodes of Golden Girls. Or sip afternoon tea at a special holiday teatime hosted by the Top of the Mark. Then head south to Los Gatos for the Festival of Lights, a walkable display that rivals anything in the big city.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
December 1 - 23 | Theater
Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes
Have someone you want to thank for being a friend? Take ’em to see San Francisco’s finest drag queens perform two new Christmas episodes from the campy 1980s sitcom Golden Girls. If you grew up with the show, it’ll tug at all the right heartstrings, and if you didn’t, prepare to pick up a new throwback favorite. The revue, which tends to sell out most dates each year, stars Heklina as Dorothy, Matthew Martin as Blanche, D’Arcy Drollinger as Rose, and Holotta Tymes as Sophia.
8:00 PM | Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St., San Francisco | From $30 | website
December 2 | Now open: Bar
WesBurger ‘N’ More is opening a tiny new bar called The Den this week. It’s only got room for 15 people, so your best shot at checking it out is to stop by on the early side after you’ve grabbed a burger—like the spicy and gooey Hot Wes—at the main spot. Tame your buzzing lips with a low-proof punch, sake, or beer; a late-night snack menu from WesBurger is expected soon.
2240 Mission St., San Francisco | website
December 2 - 3 | Tea
Magical Holiday Tea
Visit the Top of the Mark, San Francisco’s classic, glassed-in rooftop bar, for its annual Magical Holiday Tea. This year, new executive chef Michael Wong and pastry chef Phuong Vuong have outdone themselves with a buffet selection of ornately crafted tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets that rival the bites at the area’s greatest tea services, all with commanding views of the city. Santa’s sleigh will be displayed in the lobby during Friday’s seating, while the jolly man himself makes an appearance on Saturday. Bring an unwrapped toy for the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive for a $4 discount.
12:00 PM | Top of the Mark, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, 999 California St., San Francisco | From $70 | website
December 3 - 4 | Dance
City Dance’s Onstage 2016
San Francisco’s City Dance Studios presents a yearly look at its diverse work, which intermingles professionals and students—including 14-year-old local Kida the Great, who makes viral videos on YouTube and won the most recent edition of the competitive TV series So You Think You Can Dance? Think of it as an easy way to sample a wide variety of movement styles, including classics like flamenco and ballet as well as club-driven dances drawn from the dancehall and hip-hop scenes.
Cowell Theater, Herbst Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco | From $39.50 | website
December 3 | Escape the city
Fantasy of Lights 2016 Walk-Through Nights
If you’re eager to kick-start those holiday feels, head south to Los Gatos this weekend, where Santa Clara County Parks has been hosting the Fantasy of Lights event for 18 years. Sing with carolers over cups of cocoa and gaze at LED light displays strung throughout the stunning Vasona Lake County Park. It’s a community gem that San Franciscans and visitors to the city might never think to check out.
4:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos | From $10 | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.