For a complete list of Sausalito Winterfest Events (and there are a lot of them) please scroll down the page!
Holiday Events Calendar for Sausalito, Muir Beach & Muir Woods
Insiders Tip: Visitors during the Holidays get 3 hours of free parking at the parking meters in downtown Sausalito, which have signs on them to allay your fears about this being real and not an Internet hoax. The parking lots charge fees as usual. Coming to Sausalito is way better than spending $28 for parking in San Francisco to buy a $19 gift at Union Square!
November 28, 2016 — Opening of Dunphy Park Community Christmas Tree Lot with proceeds benefiting Robin Sweeny Park, The name of the lot has changed over the years as different mixes of local volunteers have been involved, but the principle of raising money for the community via Christmas trees has remained.
December 1-31, 2016 — 10th Annual Gingerbread House Tour. The Gingerbread Houses in the competition are located in stores and businesses all over Sausalito during December, so hunting for them is a fun activity. (The signs in the front windows will guide your quest and we have a list of participants below!) For those who like Where’s Waldo the Chamber has Gingerbread House tour maps available at the downtown visitor center by the Ferry plaza.
One word of warning: If you see giant Gingerbread Men (or Women) like the ones at the left strolling the streets of Sausalito, perhaps even singing Holiday carols and spreading good cheer, do not be alarmed. Do not alter your normal routine for alcohol consumption nor increase your previous dosage of any medication. This is normal here and you’re gonna be just fine.
December 1, 2016 — Free Metered Parking in Sausalito begins for the Holiday shopping season! All parking meters in town are set to Free! All over Sausalito you see people parking and peering at the laminated signs on every parking meter (like the one at right on Princess St.), wondering if such a wonderful thing could ever be really, verifiably true.
December 2-4, 2016 — Opening preview and 2016 ICB Artists’ 48th Annual Open Studios is Friday, December 2 6:00 – 9:00 PM at the ICB Building. The exhibition runs three days over the weekend this year, on December 2-4, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Admission is free, but donations to cover costs at the opening reception are appreciated.
December 3, 2016 — Annual Breakfast with Santa event at the Sausalito Yacht Club, 8:30 AM and 9:45 AM seatings, $8 per person (kids under 2 are free). You’ll need to make an RSVP through the Sausalito Park and Rec Dept. at 415-289-4152.
December 3 – 4, 2016 — From 4:00 to 6:00 PM the giant Gingerbread Men (yes, dear, we really do have giant Gingerbread Men in Sausalito!) and their compatriots will sing Christmas carols and stroll through downtown Sausalito to kick off the Holidays.
December 3-4, 2016 — Muir Beach Holiday Art Fair — This annual event showcases the work of more than 25 local artists and chefs, with everything from fine art to crafts to yummy food. Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Muir Beach Community Center. The event website is here.
December 4, 2016 — Sausalito Woman’s Club Holiday Open House for Sausalito neighbors, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, with good food and great people. Sausalito Woman’s Club, 120 Central Avenue.
December 7, 2016 — Sausalito Players Holiday Performance at the Sausalito Woman’s Club, 7:30 PM. Admission is free.
December 8, 2016 — Caledonia Street Holiday Shopping Night Out in the Caledonia St. neighborhood, 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with shops that cater to local residents open extended hours. Some will be offering special treats and/or special deals.
December 9-11, 2016 — Sausalito Winterfest and Lighted Boat Parade. (Scroll down for details)
December 15, 2016 — Sausalito Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer — 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Kimber Companies, 10 Liberty Ship Way, Sausalito.
December 17, 2016 — Christmas celebration at Point Bonita Lighthouse (Date Tentative), guided hike with Ranger teaching about how American Holiday traditions emerged in the 19th Century. Limited to 25 people and reservations are strongly advised. Call the Marin Headlands Visitor Center at (415) 331-1540.
December 17, 2015 — Muir Beach Winter Solstice Celebration — 6:00 PM at the Muir Beach Community Center (Date Tentative).
December 17, 2015 — Christmas Carols at the Sausalito Woman’s Club — Sausalito Woman’s Club, 120 Central Avenue.
December 22, 2016 — Santa arrives from the North Pole. Sponsored by Performing Stars of Marin, Southern Marin Fire Department, Sausalito Police Department and Marin County Sheriff’s Department, Mr & Mrs Claus will arrive in Sausalito by seaplane (!) direct from the North Pole. Seaplane Adventures, 242 Redwood Highway, 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
December 20, 2016 — Muir Woods Winter Solstice Celebration — All day at Muir Woods, with special activities scattered through the day. (Date Tentative — based on day of the week it moves a day or two from the true solstice in some years.)
December 31, 2016 — New Years Eve in Sausalito and San Francisco Fireworks Viewing — You can skip the traffic and parking hassles and watch from a view restaurant in Sausalito!
Getting all these “small town America” events coordinated represents a lot of clever (and hard) work by people at the City of Sausalito, the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, the Sausalito Woman’s Club, Sausalito On the Waterfront and more. Bravo to everyone at these and other groups who do so much to enrich our local Holidays!
Sausalito Winterfest 2016 (Friday Dec. 9 – Sunday Dec. 11)
Winterfest is the centerpiece of Sausalito’s small-town Holiday traditions, combining both long-time local activities like the Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks with more recent additions like a free children’s activities day and a Friday-night charity gala that raises money for kids’ programs. You can enjoy much of the fun for free, or attend more formal parties and events that benefit those charities.
Here’s a day-by-day rundown of the Winterfest activities this year. All of the events will be held Rain or Shine. Much of the action is inside the Big Tent on Spinnaker Drive, but the Parade of Lighted Boats will not be stopped by a few untimely squalls! Special thanks to the Winterfest organizers for all the work they do for our community.
Friday, December 9, 2016
The Ho Ho Ho Hollywood Gala (the annual Naughty or Nice Ball), in the Big Tent in front of The Spinnaker, 6:30 – 11:30 PM.
This event includes dancing to live performances by the Michael Jackson tribute band, Foreverland (shown above), food and wine tasting from 14 local restaurants (last year the list included Angelino, Barrel House, Cibo, Copita, Osteria DiVino, Poggio, Seafood Peddler, Sushi Ran, The Spinnaker and The Trident), and a hosted bar with champagne, wine and specialty cocktails.
Tickets are $125 per person (Live entertainment, music, dancing, food and adult beverages are all included) before December 1, $150 afterwards until they sell out. You can buy tickets here. Suggested dress is “swanky,” with Little Black Dresses and their appropriate male corollaries.
There will also be a silent auction at the event. The Ho Ho Ho Hollywood Gala (and the entire Winterfest) are sponsored by the non-profit Sausalito On The Waterfront Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax deductible charity which supports giving a wide range of local kids experiences at and an appreciation for San Francisco Bay, its natural resources, its activities, and the communities of the Sausalito Waterfront. Proceeds support the Foundation’s various programs, as well as its partners the Dipsea Kidz (in collaboration with the Dipsea Race Foundation) and the Sausalito Woman’s Club Scholarship Fund.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Marin Kids Make Merry Party, with live music, storytelling, hot cocoa and cider and holiday foods, cookie decorating, holiday arts and crafts, ornament making and pictures with Santa Claus. It’s all in the Big Tent in front of The Spinnaker, 10 AM – 2 PM. Admission is free, but you need to RSVP at this link to reserve your free ticket. It looks like you’re buying a ticket, but for the kids’ activities the price is zero and this Eventbrite reservation reserves your slot. After the event you can check out the Sausalito Gingerbread House Tour!
26th Annual Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks (click here for in-depth information) along the Sausalito waterfront. Free viewing up and down the shores of Sausalito, and there is a prime outdoor elevated bayside seating area where you can get reserved seats for $25 each.
The Winterfest Tent and the Parade After-Party
It can get cold here in December, so if being inside matters more to you than being right on the water then from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM there is a (warm) tent with (warm) food and beverages and (warm) feelings from music.
- The tent has a general access area for watching the Lighted Boat Parade that costs $25 to enter and has food trucks , and a no-host bar. The warm air, music and dance floor are shared with…
- A VIP seating area that costs $75 to enter and it includes light food and a hosted bar. VIP ticket holders must be over 21 years of age.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Jingle Bell 5K Walk/Run, Kids’ Fun Run and Pancake Breakfast follows a route down the Sausalito Waterfront with its unmatched views. Registration is online or onsite and costs $40 for adults, $25 for kids, and includes a commemorative T-shirt. If you register online by Dec. 1 you also get a free pancake breakfast. You can also do online registration here.
7:30 AM — On-site registration starts
8:30 AM — The Run (or Walk, as the case may be) starts, with the finish line is at The Spinnaker.
9:20 AM — Kids Fun Run for children ages 10 and under as of the day of the race, starting from the same starting line as the adults. $5 entry fee on site. Price includes bib and medal for every runner.
9:45 AM — After the event there will be a Pancake Breakfast for runners and the people who love them (included for runners who register by Dec. 1, $10 for those who register later). You can also just buy a ticket to the pancake brunch for $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Monies raised go to support the Dipsea Kidz program and the Waterfront Foundation Youth Education Fund.