Fun, free, cheap — What to do in San Francisco this week

Mission Dolores Christmas concert, Salesforce Park double feature, Botanical Gardens

By Johnny Funcheap

Special to The Examiner

Mission Dolores’ 30th annual candlelight Christmas concert

The towering and historic Mission Dolores Basilica (built in 1918) opens its doors and turns down the lights for its annual Christmas choir concert. Once your eyes adjust, your ears will be treated to Vivalidi’s “Gloria” and carols from around the world and the popular audience sing-along accompanied by a chamber orchestra and organ. Sunday, Dec. 19, 5 p.m. Mission Dolores Basilica, 16th and Dolores, S.F., $20.

(Courtesy Mission Dolores Basilica)

(Courtesy Mission Dolores Basilica)

Salesforce Park’s rooftop ‘90s holiday movie double feature

Aren’t we done with the ‘90s yet? Two holiday movie “classics” from the decade get their showcase at a special Winterfest outdoor movie night double feature at Salesforce Park’s rooftop amphitheater. “The Muppets Christmas Carol” (1992) starts things off at 5:30 p.m. followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s slapstick “Jingle All the Way” (1996 and a dismal 19% on Rotten Tomatoes) pulling up the rear at 7:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19th, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.. 425 Mission St., S.F. Free but RSVP required.



Free parking in Union Square and Embarcadero Center for the holidays

Hoping to lure holiday shoppers downtown, San Francisco is offering free parking for a combined 3,042 parking spots at three city-owned garages near Union Square. You can get up to two hours free at Sutter-Stockton, Ellis-O’Farrell and Union Square Garage through the end of 2021. Embarcadero Center does one better with four hours free parking M-F from 5-9 p.m. and on weekends anytime after 10 a.m. through 12/24. Union Square: daily through Dec. 31; sffuncheap. Embarcadero Center: daily through Dec. 24;

(Courtesy San Francisco Brewing Company)

(Courtesy San Francisco Brewing Company)

“Elf” Holiday Movie Night in the Beer Garden

If you’re going to charge $60 for an outdoor movie night, you better give us something worth our money. The San Francisco Brewing Company in Ghirardelli Square is going to hook you up: $60 includes admission for up to six people but also includes two pizzas, popcorn, hot cocoa and s’mores for your group. Yum and yummer! Thursday, Dec. 23, 5:30 p.m., 3150 Polk St., S.F. $60 for 6 people maximum, includes food.

(Photo by Saxon Holt/Courtesty San Francisco Botanical Garden)

(Photo by Saxon Holt/Courtesty San Francisco Botanical Garden)

Free Christmas Day at San Francisco Botanical Garden

If you’re looking for a great time killer with your family on Christmas but want wide open spaces, spend Saturday in one of the most diverse gardens in the world right in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Stroll 55 acres of landscaped gardens showcasing over 9,000 different kinds of plants. The gardens are always free for S.F. residents, but out-of town-guests are usually $10, a fee that’s waived on Christmas Day. Sunday, Dec. 25, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Ninth Ave. and Lincoln Way, S.F.

Visit for a hand-picked list of more fun, free and cheap things to do in San Francisco.

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