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New Year’s Day in San Francisco: What’s open and things to do

The back of two people's heads with brown hair watch a red and pink fireworks display.
People watch fireworks during New Year’s celebrations in San Francisco on Jan. 1, 2018. | Getty Images

Not everyone will be spending the first day of 2024 recovering from the festivities of the night before.

For everyone from folks wanting to get an active start to the new year to those aiming to keep the party going, New Year’s Day offers a spectrum of options.

Here are some of the activities happening around San Francisco on New Year’s Day.

Polar Bear Ice Skating at Union Square

A San Francisco homage to a Canadian tradition, the Union Square ice rink—sponsored by Safeway and Kaiser Permanente—is inviting skaters to show up from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and take the plunge onto the ice in their wildest swimwear.

Decorated attendees have the chance to walk away with an array of prizes, which judges will award based on theme, originality and overall appearance.

Tickets for the event are listed at $25 on the ice rink’s website.

Catch a Movie at the Metreon

For those looking to stay inside and keep warm, the AMC Metreon 16 at 135 Fourth Street will be showcasing an array of films, including the recently released remake of The Color Purple and sports car racing movie Ferrari.

Showtimes can be found here.

Day and Block Parties Around the City

San Francisco is known year-round for its day parties. Certainly, New Year’s Day is no exception, with a few noteworthy gatherings kicking off 2024.

Starting at around 4 a.m. Monday, fans of electronic dance music can hit the Great Northern nightclub at 119 Utah St., which will host the Breakfast of Champions Block Party.

The festival will feature 10 stages and more than 100 DJs and musicians performing all day. Tickets for the event range from $30 to $4,800 for your own personalized cabana with lounge furniture and champagne service, among other perks.

In the Tenderloin, the Phoenix Hotel at 601 Eddy St. will host the R&B and Ribs Day Party. The event is slated for 1 p.m. tol 6 p.m., according to the party’s EventBrite. Tickets for the party range from $30 to $40 for general admission.

Golden Gate Park ‘Entwined’ Lights

For those hoping to catch one last glimpse of holiday lights before their 11-month hiatus, Golden Gate Park’s lighted meadow returns as Entwined: Elder Mother and features a forest of light.

The installation is located in the Peacock Meadow along the JFK Promenade between Stanyan Street and the Conservatory of Flowers and is open daily to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., at which point the lights are shut off for the night.

The meadow, which has been a holiday attraction at Golden Gate Park since 2020, will feature a 30-foot sculpted metal tree carrying a 25-foot canopy. The intention of the installation is to offer a place for parkgoers to gather at night with the changing lights.

The Elder Mother installation also comes with QR codes on the tree’s leaves that allow visitors to control the lighting patterns, according to the San Francisco Parks Alliance.