Your Survival Guide To Avoiding SantaCon SF

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Winter is coming! It’s that wonderful time of year where the city is filled with holiday music, candy canes, ornaments and hordes of drunk bros and bro-ettes in santa outfits parading through the sidewalks in embarasing masses. Of course, I’m speaking of ‘SantaCon’ (insert cringe). Since it’s inception in 1994, the event has slowly devolved into the glorified pub crawl that we’ve all grown to love/hate.  SantaCon San Francisco is Saturday December 12th, 2015.

With some bars and restaurants in major cities placing anti-SantaCon posters outside their doors, many protesters have even taken to Reddit claiming it to be worse than Bay to Breakers. With problems upon problems occurring in other cities like New York as well.

However, there are over 60 bars participating in SantaCon this year, so for those of you already filled with a sufficient amount of holiday cheer without the need to litter the streets with drunken buffoonery in an elf costume, here’s a quick survival guide.

To start, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. the gentrification of the North Pole will be assembling downtown at Union Square for a toy donation prior to what SantaCon organizers promote as “before you hit the bars or the flask.”  How amazing does a Santacon DJ dance party NOT sound, then here a few areas and places to avoid;

SantaCon Central

Downtown/Union Square: This is ground zero for SantaCon and the meeting point for all that is unholy from 11:30 a.m. till around 2:00 p.m.

Folsom Street / SOMA: DNA Lounge is hosting the official party with fully dressed Santas getting in free before 11 pm. Club OMG is supposedly hosting the official party in the afternoon.

Tenderloin / Nob Hill: 800 Larkin will be home to the perfect storm as they host a duel Burning Man and SantaCon party during the afternoon and night. Mayes Oyster House will also be offering SantaCon DJ sets.

Mission: You’re going to just want to avoid 16th St. Bart and Valencia Street today.

Parks: In past years, Duboce park was almost home to an afternoon snowball fight until the city quickly shut that idea down. Also, Dolores park on a Saturday is already a cluster fu*k, today’s going to be that x100.

Safe Zones

Safe Zones: Golden Gate park, Museums, Sunset and Richmond Districts and ANYWHERE BUT HERE.

What to do when spotting SantaCon groups;

Option A: Immediately cross to the opposite side of the street and go directly to your home, call your loved ones, order delivery and throw on some Netflix to wait out the storm.

Option B: Just continue on living your life and let silly people be silly (as long as they’re not hurting anyone).

An app (of course they would) is being used to conveniently highlight where all the SantaCon participants are in real time. So to track the herd, feel free to download ‘Banter!.’ which provides a real time GPS map of the city and where all the individual costumed partiers are terrorizing.

In all honesty, SantaCon does “try” to set out and raise donations alongside the SFFD for a great cause. If you would still like to offer a donation of sorts, feel free to stop by the Union Square location at 351 Geary Street on Saturday morning, then run home and lock your doors.

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David Sikorski

David Sikorski

San Francisco-based writer covering culture, music and everything this beautiful world has to offer. And yes, I am the guy that got engaged to a burrito.


  1. Andrew O. Dugas
    December 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Santacon haiku;

    san fran santacon —
    a thousand drunken santas
    paint the city red

    • Burden of proof
      December 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      It’s San Francisco, not San Fran.

  2. Miles_Long
    December 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Jeez, somebody does not like fun. I see more drunken debauchery and lewd acts during pride week than during SantaCon. I guess when it the wrong type of people doing it it’s wrong. I look forward to your seething article demagoguing that party too.

    • ramoner
      December 12, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Miles Long is the bro-frat-straight white male demographic’s Dark Knight.

  3. Thomas
    December 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I will be providing Xanax and Klonopin to my bartender friends working today

  4. Diego Villarreal
    March 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm