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Trust Invites Visitors to Enjoy Holiday Season at Presidio


​Presidio of San Francisco (October 31​, 2017) – The Presidio Trust invites visitors to enjoy the winter season in San Francisco’s urban national park. The park is a perfect destination for those who seek green in the often white winter months, and a little calm in a busy holiday schedule. Outdoors, 24 miles of snow-free hiking and biking trails, beautiful overlooks and picnic areas offer a peaceful alternative to holiday stress. Indoor options include the Officers’ Club galleries and other museums, a trampoline park, climbing gym, and more, plus free, family-friendly events this December. For those seeking activities this holiday break, the park offers ongoing Ranger talks, docent-led art walks, and plenty of opportunities to delve into history, science, food, and art. See our website for ongoing events.

The highlight of the season is Holiday Lights, the Presidio’s traditional tree lighting ceremony, which will be held on Friday, December 8 at 5 pm. The longstanding tradition of lighting a tree in the Presidio dates back to when the Presidio was a US Army post and has continued during the nearly two decades the Presidio has been a national park site. The community celebration, hugely popular with families, includes singing with the Golden Gate Carolers, a gathering inside the Presidio Community YMCA with hot cider and brownies, and concludes with a lantern-lit forest walk.

Other holiday events include cooking demonstration of a Cinderella Pumpkin Tortellini with Rogelio Garcia, Chef of The Commissary restaurant who will be a participant in Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15, which airs in December; a Holiday Sing-Along at the Presidio Officers’ Club; and a Holidays at Carolwood Exhibit sponsored by the Walt Disney Family Museum.

The Presidio Visitor Center is the place to begin any park adventure, serving as a point of orientation to all the Presidio has to offer. In the eight months since its opening, the Visitor Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors; triple the number projected. It offers state-of-the art interactive exhibits, a 3-D model display, maps, and an information desk staffed to help visitors plan their trip in the park. The Presidio Visitor Center is open seven days a week 10 am to 5 pm.

In this season of giving, volunteer opportunities to give back to the Presidio abound! Forest Stewards tend to young trees in the Presidio’s reforestation areas. Learn about urban forestry and arboriculture, while assisting with forest maintenance through planting, weeding, mulching and other stewardship activities. Trail Stewards help maintain and enhance a world-class trail system for the community to enjoy for now and forever. Volunteers establish a special connection to the Park and to others. Visit the website to learn about the dates, times and different ways you can become involved.


Attention Calendar Editors
Although our events are free, we advise visitors to register via the web links as space is limited. Photos are available on request.


Event: Holiday Traditions with Chef Rogelio Garcia of The Commissary
Date: Friday, December 1
Time: 6 pm, (doors open at 5 pm for check in)
Place: The Commissary, 101 Montgomery Street, on the Presidio’s Main Post
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Join us for an evening with Rogelio Garcia, Executive Chef of The Commissary, as he prepares his family’s holiday favorite, Cinderella Pumpkin Tortellini (free samples to the first 100 guests checked in). Chef Rogelio recently competed on season 15 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, which begins airing in December. Arguello mixologist, Enrique Sanchez, will shake up beverage pairings available for purchase.

Event: Holiday Lights: The Presidio’s Traditional Tree-Lighting Ceremony
Date: Friday, December 8
Time: 5 pm – 6:30 pm
Place: Main Post, across from Presidio Community Y (corner of Lincoln and Funston)
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Gather at the tree and sing holiday classics along with the Golden Gate Carolers—the tree lights up right at 5:30pm. Light refreshments and kids activities will follow in the Presidio Community Y gymnasium, and don’t miss the lantern-lit evening forest walk at 6:30 pm. Partners include the Presidio Y, National Park Service, US Park Police, SF Fire Department, Presidio Residences, and Art Seed.

Event: Holiday Sing-Along at the Presidio
Date: Friday, December 15
Time: 6 pm
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave. San Francisco
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Gather around the piano to share music and holiday cheer, led by performers from 42nd Street Moon. Experience wonderful seasonal favorites! Festive drinks from Arguello restaurant will be available for purchase.

Event: Home for the Holidays at Carolwood Exhibition
Date: November 9 – January 8, 2018
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Place: The Walt Disney Family Museum
Phone: (415) 345-6800
Price: Free for members or with paid museum admission
Blurb: The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to continue our holiday tradition of Home for the Holidays at Carolwood, an immersive seasonal installation celebrating Walt’s family and love of trains. The installation includes an elaborate three-dimensional model of the Disney Family home on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles—featuring Walt’s personal steam locomotive, the Lilly Belle, chugging along his Carolwood Pacific Fair Weather Route. The intricate scale model will be on view for the entire duration of the installation, however, it will be decorated with seasonal lights ceremoniously illuminated during Walt’s birthday celebration, Tuesday, December 4. Beginning December 6, the museum will invite one lucky guest to be the first to flip the switch each morning after.


Event: A Tour of General Dewitt’s Office (Complements the EXCLUSION Exhibition, see below)
Date: Saturday, December 9
Time: 10 am to 12 noon
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Join Presidio Trust Historian Dr. Barbara Berglund Sokolov and National Park Ranger James Osborne for a rare glimpse into General John DeWitt’s office, where he made the decision to imprison Japanese American citizens and non-citizens without due process. Meet inside the Presidio Officers’ Club at 10 am. We will then take a ten-minute walk on paved surfaces to the office site. The walk and the office are accessible. Reservations are not required.

Event: Presidio Book Club
Date: Saturday, December 16
Time: 1 pm – 3 pm
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave. San Francisco
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Presidio Book Club, led by Presidio Trust historian Dr. Barbara Berglund Sokolov, is an inclusive gathering that anyone can take part in, whether or not they’ve read the book. This month features Claudio Saunt’s West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 (W.W. Norton, 2014). Love the musical Hamilton? Ever wonder what was going on out west in 1776? That momentous year, Spain established a colonial outpost on today’s Presidio, Russia pushed into Alaska, and the Lakota Sioux migrated toward the Black Hills. These and other revolutionary events rocked the American continent and set the stage for what peoples and powers would control it. Expand your understanding of the nation’s founding beyond the familiar story of the thirteen colonies with this innovative, engaging history. Presented in partnership with the California Historical Society’s current exhibitions Alexander Hamilton: Treasures from the New York Historical Society and Meanwhile Out West: Colonizing California 1769-1821. Visit This book is available for purchase at the Presidio Visitor Center and the California Historical Society.

Event: Astrolecture Series: ExoComets – Now You See Them, Now You Don’t
Date: Tuesday, December 19
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave. San Francisco
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Dr. Barry Welsh will describe attributes of comets in our solar system, and observing techniques to detect evaporating exocomets around young stars. The relevance of Kepler’s discovery of “Tabby’s Star” will also be discussed. Dr. Barry Welsh received his PhD from University College of London, and studied Far IR Astronomy and Instrumentation at London and Oxford University. He researched physics and early mapping of the Interstellar Medium at the Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley. He was project manager on UV detector systems for NASA SOHO, FUSE, GALEX and HST-COS missions. He is now discovering exocomet systems and carrying out a search for optical laser pulses from exoplanet systems. Co-sponsored by the SF Amateur Astronomers and the Presidio Trust.

Event: Archaeology Lab Tours and Open House
Date & Time:
– Guided Tours – Wednesdays: December 6, 13, and 20 at 1 pm
– Open Lab Hours – Wednesdays: December 6, 13, and 20, from 2 to 4 pm
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave. San Francisco
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Price: Free
Learn about the Presidio’s archaeological excavations during this one-hour tour. See standing Spanish adobe in the Presidio Officers’ Club before moving to the state-of-the-art lab and collections facility where the Presidio’s artifacts are cleaned, catalogued, studied, and curated. Stay after for Open Lab Hours to see the behind the scenes workings of an archaeology lab and talk to the archaeologists while they work.

Event: EXCLUSION: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration
Date: Exhibition runs through March 2018, Tuesday to Sundays, 10 am – 6 pm
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 561-4400
Price: Free
During World War II, the Presidio of San Francisco—the Army’s Western Defense Command—played a pivotal role in the unjust incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, purportedly in the name of national security. This special exhibition invites visitors to investigate the choices—both personal and political—that led to this dark chapter in American history, and to reflect on what we have learned that helps us address present-day issues of mass incarceration, immigration reform, and racial profiling.

About the Presidio Trust

The Presidio Trust is an innovative federal agency created to save the Presidio and employ a partnership approach to transform it into a new kind of national park. Spanning 1,500 acres in a spectacular setting at the Golden Gate, the Presidio now operates without federal appropriations, is home to a community of residents and commercial tenants, and offers unique recreation, hospitality, and educational opportunities to people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the world. To learn more please visit​

Contact Us

Presidio Trust Media Relations

Lisa Petrie

(415) 264-7787