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SantaCon in Union Square

  • Emporio Rulli Union Square

    333 Post Street, San Francisco, CA (map)

    37.788441 -122.407303

  • Meet at the tables outside the cafe, in the north east corner of Union Square. If it's raining, meetup upstairs in the Apple Store across the street on Post. Call Laurie if you can't find us (415)[masked]
  • Price: $2.00 /per person

    Refund policy

  • This flash mob event brings together hundreds of people dressed in Santa costumes parading around the city, visiting landmarks, drinking at bars, and causing general mayhem.

    If the Santas are too drunk you can sketch a gigantic Christmas tree, ice skaters, buskers, choirs, festive store windows—and an awful lot of shoppers. And if you want to just ignore the whole Christmas thing, Union Square is a great place to sketch city buildings.

    See our sketches from last year's SantaCon here.

    12:00 Meet at the tables outside the cafe, in the Northeast corner of Union Square. If it's raining, meetup upstairs in the Apple Store across the street on Post. There are lots of benches and tables up there and they're happy to have people hang out. Be sure to bring Laurie's cell phone number, (415)[masked], because it might be hard to find each other in the crowd. 

    2:30 Meet up again to share sketches and chat. If it's sunny we'll meet at Emporio Rulli's outdoor tables where we can sketch the ice skaters and warm our fingers on mugs of hot cocoa. If it's raining we'll meet inside the Apple Store. 

    I will post an update when we've got a reliable weather forecast, but make sure you've got my number (415)[masked] on your cell phone so you can find us if we have to change plans at the last minute.


    Lots of layers of warm clothes, glove and hats. Sitting still and sketching is chilly business. 

    A folding stool is nice if you don't want to sit on the cold concrete steps and walls, but you can also pick up a newspaper to sit on.

    Some money for hot food or cocoa to warm you up when we meet up after sketching.

    Red paints, pencils, pastels for that sea of red Santa hats. And maybe a little gold for sparkly tinsel highlights?


    Transit: It's a short walk from Powell or Montgomery BART/MUNI stations. Most of the buses in the city pass through this area, along Market Street, Geary, Post or Stockton.

    Bike: There are good bike lanes along Market but I don't know how secure the bike parking around here is.

    Car: There is paid parking under Union Square. Also at the Sutter Stockton garage to the north and the 5th & Mission garage to the south. But better not to drive if you don't have to because the holiday traffic will be awful.


    In 2012 a few of us sketched here at night. The blazing Christmas lights were spectacular, but it was cold. (See sketches here) So in 2013 we sketched in the afternoon and stayed a bit warmer (See those sketches here).

    See the Chronicle's photos of a previous SantaCon here.

    If you want to come early and do some ice skating, read about it here:

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  • Rae E.

    This sounds like so much fun. Yeah! Looking forward to it. Some fun events coming!! Thank you.

    November 5

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  • Sandra

    I live in Oakland, haven't sketched much recently, but used to do it a lot, would enjoy a group.

  • Guy
  • CJ

    hello, I'm a painter, sculptor, graphic designer and photographer ... more

  • Janet G.

    Hi, I mostly paint with watercolor and/or ink, but I like drawing with colored pencils too.

  • Cathy M.

    Berkeley sketcher

  • Paul W.

    I've drawn and painted with a purpose most of my adult life and have kept journals since the... more

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