In case you’ve never taken your little one to tea, now might be the perfect opportunity. One of the best times to take children for a high tea experience is during the holidays when everybody’s feeling festive and willing to put on a fancy outfit. You just might start a yearly tradition. Here are some lovely places in the East Bay and San Francisco that have arranged a special Christmas-season event for young tea-lovers. Pinkies up!
Holiday Tea in the (510)
Stay in the East Bay for a special Christmas tea service at some of these lovely spots.
Malaya Tea Room, Alameda
Malaya Tea Room is a tribute to the British Malaya era, so think High Tea with an Asian twist. They’re not having a specific holiday tea service, but do offer a full High Tea as well as a Wee Tea Service for kids under 10. To-go options are available too if you’d like to make your playground visit a highly dignified event.
When: Hours are 11 am – 5:30 pm Thursday – Sunday. They offer indoor and sidewalk dining in three seatings: 11 am, 1:15 pm & 3:30 pm. Reservations required.
Cost: $28 per person, $20 age ten and under.
Where: 920 Central Avenue, Alameda CA 94501
Tyme for Tea, Fremont
A cute tearoom with a beautiful Victorian flare, Tyme for Tea is offering a special menu for the holidays every weekend in December. Holiday reservations open on November 15, so get yours early.
When: Every weekend in December. Reservations required.
Cost: $45 per person.
Where: 37501 Niles Blvd. Fremont, CA. 94536
USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum, Alameda
This tea service will be held in the historic USS Hornet’s original Officers’ Wardroom, making use of real US Navy china! All proceeds from the event go to the continued care of the Museum’s exhibits and artifacts. Tickets include General Admission to the Museum, which is open from 10 am – 5 pm. Tea sandwiches, cookies and even mini quiche make this one special tea service, along with a cornucopia of tea and even chocolate milk. Of note, there are steep stairs to get to the tea, so keep that in mind.
When: December 18, 11 am – 1 pm and 3 pm – 5 pm. Reservations required.
Cost: $35 per person.
Where: 707 W Hornet Ave, Alameda, CA 94501
Buy tickets here >
San Francisco Holiday Tea Services
The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco
Fairmont San Francisco’s two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the hotel’s grand lobby is a wonderful holiday attraction. There’s an impressive moving train and giant Christmas tree, too.
When: November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022, Thurs-Sun and daily the weeks before and after the Christmas holiday. Seatings at 1 pm and 3:30 pm. Tea is not available on Dec. 24, 25, and various other days.
Cost: $149 per adult, $89 for children under 12 (plus tax + gratuity) Reservations required.
Where: 950 Mason Street San Francisco, CA 94108
Lovejoy’s Tea Room, San Francisco
This adorable tea shop accepts reservations online, via phone or email, as well as walk-ins. They also allow picky kids and adults to customize their high tea experience. A la carte ordering is a big relief for my family!
When: Thursday through Sunday, seatings 11 am to 3 pm with extended hours the week before Christmas
Cost: $25.95 for high tea with each additional for $24 and many custom packages for more and less
Where: 1351 Church Street San Francisco in Noe Valley (415) 648-5895
Children’s Magical Tea, Top of the Mark, San Francisco
Children’s Magical Tea includes balloon art, face painting, a cookie decorating station, and Santa Claus some days. The menu includes the classics and some interesting kid-friendly additions.
When: Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19 from 12 pm – 3 pm
Cost: $90 per guest or $85 if you bring a new toy donation – reservations required, ages 4+
Where: 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill (415) 616-6941
Sip Tea Room, San Francisco
Right near Golden Gate Park in the Sunset District, Sip Tea Room is offering a Holiday Tea Service with special music and activities. They’re also hosting Mrs. Claus on Friday, December 17 with stories, music, and pictures with Santa’s better half. Oh, and they’ll have hot chocolate if that’s more your thing.
Teddy Bear Tea, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Children enjoy hot chocolate, teddy bear sweets, small sandwiches while watching an entertaining elf performance. Kids receive a commemorative teddy bear as a gift.
When: Nov. 27-Dec. 19
Cost: $157 per guest includes one teddy bear for 11 and under. Children under 2 are free, but $35 if you’d like to get them a teddy bear.
Where: Terrace Room at The Ritz-Carlton
Buy tickets in advance >
Crown & Crumpet, San Francisco and Ross
Crown & Crumpet’s annual Holiday High Tea is a favorite with families, and they now have a new location in Ross in addition to their Japantown location in San Francisco. Expect a lovely selection of tea sandwiches, crumpets, scones, macarons, and more. The Holiday Tea is occurring throughout December, with reservations required. They’ll even have a Christmas cracker surprise for the kids. This year they’re also offering a special, more elevated pop-up event in Marin, details coming soon.
When: Throughout December, ending on Dec. 23.
Where: 1746 Post Street, San Francisco CA, 94115, and 22 Ross Common, Ross, CA, 94957
Website for reservations >
Dollie + Me Holiday Tea at The Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
The first annual Dollie + Me Holiday tea invites children to enjoy a special tea experience of hot chocolate, sweet treats and tea sandwiches, while enjoying a fun holiday crafting event hosted by kit & sis™. Each child will receive a goodie bag with crafts to be enjoyed with their dolls. You’re also just across the street from the Union Square skate rink if you want to make a full day of it.
When: Saturday & Sunday December 18 & 19, 12 pm – 2 pm
Cost: Ages 4 + $65, Adults $85 Tickets available here>
Where: 335 Powell Street (between Geary and Post), San Francisco
Other High Tea Options in the Bay Area
Dainteas Afternoon Tea Parlour, Concord
A tea parlor made for kids of all ages, decorated whimsically with an Alice in Wonderland theme. A tea room without the un-kid-friendly pretensions of a tea room. While they’re not doing a holiday tea specifically, you can still enjoy a High Tea with your little ones in style. Scone, tea sandwiches and strawberry shortcake all adorn their Pix-Fixed Menu, along with quite an assortment of teas. Reservation only, as well as a fun to-go option if you’d like to create your own High Tea at home.
The Rotunda, San Francisco
If you’re already in the city doing some holiday shopping at Neiman Marcus, why not stop in at the Rotunda for a perfectly civilized afternoon tea service. While they’re not offering a special Holiday Tea, the store will be decked out in its holiday best, so it’ll still feel pretty special.
The Royal TEA Garden, Pleasanton
This tearoom delivers the classic afternoon tea experience with a fun atmosphere and plenty of tiny little bites to satisfy your sweet (or savory) tooth. Private catering is offered, as well as delivery through your favorite apps.
When: Three seatings, at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, open on Tuesday and Thursday – Sunday. Reservations required.
Cost: $35 – $60 per person
Where: 163 West Neal Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566
Teddy Bear Tea at The Gardens at Heather Farms, Walnut Creek
This popular event is already sold out. But there’s always next year!
Patisserie Angelica’s Magical Holiday Tea, Sebastopol
Christmas Tea not happening this year, but will be back next year
One of our favorite Christmas and High Teas are understandably sitting out this year due to the pandemic. But we look forward to when they’ll be back in the years to come: Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, Oakland.
[Photos used with permission from the businesses as indicated; photo from Sir Francis Drake by Heather Flett]
Find more to do in our East Bay Holiday Events Guide.