What are the BEST Magic Shows in San Francisco California for 2020?
As well as its rich history, San Francisco has great magic with shows such as Teatro ZinZanni, Bay Area Dinner Show, The California Magic Club and Magic Man at the Speakeasy. Add to it the Golden Gate bridge, its hilly streets, Alcatraz and its Chinatown and you have just a few of the reasons why San Francisco is a world-class travel destination.
And for magic fans, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of opportunities to catch some magic. The fog alone will magically make things disappear and reappear! If you are seeking something with a little (or a lot) more entertainment value, many talented performers grace the Bay Area with their magic skills. There are weekly and monthly shows, dinner shows and variety shows. Explore the SF magic shows on our list and you are sure to find something that will make for a great date night, birthday celebration or a fun time with friends.
What are the Top Magic Shows in San Francisco Now?
401 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
Ivan's show Secrets and Illusions takes you on a journey to Paris, where you will be taken through the Louvre Museum galleries, accompanied by live cello music... the musical muse bringing to life priceless works of art and illusion. Each artful vignette is thoughtfully created, weaving stories and magic throughout. This show has a blend of audience participation and storytelling. Check out the show in Boston while Ivan takes a break from his regular running intimate LA illusion show.
The Embarcadero and Broadway, San Francisco
Broadway & The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94111
Re-Opening Fall 2022
While not exactly a magic show, this cabaret-style theatre has a little bit of everything, and you may just think it is magical none-the-less. Part circus, part vaudeville and part cabaret, this popular dinner theatre show is an event you won't soon forget. After many years of success in San Francisco, the Teatro Zinzanni had to close its doors due to the America's Cup preparations. The group has plans though to reopen in a permanent location in the Embarcadero, once again throwing open the doors to the Belgian Spiegeltent for an evening of dining and entertainment that is bold, brazen and just plain fun.
Show Duration: The evening is approximately 3 hours long.
Food and Drink: The ticket price includes dinner. Drinks and gratuity are extra.
Age Restriction: Recommended for ages 10 and older.
K-Elements Korean BBQ
2140 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
Dubbed the Billionaire Magician, Dan Chan has performed for numerous corporate and private clients. His dinner show experience is one of a kind, in that each show is improvised, drawing from a "large bag of tricks". There are two choices for the evening. Enjoy dinner and a show at K-Elements Korean BBQ, or just come for the show. You will be treated to dinner before the show with some sleight of hand done at the tables before the show. After dinner you will leave the dining area and enjoy an intimate magic show with Dan. Even his young son James gets in on the act. Great for a family night out.
Food and Drink: Food and drink are available.
Age Restriction: Family friendly show.
514 Main St, Martinez
514 Main St
Martinez, CA 94553
Friday and Saturday nights
This is a dinner show theatre that includes a three course meal and an hour long magic show. Each weekend features a different performer, so you can visit time and again and always catch something new and exciting. One price includes it all, meal, entertainment, tax, etc. No hidden fees. You will get the added bonus of table magic between courses. This is a great all-in-one evening. Shows often sell out, so get your tickets early.
Show Duration: Doors open at 7:15pm and the evening ends at 10:30pm.
Food and Drink: The ticket price includes dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, tax and a show. Gratuity not included.
Age Restriction: Recommended for 13 years and older.
San Francisco, CA 94133
First Sunday of each Month
Kevin Blake loves a good mystery and helps bring magic into the 21st century with an interactive and modern tale of magic. Revel in the mystery and astonishment. This 75-minute show is for adults 21 and older. It is a blend of sophistication, mentalism, sleight-of-hand and daring questions. Who believes in magic if not the magician himself? The show is held in a secret underground Speakeasy, otherwise known as the Palace Theatre, otherwise known as the Boxcar Theatre. Confusing yes, but magic is supposed to be confounding and mysterious.
Show Duration: The show runs 75 minutes with no intermission.
Food and Drink: Cocktails are available at the bar.
Age Restriction: Strictly 21 and older.
Parking: Close to public transit. Also affordable garage parking nearby.
419 O'Farrell St, San Francisco
419 O'Farrell St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Thursday through Sunday
Enter the Oasis lounge to start your evening of magic, mentalism and comedy with Jay Alexander. You can purchase appetizers and cocktails in the lounge before the main show. Arrive a little early and be treated to some sleight of hand magic to start things off. Then you will be invited to enter the main showroom where Jay will delight you with and unforgettable show. Jay has performed for big and small, famous and the yet-to-be famous. Suitable for children 8 and up, a great date night, and a fun time for visitors to San Francisco.
Food and Drink: Drinks and appetizers available for purchase.
Age Restriction: Recommended for children 12+. (If you have an exceptionally smart child that is younger than 12 and well behaved, feel free to bring them.)
Parking: Close to public transit. Paid parking nearby.
144 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Once a month
The San Francisco Magic Hour happens once a month at PianoFight, a well-known San Francisco venue for Indie entertainment. PianoFight is also a restaurant and bar, on top of being a theatre, so a meal and drinks can easily be a part of your great evening out. Each month the San Francisco Magic Hour presents a different group of magicians and performers, drawing from performers across the country. Vegas names, cruise ship entertainers, the Magic Castle alumni and off-Broadway performers are just some of the acts you might find any given month at the Magic Hour. And don't be fooled by the name, as the show is actually 75-minutes long!
Show Duration: The show runs 75 minutes.
Food and Drink: Food and drinks available for purchase.
Parking: Close to public transit. Paid parking nearby, as well as street parking which is free after 6pm.
156 Eddy Street, San Francisco
Ryan has been intrigued with and has practiced magic since he was six, and went on to study theatre in both high school and college. He brings his unbridled energy and comedic talents to the stage where he performs regularly at the Exit Theatre. The show is approximately 90-minutes long and starts a little bit later, allowing plenty of time for a fantastic San-Francisco meal beforehand in one of the areas many restaurants. Join him for his show, "The Magic Party" on select Friday evenings.
Age Restriction: All ages are welcome. Family friendly, however the show is recommended for ages 12+.
Parking: Paid parking nearby, as well as street parking which is free after 6pm.
156 Eddy Street, San Francisco
Once a month
A group of crazy guys and a variety of entertainment make up the San Francisco Magic and Variety Show. Tons of fun, chuckles and of course magic. There's also juggling, comedy and some pretty crazy weird stunts. Don't look away! You'll witness amazing escapes and surprising sleight of hand. There's sideshow feats and lots and lots of laughs and comedy. Located in the heart of San Francisco near Union Square, you'll not have to look far for great pre-show or after-show food and drinks. Join the host Frisco Fred for a once a month show that helps bring a little bit of Vaudeville back to life.
See Website for Dates
Nathaniel loves magic and loves performing. He performs all over the Bay area in places like libraries, community centers, magic clubs and tourist areas. With a degree from UC Berkely in applied math and theatre, he brings his love of magic to audiences of all ages. In fact Nathaniel loves magic so much, that he offers kids a two week summer magic camp in partnership with Firecracker Math. Sign up for a full day of math and magic, or just for magic camp in the afternoons.
Age Restriction: All ages are welcome. Family friendly.
San Francisco Magic History
San Francisco. This town is serious fun. It is home to city blocks of delectable food, a mind-blowing music scene, cultural festivals and little niches of varying eras to visit. Hike, bike, walk, boat! There are mountains, beaches, scenic masterpieces, and wildlife. The culture is diverse; hip yet historical and energetic. It is no surprise that people flocked here in the early days to make this their home, including one very famous magician. Read on.
Traveling back to the late 1960s, two brothers Peter and Cedric Clute came upon the opportunity of a lifetime in an old San Francisco warehouse. Thirty-one tons of tricks, props, and crates full of magical delights once belonging to the famous magician Charles Carter, also known as Carter the Great. The brothers offered to buy the collection from the nephew of Mrs. Carter, but now they needed a place to put it all. It just happened that Peter was a piano player in Turk Murphy's Jazz Band whose home was a club called Earthquake McGoons. The magical cache soon came to be stored in the basement of the club. The brothers along with Turk Murphy decided after a time that something should be done with their bounty, and the Magic Cellar was born. The space was filled with classic magic posters and playbills, magic memorabilia, props big and small... a treasure trove of magic. Many magic lovers spent hours in the cellar coming for the first show and staying for the second, even though it was often the same show!
But how did all those crates of magical joy get there you may ask. The story goes that Carter the Great and his wife Corrine bought property in 1929 overlooking San Francisco Bay. On it they built what came to be known as the Carter Manor. It was a splendidly embellished Tudor manor style home filled with lush, expensive and exotic items from Carter the Great's many world tours. Little is known about the actual contents of the home today, but what is known is that it had a magic theatre in the basement that could hold 150 guests. Carter himself wrote a letter saying that the plans for the house included moving pictures, disappearing bars, and an electrically operated dining room floor that raised and lowered the table, among other magical delights. Other than the basement theater, it is unknown if any of his grand plans ever came to be part of the final home. Carter tried to sell the home shortly after building it but was never successful at getting the asking price of $90,000 which would have been a fortune back then. After Charles died his show moved from Carter Manor to the home of Larry Carter, Charles son, and then into a warehouse owned by Corrine Carter, moving from place to place until being discovered by Peter and Cedric Clute.
The history of the Carter treasure trove including some of the greatest illusions ever then continues, when after the Magic Cellar closes the items once again find themselves being moved from warehouse to basement to warehouse. They are offered for sale to the actor and well-known amateur magician Harry Anderson. Harry, who is known for the sitcom Night Court, was also a magician with some serious chops. He is purported to have honed his skills as a teenager traveling from city to city, often performing street magic. It is said he spent a year in San Francisco when he was 17 years old, making money as a street magician. Even with his success on TV, he went on to tour as a magician. It was common knowledge that he loved all things magic. But upon being offered the Carter collection, Harry turned it down. Harry's secretary then passed on news of the items to an unsavory LA magician, who eventually bought, cataloged and then promptly sold the collection. Carter the Great, one of the masters of the Golden Age of Magic, and the magic show that was his lifetime has now disappeared once again. Sadly, now you see it, now you don't.
PAST San Francisco Magic Shows
Champions of Magic
Five international magicians come together for one fantastically theatrical show. Included in the grand spectacles are levitation, disappearance, and teleportation, as well as some wonderful up-close magic and mind-reading. Together these top magicians have over 20 million online views between them, and they will be sure to thrill and surprise audiences everywhere. There are only three shows, so get tickets early to this world-wide touring illusion show. The Saturday matinee show is a great choice for a family treat, as this show is suitable for all ages.
Don't let the fog fool you, there is lots of magic going on in the San Francisco Bay area and a fun night out is just around the corner, even if the corner is a little hard to see through the mist. If you are visiting San Francisco, or are a long-time resident, be sure to check out one of these exciting SF magic shows that are sure to be a source of delight and wonder.