Bay Area Holiday Guide 2011


Alameda County Contra Costa County San Francisco Napa County Santa Cruz County Santa Clara County Marin County San Mateo County Solano County Sonoma County San Francisco East Bay South Bay Peninsula North Bay

Twas the Night Before Christmas
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
'Twas the Night Before Christmas, a delightful family dance theatre event, guaranteed to please all ages! Performances at the Woodside Performing Arts Center on December 4th, 10th, and 11th. For tickets and information, visit

   SAN FRANCISCO       back to top

American Conservatory Theater - A Christmas Carol
Thursday, December 1, 2011 - Saturday, December 24, 2011. 415 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 [map]. (415) 749-2228.

California Academy of Sciences
Tis the Season for Science - Celebrate winter with activities and exhibits and the California Academy of Sciences. Indoor snow flurries occur twice an hour in the Piazza, Snowman Theater, live reindeer, Spice Forest, carolers, musicians, dancers, theater troupes, and more! Now until Saturday, January 16, 2012. 415 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 [map]. (415) 749-2228.

Club Fugazi - Beach Blanket Babylon
Check out the Beach Blanket Babylon holiday shows. The longest running musical revue in theatre history is a zany musical spoof of pop culture with extravagant costumes and outrageously huge hats. Now until Saturday, December 31, 2011. 678 Green Street, San Francisco CA 94133 [map]. (415) 421-4222.

Embarcadero Ice Rink
Shop, skate, and dine at the Embarcadero Center across from the historic Ferry Building. Sunday - Thursday 10:00am - 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 11:30pm (see page link for closures). 90 minute sessions start on every even hour. Justin Herman Plaza [map]. (415) 837-1931.

Fairmont Hotel San Francisco Gingerbread House

The Fairmont San Francisco
2-story gingerbread house by JW Foster now until January 1, 2012. 950 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94129 [map]. (415) 772-5000.

Ghirardelli Square Tree and Menorah
See the Ghirardelli Square tree or light the Menorah on Tuesday, December 20, 2011. 900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109 [map]. (415) 705-5500.

Hyatt Regency 
San Francisco Snow

Hyatt Regency San Francisco
The Hyatt Lobby will experience snow in the atrium lobby 1pm, 6pm and 8pm every day -- now until December 31, 2011. 2 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133 [map]. (415) 788-1234.

Pier 39
Holiday sights and sounds at Pier 39 with live music daily now until December 31, 2011. The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133 [map]. (415) 775-5500.

Presidio Tree
55-foot Pine tree in the Presidio and holiday lights. Lincoln Blvd & Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129 [map]. (415) 561-5300.

San Francisco Zoo
Adopt a Reindeer - Holly, Velvet, Peppermint and Belle will be on exhibit every day through January 1, 2011. 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco, CA 94132 [map]. (415) 753-7080.

Union Square menorah christmas tree

Union Square
Menorah, tree, and ice skating. Ice Skating at Union Square now until Monday January 16, 2012. Union Square, San Francisco, CA [map]. (415) 781-2688.

War Memorial Opera House - The Nutcracker
San Francisco Ballet presents The Nutcracker - Friday, December 9, 2011 to Tuesday, December 27, 2011. 301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102 [map]. (415) 865-2000.

Westin St. Francis San Francisco sugar castle

The Westin St. Francis
12-foot Sugar Castle created by Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Francois Houdré. The castle will be on display now until Tuesday, January 3, 2012. 335 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102 [map]. (415) 397-7000.

   EAST BAY       back to top

Alameda County

Jack London Square
Jack London Square Lights Up for the Holidays - See the holiday tree near the harbor along with shops, restaurants and boats. 10 Washington St. Oakland, CA 94607 [map]. (510) 645-9292.

Oakland Zoo
Light Up with Holiday Spirit at ZooLights - Family friendly event with festive music and a meadow light show. Friday, December 2, 2011 - Sunday, January 1, 2012 (Closed December 24 & 25). 9777 Golf Links Rd Oakland, CA 94605 [map]. (510) 632-9525, ext 100.

Contra Costa County

Walnut Creek on Ice
Get Your Skate On! - Public skating at outdoor ice rink in downtown, Walnut Creek now through Sunday, January 16, 2012. 1777 Botelho Drive, Suite 103 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 [map]. (925) 935 - SNOW (7669).

Solano County

Jelly Belly Factory
Christmas tree, brunch with Santa, Menorah lighting/Chanukah Celebration along with tours, activities, entertainment and refreshments -- various activities throughout December. 1 Jelly Belly Ln., Fairfield, CA 94533 [map]. (800) 953-5592.

   SOUTH BAY       back to top

Santa Clara County

Gilroy Gardens
19 nights of laser lights and fireworks to music! 15-minute laser light spectacular runs once a night during special dates in December, 4pm - 9pm. 3050 Hecker Pass Rd Gilroy, CA 95020. [map].

Mission Santa Clara de Asis - A Chanticleer Christmas
Grammy-winning vocal ensemble in the Bay Area. Thursday, December 22, 2011. 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053 [map]. (415) 252-8589.

Vasona Lake County Park - Fantasy of Lights
13th Annual Fantasy of Lights - 1.5 mile drive through holiday lights with larger-than-life displays while special sounds plays on your car radio. Ride the Reindeer Express Luxury Bus Tour if you do not want to wait in a long line. Friday, November 25, 2011  Saturday , December 31, 2011 nightly including holidays. 333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032 [map]. (408) 355-2201.

Santa Cruz County

Downtown Santa Cruz
Holiday activities and sights throughout December in downtown: toy trains, window displays, victorian carriage rides, Santa Scavenger Hunt, holiday story readings, and more! Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [map]. (831) 429-8433.

Wilder Ranch State Park
Holidays on the Ranch Activities, music and merriment from 11:00pm to 3:00pm. Tour the holiday displays in the ranch homes while experiencing the holiday fun had during the days of Rancho, Victorian, and early 20th Century times - enjoy crafts, games, music and merriment! Saturday, December 10, 2011. Wilder Ranch State Park Felton, California [map]. (831) 426-0505.

   PENINSULA        back to top

San Mateo County

Downtown Burlingame
Christmas tree near the City Hall plaza plus shops, restaurants and holiday decor. 501 Primrose Rd, Burlingame, CA 94010 [map].

Cow Palace - The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
A holiday adventure into Victorian London. Friday, November 25, 2011 - Sunday, December 18, 2011 11am-7pm. 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City, CA 94014 [map]. (415) 404-4100.

Historic Fox Theatre - The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker by Peninsula Ballet Theatre - Saturday, December 10, 2011 opening night, plus other nights in December. Fox Theatre, 2223 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063 [map]. (650) 342-3262.

South San Francisco neighborhood displays,_California
Parkway Estates, South San Francisco [map].
Lilac Lane, South San Francisco [map].

   NORTH BAY       back to top

Marin County

Bay Area Discovery Museum
Kwanzaa Celebration - art projects inspired by the African continent and a Kwanzaa altar in the Museum's Entry Pavilion. Two free performances by the African Roots of Jazz. Monday, December 26, 2011. Also, gingerbread-making throughout December plus a holiday concert. 557 McReynolds Rd Sausalito, CA 94965. [map]. (415) 339-3900.

San Rafael - Lighted Boat Parade
Annual lighted boat parade in the San Rafael Canal. Saturday, December 17, 2011, at 6pm. 200 Yacht Club Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. [map]. (415) 526-7528.

Sausalito - Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks
Light up the season with a parade and fireworks in Sausalito. Saturday, December 10, 2011, at 6pm. Sausalito, CA 94965. [map]. (415) 990-1630.

Napa County

Napa Valley Opera House - A Charlie Brown Christmas with David Benoit
Holiday smooth jazz live music with Grammy-nominated musician, composer and arranger, David Benoit. Thursday, December 22, 2011. 1030 Main St., Napa, CA 94559 [map] (707) 226-7372.

Napa Wine Train
Ride the Santa Express Train with special guest...Santa! A family-friendly event with trains running for an hour and a half from the city of Napa to the town of Yountville and back (not the regular three-hour lunch and dinner trains). Special dates in December. 1040 Main St., Napa, CA 94559 [map] (707) 226-7372.

Sonoma County

Santa Rosa Neighborhood Lights
Steiner Ct., Santa Rosa [map]
Walnut Ct., Santa Rosa [map]

Windsor Town Green - Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove
Go downtown for dinner and snow: Snow machines will produce "snow flurries" at 5:30pm and again at 7:30pm every evening at the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove. Thursday, December 1, 2011 - Friday, January 6, 2011. McClelland Drive, Windsor, California 95492 [map]

uReport uReport holiday lights slideshow uReport powered by YouTube