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San Francisco Festivals and Holiday Events - December

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The Main Event Calendar has more: Santa visits, holiday lights, pet holiday events, community event posts

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San Francisco Festivals - December 2008

Additional holiday events will post as dates become available. Details are subject to change. Always check with the organization or venue for updates.

The San Francisco New Year's Eve guide has Dec 31, 2008 events.

Ongoing Events - Through December 2008

Reindeer Romp and Ice Skating
Nov 22, 2008 to Jan 1, 2009 - San Francisco Zoo
Kids can visit with Santa's reindeer, enjoy ice skating and other activities

Velveteen Rabbit
Nov 27 to Dec 14 - Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
ODC/Dance presents its 22nd season of the beloved dance/theater production

Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Nov 28 to Dec 21 - Cow Palace
Holiday adventure into Victorian London - costumed players in 90,000+ square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance parties and Christmas shops

Holidays at the Mark
Through December - Top of the Mark (Intercontinental Mark Hopkins)
Events from holiday tea and children's tea to Christmas and New Year's Eve dinners and dance

Oakland - Strolling Carolers
Dec 2 to Dec 19 - Oakland City Center/Plaza
Carolers stroll the plaza every Tuesday and Friday from 11a to 1p

A Christmas Carol
Dec 4 to 27 - ACT (American Conservatory Theater)
Bay Area holiday tradition directed by Domenique Lozano

Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz
Dec 5 through Dec 24
Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
Children and their favorite stuffed animals gather daily at The Lobby Lounge's fireplace for traditional tea with Binky the Elf

San Francisco Symphony-Holiday Concerts 2008
Dec 7 to Jan 1 - Davies Symphony Hall
Series of holiday concerts for the entire family

Holiday Events at Grace Cathedral

  • A Cathedral Christmas with the Choir of Men and Boys (Dec 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21)
  • A Brass & Organ Christmas (Dec 8)
  • Handel's Messiah w/American Bach Soloists (Dec 18 & 19)
  • A Family Sing-Along (Dec 20)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dec 31)
  • Holidays at Ardenwood Historic Farm (Fremont)

    • Dec 5-7 - Christmas at Ardenwood
    • Dec 12 - Evening at the Patterson House
    • Dec 13 & 14 - Patterson House Christmas Teas
    • Dec 11-14 and 18-21 - Christmas House Tours

    Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
    Nov 29, Dec 6-7, 12-14, 19-22
    Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton
    Sip hot-spiced cider, listen to carolers while riding the holiday train

    Gilroy Gardens Holiday Lights
    Dec 5-7, 12-14, 19-23, 26-28 (4p to 9p)
    MIllions of lights, all-you-can-eat traditional holiday feast, ice skating, rides, in a Charlie Brown Christmas theme

    Living LEGO-cy: Holiday Train Display
    Museum of American Heritage - Palo Alto
    Dec 7 to Jan 11, 2009
    Visitors explore a variety of LEGO creation and an operating LEGO train layout featuring creations by club members - with a 12x25 foot train layout running through Bay Area locales

    Ballet San Jose - The Nutcracker
    Dec 11 to Dec 28 - San Jose
    Regular performances and children's matinees

    Cave Music
    In Napa, Sonoma & other California Wine Country Locations

    • Dec 20 & 21 (5p): Napa - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
    • Dec 27 & 28 (2p): Calistoga - Cave of the Drums - Clos Pegase Winery
    • Jan 3 & 4 (2p): Los Gatos - Cave of the Spirits - Byington Winery

    Holiday Events - In Chronological Order

    Berkeley Festival of Lights
    Dec 1 - Berkeley Civic Center Park - 3p to 6p[br} Tree lighting at 6p, make a luminaria to light the walkways, draw hopes for the future on Berkeley’s giant New Year’s Card, donate a warm coat or canned food, enter raffle for Twelve Nights Out in Berkeley, plus holiday music and entertainment, hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and his elves arrive at 5p for the kids

    Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony - Ritz Carlton
    Ritz-Carlton San Francisco - 600 Stockton at California
    Dec 2 - 5:30p to 7:30p -Free - 40-foot tree illuminated by Santa Claus and his helper from the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation - includes Dickens-era costumed carolers, hot cider, roasted chestnuts, holiday confections, and visit with Santa

    Christmas Celebration (Oakland)
    Dec 3 - Noon to 1p - Oakland City Center
    Featuring the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and a visit from Father Christmas

    Holiday Lights - Tree Lighting Ceremony
    Dec 5 - Presidio (corner of Lincoln Blvd and Funston Ave at the Main Post) - 5:30p to 6:30p
    Decades-old Presidio tradition - light refreshments will follow at the Presidio Fire Station

    Creativity Explored: Holiday Art Sale
    Dec 5 to Dec 30 - Creativity Explored (3245 16th Street)
    Thousands of original creations and holiday gift ideas

    Seasons Greenings
    Dec 6 - Crissy Field Center - 10a
    Family event - $1 to 5 (for activities - make your own gift from reusable and recycled materials

    Jack London Lighted Yacht Parade (Oakland)
    Dec 6 - Jack London Square
    Tree lighting, Santa visit and family festivities

    Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios
    Dec 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 - 11a to 6p
    More than 100 professional artists, craftspeople, and galleries in Berkeley open their doors to the public during the 18th annual open studios

    Women's Building Celebration of Craftswomen
    Dec 6 to 7 - Herbst Pavilion (Fort Mason) - 10a to 5p
    Holiday fine crafts retail fair benefitting the Women's Building

    Union Street Fantasy of Lights
    Month-long festivities start on Dec 6 from 3p to 6p
    Santa arrives at 5p, kids activities, jugglers, face painters, meet the Snow Queen

    Oakland Holiday Parade
    Dec 6 - Broadway and 11th Street to 20th Street, to Harrison Street - 2p
    Holiday children's parade in downtown Oakland

    San Jose Holiday Parade
    Dec 7 - Starts at Santa Clara St and Delmas Ave - 8:30a
    Large annual parade with floats, more than 2 dozen marching bands, clowns, Santa Claus

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