You’d better not pout because kiddos, it’s the weekend. Time to throw on your favorite holiday sweater and hit up our faves from holiday theater performances down to a night hike like no other. Head out and hit the town!

Weekend Holiday Activities

San Francisco

A Merry-achi Christmas
Led by the incomparable José Hernández, Mariachi Sol de Mexico® returns to Davies Symphony Hall for a festive musical tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions. Experience a truly international celebration with the ensemble singing and playing holiday favorites from both Mexico and America in a vibrant performance that will have the whole family dancing in the aisles. Sun. Event details

Presidio Tree Lighting
Light the tree and sing holiday classics along with the Golden Gate Carolers. Light refreshments and kids activities will follow in the Presidio Community Y gymnasium. After the tree lighting, don’t miss the lantern-lit evening forest walk at 6 p.m. Fri. Event details

Red, White and GREEN Holiday Cruise
For a truly Bay Area experience, book your spot on this 90-minute cruise with a very festive flair. This cruise includes a special appearance from Santa, a massive lit up Rudolf nose on the bow of the vessel, free Santa hats, giveaways, games, holiday-themed drinks, music and more! Bring the family, take in the sights and enjoy some holiday cheer out on the Bay. Sat.-Sun. Event details

East Bay

Baron Davis Presents Black Santa
Join us this holiday season as Baron Davis Presents Black Santa’s U Wish Workshop in Oakland. The exclusive pop-up winter wonderland will feature Black Santa merchandise, Mrs.C’s Sweet Shop which offers nostalgic novelty holiday sweets, festive workshops including ornament making and writing dreamer notes, meet-and-greets with Black Santa and Mrc. C, photo opportunities for the whole family and special events such as kids’ yoga and dance parties. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Oakland ZooLights
Experience the zoo in a new light! Soar over the Oakland hills in festively-lit gondolas and see the entire Bay Area like never before! Enjoy laser light shows, thousands of holiday lights, a candy cane lane-themed Adventure Landing with rides your kids will love, Santa Claus on select nights and a music-themed light show that’s sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. Don’t forget to warm up with some hot cocoa and homemade s’mores, available at Flamingo Plaza at the Zoo’s main entrance. Fri.-Sun. Event details

South Bay

It’s that Time of Year: Christmas in the Park!
San Jose’s most famous holiday lights and Christmas party is open every day and even on Christmas Day! From 9 a.m. to midnight you can cruise the attractions including the Lima Train, a Victorian Village featuring an animated Nutcracker Suite exhibit and Santa’s Photo Den. Guests enter a winter wonderland of lights, songs and local entertainment while strolling through an enchanted forest of trees and Christmas houses decorated by San Jose schools, community groups and businesses. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Tandy Beal & Company Presents “JOY”
Kick off the holiday season with this exuberant family-friendly mix of brilliant visuals, rib-tickling circus comedy and stunning acrobatics. Award-winning a cappella group SoVoSó will accompany this magical madcap holiday circus featuring world-class acrobats, dancers and performers in a zany holiday spectacular. Fri.-Sun. Event details


BayLUG Holiday Show Featuring LEGO
The Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto hosts their annual BayLUG Holiday Show featuring LEGO® this year on Fridays-Sundays, through Jan. 13. See trains, an amusement park, Christmas displays and more. Admission to the exhibit is $3/person. After checking out the display, spend some time enjoying MOAH’s Vintage Toys: It’s Child’s Play exhibit. Fri.-Sun. Event details

The Elves and the Shoemaker
Elves have a long, proud tradition of helping humankind. When two Elves are sent to help a poor shoemaker, can they turn his luck around? A world premiere adaptation of the classic folk tale. This performance is 45 minutes long and appropriate for all ages. Fri.-Sat. Event details

North Bay

Oceans Aglow: Family Night Hike & Campfire
Join NatureBridge Golden Gate to discover one of the most amazing natural phenomenon, bioluminescence. Hike out to Rodeo Beach and explore the sands for twinkling plankton. Where did they come from? Why are they blinking? Are they here all the time? We will try and answer all these and other questions. Sat. Event details

Marine Science Sunday
Wrap up 2018 with a special program highlighting Seal and Sea Lion Superstars of 2018! Learn how dedicated volunteers and veterinary staff at The Marine Mammal Center work to get sick and injured marine mammal patients healthy and back out to their ocean home for the holidays. Sun. Event details

—Kate Loweth