With Thanksgiving around the corner and holiday music playing on the radio, it’s time to make sure you get all the holiday events on your calendar. We’ve got holiday shows and Victorian-era costume opportunities so that your days are sure to be filled with merriment!

photo: Kate Loweth

San Francisco

Get Festive at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Each holiday season, the elves of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair magically transform over three acres of exhibition halls at the Cow Palace into the delightfully lively world of Charles Dickens’ London. Cheerful calls of street vendors meld with songs of holiday carolers; enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air; and inviting shops overflow with one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts. As they explore the theatres, pubs and winding lanes of Victorian London, guests are surprised and amazed at every turn by the vibrant street scenes and colorful characters out of Victorian life and fiction, including, of course, Mr. Dickens’ lively imagination. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

VOLTA by Cirque Du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil returns to the San Francisco Bay Area with VOLTA, a captivating voyage of discovery. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA explores the themes of celebrating differences and unique qualities in a world where technology often isolates people from one another rather than freeing them. Fri.-Sun. Event details

East Bay

Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure 
This show brings to life in music and dance a plucky young girl’s wacky encounter with an anxious White Rabbit and his zany friends in the off-kilter kingdom of the dreaded Red Queen and the fearsome Jabberwock. Youngsters will be dazzled by the glittering costumes with a Victorian steam punk edge and the rainbow-hued set, parts of which will grow and shrink on demand. Adults will especially delight in the music, reminiscent of ‘80s rock and witty lyrics by Michael Mahler and Rachel Rockwell. Sat.-Sun. Event details

Dance along at this new kid-friendly dance party that is sure to get you and your little one moving and shaking to the music together! Come for an hour and a half of lively music, featuring the beats of DJ E.T. Hazzard. Sun. Event details


Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Kick off the holidays jingling all the way at Hillsdale Shopping Center’s tree lighting ceremony in Macy’s Center Court. Ring in the season and Santa’s big arrival with free jingle bells and travel along the new Santa set, through an enchanted tunnel inviting passage with dancing lights and fun holiday-themed interactive displays. Sit with the jolly ole fellow himself to whisper wish lists and have the moment captured with a photo. Fri. Event details


Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka
Enjoy a trip to a world of “pure imagination” with Charlie Bucket and a host of other golden ticket winners, as they embark on a tour of Willy Wonka’s fabulous chocolate factory. Featuring songs from the 1971 Gene Wilder musical, this delightful show is sure to be a treat for children of all ages. Fri.-Sun. Event details

South Bay

Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour
This high-energy live concert experience brings beloved characters from the #1 preschool television network’s hit series to life. New to the tour this fall will be the star of Disney Junior’s most recent hit, “Fancy Nancy,” plus a live on-stage appearance by Bingo and Rolly from “Puppy Dog Pals.” Sun. Event details

A Taste of the San Jose Nutcracker
Get into the holiday spirit! Enjoy a sneak preview of a beloved classic with a San Jose twist! Performances by The New Ballet School. Sat. Event details

North Bay

Give Thanks to Food at Slide Ranch
Learn all about food and healthy eating by discovering the life on the farm. Learn the cycle of food from seed to table with an outdoor cob oven to bake bread, harvesting from the organic garden, meeting the farm animals, milking goats, making butter and more. Sat. Event details.

—Kate Loweth