‘Tis the season for good behavior. So stay out of trouble this weekend with our fun and festive picks from around the Bay Area.

Winter Wonderfest


San Francisco

Cheer up for Unions Street’s Fantasy of Lights Celebration
Ring in the holidays with a twinkle and glow at Union Street’s Fantasy of Lights celebration. This annual event welcomes winter and kicks off a month-long celebration of festive holiday happenings in San Francisco’s historic Cow Hollow neighborhood. The Fantasy of Lights celebrates the season with thousands of twinkling white lights illuminating the Victorian houses and shops along Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner and Fillmore Street between Union and Lombard. The event includes a festive lineup of family-friendly activities and events. Sat. Event details.

Grab Your Tutu for this Sweet Nutcracker Performance
The San Francisco Youth Ballet is presenting the 17th Annual Performance of The Nutcracker for one weekend this season. This magical, full-length version of The Nutcracker features Bay Area guest artists and the wonderful talents from the San Francisco Youth Ballet Academy. The dance tells the story of young Clara, who dreams that her gift of a toy nutcracker soldier comes to life. Together they experience a grand adventure that takes them through an epic battle with the Mouse King to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s magical Kingdom of Sweets. Fri.-Sat. Event details.

East Bay

It’s Snowing in Berkeley
Take a snow day in the Gourmet Ghetto! Bring your boots and mittens to play in the snow that is predicted to gently fall on Shattuck Avenue. Visit with the Snow Queen as she listens to all of your holiday wishes, ride the live ponies, make free DIY crafts for kids, then warm up with hot cider and ginger snaps. Shop for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts from local art, craft, and artisan food vendors. There are musicians, dancers, and a balloon twister to make the day fun! Sat. Event details.

Holiday Maker Mercado: ¡Manos Mexicanas!
Come celebrate the spirit of Mexico at the Hearst Museum’s holiday pop-up sale. Enjoy food and drink while you browse handmade treasures and connect with artisans and makers. There will be performances by Cuahutonal de Oakland, Ballet Folklórico Reflejos de Mexico along with treats from Casa de Chocolates and more. Kids can learn how to make their own papel picado decorations. Sun. Event details.

South Bay

Bring Your Little Sugar Plums to the Nutcracker
The San Jose Dance Theatre celebrates its 52nd production of The Nutcracker! Featuring a live orchestra, the kids will be enchanted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and all the characters as they dance across the stage. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Hang with Santa at History Park
The annual Children’s Holiday Festival at History Park features Santa arriving by historic trolley, music, caroling, and so much more. There will be crafting: making holiday gifts, decorations, and ornaments, and all the historic buildings decorated for the holidays. Bring your camera! Sat. Event details.


Celebrate Hometown Holidays in Redwood City
Get in the holiday spirit and join the festivities as Redwood City’s Downtown Business Group throws Hometown Holidays, a party to celebrate the holiday season, rain or shine! Guests can enjoy a parade, live entertainment, carnival rides, snow, Santa Claus photos and more. This free family friendly event starts at 10 a.m. on Courthouse Square. The parade starts at 4:30 p.m. and the tree will be lit at 5:45 p.m. Stay for the arrival of the holiday train at 6:15 p.m. followed by live holiday music at 7 p.m. Sat. Event details.

Get Your Holiday Fix at Filoli
Filoli’s Santa Saturdays are sure to please good little boys and girls, hoping to put a word in for themselves this holiday season. From. Nov. 18-Dec. 23, these Saturday festivities will include a visit from Santa, stories under the tree with Mrs. Claus as well as music and special family activities. Get your photo taken with Santa, too! Sat. Event details.

North Bay

Santa Arrives at Nick’s Cove (by boat)
Santa Claus arrives at Nick’s Cove by way of his trusty water sleigh (i.e. boat). He’ll set up shop in the Boat Shack with hot chocolate, treats and a free professional photographer so children and adults alike can pose for a photo with Santa overlooking Tomales Bay. Santa arrives at 3 p.m. and departs at 5 p.m., the restaurant is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. Event details.

It’s Time to Snuggle Up for a Teddy Bear Tea
Enjoy a light breakfast, hot cocoa, stories, crafts, songs, and a visit from a snuggle guest at this holiday themed party! Each participant will receive a special teddy bear to take home. Of course, you may bring your favorite cuddly friend from home to enjoy the tea, too. Sat. Event details.

Chill Out at Mill Valley’s Winterfest
Mill Valley’s Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the holidays with its annual Winterfest. Mill Valley’s Depot Plaza will be filled with live music, children playing and community camaraderie. Festivities include performing arts, from woodwind ensembles to caroling kids, a tree lighting ceremony and way more. Activities include the famous snow slide, snow ball toss, holiday arts and crafts, games and activities, and delicious seasonal food and drinks. But the highlight is the arrival of Santa Claus in an antique Mill Valley Fire truck at 1pm. Sun. Event details.

Have you been good? Tell us in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers