The merrymaking continues as we count down the days until the final candles on the menorah are lit and the Christmas stockings are full. While there may not be snow on our coast, there’s still ice, and families can enjoy the outdoor skating experience this weekend at the Union Square Ice Rink, Downtown Walnut Creek, the Embarcadero Ice Rink, and Downtown San Jose. (see our Bay Area Ice Skating Roundup). For more homey holiday inspiration, learn how to make handmade gifts at Coyote Hills Regional Park’s Homemade Holiday workshop. Both the Conservatory of Flowers and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park are hosting wintry events, with Frosting the Conservatory and ‘Tis the Season for Science, respectively.
Peter and the Wolf
The kids will love the San Francisco Youth Orchestra’s festive musical performance of Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Eden Espinosa, who plays Elphaba in Wicked. This is a kids’ size concert (no intermission) and young ones under 17 are half off. Sat. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m, at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and Sun. 2 p.m. at the Flint Center in San Jose. $15 to $57. Event details.
KPFA FM Craft Fair
Shop for fine crafts while supporting diversity. This huge annual event, in its 40th year, at the Concourse Exhibition Center hosts over 200 artists and craftspeople, and the kids are free! Sat. and Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $10 adults, $8 seniors and disabled, free for children under 17. Event details.
This classic annual production will transport your family to a dock in Ireland during the winter of 1906 as a band of emigrants passes the time before their boat sails to America by sharing their traditional songs, dances, and stories. Heartwarming and deeply moving. Fri., Sat., and Sun., various times, $19-$52. Event details.
Come support the Oakland Youth Chorus and enjoy an annual holiday concert featuring the voices of over 100 talented young singers. Sat., 7 p.m., $15–$20 advanced, $20–$25 at the door. Event details.
Marin Country Mart Holiday Decorating
Come decorate sweet organic ornaments for your very own tree. Learn how to make patterns and designs with snowflakes and star cookies, or take home a Gingerbread house to decorate with your family. There’ll be a warm and cozy tent if it rains. Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m., market entrance is free. Event details.
Home for the Holidays Open House at Marine Mammal Center
Come see the seals and sea lions! There will be a book reading, a film screening, docent tours, and photo opportunities with Frannie the Fur Seal. Plus, members get a chance to chat with the staff about the work they do. Free. Docent tour $7 for adults and $5 for children and requires reservation. Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See event details for reading and screening times. Event details.
Holiday Puppet Shows
Bring the kids to the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto for a puppet show in the Carriage House. “A Time to Be Jolly” will be performed by the Puppet Company. Sat., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m, 1 p.m., $10-$15. Event details.
12th Annual Fantasy of Lights
Don’t miss this nightly event in Vasona Lake County Park. Drive 1.5 miles through a holiday display of spectacular lights and larger-than-life displays, like Santa shooting hoops, Dinosaur Den, blazing cannons, and more. Avoid the lines and ride the Reindeer Express Bus this weekend only. Dec 11 and 12. 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Reservations required. $7 per person. Or drive through in your own car Fri., Sat., and Sun. through Dec. 31, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., $15. Event details.