Where else but in our fair Bay can you see Santa row ashore, watch a movie outdoors in December and craft your holiday right from a renowned botanical garden? This weekend you’ll find plenty of festive ways to spend time with the whole family. Ride on!

santa_rowboat_600px copy (600x447)photo: NPS 

San Francisco

Outdoor Movie: Home Alone
Because it’s San Francisco, we can show holiday movies outside in the middle of December. Head to the lawn behind the Presidio Dance Theatre for a free showing of Home Alone, complimentary popcorn and It’s It Ice cream, thanks to Supervisor Mark Farrell. Food trucks arrive at 5:30 p.m. so you can purchase dinner. Movie starts at 7 p.m.  And just in case it rains, the event will be moved indoors to the Presidio YMCA gymnasium (63 Funston Ave.). BYOB: bring your own blankets! Fri., 5:30-9:30 p.m. Presidio. Free. All ages. Event details.

Holiday Tea at Haas-Lilienthal House
If you’ve never peeked inside this beautiful Pac Heights mansion, this is the perfect reason to get all dolled up and head over for tea, scones, finger sandwiches and holiday sweets in the historic home’s dining rooms and parlors. You can tour the house too! RSVPs required, see event listing. Fri. & Sat., noon and 3 p.m. Pacific Heights. $48/adult; $24/child. All ages. Event details.

History for Half Pints: Holiday Crafts
Ring in the holiday season with History for Half Pints! Craft holiday cards for your friends and family and design a cork ornament. Please bring a toy or toiletry to support La Casa de las Madres. Toiletry items of great need include: full sized shampoo, conditioner, soap & deodorant items, toothbrush & toothpaste. Sat., 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. SOMA. Free with advance RSVP. All ages. Event details.

Maritime Christmas
Gather up your crew for an afternoon of merry maritime tidings! From 3-4:45 p.m. music, refreshments, and a visit from Santa (who will arrive by boat) guarantees a great afternoon. Then at 6 p.m. the park’s costumed Living History players will help transport your entire family back to Christmas, 1901. Take a lamplit tour where you can meet and greet the Captain and crew of the historic Balcutha, rub elbows with the passengers of the Eureka ferryboat dressed in their holiday best, and hob nob with the glitterati of San Francisco’s past aboard the Ark houseboat. This portion of the event does require a reservation, so lease call 415-447-5000 to hold your spot. Sat.,3-9 p.m. Aquatic Park/Hyde St. Pier. $10/adult for day event; free for ages 16 and under; night event is free for all. All ages. Event details.  

East Bay

Holiday Nature Crafts at the UC Botanical Gardens
Join the UC Botanical garden for holiday nature crafting. Create gifts and festive decorations inspired by the garden’s diverse plants. Nature filled globs, mini-evergreen wreaths, greeting cards from pressed botanicals, ornaments, pine cone bird feeders and more. There will be refreshments and, of course, good cheer. All materials provided. Program fee includes admission to the Garden and the Holiday Pop-Up Shop in the Julia Morgan Hall (10a.m.-4p.m.). Register here. Sat., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Berkeley. $20/person; $18/members. All ages. Event details.

PLAE Warehouse Sale & Party at Bladium
Join Plae shoes for a full-on family-friendly affair at this enormous playland! Sign your kids up for free sessions at Bladium while you shop or try your hands and feet at their awesome rock climbing wall and boulder. LEGO lovers, our friends at Play-Well Teknologies are bringing the wonders of winter to the party so round up your buddies to come out and play. Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Alameda. Free. All ages. Event details.

Pancake Breakfast with Santa
Vista Diablo Dolphins Swim Team invites you to a Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast with Santa. Bring your own camera to capture the magic of your kids meeting Santa and dine on unlimited pancakes, coffee or juice or milk, breakfast burritos, bacon and sausage. There There will also be a Rummage Sale. Admission is free, $5 for unlimited pancakes; other food costs extra. Sat., 8 a.m.–noon. Concord. $0-$5. All ages. Event details.

Land of the Sweets Tea Party with Oakland Ballet
Oakland Ballet Company hosts the “Land of the Sweets” Tea Party at the Bellevue Club in Oakland, a “high tea” fundraiser featuring finger sandwiches, treats, teas and champagne, as well as Nutcracker performance excerpts, live music, and holiday carols. Holiday gifts will also be available for purchase at the Nutcracker boutique. All proceeds benefit Oakland Ballet’s performance season and extensive educational programs for East Bay schoolchildren. Sweet! Sat., 1-3 p.m. Oakland. $95/adult; $45/children 12 and under. All ages. Event details.


Pillar Point Boat Decorating Contest
Don a warm Christmas sweater and head over to the Pillar Point Harbor to check out the boats trimmed to the brim with holiday lights and other decor. See which boat will win the contest, and enjoy live entertainment, plus treats and hot cider courtesy of local business. And if that doesn’t float your boat, Santa will be there for photo ops with the tots. Sat. 6-9 p.m. Half Moon Bay. Free. All ages. Event details.

Christmas Tea with Santa
Hear classic holiday stories from Santa himself as you gather with other children under the magical Christmas tree in the hotel’s library for hot cocoa, tea and a selection of special tea sandwiches, cookies and sweets. Each kid will take home a teddy bear and will share the holiday spirit with the children of The Ronald McDonald House by writing handwritten holiday notes attached to teddy bears donated by Rosewood Sand Hill. Sat., 1:30-3 p.m. Menlo Park. $75/child. All ages. Event details.

Gamble Garden is Frozen
Join Princess Anna, Princess Elsa, and Kristof as we celebrate the holidays…Frozen-style! Gamble Garden will host a day of Frozen story-telling, face painting, arts & crafts, singing, holiday treats and much more. Sat,  10-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Palo Alto. $25/person ($20/members). All ages. Event details.

South Bay

BAGI Glass Ornament Sale
Head to Santana Row to shop an array of glass ornaments: from standard rounds to ornate teardrops to adorable candy canes and more. All ornaments are meticulously handcrafted so they make an awesome one-of-a-kind gift. Fri., 3-9 p.m., Sat., noon-9 p.m. & Sun., noon-7 p.m. Santana Row, San Jose. Free. All ages. Event details.

Holiday Mocktail Happy Hour
Stop by and sample some of the tasty and festive, non-alcoholic mocktails they’ll be mixing up at New Seasons and take home some recipes for your next holiday party. Get some fun and inspiring appetizer ideas from the Solutions Counter, and stop by the holiday gift table for some great holiday hostess gift ideas. Fri., 5-7 p.m. San Jose. Free. All ages. Event details.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid at the Montgomery Theater
Based on the classic fairy tale and the beloved animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid will thrill the kids with a trip under the sea with Ariel and her friends. Fri., 7:30 p.m., Sat., 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. and Sun., 1 p.m. San Jose. $24-$30. All ages. Event details.

Marin County

2nd Friday Art Walk 
Stroll along 4th Street in San Rafael and check out the open galleries between G Street and Lincoln, sip on wine and other refreshments, hear live music, purchase one-of-a-kind jewelry and crafts, and even find art and activities by and for local kids. Fri., 5-8 p.m. San Rafael. Free. All ages. Event details.

Winter Market & Circus at the Mart
Visit the Marin Country Mart for a festive shopping experience including mulled wine and spiced cider, holiday treats, Christmas music, glass-blowing demos, ornaments and wreaths and lots of pop-up shops. And as an added bonus this Saturday Le Petit Cirque de Noel, featuring “Rue des Roses” will perform. Sat., 5-8 p.m. Larkspur. Free for the market; circus requires tickets and is $20/adults, $10/children. All ages. Event details.

Holiday Tea at the Belrose
Dress up your little crumpets and bring them to a delightful holiday tea at The Belrose Theater. With petit fours, tea sandwiches, cookies, scones and plenty of fine teas to choose from, kids will love the Victorian atmosphere of this converted church-turned-theater. Reservations are required, please call 415-902-5188. Fri.& Sat., 1-4 p.m. San Rafael. $25. All ages. Event details.

Handmade Holiday Workshop: Mosaic
Mosaics are a perfect gift for the holidays! Create a mosaic 10″x10″ frame, or a 4″ flower pot. Price includes all supplies, how-to and tools. You will take your present home the same day! Sat., 10-11 a.m. Mill Valley. $20. All ages. Event details.

Visit us on Instagram and Facebook and let us know how you #rockedtheweekend. 

—Amber Guetebier