With Christmas Day kicking off your weekend, you can expect great things from the Bay Area. From a kindie-rock concert at the CJM to an active winter carnival to a delightful afternoon tea, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy some seriously fun family time.

SF Santa Photo: Steve Rhodes via flickr

San Francisco

CJM Community Day
The Contemporary Jewish Museum offers admission free to families on this day, and they go all-out to ensure a day of memory making. Rock out with Alison Faith Levy and her Big Time Tot Rock Band (at 1 p.. and 2:30 p.m., limited seating), make shadow puppets, play with light theaters, create Wikki Stix art and explore the museum. Wise Sons Jewish Deli will be serving up specialties from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. SOMA. Free. All ages. Event details.

Zoo Lights
Head to the zoo at night and experience the magical holiday lights, romp in the playground, and drink hot cocoa while you visit with Santa’s reindeer. Hop onboard the Little Puffer Steam Train ($5/person) and see the dazzling displayand roam the grounds with live entertainment and costumed characters. And don’t forget your winter coat because there will be snow! (Note, the SF Zoo is open on Christmas Day regular hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., no Zoo Lights that night.) Sat. & Sun., 5-8 p.m. Outer Sunset. $8/adult; $6/child 4-14; free for children 3 and under and members; $5 parking. All ages. Event details.

Kwanzaa SF
Starting with a kick-off at high noon on the Dec. 26 and culminating in an evening celebration on Jan. 1, the seven days of Kwanzaa are full of song, feasting, and candles! Kids will love to swing and sing to the rhythm & blues bands, reggae, gospel music, and more. There are multiple events each day. Sat. & Sun., time vary. San Francisco. Most events are free. All ages. Event details

Boswick the Clown Variety Show
Kids will love the antics for this former Ringling Bros. clown who’s been making children laugh for more than a twenty years! Juggling, story-telling and lots of laughs. And the festive locale–right near Union Square, will make this a great way to keep the holiday spirit going. Show is geared toward kids 4-8 but all are welcome. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-noon. Union Square. $19. All ages. Event details.

East Bay

Wacky Winter Wonderland at Playland
Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is open all weekend (closed Christmas Day) so you can  beat the winter wiggles with the not-in-schoolers by heading over, playing unlimited pinball and enjoying amusements of a bygone era. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. El Cerrito. $15/adult; $10/child. All ages. Event details.

Curiosity Hacked Open Lab
Explore new STEAM skills and concepts at this open lab for families. Get hands-on with activities like electronics, woodworking, laser cutting, and more! Participate in a guided activity, an independent project, or bring in a project you are working on. Note that prices vary based on materials fee, and workshops vary from week to week, with the usual cost between $10-$20. No charge if you bring your own project. Sun., 2-5 p.m. Oakland. $0-$20. All ages. Event details.

We Rock the Spectrum’s Winter Carnival
Head to this killer indoor kid’s gym for their second annual Winter Carnival! Just pay regular admission and enjoy the awesome equipment, including tunnels and ziplines, along with face painting, a photo booth, a holiday sing-along, arts and crafts station, popcorn, cookies and more. Sun., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $15/child. All ages. Event details.


Christmas Brunch at the Ritz Carlton HMB
Since you’ve probably been up since 5 a.m. with all of your happy little elves, why not treat yourself and the whole family to an exquisite brunch at Half Moon Bay’s Ritz Carlton. Enjoy treats both savory and sweet, live entertainment, and a special visit by Santa Claus. Kids under 4 are free! Make a reservation for your clan at 650-712-7040. Fri., 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Half Moon Bay. $150/adults; $75/child ages 5-12; children under 4 are free. All ages. Event details

The Museum of American Heritage is showing off their LEGOs for the 12th year in a row with the “Living LEGO-cy” exhibit, featuring a variety of LEGO creations and trains. Bonus! It’s super close to Caltrain Palo Alto stop. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Palo Alto. $2/person (cash only). All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Cars & Croissants on the Row
Join car enthusiasts and more than 100 exotic cars and their owners for a morning of auto-awesome. Sat., 9 a.m.-noon. San Jose. Free. All ages. Event details. 

Silicon Valley Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Banish any residual bah humbugs and keep the holiday feeling going with a family-friendly performance of The Nutcracker. Sat. & Sun., 1:30 p.m. San Jose. $25-$110. All ages. Event details.

Marin County

Afternoon Tea at Teeny Cake
Enjoy a tea time with your own littles at Teeny Cake. In addition to your selection of loose-leaf tea you’ll get an organic fresh fruit scone, clotted cream and jam, assorted finger sandwiches and house-made sweets. You can even request a gluten free option (additional $8). Please call 415-895-5003 for reservations. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Novato. $40/adults; $18/children 12 and under. All ages. Event details.

Sunset/Full Moon Hike to Pt. Bonita Lighthouse
Join park staff and docents for a tour down the Point Bonita Trail, through the hand carved tunnel and out to the Lighthouse. Walk along a half-mile trail which is steep in places. Arrive early as parking is limited. Meet at the Point Bonita Lighthouse trailhead. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Limited to 50 people: call 415-331-1540 to reserve a spot. Sat. 4:30-6 p.m. Sausalito. Free. All ages. Event details.

Sunrise Hike at Deer Island
Join Ranger Mike Warner for an early morning hike at Deer Island to discover the local wildlife and unique views at this nature preserve. The easy walk requires little more than comfy, sturdy shoes and clothing. Bring your binoculars if you have them! Water and healthy snacks provided. (Heavy wind or rains will cancel, call 415-473-2816). Sun., 7-9 a.m. Novato. Free. All ages. Event details.

Looking for even more fun on Christmas Day? Click here for a list of places that are open for fun on Dec. 25. 

—Amber Guetebier