November presses on and Bay Area kids will find no shortage of ways to pass the weekend. Celebrate Diwali at a local kid’s museum, make book-crafts with a historical society, go on a family hike that comes with cookies, and plenty more ways to keep those candles going strong.

diwali kid photo: Diwali by Partha Sarathi Sahana via flickr 

San Francisco

History for Half-Pints with the California Historical Society
Learn about the past while getting crafty and having a ton of fun. This Saturday, celebrate National Picture Book Month by making your own thankful hands picture book, book corners, book marks and more. And at 12:30 p.m. enjoy story time with Screen Actors Guild Book Pal, Teresa. Sat., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. SOMA. Free with RSVP. All ages. Event details.

Ukulele Making Workshop
Child-led exploration of different instruments (ukuleles, guitars, tambourines, shakers) and a large group jam. It will also feature a short performance by the extremely talented musician, Annie Bacon. Sat., 5–7 p.m. Mission. $20/child; $5/adult. 3-10. Event details.

Opening Weekend of Garden Railway at Conservatory of Flowers
Take a trip back to the 1915 Pan-Pacific expo in miniature. Opening this weekend, Garden Railway features model trains running through the festive fairgrounds from days of yore. There’s also full-sized attractions like a photo booth and memorabilia from the Expo. Kids can even race mini-racecars around the model of the first-ever auto racetrack included in a world’s fair. Fri., Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Golden Gate Park. $8/adult; $6/child12-17; $2/child 5-11; children 4 and under are free. All ages. Event details.

Popcorn for Breakfast: Cartoons at the Roxie
Stay in your PJs and head over to the Little Roxie and have popcorn for breakfast while watching an assortment of great classic cartoons (in both black & white and full color) for Saturday-morning slackers of all ages. From Gertie the Dinosaur to Popeye the Sailor, enjoy the cartoons of yesteryear. (Recommended ages 5 and up but all ages are welcome). Sat., 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Mission. $7.50/adult; children 12 and under are free. All ages. Event details.

East Bay

2nd Annual California Indian Market
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with OMCA and over 20 vendors from Indian communities around the state featuring a range of contemporary artisan works to traditional handmade crafts. Screen-printed apparel, photography, hand-woven baskets, instruments, jewelry and even children’s toys. Friday night coincides with the weekly late-night event at OMCA with food trucks, art activities for families, live music and more. Fri., 3–9 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Oakland. Free. All ages. Event details.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The beloved story about the adventures of the Potts family and their miraculous car comes to the stage in a special, musical version for young audiences. Sing along as Jeremy and Jemima take on the Vulgarians, who want Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the Baron’s birthday. Sat., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Berkeley. $22/adult; $18/child. 4 and up. Event details.

Diwali: Festival of Lights with Habitot
Enjoy Diwali-themed craft activities with Habitot Children’s Museum. Experience the  Diwali custom of adorning houses with colorful rangoli (floor patterns created with colored rice or powder), making pretend fire crackers and candles and painting elephants. Sun., 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Berkeley. Free. 0-5. Event details.

ClownSnotBombs Circus
Part circus act, part variety show and 100 percent pure silliness, ClownSnotBombs Circus brings their multitalented band of merrymaking to Alameda. With their DIY costumes and props, and house musicians playing a mix of gypsy and klezmer music, this eclectic troupe offers a little bit of everything—from unicycling to juggling to balloons. Sun., 11 a.m.–noon. Alameda. $10-$15. 5 and up. Event details.


Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr.
Come see the work of over 80 children from Roy Cloud School for their amazing fall production, Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr. Join Ariel and her aquatic friends in a magical kingdom full of colorful songs, sights and adorable performances perfect for your own littles.Fri. & Sat., 7 p.m. and Sun., 1 p.m. Redwood City. $10. 2-14. Event details.

San Mateo Harvest Fest
Thousands of handmade arts and crafts, live music and performances, a hands-on KidZone, delicious foods and much more await you and the fam at this local harvest festival that lets you get a jump-start on holiday shopping, too. Free admission to the first 100 people in line each day. Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. San Mateo. $4-$9. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Holiday Art Boutique CASA
For two days more than a dozen of local artists in Bay Area get together at a holiday boutique that supports Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, which aids more than 1,600 foster children in Santa Clara county. Check out high-quality items including the latest jewelry, gourmet foods, potteries, candles, bags, hair accessories, soaps, and variety of holiday gift items. Mark your calendar and deck the halls with our one of a kind shopping finds! Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Los Altos. Free. All ages. Event details.

50 Years of The Nutcracker
A fabulous way to get your family into the festive holiday spirit! San José Dance Theatre comes to Montalvo to present excerpts from their beloved production of The Nutcracker. Featuring local youth dancers in gorgeous costumes, the performance will be preceded by a brief demo about the production’s evolution over the years. The short format makes this ideal for kids who might not make it through a regular production, and for fans of this beloved holiday ballet, young and old. There’s even a post-performance Q&A with the dancers. Sun.,11 a.m.–noon. Saratoga. $20/adults; $10/child. 5 and up. Event details.  

Marin County

Educator’s Day at BADM
Preschool-3rd grade Bay Area Educators get complimentary admission for themselves and their family to the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Arrive between 9 a.m. and noon. Register here. Spread the word! Sat., 9 a.m.-noon. Sausalito. Free. All ages. Event details.

Family Hike in Tennessee Valley
Gather your whole crew up for a family hike through beautiful Tennessee Valley on a 1.8-mile, well-groomed trail to the beach. There will be a hiking scavenger (magnify glasses & binoculars provided) along with a fun craft and cookie at the beach. This hike is totally stroller friendly, too. Bring along a lunch and a blanket for the beach. RSVP required (see event details). Sat., 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Mill Valley. $10/person; children 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.

Broom Busters Pizza Party on Horse Hill
Marin Parks and the Alto Bowl Horseowners Associate want you for their army: the army to push back the invasive French and Scotch broom at the western part of the the Alto Bowl Open Space preserve. Join other volunteers (ages 5 and up) plus parks staff to pull broom and sow native grass seed. Learn about and meet the horses living on the preserve, enjoy some pizza, and enter to win prizes in the raffle.Meet at the gate at the end of Lomita Dr. in Mill Valley. Sun., 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Mill Valley. Free. 5 and up. Event details.

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—Amber Guetebier