What’s the best way to digest after days of eating leftover turkey, stuffing, and pie? Apparently, shopping! The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, and the rest of the weekend seems to follow suit. If you and the fam aren’t into the big spending sprees, there’s wizard play at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach in El Cerrito, where the kids can cast spells and learn about sorcerers. Over in our favorite Gilroy theme parks, it’s the final weekend of Harvest Fest, with a hay maze and a corn stalk house beckoning exploration. With endings come beginnings, and in San Francisco, the Great Dickens Christmas Faire is just getting started.  We also have the deets for Turkey Trots and Tree Lightings. Here’s more on all the weekend fun:

San Francisco

2nd Annual Nutcracker at Zeum The nutcracker is being enacted like you’ve never seen it before, with a contemporary twist and zany dance scenes the kids are sure to eat up. And at 50 minutes, it’s just the right length for the restless tots who aren’t quite ready for the 3-hour production. Sat. and Sun., various showtimes. $25-$40. Event details.

The Velveteen Rabbit We all remember the story of the beloved stuffed toy that became a real bunny. Now’s the chance to share the story with our own kids, who can watch the Margery Williams’ classic unfold on the stage. Opens this weekend in the Yerba Buena. Sat. and Sun., 2 p.m., $15-$45. Event details.


The 31st Annual San Rafael Winter Wonderland Snow, in the Bay Area? This weekend there will be, and sledding to go along with it. Catch a ride at the San Rafael Winter Wonderland, with more kids’ activities to follow. Sat., 9 a.m.–noon, free. Event details.

Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza Candy canes, frosting, and gumdrops are fun enough alone, and this weekend the kids’ can have a field day making an extravagant holiday house with these yummy treats at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., $30 per gingerbread kit includes admission, pre-registration required. Event details.

East Bay

7th Annual Mr. Potato Head Beauty Pageant Another old-school favorite with a new-school twist. You’ll be making art with an actual potato, giving your gorgeous spud a personality of his own. Sat., 1–4 p.m., $8 per child. Event details.

The World’s Funniest Bubble Show Don’t you love the afternoons blowing bubbles for the kids – how it never ceases to entertain them? At this Berkeley show, they’ll be fascinated by all the things those backyard bubbles never could do. They’ll see bubble centipedes, bubble flying saucers, and more, all while listening to bubbly music. Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., $8 for children under 12, $11 for adults, $8 each for parties of 4 or more. Event details.

South Bay

Pacific Ballet’s 20th Annual Nutcracker There’s more Nutcracker fun in Mountain View. This one’s a classic, showing at the Center for Performing Arts here for the past two decades. Fri., Sat. and Sun, various showtimes. $22–$27. Event details.

The San Jose Harvest Festival Original Art and Craft Show Didn’t someone mention shopping? We all know this can be fun, too! Especially when it’s accompanied by food, entertainment, a KidZone, and 24,000 handmade gifts to choose from. Skip the mall and come out to San Jose. Fri. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., adults $9, seniors (62 and older) $7, youth (13–17) $4, 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Event details.

–Renee Rutledge