You can certainly be thankful for all of the fun and festive events going on this weekend! Watch as the power of love comes to life in “The Velveteen Rabbit” in San Francisco. See snow and play in it too, at Rockridge in the Snow in Oakland. Get a workout in at the Marin County Turkey Trot in Novato, with races for kids as young as two!

San Francisco

Nutcracker Sweets
This is a unique version of the classic ballet “The Nutcracker,” designed for young families, with a contemporary twist. The re-orchestration of the original Tchaikovsky score, whimsical scenic design and the impressive storytelling, will provide a new holiday tradition and experience for the audience. Sat.  –  Sun., 11:00 am, 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm. San Francisco. See website for pricing. Ages 1 & up. Event details.

“The Velveteen Rabbit”
ODC/Dance brings to life Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told through music, dance and a powerful narrative, “The Velveteen Rabbit” celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love.  Fri.  –  Sun., 2:00 pm. San Francisco. See website for pricing. Ages 3 – 10. Event details.

East Bay

Tilden Park Christmas Fantasy
The antique Tilden Park Merry Go Round will transform into a magical holiday spectacular, featuring holiday light displays and decorations covering the merry-go-round and surrounding grounds. Celebrate with carolers, holiday character appearances, and visits from Santa and his live reindeer!  Holiday sweets and seasonal warm beverages will be available. Entrance to the event and visits with Santa are free. Nightly, 5:30 pm  –  8:30 pm. Berkeley. $2/Ride. All ages. Event details.

Rockridge in the Snow
If your kids love the snow, or even if they’ve never seen it, this is their chance to play in it! Rockridge BART will be blanketed in powder ready for kids to play. You can also enjoy live entertainment and local merchant shopping. If you would like to help with collection efforts, please bring donations for One Warm Coat and Toys for Tots.  Sat., 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Oakland. Free. All ages. Event details.


Marin County Turkey Trot
Get some cardio in for your family before the delicious Thanksgiving meal awaiting you at home! The Youth Gobbler 1 Mile and Turkey Trot 5K are run cross country style on the trails of Marin’s Open Space. The new and improved Pilgrim 10K is an out and back through the beautiful IVC campus, and along Ignacio Boulevard. Enjoy a post-race apple cider from your finisher’s mug! Thur., 8:30 am. Novato. See website for pricing. Ages 2 & up. Event details.

San Rafael Winter Wonderland
Downtown San Rafael will once again host its annual holiday Parade & Winter Wonderland. In its 32nd year, the event will feature a Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, free snow sledding and one of the largest Holiday Parades in the Bay Area.  Sat., 12:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Sun., 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.  San Rafael. Free. All ages. Event details.


Stanford Shopping Center Tree Lighting
Dance along to favorite holiday hits as Holly Berry, the holiday fairy, and her singing and dancing holiday trees, lead the countdown to the lighting of the tree and the entire shopping center. Join Holly Berry and her toy soldiers for hot chocolate and cookies after the show! Sat., 5:00 pm –  7:00 pm.. Palo Alto. Free.  All Ages. Event details.

Filoli Holiday Brunch
This festive lunch buffet is part of the Holiday Traditions event. This year the theme is the “Wise Old Owl.” Enjoy a special gourmet meal including baby vegetables and baby desserts. Little ones may like those! They can also go on their own decorative owl hunt as well. After lunch, get some gift shopping done at the Holiday Boutique. Sun., 2:00 pm. Woodside. See website for pricing. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Global Winter Wonderland
Admire the gigantic Chinese Lanterns depicting international landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and Chichen Itza. Savor an international array of food and drink, and watch dancers, musicians and street performers. Meet Santa, jump in bounce houses, play games and enjoy holiday treats. You really have to see it to believe it.  Fri. – Sat., 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Sun. – Thur., 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Santa Clara. See website for pricing.  All ages. Event details.

–Rachel Teichman