Celebrating the holidays gets creative this weekend! Kids can make their own greeting cards at the Holiday Card-Making Workshop and get crafty at the Children’s Holiday Tea too. Things will really be illuminated at the Union Street Fantasy of Lights, ZooLights at the Oakland Zoo and at the Mill Valley Winterfest Celebration.

San Francisco

Union Street Fantasy of Lights
Thousands of holiday lights decorating the Victorian homes will announce the holiday season on Union Street! Kids can enjoy the festivities with Santa, his elves, jugglers, face painters, balloon artists and cupcake decorating. Sat., 3:00 pm –7:00 pm. San Francisco. Free. All ages. Event details.

Holiday Card-Making Workshop
Families can use block printing, collage and homemade stamps and stencils, to create unique and heartwarming holiday greeting cards. Snacks, beverages and envelopes for the cards will be included. Sat., 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. San Francisco. $30 per adult/child pair. $10 per additional child. Age 3 & up. Event details.

East Bay

ZooLights at the Oakland Zoo
Everyone can visit the Oakland Zoo after dark to see a magical wonderland created by thousands of LED lights  in the form of animals, candy canes and good ole St. Nick. Families can take a train ride or just walk around the lit up zoo! Fri., 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Sat., 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Sun., 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Oakland. $7 per member adult. $5 per member child. $8 per non-member adult. $6 per non-member child. Free parking. All ages. Event details.

Dino Day Science Workshop
Kids can join in a Saturday Science workshop where they will delight in the wonders of the natural world, as they study dinosaurs and fossils. The kids will make and take home their own motorized dinosaur robots and dinosaur dioramas. Sat., 9:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Oakland. $65 per child. Age 5-11. Event details.


Christmas with the Hipwaders
The Hipwaders will be performing their quirky, jangle-pop for kids and families. Kids will hear Christmas classics in addition to songs from the award-winning album, “A Kindie Christmas.” Sat., 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. Sausalito. $14 per non-member. $5 per member. All ages.  Event details.


Children’s Holiday Tea
This is a magical holiday event for kids and their parents, where sandwiches, delicious treats and drinks will be served. Kids will enjoy a visit with Santa, a holiday themed puppet show and a craft activity. Sun., 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Atherton. $55 per child/adult pair. $25 per additional person. Under 2, free. All ages. Event details.

Children’s Holiday Party
Kids will have an entertaining afternoon with children’s author readings, live theater and a magic show! They will also get to visit with Santa, and enjoy cookies and juice. Sun., 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Menlo Park. $25 per person. All ages. Event details.

How does your family start the holidays? Is this the weekend you decorate the house or go get a tree? Share your traditions with us below.

— Rachel Teichman

photo courtesy of the San Francisco Children’s Art Center