The holidays are in full swing but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside by the fire–the weather in this City by the Bay isn’t really all that frightful. This weekend, we’ve got a Nice List of all the places indoor and out that you can round-up the elves and explore. Inspire your little ballerinas at this youth ballet performance, or head out to this plucky concert. Stay on top of holiday shopping with plenty for the kiddos to do at this farmers market, or just get nautical at a historical park and pier. And when the lights go down in the City, head out for a family night hike or look west for this boat parade of lights. Row on!
San Francisco Youth Ballet Presents the Nutcracker
For the 13th year in a row, the San Francisco Youth Ballet presents this magical, full-length version of The Nutcracker. This is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to the story of Clara and her sugar-plum dreams or keep up your festive family tradition. Featuring Bernadette Torres, Carlo DiDio, former Principals California Ballet Company, Antonio DelGado (California Ballet Company) Brooke Gunn (Joffrey Trainee), dancers from SF Conservatory of Dance and New West Ballet, San Diego, performing with the San Francisco Youth Ballet troupe. The production is 2 hours, but geared toward children. The first 200 kids to attend will receive a Nutcracker gift, and there will be photo ops with the characters after each performance. Sat. & Sun., 1 – 3 p.m. & 5- 7 p.m. San Francisco. $24/advance; $26 at door (child and adult). All Ages. Event details.
Holiday Harp Concert at the San Francisco Public Library
Celebrate the heart of winter with Harps for the Holidays at the SF Public Library featuring the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble, directed by Diana Stork, and harpist-singer-songwriter Liza Wallace. This hour long concert of multicultural holiday harp music will be sure and pluck your heart strings! Sun., 2 – 3 p.m. San Francisco. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Maritime Christmas at Hyde Street Pier
Gather up your and get thee down to the Hyde Street Pier for an afternoon of merry maritime tidings! From 3 – 4: 45 p.m. music, refreshments, and a visit from Santa (who will arrive by boat) guarantees a great afternoon. Then, beginning at 6 p.m. the park’s costumed Living History players will help transport your entire family back to Christmas, 1901. Take a lamplit tour where you can meet and greet the Captain and crew of the historic Balcutha, rub elbows with the passengers of the Eureka ferryboat dressed in their holiday best, and hob nob with the glitterati of San Francisco’s past aboard the Ark houseboat. Sat., 3:30 – 9 p.m. San Francisco. $5/adults; 16 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Build a Gingerbread House at Spun Sugar
Bring your creativity over to Spun Sugar, an uber-sweet baking supply store that offers oodles of awesome cake decorating and other confectionary classes. They will supply the gingerbread pieces, icing, candy, cookies, crackers, pretzels, and even ice cream cones. Your ginger-house never looked so sweet! This class will focus on making a big gingerbread house. Sat., 9 – 11 a.m. Berkeley. $50/house for up to two people. 7 and up. Event details.
Teddy Bear Tea at the Oakland Zoo
Get your fancy duds on for the Teddy Bear Tea. Enjoy a morning of snacks, lemonade, and–of course–tea, and learn about bears in the wild. Then help craft enrichment gifts for the Oakland Zoo’s own Sun Bears, and watch them enjoy those treats! Each child receives a gift bag and personal thank you letter from the bears. Kids can bring teddy bears, stuffies or dollies to join them! Sat., 9:30 -12 p.m. Oakland. $23-$26. 4-8. Event details.
Breakfast with Santa
Kids ages 10 and under will love this sit-down pancake breakfast with a very special guest in a red suit. Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast and then visit with Santa. Kids will have a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and make holiday crafts. Just try not to get syrup in his beard! Pre-registration is required, no tickets at the door. To register, call 925-373-5700. Sat., 9 a.m. Livermore. $10/person. 0-10. Event details.
Harley Farms Christmas Faire
Hop in the car and head down the coast to Pescadero and Harley Farms for a Christmas Faire your little ones won’t soon forget. Play with goats, make your own jumpy goat ornament using goat’s milk paint, or try one of the other holiday craft workshops. Enjoy food and live music and shop for unusual and one-of-a-kind gifts from local craftspeople. Event is free but special workshops including wreath making and linoleum block printing will be held throughout the weekend for various fees, and advanced registration is recommended. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Pescadero. All Ages. Event details.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.
Foothill Elementary’s PTA and the California Theatre Center present their musical production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” This stage version of the beloved Disney movie includes a cast of 4th and 5th graders retelling the tale of Ariel, King Triton, Ursula, and the life aquatic. As adorable as it is entertaining, this is a relaxing way to spend a winter evening. Fri. & Sat., 5:30 & 7:30 p.m. $8 + fee/advance; $10/door. Saratoga. All Ages. Event details.
Pillar Point Harbor Boat Decorating Contest
Don a warm Christmas sweater and head over to the Pillar Point Harbor to check out the boats trimmed to the brim with holiday lights and other decor. See which boat will win the contest, and enjoy live entertainment, plus treats and hot cider courtesy of local business. And if that doesn’t float your boat, Santa will be there for photo ops with the tots. Sat., 4 – 9 p.m. Free. Half Moon Bay. All Ages. Event details.
Family Night Hike and Campfire
Celebrate the winter solstice, and learn all about traditional solstice celebrations around the world. Get prepped for the upcoming shortest and darkest day of the year, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors by the light of a campfire. Pre-registration is required. Sat., 5: 30 – 8 p.m. $12/person. Sausalito. All Ages. Event details.
Marin Country Mart Holiday Celebration and Farmers Market
Celebrate the holidays and find something for every good little boy and girl on your list at the Marin Country Mart and Farmer’s market. Free photos with Santa, cookie decorating, pony rides, face painting plus the Farmer’s Market splendor of jams, nuts, baked goods, artisan cheese, holiday wreathes and flower arrangements and many more locally made arts and crafts. Sat., 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free. Larkspur. All Ages. Event details.
What are you up to this weekend? Tell us in the comment section below!
— Amber Guetebier
Photo credit: NPS