Although the wintry chill might keep you and yours close to the fire (or heater), there are lots of reasons to venture out into the cold. As the days grow shorter, the lights get brighter, and there is no better way to see them than a view from the bay. Celebrate the diversity of the Bay Area by exploring holiday traditions like Russian New Year and Navidad in Mexico. Grab some last-minute gifts as a farmer’s market and holiday fair, and be sure and take a break from your busy schedule to enjoy some laughs with this beloved children’s book on stage or check out this original version of a holiday classic.And with merry concerts, noshing with the season’s celebs, and a delightful tea, there is an activity this weekend for all the little helpers on your list. Now get out there and shine! Sugar_plum_breakfast_Drew_Altizer_Photography (480x640)

San Francisco

Sugar Plum Breakfast with Santa
Take your breakfast with Santa to a whole new level with this Sugar Plum Fairy Breakfast which includes a VIP showing of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker Under the Dome and breakfast by La Boulange du Dome alongside the Sugar Plum Fairy and Santa. Sat., 8 – 9 a.m. San Francisco. $25. All Ages. Event details.

San Francisco Girls Chorus Holiday Concert
The five-time Grammy-winning San Francisco Girls Chorus present “Hark, the Herald Angels Swing!” featuring the Marcus Shelby Quintet’s new arrangements of Go Tell It On The Mountain and Hark the Herald written especially for the San Francisco Girls Chorus plus other seasonal favorites and an audience sing-along. Sun., 8 – 10 p.m. San Francisco. $18-$65. All Ages. Event details.

Holiday Lights Cruise
Take a 90-minute cruise out onto the bay and see the San Francisco skyline and the waterfront all dressed up for on the holidays. Tickets include one cocktail or two non-alcoholic drinks, with choices including eggnog and hot cocoa! Kids will love also the hot cocoa condiment table full of edible toppings! Plus a delicious dessert from Cup & Cake Cafe. Boarding begins at 5 p.m. so be sure and arrive early. Sat., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. San Francisco. $45/adult; $30/children 5-11. Free to children 5 and under. Event details.

East Bay

Meet the Real Life Plankton
Learn about the real organisms that inspired the menacing Plankton of Spongebob fame. Do a plankton tow using a fine mesh net and use microscopes to explore their watery and muddy denizens. Sat., 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Hayward. $5. All Ages. Event details.

Celebrate Yolka, the Russian New Year
Celebrate Yolka, the Russian New Year, with this interactive holiday show full of amusements and treats for children of all ages. Enjoy a silent auction and raffle ticket drawing offering fabulous prizes, a special 30 minute performance just for kids under the age of 3, and presents from Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter, Snegurochka. The 30 minute performance for kids 3 and under begins at 10:30 a.m., the over 3 crowd will enjoy the 1 hr performance beginning at 11 a.m. This event is free if you register for the Russian Program spring semester classes. Sat., 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Berkeley. $10. 1-15. Event details.

Berkeley Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair
In addition to the regular bounty of the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, shoppers will delight at the wide variety of locally made gifts including toys, jewelry, cards, clothes, body products and more. the fair benefits the Ecology Center, and will include live music and lots of food options. Sat., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Berkeley. Free. All Ages. Event details.

South Bay/Peninsula

Bruce Steivel’s Nutcracker
Take the whole family out to the newly revamped San Mateo Performing Arts Center for the Bay Pointe Ballet debut of Bruce Steivel’s Nutcracker. Get cozy in the Land of Sweets and dazzled by the Sugar Plum Fairy. After each performance, kids can get on stage and meet the ballet characters and stars! Sat. & Sun., times vary. San Mateo. $20-$75. All Ages. Event details.

Navidad in Mexico
Celebrate the Christmas season with this colorful depiction of one of Mexico’s most beautiful celebrations: Navidad. Enjoy a day of dancing from both youth and adult troupes, including folklore, modern dance, and piñata breaking. Arrive early to explore the Christmas Village where you can procure one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and dine on delicious food.  Presented by the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Morena and YouArt San Jose. Fri., Sat., & Sun., Times vary. San Jose. $15-$40. All ages. Event details.

North Bay

Tea Time at The Belrose
Dress up your little crumpets and bring them to a delightful holiday tea at The Belrose Theater. With petit fours, tea sandwiches, cookies, scones and plenty of fine teas to choose from, kids will love the Victorian atmosphere of this converted church-turned-theater. Reservations are required. Fri. & Sat., 1 – 4 p.m. San Rafael. All Ages. Event details.

Frog and Toad at the DVPAC
The Bay Area Children’s Theatre presents A Year with Frog and Toad at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. Come celebrate friendship in glorious song as Frog and Toad hop through a season of comic adventures with their animal friends. Nominated for three 2003 Tony awards including Best Musical, A Year with Frog and Toad is adapted from the beloved Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. San Ramon. All Ages. Event Details.

What festive things are on your calendar this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below!

— Amber Guetebier

Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography