With December officially here, there’s no denying that in the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. With lots of tree lightings and holiday plays, there’s plenty of festive things to keep your whole crew as busy as Santa’s elves. Get ready for the jolly-holly days with a Nutcracker “sweet” or a snap a pic with Ol’ Saint Nick. Or maybe you’re in the mood to feel the burn and earn literal brownie points for those treats later. Whatever you’re little ones are up for this weekend, we’ve got lots of events to cultivate that good old-fashioned holiday cheer.

Cinderella (427x640)

San Francisco

Cinderella at the Buriel Clay Theater
Cinderella is brought to the stage by SF’s African-American Shakespeare Company, in the classic tale of a maid-turned-princess(thanks to her own awesomeness and some magic from her Fairy Godmother.) With original music and lyrics by Angel Burgess, Robert Michael, and Taylor Peckham, this upbeat and funny performance, including afternoon performances and many kids in the cast of supporting characters, this is a perfect holiday outing for the whole family! Sat. & Sun. Sat, 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m. San Francisco. $12.50- $37.50; $25-$50 for Opening Day. All Ages. Event Details.

Nutcracker Sweets
It’s opening weekend of this Nutcracker redux, which is just 50 minutes long designed just for families with young children. With live music and renowned dancer Brian Fisher, this production of Mark Foehringer’s Nutcracker Sweets is a zany as it is beautiful.  It’s the Nutcracker, in a nutshell! Special photo ops: Dec. 7 is Grandparents Day and Dec. 8 is Veterans Day. Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. San Francisco. $18-$28. 2 and up. Event Details.

Sing Along Movie and Holiday Market
Loosen up your larynx and get in the festive spirit at the historic Balboa Theatre’s sing-along-showing of The Jungle Book followed by the holiday favorite Frosty the Snowman. Beginning at noon, there will be a lively holiday marketplace, including one-of-a-kind crafted gifts, baked goods, popcorn, beer, and wine for sale. The movie begins at 1:15 p.m. Stick around after the movies for more fun including face painting, a scavenger hunt, a raffle, and other holiday cheer! Bonus: part of the proceeds for this event will go to Sunset Cooperative Nursery School. Sat., 12 p.m. San Francisco. $10/adults, $7.50/kids 3-11; children 2 and under are free. All Ages. Event Details.

East Bay

Jack London Square Tree Lighting
Jack London Square Lights Up for the Holidays! Celebrate the festive holiday season with an annual family tree lighting ceremony on the waterfront. Locals and visitors alike will enjoy an enchanting evening of festivities, including a 55-ft. Mount Shasta Fir Tree brightly with sparkling lights, holiday musical entertainment, live reindeer, world-traveling tap dancing Christmas trees, costumed characters, America’s Children’s Holiday Parade float previews and more. Everyone is invited to attend this classic Bay Area tradition to ring in the holiday season! Fri., 5 – 8 p.m. Oakland. Free. All Ages. Event details.

The Little Princess
This beloved children’s riches-to-rags story about a wealthy and well-loved girl whose life takes a sudden turn when her beloved papa is lost at sea, comes alive on the Berkeley Playhouse stage. And with Tony-nominated composer Andrew Lippa’s musical score your own little princess and princes will be jumping out of their seats with joy. Red Tricycle readers can enjoy 20% off new ticket purchases with the code REDTRI. Fri., Sat. & Sun.  Times Vary. Berkeley. $17 – $60. 3 and up. Event details.

South Bay/Peninsula

Holiday Family Fun Day
Bring your little cookies down to the Crowne Plaza in Palo Alto for their Holiday Family Fun Day. They can build a gingerbread house, snack on holiday goodies, and see a fire engine up close, all while enjoying holiday entertainment. This is a free event but reservations are required and each child should bring one unwrapped toy as a donation for Toys for Tots. Call 650-628-0138 to reserve a spot. Sun. 1 – 4 p.m. Palo Alto. Free. 4- 12. Event details.

The Great Christmas Dickens Faire
Bring your little pips back in time for a child’s tour of Dickens’ London! This massive holiday fair which features wares galore includes wandering carolers, photos with Father Christmas, a Punch & Judy puppet theater, Victorian era children’s plays and games, a painting garden, an adventure carousel and Professor Flockmocker’s Laboratory of mechanical wonders. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Daly City. Prices vary, check website. All Ages. Event Details.

Marin County

Visit Santa at the Christmas House
A hidden gem, this family run nursery, which started in 1909, keeps up a holiday tradition with their annual Santa photo shoot. Professional photographer Robert J. Schroeder snaps pics of your little ones (pets welcome too!) and prints a free copy for your scrapbooks. Held on the grounds of the West End Nursery, you’ll likely find a gift or two for your own bedecked halls. This event is free, but a toy or small donation for the Santa Cop program is encouraged. Sat., 1- 3 p.m. San Rafael. Free. All Ages. Event Details.

Jingle Jog Fun Run
It’s the Third Annual Jingle Jog Fun Run at Strawberry Village, which benefits the Strawberry Point Elementary School in Mill Valley. Parents can get sporty with their baby joggers and sprint the 4-mile run, or do the 1 mile with the kids. You can even bring your favorite four-legged running buddy!  For the extra-smalls, there will be a “Mad Dash” in the Piazza for kids 5 and under. Plenty of food and entertainment plus goody bags from Strawberry Village Merchants. Each runner will get a free 4 x 6 photo courtesy of Mike’s cameras.  The Jingle Jog proceeds will benefit the Strawberry Point School’s playground and basic supply needs. Register online until Dec. 6. e event is open to the public. Sat., 9– 11:30 a.m. Mill Valley. Event is free, registration for the race is $35/adults; $15/kids; $80/whole family. All Ages. Event details.

What’s making your days merry and bright this weekend?

–Amber Guetebier

Photo credit: Jay Yamada courtesy African American Shakespeare Company