With Thanksgiving literally under our belts, it’s time to get out there and focus on trimmings of a different kind. Hit the ground running with a holiday card crafting workshop or celebrate with a holiday tree lighting. Bundle up and then tromp out into the snowfall in the heart of Marin County, or head to the beach to learn to saltwater fish. And if holiday theater is more your bill, go wiggle off that extra helping of pie at a fave children’s show come to life or laugh your way through a Christmas pageant. With indoor, outdoor, and upside-down door activities, there is something here to keep all your little elves happy, healthy, and smiling!
Hop for Joy: Hanukkah at the CJM
The Festival of Lights just went up a notch with this kid-centric celebration of Hanukkah at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The Frog and Toad/World of Arnold Lobel exhibit comes to life with stories, up-close looks at the original drawings, and a create-a-mini sketchbook craft. There will be a Hanukkah Hop Dance Party, a Frog and Toad movie, and a card workshop. Fri., 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. San Francisco. $12/adults; 18 and under are free. All Ages. Event details.
Rev it Up at the SF Auto Show
It’s tanksgiving at the Moscone Center with the San Francisco Auto Show, where kids will be enchanted by all those things-that-go. With everything from electric to smart to luxury cars, this event is sure to dazzle your little racers. Special attractions include the Academy of Art’s classic car collection, hot rods,uber-modern eco-vehicles, and tricked out motorcycles. Also open on Thanksgiving day. Fri., Sat., & Sun., 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., San Francisco. $10/person, kids 12 and under are free. All Ages. Event details.
Free Day at the Asian Art Museum
Part of Target’s First Free Sunday program, the Asian Art Museum is open, totally free, and totally awesome. In addition to touring the regular galleries and exhibits–which include the Silk Road, The Buddha, and Korean Art–there were be storytelling sessions throughout the day, architecture tours, and even a family friendly yoga class! Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. San Francisco. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Impress Your In-laws: Pop-Up Card Workshop
Get your crafty-pants on and get over to Bookish Bookstore in Berkeley for a day of holiday card crafting. Make cards that will wow the Grandparents, your BFFs, and more! The GoGo Mobile Craft crew will be on hand to show you how to make one-of-a-kind pop-up cards. Holiday-themed paper, cool patterns and templates, stamps, felt, markers, and other fun materials will be provided. Perfect for makers of any skill level! Sat., 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Berkeley. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Ho-Ho Yo! Gabba Gabba Live Show
Gather up your dancey-dancers and head on over to the Paramount Theater for A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! Holiday Show. See your fave characters come to life on the big stage! The Paramount theater lobby is worth the price of admission alone. Doors open one hour prior to the show, so get there early and explore this deco-era theater. And $1 from every ticket goes to Toys for Tots. Sun., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Oakland. $20.75-$48.50. All Ages. Event details.
Holiday Movie at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay
This luxe holiday happening will please the whole family–the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is hosting Holiday Movie Night at the Gazebo Lawn. This Saturday’s festive flick: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Bring a blanket, because this evening is alfresco. Appetizers and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the show from the Ocean Terrace. Sat., 5:30 p.m. Half Moon Bay. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Tree Lighting and Mini-Snowman Contest
What could make a 20 foot tree look bigger? A mini-snowman, of course! This evening of music, food, and holiday cheer includes a “build-a-mini-snowman” contest. Bring items from your tiny-clothes and button-nose stash, and the city provides enough snow for you to build your own 12-inch snowman. Contest begins at 4:45, tree lighting is at 6:05. Local student groups perform holiday tunes. Don’t miss it! Please bring a warm coat to donate to the Downtown Streets Team to help those in need. Sat., 4 – 7 p.m. Palo Alto. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Slide in the Snow at Mill Valley’s Winterfest
There’s snow in the Bay Area, and it’s not on the peaks! Mill Valley’s Winterfest which includes music, caroling, and holiday food & drink, also features a snow slide! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because kids will also find Sterling Johnson a.k.a. The Bubblesmith, a holiday costume contest, crafts, Santa in an antique fire truck, the annual tree lighting and much more! Kick off December with this flurry of fun for the whole family. Tree lighting will take place at 5 p.m. Sun., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mill Valley. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Lure the Kids to the Beach for a Fishing Lesson
Gather all the fishies in your little school and swim on over to the fishing pier at McNears Beach where park rangers will teach the basics of saltwater fishing. Some poles and bait will be available, or bring your own. No license required to fish from the pier. If the skies looks stormy, call Ranger Dan at 415-446-4424 the day of to confirm. Please leave your pooches at home. Meet at the fishing pier in McNears Beach Park. Sat., 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. San Rafael. $5/park entrance fee. All Ages. Event details.
Laugh Out Loud at the Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Based on the story published in McCall’s magazine in 1971 and the bestselling book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a madcap foray into the traditional annual Christmas pageant. It’s part Little Rascals and part Charlie Brown, with the story revolving around a couple trying to produce a Christmas play starring a bunch of kids whose sole motivation is the promise of free snacks. Your kids will be sure and enjoy this 75 minute long performance, followed by a reception with holiday refreshments. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Fri., Sat., 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Novato. $20/adults; $10/kids. All Ages. Event details.
Where do you get inspiration for your holiday decor? Tell us below!
Photo credit: Gary Ferber