Tree Lighting in Jack London Square
Have a Christmas tree in your living room? That’s cute. Is it a 55-foot Shasta Fir covered in 5,000 sparkling white lights, decked out in more than 600 ornaments, and positioned in front of a picturesque waterfront view? Oh, it isn’t? Then, maybe you want to come down to Jack London Square for the city of Oakland’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and see what a real tree is like. On Friday, Dec. 1, the tree will be lit for the season amidst live music from local performers, tasty drinks, and holiday treats. There will even be an appearance by the man of the season, Santa Claus, who’s most definitely keeping a watchful eye over those trying to get their names off the “naughty” list by dropping non-perishables and unwrapped toys off at the on-site donation drive.
— Rick Paulas
Friday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Broadway and Embarcadero, Oakland
Craneway Crafts Fair
In the nick of time for you deadline-driven holiday shoppers, KPFA 94.1 FM, the country’s first community-supported radio station, is holding its 47th annual crafts fair to benefit the station. For the third year running, it’ll be held inside the historic Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond waterfront, where natural sunlight will filter through its windows to show off the wares of more than 200 artisans and craftspeople, everything from textiles to ceramics, photography to painting. KPFA will be broadcasting live from the event, and musical performances will start around noon. There’s plenty of parking on-site, and a free shuttle will be available from the Richmond BART for those in need of a lift.
— Rick Paulas
Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $12, $8 for seniors/disabled, free for kids. 1414 Harbor Way So., Richmond, CranewayCraftsFair.com
The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue
The traveling version of Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy ensemble — the troupe that launched a thousand Saturday Night Live careers, from Tina Fey to the good Belushi — comes to Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the first time. This month of shows will focus on holiday shenanigans: those awkward forced family gatherings, the weirdness simmering below the surface of your favorite Christmas carols and classic holiday films, surely something about office culture. The fast-paced shows, like all Second City performances, combine pre-written sketches with on-the-fly improvisation, and hold nothing sacred. They’re a good antidote to battle the constant saccharine drip of the holiday season. — Rick Paulas
Tuesday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 31, various times, $45-$60. Peet’s Theatre at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, BerkeleyRep.org
A Gingerbread Tea
Camron-Stanford House, the last remaining Victorian mansion along Lake Merritt, hosts four afternoon tea parties every year. In addition to the usual selection of finger sandwiches; tiny desserts; scones with strawberry jam, imported clotted cream, and lemon curd; and beverages from French gourmet tea company Mariage Frères, this special holiday edition on Dec. 9 will feature a variety of ginger-themed teas. Kids age 6 and up are welcome — they’ll love decorating their own gingerbread cookies to take home. You’ll also receive a booklet detailing the history of afternoon tea and the recipe for Camron-Stanford’s scones. While you’re there, check out the Gingerbread Christmas exhibit, which shows how Victorian families traditionally decorated for the holiday. It runs from Nov. 26 to Jan. 7. Register for the tea in advance online as seats are limited. — Janelle Bitker
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2-4 p.m., $45, Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Dr., Oakland, CSHouse.org
12th Annual Jingletown Winter Open Studios/Art Walk: 25+ artists will be showing their work throughout the neighborhood. Meet the artists, learn about their work, buy unique gifts for the holidays. Dec. 2-3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Jingletown various locations, between Park and Fruitvale bridges, Oakland. www.facebook.com/events/144205319546450/
45th Holiday Sale: Shop for gifts at the Potters’ Studio. Opening reception on Sat., Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The Potters’ Studio, 1221 Eighth St., Berkeley, BerkeleyPottersStudio.com.
Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios: A free self-guided tour of 100 professional artisan studios and galleries. A diverse assortment of fine arts and craft: blown glass, ceramics, ornaments, menorahs, furniture, garden art, floor cloths, clothing, modern textiles for home and body, leather bags, jewelry, art made of up-cycled materials, sculpture, lighting, photography, paintings, printmaking, mosaics, stained glass, and more. Map and list at BerkeleyArtisans.com and in EBX weekly during the event. Starting Nov. 25, Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through Dec. 17, free, BerkeleyArtisans.com. Berkeley Artisans Open Studios, 2547 Eighth St. #24 A, Berkeley.
HERE (Part 1) BAC’s Artists Annual Exhibition: BAC’s Artists Annual Exhibition is a celebration of our members who form the deep and rich art community that makes Berkeley Art Center such a unique organization. This salon-style exhibition features small works in a variety of media. Dec. 10-Jan. 19, free. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. (in Live Oak Park), Berkeley, BerkeleyArtCenter.org.
Holiday Lounge 6: The studio has been busy as elves creating loads of craft objects. So, once again under the guidance of NIAD staffer and fantastic retail merchandiser Peter Gravener, we are filling the storefront, and the backroom as well, with seasonal items and unique gifts: quilts, coloring posters and books, baskets, monographs, wall hangings, tree ornaments, hats and scarves and mittens, ceramic animals and more. Dec. 1-29, free. NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond, NIADArt.org.
Holiday Open Studios: 30+ artists will be showing their works. Come by for refreshments, great food, live music, and creative company. Our artists will be presenting handmade art that is affordable and perfect for holiday presents. We are upstairs from Farm Burger and Philz Coffee. Sat., Dec. 2, noon-6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 3, noon-6 p.m., free, www.facebook.com/events/796627130525730/. Firehouse Art Collective Gilman Studios, 1313 9th St., Ste. 210/2nd Floor, Berkeley.
Holiday Show: More and More: An exhibition featuring beads, jewelry, and trinkets in Juan Aguilera’s sculptural creations; gratify the desire for more in Paul Field’s scenes, where sundry characters fill every inch of his drawn tableaux, or with the densely packed repetition of forms covering Ricardo Gaitan’s work; and push the limits of what’s naughty and nice with nude punk angels crafted of wood by Casey Byrnes and Kim Clark’s drawn celebrations of bawdy celebrity culture. Dec. 1-Jan. 11. Creative Growth Art Center, 355 24th St., Oakland, CreativeGrowth.org.
Lovely Littles Holiday Group Art Show, First Friday Reception: We will be showing more than 100 pieces in a variety of media created by more then 20 artists. Fri., Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m., free. Creative Framing & Gallery, 2700 Park Blvd., Oakland.
Opening Reception for All Of The Light: As we move into December, the days have been getting shorter, and we enter the darkest time of the year. Instead of relying on the sun, we create our own light. Through contrasting light and dark, subtle tonal gradations, or vibrating color contrasts, the works in All of the Light, organized by Gina Borg, either depict perceptions of light, or they create a light of their own. Free holiday treats and music by Bill Zindel. Sat., Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m., free. NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond, NIADArt.org.
Richmond Art Center’s 55th Annual Holiday Arts Festival: Join us for Richmond Art Center’s biggest event of the year, our annual holiday arts festival! More than 60 artisans will be displaying and selling their work. Come buy art, jewelry, ceramics, toys ,and textiles from local artists while enjoying gourmet food trucks and food vendors. Our nonprofit partners will be on-site, including Rosie the Riveter Trust, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa, NIAD Art Center, and RYSE Youth Center. Sun., Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond, TheRichmondArtCenter.org.Arts & Crafts
Holiday Sparkle Workshop: Add some creative time to your wish list. Join us for two sparkly projects with artist Kristina Young. Make your own snow globes for holiday decoration and colorful rock place markers for the table. Materials are included but bring family photos if you wish to include some. Sat., Dec. 16, 1-4 p.m., free. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. (in Live Oak Park), Berkeley, BerkeleyArtCenter.org.Health, Wellness, & Sexuality
Embody Gratitude: Thanksgiving Benefit Class: This holiday, give time to connect in and embody deep gratitude. Move through a mindful, fluid and intentional flow that will leave you feeling uplifted, anchored, and at peace. Bring to light the joy of simple mobility and radiate the pulse of community as we move into the season of togetherness. Thu., Nov. 23, 9-11 a.m., $25; greater donation amounts available. Namaste Rockridge, 5416 College Ave., Oakland, ilovenamaste.com.
Family Nia: Thanksgiving Benefit Class: Nia teaches us to be balanced and integrated. It relies on the wisdom of many different cultures and practices – finding strength from each to help us develop self-healing and awareness of mind and body. Like this practice, we too must gather strength and wisdom from many different places when going through times of turmoil. We must reach out to the others, offering help and being receptive to it as well. Thu., Nov. 23, 9-10 a.m., $20; greater donation amounts are available. Namaste Berkeley, 2820 Seventh St., Berkeley.
Grace & Gratitude: Thanksgiving Benefit Class: Reinvigorate and relax as you share yoga with kindred spirits Thanksgiving morning. Start the day with this benefit yoga class to support the Alameda County Food Bank. This clearing yoga practice will open our hearts and minds so that we may better savor the holiday. This class will be an invigorating flow class ending with a short guided meditation. Proceeds from this class will benefit the Food Bank of Puerto Rico. Thu., Nov. 23, 9-11 a.m., $25; greater donation amounts are available. Namaste Grand Lake, 3229 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, ILoveNamaste.com/.
Potency of the Dark, Promise of the Light: Winter Solstice Yoga and Meditation: In the deep, fecund dark of winter, the first spark of the new year arrives. Yule, the Winter Solstice, is the darkest day of the year celebrated both for its potency and its promise of the light’s return. Gather in community with Abby Tucker for a candlelit practice featuring the prayer of asana and the profound stillness of meditation. All levels of practitioners are invited to this seasonal celebration! Sun., Dec. 17, 3:30-6 p.m., $50. Namaste Berkeley, 2820 Seventh St., Berkeley.
Ring in the New Year: Restorative Yoga with Sound Healing: On this special night at Namaste we will “ring” in the new year with mindfulness, relaxation, community, yoga, and sound in a safe, warm, supportive environment. Nourish your new year by nourishing yourself with gentle stretching and restorative postures, breathing practices, acupressure, and sound therapy. You will be bathed in healing sounds from weighted tuning forks, crystal bowls, and specially tuned gongs. Deeply connect to yourself and each other as we create a nurturing inward space to contemplate, reflect, and set fresh intentions for the year to come. Sun., Dec. 31, 5-7:30 p.m., Price: $60. Namaste Berkeley, 2820 Seventh St., Berkeley.
Soften Something: Slow Down, Live Fully with Vickie Russell Bell: It can be easy to let the joys and pleasures of the holiday season turn into stress and overwhelm. In this workshop, you will experience a restorative sequence created to help you feel at ease and nourished, so you can tap into joy and live more fully. Restorative Yoga is about moving into a state of ease and away from the normal activity of the body and mind. Stress has become an expected part of our lives and rest is the opposite of stress. Restorative Yoga creates spaciousness and a deep sense of relaxation and rejuvenation. Sun., Dec. 17, 4-6 p.m., $35. Namaste Berkeley, 2820 Seventh St., Berkeley.
Solstice Sound Meditation with Melissa Felsenstein: The Winter Solstice is a celebration of nocturnal delight, a magnetic time to reflect on what you’d like to draw forward and what is best left behind. Usher in the quiet, inward energy with a sound bath designed to cocoon you in the velvety softness of winter with live quartz crystal singing bowls and specially tuned gongs specific to the season. Thu., Dec. 21, 7-9 p.m., $40. Namaste Berkeley, 2820 Seventh St., Berkeley.
Winter Solstice Sound Bath: Ancient cultures have long marked the Winter Solstice as a sacred turning point in the year, a special day in which the darkest days come to a close and the sunlight returns. Attune with the slow, inward energy of the Winter Solstice during this special outdoor concert of quartz crystal singing bowls and finely tuned gongs within a grove of redwoods. Close your eyes and experience the natural meditative quality of the forest and bird song layered with serene sounds of quartz crystal singing bowls. These unique instruments slow down your brainwaves to meditative-like states through the process entrainment. Thu., Dec. 21, 10-11:30 a.m., $30. University of California Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley, BotanicalGarden.Berkeley.edu.Sales & Fundraisers
5th Annual Tianguis/Anti-Mall Holiday Craft Fair: Avoid the mall and support your community this holiday season. Find handcrafted gifts for sale by local vendors as well as unique imports from Mexico and beyond! Sat., Dec. 9, 11 a.m. La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, LaPena.org.
34th Annual Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair: Six days of bargain shopping, more than 200 artists, hand-crafted gifts for all. Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Telegraph Avenue between Dwight Way and Bancraft Way, Berkeley, TelegraphFair.com.
The Annual GSJ Bali Holiday Gift Faire: Avoid the holiday shopping panic and support live performing arts, and get beautiful gifts found nowhere else in the Bay Area. The faire will feature a marketplace with beautiful Indonesian crafts, delicious Indonesian food, and, of course, live Balinese music and dance. The proceeds from all sales benefit Gamelan Sekar Jaya and help us invite Balinese artists from Indonesia, and support our educational activities. We look forward to welcoming you to our office and studios for the event. For more information please email [email protected]. Sun., Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Gamelan Sekar Jaya, 3023 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, GSJ.org.
BG Craft Fest: Each year, Bedford Gallery brings together local makers and designers producing the finest handmade crafts, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, home goods, artisanal foods, clothing, and more for a two-day festival nestled inside an exhibition of contemporary art. Bg Craft Fest has become an annual tradition for Bay Area shoppers looking to find unique gifts for the whole family. Sat., Dec. 2 and Sun., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free admission to shop the curated maker marketplace. For information on and tickets to hands-on crafting workshops, go to BedfordGallery.org/programs/craft-fest, Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr. Walnut Creek, BedfordGallery.org
Garden Holiday Pop-Up Shop: Find beautiful and unusual gifts for the holidays at our special holiday shopping party in the Garden’s Julia Morgan Hall. Choose from a unique selection of gifts from local vendors as well as unique handcrafted gifts from the garden. Proceeds will directly benefit the Botanical Garden. Thu., Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free, University of California Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley, BotanicalGarden.Berkeley.edu.
Girl Gang Craft Holiday Market: Shop from local female artists and healers. Buy ceramics, jewelry, clothes, art, and tinctures. You can even treat yourself to a Tarot reading. This is the perfect chance to gather your holiday gifts and support local and female businesses. Sat., Dec. 2, 3-8 p.m., free, GirlGangCraft.com. Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe, 302 12th st, Oakland, luckyduckoakland.com.
GIVE, SHOP, SIP: Junior League of Oakland-East Bay Holiday Shopping Event: Join the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, Inc. for our 2nd annual Give, Shop, & Sip! Stroll the holiday-decorated streets of Downtown Walnut Creek while enjoying wine, beer, and tasty treats while you shop this holiday season. All proceeds will benefit JLOEB and will help us in our mission to continue to build a better East Bay while supporting families to thrive. Sat., Dec. 2, 1-5 p.m., $30 for individuals, $50 for two tickets, JLOEB.org/give-shop-sip. Downtown Walnut Creek, Cypress Ave., Locust St., and N. Main St., Walnut Creek.
Handcrafted Holiday Sale: Shop for everyone on your list at the Handcrafted Holiday Sale at Center for Community Arts. The sale brings together handmade ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber arts, photography, prints, and much more – all by Community Arts teaching artists and students. Join Community Arts for an opening reception Friday night, with drinks, appetizers, and entertainment. And then enjoy craft activities, raffles, shopping, and treats all weekend long. Fri., Dec. 1, 5-8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free, Facebook.com/events/123612165011690/. Shadelands Art Center, 111 North Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek.
Holiday Maker Market: On Friday, Nov. 24, join us for The Black Makers Market intentionally curated to support Black businesses from Oakland. On Saturday, Nov. 25, join us for Small Business Saturday where we celebrate the indie spirit of local Oakland makers. Fri., Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., www.facebook.com/events/1477007895702359/. Qulture Collective, 1714 Franklin St, Oakland, QultureCollective.com.
Holiday Maker Mercado: ¡Manos Mexicanas!: Come celebrate the spirit of Mexico at the Hearst Museum’s holiday pop-up sale! Enjoy food and drink while you browse handmade treasures and connect with artisans. Enjoy free admission to the museum’s exhibit. Kids can join in to learn how to make their own papel picado decorations. Sun., Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, 103 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley, HearstMuseum.Berkeley.edu.
Holiday Open Studio!: Get in the holiday spirit at Blank Page Studio’s open house! Shop for unique handmade gifts from local artists, including paintings, handmade books, cards, bags, and much more. Enjoy a holiday treat as you make a seasonal craft at our art table. Bring the whole family! Sun., Dec. 3, 1-5 p.m., free, Blank Page Studio, 1468 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, BlankPageStudio.net.
Holidays on Fourth Street: Weekend activities through January 2, 2018, including visit with Santa, puppet shows, caroling, live music, and shops open until 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. See FourthStreet.com/events/2017/11/4/holidays-on-fourth-street for complete schedule and details. Fourth Street, Berkeley.
Laurel Burch Studios Warehouse Pop-Up Sale: Shop for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for yourself and loved ones at the The Laurel Burch Studios Pop-Up Warehouse Sale. RSVP at https://goo.gl/gTLAH9. Find new collections, discontinued treasures, one-of-a-kind gifts and collectibles: bags, socks, vintage Laurel Burch jewelry, scarves, greeting cards, pillows, mugs, fabric, journals and more. Support local business and share meaningful gifts to your grandkids, children, friends and loved-ones. For questions, please contact [email protected], Sat., Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Laurel Burch Studios Warehouse, 2390-D Fourth St., Berkeley, LaurelBurchStudios.com.
Magic Makers: A totally volunteer-organized not-for-profit craft fair celebrating queer creativity, healing, and liberation, centered on political and social awareness, with a diversity of artists and vendors, offering resistance to cultural appropriation often found in craft shows. Donations at the door will benefit Peacock Rebellion, a queer and trans people of color artist-activist-healers building a culture of social justice with an empasis on healing justice; and the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an indigenous women’s land and healing project. Dec. 9-10, 12-6 p.m., donations accepted. Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, HumanistHall.org.
Make Your Own Holiday Gift with Urban Air Market: The “Meet the Makers” happy crafting hour will include 20 DIY stations, providing everything you need to create screen-printed wrapping paper, flower-pressed cards, artisan body products, terrariums, and one-of-a-kind accessories. Fri., Dec. 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $10 suggested donation, UrbanAirMarket.com. Jack London Square, 55 Harrison, Oakland.
Oakland Women’s Bazaar Holiday Market: A place to shop local for all your holiday gifts! This marketplace showcases the unique and amazing products and services of local women artisans. Also enjoy live music, raffle, and a special surprise performance. Sat., Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free, OaklandWomensCenter.org/women-s-bazaar/. Oakland Women’s Center, 2811 Adeline St., Oakland, WomensCentersIntl.org.
Plaid Friday Weekend: Hella love Oakland? Shop local for the holidays! Join us on Plaid Friday Weekend to kick-off the holiday season. Fri., Nov. 24-Sun., Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. See OaklandGrown.org/holiday2017 for more details.Religion & Spirituality
Menorah Lighting: A nightly menorah lighting takes place in the hotel lobby throughout Chanukah with Rabbi Yehuda and Mrs. Miriam Ferris of Chabad of the East Bay who will say the blessings, tell the story of Chanukah, and sing traditional Jewish songs with sing-along song sheets and acoustic guitar. All are welcome. Dec. 12-20, 6 p.m., free, Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, Fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.
Starhawk’s Ritual on the 1st Night of Hanukkah: Join as we ritually explore the kabbalistic myth of the shattering of the vessels in this time of darkness. Tue., Dec. 12, 7 p.m. Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont, KehillaSynagogue.org.Fairs, Festivals, & Attractions
15th Annual Montclair Village Holiday Stroll: Holiday festivities light up Montclair Village! Stores will be open late for holiday shopping, and many will offer food, drink, and special discounts and promotional offers in celebration of the season and to support the pledge to Shop Montclair! Take photos with Santa, ride the trolley around the Village, and enjoy performances by local school choirs, churches, and others! Childrens arts and crafts will be on Antioch St. Free parking is provided at the Village Garage on the top of La Salle Ave. from 4:30-9 p.m. that night. Santa’s Village is located in Golden State Fitness @ 2011 Mountain Blvd. Santa’s Procession will travel up Mountain to arrive at Santa’s Village at about 5:35 p.m. Thu., Nov. 30, 5:30-8 p.m., free. Montclair Village, Park Blvd. and Thornhill Dr., Montclair, MontclairVillage.com.
2017 Hacienda Holiday Faire: Find all your handcrafted holiday gifts and support local artisans at our annual holiday faire at the historic Hacienda de las Flores. Hand-crafted gifts, decor, and specialty foods by more than 45 local artisans. All items are handmade. This event is sponsored by and is a fundraiser for The Hacienda Foundation. Complimentary wine tasting with Captain Vineyards. Fri., Dec. 1, noon-8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free, Facebook.com/HaciendaHolidayFaire. Hacienda de Las Flores, 2100 Donald Dr., Moraga.
53rd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony: Kick off the holiday season with this free event, meet Santa, enjoy children’s activities and live music. Fri., Nov. 24, 4 p.m., free. Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St, San Francisco.
Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony | Jack London Square: Oakland’s favorite annual holiday tradition promises to deliver holiday magic to the Oakland waterfront with the lighting of the spectacular 55-foot Mount Shasta Fir Tree adorned with 5,000 sparking white lights and 600 colorful ornaments. Fri., Dec. 1, 5 p.m., free. Jack London Square (2 Broadway), 2 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607, Oakland.
Asian American Craftswomen Holiday Fair: Handmade jewelry, pottery, clothing, mixed-media art, photography, herbals and astrology readings by local Asian American artists are featured in this Chinatown event. The fair is a benefit for Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA). Special author readings by Phiroozeh Petigara, Nayomi Munaweera and Natasha Singh (Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion) (1 p.m.); and Katie Quan (Memories of the 1982 ILGWU Strike in NY Chinatown). (2:15 p.m.). Sun., Dec. 3, noon-5 p.m., free, AsianAmericanCraftsWomen.com. Asian Resource Center, 310 8th St., Oakland, aiwa.org.
Black Friday at Bay Street: Bay Street kicks-off the holiday season with an all-new Black Friday lounge, the perfect place for shoppers to relax on the busiest shopping day of the year. Free for everyone, this special lounge will offer a relaxing setting with free hot apple cider, free back massages, a cozy fireplace, cell phone-charging stations, and more. Shoppers are also invited to enjoy live jazz from The John Calloway Trio, Machina Sol and Andre Thierry in the Center Plaza. Fri., Nov. 24, 1-6 p.m., free. Bay Street Emeryville, 5616 Bay St., Emeryville, BayStreetEmeryville.com.
Downtown San Leandro Holiday Tree Lighting: The San Leandro Improvement Association (SLIA) and “It’s a Wonderful Night” holiday celebration invites the community to kick-off the evening at 5:30 p.m. for the Holiday Tree Lighting. Once the Holiday Tree is lit, families will be able to take photos with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the plaza. Fri., Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m., free. Estudillo Plaza, pin Hide Map 1301 E 14th St, San Leandro.
GIFTY 2017: Dozens of leading artists, craftspeople, and Crucible faculty members will be selling their best handmade pieces in a holiday celebration of local creative culture. With works of glass, metal, wood, ceramics, and more, you will find the perfect gifts for all the people on your list! Sat., Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. The Crucible, 1260 7th St., Oakland, TheCrucible.org.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party: Under colorful swags of Union Jacks and boughs of holly, The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party returns for five weekends amid the theatrically-lit halls of the historic Cow Palace on Saturdays and Sundays (as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving) to offer visitors a delightfully immersive holiday experience unlike any other. Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 17, $10-$30, DickensFair.com/index.php. Cow Palace, Geneva Ave., San Francisco, CowPalace.com.
Holiday Craft Fair: Please join us for an exciting shopping event with our own community’s local artists, artisans, and creatives showcasing lovingly crafted gifts for the holidays! Sun., Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free, BCAClinic.com/events/2017/12/3/holiday-craft-fair. Berkeley Community Acupuncture Clinic, 2880 Sacramento St., Berkeley.
Holiday Open House: Whether you’ve never been to the Camron-Stanford House, or the museum is on your list of regular Oakland outings, we look forward to welcoming you for our annual Holiday Open House. On Sunday, Dec. 3, please join us for a visit free of charge. You’ll have the opportunity to see our current exhibit, A Gingerbread Christmas, and tour the period rooms decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas. Last entrance is at 3:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 3, 1-4 p.m., free. Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Dr., Oakland, CSHouse.org
KPFA’s 47th Annual Craneway Crafts Fair: The best, most diverse, and beautiful holiday shopping in the Bay Area. More than 180 artisans from California and beyond gather to exhibit and sell their original and quality handworks in all media. Enjoy live entertainment in a festive food court. Plentiful free parking on-site and a free shuttle from Richmond BART. The stunning Craneway Pavilion is situated on the Bay Trail with views of San Francisco. CranewayCraftsFair.com, Sat., Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $12 (age 18-64), $8 for seniors & disabled; free for youth. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond.
Macy’s 28th Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony: The ceremony is expected to begin at 6 p.m. and the tree is scheduled to be lit at 6:50 p.m. Fri., Nov. 24, 5 p.m., free, unionsquareshop.com/TreeLightingUnionSquare.html. Union Square Park, 333 Post St., San Francisco, unionsquarepark.us.
Snow Day in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto: Snow? in Berkeley? Bring boots and mittens to play in the snow. Visit with the Snow Queen, enjoy pony rides, make holiday crafts, shop arts & crafts vendors, sip hot cider and eat cookies. Sun., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Shattuck Avenue between Rose and Vine sts., Berkeley, AnotherBullwinkelShow.com.
Tree Lighting With Santa: With the wave our his magical hands, Santa will light up our Christmas tree at 6 p.m. in Center Court. Soon after, people are welcome to continue taking photos in our “Alameda Story” Santa House. Fri., Nov. 24, 6 p.m., free. Alameda South Shore Center, 523 South Shore Center West, Alameda, AlamedaSouthShoreCenter.com.
Union Street Fantasy of Lights Celebration: The Fantasy of Lights celebrates the season with thousands of twinkling white lights illuminating the Victorian houses and shops along Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner and Fillmore Street between Union and Lombard. Sat., Dec. 2, 3 p.m., free. Union Street, between Gough and Steiner, San Francisco.
Urban Air Market: Holiday: Urban Air Market: Holiday Show at Jack London Square celebrates more than 100 curated local vendors of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home decor, all sustainable finds that make perfect gifts for socially-conscious friends and family. Sun., Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free, UrbanAirMarket.com. Jack London Square, 55 Harrison St., Oakland.Kids
Brunch with Santa: Claremont Club & Spa’s lavish Sunday Brunch gets in the holiday spirit with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus carolers and an enhanced holiday menu. Holiday fun for the whole family! Sun., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $109 ($59 for kids), www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/promotions/holiday-events/. Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.
Gingerbread Decorating: Get creative and customize your very own holiday gingerbread house at this interactive event. Dec. 3, 2 p.m., $100-$125 per kit, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/promotions/holiday-events/. Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.
HandsOn Holidays: Hanukkah Celebration for Families with Young Children Join other families with young children to celebrate the festival of lights with Rabbi Bridget and beloved musician Isaac Zones. Enjoy Hanukkah songs and dancing, the holiday story, lighting the menorah, a hands-on holiday project, Hanukkah treats, and more. Older siblings and babies are also invited. Sun, Dec. 17, 10:30 a.m.-noon, $5-$30, Jewish Community Center East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley.
Holiday Nature Crafts for Kids: A Garden tradition, create gifts and decorations inspired by nature and the Garden’s collection. Mini evergreen wreaths, greeting cards from pressed botanicals, felt projects, nature-filled ornaments, and so much more! Sat., Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-noon, $20 for adults, $20 for children. University of California Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley, BotanicalGarden.Berkeley.edu.
Kid’s Night Out! Parent’s Night Off!! – Holidays & ZooLights: We offer a safe, fun-filled environment where you can drop off your children knowing they will have a blast playing and learning about wildlife. We will feed them, take them on a behind the scenes night tour, meet animals up-close, make a craft, and end the night with a movie! Sat., Dec. 16, 5:30-10 p.m., $30-$45. Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland, OaklandZoo.org.
The Marsh Berkeley Presents “Fool La La! Over the Rainbow”: This holiday season, The Marsh Berkeley celebrates the return of the Bay Area’s beloved Clown Prince of Fools, Unique Derique, in his zany holiday and New Year extravaganza “Fool La La! Over the Rainbow.” Featuring a sweet new bag of tricks and side-splitting physical comedy, this all-ages show will leave audiences laughing and dancing through the holidays and beyond. Following each performance, Unique Derique will also lead a free 20-minute Hambone and juggling workshop so the whole family can put a little zip in their step for the New Year. Wed., Dec. 20, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 21, 11 a.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 11 a.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 27, 2 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 28, 2 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 29, 2 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 30, 2 p.m.; Tue., Jan. 2, 2 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 3, 2 p.m.; Thu., Jan. 4, 2 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 5, 2 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 6, 2 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 7, 2 p.m., $15-35 sliding scale, $55-$100 reserved, themarsh.org/fool-la-la/unique-derique/. The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley, TheMarsh.org.
Winter Play Date for Children with Special Needs: Habitot Children’s Museum opens its doors for an afternoon of holiday fun exclusively for children with special needs and their families. Come play with our hands-on exhibits, explore the Art Studio and enjoy family bonding time in a safe, accessible and fun environment. Snacks and a free return visit pass included. Thu, Jan. 4, 2018, 2-5 p.m., Habitot Children’s Museum, 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley, Habitot.orgSocial Events
Holiday Party at Donkey & Goat Winery, First Friday Showcase!: We are wrapping up a successful 2017 season of First Friday Celebrations with a special holiday party! Take a break from the madness of this season by bringing friends and family to the winery for a relaxing evening filled with art, music, food, and wine! Donkey & Goat Wine Club Members, the first glass of wine is on us! Learn more about the benefits of our Wine Club at DonkeyandGoat.com/clubs Fri., Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m., free. A Donkey and Goat Winery, 1340 Fifth St., Berkeley, ADonkeyAndGoat.com.
Sugar Castles: Join Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Houdré and his team as they unveil two spectacular one-of-a-kind handcrafted castles in the lobby of The Westin St. Francis. This annual holiday tradition began in 2005 with the stunning Medieval Sugar Castle, a life-like French Chateau that becomes more extravagant with each passing year. The public is encouraged to attend and will enjoy complimentary coffee and tray-passed cookies. Wed., Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-noon, free, WestinStFrancis.com/holiday-events/. Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., San Francisco, WestinStFrancis.com.Sports
Holiday Hustle 5k, 10k: Adventure through the wonderfully decorated neighborhoods of Alameda, finding awesome displays, and answering simple multiple choice questions about each (about 25 checkpoints on the 5k, 40 on the 10k). The start occurs just as darkness is settling in, so flashlights will be most helpful. After the fun, return to some treats at the finish and an instant raffle. Sat., Dec. 23, 4:30-8 p.m., $10 to $35, go-terraloco.blogspot.com/2017/07/1223-holiday-hustle-5k-10k.html. Trinity Lutheran Church, 1323 Central Ave., Alameda.Culinary & Wine
Annual Chocolate Warehouse Sale: Join us for the Annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Warehouse Sale! The sales floor will be expanded to offer additional discounted gifts just in time for the holidays. Discover a unique assortment of signature squares chocolates, gift baskets, baking chocolate, gift tins, and a variety of exclusive chocolate gifts not available anywhere else. Plus, a coloring station for kids, holiday photo opportunities, a chance to win chocolate prizes, and a complimentary Ghirardelli hot cocoa sample for all guests! Visit our website for an additional 15% off your entire purchase coupon!, Ghirardelli.com/annual-warehouse-sale Sat., Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., free, Ghirardelli Factory Outlet, 1111 139th Ave., San Leandro.
Christmas Brunch: Enjoy seasonal salads, omelet and waffle stations, carving stations of honey-glazed ham, striploin and cider-brined turkey, as well as breakfast dishes and decadent desserts. *Reservations are recommended. Mon., Dec. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $129++ for adults, $69++ for kids age 6-12, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/promotions/holiday-events/. Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.
Christmas Buffet: Enjoy a Christmas feast in The Oak Room Restaurant with a delicious buffet overflowing with scrumptious appetizers, salads, seafood, and, of course, dessert. Mon., Dec. 25, 12-4 p.m., $110 for adults; $50 for children (ages 12 & under); free for kids (ages 3 & under), www.westinstfrancis.com/holiday-events/. The Oak Room Restaurant at The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., San Francisco.
Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet: Enjoy an elegant holiday dinner buffet at Meritage featuring seasonal salads, oysters, caviar, carving stations of prime rib and duck breast, and a selection of holiday-inspired hot entrees and side dishes. Sun., Dec. 24, 3-9 p.m., $109++ for adults, $59 for kids 6-12, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/promotions/holiday-events/. Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.
Holiday French Market: Sip mulled wine, enjoy French food, and shop for French products at this family-friendly event. Fri., Dec. 1, 4-8 p.m., free. Alliance Française, 2004 Woolsey St., Berkeley, AFBerkeley.org.
Holidays on the Bay(ou): Enjoy award-winning wines and ciders, the Grammy-nominated Prince of Zydeco, and several food vendors with New Orleans-style cuisine. Sat., Dec. 2, 5-10 p.m., $35 in advance (includes first glass of wine or cider for adults 21 and over), $25 for wine club members, $15 for designated drivers, Riggers Loft Wine Company, 1325 Canal Blvd., Richmond.
Thanksgiving Brunch: Enjoy traditional holiday dishes, breakfast items, and decadent desserts at Claremont’s annual Thanksgiving Brunch., *Reservations recommended Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $129++ adults, $69++ kids 6 – 12, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/promotions/holiday-events/. Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.
USS Hornet – Officers’ Holiday Tea: Join us in the Officers’ Wardroom for a winter tea service! Sat., Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $30 for adults, $20 for kids, go.evvnt.com/171592-0. USS Hornet Museum, 707 W. Hornet Ave., Alameda, USS-Hornet.org.Dance-Performance
Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker: Graham Lustig twists the classic story and retells The Nutcracker from an early-20th-century Vienna viewpoint. Sat., Dec. 23, 1 & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m., $23-$90. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com.
The Hard Nut by the Mark Morris Dance Group: What holiday season would be complete without go-go boots, dancing G.I. Joes, gender-bending snowflakes, and a spirited, slightly out-of-control family Christmas party? Mark Morris’ The Hard Nut returns to Zellerbach Hall for the first time in five years, delivering a pitch-perfect dose of both naughty and nice! Fri., Dec. 15, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 3 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 3 p.m., $40 and up. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CalPerformances.org.
Mittens & Mistletoe – A Winter Circus Cabaret: Sweet Can Productions presents Mittens and Mistletoe – A Winter Circus Cabaret, an intimate theatrical circus experience and a Bay Area favorite holiday tradition now in its eighth year. Mittens and Mistletoe returns with a new cast, added clowning, spectacular acrobatic circus feats, and interactive madcappery that will astonish and inspire the entire family. Fri., Dec. 22, 2 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 2 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 26, 2 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 27, 2 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 28, 2 & 4 p.m., $20-$60. Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., San Francisco, DanceMission.com.
Nutcracker: Enhance your holiday tradition at Ballet Petit’s 39th Annual Nutcracker. Ballet Petit’s Nutcracker will delight audiences of all ages. Meet the stars of the shows for photos, autographs, or to see lavish costumes up-close after all matinee shows. Reasonably priced tickets. Group discounts for groups of 10 or more. Sat., Dec. 2, 2-4 & 7-9 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 3, 2 & 7-9 p.m., $20 for children and seniors, $25 for adults, BalletPetit.com. Chabot College Performing Arts Center, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, Chabotweb.clpccd.cc.ca.us.
Winter Ballet Gala: Winter Ballet Gala is a performance rich in holiday culture from around the world. Holiday favorites will be featured both in the classical and contemporary styles. This dance event will embody the holiday spirit and the joy of performance art. The Nutcracker will be the second half of the performance. Rebecca Berke directs this performance for the 32nd year in the Bay Area. Diablo Ballet artists will perform along with students. Fri., Dec. 8, 7:30-9 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 2-3:30 p.m., $16.75 for general, $12 for groups of 10 or more, CommunityArts.org. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek.Theater & Performing Arts
“Christmas in Oz”-A Musical about Old Friends: Christmas in Oz is an enchanting, full-length Broadway-style musical treat for the entire family, overflowing with unforgettable songs, exciting dance numbers, and magical special effects. Somewhere in Kansas, Dorothy is lonely for her friends back in OZ. She returns to the Emerald City just in time for the big holiday celebration. But the holly is quickly stripped of its jolly when a sassy sorceress named Nefariosa crashes the party and kidnaps Santa Claus! A world-premiere production of a show that is destined to become a holiday tradition. Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 17, $20/$25, www.ebctonline.org/our-next-production. Chanticleers Theatre, 3683 Quail Ave., Castro Valley, Chanticleers.org.
32nd Annual Christmas Revels: Join the Revelers this December in the land of Robbie Burns to pass the shortest day in song, dance, and spirited folk tales. Fri., Dec. 8, 8-10 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 1-3 & 5-7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 1-3 & 5-7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15, 8-10 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 1-3 & 5-7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1-3 & 5-7 p.m., $20-$65, CaliforniaRevels.org. Oakland Scottish Rite Center and Theater, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland.
A Christmas Carol: Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts, it’s no wonder the critics have called it “THE Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area.” Join the thousands who make this theatrical event a part of their annual holiday traditions. Thu., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 8, 11 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 & 7 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 12, 9 a.m. & noon; Wed., Dec. 13, 9:30 a.m.; Thu., Dec. 14, 9:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m., www.centerrep.org/season1718/achristmascarol.php. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, LesherArtsCenter.org.
A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration: Town Hall Theatre celebrates this holiday season with the warm and deeply-moving musical play, A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, with music by Daryl Waters. Tickets are available through the Box Office at (925) 283-1557 or online at TownHallTheatre.com. Starting Nov. 30, Thursdays-Sundays, 8-10:30 p.m. Continues through Dec. 16, $18-$30. Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School St., Lafayette.
An Irish Christmas: An Irish Christmas features an award-winning cast of Irish dancers led by world champion dancers Scott Doherty (Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Rockin’ Road to Dublin) and Tyler Schwartz (Magic of the Dance, Gaelforce Dance, Celtic Fyre), as well as Connor Reider and Emily MacConnell. Celebrate the great tradition of butter making, chase the wren on St. Stephen’s Day, draw down the half door for spectacular dance, enjoy superb music-making and singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night! Sun., Dec. 3, 2-4 p.m., $25-$59. Dougherty Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon, www.SanRamonPerformingArts.com.
The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue: The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue delivers a healthy dose of seasonal satire where neither holiday film classics, family gatherings, nor Christmas carols are too sacred for a show that is the perfect alternative to the same old holiday shows. Dec. 5-31, $40 and up. Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, BerkeleyRep.org.