Holiday listings are compiled by Todd Lavoie. Listings for Wed/13-Tues/19 are below; check back each week for updated events. See Picks for information on how to submit items to the listings.
“Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party” Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva; 897-4555, www.dickensfair.com. Sat-Sun, 11am-7pm. Through Dec. 23. $8-20. Step into a day in the life of Victorian London at this annual fair featuring costumed characters from literature and history, street vendors, games, and adult-only “after dark” festivities.
Ice Sculpting Union between Gough and Steiner; 1-800-310-6563. Sat/16, noon-4pm. Jaws will drop in wonder as nationally acclaimed ice sculptors work their magic for public display.
“Reindeer Romp” San Francisco Zoo, 1 Zoo Rd, Sloat at 47th Ave; 753-7080, www.sfzoo.org. Daily, 10am-5pm. Through Jan 1, 2007. Free with paid zoo admission ($4.50-11). Here’s a chance to show the little tykes what reindeer actually look like. Take a trip to Reindeer Romp Village and admire the beautiful creatures.
San Francisco SPCA Holiday Windows Express Macy’s, Stockton at O’Farrell; 522-3500, www.sfspca.org. During store hours. Through Dec 26. Free. The SF Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals presents an adorable display of cats and dogs; all featured pets are available for adoption.
“Holidays at Dunsmuir” Dunsmuir Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakl; (925) 275-9490, www.dunsmuir.org. Sat-Sun, 11am-5pm. $7-11. Through Sun/17. The mansion presents self-guided tours of its historic grounds, holiday teas, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more.
Knight Ridder’s Downtown Ice Circle of Palms, S Market across from Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose; (408) 279-1775, ext 45, www.sjdowntown.com. Through Sat/16, Jan 2-14: Mon-Thurs, 5-10pm; Fri, 5pm-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight; Sun, noon-10pm. Dec 17-24, 26-30: noon-midnight. Dec 25: 2pm-midnight. Dec 31-Jan 1: noon-10pm. $12-14. A glide around this outdoor rink is a perfect way to ring in the holidays; price includes skate rentals.
“Holiday Sweater Good Vibe Drive” Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo, Berk; www.falcorandfriends.com. Sun/17, 9pm, $15. Throw on your most Cosby-licious sweater and head down to Ashkenaz for an evening of socially conscious entertainment by the Everyone Orchestra and Magicgravy. Falcor and Friends, in conjunction with Conscious Alliance, encourage attendees to not only sport their cheesiest in knitwear finery but also to bring a new, unwrapped toy or gift to help those in need in the Bay Area.
“Ask a Scientist Holiday Trivia Contest Party” Bazaar Café, 5927 California; 831-5620. Tues/19, 7pm, free. Looking to flex your trivia muscles a bit? The Exploratorium’s Robin Marks hosts an evening of holiday-themed noggin-scratching and chest-puffing with a science quiz show. Bring your own team or form one with other people who show up; winners receive drinks, prizes, and Nobel Prizes. OK, I made the last part up …
“Bill Graham Menorah Day” Union Square; 753-0910. Sun/17, 2-5pm, free. Honor the Bay Area legend and celebrate the Festival of Lights with music by hip-hop artists Chutzpah and rocker Rebbe Soul. A ceremony follows the performances, culminating in the lighting of the third candle of the Bill Graham public menorah at 5pm.
“DJ Abel’s Black XXXMas” Factory, 525 Harrison; www.industrysf.com. Sat/16, 10pm-6am, $30. Industry and Gus Presents join forces to deliver one of the biggest holiday bashes in the city. Alegria superstar DJ Abel pumps bootylicious beats for revelers wishing to work off all of those Christmas candy calories.
“Good Vibrations Goodie Shoppe Ball” Club NV, 525 Howard; www.goodvibes.com. Thurs/14, 8pm-2am. $20-25. Good Vibrations will satisfy your more carnal Christmas wishes with an evening of sensual revelry hosted by Dr. Carol Queen and blues temptress Candye Kane, who will also perform. Jack Davis brings his inspired designs to the runway with his Lick your Lips line, and Miss Kitty Carolina raises temperatures with a festively feisty burlesque show. Candy-themed attire is encouraged.
“Old English Christmas Feast and Revels” Mark Hopkins International Hotel, One Nob Hill; 431-1137. Sun/17, 4pm, $80-130. Reservations required. A five-course dinner fit for royalty and a performance by the Golden Gate Boys Choir are certain to make for a memorable holiday celebration.
“Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair” Telegraph between Bancroft and Dwight, Berk. Sat/16-Sun/17, 11am-6pm. Also Dec 23-24. Free. The Telegraph business district transforms into a street party with an impressive array of live music, fine food, and unique handicrafts from area artisans.
“A Cathedral Christmas” Grace Cathedral, 1100 California; 1-866-468-3399. Fri, 7pm; Sat-Sun, 3pm. $15-50. Through Dec 22. The Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, with orchestra, sings a program of holiday favorites.
“A Chanticleer Christmas” St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker; 392-4400. Sat/16, 8pm, $25-44. Grammy Award winners Chanticleer, a 12-man a cappella choir, sings a program of sacred and traditional holiday music. Along with holiday carols, the group performs medieval and Renaissance sacred works and African American spirituals.
“Alien For Christmas Party” Hotel Utah Saloon, 500 Fourth St; 546-6300. Sun/17, 9pm, $6. Be sure to dress up in your favorite alien attire for an evening of wacky fun. Groovy Judy and special guests Third Date and Mobius Donut will bring the funk-rock your holiday season so desperately needs.
“Ariela Morgenstern’s Classical Cabaret” Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento; 474-1608, www.oldfirstconcerts.org. Fri/15, 8pm, $12-15. Need some Kurt Weill and Marlene Dietrich to get you in a jolly mood? Ariela Morgenstern, accompanied by two other vocalists, a pianist, and an accordion player, performs cabaret and musical theater favorites from the Weimar Republic right up to today’s showstoppers.
“Candlelight Christmas” Most Holy Redeemer Church, 100 Diamond; 863-6259. Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm, $10-15. San Francisco State’s four choral ensembles from the School of Music and Dance present an eclectic program in a candlelit setting. Works performed range from Renaissance motets to gospel favorites.
“Festival of Carols” Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento; 1-888-RAG-AZZI. Sun/17, 4pm, $10-25. The Ragazzi Boys Chorus performs a medley of carols arranged by Allen and Julie Simon, with accompaniment by a chamber orchestra and guest organist Susan Jane Matthews.
“Frankye Kelly and Her Quartet” Wells Fargo History Museum, 420 Montgomery; 396-4165. Mon/18, noon-1pm, free. Treat yourself to a relaxing lunch hour with a Christmas-themed performance by Bay Area jazz-blues vocalist Frankye Kelly.
“Golden Gate Men’s Chorus Winter Concert” St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 3281 16th St; www.ggmc.org. Thurs/14, 8pm; Sun/17, 2 and 7:30pm. Also Dec 20, 8pm. $20. Musical director Joseph Jennings guides the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus through a repertoire of holiday favorites and audience sing-alongs.
“Handel’s Messiah” Grace Cathedral, 1100 California; 749-6350. Mon/18-Tues/19, 7:30pm, $20-55. The American Bach Soloists’ version of this classic work is sure to impress, especially when performed in such gorgeous surroundings.
“Hardcore Hanukkah Tour” Balazo Gallery, 2183 Mission; www.hanukkahtour.com. Fri/15, 8pm. $7. Mosh your way into the Festival of Lights with performances by Australian punks Yidcore, New Orleans klezmer-zydeco upstarts the Zydepunks, East Bay rockers Jewdriver, and many others. Clips from the Israeli punk documentary Jericho’s Echo: Punk Rock in The Holy Land will also be shown.
“House of Voodoo Deathmas Ball” Club Hide, 280 Seventh St; www.houseofvoodoo.com. Fri/15, 9pm, $5. If you’ve had your fill of jolly elves, creep into your darkest, deathliest goth-industrial clubwear and brood away to the sounds of DJs Hellbrithers, Geiger, and Caligari. Get your nibbles with Mizzuz Voodoo’s famously ill-willed cookies and be sure to bring something suitably gothic (and wrapped with black ribbon, perhaps) for the gift exchange.
“Martuni’s Holiday Extravaganza” Martuni’s, Four Valencia; www.kielbasia.com. Sun/17, 6pm, free. Camp it up this holiday season with an evening of martini-fuelled debauchery. Scheduled performers include Bijou, Cookie after Dark, Katya, and Kielbasia — “San Francisco’s Favorite Accordion-Playing Lunch Lady.”
“Renaissance Christmas” St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, 2390 Bush; 567-7824. Tues/19, 7:30pm, $10-20. The St. Dominic’s Solemn Mass Choir and Festival Orchestra, directed by Simon Berry, raise spirits with an inspiring program of music, including work by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Sing-along carols will round out the evening.
San Francisco City Chorus Wells Fargo History Museum, 420 Montgomery; 396-4165. Tues/19, noon-1pm, free. A venerable musical institution in the city since 1979, the San Francisco City Chorus performs a program of holiday favorites.
“Season of Sound Performances” Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon; www.exploratorium.edu. Sat/16-Sun/17, noon-3pm. Free with admission. The Exploratorium hosts two afternoons of eclectic holiday entertainment, with programs including the Golden Gate Boys Choir, opera singers Kathleen Moss and Will Hart, hand bell group Ringmasters of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Eastern European folksingers Born to Drone.
“Snowfall: An Evening of Holiday Carols” Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th St; 840-0675. Sat/16, 8pm. $15-20. The San Francisco Concert Chorale, accompanied by harpist Dan Levitan, evoke snow-covered landscapes with relaxing English Christmas carols.
“This Shining Night” St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 3281 16th St; 863-6371. Tues/19, 8pm, $15. Local men’s a cappella ensemble Musaic, led by artistic director Justin Montigne, bring tidings of comfort and joy with a program of Christmas carols and holiday songs.
“’Tis the Season Holiday Concert” St. Gregory of Nyssa, 500 De Haro; www.cantabile.org. Wed/13, 8pm, $20-25. Join the Cantibale Chorale, artistic director Sanford Dole, and pianist T. Paul Rosas in a unique holiday celebration. Poems by Robert Graves and e.e. cummings are transformed into Christmas songs, and the Chorale reinterprets Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite as a song cycle.
“What I Want for Christmas” Jazz at Pearl’s, 256 Columbus; 1-800-838-3006. Thurs/14, 8 and 10pm, $15. Jazz vocalist Russ Lorenson celebrates the release of his new holiday CD, What I Want for Christmas, with a romantic candlelit performance accompanied by the Kelly Park Jazz Quintet. Among the holiday chestnuts will be swinging Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer numbers.
“Wintersongs” Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez; (510) 444-0323. Fri/15, 8:15pm. $25. KITKA Women’s Vocal Ensemble explores Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions with a concert of carols, pre-Christian incantations, and Hebrew folk songs.
“Amahl and the Night Visitors” St. Hilary Catholic Church, 761 Hilary Drive, Tiburon; (415) 485-9460. Sat/16, 4pm. Donations accepted. Paul Smith directs Contemporary Opera Marin in its adaptation of the Menotti classic.
“Bella Sorella Holiday Show” Little Fox Theater, 2219 Broadway, Redwood City; (650) FOX-4119. Sun/17, 7pm. $16. Renowned soprano ensemble Bella Sorella will enchant audiences with songs from its new album, Popera, as well as a series of holiday favorites.
“Celtic Christmas” Sanchez Concert Hall, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica; (650) 355-1882. Sun/17, 3pm. $12-20. Old World holiday cheer will be had by all as Golden Bough perform Celtic carols and winter favorites, as well as its own original compositions.
“Christmas Revels” Scottish Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside Dr, Oakl; (510) 452-3800. Fri/15, 7:30pm; Sat/16-Sun/17, 1 and 5pm. $15-42. Get a taste of Christmas in Quebec as the musical dance troupe California Revels pay tribute to French Canadian traditions.
“Harmonies of the Season” St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito, Oakl; (510) 652-4722. Sat/16, 7pm. $15-20. The Pacific Boychoir Academy sings a program featuring Rutter’s Gloria with brass ensemble as well as an a cappella performance of Francis Poulenc’s Four Motets for Christmas.
“Hardcore Hanukkah Tour” 924 Gilman, Berk; www.hanukkahtour.com. Sat/16, 8pm, $7. Mosh your way into the Festival of Lights with performances by Australian punks Yidcore, New Orleans klezmer-zydeco upstarts the Zydepunks, East Bay rockers Jewdriver, and many others. Clips from the Israeli punk documentary Jericho’s Echo: Punk Rock in The Holy Land will also be shown.
Klezmatics 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley; (415) 383-9600. Sat/16, 8pm. $35-45. What better way to celebrate Hanukkah than tapping your feet to the joyful sounds of klezmer? The legendary Klezmatics pay tribute to the Jewish songs of Woody Guthrie with a program of wildly imaginative adaptations of his lyrics.
“Seaside Singers and Friends” Sanchez Concert Hall, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica; (650) 355-1882. Sat/16, 7:30pm. $5-8. Ellis French directs the Seaside Singers in a performance of the Britten favorite Ceremony of Carols. The program also includes the Ocean Shore School Chorus and the Friday Mornings Ensemble.
“’Tis the Season Holiday Concert” St. John’s Presybterian Church, 2727 College, Berk; www.cantibale.org. Sun/17, 7:30pm. $20-25. Join the Cantibale Chorale, artistic director Sanford Dole, and pianist T. Paul Rosas in a unique holiday celebration. Poems by Robert Graves and e.e. cummings are transformed into Christmas songs, and the Chorale reinterprets Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite as a song cycle.
“Wintersongs” First Unitarian Church, 685 14th St, Oakl; (510) 444-0323. Sun/17, 7pm. $20-25. KITKA Women’s Vocal Ensemble explores Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions with a concert of carols, pre-Christian incantations, and Hebrew folk songs.
NUTCRACKERS AND CRACKED NUTS
“Berkeley Ballet Theatre Presents: The Nutcracker” Julia Morgan Center For the Arts, 2640 College, Berk; www.juliamorgan.org. Fri/15, 7pm; Sat/16, 2 and 7pm; Sun/17, 2pm. The Berkeley Ballet Theatre performs the holiday classic, with choreography by Sally Streets and Robert Nichols.
THEATER, COMEDY, AND PERFORMANCE
“Beach Blanket Babylon’s Seasonal Extravaganza” Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd (Green St); 421-4222. Wed/13, 5 and 8pm; Thurs/14, 8pm; Fri/15-Sat/16, 7 and 10pm; Sun/17, 2 and 5pm. Through Dec 31. $25-77. Sure, the label gets used a lot, but Steve Silver’s musical comedy is really and truly an extravaganza, with topical humor, dancing Christmas trees, outrageous costumes, and the biggest Christmas hat you’ve ever seen in your life.
“Big All-Sunday Player Holiday Musical” Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Buchanan at Marina; 474-6776. Sun/17, 7pm. $8. The fast-on-their-feet folks at BATS Improv end their year with a completely improvised comedy musical.
“Christmas Ballet” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Theater Building, 700 Howard; 978-2787. Opens Fri/15. Fri/15-Sat/16, Tues/19, 8pm; Sat/16-Sun/17, 2pm; Sun/17, 7pm. $45-55. The Smuin Ballet offers a mix of ballet, tap, swing, and many other dance styles in a holiday performance set to music by everyone from Placido Domingo to Eartha Kitt.
“A Christmas Carol” American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary; 749-2228, www.act-sf.org. Wed/13, 2pm; Thurs/14, 2 and 7pm; Fri/15, 7pm; Sat/16, 2 and 7pm; Tues/19, 7pm. Also Dec 20-23, 7pm; Dec 20, 22-23, 2pm; Dec 24, noon. Through Dec 24. $13.50-81.50. The American Conservatory Theater presents Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh’s adaptation of the Dickens holiday story, featuring sets by Tony Award–winning designer John Arnone, original songs by Karl Lundeberg, costumes by Beaver Bauer, and choreography by Val Caniparolo.
“Classical Christmas Special” Florence Gould Theater, Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park; 392-4400. Sat/16-Sun/17, 2pm. $35-40. For holiday family fun with a classical music theme, this variety show is sure to be a hit. Enjoy performances by San Francisco Opera singers Kristin Clayton and Bojan Knezevic and 10-year-old cellist Clark Pang; watch a ballet set to the music of Robert Schumann; and listen to a telling of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” accompanied by the music of Scott Joplin.
“Holiday Cabaret” Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida; 252-9000. Fri/15-Sat/16, 7pm dance lessons, 8pm showtime. $25-30. Director Heather Morch leads a cast of more than 50 student and professional dancers in this showcase from the Metronome Dance Center. The program includes everything from tango to Lindy Hop and salsa; arrive early for dance lessons.
“I’m Dreaming of a Wet Christmas” Off-Market Theatre, 965 Mission; (510) 684-8813. Fri-Sat, 10pm. Through Sat/16. $15. Submergency! presents an evening of holiday-themed improv comedy with its multimedia squirtgun-toting laugh fest.
“It Could Have Been a Wonderful Life” Phoenix Theater, 414 Mason; 820-1400. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through Dec 24. $20-25. Fred Raker’s laugh-filled retelling of the Christmas classic delivers a distinctly Jewish spin on the Frank Capra story.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 855 Bush; 345-1287. Thurs/14, 8pm; Sat/16-Sun/17, 2pm. Through Dec 23. $10-30. Joe Landry’s adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic holiday film, directed by Kenneth Vandenberg, is performed in the style of live radio broadcasts from the ’40s.
“A Queer Carol” New Conservatory Theatre, Decker Theatre, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972, www.nctsf.org. Wed/13-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 2pm. Through Dec 31. $22-40. The New Conservatory Theatre Center presents Joe Godfrey’s comedy A Queer Carol, a retelling of Charles Dickens’s classic tale, but with gay themes and characters.
“Santaland Diaries” Off-Market Theatre, 965 Mission; 1-866-811-4111, www.theatermania.com. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Dec 31. $20-30. Steinbeck Presents and Combined Art Form Entertainment bring shrieks of glee with their adaptation of David Sedaris’s hilarious play, featuring the comic genius of actors John Michael Beck and David Sinaiko.
“Trimming the Holidays: The Second Annual Shorts Project” Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 503-0437, www.lveproductions.com. Runs Fri-Sun, 8pm; Mon/18, 8pm. Through Dec 23. $17-20. La Vache Enragee Productions presents a holiday-themed evening of short plays and silent films accompanied by music composed by Christine McClintock.
“A Very Brechty Christmas” Custom Stage at Off-Market, 965 Mission; 1-800-838-3006. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Dec 23. $15-35. The Custom Made Theatre Company, under the direction of Lewis Campbell and Brian Katz, brings two short, socially conscious plays to the stage for a bit of holiday season perspective: Bertolt Brecht’s The Exception and the Rule and Daniel Gerould’s Candaules, Commissioner.
“Bad Santa: The Director’s Cut” Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; www.cafilm.org. Sat/16, 7:30pm. $9.50. Bay Area filmmaker Terry Zwigoff introduces the original director’s cut of his wonderfully snarky holiday feature and answers questions posed by San Francisco film programmer Anita Monga.
“A Christmas Carol” Sonoma County Repertory Theater, 104 North Main St, Sebastopol; (707) 823-0177. Thurs/14-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 2pm. Through Dec 23. $15-20; Thurs, pay what you can. Artistic director Scott Phillips leads the Sonoma Country Repertory in an inventive rendition of the Charles Dickens tale.
“Christmas Dreamland” Heritage Theatre, 1 West Campbell Ave, Campbell; 1-888-455-7469. Wed/13, 7pm; Thurs/14, 2 and 7pm; Fri/15, 8pm; Sat/16, 2 and 8pm; Sun/17, 1 and 6:30pm; Tues/19, 7pm. Through Dec 24. $48-73. Artistic director Tim Bair leads the American Musical Theatre of San Jose in the world premiere of its multimedia holiday showcase.
“Circus Finelli’s Holiday Extravaganza” Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College, Berk; www.juliamorgan.org. Through Dec 24, 1 and 3pm; Dec 21, 9pm. $8-15. The Clown Conservatory of the SF Circus Center brings holiday cheer with a comedy stage show filled with acrobatics, juggling, dance, live music, and yes, clown high jinks.
“Keep the Yuletide Gay” Dragon Theater, 535 Alma, Palo Alto; (415) 439-2456, www.theatrereq.org. Thurs/14-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 2pm. Through Dec 30. $10-25. Theatre Q presents this world premiere of its irreverent comedy about a Christmas Eve dinner party that devolves into chaos when one of the guests hires a mystic to try to make their gay friend straight for the hostess.
“Navidad Flamenca” La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 849-2568, ext 20. Sat/16, 8pm. $20. Bring some fiery holiday passion into your holiday season with an evening of flamenco magic. Performers include special guest vocalist Vicente Griego and dancers Carola Zertuche, Cristina Hall, Fanny Ara, and Flamenco Kalore.
TREE LIGHTINGS AND FAMILY EVENTS
Bill Graham Menorah Union Square; 753-0910. First candlelighting: Fri/15, 3pm. Second candle: Sat/16, 7pm. Succeeding candles: Sun/17-Tues/19, 5pm. Also Dec 20-21, 5pm. Final candle lighting Dec 22, 3pm. Observe the Festival of Lights by visiting the impressively large public menorah in Union Square.
“Boudin at the Wharf’s Old-Fashioned North Pole” Boudin at the Wharf, 160 Jefferson; 928-1849. Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, noon-4pm. Through Dec 23. Carolers, refreshments, and special visits from Santa mean family fun as Pier 43 is transformed into a wintry wonderland.
“Breakfast With Santa” Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, Embarcadero at Beach; 623-5300. Sat/16-Sun/17, 9-11am. $20-35. Bring the kids down to the aquarium to watch Santa arrive by boat. Afterward, they can enjoy breakfast, games, craft-making, and a chance to meet Santa.
“Children’s Tea” Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, One Nob Hill; 616-6916. Sat-Sun, noon-3pm. Through Dec 30. $39. The legendary Top of the Mark sky lounge hosts a holiday-themed afternoon tea for families. In addition to some fine views of the city, guests will be treated to a magic show.
“Fairyland Tree Lighting Ceremony” Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue, Oakl; (510) 452-2259. Fri/15, 6:45pm. Free with admission. Enjoy holiday nibbles and cocoa as the lights go aglow in Fairy Winterland.
“Menorah Lighting Ceremony” Bay Street Plaza, Powell at Shellmound, Emeryville; www.baystreetemeryville.com. Sun/17, 4:30pm. Chabad of the East Bay hosts the lighting of a 10-foot-tall menorah, officiated by Rabbi Yehuda Ferris. Families will be treated to traditional sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts),a Hanukkah sing-along, and performances by Buki the Clown.
“Miracles at the Chimes” Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont, Oakl; (510) 654-0123. Sat/16-Sun/17, 10am-5pm. Free. Admire the 15-and-a-half-foot noble fir tree, drink hot cocoa, and enjoy fine musical performances. Santa will visit occasionally; check ahead for dates.
“Night of Remembrance” Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont, Oakl; (510) 654-0123. Wed/13, 7pm. Free. Honor loved ones who have passed and celebrate their lives. Participants can create a memory ornament to hang on the Chapel’s Remembrance Tree. Music by the Bay Bell Ensemble, Catherine J. Brozena, and the Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus. One day only.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
“Feria Urbana” Canvas Café and Gallery, 1200 Ninth Ave; 505-0060. Thurs/14, 6-11pm; Sat/16-Sun/17, noon-5pm. Free. Here’s an opportunity to support the local arts community and take care of your shopping needs at the same time. Local artisans and designers show off their clothing, home accessories, and many other gift ideas; all three days feature different vendors. If you like groovy beats to accompany your shopping experience, attend Thursday’s event, which will be DJed by the swell folks at OM Records.
“Great Dickens Christmas Fair” Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva; 1-800-510-1558. Sat-Sun, 11am-7pm. Through Dec 23. $8-20. For a slower-paced shopping experience, this winter wonderland offers a range of theater and entertainment, costumed Victorian-era characters, sumptuous feasts, and gift ideas aplenty.
“Hands-on Mexican Holiday Cooking Class” Encantada Gallery of Fine Arts, 908 Valencia; 642-3939. Sat/16-Sun/17, 11am-2:30pm, $70. Advance registration required. Laurie Mackenzie, chef and scholar of Latin American cuisine, leads an instructional course on making tamales. While you’re there, check out the Encantada’s Bazaar Navideno for Mexican folk art and ceramics, as well as locally made fine art.
“Mexican Museum Holiday Family Day” Mission Library, 300 Bartlett; 202-9700, ext 721. Sat/16, noon-2pm, free. Multimedia artist Favianna Rodriguez of the Mexican Museum presents a slide show and hands-on workshop about nichos, a Latin American craft designed to protect special treasures and pictures of loved ones. The museum will supply materials for these decorative boxes; participants are encouraged to bring photos and mementos to personalize their nichos.
“Peace, Love, Joy, ART” ARTworkSF, main gallery, 49 Geary; 673-3080. Tues-Sat, noon-5:30pm. Through Dec 30. Browse locally made handiworks for holiday gift ideas.
“Physics of Toys: Museum Melody” Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon; www.exploratorium.edu. Sat/16, 11am-3pm. Free with admission. Learn how to make noisemakers for delightful Christmas gifts and for ringing in the New Year just around the corner.
“Public Glass Artist Showcase” Crocker Galleria, 50 Post; 671-4916. Through Sun/17: daily, 10am-6pm. Dec 18-22: daily, 10am-7pm. Free. More than 15 local glass artists will exhibit their work, offering many one-of-a-kind gifts. Public Glass is the city’s only nonprofit center for glassworking, and this will be its sole downtown event of the year.
“Berkeley Potters Guild Gallery Show and Holiday Sale” 731 Jones, Berk; (510) 524-7031. Sat-Sun and Dec 19-22, 10am-5pm. Through Dec 24. Free. Browse through the wares of the oldest and largest clay collaborative group on the West Coast.
“Bilingual Piñata-Making Party for All Ages” Oakland Public Library, Martin Luther King Jr. Branch, 6833 International Blvd, Oakl; (510) 238-3615. Sat/16, 2pm. Free. Learn how to make and decorate your own holiday piñata, with instruction given in both Spanish and English.
“Crucible’s Gifty Holiday Art Sale and Open House” Crucible, 1260 Seventh St, Oakl; (510) 444-0919. Sat/16-Sun/17, 10am-4pm. Free. The Crucible, a nonprofit sculpture studio and arts center, opens its doors to the public for a holiday sale meant for the whole family. In addition to providing one-of-a-kind gift options such as ceramics, glassware, and sculptures, the studio will offer glass blowing and blacksmithing demonstrations, hands-on activities for kids, and the memorable experience of seeing Santa arrive by flaming sleigh!
“EclectiXmas Art Show and Sale” Eclectix Store and Gallery, 7523 Fairmount, El Cerrito; (510) 364-7261. Tues, 10am-2pm; Wed, noon-6pm; Thurs, 11am-7pm; Fri, 10am-7pm; Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-2pm. Through Dec 24. Free. Nothing says “I love you” like giving the gift of sculpture or painting or photography. Browse the gallery’s group show for imaginative gifts.
“Expressions Holiday Bazaar and Trunk Show” Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby, Berk; (510) 644-4930. Sun/17, noon-5pm. Free. For interesting handcrafted gifts, the Expressions Gallery’s show offers jewelry, scarves, mittens, among other things.
“Holiday Land Gift Sale” Blankspace, 6608 San Pablo, Oakl; (510) 547-6608. Sat/16, 1-7pm; Sun/17, noon-5pm. Free. Bay Area artists sell their cards, artwork, accessories, and unique gifts; proceeds from ornament sales support the Destiny Arts Center in Oakland. A performance by Kittinfish Mountain will get you in the shopping mood, and prizes will be given away as well.
“Pro Arts Holiday Sale” 550 Second St, Oakl; (510) 763-4361. Tues-Sat, noon-6pm; Sun, noon-5pm. Through Dec 21. Free. This nonprofit organization supporting Bay Area artists offers jewelry, glassware, ceramics, and other potential gifts. SFBG