Bay Area holiday events preview 

click to enlarge This Sunday is the Pier 39 Christmas Tree Lighting celebration at 6:30 p.m. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • This Sunday is the Pier 39 Christmas Tree Lighting celebration at 6:30 p.m.

Twinkling light displays, massive Christmas trees, skating, crafts and shopping round out the Bay Area's season slate of festivities.

Global Winter Wonderland

Great America theme park is lighting up various rides in a kaleidoscopic lantern show for the holidays. A seasonal laser light show and entertainment by acrobats and kung fu artists from China round out special programming at the park.

  • When: Select dates, Nov. 23-Jan. 1
  • Where: Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara
  • Contact: (888) 598-9035,

Pier 39 Tree Lighting

Interactive exhibits, live holiday music and singalongs accompany the annual lighting celebration of the 60-foot tree, at 6 p.m.

  • When: Noon to 6:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Pier 39, Beach Street at The Embarcadero, S.F.
  • Contact: (415) 421-2259,

Turkey Trail Trot

Now in its 10th year, the annual walk-run event begins with a children’s 100-meter gobbler chase. Turkey and pilgrim costumes are encouraged.

  • When: 8 a.m. Nov. 22
  • Where: Golden Gate Park Polo Fields, near 36th Avenue and Fulton Street, S.F.
  • Contact:

Family Cardmaking Workshop

Art teachers demonstrate block printing, photo transfers, painting and drawing at the holiday craft event.

  • When: 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 1
  • Where: Children’s Art Center, Building C, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.
  • Contact: (415) 771-0292,


Union Street Fantasy of Lights

Union Street merchants kick off a month of holiday festivities, including seasonal lights, face painters, balloon artists and a visit from Santa and his elves at the Metro Theater, 2055 Union St., at 5:30 p.m.

  • When: 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 1
  • Where: Union Street between Van Ness Avenue and Steiner Street, S.F.
  • Contact:


Holiday Traditions from Around the World

The San Mateo County History Museum hosts a free crafts event for children, who can learn how to make holiday items from Germany, the Philippines, England, Italy, Japan and Mexico.

  • When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1
  • Where: 2200 Broadway, Redwood City
  • Contact: (650) 299-0104,

Bazaar Bizarre

The locally produced arts and crafts show, in its sixth year, hosts a holiday edition featuring quality handmade goods, DIY workshops and a raffle.

  • When: 11 a.m to 6 p.m. Dec. 1-2
  • Where: Concourse Exhibition Center, East Hall, 620 Seventh St., S.F.
  • Contact:


Muir Beach Quilters’ Arts Fair

The free juried show in Marin features exceptional arts and crafts, free fun for children in a gingerbread attic and a gourmet buffet.

  • When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2
  • Where: Muir Beach Community Center, 19 Seascape Drive, Muir Beach
  • Contact:


Half Moon Bay Night of Lights

Festivities include caroling, roasted chestnuts, eggnog and a tree-lighting ceremony in Mac Dutra Park followed by children adorned in twinkling lights marching down Main Street.

  • When: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7
  • Where: Main and Kelly streets, Half Moon Bay
  • Contact: (650) 726-8380,


Holiday Tea

The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society hosts a festively decorated high tea in the gilded Belle Epoque counting room at The Old Mint.

  • When: Noon and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7
  • Where: Old Mint, 88 Fifth St., S.F.
  • Contact: (415) 537-1105,

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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