Winter Fun!

December 11, 2018

This season is always filled with good family fun. Here are a few to consider. We wish you a happy and safe holiday. There is a cost for some activities so be sure to check the websites.


Santa Train: Through Dec. 28. Come enjoy games, sing-alongs, holiday-inspired characters, hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies. Additional beverages and snack boxes available for purchase. $39-$69.


ZooLights: 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 7-Jan. 6, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road. Bright and colorfully lit animal-themed structures with music in motion, and a laser-light show, and festively-lit gondolas. In addition the Winter Wonderland attraction features Santa and falling “snow”. $9-$10.

Old Oakland Holiday Ice Rink: Dec. 14-Jan. 6, 806 Washington St. This is a new tradition in downtown Oakland. $13.

San Francisco

Fairmont Life-Size Holiday Gingerbread House: Through Jan. 1, 950 Mason St. The hotel’s giant gingerbread house is 25-feet high and 35-feet wide, built from 6,000 bricks of gingerbread and adorned with 3,300 pounds of icing and 1,650 pounds of candy.

Happier Holidays at Pier 39: Through Jan. 1, Beach Street and The Embarcadero. Nightly tree lighting show with a 60-foot Christmas tree at the top of each hour from 5–10 p.m. every evening.

Winter Park: Noon-10 p.m. through Jan. 6, Civic Center Plaza. Events here include curling lessons, First Responders appreciation days, holiday tree lighting. $5-$20.

‘Tis the Season for Science: Through Jan. 6, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park has outdoor snow flurries, a hands-on polar-themed exhibit, and a festive ice rink.

Holiday Ice Rink: Through Jan. 21, Union Square, 333 Post St. Special events include: Macy’s tree lighting, Drag Queens on Ice, silent skate party, learn to skate, Flashback Fridays and Polar Bear skate. $13-$25.

Lighted Boat Parade: December 15 on San Francisco Bay The oldest and largest lighted holiday boat parade on San Francisco Bay returns to the waterfront on December 15. Join The Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the St. Francis Yacht Club as dozens of boats illuminate the Bay to celebrate the holidays.

San Mateo

San Mateo on Ice: Through Jan. 13, Central Park, 50 E. Fifth Ave. This features a 9,000-square-foot ice rink and bumper cars on ice. $15-$16.

Santa Clara

WinterFest: Through Dec. 31, Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway. Ice Skate in front of the Carousel Columbia. Holiday activities also include light displays, some holiday shows, Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen. Visit website for times and prices.

Santa Clara Ice at Central Park: Through Jan. 21, 969 Kiely Blvd. Enjoy Open skate and classes and private events. Hours vary so please consult website. $10-$22.

San Jose

“A Winter Gift,” Celtic Music and Stories for the Season: 3 p.m. Dec. 9, First Congregational Church of San Jose, 1980 Hamilton Ave. Three noted Celtic harpists will perform Celtic legends, along with Irish and English literature woven together with special pieces of holiday music. $10-$20.

San Jose Brew Bike – Willow Glen Holiday Light Tours: Dec. 7-23, 132 Park Ave. This 90 minute tour of beautiful holiday lights and includes a pub stop halfway through. Private charter and individual seat options. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. $30.

Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice: Through Jan. 27, 120 S. Market St. San Jose has the only rink in the world that offers skating in and around a circle of 32 palm trees.

Christmas in the Park: Through Dec. 25 at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Downtown San Jose from 9 a.m. – midnight. If you have never need, this is worth the visit. There are over 500 Christmas trees! There are animated scenes from the Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker, and many other holiday stories around the park. Inside the park there are food stands, and right outside are rides and entrance is free. Special events include the December 10: Breakfast with Santa and the December 18: Santa Run.

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