Top Picks for Family Fun Around the Bay Area

Silicon Valley

Holiday STEAM Projects for Kids. Dec. 15. STEAM projects include building coding tree ornaments, snowflake art and making a toy dreidel. FREE. San Jose.

Santa Visits. Dec. 16. This fun holiday event includes an opportunity to meet Santa and take a family picture (bring your camera!) and a receive a book for every child while supplies last. FREE. San Jose.

Solstice Family Fun. Dec. 16. Learn what solstice is through stories, games, music, and crafts of the season at Hidden Villa. $20 adult and child. Los Altos Hills.

Magic Tree House Planetarium Show. Dec. 16. In Magic Tree House: Space Mission, a mysterious "M" sends the intrepid Jack and Annie on a fun-filled journey to discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel and more. Enjoy this special planetarium show for fans of the Magic Tree House books. $7. Cupertino

Academy of Classical Ballet Presents A Winter Wonderland. Dec. 16-17. See young Beatrice as she goes on an adventure through the enchanted woods where she encounters penguins, reindeer and other animals. $20-25. Campbell.

SF, Marin & Peninsula

Lighted Boat Parade. Dec. 15. Boats festooned with lights and holiday decorations will parade along the San Francisco waterfront in the oldest and largest boat parade on San Francisco Bay. The best viewing locations are Pier 39, Aquatic Park, Marina Green and Crissy Field. FREE. San Francisco.

San Francisco Ballet: The Nutcracker. Dec. 13-30. The first Nutcracker in the United States premiered in San Francisco in 1944. This favorite holiday production features snowflakes, dancing flowers and a little girl who dreams about a whole new world. For age 3 and up only. $25-398. San Francisco.

Latkepalooza Unplugged. Dec. 16. Enjoy live music, Israeli dancing, glow-in-the-dark crafts and games, a Hanukkah gift shop, candle lighting and wine tasting. FREE. Foster City.

San Francisco Symphony: Home Alone. Dec. 16-17. The orchestra performs John Williams’ charming and delightful score live while the popular holiday movie is shown on the screen. $69-166. San Francisco.

A Very Merry Dorktale. Dec. 17. Think fractured fairytales meets Big Bang Theory! This is a family-fun, story time series of goofier versions of favorite classics adored by generations. Suitable for all ages, they’re fast-paced, interactive, full of giggles and entertaining…even for adult types. Stay for the Fezziwig Fest after the show. $10. Redwood City.

East Bay

The Biggest Gift. Dec. 14-17. Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble will present this fun story of Tucker the elf and the toys as they set out to save Christmas. Showtimes vary. $14. Walnut Creek.

Monarchs & Milkweed. Dec. 15. Meet at the greenhouse to seek caterpillars and eggs on the milkweed plants and then look for Monarch butterflies in the nearby forest. 1:30-2:30pm. $6 adults, $4 ages 4-17, under 4 FREE. Fremont.

Winter Fest. Dec. 15. Learn about the diverse winter traditions reflected in the Bay Area including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and Balinese and Latin American festivities at this special Friday Nights @ OMCA with performances and kids’ activities. Fri., 5-9pm. $7.50 adults, ages 18 and under FREE. Oakland.

Kid’s Night Out! Dec. 16. Drop off your children, ages 4-10, at a special holiday-themed evening where kids can learn about wildlife, meet animals, go on a behind-the-scenes night tour and see the ZooLights! Register in advance. 5:30-10pm. $30-$45. Oakland. 

Holiday Magic. Dec. 16. Take the family to a concert with the San Ramon Community Chorus featuring a wide variety of holiday music and dance, all culminating with a special visit from Santa! 3pm. FREE. San Ramon. 


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