Santa Photo Experience at Stoneridge Shopping Center
A reservation is required, and for everyone's safety, this will be a socially distanced experience for guests, Stoneridge Shopping Center officials said.. Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks throughout the duration of your visit. Now through Dec. 24. Visit simon.com.
Holiday Shopping & Cider Stroll
Celebrate the holiday season at City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon as the lifestyle center lights up with festive community activities and sparkling decorations. Guests will be welcomed to the center by a snow queen and king on socially distanced stilts. Strolling carolers will fill the center with holiday music and cheer, as guests sip cider while shopping. Today and Dec. 18. 6000 Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon.
Handmade for the Holidays
Nearly two dozen artists from throughout the Tri-Valley will offer handmade and one-of-a-kind gifts at the new "Handmade for the Holidays" Online Art Fair this season. Hosted by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the new event will feature a wide range of art works including fine art, ceramics, jewelry, handmade greeting cards, and block print art. A variety of fabric and textile products such as tie-dyed pieces and wearable art will also be featured. Now through Dec. 24. Visit livermorearts.org/online-gallery.
Model Trains at the Depot
The Museum of the San Ramon Valley in Danville celebrates this holiday season with the popular "Christmas Memories" exhibit. Model trains, including the Polar Express and Christmas trains, will appear to the delight of young and old. Christmas will be celebrated with Santa and his reindeer sailing around the ceiling and a moving Ferris wheel and carousel. Now through Jan 3. Visit museumsrv.org. The museum is located at 205 Railroad Ave. in Danville.
Dublin Holiday Decorating Contest
The city of Dublin invites Dublin residents to participate in the city's "Holiday Home Decorating Contest." One winner will be chosen for Best Use of Lights, Best Lawn Display, Best Holiday Theme, Best Apartment/Condo and Best Neighborhood. All winners will receive a special Best Holiday Decoration yard sign. Visit dublin.ca.gov/holidayhappenings. Enter by Dec. 10.
Knottingham Circle Extravaganza
The show by Alex Dourov, the founder of California Christmas Lights, offers a mix of old-school decorations accumulated over the past 28 years and high-tech lighting and sound effects. Guests can listen to music from the sidewalk or on 107.9 from the car. Visit californiachristmaslights.com. Nov. 28 to Dec. 29 at 467 Knottingham Cir. in Livermore.
An interactive, virtual experience for family and friends from the comfort of home, Nutcracker Online is San Francisco Ballet's fantastical, digital holiday offering. Watch SF Ballet's spectacular Nutcracker stream in HD, tour the virtual opera house full of fun activities, send downloadable holiday snaps to friends and family, enjoy historical highlights of San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker, and learn steps from the choreography. Now through Dec. 31. Visit sfballet.org/productions/nutcracker-online
Garden of d'Lights 2020
The Ruth Bancroft Garden presents Garden of d'Lights, a safe outdoor holiday lights exhibit that's fun for the entire family. Thousands of lights and lasers will illuminate the Ruth Bancroft Garden and transform its cacti, succulents and trees into magical multicolored botanical sculptures. Fridays through Sundays, now through Dec. 20. Visit www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.
'Tis the Season for Science
The annual tradition of San Francisco's California Academy of Science, "'Tis the Season for Science," returns this year for a safe, physically distanced outdoor celebration of one of the symbols of the season: Reindeer. Under twice-hourly snow flurries, learn about the remarkable adaptations that allow reindeer to thrive in frigid Arctic realms and migrate incredible distances each year on foot, contrary to popular belief. Now through Jan. 3. Visit www.calacademy.org.
Glowfari-A Widly Illuminating Lantern Festival
This brand-new, family-friendly experience features hundreds of larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Oakland Zoo, storytelling the ongoing journey of wildlife. Dozens of towering and interactive glowing lanterns await to entertain and enlighten at every turn. Take a mile-long socially distanced stroll through the illuminated and dazzling lanterns from the ice-capped 15-foot tall penguin corridor to the breathtaking full-size elephants, giraffes and lions. Now through Jan. 17. Visit oaklandzoo.org.
Family Photo Day Benefiting Goodness Village
$50 session fee is a donation to Goodness Village, a concept encompassing not just housing, but community building and meaningful employment. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 28. Visit ninapomeroy.com/fpd-cv. Crosswinds Church, 1660 Freisman Road, Livermore.
Pleasanton Virtual Hometown Holiday Celebration
Join the city of Pleasanton and TV30 for the debut of the pre-recorded broadcast of Pleasanton's "Virtual Hometown Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting." The special pre-recorded broadcast will feature some familiar and new festive holiday performances and the city's annual tree lighting countdown with special guest Santa Claus. 7 p.m., Dec. 5. Visit cityofpleasantonca.gov.
Santa Drive-Thru Meet & Greet
The Dublin Civic Center will be transformed into a winter wonderland and guests are invited to cruise through the lot from the comfort and safety of their vehicle and enjoy the lights and sounds of the season. The final stop will be a physical distanced visit from Santa Claus at your vehicle. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5. Reserve time slot at dublinrecguide.com. Dublin Civic Center, 100 Civic Plaza, Dublin.
Wreath Making At The Barn
Learn to make a living wreath using a variety of greenery from native plants and holiday favorites. All supplies will be provided; two sessions available to limit size. Sunol Visitor Center, 1895 Geary Road in Sunol. 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5. For information, call 510-544-3249.
A Christmas Carol - On Demand Listening
For the first time in its 44-year history, the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol, will come to life as "A Christmas Carol: On Air," an enthralling radio play that the whole family can enjoy from the comfort of home. This timeless story of optimism and redemption will feature the delightful music, deliciously spooky ghosts and cast that has made it a beloved Bay Area holiday classic. Tickets include an activity book with a number of themed activities and games that families can participate in at home while listening together. Dec. 5-31. Visit act-sf.org.
Sounds of the season with SF Symphony
This year the SF Symphony is coming to you in your own home. Celebrate the sounds of the season with the Symphony broadcast to your TV. Enjoy all the holiday music that will get you in the spirit. Visit sfsymphony.org. Dec. 5, 3:30.
Virtual Visits with Santa
Children will be able to safely visit with the Santa via live streaming on a large screen located in Alexander Square at City Center Bishop Ranch. The square will be festively decorated; children will be able to socially distance gather, chat with Santa live and drop letters to him in a special North Pole mailbox. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Dec. 5.
Guide Dogs for the Blind Virtual Holiday Celebration
The organization's annual fundraising event moves online in 2020, and is free to attend. It is scheduled to feature "ER" actor Noah Wyle, video stories starring canine teams from across North America and a live auction hosted by Emmy Award-winning TV personality Liam Mayclem. 5-6 p.m., Dec. 6. Visit guidedogs.com/events/virtual-holiday-celebration.
Hope Hospice's Free Grief Workshop
Hope Hospice annually offers a special "Handling the Holidays" workshop to teach healthy coping strategies to help the bereaved during this difficult time. Space is limited and currently held virtually. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7. Contact 829-8770.
Jim Brickman Comfort & Joy
Grammy-nominated songwriter and piano sensation Jim Brickman will be taking the nation by storm this holiday season with the Comfort & Joy Home 2020 Virtual Tour, blending yuletide memories and holiday carols with his own hits. 7 p.m., Dec. 10. Visit jimbrickman.com/san-ramon.
Chabad of the Tri-Valley will host its annual Chanukah Wonderland at Stoneridge Shopping Center, re-envisioned for 2020 as an outdoor event on the top floor of the old Sears parking lot. The large space will allow the community to spread for the celebration and menorah lighting and will also accommodate higher-risk individuals who wish to drive in and enjoy the festivities while remaining in their cars. Dec. 10 at 5:30-7 p.m. Free admission.
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Virtual Hanukkah Celebration
Join for a secular humanistic menorah lighting and naming ceremony. Bring your menorah and candles. They will also play dreidel virtually. Contact Jamie at [email protected] for the registration link. Dec. 11, 7-8 p.m.
Congregation Beth Emek is livestreaming its Shabbat Hanukkah event on Dec. 11 from 8-9 p.m. "Show your Hanukkiah! Join us in Zoom for our annual Shabbat Hanukkah service, and light candles along with other households in the congregation," reps said. Registration is required; visit www.bethemek.org.
Community Hanukkah Celebration
Congregation Beth Emek is celebrating the Festival of Lights with its Community Hanukkah Celebration on Dec. 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. "Learn about different Hanukkah foods and traditions from around the world shared by fellow congregants. We'll also have time to schmooze, share our own stories, do some fun activities, and of course, eat sufganiyot," organizers said. Visit www.bethemek.org.
Pleasanton Senior Center Virtual Holiday Social
Join virtually on Zoom for a Holiday Tea Social. Participate in a just-for-fun, simple craft while sipping tea. Share a favorite ornament or holiday treasure. The day before the social, you will receive a reminder email with the link to join. To register, call the city's Recreation Department at 925-931-5340. Event runs from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Dec. 11.
Tri-Valley Haven's Holiday Program
Tri-Valley Haven has transformed its program to safely provide holiday items and food to the thousands of residents in economic need by providing pre-bagged food and gift cards while practicing social distancing and CDC guidelines. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 12. For more information, visit trivalleyhaven.org. Tri-Valley Haven, 3663 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
12 Days of Giveaways
This year, City Center Bishop Ranch celebrates its customers and followers by gifting unique, hand-selected items to 12 lucky winners. Each day of the 12 days of this promotion, the center will post a photo in its Instagram and Facebook stories of Santa hiding a special gift bag in one of the center's stores. The hidden gift will be given to the person who is first to find the gift bag. Dec. 12-24.
The Great Yule Log Hunt
Join LARPD ranger Eric for the 26th annual hunt for the fabled Yule Log with games, merriment and tales of ancient Yule celebrations. After the hunt, gather around the fire and make yule logs to take home. 2 p.m., Dec. 13. Sycamore Grove Park, 1051 Wetmore Road, Livermore. Visit larpd.org.
Chanukah Dinner Concert
The city of Livermore, which hosts the annual city menorah lighting, has partnered with Chabad of the Tri-Valley to put on a "Chanukah Dinner Concert" in the Bankhead Theater Plaza. "8th Day", a sought after Jewish band from Los Angeles, will be performing, a NY Deli Kosher Dinner menu will be offered, and city and state officials will be joining for the lighting of Livermore's Menorah. Each household or social bubble will be assigned to a socially-distanced heated table to enjoy the elegant dinner concert. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13; tickets at www.JewishTriValleycom.
Visit to the North Pole
Join Santa and Mrs. Claus in the North Pole in their home and workshop during this immersive, live theater experience. Each 10-15 time slot is privately arranged for your family with photo opportunities. Dec. 15-23. Visit lesherartscenter.showare.com. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek.
Mistletoe Mission Hike
Join LARPD ranger Amy for a four-mile walk in search of mistletoe. Learn about the biology, legends and lore associated with this plant. All ages welcome. 2 p.m., Dec. 20. Visit larpd.org. Sycamore Grove Park, Livermore.
The Pleasanton Weekly's Holiday Fund campaign is now underway and will run into January. With your contributions, the Weekly, in partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, will give grants to six local nonprofits serving the needs of children and families in the Pleasanton area.
All funds will be held by Silicon Valley Community Foundation and will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Donations should be made payable to the foundation. Credit card gifts may be made at siliconvalleycf.org/pleasantonweeklyholidayfund.
If there's an event you would like to see listed or you know of one we've left out, send event information to [email protected] or visit www.pleasantonweekly.com/calendar.