This long Thanksgiving weekend ushers in the winter holiday season for people throughout the Tri-Valley. Here's our recap of special events for the holidays in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville now through New Year's weekend:
Photos with Santa at Stoneridge Mall
The family-favorite holiday tradition is back: Photos with Santa at Stoneridge Shopping Center. Now through Dec. 24. For reservations, visit simon.com.
Holiday Ice Rink
The Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink at City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon is open 12-9:30 p.m., now through Jan. 2, rain or shine. Tickets are purchased per 90-minute session. Visit citycenterbishopranch.com.
Letters to Santa
Write a letter to Santa Claus and he'll write back. Drop off at Robert Livermore Community Center (4446 East Ave.) and write the child's name and address clearly so Santa knows where to mail a response letter. Now through Dec 8.
For more information, call 925-373-5700.
5 Days of Gifting
The familiar red barrels are back at City Center Bishop Ranch to drop off donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties in the red barrels located at the concierge desk. 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., through this Sunday (Nov. 28). 6000 Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon.
Irish Christmas in America
This family-friendly performance at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore is now in its 16th season.
"Irish Christmas in America" brings together world-class musicians, singers and dancers in an intimate and engaging performance rich in history, humor and boundless energy. 8 p.m. this Friday (Nov. 26). Visit livermorearts.org.
Danville Lighting of the Old Oak Tree
The Danville Area Chamber of Commerce and the town of Danville presents the annual Lighting of the Old Oak Tree, a cherished family celebration to light downtown's iconic oak tree for the holidays. 5-8:30 p.m. this Friday (Nov 26). Hartz and Prospect avenues. Visit danville.ca.gov.
Holiday Youth Music Festival
The High School Music Collaborative brings youthful holiday cheer to the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton with family entertainment and holiday favorites. 2 p.m. this Saturday (Nov. 27). Visit firehousearts.org.
Visits with Santa
At City Center Bishop Ranch, Santa has been fully vaccinated and little guests will have their own special bench next to Santa's throne. 12-4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 27-Dec. 19, in Alexander Square.
Chanukah on Ice Kick-off
Chanukah with a community ice skate at Dublin Iceland. Skate to Jewish and Chanukah music and behold the "Fire on Ice" menorah lighting. Hosted by Chabad of the Tri-Valley from 3:30-5 p.m. this Sunday (Nov. 28). Visit jewishtrivalley.com.
Online Hanukkah Candle Lighting
Beginning this Sunday (Nov. 28) at 6:30 p.m., join each night of Hanukkah to light candles and celebrate the Festival of Lights together. Each evening will be hosted by different members of the Congregation Beth Emek community. Visit bethemek.org.
Pacific Chamber Orchestra's acclaimed concert presentation of Handel's "Messiah" returns with conductor Lawrence Kohl and the orchestra joined by four renowned soloists to deliver a memorable performance. 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 27) and 3 p.m. (Nov. 28). For location details and to purchase tickets, visit pacificchamberorchestra.org.
Chanukah Wonderland at Stoneridge Shopping Center
A family Chanukah festival with activities and entertainment, plus a mega menorah lighting in the grand court of the mall. 5:30 p.m., Nov. 30. Visit jewishtrivalley.com.
Presented by the Widmer family in Pleasanton, organizers are creating new scenes and lighting for the display. The show at 3671 Chelsea Court in Pleasanton starts Dec. 1. Weather-permitting runs 6-9 p.m. through Jan. 5. Visit widmer-world.com.
Creatures of Impulse presents: Holiday Shorts
"Holiday Shorts: A Long Winter's Tale" is an interactive holiday improv show at the Firehouse Arts Center. Audience suggestions inspire holiday-themed games, scenes and improv fun. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 2-3. Visit firehousearts.org/events.
Deacon Dave's Christmas Display
The 38th Deacon Dave's Christmas Display opens Dec. 3. Opening ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. with the annual Christmas procession down Hillcrest Avenue. Attendees must wear masks. Visit casadelpomba.com.
Motown Explosion Christmas
Gary Vecchiarelli Productions-Las Vegas presents "Motown Explosion Christmas" with master of ceremonies Manee Valentine. This 14-piece big band with five singers perform all the hits. 8 p.m., Dec. 3. Visit livermorearts.org.
Holiday Village at Carnegie Park
A magical evening of holiday cheer at Carnegie Park in Livermore with local makers and artists, holiday treats, entertainment and a visit from Santa. 4-8 p.m., Dec. 3. Visit livermoredowntown.com.
Chanukah Community Greek Shabbat Dinner
Held at Chabad of the Tri-Valley, 6 p.m, Dec. 3, 3370 Hopyard Road in Pleasanton. Advance registration is required. Visit JewishTriValley.com.
Pleasanton Hometown Holiday Celebration
The Hometown Holiday Celebration "Light Up Pleasanton" is back again this year. Watch the parade go down Main Street with the tree lighting ceremony to follow in front of Museum on Main. 5 p.m., Dec. 4.
Livermore Sights and Sounds Parade
With over 50 floats and marching bands, the parade ends with Santa himself, leading the community in the official tree lighting. Rain or shine. 6 p.m., Dec. 4. Visit livermoredowntown.com.
Chanukah Under the Stars
Join for a public menorah lighting in front of the Bankhead Theater. Holiday treats, snacks and live music. Free and open to the public. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4. 2400 First St., Livermore. Visit jewishtrivalley.com.
Symphonic Sounds of the Season
Livermore-Amador Symphony presents "Symphonic Sounds of the Season" at the Bankhead Theater. Harpist Constance Koo joins the symphony to perform Debussy's beautiful and intimate Danses sacree et profane. 8:15 p.m., Dec. 4. Visit livermorearts.org.
Joy To The World: A Christmas Musical Journey
Bankhead Theater presents Damien Sneed's "Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey". Sneed takes the audience through original arrangements of gospel, jazz and classical favorites. Ten singers and musicians deliver holiday classics plus excerpts from Handel's Messiah. 3 p.m., Dec. 5. Visit livermorearts.org.
Handel's Messiah Ballet
This unique cultural fine arts production presents George Frideric Handel's 1742 masterpiece, "Messiah". Classical ballet and excerpts from "Messiah" are paired for a holiday performance that will delight audiences of all ages. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Dec. 5. Dublin Center for the Performing Arts. Visit anastasisballet.org.
Handling the Holidays
For those grieving the death of a loved one, the winter holiday season can be painful. The Hope Hospice Handling the Holidays Workshop, via Zoom, will discuss healthy coping strategies. Register by calling 925-829-8770. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Dec. 7.
Holiday Shopping at the Senior Center
Shop local at the Pleasanton Senior Center for books and beautifully handcrafted gifts. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec. 9. 5353 Sunol Blvd.
Senior Center Outdoor Holiday Stroll
The Friends of the Pleasanton Senior Center present A Holiday Stroll Outdoor Event. Enjoy a festive stroll on the patio to enjoy holiday music, photos with Santa, desserts and more. $3 per person. 2:30-4 p.m., Dec. 9. Register at PleasantonFun.com or call 925-931-5365.
The Valley Concert Chorale, the Tri-Valley's premier chorus for over 50 years, is returning to live performances for their holiday concert "Carols, Glorias and Lullabies". From traditional carols to familiar choruses, the concerts will set a holiday mood of comfort and joy. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10-11. Visit valleyconcertchorale.org. First Presbyterian Church, 2020 Fifth St., Livermore.
A Very Follies Holiday
Join The Golden Follies at the Firehouse Arts Center as these talented and energetic senior performers brighten the holiday season with "A Very Follies Holiday". Lively choreography, heartwarming music, reindeer, snowflakes and more. 2 p.m., Dec. 11. Visit firehousearts.org.
Impressions of the Nutcracker Sweet
The San Ramon Dance Academy puts a fun new spin on this timeless classic by incorporating multiple dance styles, storytelling, and vignettes for a truly unique "Nutcracker" experience. 7 p.m., Dec. 11 and 12. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. Visit srvda.com.
Deck the Homes in Dublin
Registration for Dublin's "Deck the Homes" holiday decorating contest is open until 5 p.m., Dec. 10. Parks and Community Services Commission members will serve as judges with judging taking place Dec. 13-17. Visit dublin.ca.gov.
Valley Dance Theatre presents "The Nutcracker". This annual event continues to enchant audiences of all ages, bringing Tchaikovsky's well-known music and ballet to life with all of its elegance and beauty. Bankhead Theater, Dec. 11-12 and 17-19. Visit livermorearts.org.
Ravenswood Victorian Yuletide
The Ravenswood Historic Site is offering docent tours, Victorian Christmas decorations, entertainment, a petting zoo and more. 12-4 p.m., Dec. 12, 2647 Arroyo Road in Livermore. Free admission for all ages.
Holiday Jazz Jubilee for Seniors
The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District is offering a very special holiday event for the 50+ crowd, welcoming the Magnolia Jazz Band to perform renditions of upbeat holiday classics. Wear festive or whimsical attire while enjoying hot cocoa and light snacks. 1:30-3:30 p.m., Dec. 15. Visit larpd.org.
San Ramon Symphonic Band-Holiday Winds
Kick off the festive holiday season with the San Ramon Symphonic Band's beloved holiday tradition. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy holiday music performed by the band comprised of over 35 talented musicians. 7 p.m., Dec. 17. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. Visit tickets.sanramon.ca.gov.
A Funky and Soulful Christmas
Jeff Bordes & Friends return to the Firehouse Arts Center for their annual holiday celebration, a fun, funky and soulful twist on Christmas favorites with a nod of Santa's hat to New Orleans. 8 p.m., Dec. 18. Visit firehousearts.org.
The Great Yule Log Hunt
Join Ranger Eric for the 26th annual hunt for the fabled yule log. Prepare for the hunt with games, merriment and talks of ancient yule celebrations and then gather around the fire to make a yule log to take home. RSVP to 925-960-2400. 2 p.m., Dec. 18. Sycamore Grove Park, 5035 Arroyo Road in Livermore.
Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico
The acclaimed Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar bring together an all-star cast of music and dance in a dazzling presentation of the traditions and customs celebrated by the people in Mexico during the Christmas season. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 20, Bankhead Theater. Visit livermorearts.org.
New Year's Eve with Dirty Cello
Blues meets bluegrass at the Bankhead with a faint twist of classical as this energetic string band performs down home blues with a wailing cello to virtuosic stompin' bluegrass. Dirty Cello is a band that gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping. 8 p.m., Dec. 31. Visit livermorearts.org.
Free Food in the Tri-Valley
Grocery drive-thru Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 6140 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton (Workday). Free meals, Mondays through Fridays, Robert Livermore Community Center (Loyola Way side) drive-thru or walk-up. Visit openheartkitchen.org.
The 20th annual Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund campaign is now underway and will run until mid-January. With your contributions, the Weekly, in partnership with Three Valleys Community Foundation, will give grants to nonprofits serving the needs of children and families in the Pleasanton area. All funds will be held by Three Valleys Community Foundation and will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Donate at www.3VCF.org/HolidayFund.