Community Events for the Holidays

The Best of the East Bay Holiday Events 2016

What: Holiday lights on Fourth Street, Berkeley

When: now through the end of the year

Where: Fourth Street in Berkeley

Fee: Free to stroll and enjoy the lights!

Upcoming special events on Fourth Street:

Meet Santa and his elf in their tent across from Peet’s coffee every Saturday and Sunday from December 10 through December 18 from 12 – 4pm

Live music every Saturday and Sunday: Fourth Street hosts an array of live performances by various groups during this holiday season, every Saturday and Sunday at 1776 Fourth Street. See the event calendar here.

Extended store hours and valet parking: Through December 23, various stores on Fourth Street will host extended holiday hours each Friday and Saturday until 7:00 p.m. or later. For the second year in a row, Fourth Street provides valet parking (outside Bare Escentuals) each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday plus the full week before Christmas from 11:00am to 9:30pm

Read about some of the special spots, including my client Elizabeth Norris’ Vintage European Posters, here.


What: El Cerrito Pancake Breakfast & Toy Drive

When: December 10th 9-11 am

Where: El Cerrito Recreation Center

Fee: $10 for adults/$5 for kids

Each year the Recreation Department hosts the Pancake Breakfast & Toy Drive fundraising event.  The event raises money for the David Hunter Memorial Scholarship Fund and the toys and books donated at the event go the the El Cerrito Fire Department Toy Drive.  Participants at the event enjoy a Pancake breakfast, a visit from Santa, and a special performance by Living Dream Arts. Tickets may be purchased at the El Cerrito Community Center or on-line at For more information click here.


What: A Christmas Revels in Wales

Date: Friday, December 9th – Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Time: both matinees and evening performances

Location:  Scottish Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland

Each mid-winter, the Revels brings to life a grand celebration of traditions and cultures from around the world. We create joy with the songs, dances, and stories—present in every culture—that mark the turning of the year in all its forms. We build community and connection through our unique theatrical production, connecting audience and performers, and reminding us that, within our diversity and across generations, there is a beautiful continuity of human experience!

This year, the California Revels is “coming home” to Wales. Even though we’ve never been there before, there is much about Welsh culture and customs that feels familiar and comforting. Set in the 1920’s childhood village of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, our show will evoke the spirit of family gathered ‘round the hearth, and villagers singing in the glow of the blazing yule log.

Featured performers this year include Robert Sicular, Kevin Carr, Susan Rode Morris, James Galileo and Margaret Davis. Music directed by my friend and client Shira Kammen.

Enjoy the breathtaking Scottish Rite Theater on Lake Merritt in Oakland, and fill your holiday season with celebration and joy!

December 9-11& 16-18. Fridays at 8pm. Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm & 5pm. $20-$60.

For more information visit the Revels website.


What: Ecology Center Winter Craft Fair

When: Saturday December 10 10 am

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, Berkeley

Holiday shopping can be rough, especially if you care about responsibly sourced goods and supporting your local economy. Have no fear! Shop local this year at the Ecology Center’s 25th Annual Winter Craft Fair and find sustainably made, hand-crafted, and beautiful gifts from Bay Area artisans.

For two Saturdays in December, Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market welcomes local artists, artisans, and crafters that are committed to using sustainable practices.

Search All Homes For Sale

Find upcycled messenger bags, gorgeous wooden bowls from sustainably harvested wood, nontoxic jewelry, wildcrafted and natural body products. Peruse gifts while getting your grocery shopping done at the Farmers’ Market, and enjoy hot cider and good music.

Remember to bring your reusable shopping bag. Or find a handmade one there!


What: Hanukkah Art and Service Fair

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2016

Time: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Location:  Berkeley Branch of the JCC – 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley, CA 94709

Join your East Bay community for a family-friendly, all-ages pre-Hanukkah celebration. Together we will create, sing, and prepare for this year’s Festival of Lights, and adults will have the chance to think about service during this time of year. For those planning Hanukkah gifts, we’ll showcase jewelry, prints and other wares from local Bay Area artists.


  •   Hanukkah sing-along with Isaac Zones
  •       Ten-Minute Teachings on service and giving for adults
  •       Storytelling with Joel Ben Izzy, Liora Brosbe, and Cantey Meigs
  •       Kid-friendly crafts for preschoolers and elementary schoolers
  •       Gaga, dreidel, and outside activities for older kids
  •       Community candle-lighting
  •        Latkes, latkes, latkes!

Fee: $12 for adults / $6 for kids (2-12 years) / Free for children under 2

No one turned away for lack of funds


What: 2016 Fairy Winterland

Where: Oakland’s Storybook Theme Park

When: December 16-23

TIme: The park is open from noon to 7 p.m.

Fairy Winterland celebrates the winter holidays of many cultures: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, and Chinese New Year. Join us for stories, crafts, a festival of lights, and a visit from Santa.

Fee: $10 for each adult and child over the age of 1 ($5 for members)

  • Performances by our renowned Storybook Puppet Theater
  • A Festival of Lights Parade each day at 6:15 p.m.
  • Special holiday storytelling, magic, and entertainment
  • A daily visit from Santa Claus
  • Holiday-themed arts and crafts
  • Unlimited rides



What: Noon Year’s Eve

When: December 31st at noon

Where: Albany Community Center

Fee: Free

Is it tough to keep the kids awake past 9pm on December 31? Celebrate New Year’s Eve fun this year at the family-friendly hour of NOON! We encourage kindergarten through 5th grade children and their families to stop by for arts, crafts, activities, trivia, celebratory balloon drop, goodies and so much more. Ring in 2017 – Albany-style!


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