2017 BARTable holiday events calendar

Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year with the best BARTable holiday events. This season’s highlights include tree lightings, “Nutcracker “performances on both sides of the Bay and ice skating (and you can win tickets for them all).

Featured Events

The Great Dickens Fair
Weekends, Nov. 18 to Dec. 17 (including the Friday after Thanksgiving)
Cow Palace, Daly City
Nearest BART: Balboa Park + Free Shuttle
Enjoy a Victorian Christmas card come to life! Enter the world of Charles Dickens' Victorian London, where it's always Christmas Eve and the streets resound with revelry of the season. Lively calls of street vendors ring out and mingle with holiday carolers; tempting aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air; enticing shops overflow with one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.

Fairmont San Francisco Gingerbread House
Nov. 25 to Jan. 1
The Fairmont, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Powell Street
The Fairmont elves are working overtime this season to create a hotel display like no other. Starting on Nov. 25 the hotel lobby transforms into one of the world’s most beloved holiday destinations, where the highlight will be the two-story giant Gingerbread House in the hotel’s Grand lobby. Lovingly built with a completely edible exterior, this delectable abode will be unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the annual Gingerbread Open House on Saturday, Nov. 25.

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes
Dec. 1 to 23
Victoria Theater, San Francisco
Nearest BART: 16th Street MIssion
Take 4 talented drag performers, cast them in two new Christmas episodes of the uproariously funny TV show “The Golden Girls,” and you have an assured night of theater for the entire family. Now a yearly tradition, this loving tribute to the characters the entire world has come to know and love, features local drag stars: Heklina (Dorothy), Matthew Martin (Blanche), D’Arcy Drollinger (Rose), and Holotta Tymes (Sophia).

Fairy Wonderland
Dec. 15-23, noon to 7pm (weather permitting)
Children’s Fairyland, Oakland
Nearest BART: 19th Street/Oakland
In December, 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. Tickets cost $10 for adults and children over the age of 1.

The Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square, located in downtown San Francisco near Powell Street BART Station. BARTable.

Free Events

Pier 39 Tree Lighting Celebration
Saturday, Nov. 18, 5:30-6pm
Pier 39, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Embarcadero, transfer to Muni (F Line)
Experience the holiday magic at Pier 39 – sing songs, hear choral performances, chuckle at holiday-themed comedy, give hugs to Disneyland friends and welcome the season with two days of holly-jolly magic and merriment for the whole family.

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov. 24, 4 to 9pm
Pier 39, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Embarcadero, transfer to Muni (F Line)
In celebration of its 53rd Annual Tree Lighting, Ghirardelli Square is creating a winter wonderland this Black Friday complete with mulled wine, Irish coffee, hot chocolate, live music and loads of tasty vendor treats and gifts to gawk at and buy.

Union Square Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov. 24, 5:30pm
Union Square, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Powell Street
Macy's 28th annual Tree Lighting will take place in Union Square Park between Sutter and Post and Geary and Stockton Streets, right across from the front of Macy's. The beautiful and reusable tree will be decorated with more than 33,000 twinkling energy-efficient LED lights and 1,100 shining ornaments. The tree will be lit at the end of the ceremony, around 6:40pm.

34th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 30, 7pm
Dublin Civic Center
Nearest BART: West Dublin/Pleasanton
Celebrate the start of the holiday season with the traditional lighting of the tree at the Dublin Civic Center. Enjoy lively seasonal entertainment and refreshments after the performance. Also, be on the lookout for a surprise appearance by a very special visitor from the North Pole!

Holiday Parade of Lights, Open House and Tree Lighting
Nov. 30, 6-9pm
Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek
Nearest BART: Walnut Creek
Music and festivity will fill Broadway Plaza, beginning with a Retailer Open House at 6pm. At 7pm, find a good spot on Broadway Plaza Street for the Parade of Lights, which will end with a very special appearance by Santa Claus himself, who will light Broadway Plaza’s magical Christmas Tree and make it snow!

It’s A Wonderful Life in Lafayette
Dec. 1, 4-6:30pm
Lafayette Plaza Park
Nearest BART: Lafayette
A community celebration that kicks off the holiday season, featuring a tree lighting, food, drinks, entertainment and children’s activities.

It’s a wonderful night
Friday, Dec. 1, 6 to 9pm
Joaquin Plaza, San Leandro
Nearest BART: San Leandro
The clippity clop of horse hooves herald the annual “It’s A Wonderful Night” holiday celebration as horse-drawn carriages transport their passengers to another time and back again as they make their rounds through historic downtown San Leandro. Passengers may embark in Joaquin Plaza for the round-trip.

Jack London Square Lights up for the Holidays
Friday, Dec. 1, 5 to 7pm
Foot of Broadway, Oakland
Nearest BART: 12th Street/Oakland City Center
Ring in the holiday season with Jack London Square's annual tree lighting festivities. Share in an enchanting evening on the Oakland waterfront with holiday music performed by the talents of many Oakland youth. Free to attend, enjoy a merry evening that includes Santa, of course, as well as live reindeer, the lighting of the 55-ft. Mount Shasta fir tree brightly lit with 5,000 sparkling lights, kids' activities, tap dancing Christmas trees and more.

Concord Tree-Lighting and Mayor’s Sing-Along
Saturday, Dec. 1
Todos Santos Plaza, Concord
Nearest BART: Concord
Concord’s Tree-Lighting, Mayor’s Sing-Along and Santa’s Grand Arrival beings at 4pm (when Santa arrives) with on-stage entertainment starting at 5pm with school choirs and community entertainment, followed by holiday sing-along and traditional tree-lighting.

Deck the Hulls Yacht Parade
Saturday, Dec. 2, 5:30pm
Foot of Broadway, Oakland
Nearest BART: 12th Street/Oakland City Center
Bay Area boaters start the holiday season by decorating their boats of all sizes and cruise the Oakland/Alameda Estuary. Parade route is from the Oakland/SF Ferry to Grand Marina. View from the Oakland waterfront or your favorite Estuary restaurant.

Light Up the Season
Dec. 2, 3:30pm
Downtown Hayward and City Hall Plaza
Nearest BART: Hayward
Celebrate the season with a tree lighting in the City Hall Rotunda, plus photos with Santa, children’s rides, dancers, music and more.

Snow Day in the Berkeley
Sunday, Dec. 3, 10am-3pm
1450-1500 Shattuck Avenue
Gourmet Ghetto, Berkeley
Nearest BART: Downtown Berkeley
Snow? In Berkeley? Bring boots and mittens to play in the snow. Visit the snow queen, make holiday crafts, enjoy hot cider and cookies and have the little ones ride a pony.

San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival and Parade
Saturday, Dec. 9, 5-9pm
Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Montgomery Street or Powell Street stations
It’s the time of the year again, when the community starts making their parol lanterns and holiday decor to adorn their houses for the yuletide season. In San Francisco the community will be holding the 15th Annual San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival – a must-see event during the holiday season.

Lighted Boat Parade
Friday, Dec. 15, 6 to 8pm
Pier 39, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Embarcadero, transfer to Muni (F Line)
The Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District and the St. Francis Yacht Club will join once again to present the oldest and largest lighted holiday boat parade on San Francisco Bay.

Ghirardelli Square annual Light the Menorah Celebration
Sunday, Dec. 24, 5 to 6:30pm
Pier 39, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Embarcadero, transfer to Muni (F Line)
Ghirardelli Square celebrates Hanukkah with the Annual Light the Menorah Celebration where visitors can join in lighting the first candle of the nine-foot Menorah – a celebration for the entire family.

Winter Carousel Lighting
Saturday, Nov. 30, 4 to 7:30pm
Children’s Creativity Museum, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Montgomery Street or Powell Street stations
Celebrate the lighting of the Bay Area’s historic and beloved carousel. This community event, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens, welcomes all ages to enjoy free rides on the LeRoy King Carousel, musical entertainment, ice skating performances, raffle prizes and more.

SF Ballet presents the Nutracker at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, by Civic Center/UN Plaza BART Station. BARTable

Arts, Theater, Music

ACT presents “A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 1 to 24
Geary Theater, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Powell Street
Featuring a lively cast of dozens, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition returns with a sparkling, music-infused production of A Christmas Carol. Bring your family, bring your friends, and check your "humbugs" at the door!

Contra Costa Ballet presents “Nutcracker”
Nov. 24 to 26
Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Nearest BART: Walnut Creek
Returning for its 27th year, Contra Costa Ballet presents the Bay Area’s most family-friendly production of the “Nutcracker.” For one weekend only, join Clara and her beloved nutcracker-turned-prince on a magical journey among giant mice and toy soldiers into the deliciously-delightful Candy Kingdom. Contra Costa Ballet brings the “Nutcracker” to life in this festive production filled with colorful costumes, whimsical sets and an array of talented, young dancers. This one-hour performance is an elegant introduction to the holiday classic.

San Francisco Symphony Holiday Concerts
Dec. 3 to 31
Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Civic Center/UN Plaza
The San Francisco Symphony presents a variety of holiday-themed concerts Cirque de la Symphonie on Dec. 6 and 7, including A Merry-Achi Christmas on Dec. 10, Handel’s “Messiah” on Dec. 15 and “A Charlie Brown Christmas – Live!” Dec. 21 to 24. Check SF Symphony’s website for a complete calendar.

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
Dec. 2, 7pm
Paramount Theatre, Oakland
Nearest BART: 19th Street/Oakland
A holiday concert paying homage to the great city of Oakland and all its musical excellence, featuring Kev Choice, Logan McWilliams, Tamara Edwards and Jackie Tolbert. Hosted by Lavar Burton.  

Center REPertory Company presents “A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 7-17
Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Nearest BART: Walnut Creek
Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts, it's no wonder the critics have called it "THE Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area." Join the thousands who make this theatrical event a part of their annual holiday traditions.

California Revels
Dec. 8 to 17
Scottish Rite Theater, Oakland
Nearest BART: Lake Merritt
With the skirling of pipes and the swirling of kilts, the Christmas Revels celebrates the turning of the year in Scottish style. Join them in the land of Robbie Burns as they pass the shortest day in song, dance, and spirited folk tales. Be there for haggis and Hogmanay, first-footing, wool-waulking, mouth music, and even Guising! Of course the Lord of the Dance will welcome you, and the Abbots Bromley Antler Dance will cast its mysterious spell. There will be plaids a-plenty, as Scots of all ages gather the clans to observe the return of the sun in the Bay Area’s most treasured holiday tradition.

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
Dec. 8 to 9
Nourse Theater, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Powell Street
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus embraces the delights of the season while delivering what you expect from SFGMC at the holidays – gorgeous music, jubilant production pieces and heartwarming moments. Once again, the Chorus brings its glorious singing and hilarious hijinks to the stage, whisking you away on a journey from the comfort and coziness of your seat all the way to the North Pole.

SF Ballets presents “Nutcracker”
Dec. 13 to 30
War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Civic Center/UN Plaza
On Christmas Eve 1944, the audience at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House experienced the American premiere of Nutcracker. An instant sensation, the ballet launched a national holiday tradition. This holiday season, join us as the lights dim, the music soars, snowflakes swirl, flowers dance, and a little girl dreams about a whole new world in a Nutcracker that is as unique as it is magical. And it's only at SF Ballet.

Oakland Ballet presents “Nutcracker”
Dec. 23 and 24
Paramount Theatre, Oakland
Nearest BART: 19th Street/Oakland
Oakland Ballet presents Graham Lustig’s “Nutcracker” at the Paramount Theatre with live music by the Oakland Symphony and Mt. Eden High School Women’s Ensemble. A holiday tradition that is fun for the entire family, brimming with holiday magic.

California Symphony presents “A Lemony Snicket Holiday”
Dec. 23, 4 and 8pm
Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Nearest BART: Walnut Creek
“The Composer Is Dead” was composed with text by Lemony Snicket as a whodunit mystery for all ages, written in the style of Prokofiev's “Peter & the Wolf” and Britten's “The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,” and someone in the orchestra is guilty! Tony nominee and Broadway star Manoel Felciano comes straight from the New York run of “Amelié” to narrate this concert.

African American Shakespeare Company presents “Cinderella”
Dec. 22 to 24
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Civic Center/UN Plaza
Back by popular demand, the holiday season once again sees the return of this heartwarming holiday show where Cinderella, a young, beautiful dreamer, toiling away as a lowly scullery maid to please her evil stepmother (and oddly masculine stepsisters) comes in contact with a Fairy Godmother who means business with a capital B. Aided by the help of a little bit of magic, Cinderella finds her Prince Charming and learns that anything—even miracles—are possible when you believe in yourself. This holiday treat for the entire family has been delighting audiences for over 23 years.

Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center, by the Ferry Building in Downtown San Francisco. Near Embarcadero BART Station. BARTable.

Ice Rinks

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
Through Jan. 15
Union Square, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Powell Street
The Holiday Ice Rink is now open daily from 10am to 11:30pm with 90-minute skating sessions starting on every even hour (10am, noon, 2pm … you get the idea). Admission is $18 for adults and 13 $7 for children (eight and under).

Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
Through Jan. 7
Embarcadero Center, San Francisco
Nearest BART: Embarcadero
Delighting families, couples and ice skating enthusiasts for over 25 years, the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center opens each winter for nine magical, fun-filled weeks. Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco.

Walnut Creek on Ice
Nov. 10 to Jan. 15
Civic Center Park, Walnut Creek
Nearest BART: Walnut Creek
Walnut Creek on Ice returns for its 13th season on Nov. 10, and is open Monday through Thursday noon to 8pm, Friday noon to 11pm, Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday 11am to 8pm. Take BART to Walnut Creek and catch County Connection Route 4, affectionately known to locals as the “Free Ride Trolley.” Yes, the trolley ride is free and drops you off right at the rink.

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