January arts, music and events calendar

Missing the holiday spirit this post-December month of January? Don’t want the festivities to stop? You’re in luck — there are plenty of fun events to choose from this month. Start 2019 right by hopping on BART with your loved ones and trying out the myriad of winter activities still happening around the Bay Area!

Winter on the Waterfront (Jan. 1-Mar. 3) at Embarcadero

Winter on the Waterfront is a way for visitors to experience Bay Area adventures and for locals to have a staycation right in their backyard. The list of discounted opportunities includes Alcatraz cruises, waterfront dining, Ghirardelli chocolate, fresh crab, hotel rooms and a neighborhood fly over. The list of specials can be found here. Take BART to Embarcadero.

Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center (Ends Jan. 6) at Embarcadero

Delighting families, couples and ice skating enthusiasts for over 26 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. Tickets range from $7-$12. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk 4 minutes to Embarcadero Plaza.

Winter Park at Civic Center (Ends Jan. 6) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Winter Park is the first attraction of its kind in the Bay Area. Located in the historic Civic Center Plaza, there will both an ice rink and 400-foot skating track, letting guests weave through a lighted tree forest. The park will also feature special events such as a holiday tree lighting ceremony, curling lessons and iHeart Wednesday dance parties. Tickets range from $15-$20 and can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 4 minutes to Civic Center Plaza.

Arcadia (extended through Jan. 27) at Ashby

Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece “Arcadia” is set on a country estate between 1809 and the late 20th century, and it explores mathematics, landscape gardening, Byron and the undeniable power of the human heart. Tickets range from $8-$52 and can be bought online. Take BART to Ashby Theatre and walk 4 minutes to the Ashby Stage.

Bay Area Children's Theatre

Photo courtesy of Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s Facebook page.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show (Ends Jan. 6) at Powell Street

Give your young ones the holiday treat they deserve by taking them to a Christmas show at Bay Area Children’s Theatre. This one will include colorful giant puppets in a new production inspired by Eric Carle’s beloved stories, including Dream Show, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Recommended for ages 3 to 8. Tickets range from $65-$85 and can be bought online. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 9 minutes to the Children’s Creativity Museum.

Paradise Square (Ends Feb. 17) at Downtown Berkeley

It’s 1863, and Black and Irish Americans are living side by side in a 20-block area of Manhattan known as the Five Points. Here, they work together, marry and for a brief period experience racial harmony. This is jeopardized, however, when the first-ever Federal draft calls whites to enlist but barrs blacks from serving. “Paradise Square” explores whether the hard-won bonds of friendship, community and family in the Five Points will prevail or be severed forever. Tickets are $40-$115 and can be bought online. 30 percent discount available for anyone under the age of 35. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 3 minutes to Roda Theatre.

Oakland Restaurant Week (Jan. 11-20)

Oakland’s 9th annual Restaurant Week will run over two weekends for foodies to take full advantage of the city’s special dining offers. The week will highlight a diverse range of culinary offerings throughout The Town, and will offer diners an opportunity to experience some of the most diverse restaurants in the Bay Area. Participating restaurants will offer prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menus at $10, $20, $30, $40, $50, $60 and $70 price points. Individual menus can be found here.

Bay Area Children's Theatre presents Lewis Carroll’s characters from his beloved tales where they come to life in this lively rock and roll performance. Bring your family and tumble into Wonderland, where everything will get “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice questions who she is and what her destiny will be. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Tickets range from $17-$28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Montgomery Street and walk 5 minutes to the Children's Creativity Museum in Yerba Buena Gardens, SF.

Berkeley Restaurant Week (Jan. 17-27)

The 7th annual Berkeley restaurant week will let diners choose from more than 45 restaurants and prix fixe menus for $20, $25 or $35. It’s a chance to revisit favorite spots or discover new ones. The restaurants span all Berkeley neighborhoods and offer a wide range of cuisines. Individual #BRW19 menus can be found here.

Restaurant Week

Photo courtesy of Visit Concord’s Facebook page.

Comfort Food Week (Jan. 18-27) at Concord

Concord’s Comfort Food Week is celebrating its second year and will have over 30 participating restaurants. The event highlights the area’s talented chefs, new restaurants and dishes, local favorites and diverse culinary scene. Diners will be able to indulge in hearty meals like macaroni and cheese or pan-roasted chicken. There will also be special menu items, prix fixe menus or special offers. Take BART to Concord. Participating restaurants and comfort food items can be found here.

A Tango with Mozart

Photo courtesy of California Symphony.

A Tango with Mozart (Jan. 19-20) at Walnut Creek

This performance will include three different parts: Ravel, Piazzolla and Mozart. Violin showstopper and concertmaster Jennifer Cho will take center stage. This isn’t your grandma’s orchestra — there will be a free pre-concert talk with Maestro Cabrera an hour before the show, phones can be on and silent, drinks can be brought to seats and guests can clap when they like what they hear. Tickets range from $42-$72 and can be bought online. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 12 minutes to the Lesher Center of the Arts.

Living Jazz presents "In the Name of Love" (Jan. 20) at Lake Merritt

With the theme of “Rhythm and Blues and the Civil Rights Movement”, the extensive civic and cultural Living Jazz event brings our diverse communities together to honor, through music, the inspirational teachings of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Featuring vocalists Jeanie Tracy, Kev Choice, Ms. Faye Carol, Terrie Odabi and, Alvon Johnson along with music by Kev Choice on piano; Scott Thompson on bass; Daria Johnson on drums; and, Alvon Johnson on guitar. Take BART to Lake Merritt and walk 10 minutes to the Oakland Scottish Rite Center.

Walnut Creek on Ice returns for its 14th season, and is open Monday through Thursday noon to 8pm, Friday noon to 11pm, Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday 11am to 8pm. Admission is $12-$18. 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.

Ice skating near BART

Photo courtesy of Resonate Agency.

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square (Ends Jan. 21) at Powell Street

The Holiday Ice Rink will be open 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 for children (eight and under). There will be various themed evenings throughout the season, such as “Drag Queens on Ice” and a “Silent Skate Party.” Take BART to Powell Street and walk 7 minutes to Union Square.

SF Restaurant Week (Jan. 23-31)

Nearly 130 restaurants around San Francisco will offer special prix fixe, multi-course menus that highlight their best known dishes, feature a new item they’re testing, or just showcase a sample of the food they love to cook. Many menus will feature a discount or special offer. Lunch menus will have two courses and will be priced at $15 or $25; dinner menus will have three courses at either $40 or $65. Reservations can be made through OpenTable for all participating restaurants. Participants can follow @eatdrinksf on Instagram and tag pictures with #SFRW to be featured.

Django Fest (Jan. 25-27) at Downtown Berkeley

Django Reinhardt is regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, and remains one of the most important jazz artists from Europe. Although he passed away in 1953, he is still influential and celebrated today. Freight & Salvage will be hosting its first annual Django Festival, which will include performances from Boulou and Elios Ferré, Barrio Manouche, The Hot Club of San Francisco and more. Tickets range from $98-$104 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 3 minutes to Freight & Salvage.

The must-see romantic comedy with sparkling wit, exuberant characters, and show-stopping dancing, "Don Quixote" is the stylish rom-com of classical ballet—and an audience favorite. Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov’s "Don Quixote", with set and costumes designed by Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz, features a lively cast of characters from the Miguel de Cervantes’ novel—and some of ballet’s most technically demanding dances. Tickets range from $25-225 and can be purchased online.  Take BART to Civic Center and walk 8 minutes to the War Memorial Opera House at 301 Van Ness.

Aurora Theatre is by Downtown Berkeley BART

Photo courtesy of Aurora Theatre Company.

Creditors (Jan. 25-Feb. 24) at Downtown Berkeley

Adolf is a painter who befriends a man named Gustav, who both inspires him and feeds his mind with doubts about Adolf’s novelist wife, Tekla. As the tragi-comic story unfolds, the audience can see the threeway web of deceit and shifting power grow ever more deadly. “Creditors” is a powerful psychodrama about a sexual triangle taken to destructive extremes, and has been called “both coldly objective and scathingly passionate” by the New York Times. Tickets are $40 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Aurora Theatre.

Oakland Lunar New Year Bazaar (Jan. 26-27) at 12th St. Oakland City Center

Oakland’s Chinatown will be welcoming the new lunar new year — the Year of the Boar — by hosting a two-day celebration. There will be vendors selling traditional new year decorations, flowers, gifts, candles and other unique items. Visitors can also enjoy live cultural entertainment such as dragon and lion dancing, martial arts, Chinese cultural music and a “Little Prince & Princess Contest” presented by the Oakland Chinatown Lions Club. Admission is free. Take BART to 12th St. Oakland City Center and walk 4 minutes to 388 9th Street.

With something for everyone, the White Elephant Sale features an extensive array of quality used men's, women’s and children’s clothing, jewelry, artworks, household items, china, books, tools, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, and more. The Preview Sale is the first opportunity to see and buy the new, the unusual and the unexpected.  Sunday, Jan. 27, 10am-4pm.  Tickets are $10.  Take BART to Fruitvale station and catch the FREE Shuttle to 333 Lancaster Street.

Cirque du Soleil “Volta” (Ends Feb. 3) at Embarcadero

Those that love the thrill around extreme sports will love Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA. Never-before-seen Big Top acrobatics will be paired with a stirring melodic score and set in a visually striking world. There will also be performances involving ballet, rope skipping and BMX biking. VOLTA is centered around self-discovery and unveiling your personal powers. Tickets range from $54-$290 and can be bought online. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk, bike, or take a MUNI or rideshare to AT&T Park.


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