Visit the Amazing Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato this Weekend!
Other Holiday Happenings: holiday ice skating, visit with Santa Claus, North Bay Christmas Tree Farms and Lots, festive holiday teas, holidays in San Francisco, and visit one of Marin's Amazing Lighted Houses.
Friday, December 9
- Victorian Holiday Tea
Haas-Lilienthal House, San Francisco
Friday, 3 pm & Saturday & Sunday, noon & 3 pm
Celebrate the holidays by stepping back in time and enjoying perfectly-blended pots of tea, savory finger sandwiches, delicate scones, and holiday sweets in the formal dining room of the 1886 Haas-Lilienthal House. Cost: $48 adults, $24 children. RSVP here. Location: 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
- Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Cow Palace, San Francisco
Friday–Sunday, 10 am–7 pm
The Dickens Fair runs on weekends through December 20. Experience Victorian London with hundreds of costumed players, shops offering one-of-a-kind gifts and Christmas treasures, dining, and pubs. Meet Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, Jules Verne, David Copperfield, Charles Darwin, and 700 costumed characters. Of course, Father Christmas himself will be on hand to join in the fun. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
- Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm
Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
- The Velveteen Rabbit
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Friday, 11 am, Saturday, 1 & 4 pm and Sunday, 2 pm
Bring the family for this beloved Bay Area holiday tradition. ODC/Dance enlivens Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told though music, dance and a powerful narrative, The Velveteen Rabbit celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love. Tickets range from $15 to $75. For more info, visit their website.
- Marin on Ice
Northgate Mall, San Rafael
Friday, 2–10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
- Marinwood's WinterFest Family Event
Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
Friday, 5–7 pm
Come celebrate the holiday season at Marinwood's annual WinterFest! Ticket prices include: photos with Santa, arts and crafts, face painting, bounce house, holiday treats, live music and more. Tickets: $10 in advance kids ages 2–12, $15 at the door. Adults are free! Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
- Rombeiro Christmas House
Devonshire Drive, Novato
Friday–Sunday, 6–10 pm
Their home is something that truly has to be seen to be believed, and photos don't really do it justice. There are something like 140,000 lights as well as countless figurines, dioramas, and decorations adorning the front and side yards, walls, and roof of the Rombeiro house. If you think the outside is impressive, then you need to go on inside and get a healthy dose of Christmas spirit. You'll find model trains, more figurines, Christmas trees, and the biggest lighted holiday village you've ever seen. Location: 34 Devonshire Drive, off of Center Road, Novato. For more info, read about our visit here.
- The Berkeley Playhouse: Disney's Beauty and the Beast
The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm
The Disney (and Broadway!) favorite gets the Berkeley Playhouse makeover as founding Associate Artistic Director Kimberly Dooley helms this all new production featuring a diverse and multigenerational cast of dozens. Featuring some of Disney’s most popular songs and characters, you won’t want to miss this magical musical adventure guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $25–40. For more info, visit their website
Saturday, December 10
- Polar Express Train Ride
Saturday, various times
The Polar Express Train Ride departs from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, complete with dancing chefs, singing elves, and a special gift from Santa Claus himself—a silver sleigh bell. Don't forget to wear your pajamas while you enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, and a reading of The Polar Express while on board. First-class tickets still available for rides this weekend. For more info and tickets, call (877) 726-7245 or visit their website.
- Breakfast with Santa
Ross Valley Fire Station
Saturday, 8 & 10 am
Bring the family to the annual Breakfast with Santa event at Ross Valley Fire Station #19. Breakfast with Santa is a fun family event and a great way to celebrate the holiday season. $6 kids, $8 adultFor more info, call (415) 258-4640 or visit their website.
- Pancakes at the North Pole
Corte Madera Parks & Recreation
Saturday, 8–10 am
Santa and his friends are waiting for you! The elves at the Corte Madera Community Center have been hard at work preparing a very special pancake breakfast for you and your family. Santa Claus is very excited to see all his favorite families and take pictures! As many of us know, it can get a little chilly at the North Pole. Frosty the Snowman will be taking donations for the Kids Club Warm Coat and Toasty Toes Drive during the breakfast as well. Cost: $9 per person. For more info, call (415) 927-5072 or visit their website.
- Breakfast With Santa
Belvedere Community Center
Saturday, 9–10:30 am
Join Santa for breakfast, music, crafts, and a photo opportunity (bring your own camera). Make reservations by calling (415) 435-4355; space is limited. Cost: $20 per person, free for 2 and under. The Belvedere Community Center is located at 450 San Rafael Avenue in Belvedere. For more info, visit their website.
- Marin Country Mart Farmer's Market
Marin County Mart, Larkspur Landing
Saturday, 9 am–2 pm
The farmer's market features plenty of family fun, including pony rides, face painting, seasonal music, and more. In addition to a great selection of farmers' market organic produce, pastured meats, artisan cheeses, baked goods, nuts, jams, confections, wreaths and holiday flowers, you can also shop for unique farm inspired locally made arts and crafts. For more info, visit their website.
Iceless Skating Rink
Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm
Hit the “ice” this winter with family and friends at the Bay Area Discovery Museum's Iceless Skating Rink, which will be open from November 19, 2016 to January 8, 2016. Children can strap on skates and glide around on a synthetic ice rink in the museum's Discovery Hall. The synthetic ice rink provides all the fun of a real ice rink but without the cold and icy falls. Get in the holiday spirit with this classic winter activity. Free with museum admission or membership. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
- Winter Wonderland
Tam Valley Community Center
Saturday, 10–3 pm
Bring the family to have breakfast with Santa at the Tam Valley Winter Magic Event. Then make crafts and play in some real snow! RSVP early because this event sells out. Don't forget to bring a camera for this wonderful photo opportunity. 10 am breakfast seating sold out; space available at 11:30 am. Cost: $15 per person, includes breakfast, crafts, jumpee, and snow; $8 without breakfast. Register by calling (415) 388-6393. For more info, visit their website.
- Pixie Park Holiday Bake Sale and Photos with Santa
Marin Art and Garden Center, Ross
Saturday, 10 am–2 pm
Pixie Park's annual holiday bake sale offers delicious homemade baked goods-perfect for holiday gift-giving. Come choose from cookies, cakes, candies, baking mixes and gingerbread houses. Come support Pixie Park, have a photo taken with Santa Claus (10:30 am–1:30 pm) and enjoy some children’s holiday cookie decorating (10:30 am–1:30 pm) and entertainment! Location: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross. For more info, visit their website.
- Gingerbread Doghouse Workshops
Charles Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
Saturday, 10 am, 1 pm and Sunday, 1 pm
Assemble and decorate Snoopy’s doghouse out of gingerbread complete with a marshmallow Snoopy on top. Choose from one of the dates online here. Cost: $25/member, $32/non-member and $10 additional child. For more info, visit their website.
- Indoor Antique Market 32nd Annual Christmas Show
Marin Center Exhibit Hall, San Rafael
Saturday, 10 am–6 pm & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
Enjoy an old fashioned shopping experience as you are taken back through times gone by. Over seventy booths of antiques and collectibles. Highlights include fine art, Asian and Native American art, watches, clocks, books, photographs, postcards, posters, prints, coins, vintage toys, kitchen collectibles, vintage clothing, and more. Admission: $6. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
- Sausalito Winterfest
Sausalito Yacht Harbor Parking Lot
Saturday, 10 am–2 pm
Photo op with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves. Make sure to bring your camera. Free but please RSVP For more info, visit their website.
- Dream Circle Holiday Concert
Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
Saturday, 10:30 & 11:45 am
A jovial Holiday Sing-along for young children at the Discovery Museum! The 7-member band Dream Circle features four of Marin's top children's singers and piano, bass, and drums. It's a real treat for the little ones, and parents too. Come and join in on the fun! Tickets: $5 BADM members, $7 non-members. For more info, visit their website.
- 7th Annual Teddy Bear Tea à la Française
Saturday, 10:30 am–noon
Red Hill Church of San Anselmo
Come for tea and hot cocoa, finger sandwiches, holiday cookies, and fun with Le Petit Jardin! You and your little ones will enjoy tea service, traditional live holiday music, a fireside telling of the story of the first Christmas in English and French, and a professional photo seating! Each child should dress in dapper style and bring his or her own teddy bear pal from home to share tea time with! $10 per seat; space limited. Book your reservation online. Location: 921 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
- Gingerbread House Workshop
Marin Humane Society, Novato
Saturday, 10:30 am–noon
Calling all kids! Get in the holiday spirit and join in the fun of an age-old holiday tradition - gingerbread house decorating. Gingerbread house masters John and Megan Lorenzen will be here to help you create a gingerbread dog house or a gingerbread kitty condo. Workshop is designed for 8–12-year-old children. For more info, visit their website.
- Fairfax Craft Faire
Saturday, 11 am–5 pm
The annual Fairfax Craft Faire is held at the Pavilion in the heart of Fairfax. A wonderful selection of crafts, music and food will fill the Pavilion for this event. Location: 142 Bolinas Road, Fairfax. For more info, visit their website.
- Wreath Making Workshop
McNears Beach Park, San Rafael
Saturday, 11 am–1 pm
Bring the beauty of nature to your front door with a festive, homemade wreath! Join rangers at McNears Beach for a day of sipping hot chocolate, listening to holiday tunes, and creating your own natural wreath to take home. Fresh greenery, pinecones, and other natural materials will be provided. You are encouraged to bring your own decorations to use. For all ages. Hot chocolate and snacks provided. Rain will cancel. Free. Location: 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
- Mark Foehringer's Nutcracker Sweets
Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 1 pm
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
Mark Foehringer's Nutcracker Sweets is a unique 50-minute version of the Nutcracker specifically designed for families with young children. The production features a live 9-piece chamber orchestra, Brian Fisher as Drosselmeyer, musical direction by Michael Morgan, set design by Peter Crompton, costume design by Richard Battle, and production direction by Frederic O. Boulay. Tickets: $21 and $31. For more info, visit their website.
- A Holiday Magic Toy Box Tea at Falkirk
Saturday & Sunday, noon & 3 pm
1408 Mission Avenue at "E" Street, San Rafael
The tea is an old-fashioned tour de force in the elegant Queen Anne Victorian Falkirk Mansion. Homemade tea sandwiches and sweets are served, along with tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages. Features include life-sized toys, a raffle, and plenty of photo opportunities. Make sure you bring your teddy bear or other favorite toy! This extremely popular event is by reservation only and always sells our early! Cost: $28 adults, $24 for children, $50 adult-and-child combination ticket. For more info, visit www.falkirkculturalcenter.org.
- Saturdays with Santa
Bon Air Center, Greenbrae
Saturday, noon-4 pm
Find Santa and his elves in front of Mollie Stone’s Market where photos are taken compliments of Bon Air and CVS/ Pharmacy. Sit for a portrait with Santa—family and friends, the furry ones too—and receive sweet treats of candy canes and dog biscuits.
- Photos with Santa
West End Nursery, San Rafael
Saturday, 1–3 pm
Santa will be on hand for photos at the famous West End Nursery Christmas House in San Rafael. Please bring a toy for San Rafael Santa Cop and get free pictures with Santa. For more info, visit their website.
- Marin Ballet Nutcracker
Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium
Saturday, 1 & 5 pm
Marin Ballet's Nutcracker production is one of the county's cultural jewels! With over 200 dancers, intricate costuming, lavish sets, and artful choreography, it's a holiday event not to miss. Meet Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy and special guest characters for photos and autographs at the Candy Cane Party following the 1 pm performances on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: $43 adults, $27 seniors and youth 18 and under; $10 for the Candy Cane Party. For more info, visit their website.