Visit the Amazing Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato this Weekend. It's even open on Christmas Day!
There's also Holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers, and amazing decorated holiday houses.
Friday, December 22
- 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: $18 for adults (includes skates), $13 for children 8 and under. For info, call (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
- Winter Story Time at Johnny Doughnuts
Friday, 10 am
Make some new friends while you enjoy some wonderful winter PJ Library stories over everyone's favorite treat. Free! RSVP! Hosted by Brandeis Marin. Location: 1617 4th Street, Downtown San Rafael. Event details
- Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, 10 am & 1 pm
Children and their favorite stuffed animals gather in the Terrace Room of the Ritz-Carlton to enjoy holiday treats and this popular family show featuring an entertaining elf and his animated sidekick and a giant teddy bear. Each child will receive a teddy bear gift and photo with the giant teddy bear to take home. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area. Cost: $125 adults, $115 children. Location: 600 Stockton at California Street, San Francisco. For more info and reservations, visit their website.
- Children’s Magical Tea
Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, noon–4 pm
Magical Holiday Tea is open to kids and adults of all ages, and features Raul the Master Balloonatic, Face Painting by Drea, Wendy the Whimsical Elf, and a Cookie Decorating Station. Santa will visit on Saturdays, too! $75 per person; $70 with toy donation to the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive. Advance reservations required: (415) 616-6941. Location: 999 California Street. Event details.
- Film: Lady and the Tramp
Walt Disney Museum, San Francisco
Friday & Sunday, 1–2:30 pm
When a pampered pooch living in luxury with her human family crosses paths with a fun-loving stray from the wrong side of the tracks, she finds exciting new adventures and a little romance await her just outside of her comfort zone. Join us for this heart-warming classic just in time for the holidays. (Run time: 76 minutes). Cost: $5 members or with general admission, $10 adults, $8 student and youth. Purchase tickets here. Location:104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio, San Francisco. Event details.
- San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
War Memorial Opera House
Friday, 2 & 7 pm, Saturday, 11 am & 4 pm and Sunday, 11 am & 4 pm
San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other, with colorful, larger-than-life scenery, over 200 dazzling costumed characters, and of course Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Ticket prices start at $65. For more info, call (415) 865-2000 or visit their website.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas—Live!
Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, 2 & 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and the entire Peanuts gang bring this television classic to life. With live actors, an animated backdrop, and Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music performed by the San Francisco Symphony, it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas experience you won’t want to miss. This family-friendly concert begins with Tony Award-winner Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) singing holiday favorites with the SF Symphony and SF Symphony Chorus. Location: 201 Van Ness, San Francisco. Event details.
- Sleeping Beauty: A Family Holiday Musical Panto!
Custom Made Theatre, San Francisco
Friday, 2 & 7:30 pm, Saturday,
Boo! Hiss! Cheer! Panto SF is an outrageous, vaudevillian, musical family holiday UK holiday tradition now an SF tradition! Romance..drag..holiday fun for ages 5 to 105! Tickets: $25–$40. Purchase tickets here. Location: 533 Sutter St, San Francisco. Event details.
- 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. Event details.
- Winter Break Movie: Elf
Mill Valley Library
Friday, 2:30–4:30 pm
Join us in the cozy Creekside Room for a movie and freshly popped popcorn! Elf (Rated PG) 97 minutes. After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity. Location: 375 Throckmorton Ave. Mill Valley. Event details.
- Sing You a Merry Christmas: A Sing-Along and Christmas Show for Children and Families
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, 3 pm
Sing along with your favorite Christmas carols as the toys of St. Nicholas’s workshop lead you on an extraordinary journey, filling children, young and old, with the joys of the season. Festive for families! This performance is one hour. Tickets: $5 to $25. Location: 1100 California Street, San Francisco. Event details
- Zoo Lights
San Francisco Zoo
Friday–Saturday, 5–8 pm
Come enjoy the San Francisco Zoo at night under magical holiday lights. Shop at the all-new Holiday Marketplace, see the reindeer romp, enjoy hot apple cider and cocoa at Cafe Playfield, and hum along to seasonal music as you play in the Elinor Friend Playground. Adults $10, kids 14 and under $8, kids 3 and under: free. Parking $8. Event details.
- Zoo Lights
Friday–Saturday, 5:30–9 pm,
Soar over the Oakland hills in our festively-lit gondolas and see the entire Bay Area like never before! Check out the cool new laser light shows, candy cane lane-themed Adventure Landing with rides your kids will love, an adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a music-themed light show. Santa will be here from 6-9 pm this weekend too. ZooLights is a separate event and is not included in regular Zoo Admission. $10 adults, $9 children 2–14 and seniors 65+, free for children under 2 and adults over 80. Event details.
- Rombeiro Christmas House
Devonshire Drive, Novato
Friday–Monday, 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.
- Mickey Mouse Christmas House
417 Blackstone Drive, San Rafael
Friday–Sunday, 6–10 pm
One of my children's favorite decorated and lighted Christmas house is the Mize family's Mickey Mouse House (AKA "Mickey's Christmas House") in Marinwood. Get out of your car and walk up the short driveway, though and you'll see why it's worth a visit for kids of all ages. Every evening, the two-car garage is opened to reveal two galleries of what has to be every Walt Disney toy, stuffed animal, decoration, and gimgrack ever produced, all artfully arranged in two spectacular holiday displays. Read more about our visit here.
- The Nisja Bear House
383 Quietwood Drive, San Rafael
Friday–Sunday, 6–9 pm
The Nisja Bears House has been charming Marin families for 37 years. With the trains and bears and animated figures, there's plenty here to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Check out the display case to the left of the driveway for more bears and Christmas decorations. The bear that blows bubbles is always a hit with the kids, too. Read more about our visit here.
- Berkeley Playhouse: Annie
The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm
Leapin’ lizards! One of the most popular musicals of all time returns to Berkeley Playhouse in an all new production that’s going to “shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!” Perfect for the entire family. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $20–$45. Event details.
- A Christmas Carol
A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, San Francisco
Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 2 & 7 pm, Sunday, 1 & 5:30 pm
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! Event details.
Saturday, December 23
- Holidays Along Farm Trails
Saturday & Sunday, various times
'Tis the season to celebrate with our community. Join Sonoma County farmers and producers as they open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm. Shop their unique farmstands for your holiday meals, cut your own Christmas tree, make a gift at DIY workshops, greet farm animals, and so much more. Free. Register online for a list of each weekend's participants. Event details.
- 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, Hanukkah Hut (9am–2 pm) 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. Event details.
- Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekends, 9 am–3:30 pm
Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Lighthouse on weekends and holidays December 30, 2017 through late March 2018. Event details.
- Reindeer Visit the BADM
Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
Saturday, 9 am–5 pm
Saturday is your last chance to meet Snowflake and Blizzard, two live reindeer that will be visiting BADM! Watch them roam about in Lookout Cove and learn from their experienced handlers about their diet, migration patterns and unique characteristics that have allowed them to thrive in extreme environments. Free after museum admission. Event details.
- Gingerbread House Day
Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
Saturday, 9:30 am–4:30 pm
Decorate a GIANT gingerbread house with oodles of goodies including candies, cookies and sprinkles. All funds raised on this day will go directly to our programs for children in homeless shelters. After the event, the completed house will be donated to local family shelter for the holiday. FREE Admission from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Location: 2065 Kittredge St, Berkeley. Event details.
- Marine Science Sunday: Seal and Sea Lion Superstars of 2017
Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito
Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
This free ocean-inspired event will highlight our most memorable and, to be honest, cutest patients of the year! Guests can participate in a free ocean-inspired interactive program at our hospital’s classroom at noon and 2 pm. The interactive presentation will showcase another record-breaking year at the Center, and guests will get the opportunity to see exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of a days-old harbor seal, touch and feel fur specimens of multiple marine mammals, including a Guadalupe fur seal, and get a closer look at how the Center is helping save the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Location: 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite in the Marin Headlands. Event page.
- Skate Rink at Conerstone Sonoma
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–noon, 12:30 pm–2:30 pm, 3 pm–5 pm & 5:30 pm–7:30 pm
Join us on the ice at Cornerstone this holiday season! Our ice rink is open Thanksgiving Weekend through the New Year. We're spreading the cheer and bringing the holiday magic to Sonoma. Help us do some good - we're looking for sponsors to join us! Ice rink profits to benefit fire victims and relief efforts. Admission to our ice rink is broken into 2-hour intervals and includes skate rentals. Cost: Adults (13 years or older) | $20 per 2-hour period, includes skate rentals, Children (12 years or younger) | $10 per 2-hour period, includes skate rentals. Purchase tickets here. Location: 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. Event details.
- Reindeer Romp
San Francisco Zoo
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm
Santa is sending his favorite reindeer, Belle, Holly, and Peppermint to spread holiday cheer at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens! Until January 1, majestic reindeer will be romping at SF Zoo's Playfield Lawn, near the spectacular Elinor Friend Playground. Zoo admission applies. Location: Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
- Visit Santa at the Mart!
Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Saturday, 10:30 am–1:30 pm
Meet Santa Claus at the Mart each Saturday in December before Christmas! Be sure to bring your list to ask Santa for the present you want—and put your best smile on for the complimentary photo. Event details.
- Brunch with Santa
Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael
Saturday, 11 am–3 pm
Meet Santa, brunch, candy canes, goody bags, live music and more. Reservations neededby calling (415) 524-2773. Location: 100 Yacht Club Dr, San Rafael. Event details.
- Santa's Magic Key Storytime
Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera
Saturday, 11 am
In this unforgettable holiday story, a boy realizes on Christmas Eve that his new house does not have a chimney. With the post office closed and Santa coming by the end of the night, he has no way of telling Santa. But when the boy finds a mysterious key, he'll soon discover just how this key will solve his problem. Activities to follow. For all ages. Event details.
- Creek Walk to See Spawning Coho Salmon
Samuel P Taylor Park, San Geronimo
Saturday, noon–2 pm
With the first hard rains in the watershed comes the beginning of spawning season for Coho salmon. SPAWN-trained naturalists lead creek walks to explore the majesty of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Tour will meet at the front Kiosk of Camp Taylor and embark on a journey to multiple creek sites in search of some of these critically endangered salmon. Tours are open to all ages and abilities. Cost: $15 per person donation suggested. Register here.
- Snow White: A Holiday Musical Comedy
Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
Saturday & Sunday, 2 pm
Snow White is a spectacular musical comedy for the whole family! This enchanting fairytale with a twist is a must-see. Featuring marvelous puppetry, thrilling dance numbers, hilarious punchlines and music from The Beatles, Adele, The Doors & more. Tickets: $15–$35. Purchase tickets here. Location:142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley. Event details.