Hanukkah's here: Get ready for the Union Square menorah lighting

Courtesy photoThe lighting of the Bill Graham Menorah takes place in Union Square on the first night of Hanukkah.

Courtesy photoThe lighting of the Bill Graham Menorah takes place in Union Square on the first night of Hanukkah.

Person in town

Steve Genzoli, vice president of chocolate development at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, visits the California Academy of Sciences to talk about the art and science of chocolate. His appearance is part of Ghirardelli Chocolate Day festivities at the museum. [9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]


Asian Art Museum: Exhibits include “Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts” and “Poetry in Clay: Korean Buncheong Ceramics From Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.” [10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 200 Larkin St., S.F.]

San Mateo County History Museum: Exhibits include “Land of Opportunity: The Immigrant Experience in San Mateo County” and “Ships of the World.” [10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 2200 Broadway, Redwood City]

Literary events

Book group: JCCSF Evening Book Group discusses Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” A book drive also is on the bill — bring a new book that kindergarteners through third-graders can enjoy. [7:30 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

‘Feast of Words’: “Celebrate” is the theme of the writer and foodie event’s December edition, featuring poet Arisa White and the Potluck Brigade. All are encouraged to bring a potluck dish. [7 p.m., Somarts center, 934 Brannan St., S.F.]

At the colleges

‘Potpourri of Favorites’: Bring a book you have liked, convince the others in the group that they will wish they “had read it too,” and leave with a list of good books for winter reading. [Noon, Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.]

At the public library

Holiday crafts: The program features holiday stories and gingerbread decorating. Space is limited. Advanced sign-ups are required. [4 p.m., Western Addition Branch, 1550 Scott St., S.F.; RSVP: (415) 355-5727]

Preschool films: The program, for ages 3 to 5, features three films based on picture stories: “The Three Wishes,” “Dr. DeSoto” and “Max’s Christmas.” [10:15 a.m., Noe Valley Branch, 451 Jersey St., S.F.]

Local activities

Menorah lighting: The lighting of the Bill Graham Menorah takes place in Union Square on the first night of Hanukkah. Festivities begin with a skating party. [Skating at 4 p.m., lighting at 5 p.m., Powell and Post streets, S.F.]

Midday music: Soprano Claire Kelm and harpsichordist Jonathan Dimmock perform a holiday concert of music dating from the Renaissance to modern times. [12:30 p.m., Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, 660 California St., S.F.]

Wacky wonderland: Cabaret artist Sharon McNight presents “Twisted Xmas: A Druid’s View of the Holidays,” a show taking an irreverent look at the traditions of the season. [8 p.m., Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

Brass holiday music: The Bay Brass, featuring top Bay Area brass musicians, presents a holiday concert, “A Brass and Organ Christmas.” [7 p.m., Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.]

Ballet classic: San Francisco Ballet presents “Nutcracker.” The production features Tchaikovsky’s music, more than 200 costumed characters and a San Francisco setting. [2 and 7 p.m., War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Comedy showcase: San Francisco Comedy College presents “SFCC Underground,” its weekly show at the Purple Onion. New comedic talents take the stage. [7 p.m., 140 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

All aboard: The Conservatory of Flowers presents “Playland at the Conservatory,” a garden railway exhibition, landscaped with flora, featuring a mini version of Playland at the Beach. [10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

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