Holiday Events 2019: It’s Christmastime in The City

Trim the tree, slide on skates or do some holiday shopping

Holiday Windows: San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s 33rd annual event, a showcase of adoptable animals, this year includes rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs as well as cats and dogs. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, except closed Thanksgiving and Christmas, through Jan. 1, free. Macy’s, Stockton and O’Farrell streets, S.F.

Embarcadero Holiday Ice Rink: The 30-year-old attraction is billed as the area’s largest outdoor rink. 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, through Jan.5, $7-$12; $5 skate rental. Embarcadero Plaza, Market Street at The Embarcadero, S.F.,

Union Square Holiday Ice Rink: Rental skates are included in the admission price, which includes lessons on weekends and themed festivities through the season. 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. daily (except until 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31) through Jan. 20, $13-$18. Union Square, Geary and Powell streets, S.F.,

Holiday Events 2019: It’s Christmastime in The City

T-Mobile Winter Park at Civic Center: In its second year, the “ice experience” near San Francisco’s City Hall is a rink and 400-foot skating track in a “lighted tree forest.” Noon-10 p.m. daily, through Jan. 5, $13-$18. 355 McAllister St., S.F.,

Night Bloom at the Conservatory of Flowers: Luminous displays among the flora make up the holiday visual and sound installation. 5-11 p.m. daily through Jan. 5, $29-$34, free for children 8 and younger. Golden Gate Park, 100 JFK Drive, S.F.,

Great America’s WinterFest: The amusement park’s Christmas activities include holiday lights, decor, special shows, refreshments and Santa’s workshop to accompany its dozens of rides. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. most Fridays-Sundays, and Dec. 19, Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Dec. 31, $40-$60 (not including group or seasonal discounts). 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara,

Holiday Events 2019: It’s Christmastime in The City

Black Santa Holiday Pop-Up: Presented by NBA All Star Baron Davis, the seasonal event offers Black Santa merchandise, holiday treats, workshops and meet-and-greets with Black Santa and Mrs. C. 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, through Dec. 24, free. Jack London Square, 419 Water St., Oakland, (669) 256-0213

Santa Train: The excursion for families is an 85-minute ride, with entertainment and snacks, from the train station to Santa’s workshop. 5 and 7:15 p.m. daily (except not Dec. 24-25) through Dec. 27, $50-$70. 1275 McKinstry St., Napa,

Christmas with Walt Disney/Mickey’s Christmas Carol: Walt Disney Family Museum screens holiday themed films at 1 p.m. daily in conjunction with the exhibition “Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World.” 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. daily (except closed Tuesdays and holidays) through Dec. 30, $15-$35. 104 Montgomery St., Presidio, S.F.,

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party: Victorian London comes to life in the annual participatory holiday party, celebrating its 20th anniversary, with theater, dancing, food and shopping. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, through Dec. 22, $14-$32, $120 for season pass ($12 parking). Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City,

Pier 39 Tree Lights: In a new seasonal event, the attraction’s 60-foot tree is the site of a nightly light show. 5-10 p.m. through Jan. 5, free. Pier 39, Embarcadero, S.F.,

St. Francis hotel castles: Pastry chef Jean-Francois Houdré’s display of handcrafted sugar and enchanted castles is a annual showcase. Daily, through Jan. 2, free. Westin St. Francis, 355 Powell St., S.F.,

International Auto Show: In the 62nd annual showcase, the world’s major manufacturers display hundreds of 2020 model cars, SUVs, trucks and vans, including electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 2, $10. Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard St., S.F.,

Alameda South Shore: Santa will be available for photo opportunities most days, including a tree lighting at 6 p.m. Nov. 29; 11 a.m. or noon to 7 or 8 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 24, free. Playground, near See’s Candies, 2219 S. Shore Center, Alameda,

Emperor Norton’s Holiday Bazaar: Off the Grid, the food truck emporium, inagurates the seasonal marketplace inspired by European traditions; it runs daily (opening hours vary) through Dec. 24. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov 29, free. Salesforce Transit Center, 415 Mission St., S.F.,

Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland: In its 40th year, the event features a marketplace with arts and crafts, snow sledding, a tree-lighting ceremony and a 5:30 p.m. parade. Noon-8 p.m. Nov. 29, plus kids activities from 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 30, free. Fourth Street, San Rafael,

Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting: The 55th annual event showcases a 60-foot tree and hosts live music with Kevin Toqe, crafts and a visit from Santa. 4-9 p.m. Nov. 29, free. West Plaza, 900 North Point St., S.F.,

Macy’s Tree Lighting: At the 30th annual festivities, the “beautiful and reusable tree” glows with some 43,000 twinkling energy-efficient LED lights and 700 ornaments. 5:30 p.m. Nov. 29, free. Union Square, Powell and Geary streets, S.F.,

Winter Walk: The holiday pedestrian plaza offers food trucks, beer and wine gardens, seasonal cocktails, special performances and plenty of Instagrammable moments. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily Nov. 29-Dec. 31, free. Grant Avenue between Geary and Post streets, S.F.,

Visitors can check out the huge gingerbread house at the Fairmont Hotel’s holiday open house. (Courtesy photo)

Visitors can check out the huge gingerbread house at the Fairmont Hotel’s holiday open house. (Courtesy photo)

Fairmont Hotel Holiday Open House: The event includes photo opportunities with Santa and a chance to check out the 25-foot tall gingerbread house. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 30, free. 950 Mason St., S.F.,

Head West Holiday Marketplace: The effort promotes local vendors, artisans and designers. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 21, free. 485 Ninth St., Oakland,

Joy at S.F. Zoo: Candy Cane Lane, Poinsettia and Peppermint plazas and the Flying Reindeer Academy are among the festivities at the new daytime holiday event. Weekends Nov. 30-Jan. 1. $16-$22. ($13 parking). Sloat Boulevard and Great Highway, S.F.,

SF Etsy Holiday Emporium: Some 200 artisans and small-batch food vendors sell their work at the seventh annual event (in a new location this year); shoppers should bring their own bag. Noon-6 p.m. Nov. 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1, free. Pier 27, The Embarcadero, S.F.,,

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios: Dozens of artists sell from their workplaces in the 29th self-guided event. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays Nov. 30-Dec. 15, and Dec. 21-22, free. Map at Berkeley Artisans, 2547 Eighth St., #24 A, Berkeley,

Fog City Flea: Local artisans sell their wares at the holiday market, which also includes cookie decorating demos (while supplies last). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, free. Grand Hall, Ferry Building, Embarcadero at Market Street, S.F.,

Nob Hill Association Tree Lighting Ceremony: Mayor London Breed, Assemblymember David Chiu and Supervisor Aaron Peskin are slated to attend the 48th annual event, also featuring the French American Jazz Quartet. 6 p.m. Dec. 2, free. Huntington Park, California and Taylor streets, S.F.,

All Stars Helping Kids Culinary Experience: Chefs Michael Mina (Mina Group), Robin Song (Vault), Shelly Lindgren (A16), Claude LeTohic (One65), Jason Halverson (Hi Neighbor Group), Parke Ulrich (Waterbar) share their creations and cocktails in Ronnie and Karen Lott’s annual benefit for the nonprofit dedicated to “disrupting the cycle of poverty and encouraging innovation by seed funding startup nonprofits.” 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3, $250. Vault Restaurant, 555 California St., S.F.,

Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting: On the bill of family-friendly festivities are live music, snow flurries, refreshments, the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees and a toy giveaway. 4-7 p.m. Dec. 4, free. Polk and Grove streets, S.F.,

Christmas at Kohl Boutique: The Mercy High School Alumnae Association presents the event with more than 60 vendors, along with holiday decorations and docent tours. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 4, $10. Kohl Mansion, 2750 Adeline Drive, Burlingame,

Jingle and Mingle: Children of Shelter, an organization serving homeless children, hosts its annual benefit, featuring the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind designer wreaths. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5, $350 and up. General’s Residence, Fort Mason, off Bay and Franklin streets, S.F.,

Guide Dogs for the Blind Holiday Luncheon: The 43rd annual fundraiser includes a reception, raffle, boutique, meal and program. 11 a.m. Dec. 6. $150. St. Francis Hotel, 335 Powell St., S.F.,

Holiday Events 2019: It’s Christmastime in The City

Holiday LEGO Show: Bay Area LEGO User Group’s annual exhibit created by LEGO experts features train layouts, Bay Area landmarks, castles, miniature cities, sculptures, portraits and more; this year’s theme is “the beach.” 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays Dec. 6-Jan. 5, $3. Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto,

Oakland Zoo’s ZooLights: The evening attraction includes hundreds of thousands of LED lights brightening the night sky, holiday-themed festivities and gondola rides. 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 6 -Jan. 5, $10-$11. 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland,

Presidio Tree Lighting: A singalong with the Golden Gate Carolers accompanies the holiday lights. 5 p.m. Dec. 6, free. Main Post Lawn, 103 Montgomery St., Presidio, S.F.,

San Leandro It’s a Wonderful Night: A Christmas tree lighting, family activities, entertainment, Santa visits and horse-drawn carriage rides are among the festivities. 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 6, free. West Estudillo Avenue and East 14th Street, San Leandro,

Holiday Sunset Dinner Cruise on a Hornblower Yacht: The two-hour outing includes a buffet dinner, DJ entertainment and a cruise past Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge and under the Bay Bridge. 2:30-5 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays Dec. 6-21, $91. Pier 3, Hornblower Landing, S.F.

Jingletown Winter Art Walk/Open Studios: The 14th annual event showcases work by artists in Ford Street Studios (2394 Ford St.), Gray Loft Gallery (2889 Ford St.) and Jingletown Art Studios (3001 Chapman St.). 11-6 p.m. Dec. 7-8, free. Ford and Chapman streets, Oakland,

Sonoma Community Center Holiday Sale: One-of-a-kind works in ceramics, fiber, jewelry, print, fine art, and more are offered. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 8, free. 276 East Napa St., Sonoma,

Gifty 2019: East Bay industrial artists and craftspeople sell handmade glass, metal and wood pieces. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 7-8, free. Crucible, 1260 Seventh St., Oakland,

Holiday Crafts Day: Activities for the family, especially little ones 12 and under, include making beeswax candles, lip balm, gift soaps, toy trains and candy houses. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 7, free admission, low-cost crafts. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, S.F.,

Holiday Events 2019: It’s Christmastime in The City

Redwood City Hometown Holidays: Family-friendly activities include a parade, live entertainment, carnival rides, snow, Santa Claus photos, arts and crafts and a 5:45 p.m. tree lighting at City Hall. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 7, free. Courthouse Square and surroundings, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City,

Muir Beach Holiday Arts Fair: Art, crafts, jewelry, gourmet treats and knick-knacks by some 40 artists are for sale. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8, free. Community Center, 19 Seacape Drive, Muir Beach,

Palestinian Holiday Crafts Bazaar: Items from Palestine — olive oil, pottery, embroidery, wood, clothing, jewelry, Dead Sea Products and more — are for sale, to benefit Palestinian children. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 8, free. Middle East Children’s Alliance, 1101 Eighth St., Berkeley,

Undiscovered SF Creative Night Market: Artisan merchants, food and dessert vendors and a live art auction comprise the celebration Filipino-American culture. Noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 8, free. Under the Dome, Westfield Mall, 865 Market St., S.F.,

Haas-Lilienthal Holiday Open House: The San Francisco Heritage Society hosts seasonal festivities and refreshments in the historic architectural setting. Noon-3 p.m. Dec. 8, free, registration requested. 2007 Franklin St., S.F.,

Rockaway Tree Lighting Festival: The Pacifica Chamber of Commerce sponsors the ninth annual event, which also features cable car rides and visits with Santa. 4-7 p.m. Dec. 8, free. Rockaway Beach, Dondee Street, Pacifica,

Mountain View Community Tree Lighting: Music, entertainment, holiday games and a guest appearance from a man in a red suit (and photo opportunities) are on the program. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9, free. 500 Castro St., Mountain View,

Holiday Heroes: Abby Dahlkemper (U.S. women’s soccer); Alex Dickerson (San Francisco Giant), Dallin Leavitt (Oakland Raider); Jennifer Azzi (basketball coach and Olympic gold medalist) and Noah Lowry (Giant alum) are slated to attend the Wender Weis Foundation for Children fundraiser, in which the ballpark turns into a holiday wonderland for more than 500 underserved children and their families. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10, $100 (child) to $300 (adult) and up. Oracle Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, S.F.,

Hand to Hand Holiday Luncheon: Project Open Hand’s 27th seasonal fundraiser with emcee Renel Brooks-Moon and auctioneer Franco Finn supports its efforts to serve meals to people in critical need. 11 a.m. Dec. 12, $250. Fairmont, 950 Mason St., S.F.,

Holiday Victorian Teas: The San Francisco Heritage Society hosts the seasonal fundraiser in the historic architectural setting. 2-5 p.m. Dec. 13-15, $30-$75. Haas-Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin St., S.F.,

Half Moon Bay Night of Lights: Festivities include caroling, a tree-lighting ceremony in Mac Dutra Park followed by a light parade. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13, free. Main Street and Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay,

Art Guild of Pacifica Winter Art Faire: The annual holiday market event offers works by local artists and affordable gift items. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 14-15, free. Sanchez Art Center, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd.,

Parol Lantern Festival & Parade: The Filipino community hosts the 17th annual yuletide display and festivities, preceded by lantern-making workshops. 4–8 p.m. Dec. 14, free. Jessie Square, Mission Street and Yerba Buena Lane, S.F.,

Fisherman’s Wharf Lighted Boat Parade: More than 60 decorated boats parade along the waterfront in the annual event, held since 1994, presented by Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and the St. Francis Yacht Club. 6–8 p.m. Dec. 13, free. Pier 39, S.F.,

Holiday Events 2019: It’s Christmastime in The City

SFMade Holiday Gift Fair: The ninth shopping event offers locally made gift items from 60 vendors; selections include jewelry, chocolate, apparel, toys, decorations, stationery and more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 15, free. California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.,

Hotel Zelos Holiday Fashion Soiree: Shoppers choose from exclusive designer collections at the ticketed event, which includes cocktails and a clothing drive. 6-9 p.m., Dec. 18, $20-$30 (advance purchase required). 12 Fourth St., S.F.,

Bethlehem A.D.: The town of Bethlehem is brought to life at the annual outdoor staging of the Christmas story, at which guests mingle with Roman centurions and wise men and visit the baby in the manger. 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23, free. 1305 Middlefield Road, Redwood City,

Craneway Craft Fair: The 49th sale, which benefits KFPA, features handmade work by more than 200 jury-selected artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 21-22, $12. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond,

Hanukkah Candle Lighting: The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco celebrates with candle lighting, storytelling, singing and treats. 4 or 4:30 p.m. Dec. 22-29. Free. 3200 California St., S.F.,

Bill Graham Menorah Lighting: The first candle lighting of the Hanukkah observance is at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 22 with special guests preceded by 2 p.m. crafts for kids; lightings continue through Dec. 29. Free. Union Square, Geary and Powell streets, S.F.,

Pop Up Hanukkah Party at Ghirardelli Square: The San Francisco Jewish Community Center gathering includes music, crafts, games and treats. 3-6 p.m. Dec. 22, free; registration requested.

900 North Point St., S.F.,

After mob thefts, Black Friday offers glimmers of hope for retailers

Shoppers hunted for deals amidst heightened security

By Sydney Johnson
SF unveils plan to encourage holiday shopping at small businesses

Effort includes trolley to take shoppers into neighborhoods

By Bay City News
California leaders must crack down on brazen ‘flash mob’ retail looting and robbery

Group robbery in Union Square and in other cities requires strategic response

By The Examiner Editorial Board