Sunday, November 25, 2012

Some Fun Christmas Events Around the Bay, December 2012

Some Fun Christmas Events Around the Bay, December 2012

Christmas at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont – Anytime is a great time to visit Ardenwood Historic Farms if you have not done so already, but during their Christmas celebration is one of our favorite times to go.

They celebrate a Victorian style Christmas at Ardenwood, with Victorian inspired crafts, volunteers in Victorian costumes, music, and the historic Patterson House decorated in traditional Victorian Christmas style. Father Christmas always has a special spot in the gazebo where kids can find him to share their wishes. The farm’s huge draft horses also usually make the rounds too, either taking folks for a wagon ride, or pulling a horse drawn train instead, depending on the year. Both are fun.

They also have all the regular Ardenwood Historic Farm attractions, the farm animals, and the Patterson house (although it is fancier with its decorations than usual, and the blacksmith shop.

Christmas at Ardenwood this year runs on December 1st and 2nd from 10 am to 4 pm. Bundle up, it’s usually pretty chilly.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco – This is a bigger and more famous Victorian Christmas celebration in the Bay Area. It takes place this year over 5 weekends from November 23rd to December 23rd from 10 am to 7 pm.

We have never personally been to this Christmas fair, mainly because it is so much more expensive than Ardenwood, but it looks just wonderful, and I would love to go one of these years. It looks huge and fun and beautiful. I recommend you check out their website at the link above to see everything they have to offer.

Zoo Lights at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland – After regular zoo hours, the zoo is filled with holiday lights. Some even make a little almost animated show with the way they blink on and off. Some are just there, and pretty.

Zoo lights run from Nov 30th to Dec 31st every night except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 5:30 pm until 9:00 pm.

The animals have access to their night houses, so most of them are not viewable during Zoo Lights, although we have seen one or two wander out into their exhibits and look around. Generally, though, they have gone off to have dinner and sleep and Zoo Lights is not a good time to see animals. What we have done in the past that was fun, was to visit the zoo during the day to see the animals. Leave at closing to get some dinner, then return for the lights at night.

Santa visits Oakland’s Zoo lights each night as well, and it can be a nice time to say “Hi” to him without a long line.

City of Martinez Children’s Light Parade and Snow Park in Martinez – We stumbled upon this even sort of by accident one year, but the kids had so much fun we may try to make it back there if we can.  This year it happens on Friday Nov. 30th starting at 6:30 pm.

The downtown area is all blocked off for this holiday celebration that includes a parade where kids can join in carrying lights. My kids had never gotten to be in a parade before so they really loved this. Then there is a lot of holiday events, including an area with a snow machine creating a little snowy play area for the snow-deprived California kids. The downtown shops are open, and always fun to browse through.

And Many, Many More. . .
These are only the events we have been to in the past of I’ve heard a lot about from friends. I know most towns around the Bay Area must have their own wonderful Christmas and Holiday events beginning very soon. If you know of one I didn’t mention, please tell us about it in the comment section. I’d love to find out about more.

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