Find Your Holiday Spirit at One of These Bay Area Festive Happenings

Warm and sunny fall days are behind us and we’re on to embracing the holiday spirit! The Bay Area is full of wonderful ways to influence a festive mood. We might not have snow, but we can surely find some mistletoe.

Start your holiday spirit search at Orchard Nursery’s Holiday Shop. The theme this year is Holiday Handmade from Around the World. Find beautiful, one-of-a-kind treasures to help make your holiday merry and bright.

Continue the garden theme with a visit to Walnut Creek’s Ruth Bancroft Garden of d’Lights, an exciting new nighttime winter holiday event that blends lasers and LED lights to illuminate the garden, creating magical colorful sculptures from its many cacti, succulents, and trees. Enjoy musical entertainment and seasonal food and beverage every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening 5:00 pm-8:00 pm through December 29th.

Lace-up the ice skates (your personal pair or rent from the rink) and glide over to Walnut Creek On Ice at Civic Center Park. The rink is open daily through January 20th.

Young or old, who doesn’t love a carousel? During the holidays, the Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round is decorated in twinkle lights, and hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies are for sale in the snack bar. Through December 23. (Find Santa there Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, 6pm to 8pm. Olaf is there Tuesday and Thursday, 6pm to 8pm.)

Head into SF, but leave the driving to Lucky Tuk Tuk and tour the city lights in cozy warmth. These modern ‘rickshaws’ seat up to five (six when two are children) and the ride includes yummy hot cocoa, candy canes, fuzzy Santa hats, warm blankets, and plenty of sing-along holiday karaoke on board. The festive route includes illuminated boats at Fisherman’s Wharf, City Hall aglow, Union Square’s Christmas Tree, SF’s largest Gingerbread House at the Fairmont and Embarcadero Center’s four buildings outlined in 17,000 lights. Through December 30.

Finally, treat the kids to high tea at Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel. The Children’s Magical Tea is a traditional tea service re-imagined for kids, with treats like pigs in a blanket, mac and cheese, loaded French fries, and a pull-out-all-the-stops dessert bar. There’s also a slider bar and a cookie decorating bar for more interactive fun. Entertainment is provided by special guests The Master Baloonatic and face painter Fire Pixie

Happy Holidays!

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