Tag Archives: holiday activities

One week to go…

holiday lights oakland, mormon temple holiday lights

So the Oakland Temple is kind of a spectacle all year round, but with the holiday light display, it’s definitely worth a visit in December. Each night this month through December 31st also features free live musical performances in the visitor center at 7pm and 8pm. Concerts include gospel choirs, concert pianists, string ensembles and more. See the nightly schedule here.

Some other fun holiday spectacles to check out (I covered some of these last year):

  • Holiday Caroling on Lake Merritt (12/17 – 12/19) – join a group tour or grab your friends and charter your own boat… I mean, sleigh.  Water sleigh that is.
    * Friday (4pm thru 8pm every hour on the hour).
    * Saturday & Sunday (2pm thru 8pm every hour on the hour)
    The 6pm rides are the ones open to individuals.
    Call 510-238-2196 for reservations.
  • The Oakland Ballet’s 2010 Nutcracker (12/23, 12/24, 12/26) – check out the newly designed and choreographed Nutcracker ballet by the Graham Lustig (the company’s new artistic director) and his award-winning set designer collaborator Zack Brown.
    Just like last year, if you bring a non-perishable food item directly to the Paramount Theatre’s box office, you’ll receive a 20% discount on your tickets – a win-win as all donations go to support the Alameda County Community Food Bank!  Otherwise, expect a surcharge in the opposite direction if you prefer the “convenience” of Ticketmaster.
  • Fairy Winterland (12/15 – 12/23) – “Each December, for just one week, Children’s Fairyland is transformed into a sparkling festival of holiday entertainment.
    Through songs and stories, arts and crafts, Fairy Winterland celebrates the winter holidays of many cultures: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, and Chinese New Year. After sunset, we turn on our fairy lights and transform Fairyland into a twinkling, enchanting realm of wonder.”
  • Downtown Oakland 1st Annual “Claus Crawl” (12/18, 6 – 9pm) – I’m sure this will be no Santacon, but it looks to be a fun ride nonetheless… put on your Santa suit or Santa hat and check in at these participating venues:
    * The Layover: 1517 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94612‎
    * Bar Three Fifty Five: 355 19th St, Oakland, CA 94612
    * 2022: 2022 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
    * Ozumo Restaurant: 2251 Broadway Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
    * Picán Restaurant: 2295 Broadway Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
    Receive a holiday discounted beverage when you donate an unwrapped gift for the Family Giving Tree at any of the participating “Claus Crawl venues.” Details here.
  • Oakland Zoolights (thru New Years, but closed 12/24-25) A good one for the kids… See my writeup from last year here.
  • Holiday Tradition at Dunsmuir Hellman (12/17 – 12/19) – I have yet to visit this historic estate, but it sounds like fun with ice skating, carriage rides, mansion tours, a petting zoo, and more!  I wonder if you get to pet Santa’s elves…  Details here.
  • Christmas Tree Lane – a hop skip & jump across the water in Alameda, this is the spectacle of lights in the East Bay.  Fun for xmas enthusiasts, photographers, and revellers of all shapes and sizes!  See my writeup from last year for info.

That’s all I got folks…

Let me know if you have any other fun Oakland-based plans for the holidays…  Cheers!

Holiday Happenings…

old holiday card I designed but never used

Holy crap!  I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas… and already Hanukkah.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was working on my elf costume for Santacon.  2009!  Yikes.

You’ve probably noticed I’ve been a bit absent these last few weeks…  work’s been crazy; I ran out of hard drive space; the cat ate my blog post; you get the idea.  And then once you stop, it’s sooooo hard to get started again…

But I got a little kick in the pants yesterday when the UPS guy dropped my new harddrive on my doorstep  (couldn’t he have just gently placed it on the porch?) and then later last night, when I heard the Oakland Interfaith Choir performing on the radio.  They’re truly awesome, and it made me feel a wee bit guilty I haven’t been better about promoting all of the holiday hoo-ha about town.

So here is a a quick stab at a few things going on this weekend (by no means complete, so do send in comments if you know of other excellent happenings):

Friday, December 3rd

  • Art Murmur (5pm onward)

    Buy art for your friends and family!  Many galleries typically host small (and very affordable) works at this time of year for just this reason. Your loved ones will appreciate it more than another pair of socks, and you’ll be supporting local artisans as well!
    http://oaklandartmurmur.com/

  • Temescal Winter Art Hop (6pm – 9pm)

    View art at over fifteen Temescal locations! Pick up a Temescal Art Passport, collect stamps from at least ten venues, and turn it in for a chance to win a work of art. Also enjoy live local music during your stops along the Art Hop!  http://www.temescaldistrict.org/events.html

  • Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk Opening Reception (6pm – 9pm)

    The annual holiday open studios in this thriving arts district will highlight the work of artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges adjacent to the Oakland Estuary. Studios will be open to the public all weekend, with an opening reception Friday 12/3 at 420 Gallery, 420 Peterson St., Oakland. http://jingletown.org/

  • Jack London Square Lights Up for the Holidays! (5:30pm – 7:30pm)

    Oakland’s favorite waterfront destination will light up the skies with over 5,000 sparkling lights on a 55-foot tree.  Enjoy music, song, dancing trees, Santa’s reindeer, PBS characters, the Jack London Square Rising Star Talent Competition and snow…yes, snow!!!  (Broadway at Embarcadero)
    http://jacklondonsquare.com/

Saturday, December 4th

  • Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk (11am – 6pm)

    The annual holiday open studios in this thriving arts district will highlight the work of artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges adjacent to the Oakland Estuary.  Among other notable artistic enterprises, it is the location of the Institute of Mosaic Art and Float Gallery, as well as studios of many other renowned artists who are living and working in one of the most established artist warehouse districts in Oakland. http://jingletown.org/

  • Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at the Paramount Theatre (7:30pm)

    The award-winning Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir is a multiracial, interfaith group that regularly performs throughout the Bay Area. Its vocalists, led by Artistic Director Terrance Kelly, perform traditional and contemporary black gospel music and spirituals. This season’s 25th Anniversary Holiday Concert includes an alumni choir!  You can go to the Paramount’s box office direct (510.465.6400), or feed the beast here.

  • 2nd Annual Piedmont Avenue Tree Lighting & Holiday Stroll (5pm sharp)

    The Oakland Lyric Opera, Pacific Boychoir Academy, Accordionist Salane Schultz, and the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School Band will entertain followed by a ceremonial Tree Lighting and a visit by Santa Claus. Enjoy complimentary coffee on the plaza from Peet’s Coffee & Tea, then stroll along Piedmont Avenue and visit participating businesses, who will be staying open until 8pm. (Key Route Plaza, 41st & Piedmont)  http://www.piedmontavenue.org/

Sunday, December 5th

  • Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk (11am – 6pm)

    The annual holiday open studios in this thriving arts district will highlight the work of artists who live and/or work in the area known as Jingletown, which is situated between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges adjacent to the Oakland Estuary. Among other notable artistic enterprises, it is the location of the Institute of Mosaic Art and Float Gallery, as well as studios of many other renowned artists who are living and working in one of the most established artist warehouse districts in Oakland. http://jingletown.org/

You can also check my holiday posts from last  year for more fun ideas…  Just click on the archives for December 2009.  Now get busy ya’ll!