What to Do This Weekend in the Bay Area: Dec. 14-16, 2012

Yahoo Contributor Network

Numerologists and soothsayers aside, we've survived December 12, 2012, which featured a rainbow over Sausalito, California, but nothing untoward fell from the skies. There's a busy calendar chock-full of festive happenings throughout the weekend for the Bay Area. Perhaps it's best to squeeze in as much as possible this weekend before the next world's end date of December 21, 2012, arrives.

Children's Fairy Winterland

Opens Friday, Dec. 14, 12 p.m.- 7 p.m.

699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland

Admission $8 per person over the age of 1

Oakland's Storybook Theme Park delights the kids, as it has for more than 60 years. Through December 23, it's a festival of lights and decorations of international holiday celebrations: Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, Chinese New Year. Enjoy storytelling, magic, entertainment, arts and crafts, sparkling lights, and unlimited rides -- Santa pays a visit, too.

Philharmonia Baroque: A Bach Christmas

Friday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Saturday, Dec. 15, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Tickets from $25

In its 32nd season. Masaaki Suzuki conducting in an evening of splendid Christmas music by Johann Sebastian Bach, with soloists from the Maestro's Schola Cantorum at Yale University.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre: 'The White Snake'

Friday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Roda Theatre

2025 Addison St., Berkeley


Tickets from $55

Based on a classic Chinese fable, this world premiere by Tony Award-winning Mary Zimmerman is staged with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The family-friendly production appeals to all age groups; the surprise ending is magical.

Marin County Jingle Bell Run/Walk

Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m.

Marin Fairgrounds & Lagoon Park

10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael

Registration: $5-$35

In aid of the Arthritis Foundation, put on some reindeer antlers, bring a family or a team, tie some bells to your laces, and go for a 5k. The 12-and-under set have a fun Elf Run. Music, cotton candy, face painting, a bouncy house, and a raffle (cash only) will be there.

The Farmers' Market Holiday Celebration

Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur


Those who stop by for a locally farmed Christmas tree, garland, and wreath will find pony rides, face painting, and holiday cookie decorating, as well as a ukelele band and chorus from Hall Middle School at 11:30 a.m. The festive mood is supplemented by a visit from Santa and the Grinch. Kids can write their "Dear Santa" letters and pose for professional photos. Volunteers from EcoMom Alliance are collecting gently used and new toys to benefit community charity drives.

Fourth Annual Renegade Craft Fair

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Concourse Exhibition Center

635 Eighth St., San Francisco

Free to attend

Let's welcome the RCF to SF for its fourth holiday market. The biggest fair yet, 250 craftspeople with a passion are showcasing and selling handmade items. Talent abounds; vendors are selected from a pool of applicants. The result is an eclectic, curated mix of accessories for person and home, jewelry, clothing, knits, art, ceramics, collectibles, and more. There's music, food, make-and-take workshops, and a special exhibit from the Oakland Museum of California.


Saturday, Dec. 15, 12 p.m.

Union Square Park, San Francisco


Don your best Santa costume (not just the hat), wear comfy shoes, and be ready to get jolly. A red tide of Santas come by CalTrain, by ferry, by MUNI, and by BART, gathering for the start of a city-wide spontaneous pub crawl, parade, and more "Santanarchy." The spontaneity began in 1994 in San Francisco (of course) and now takes place in dozens of cities around the world. SantaCon happens everywhere, so don't be surprised to see thousands of Santas and Mrs. Clauses, plus a fair sprinkling of elves and reindeer.

12th Annual San Francisco Youth Ballet: 'The Nutcracker'

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. each day

Mercy High School Theatre

3250 19th Ave., San Francisco

Tickets from $23

Clara, the Mouse King, the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Kingdom of Sweets, and the toy nutcracker himself come to life for an unforgettable holiday experience. Dancers Pablo Infante and Cassandra Lund, former principals of the California Ballet Company, join young performers for four special two-hour performances to sell-out crowds in the classic Tchaikovsky seasonal treat.

Men's NCAA Basketball

UC Davis Aggies vs. Stanford Cardinal

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m.

Maples Pavilion, 655 Campus Drive East, Stanford

Creighton Bluejays vs. California Golden Bears

Saturday, Dec. 15, 8 p.m.

Haas Pavilion, 115 Haas Pavilion, Berkeley

Watch the NCAA action either in person (check links above to find ticket information) or at any number of sports bars around the Bay Area on Saturday with fellow Stanford and Cal fans.

Seventh Annual Festival of Trees

Saturday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

437 Webster St., Lytton Gardens, Palo Alto


Get your ballot to vote for your favorite after seeing all 18 cleverly decorated themed trees. In previous festivals, a Christmas "Money Tree" was covered in origami dollar bills and donated to a family in need; let's see what themes 2012 brings. This annual party at the seniors' residence is a true favorite for both young and old. Santa holds a decoration workshop, costumed carolers stroll, hot cider and holiday cookies are served to all.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:15 p.m.

O.Co Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland

Tickets range from $36-$161

Tickets are still available for Sunday's matchup between the Raiders and the Chiefs, and Compass Media Networks has a deal going that gets you two tickets in select sections for the price of one.

Christmas With Aaron Neville

Sunday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.

Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco


To hear Grammy winner Neville's "Soulful Christmas" classics live is a moving experience, according to many music critics. Hear selections from Aaron's newest gospel release, "I Know I've Been Changed," and hits from throughout his career onstage with his quintet.

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