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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m.
Marin Fairgrounds & Lagoon Park
10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael
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.
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.
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.
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
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m.
Maples Pavilion, 655 Campus Drive East, Stanford
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.
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.
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.
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.