Holiday Event Guide: Christmas, Hanukkah & Santa 2020: Martinez

Susan C. Schena

MARTINEZ, CA — The holidays are nearing in Martinez!

Christmas this year falls on a Friday, Dec. 25. Hanukkah runs Thursday, Dec. 10 through Friday, Dec. 18. And Kwanzaa is Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

Celebrations are markedly different for 2020, to be sure. Many annual community extravaganazas were canceled this year throughout Martinez and East Bay cities due to the pandemic.

But festivities still abound throughout the region as towns and organizations are getting creative with drive-thrus, virtual and in-person, socially distanced events — many with limited availablity and required reservations.

Check out our annual event guide to see what's going on near you. And Happy Holidays, from Patch!

NOTE: Bookmark this page as additional events will be added when announced. Also, remember to double-check with organizers to confirm activities still are proceeding as originally planned.

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ALAMEDA:

DEC. 5: Holiday Lighted Yacht Parade. Masks & social distancing required.

  • Estuary, Oakland/Alameda, CA

DEC. 12: Jets & Jammies Family Virtual Overnight: USS Hornet. Hunker down at home & enjoy.

  • Zoom online via USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum, 707 W. Hornet Ave., Alameda, CA

DEC. 13: The Amazing Bubble Show. Fun for all ages.

  • Online via Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda, CA

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ALBANY:

DEC. 5-20: 'Santa on Solano' - Meet him outdoors for 2020!

  • Solano Avenue, Albany/Berkeley, CA

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BERKELEY:

NOV. 28-DEC. 20: Artisans Holiday Open Studios. "The artists invite you in ... but in a different way this year."

  • Studios, workshops and galleries, Berkeley, CA

DEC. 4-13: The Light. Roller coaster ride of laughter, romance & despair that begins with a surprise proposal gift.

  • Virtual via Shotgun Players, 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, CA

DEC.: Snow Day In Gourmet Ghetto. Canceled.

  • Gourmet Ghetto, Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA

DEC. 5-20: 'Santa on Solano' - Meet him outdoors for 2020!

  • Solano Avenue, Albany/Berkeley, CA

DEC. 12-13, 19-20, 23-24: Annual Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair. Featuring unique & one-of-a-kind holiday gifts

  • Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA

DEC. 20: 'The Nutcracker' with Berkeley Ballet Theater. A celebration & watch party.

  • Online via Berkeley Ballet Theater, 1370 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA

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CASTRO VALLEY:

NOV. 27-DEC.: BSA Scout Christmas Tree Lot (Fundraiser). Nine local troops participating.

  • 19201 Center St., Castro Valley, CA

DEC. 12: 'Creating Your Charcuterie Chalet' - Replace your edible gingerbread house with one made from cheese, salami, crackers & more.

  • Virtual via FarmCurious & Castro Valley Marketplace, 3295 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley, CA.

DEC. 19: 4th Annual East Bay Rockin' Christmas. Supports wildfire relief.

  • Livestream via organizers, Castro Valley, CA

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CLAYTON:

NOV.-DEC.: Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm & Christmas Trees. Canceled. Online shop open.

  • 1060 Pine Lane, Clayton, CA

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CONCORD:

NOV. 27-DEC. 24: Santa’s Flight Academy & Photos: Sunvalley. Reservations required this year.

  • Sunvalley Shopping Center, 1 Sunvalley Mall, Concord, CA

Through NOV. 30: Historical Society's Virtual Holiday Market. Get that shopping started!

  • Online via Concord Historical Society, 1928 Clayton Road, Concord, CA

DEC. 6: Super Holiday Marketplace Boutique. Free event with social distancing & safety precautions.

  • Clayton Valley Charter High School, 1101 Alberta Way Road, Concord, CA

Through DEC.: The aRt Cottage. Annual holiday art & boutique.

  • 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord, CA

DEC. 15: 'Succulents & Sips' Wreath-Making: The Veranda. Choose from two, socially distanced seatings.

  • The Veranda, 2001-2003 Diamond Blvd., Concord, CA

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DANVILLE:

NOV. 25: Holiday 'Lighting Of The Old Oak Tree' -Virtual. Community tradition is in its 44th year.

  • Virtual via Chamber of Commerce & Town of Danville, CA

NOV. 30-DEC. 10: 'Santa's Mailbox' - Get a letter fom the North Pole!

  • Community Center & Library, 420 Front St., Danville, CA

DEC. 12: 'Elf' Holiday Drive-In Movie. Waitlist accepted if bookings are full.

  • 222 W. El Pintado, Danville, CA

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DUBLIN:

DEC. 3: Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Canceled.

  • Dublin Civic Center, 100 Civic Plaza, Dublin, CA

DEC. 5: Santa Drive-Thru Meet & Greet. Parking lot to become winter wonderland. Registration required.

  • Dublin Civic Center, 100 Civic Plaza, Dublin, CA

DEC. 10: Holiday Home-Decorating Contest Deadline. Deck the halls: five categories!

  • Online via City of Dublin, CA

DEC. 17: Holiday Resources Drive-Thru For Seniors. Free & first-come, first-served.

  • Dublin Senior Center, 7600 Amador Valley Blvd., Dublin, CA

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EL CERRITO:

Through NOV. 30: Winter Letters From Holiday Elves, Elsa ... Even Hogwarts School will write to you.

  • Via City of El Cerrito, CA

Through DEC. 6: Winter Break: Camp In A Box. Keep the kids busy!

  • El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Ln, El Cerrito, CA

DEC. 12-26: Sundar Shadi Holiday Display. Beloved, community tradition continues.

  • 7501 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, CA

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FREMONT:

NOV.-DEC.: Holiday Train Of Lights: Niles Canyon Railway. Canceled.

  • Niles Station, Fremont, CA or Sunol Depot, Sunol, CA

NOV.-DEC.: 'Giving Hope' Holiday Donation Drive. One option is to sponsor a family.

  • Online via City of Fremont, CA

NOV. 21: Joe's Corner Holiday Pop-Up Market - Niles. Get your shopping started!

  • Joes Corner, 37713 Niles Blvd., Fremont. CA

DEC. 4: Car Cinema: 'ELF' - Limited tickets & pre-sale only.

  • Central Park Sports Complex, 1110 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, CA

DEC. 5: Mission San Jose Christmas Tree Lighting. Canceled.

  • Old School Business Center, 43571 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA

Through DEC. 26: Virtual Santa Photos: Pacific Commons. For children, pets & families.

  • Online via Pacific Commons Shopping Center, 43440 Boscell Road, Fremont, CA

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HERCULES:

DEC. 18-23: Live Nativity Drive-Thru: Valley Bible Church. Free to all.

  • Valley Bible Church, 1477 Willow Ave., Hercules, CA

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LAFAYETTE:

NOV. 27-DEC. 25: Town Hall Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol' - Free with new episode every Friday.

  • Online via Town Hall Theatre Company, 3535 School St., Lafayette, CA

DEC. 6: 'It’s A Wonderful Life In Lafayette' - Canceled.

  • Plaza Park, Downtown Lafayette, CA

DEC. 6: 'Light Up The Town' Chanukah Experience. With scavenger hunt & more. RSVPs required.

  • Chabad of Lamorinda, 3574 Mount Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA

DEC. 6: 'Making The Holidays Bright' Spreading cheer in each neighborhood!

  • City of Lafayette, CA

DEC. 16: Family Menorah Competition: Contra Costa JCC. "Build a menorah from junk you have accumulated at home."

  • Zoom via Contra Costa JCC, 3527 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA

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LIVERMORE:

NOV. 21: 'Earlier Than The Bird' Pajama Shopping. Sweats & yoga-wear will not count for giveaway!

  • Downtown Livermore, CA

NOV. 28: Family Photo Day Helping Homeless of Goodness Village. By appointment only.

  • CrossWinds Church, 1660 Freisman Road, Livermore, CA

DEC.: 'Home for the Holidays,' Parade & Tree Lighting. Canceled.

  • Downtown, 1st Street, Livermore, CA

DEC. 3: Festive Trivia Night with Livermore Shakes. Sign up as individual or team.

  • Zoom via Shakespeare's Associates, 2172 Railroad Ave., Livermore, CA

DEC. 4-JAN. 1: Deacon Dave's Christmas Display. Canceled.

  • 352 Hillcrest Ave., Livermore, CA

Through DEC. 11: Christmas Toy Drive. Sponsored by Tri-Valley Blue Oaks & Valley Community churches.

  • Drop-off locations, Pleasanton & Livermore, CA

DEC. 13: The Great Yule Log Hunt: Sycamore Grove Park. Grab your silliest holiday hat & join 26th annual hunt for fabled Yule Log!

  • Sycamore Grove Park, 1051 Wetmore Road, Livermore, CA

DEC. 20: 'Mistletoe Mission' Hike: Sycamore Grove Park. All ages welcome in search of mistletoe.

  • Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance, Livermore, CA

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MARTINEZ:

NOV. 23-DEC. 19: Hot Cocoa Kits & Selfies In Plaza. Sign up soon as supplies are limited.

  • City Hall, 525 Henrietta St., Martinez, CA

Through DEC. 31: Family Fun Holiday Hopper & Snowflake Hunt. Scavenger hunt with chance to find prizes.

  • Participating businesses, Martinez, CA

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MILPITAS:

NOV. 30: Holiday Tree-Lighting, Carolers & Santa. Includes countdown to tree-lighting.

  • Online on YouTube via City of Milpitas, CA

DEC. 5: Milk & Cookies with Santa Drive-Thru. Kits are limited, so don't delay.

  • Barbara Lee Senior Center, 40 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas, CA

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MORAGA:

Through DEC.: Annual Hacienda Holiday Faire. With "one-of-a-kind handmade gifts and gourmet food items from local artisans."

  • Online Shopping via Hacienda Holiday Faire, Moraga, CA

Through DEC. 24: Art Exhibit & Holiday Boutique. Boutique features handmade items from local artists.

  • Moraga Art Gallery, 432 Center St., Rheem Shopping Center, Moraga, CA

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NEWARK:

DEC. 11: Winter Holiday Drive-Thru. With photo booth, holiday fun & take-home cookie & cocoa kits.

  • Silliman Center Parking Lot, 6800 Mowry Ave., Newark, CA

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OAKLAND:

NOV. 20-JAN. 17: Zoo's 'Glowfari' Holiday Lantern Festival. A mile-long, dazzling stroll.

  • Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA

DEC. 2-JAN. 3: Holiday Walk-Thru Wonderland: Dunsmuir Hellman. "Come for the sights, fun, most of all the memories."

  • Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA

DEC. 5: Holiday Lighted Yacht Parade. Masks & social distancing required.

  • Estuary, Oakland/Alameda, CA

DEC. 5: Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Annual Holiday Concert. "We can still kick off the holiday season together!"

  • Online via Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 655 13th St., Oakland, CA

DEC. 18-30: 'Fairy Winterland': Children's Fairyland. Festival of Lights Parade will go on, and Black Santa will be there, too!

  • Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, CA

DEC. 20: Nutcracker Stay-At-Home Matinee: Oakland Ballet Company. "Save the date for Snowflakes and Sugar Plums!"

  • Online via Oakland Ballet Company, 2201 Broadway, Oakland, CA

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ORINDA:

NOV.: Annual Holiday Bazaar. Canceled.

  • Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way, Orinda, CA

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PIEDMONT:

NOV. 27-DEC.: Annual Boy Scout Christmas Tree Lot. Order online for curbside pick-up or delivery.

  • Piedmont Scout Tree Lot, 898 Redrock Road, Piedmont, CA

DEC. 2: Annual Holiday Tree Lighting. Tune in for town tradition!

  • Virtual via Piedmont Beautification Foundation and City of Piedmont, CA

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PINOLE:

NOV. 18-DEC. 28: Holiday Fair 2020. Perfect stop for your holiday shopping.

  • Pinole Artisans Gallery, Pinole Vista Center, 1360 Fitzgerald Drive, Pinole, CA

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PLEASANT HILL:

NOV. 20: East Bay Hospice Tree Of Lights. Supports hospice care, music therapy and grief programs.

  • Virtual with Zoom via Hospice East Bay, Pleasant Hill, CA

DEC. 5: Super Holiday Marketplace Boutique. Free event with social distancing & safety precautions.

  • Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill, CA

DEC.: 'Light Up The Night' & Holiday Fest. Canceled.

  • Downtown & Pleasant Hill Community Center, Pleasant Hill, CA

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PLEASANTON:

NOV. 27: 'Holiday Lights Tour' Map List Deadline. Sign up to be on tour list for Dec. 4-27.

  • Participating residences, City of Pleasanton, CA

NOV. 27-DEC. 24: Santa Visits & Photos: Stoneridge. Reservations required this year.

  • Stoneridge Shopping Center, 1 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton, CA

DEC.-JAN.: Widmer World Annual Christmas Display. Canceled.

  • 3671 Chelsea Court, Pleasanton, CA

DEC. 5: Hometown Holiday Virtual Tree-Lighting. Fatures annual tree lighting countdown with special guest … Santa Claus.

  • Virtual with TV30 via City of Pleasanton, CA

DEC. 5: Hometown Holiday Parade & Fest. Canceled.

  • Downtown Pleasanton, CA

DEC. 6: Wreath Making At The Barn. For all ages. Registration required.

  • Sunol Visitor Center, 1895 Geary Road, Sunol, CA

DEC. 11: Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Virtual Hanukkah Celebration. With menorah lighting & dreidel fun.

  • Virtual via Tri-Valley Cultural Jews, Pleasanton, CA

Through DEC. 11: Christmas Toy Drive. Sponsored by Tri-Valley Blue Oaks & Valley Community churches.

  • Drop-off locations, Pleasanton & Livermore, CA

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SAN FRANCISCO:

NOV. 20-JAN. 3: ’Tis Season for Science & Reindeer. Meet Peppermint and Cookie, the dashing reindeer duo.

  • California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

NOV.-JAN. Holiday Ice Rink 2020-21: Union Square. Canceled.

  • Union Square Park, 333 Post St., San Francisco, CA

NOV. -JAN.: Holiday Ice Rink 2020-21: Embarcadero. Postponed.

  • Embarcadero Plaza, San Francisco, CA

NOV.-JAN.: Conservatory Of Flowers 'Night Bloom' -Canceled.

  • Golden Gate Park, 100 John F. Kennedy Drive, San Francisco, CA

NOV. 27-29: Etsy Virtual Market Hosted by the SF Etsy Street Team.

  • Online via SF Etsy Shop Tiny Holiday, San Francisco, CA

DEC. 4-31: A.C.T.'s 'Christmas Carol On Air' Radio Play. Two ticket levels include family-activity kits.

  • On-Demand Listening via American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA

DEC. 5-6: Caltrain Annual Holiday Train & Toy Drive. Canceled.

  • Caltrain station, San Francisco, CA

DEC. 12: Japanese Cultural Center's Holiday Crafts Workshop. Learn to make bread-dough ornaments & origami crane wreaths.

  • Zoom via Japanese Cultural and Community Center, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA

DEC. 12: Taylor Mac’s 'Holiday Sauce…Pandemic!' - "A virtual vaudeville ... blends music, film, burlesque & random acts of fabulousness."

  • Livestream via Curran, 445 Geary St., San Francisco, CA

DEC. 24: SF Gay Men’s Chorus '[At] Home For The Holidays' Concert. "Haul out the holly and don your gay apparel."

  • Virtual on SFGMC TV via San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, 170 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA

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SAN JOSE:

NOV. 20-JAN. 2: Victorian Candlelight Tours: Winchester Mystery House. All-new tour is rare glimpse into alleged haunted mansion.

  • Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, CA

NOV. 27-JAN. 3: Christmas In The Park - A Drive-Thru Holiday. With whimsical displays, hundreds of decorated Christmas trees & Santa!

  • History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose, CA

NOV.-JAN. 2021: Kristi Yamaguchi 'Downtown Ice' Holiday Skate Rink. Canceled.

  • 120 S. Market St., San Jose, CA

DEC. 5: Makers Market in the Park - An Open Air Craft Market. Start that shopping!

  • Santana Row Park, 377 Santana Row, San Jose, CA

DEC. 12: Nutcracker: Short & Sweet 2020: Hammer Theatre. "A classical holiday ballet unique to our hometown."

  • Livestream via Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo De San Antonio , San Jose, CA

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SAN LEANDRO:

NOV.-DEC.: Creekside Holiday Arts & Crafts Show. Local tradition will not be in-person this year, but you can still shop from artisans.

  • Online via Creekside Community Church, 951 MacArthur Blvd., San Leandro, CA

NOV.-DEC.: Davis Street’s Holiday Basket Program. "Helping 1,000 families and nearly 2,000 kids."

  • Online via Davis Street, 3081 Teagarden St.,San Leandro, CA

NOV. 27-JAN. 13: Free Holiday Lights Recycling Program. For San Leandro residents only.

  • Public Works Service Center, 14200 Chapman Road, San Leandro, CA

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SAN RAMON:

Through NOV. 21: Holiday Food Drive: City Center Bishop Ranch. Supports Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

  • City Center Bishop Ranch, 6000 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA

DEC.: Bah Humbug! 5K & Kid’s Dash. Canceled.

  • Central Park Community Center, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon, CA

DEC. 10: Jim Brickman 'Comfort & Joy' Concert. Enjoy Grammy-nominated sensation & support the city.

  • Online via City of San Ramon, CA

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SUNOL:

NOV.-DEC.: Holiday Train Of Lights: Niles Canyon Railway. Canceled.

  • Niles Station, Fremont, CA or Sunol Depot, Sunol, CA

DEC. 6: Wreath Making At The Barn. For all ages. Registration required.

  • Sunol Visitor Center, 1895 Geary Road, Sunol, CA

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UNION CITY:

NOV. 30: Holiday Decorating Contest Deadline. A free, fun & friendly community competition.

  • Residences in Union City, CA`

DEC. 5: Zoomin' With Santa. Limited availability, so book soon.

  • Virtual via City of Union City, CA

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WALNUT CREEK:

NOV.-JAN.: Walnut Creek On Ice. Canceled.

  • Civic Park, 1365 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA

NOV. 13-15: Diablo Ballet's 'Nutcracker Suite' - One afternoon includes Zoom Sugar Plum Party.

  • Virtual with Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA

NOV. 20-DEC. 20: Holiday 'Garden Of d'Lights' 2020: Ruth Bancroft Garden. "Unlike anything else in the East Bay."

  • The Ruth Bancroft Garden, 1552 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek, CA

Through NOV. 29: Take-Home Teddy Bear Tea: Gardens at Heather Farm. New twist as annual holiday teas are canceled.

  • The Gardens at Heather Farm, 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek, CA

DEC. 15-23: 'Visit To North Pole' - "Exclusive visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus.

  • Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA

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FOR ENTIRE SAN FRANCISCO REGION GUIDE: Holiday Events: Christmas, Hanukkah & Santa 2020: SF Bay Area

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ALSO SEE: Holiday Cocktail Recipes To Make The Season Merry & Bright

This article originally appeared on the Martinez Patch