The 2021 holiday season is officially underway and our calendars are filling up by the day! We are lucky to live in an area where there are so many fun events happening this time of year. View our list of Bay Area holiday events below, plan ahead and always double check before you go for any last minute changes. Feel free to share our list and tag Arrive Real Estate in your holiday photos! Does your family have a favorite holiday event we missed below? Let us know so we can add it!
Ice at The Veranda will officially open for its fourth season on Nov. 5 and will remain open through the holiday season before closing on Feb. 14. The 3,500 square foot rink is situated in front of The Veranda Luxe Cinema. Click here for more details.
The lighting of the Oak Tree with take place November 26th with festivities lasting from 5pm – 10pm. Click here for more details.
Half Moon Bay
The Nights of Lights is Fridays from November 26 through December 17 with the Christmas Tree Lighting taking place on Friday, November 26. Their annual Lighted Parade down Main Street is on Friday, December 3 with live music, roasted chestnuts and activities for the kids. Click here for more information.
The Meritage Resort & Spa is showcasing fun-filled activities this holiday season with “Merry Meritage.” The ice rink opens from Nov. 12 to Jan. 2 on the expansive lawn at the Meritage Resort’s sister property, Vista Collina Resort. Along with skating, refreshments can be purchased from the on-site tasting rooms and guests may reserve a fire pit to stay warm after a day on the ice. Additionally, the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 26 will be complete with Christmas carolers and photos with Santa. Participants are encouraged to bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
Holiday tea experiences will also be available, allowing families to enjoy tea, housemade sandwiches, cookies, storytelling, special princess appearances and more in the property’s heated and outdoor restaurant space from Dec. 4-18. Families can also visit with Santa Claus weekly, followed by reading time at 4:30 pm each Friday-Sunday from Nov. 26- Dec. 19. Click here to learn more about Merry Meritage holiday events.
Fairyland – From December 17th through December 30th Children’s Fairyland brings back Fairy Winterland. This magical multicultural event brings families together to share in the season’s festivities. It’s the same Winterland you know and love, with a few additional measures to help keep everyone safe. Click here for details.
Jack London Square – On Saturday, December 11, the annual tree lighting celebration will take place from 6 pm to 8 pm on the plaza near Plank. In addition, there will be live entertainment featuring laser light shows, snowfall, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the Merrie Old Christmas carolers, peppermint princess elf stilt walker, selfies with the Christmas teddy bear and Rudolph and a special appearance by Santa. Click here for more information.
Oakland Zoo – The Oakland Zoo is once again opening its doors after hours for the spectacular illuminating lantern exhibit, Glowfari. Featuring hundred of larger than life glowing animal lanterns throughout the zoo and visit the desert with camels and bighorn sheep, have an African safri adventure with elephants and giraffes, walk through the forests of Asia and ride the gondola to the land of bugs. Finish the evening with a visit to Santa and ride the Express Train through the Winter Wonderland. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Winter Lodge opens October 11, 2021 for public skating, classes and private events. Our last day of pubic skating is April 10, 2022. Click here for more information.
Embarcedero – Ice Skating has been cancelled in 2021 but plans to return in 2022.
Civic Center – Tree lighting will be held December 1st with activities from 4pm to 7pm and the official lighting planned for 5:15pm. This festive event features holiday entertainment, “snow” flurries, festive bites and drinks, free holiday crafts from community organizations, and a toy giveaway for 400+ children! The night of festive entertainment includes performances by the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, the acapella group Business Casual, and Christmas VIPs the Grinch, elves and the man-of-the-hour: Santa! Snacks and beverages available for purchase. Click here for more information.
Conservatory of Flowers – Step inside the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers for this year’s Night Bloom is cancelled for 2021.
Pier 39 – Enjoy the holidays all season long with The PIER’s nightly tree lighting musical moments on its 60’ Christmas tree which will come to life every half hour from 5pm – 10pm, November 23, 2021 through January 9, 2022. Synchronized to holiday music, the tree transforms into a kaleidoscope of swirling colors, adorned with thousands of specialty lights and ornaments. Click here for details.
Nob Hill – Located at the Fairmont in Nob Hill, the 2-story, 25 foot tall Gingerbread house features more than 1,500 pounds of candy! It’s an amazing site to see. The display will open on Saturday, November 27 at 11 am and stay open through the end of the year. Click here for more details.
SF Ballet – Step into the reverie of little Clara in this unforgettable holiday tale and enter a magical wonderland of toy soldiers, a blizzard of snowflakes, and a kaleidoscope of more than 150 dancers. Battle the Mouse King and of course, dance through the land of the Sugarplum Fairy. Click here for more details.
Union Square – The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square will open Nov. 3 with a slew of holiday-themed, skating fun and run through January 17th. Special events include the Silent Skate Party, Flash Back Fridays, Drag Queens on Ice, and the always amazing Polar Bear Skate: San Francisco Edition. Don’t miss Westfield’s famous 50-foot upside-down Christmas tree with its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Event on December 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. This ticketed event will feature cocktails, spirit tastings, bites from the city’s best chefs, live entertainment and more. Celebrate the first night of Chanukah on Sunday, November 28 at 2:00 p.m. with music, traditional foods, and a Menorah Lighting with dignitaries. Lighting continues nightly through December 6th. Click here for more information on all of the holiday events at Union Square.
Situated across the plaza from Cesar Chavez Park, this circular rink is surrounded by 32 palm trees that are lit up for the holiday season. One of the benefits of the San Jose Downtown Ice rink is that it is actually two rinks in one since there is an inner rink, for the slower skaters, and an outer rink for the skaters that really know their stuff and want to cruise at a higher speed. The rink opens November 19 operating daily through January 9th. Click here for more information.
Returning for the 2021 holiday season, the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Rink at City Center will be open November 17th through January 2nd. Opening night events include an appearance by Kristi Yamaguchi. Located at the southeast corner of City Center Bishop Ranch on the corner of Bollinger Canyon and Camino Ramon. Show your same-day ice rink ticket at select retailers and restaurants to receive special offers. Click here for more information.
WinterFest brings holiday cheer to California’s Great America as the park is magically transformed into a winter wonderland and holiday festival. Guests can ice-skate in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, take in the dazzling sights, sip on crafted hot chocolate and marvel at spectacular live shows. With more than 60 rides and holiday attractions, such as sending letters to the North Pole, checking out Santa’s workshop and baking cookies in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and all the scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations—WinterFest has something for guests of all ages and appetites. Click here for more information.
During the holiday season, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will host its Winter Wonderland from November 26th to January 2nd. Featuring a three story tall tree, rides & games, mini-nutcracker performances and fire pit rentals with smores. Click here for more details.
The 16th annual Walnut Creek On Ice, in the heart of downtown at Civic Park, is excited to welcome back skaters of all ages and abilities to tie on a pair of ice skates and skate beginning December 10th through January 30, 2022. Click here for details.
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