Are you making your 2016 holiday plans for fun for your family and friends in the East Bay? Here are some fun things to do in Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito and Albany to help make the holidays merry and bright in our beautiful community.


What: Jack London Square Lights Up For The Holidays!

When: Friday, December 2, 2016 5:00-7:00 pm

Where: Foot of Broadway

Cos: Free

Ring in the holiday season with Jack London Square’s annual tree lighting festivities! Share in an enchanting evening on the Oakland waterfront with holiday music performed by the talents of many Oakland youth. Free to attend, enjoy a merry evening that includes Santa, of course, as well as live reindeer, the lighting of the 55-ft. Mount Shasta fir tree brightly lit with 5,000 sparkling lights, kids’ activities, tap dancing Christmas trees and more.



What: Deck the Hulls! 40th Annual Celebration of Lights

When: Saturday, December 3, 2016 5:30 pm

Where: Foot of Broadway

Cost: Free

Bay Area boaters start the holiday season by decorating their boats of all sizes and cruise the Oakland/Alameda Estuary. Parade route is from the Oakland/SF Ferry to Grand Marina. View from either the Oakland and Alameda waterfront or your favorite Estuary restaurant.



What: El Cerrito Pancake Breakfast & Toy Drive

When: December 10th 9-11 am

Where: El Cerrito Recreation Center

Fee: $10 for adults/$5 for kids

Each year the Recreation Department hosts the Pancake Breakfast & Toy Drive fundraising event.  The event raises money for the David Hunter Memorial Scholarship Fund and the toys and books donated at the event go the the El Cerrito Fire Department Toy Drive.  Participants at the event enjoy a Pancake breakfast, a visit from Santa, and a special performance by Living Dream Arts. Tickets may be purchased at the El Cerrito Community Center or on-line at For more information click here.

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What: Ecology Center Winter Craft Fair

When: Saturday December 10 10 am

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, Berkeley

Holiday shopping can be rough, especially if you care about responsibly sourced goods and supporting your local economy. Have no fear! Shop local this year at the Ecology Center’s 25th Annual Winter Craft Fair and find sustainably made, hand-crafted, and beautiful gifts from Bay Area artisans.

For two Saturdays in December, Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market welcomes local artists, artisans, and crafters that are committed to using sustainable practices.

Find upcycled messenger bags, gorgeous wooden bowls from sustainably harvested wood, nontoxic jewelry, wildcrafted and natural body products. Peruse gifts while getting your grocery shopping done at the Farmers’ Market, and enjoy hot cider and good music.

Remember to bring your reusable shopping bag. Or find a handmade one there!


What: Hanukkah Art and Service Fair

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2016

Time: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Location:  Berkeley Branch of the JCC – 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley, CA 94709

Join your East Bay community for a family-friendly, all-ages pre-Hanukkah celebration. Together we will create, sing, and prepare for this year’s Festival of Lights, and adults will have the chance to think about service during this time of year. For those planning Hanukkah gifts, we’ll showcase jewelry, prints and other wares from local Bay Area artists.


  •   Hanukkah sing-along with Isaac Zones
  •       Ten-Minute Teachings on service and giving for adults
  •       Storytelling with Joel Ben Izzy, Liora Brosbe, and Cantey Meigs
  •       Kid-friendly crafts for preschoolers and elementary schoolers
  •       Gaga, dreidel, and outside activities for older kids
  •       Community candle-lighting
  •        Latkes, latkes, latkes!

Fee: $12 for adults / $6 for kids (2-12 years) / Free for children under 2

No one turned away for lack of funds


What: 2016 Fairy Winterland

Where: Oakland’s Storybook Theme Park

When: December 16-23

TIme: The park is open from noon to 7 p.m.

Fairy Winterland celebrates the winter holidays of many cultures: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, and Chinese New Year. Join us for stories, crafts, a festival of lights, and a visit from Santa.

Fee: $10 for each adult and child over the age of 1 ($5 for members)

  • Performances by our renowned Storybook Puppet Theater
  • A Festival of Lights Parade each day at 6:15 p.m.
  • Special holiday storytelling, magic, and entertainment
  • A daily visit from Santa Claus
  • Holiday-themed arts and crafts
  • Unlimited rides



What: Noon Year’s Eve

When: December 31st at noon

Where: Albany Community Center

Fee: Free

Is it tough to keep the kids awake past 9pm on December 31? Celebrate New Year’s Eve fun this year at the family-friendly hour of NOON! We encourage kindergarten through 5th grade children and their families to stop by for arts, crafts, activities, trivia, celebratory balloon drop, goodies and so much more. Ring in 2017 – Albany-style!