Everything Holiday in the Bay
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Everything Holiday in the Bay

We are doing our best to keep you updated on everything holidays in the Bay Area. From free events and tree lightings to can't miss paid experiences. Are we missing something? Email vanessa@christmasinthepark.com with an event image, description and necessary links.

Holiday Downtown Collective

This year, the San Jose Downtown Association, Downtown Ice and Christmas in the Park will join San Jose Playhouse, Guggenheim Entertainment, and 3Below Theaters in efforts to create an experience like no other driving traffic throughout downtown with high quality programming.

San Jose Playhouse at 3Below Theater

San Jose Playhouse programming will include visits with Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Claus in addition to viewing How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, The Year Without A Santa Claus, and Frosty the Snowman.

3Below Holiday Film Festival will include classic, family, new, and irreverent holiday films including Scrooged, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, Elf, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Gremlins, Trading Places, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and more. Special Events will include screenings of The Meshuga Nutcracker!, White Christmas Sing Along, and Fiddler on the Roof Sing Along

More info can be found on their website!
San Jose Playhouse Holly Jolly Holidays

Downtown San Jose Outdoor Programming

A plan is in place to activate the corner/patio of 2nd and San Carlos kicking off the holiday season Friday, November 19, 2021.

Daily activities will include a musical performance on the Patio by Holiday Festival String Quartet. Holiday programming will continue with Musical entertainment and Broadway & Holiday Karaoke on Saturdays and Sundays through December 19 including performances by Dickens Carolers, Merry Mariachi Band, Steel Pan Band, and Solstice String Trio.

Santa will arrive by Parade led by Santa's Musical Toy Soldier Guard, Kringle, Jingle, and Mrs. Claus. During opening weekend, we will offer free Holiday Arts & Crafts, free Photos with Santa, free Holiday Shorts, free popcorn coupons and free San Jose Clubhouse Memberships.

Stories of the Holidays - 2021 Downtown Installation will kick off Friday, November 26 and run continuously through January 2, 2022.

Holiday activation of San Carlos Street between 2nd and 3rd streets will include a daily automated interactive audio and lighting experience including 2 story tall banners with Animated Children representing the San Jose community reading Holiday Books featuring voice overs by local actors reading holiday stories in English, Spanish and Vietnamese plus a playlist of holiday tunes celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, La Posada, and Winter Solstice.

Downtown Ice - San Jose

Located at 120 S. Market St., the rink opens at 10 a.m. Friday, November 19 and operates daily through January 9. It’s easy to find. Just go to the San Jose Museum of Art and turn around. The annual festive San Jose ice rink is right in front of the museum.

The admission fee is $19 and includes skate rental.

The official Opening Celebration is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, November 22.

All tickets are being sold online only at www.downtownicesj.com to minimize contact between workers and attendees.

Winter Wonderland San Jose

Winter Wonderland has served as the perfect compliment to Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. Featuring family-friendly rides and delicious food that is sure to create a magical experience for everyone during the holidays.
This year, they are having a food cart hub in partnership with Veggielution. Eight unique food carts located on the Paseo de San Antonio, will offer locally & sustainably sourced foods and drinks featuring items such as fresh tamales, hot dogs, baked goods/pastries, vegetable noodles, salads, and holiday drinks.
More information can be found at: Winter Wonderland SJ

The Nutcracker- San Jose Center Performing Arts

Dec. 10-12, 17-19.
The annual Christmas favorite returns for its 56th year with waltzing flowers, menacing mice and brave soldiers and, for the first time, a new extra-large Christmas tree that grows to more than 200 feet.
VIP ticket holders get a behind-the-scenes look, a pre-show discussion and a Candy Kingdom party and meet-and-greet with the cast.
Tickets: $40-$95.
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose
Click here for Tickets

San Jose Metropolitan Band

The San Jose Metropolitan Band is having its Christmas concert on Dec. 5 at 3:00 at the Hammer Theatre, a couple of blocks from Christmas in the Park. A 50 year old community band will be playing both traditional and modern Christmas/Holiday music.
The concert is a good family activity, consistent with the mission of Christmas in the Park.
Click here to learn more about the SJ Metro Band!

CMT of San Jose Presents: White Christmas

Children's Musical Theater, feature alumni and emerging artists from across the nation.

December 3-December 12, 2021
Matinee and 7:30 pm shows.
Click here for Tickets! On sale NOW!

The Winter Ice Rink - Downtown Sunnyvale

The Winter Ice Rink Downtown Sunnyvale is back for an unforgettable season of outdoor skating and holiday festivities in the heart of downtown Sunnyvale. Ice skate outdoors from November 19 through January 2, and don’t miss special events happening throughout the season.
For more info visit: Ice Skating Sunnyvale

Spirit of the Row- Santana Row

Dance, cheer, and sing during the holiday season on The Row. Enjoy guest performances by local community groups and schools including excerpts from The Nutcracker from The New Ballet & San Jose Dance Theatre.

Performances will take place in Santana Row Park across from Left Bank each Tuesday evening starting November 30th through December 21st from 6-7pm.

377 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128
For a full schedule, click here!


Join for a celebration that includes the Bay Area’ favorite Israeli Rock bank, THE PEATOT.

Enjoy a menorah lighting celebration that also includes kids crafts, live music and more!

Join us at Park Valencia on Sunday, December 5th from 4-6pm.

Click HERE for more info!

City of Santa Clara Tree Lighting

The City of Santa Clara is excited to host the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in-person this year.
Friday, Dec. 3, 5-8 p.m.
Holiday Tree in Central Park, 969 Kiely Blvd.
City of Santa Clara Tree Lighting

Dave's Christmas House Benefiting Make-a-Wish

For many years this Willow Glen house has been decked out in thousands of lights, all in the name of helping children who are battling illness.
Swing by to visit and leave a donation to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
The San Jose neighborhood of Willow Glen is well known for its lights displays and Christmas trees.
Dates: Now-Dec. 25, 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
Online: Dave's Christmas House Facebook

Downtown Gilroy Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train

Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through Santa Cruz streets. Passengers lend their voices to holiday carols and sip spiced cider while Santa visits with the little ones and the young at heart!

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Trains depart and return in front of Neptune’s Kingdom on the Boardwalk of Santa Cruz at 5:00pm, 6:30, and 8:00 pm for a 60-minute round-trip excursion. Departure times added without notice.

Ticket Prices:

Canopy Cars
Adults: $35
Kids: $30

For more info click here!

Great America WinterFest

Santa Clara, CA

November 26-January 2, 2022

WinterFest | CA Great America

Gilroy Gardens Holiday and Feast

Discover the magic and wonder of the season with sparkling lights, visits with Santa, a holiday feast, ice skating, and the charming live musical show A Charlie Brown Christmas. Select nights November 26 through December 31.
Visit Gilroy Gardens Holiday for tickets and more info: Gilroy Gardens Holiday

Holiday Lights – Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

November 19-December 26, 2021

Holiday Lights | Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

Oakland Zoo GlowFari

Oakland, CA

November 12-24, 26-30, 2021 | December 1-23, 26-31, 2021 | January 1-2, 5-9, 12-16, 19-23, 26-30, 2022

Oakland Zoo

Vasona Park- Fantasy of Lights

November 26-December 30, 2021

Vasona Park Fantasy of Lights

Gamble Garden – Festival of Trees

The Great Dicken’s Fair – Drive Thru event 2021

3 Weekends, Saturdays & Sundays, December 4 - December 19, 2021

The Cow Palace Lower Exhibition Halls
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Dickens Fair - Drive Thru

The Polar Express- California State Railroad

Enjoy this magical family event! The evening begins in our passenger station where you will be entertained by Polar Express characters, enjoy hot chocolate and a sweet treat courtesy of our hot chocolate chefs, and then board your train to the north pole. Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf — Santa himself — will come on board to give each passenger the first gift of Christmas, a silver sleigh bell.

November 26 - December 19, 2021

First Class: $70 per passenger
Coach Class: $50 per passenger

The Polar Express Train website

Holidays at Filoli- Woodside

Grab your masks and make a reservation to experience Woodside's Filoli Historic House and Gardens all lit up for the holiday season.

Take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of the winter garden adorned with lights and colorful decor or cozy up to a fire pit under twinkling lights. Filoli is open daily from Nov. 20-Jan 2 with daytime and evening hours.

In December, you can get tickets for Santa Saturdays and take a selfie with the big man himself. Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19.

For more info: fioli.org
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