Top December Events in the East Bay
Head to Livermore wine country for holiday fun in the vineyards; enjoy Irving Berlin’s classic musical at the Golden Gate Theatre; take a ride on Napa’s Santa Train.
Bah Humbug 5K
12/3 Join the city of San Ramon for this 5K run and walk at the San Ramon Community Center. Come early for a pre-race warm up with Crunch Fitness. sanramon.ca.gov.
Holidays in the Vineyards
12/3–12/4 Head to Livermore wine country for holiday fun. Concannon Vineyards’ winter wonderland includes free wine tasting if you bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots; and Retzlaff Winery’s holiday open house hosts a food truck, arts and crafts, live music, fire pits, and more. lvwine.org.
Cal Peternell at Rakestraw Books
12/8 The Chez Panisse chef visits the Danville bookstore to talk about his new cookbook, A Recipe for Cooking. rakestrawbooks.com.
Food and Drink
Santa Beer Crawl
12/10 Don your Santa suit, and sample hand-crafted beers from around the East Bay at this beer crawl through downtown Martinez. santabeercrawl.com
A Christmas Carol
12/8-12/18 Center Rep performs this Christmas classic about ghosts, redemption, and second chances at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. centerrep.org.
Madwoman in the Volvo
12/13-1/15/2017 NPR’s Sandra Tsing Loh talks middle-age, menopause, and motherhood onstage at Berkeley Rep in this three-woman show (featuring Shannon Holt and Caroline Aaron) that starts with Loh’s spontaneous trip to Burning Man. berkeleyrep.org.
Michael Chabon at Rakestraw Books
12/16 In November, we highlighted the Pulitzer Prize–winner’s latest novel, Moonglow. This month, catch the Berkeley resident in Danville discussing his book, which recounts stories from his grandfather. rakestrawbooks.com.
Peter and the Wolf
12/20–12/21 The California Symphony performs Prokofiev’s tale narrated by Rita Moreno at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org.
Food and Wine
Lights of Livermore Holiday Tour
12/9-12/22 Concannon Vineyard and the Livermore Wine Trolley host a private tour that begins at the winery for an hour long private wine tasting and light bites, followed by an hour long trolley ride to view Livermore’s best holiday light displays. concannonvineyard.com.
Through 12/29 The Napa Valley Wine Train transforms into an interactive and musical ride to Santa’s Workshop during the winter season, with visits from Santa’s helpers, hot chocolate, cookies, and more fun for kids and grown-ups alike. winetrain.com.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
12/14–12/24 The stage adaptation of the beloved holiday film comes to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre. Watch as a song-and-dance team falls for a talented sister act at a charming Vermont inn, and sing along to Irving Berlin’s classic tunes. shnsf.com.
Cut Up/Cut Out
12/18-3/5/2017 Explore the ancient method of decorative piercing and cutting using a range of mediums—from wood to rubber to cloth—at this exhibit at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek. bedfordgallery.org.
11/23 Hayward-raised Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joins a stellar cast for the new Disney movie, Moana, in theaters November 23. Johnson voices the demigod Maui, who guides a young island girl across the Pacific on her quest to become a master wayfinder like her ancestors. disney.com.
Nutcracker Three Ways
Follow Clara on her journey with the Nutcracker as they face the Rat King, delight in the Sugar Plum Fairy, and travel through the Land of Sweets at these Bay Area performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
Valley Dance Theatre
When: December 10–18
Where: Bankhead Theater, Livermore
Fun fact: This troupe has entertained audiences for more than 35 years and performed for roughly 5,000 people last year. valleydancetheatre.com.
San Francisco Ballet
When: December 10–29
Where: War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Fun fact: The American premiere of Nutcracker was at the War Memorial Opera House on Christmas Eve, 1944. sfballet.org.
Oakland Ballet Company
When: December 17–18
Where: Paramount Theatre, Oakland
Do this: On December 11, kick off the holiday at the Land of Sweets Tea Party, at the Berkeley City Club, where guests will also meet members of the Oakland cast.
oaklandballet.org. —Lauren Bonney