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Top December Events in the East Bay

See John Legend perform in Oakland; head to Livermore for holiday fun in the vineyards; watch renditions of The Nutcracker; and more.


John Legend

Photo courtesy of Another Planet Entertainment


Holidays in the Vineyards
Wineries in Livermore Valley are serving up more than just sips of vino the first weekend of December: Their tasting rooms are decorated for the season, and many are offering holiday music, arts and crafts, and more special attractions for the enjoyment of their oenophile guests. lvwine.org.



A Christmas Carol
 Charles Dickens’ holiday classic returns to the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Critics have called Center REP’s annual family-friendly production—which promises both timeless details and new surprises this year—“the Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area.” centerrep.org.



Custodians of Beauty
 Choreographer Pavel Zuštiak and his New York–based Palissimo Company make their Bay Area debut at Zellerbach Playhouse in Berkeley with this immersive, dynamic piece, created in response to a 2009 speech by Pope Benedict XVI. calperformances.org.



The Nutcracker
12/8–12/16; 12/22–12/23
 This tale of wooden princes, evil rat kings, and sugarplum fairies dazzles on two East Bay stages this year. Valley Dance Theatre performs at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater earlier in the month; then, Oakland Ballet Company brings to life Artistic Director Graham Lustig’s vision at the Paramount Theatre just before Christmas. valleydance​theatre.com, oaklandballet.org.



 The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. In December, relive iconic holiday moments by watching the 1940s-set A Christmas Story. lamorindatheatres.com.



The Snowman
 A perennial favorite event, the Diablo Symphony Orchestra accompanies this silent film with a live score at the Diablo Valley College Performing Arts Center in Pleasant Hill. Don’t miss the holiday sing-along after the movie ends. diablosymphony.org.



John Legend
 After winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards, what’s left to do but release a Christmas album? That’s the path John Legend has taken, and he’s performing those holiday hits at Oakland’s Fox Theater. thefoxoakland.com.



Big Fat Year-End Kiss-Off Comedy Show XXVI
12/27, 12/29
 Political satirist Will Durst returns to Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts and Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center with his annual comedic retrospective. Using stand-up, improv, and sketches, Durst takes a look back at 2018. lesherartscenter​.org, firehousearts.org.



Slumber With the Stars
 This family night at Chabot Space and Science Center transforms the museum into a giant slumber party. Learn about the history of modern astronomy, look through the high-powered telescopes, and enjoy planetarium shows at this all-night event (dinner and breakfast included). chabotspace.org.



Alice in Wonderland
 From the Cheshire Cat soaring through the air to the towering Caterpillar, DLUX Puppets’ Alice in Wonderland is filled with the wonder and whimsy of the original book. See the spectacle at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. lvpac.org


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