Weekend Picks: Fairmont Gingerbread House and Holiday Markets Galore

November 24, 2015

San Jose Harvest Festival: 11/27-11/29, San Jose

Get a head start on your holiday shopping while supporting independent craftspeople and artists at the San Jose Harvest Festival. Taking place at the San Jose Convention Center on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the event will feature unique gifts, live music, holiday performers, and more. You can purchase tickets online or at the door, and one ticket is good for all three days of the event. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the San Jose station, which is less than a mile from the Convention Center. For public transit options, check out Google Maps.

Crocker Holiday Artisan Market: 11/27-29, Sacramento

Modern art aficionados will enjoy perusing the Crocker Holiday Artisan Market, where exhibitors will find unique, high-quality pieces and gifts including glass works, painting, jewelry, ceramics, woodworking, fiber arts, metallurgy, and more. Jointly hosted by the Sacramento Creative Arts League and the Crocker Art Museum, this free event will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Scottish Rite Center, located at 615 H Street in Sacramento. To get there, take the train to the Sacramento station, and you’ll be a couple of blocks from the venue.

Fairmont Gingerbread House: 11/28, San Francisco

On Saturday, make your way to The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco from 11am to 3pm for the kick-off of the annual Gingerbread Open House, a holiday celebration highlighted by the opening of a giant gingerbread house. Constructed from thousands of home-baked ginger bricks and over a ton of icing, the gingerbread house will stand more than 22 feet high and 23 feet wide and feature beautiful candy embellishments. Taking place against the backdrop of the Fairmont’s exquisite holiday decorations, the family-friendly festivities will also include holiday music, complimentary holiday refreshments, appearances from Santa Claus and other holiday characters, a pet-friendly Gingerbread Doghouse, and more. To get to The Fairmont, take the train to the Richmond or Oakland Coliseum station, where you can connect to BART. Take BART to the Montgomery station, which is a few blocks from the holiday fun.

Etsy Holiday Emporium: 11/28-11/29, San Francisco

Come out to Pier 35 on Saturday and Sunday and be prepared to shop ‘til you drop at the Etsy Holiday Emporium. From 11am to 5pm, you’ll have the opportunity to shop locally and support 180+ local artisans and food vendors while enjoying holiday music. With over 200,000 square feet of shopping space and a diverse array of offerings, this event is sure to have something to suit everyone’s fancy. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Pier 39 stop, which is a short walk to Pier 35.

Weekend Picks: Holiday Ice Fun, San Francisco Tree Lighting, and Thanksgiving Farmers Market

November 18, 2015

Downtown Sacramento Holiday Ice Rink: 11/6/15 – 1/18/16, Sacramento

Grab your hats and gloves and make your way to downtown Sacramento for some frosty fun at the Holiday Ice Rink. The outdoor rink has been a holiday staple in Sacramento for more than 20 years, and thanks to its central location at the corner of 7th and K Streets, it’s the perfect stop before or after a day of holiday shopping or exploring downtown. The rink is open from 2pm to 8pm Monday through Thursday; 10 am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10am to 8pm on Sunday through January 18, 2016. Skates, lockers, gloves, and socks are available for rental. To get there, take the train to the Sacramento station, which is less than half a mile from the Ice Rink.

Tree Lighting Celebration at Pier 39: 11/21-11/22, San Francisco

Bring the whole family out to Pier 39 for the annual Tree Lighting Celebration, where you’ll enjoy holiday sing-alongs, interactive exhibits, appearances by Disney characters, and more courtesy of the Disneyland resort crew. Both days of the event will reach their apex as a beautifully decorated Christmas tree is lit in the Entrance Plaza at 6pm. On Saturday, take the Capitol Corridor to the Pier 39 stop, and you’ll be steps from the holiday fun. On Sunday, the Pier 39 stop will be closed due to the Urbanathalon, but you can get to downtown San Francisco by connecting to Bart at the Richmond and Oakland Coliseum stations. For public transit connections, check out Google Maps.

Jingle Fest: 11/21-11/22, Santa Clara

Head to the Santa Clara Convention Center for the third annual Jingle Fest, a free holiday craft fair that will feature artisan crafts including handmade jewelry, body care products, clothing, Christmas decorations, fine art, hand-crafted cards and albums, handbags, recycled textiles, chocolates, stationary, and more. Exhibitors looking to hone their own creative abilities will also have the opportunity to take part in a free crafting workshop. One of the largest craft fairs in the Bay Area, Jingle Fest will take place from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday at the Santa Clara Convention Center. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Santa Clara/Great America station, which is about half a mile from the Convention Center.

CUESA Thanksgiving Farmers Market: 11/22, San Francisco

Stock up on all the best fall produce for your Thanksgiving feast at the Thanksgiving Market put on by the CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) Mission Rock Farmers Market. In addition to the regularly featured 25 local farms, food crafters, and restaurants, the special Thanksgiving Market will include a smoked turkey cooking demo, a lacto fermented relish demo, a book signing and discussion of “Honoring Food Traditions and Establishing New Ones,” a work by local authors, and other educational activities. The market will be open from 10am to 2pm on Sunday, and is located across from AT&T Park at the corner of 3rd St. and Terry Francois Blvd. Take the train-bus connection to the SF Caltrain Depot station, and you’ll be just a couple of blocks from the venue.