Only two weekends left until Christmas and Capitol Corridor has plenty of ideas for festive and last minute shopping events! Come see a lighted boat parade in San Francisco, bring the kids along for a grinch-filled weekend in Sacramento and buy some of the most unique hand-made holiday gifts in Berkeley and Oakland.
Winter Wonderland: 12/9 – 12/17, Sacramento
Celebrate the holiday season in Whoville with festive décor at Fairytale Town’s annual Winter Wonderland event event in Sacramento. The storybook park will be trimmed with Grinch-inspired décor, and when dusk sets in a dazzling display of lights will illuminate the park. Enjoy family activities such as exploring a giant snow globe, Dr. Seuss and Grinch-themed craft making, shopping for gifts from local vendors, all while enjoying the strolling Victorian carolers. If you love to see it snow don’t miss the flurry falling nightly at 7pm. A visit with Santa, between 3 to 6pm, is included with admission and printed photos are $5 per photo.
Getting there: Take the Capitol Corridor train to the Sacramento Station. From there, you can take a cab, Uber or Lyft, or hop on the SacRT Gold Line with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor.
Holiday Lights Boat Parade: 12/15, San Francisco
There’s no better way to see the beautiful lights of the Bay than to visit Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday evening for the Lighted Holiday Boat Parade. From 6 to 8pm see boats festooned with lights and holiday decorations line the waterfront. This free event has been a holiday tradition since 1994. It will begin just off PIER 39, proceeding west past Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort Mason and the St. Francis Yacht Club, and then turn around off Crissy Field to return along the waterfront. The Fisherman’s Wharf Fishing Fleet will remain lit throughout the holiday season.
Getting there: Take the train to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station. There you can connect to BART for service into downtown San Francisco. Discount BART tickets and MUNI tokens are available for purchase in the Café Car. From any of these San Francisco bus or BART stops, you can walk or take public transit using Google Maps to Fisherman’s Wharf
Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios: 12/16 – 12/17, Berkeley
Looking for an original gift or a special piece? Look no further than Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. On Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 6pm, over a hundred professional artists, craftspeople will be selling an array of goods, including blown glass, ornaments, menorahs, furniture, garden art, textiles, photography, and much more. All work is handcrafted, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind. The free, self-guided tour allows shoppers the opportunity to meet the artists and observe working craft studio. Click here for a list of participants and a map of studios.
Getting there: Take the train to the Berkeley Station, and connect to downtown Berkeley on AC Transit with a free Transit Transfer. Or, take the train to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART, and get off at the Downtown Berkeley BART stop.
Holiday Gifty’s Winter Open House: 12/16 – 12/17, Oakland
Support dozens of craftspeople and artists while shopping for the best hand-made holiday gifts at Gifty Winter Open House. From 10am to 6pm on Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday, peruse a dazzling collection of hand-made work for the holiday celebrations and inspired by the local creative culture. This open house will feature live music, food and drinks, and for those interested, information about the 56,000 square foot studio and their seasonal class offerings. The event is family friendly, but children should always be monitored as it is a functioning studio.
Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy Fisherman’s Wharf