san jose harvest festival

Weekend Picks: San Jose Harvest Festival, Macy’s San Francisco Tree Lighting, Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios & Martinez Small Business Saturday

November 23, 2016

Get ready to cross items off your holiday checklist by attending the Harvest Festival in San Jose; see the annual tree lighting event in San Francisco; tour artists studios in Berkeley for unique gift ideas; and support local businesses in downtown Martinez on Small Business Saturday. There is so much shopping and so much to do along the Capitol Corridor!

Harvest Festival: 11/15–11/27, San Jose

Just in time for Black Friday, don’t miss the San Jose Harvest Festival this weekend for their indoor arts and crafts show. From 9am to 6pm on Friday, November 25, and 10am to 6pm on Saturday, November 26 and 27, browse through a broad array of jewelry, clothing, artwork, and unique American hand-made goods. The festival, which began on November 15, will offer specialty foods and live, family-oriented theatrical performances, along with performers strolling through the festival grounds entertaining patrons while they shop. The hands-on KidZone will offer make-and-take art projects for kids of all ages, and the interactive area will feature eco-friendly crafts as well as gingerbread cookie decorating. General admission is $9, $7 for seniors, $4 for kids 13-17, and free for children 12 and under. To get to the San Jose Convention Center, which is about a mile from the Capitol Corridor’s San Jose/Diridon Station, you can walk or take a short light rail ride on the VTA’s Mountain View line with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor or ride VTA’s free Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH).

Macy’s Great Tree Lighting: 11/25, San Francisco

Get into the festive spirit and head to Union Square Park on Friday, November 25, for Macy’s 27th Annual Tree Lighting. The most recognized Christmas tree in San Francisco will be decorated with more than 33,000 twinkling, energy-efficient LED lights and 1,100 shining ornaments. From 6pm to 7pm, there will be special performances by singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc, San Francisco Boys Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and the cast of She Loves Me from San Francisco Playhouse’s upcoming production. At the end of the ceremony, around 6:40pm, the 83-foot Christmas tree will be lit. Union Square Park is between Sutter and Post streets, and Geary and Stockton streets, across from the front of Macy’s. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor train to the Emeryville Station and take the dedicated connecting bus to the Transbay Temporary Terminal stop in San Francisco. You can also connect to BART at the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station for a quick and easy ride to the Powell St. BART station. Discount BART and Muni tickets are available for purchase in the Café Car of the Capitol Corridor train.

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios: 11/26-11/27, Berkeley

Take a unique approach to holiday shopping and head to Berkeley this weekend for Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. From 11am to 6pm on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27, more than one hundred professional artists, craftspeople, and galleries in Berkeley will open their doors to the public. There will be an array of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind fine art and artisan crafts to purchase including blown glass, ceramics, mosaics, ornaments, Menorahs, lamps, custom furniture, paintings, sculpture, and photography. The free, self-guided tour will present a unique opportunity to meet the artists, buy unique gifts, and observe artists at work. The art walk also offers a glimpse into the creative process, and the opportunity to sign up for classes and workshops. Many studios are in the same building, or are clustered within walking distance.

To get 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. A free Map and Directory is available online showing all participants within walking distance from this stop.

Small Business Saturday: 11/26, Martinez

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, and local shops in downtown Martinez are getting ready for the biggest holiday shopping season. From 10am to 10pm on November 26, clothing boutiques, art galleries, music shops, bakeries, flower shops, and restaurants will be open along Main St. to encourage consumers to support local businesses. There will be a Word Search Game and even a Pokemon GO Martinez scavenger hunt. Shoppers can pick up a SHOP SMALL® reusable shopping bag and register for the contests at the Main St. Plaza. Small Business Saturday is a nationwide day to support local businesses and celebrate all they do for their communities. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Martinez Station, which is just a short stroll from downtown.

Written by Sylvia Sheehan