San Francisco

Oakland weekend: Lights at the Zoo, a holiday play, and a Victorian Christmas history tour

The holiday season is in full swing, and Oakland's event calendar is full of festive fun. This weekend, the Oakland Zoo will turn on its twinkling Zoolights, a theatrical production will highlight the common bonds across religions at the holidays, and a historic tour will highlight how people in the Victorian era celebrated Christmas.

Zoolights at Oakland Zoo

Photo: Oakland Zoo/Facebook

This month-long event, opening for the season on Friday, will decorate the Oakland Zoo in thousands of lights — best viewed from twinkling gondolas over the Oakland hills. Families can also enjoy a Winter Wonderland and a laser light show, see Santa in action at his workshop, take pictures at a selfie station and more. Special weekend-only activities include face painting, live musical performances from local talent and the opportunity to meet a zookeeper.

When: Starts Friday. Open December 7-23 and 26-31, 2018 and January 1-6, 2019, from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Where: Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road

Price: $10 adults, $9 children (age 2-14), free for children under 2 and adults over 76

Click here for more details

33rd Annual Christmas Revels

Photo: California Revels/Facebook

This annual theatrical performance brings different holiday traditions from around the globe under one roof, sharing them through stories, songs and dance. This year, the story begins in 1600 in Spain, where three individuals — a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim — first meet. The clever story takes them through holiday-themed twists and turns, ending in a common thread they all share.

When: Starting Saturday, December 8. Also runs December 9 and December 14-16, times vary

Where: Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Dr.  

Price: $45 - 65; tickets to opening day are discounted by 30 percent

Click here for more details

A Gingerbread Christmas

Photo: Camron-Stanford House/Facebook

This new hourlong tour at the historic Camron-Stanford House offers a glimpse into how three prominent Victorians celebrated Christmas, and how their legacies influenced our celebrations today. The rooms of the house will be decorated for Christmas in old-world Victorian style, and guides will also delve into the history of a favorite holiday treat: gingerbread. 

When: December 2 - January 13. One-hour tours on Sundays only at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

Where: Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Dr.

Price: $5 general admission, $4 for seniors, free for children 17 and under 

Click here for more details

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