As you count down the shopping days left until Christmas, a host of holiday events are here to help. Snack and stroll as you shop your way through Lakeshore, or support local female artisans at a holiday craft fair. And if your shopping list is already complete, a dose of holiday choral music or Aretha Franklin-inspired soul might be in order.
Here's where to go for fun and festivities in Oakland this weekend.
Lakeshore’s Shop, Stroll and Dine
Still have some gifts to check off your list? Merchants across Lakeshore Avenue will be offering discounts and extended hours for this evening shopping event. Carolers, cuisine and cocktails will also be part of the mix, alongside a raffle benefiting the Alameda County Food Bank, with prizes for those who purchase an item or make a donation. Before the main event, Gymboree will also host a family holiday party from 3-4:30 p.m.
When: Thursday, December 12, 5 -8 p.m.
Where: Peet's Coffee, 3258 Lakeshore Ave. (outside meeting point)
Price: Free admission; goods, food and drink for purchase
Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble: Wintersongs
Founded in 1979, the Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble is a vocal arts ensemble inspired by the traditional songs of Eastern Europe. For their holiday concert, they'll perform both classic songs and new compositions, all inspired by the mysteries of midwinter. Many of the songs will emphasize climate change, including rain-calling songs to help heal the California landscapes ravaged by wildfires.
In addition to concerts on Friday and Saturday, the group will host a community sing-along on Sunday, teaching the audience favorite tunes from their repertoire. Advance reservations are required for the singalong event.
When: Friday December 13 & Saturday, December 14, 8 – 10 p.m.; Sunday, December 15, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Friday & Saturday: St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Ave. Sunday: Nile Hall in Preservation Park, 668 13th St.
Price: Concert tickets start at $25; admission for the Sunday sing-along has a suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away
Girl Gang Craft Holiday Market
The talented female artisans of Girl Gang Craft are back — just in time for holiday shopping. Over 120+ artists and brands will take over the Scottish Rite Center, selling handmade clothing, jewelry, art, bath and body products, ceramics and more. Cocktails and kombucha will be offered for sale, with all proceeds from the latter going to Planned Parenthood.
When: Saturday, December 14, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Dr.
Price: Free admission
Oakland Symphony: The Music of Aretha Franklin
Just in time for the holidays, the Oakland Symphony will honor the timeless music of Aretha Franklin in a special show at the Paramount Theater. Organized around the theme "Let Us Beak Bread Together," the concert will feature orchestral and choral arrangements of hits like "Natural Woman," "Respect," "Think" and more, alongside a few non-Franklin holiday classics.
When: Sunday, December 15, 4 p.m.
Where: Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway
Price: $15 - 70