Ready to get festive? Try these unique Christmas happenings around the Bay

Ready to get festive? Try these unique Christmas happenings around the Bay
Fantasy of Lights in Los Gatos (Photo: Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation)
By Laila Weir - Published on December 02, 2021.

If neighborhood lights and trees on car roofs are anything to go by, folks were ready to celebrate Christmas early this year. Omicron notwithstanding, the Bay is itching for a party. If you're ready to get festive, you won't find any shortage of tree lightings and holiday gift fairs to attend.

Hoodline has rounded up some more unique holiday happenings for you to add to your December calendar, including in-person, outdoor, and distanced drive-through events — and you can also check out several holiday-themed cocktail bars on SFist.

As always, just be sure to confirm event details before attending and check current safety guidance.

Victorian Christmas Village at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Dec. 3 - Jan. 2 (except Christmas Day)

The Northern California Renaissance Faire and Six Flags are hosting a Victorian Christmas Village this year that will transport you back to the Victorian Era with merry characters in beautiful costumes, delightful food, handcrafted wares, and fanciful decor. Don a top hat or period costume or go as you are to join in the revelry. Info: www.sixflags.com/discoverykingdom/events/victorian-christmas-village

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Foster City
Dec. 4, 5-9 p.m.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland in Leo Ryan Park will feature a trail of festive lights, winter scenery, and many photo opportunities along the way. End your stroll with a complimentary candy cane. Pre-registration is required for all guests; $3 per person (2 years and younger are free). Info: www.fostercity.org/parksrec/page/walking-winter-wonderland

Lighted Yacht Parade in the Alameda/Oakland Estuary
Dec. 4 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Deck the Hulls! Watch a parade of festively lighted boats go by from Jack London Square or elsewhere along the parade route. (Or join the parade if you, you know, have a yacht ... or can get access to any kind of watercraft. Christmas kayak, perhaps?) Info: lightedyachtparade.com, jacklondonsquare.com/event/Lighted-Yacht-Parade/2145556886/

Christmas Market at Ludwig's German Table in San Jose
Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 4-9 p.m.

Event space and beer garden Ludwig's German Table is holding a Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), featuring a night market, vendors, music and homemade treats. Reserve a table for the full dinner menu to guarantee a space. At Ludwig's German Table in San Jose's historic Germania Hall, 261 North 2nd St., San Jose.

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
Through Jan. 17

The beloved outdoor holiday ice rink at the Embarcadero is closed again this year, but you can still channel that white-Christmas feeling in the sunny Bay Area with San Francisco’s other outdoor rink. The Union Square rink is holding daily ice skating for all ages, plus special events throughout the holiday season. General admission is $19 and includes skate rental. Tickets are sold online only to minimize contact between workers and attendees. In the heart of Union Square near the corner of Geary and Powell streets. Info: unionsquareicerink.com

Drive Thru Dickens’ London at the Cow Palace
Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 4-19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is canceled again this year, but they're hosting a drive-through event in its place. Drive Thru Dickens’ London will offer a taste of the fair experience with street scenes and tableaus from A Christmas Carol, lively music, a selection of hearty English foods and handcrafted holiday gifts available for purchase as you drive through an outdoor version of the Fair’s Grand Concourse. Tickets required; $25 per vehicle (max. 7 occupants). At the The Cow Palace Lower Exhibition Halls, Daly City. Info: dickensfair.com/general

“A Holly Jolly Holiday!” at 3Below Theaters in San Jose
All month

Downtown San Jose’s newest performing arts center is hosting lots of holiday programming. The San Jose Playhouse presents “A Holly Jolly Holiday!” at 3Below Theaters, a series of film and live events for youth, families, and adults, including holiday films, sing-alongs, live music, refreshments and more. Some events are free and others require paid tickets. Info: sanjoseplayhouse.org/holly-jolly-holidays

San Jose's Christmas in the Park
All month

San Jose’s annual Christmas in the Park event has drive-through and walk-through options at two locations this year, as Hoodline reported recently. Learn more or get tickets to “Blinky’s Illuminated Holiday," a musical drive-through holiday lights display, at www.christmasinthepark.com.

Fantasy of Lights in Los Gatos
Dec. 7-30, 6-10 p.m. (closed Dec. 25)

Drive through large animated displays while listening to holiday music on your car radio. See the sights and sounds of an erupting volcano in the dangerously fun Dinosaur Den, cheer on Santa shooting hoops, wave at a pen of playful penguins, watch blazing pirate cannons and sail through tunnels of moving lights. Over 50 themed displays (with environmentally-friendly LED lighting) and a 90-foot twinkling tree. (The event also has a walk-through option, but that's sold out.) Buy tickets ahead of time: $20 per vehicle (up to 12 people)/$50 for oversize vehicles (capacity 13+). At Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos. Info: parks.sccgov.org/23rd-annual-fantasy-lights-mark-your-calendar