Holiday events for children
WINERIES IN SONOMA VALLEY hold a gingerbread-castle making contest each December.
Mary Piasta-Valluzzo blogs as the Modern Mama on all things kids and parenting at sonomanews.com on the “Lifestyle and History” page. Here, she breaks down holiday activities around the Bay Area designed for the youngsters. Part two in a two-part series.
• Wednesday, Dec. 5, 4 p.m. “The Nutcracker” puppet show at the Healdsburg Library.
• Friday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m. Snoopy on Ice Tree Lighting at the Snoopy Ice Arena in Santa Rosa. Hot cider and cookies are a small treat when compared to the free ice skating show that follows.
• Saturday, Dec. 8, 1 to 3 p.m. The Boys & Girls Club at Maxwell Park marks its annual tree lighting. There will be activities for all ages including crafts, singing and treats. Plus you’ll be able to see the impressive state of the art facilities that Boys & Girls Club has to offer young ones in our community.If your kids are like mine, they’ll like the place so much, that they will want to stay.
• Saturday, Dec. 8, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Christmas in the Mission. All the tickets were snatched up for this holiday event, but the League of Historic Preservation will have docents at the Toscano Hotel, Gen. Hooker House and Maysonnave House for a holiday open house.
• Saturday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m. “Brave” screened for Toys for Tots at the Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma. Admission is free in exchange for one new, unwrapped toy.
• Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9, 1 p.m. “The Snow Maiden” dances into the Sebastiani Theatre, presented by the Sonoma Ballet Conservatory. Reserve seats by calling 938-1424 or 996-9756.
• Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m. The Lighted Boat parade makes its way through Petaluma. Walk along to riverbanks or relax at a cafe to see the show.
• Sunday, Dec. 9, Let it Snow with the Sonoma Valley Mothers Club (location, time TBA). Day includes music, crafts, food, a raffle and auction for members of the Sonoma Valley Mothers Club. sonomamothersclub.org.
• Sunday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. Brunch with Santa at Ramekins Culinary School and Event Center. A family holiday brunch with Santa, featuring cookie and ornament decorating for the kids. amekins.com.
• Sunday, Dec. 9, Safari West open house, in Santa Rosa. Free admission for kids with and reduced prices for adults.By reservation only, at safariwest.com.
• Tuesday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids gingerbread workshop at Ramekins Culinary School, Event Center and Inn, Sonoma. Interactive workshop where kids will build and take home a gingerbread houses. ramekins.com.
• Tuesday, Dec. 11 and 18, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Holiday Nights at the Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. Meet live reindeer, watch Santa dive the coral reef and listen to carolers in an extraordinary setting. Open to academy members only, calacademy.org/join/membership.
• Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Santa visits Larson Family Winery, Sonoma. Wine tasting and Santa, need I say more? larsonfamilywinery.com.
• Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, 2 p.m. “Holiday Extravaganza: Music, Magic and More” at the Sebastiani Theatre, Sonoma. Call 996-9756 or go to sebastianitheatre.com for tickets.
• Saturday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m., Santa flies into the Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa. While waiting for Santa to arrives via helicopter, the little one can enjoy crafts, a petting zoo and face painting.
• Saturday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. Dream Circle Holiday Concert with Tim Cain, Judy Nee, Cindy Cohen and Christopher Smith at the Discovery Museum, Sausalito. If you haven’t seen these performers, then give it a shot – completely captivating. baykidsmuesum.org.
• Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.; and Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 1 p.m. “White Christmas” at the Sebsatiani Theatre, Sonoma. The 1954 holiday classic is screened to benefit the theatre. Call 996-9756 or go to sebastianitheatre.com for tickets.
• Wednesday, Dec. 19. Extreme Gingerbread House Makeover at the Napa Valley Museum.Kids can design, create and build gingerbread houses. For more information visit napapvalleymuseum.org.
• Friday, Dec. 21, 1 to 3 p.m. Make Victorian egg ornaments at the Napa Valley Museum. Teach your kids a bit about the Victorian era while letting them create Christmas tree egg ornaments. napavalleymuseum.org.
• Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21 and 22, 4 to 6 p.m. Carolers will perform at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Sonoma.
• Sunday, Dec. 23, 3 p.m. The Moscow Ballet performs “The Great Russian Nutcracker” at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa. wellsfargocenterarts.org.
• Monday, Dec. 24, 4 p.m. Join carolers as they welcome Mrs. Claus to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.
• Wednesday, Dec. 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kwanzaa Celebration at the Discovery Museum, Sausalito, includes a kids concert. baykidsmuseum.org.
• Monday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m. to noon. Noon Years Eve for kids at the Discovery Museum, Sausalito. baykidsmuseum.org.
Throughout the season, there are also some ongoing events to enjoy:
• Through Dec. 31, check out the eighth annual Gingerbread Winery Competition. Sonoma wineries create sweet works of art, this year with the theme “Christmas Movies.” Vote for your favorite for a chance to win a case of wine. Get a list of participating wineries at sonomavalleywine.com.
• Saturdays in December, the Big 3 Restaurant in Sonoma has lunch with Santa. Have Santa literally come by your table to visit with you and your tot(s). Call 938-9000 for reservations.
• Sundays in December, Safari West hosts open houses. Kids can explore for free, by reservation only. safariwest.com.
• Through Dec. 23 at 5:30 p.m., Christmas Fantasy can be seen at Tilden Park in Oakland. Ride the merry-go-round and steam train, see Santa and visit animals. ebparks.org.
• Teddy bear tea at the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco. Let your tots bring their favorite stuffed friends to tea. Some of the proceeds benefit The Greater Bay Area Make A Wish Foundation
• “The Snowy Day” and the “Art of Ezra Keats” exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, is a kid-friendly exhibit and even has drop-in art projects on various days. thecjm.org.
• Ice skating rinks in Napa and Union Square.
• Make Christmas cards, gingerbread houses or hear winter-themed stories at libraries throughout the county. Get a schedule at sonomalibrary.org.
• Napa Valley Wine Train hosts the Santa Express. winetrain.com.
• See “The Nutcracker” danced by the San Francisco Ballet (sfballet.org) or the Marin Ballet (marinballet.org).
• Reindeer Romp at the San Francisco Zoo through Jan. 1. See reindeer, enjoy hot chocolate and carousel rides. sfzoo.org. Also at the zoo, beginning Dec. 15, see the festive Wild Lights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.