Holiday events for the family
WHEN SANTA ARRIVES on the Plaza in Sonoma children help him light the Christmas tree on City Hall.
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 youngsters. This is the first in a two-part series.
This is the most wonderful time of the year in Sonoma. From crafts and carolers to parades featuring lit tractors and boats, our community offers endless kid friendly celebrations this time of year. Many activities also benefit meaningful charities like Pet /s Lifeline, Make a Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots and the local Sonomans Offering Support.
Others like the tree lighting at the Boys & Girls Club offer the opportunity to enjoy the season while seeing the amazing organization in action. Venture a little further outside of Sonoma and you’ll be able to observe romping reindeer and dancing sugarplum fairies. On my short list is the opportunity to have my two sons, Bobby and CJ, see Santa arrive by helicopter, train or boat, and to introduce them to Santa’s reindeer, rumored to be resting up at the San Francisco Zoo.
Of course Sonoma offers plentiful events for parents as well. Why not tour local homes decorated for the holidays on the Holiday Home Tour prepared by Presentation School? Or enjoy a 1920s-themed gala benefiting the Mentoring Alliance. The following list focuses on festive activities to delight parents and children alike.
• Friday, Nov. 23, 5 p.m. – Tree lighting in Santa Rosa at the Santa Rosa Courthouse Square, 19 Old Courthouse Square. The event offers photos with Santa, candle lighting, crafts and more.
• Friday, Nov. 23, 4 to 9 p.m. – Holiday Party in Healdsburg featuring shopping, carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and photos with Santa at the Healdsburg Plaza.
• Saturday, Nov. 24, 4 to 6:30 p.m. – Lighting of the Snowmen at Cornerstone Sonoma showcases ballerinas, music, outdoor films and the popular snowman lighting. cornerstonesonoma.com.
• Saturday, Nov. 24, noon to 1:30 p.m. – Santa arrives by riverboat in Petaluma. See Santa and Mrs. Claus on a riverboat adventure while strolling down the riverfront.
• Sunday, Nov. 25-Dec. 1 – “The Velveteen Rabbit” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, danced by the ODC Dance Company. odcdance.org.
• Friday, Nov. 30, 5:30 p.m. – Santa visits the Sonoma Plaza. Riding in an antique fire truck, Santa comes to the Plaza where hot cocoa will be served by the Sonoma Valley Soroptimists while Santa lights up the tree atop City Hall.
• Saturday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m. – Inaugural tree lighting at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. Enjoy carolers, hot chocolate and holiday treats.
• Saturday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m. – Tractor parade takes over Calistoga. The night includes small bites, hot chocolate and a parade of tractors festooned for the season. visitnapavalley.com.
• Dec. 1, 7 and 8. – Festival of Trees at Theater Square in Petaluma. More than 30 decorated trees will be on display, and each will be auctioned off for a different charity. There are also dancers, music, treats and visits with Santa.
• Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1 and 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Dickens Holiday Craft Fair at the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa offers crafts, activities, trolley rides and even a jumpy house.
• Saturday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m. – San Francisco Public Montessori School. Featuring Harpists Diana Stork, Portia Diwa and Amelia Romano; the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble and Montessori musicians. sfpmwinterfestival.webs.com.
• Sunday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. – Winter Wonderland at Ramekins Culinary School, Event Center and Inn in Sonoma. This child-centric event will have crafts, cookie decorating and more. Proceeds will go to Sonomans Offering Support. For more information visit asewinterwonderland2012.eventbrite.com.
• Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. – “Deck the Halls” at the San Francisco Symphony. A day of holiday music. The Angel Packages includes Christmas crafts, a visit with Santa and sweet nibbles. sfsymphony.org.