SF LIFE INSIDER’S GUIDE: Let’s Shop, Let’s Drink, Let’s Play
Happy Holidaying Tomatoes – Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza and Merry Christmas! So much to do to celebrate, whether through gift giving, eating and drinking with friends and family or just getting out to explore, we have some of the best of the best for all of you. Holiday markets, art exhibits – LEGOS for days, lights in the park and so much more. May you and your families and friends enjoy your time together – as that is the most precious gift of all.
It is so wonderful to be able to head to a space to view beautiful objects, check out artisanal finds and appreciate stepping away from your screens. Here are some holiday boutiques and fairs we think you will love.
The Palo Alto Art Center Studio Holiday Sale is back, in person, at the Art Center on Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. If you’re looking for handmade gifts for the holidays, the Studio Holiday Sale is your one-stop shop. The sale showcases artwork created by local artists working in the studios at the Art Center. Stunning and innovative jewelry, functional and fine art ceramics, paintings, drawings, and prints will be available. Proceeds benefit the participating artists, the studios, and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. www.paacf.org
The Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek presents a Handcrafted Holiday Sale, a community event and celebration! The annual sale showcases student artists and instructors across the community. This event will feature ceramics, prints, paintings, jewelry and more. www.communityarts.org
The Shipyard in SF is open this Sunday with their annual event for “gift-able” art! Over 60 artists will open their studios for this festive once-a-year event on Sunday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Interacting directly with the artists in Building 101 of the historic Hunters Point Shipyard is one of the best perks of this event. Free parking and admission. http://www.shipyardartists.com
The Sunset Holiday Mercantile is back this weekend and will be held in the extremely spacious and well-ventilated SF County Fair Building. Free, festive, family-friendly, indoor/outdoor Holiday Mercantile features local makers, merchants, artists, food artisans, local causes, live music and engaging activities. www.sunsetmercantilesf.com
Holiday cheer in liquid form can be found in these fun pop-up bars. Wear your favorite festive outfits and imbibe.
Fa la la la la and head to Deck the Halls pop-up bar where the elves have been hard at work decorating the interior to look like something out of your North Pole dreams (or nightmares). Specialty drinks include Yellow Snow (a tequila and lemon slushie), a Snow Globe (vodka, bubble rose water, aperitif wine, citrus), a Krampus shot (stout, egg, sherry, rum, and fire), and more. Plus, if you bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the SF Firefighters Toy Program you’ll get a free sparkling or hot cider (and good karma); open daily through Christmas Day, hours vary. deckthehallsbar.com.
All things are merry at Miracle, the beloved Christmas-themed cocktail bar that’s returning to the Bay once again for festive cocktails like boozy (non-dairy) eggnog, beers snuggled in holiday sweater cozies, and maybe even some fake snow. Opt to visit Pacific Cocktail Haven in SF, The Double Standard in Oakland, Paper Plane in San Jose, or Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma to get in on the fun. miraclepopup.com
If tropical Santa is more your jam, Kona’s Street Market in SOMA, underwent a transformation into a sandy winter wonderland for Sippin’ Santa. Round up a group, don your Santa hat—and perhaps a Hawaiian shirt—and imbibe with a tiki cocktail or two. konastreetmarket.com
If you wish to imbibe in a different manner, i.e., sweets. Spark Social SF brings us the best part of camping -s’mores by the fire. Reserve a fire pit at Spark Social SF for you and up to 12 friends and you’ll get access to your own s’mores cart while enjoying happy hour (4-7pm) and local food trucks; 11am to 9pm daily. www.sparksocialsf.com
Dec. 7 – Watch this inspiring event LIVE on Facebook or YouTube
The Art of the Brick is a global touring exhibition rated by CNN as one of the world’s “Must See Exhibitions”. It is the world’s most popular display of LEGO® art. The critically acclaimed collection features over 70 works of art made exclusively from one of the most recognizable toys in the world—the LEGO® brick. You will discover over 1 million LEGO bricks transformed into more than 70 famous works of art. You can stand next to a 20-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton & more life-size sculptures and enjoy an innovative, multimedia collection of LEGO brick-infused photography. Famous art masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s David, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night will blow your mind. http://www.Theartofthebrick.com
Explore Golden Gate Park in a new light. From sundown to 10pm every night, Winter Lights 2021 will transform GGP into a twinkly winter wonderland with performances hidden around each corner. The SkyStar ferris wheel will have discounted tickets available this Thursday to celebrate; Wednesday through February 1, 2022. sfrecpark.org
Holidays at Filoli. Picturesque Filoli’s 16-acre gardens are made a little more magical with all sorts of bells and whistles. Meander through during the day, or bundle up to see the garden illuminated with holiday lights after dark. Dress up for a special gift on Monday theme nights like Hanukkah Lights and Festive Face Masks or stop by with any littles in your family for pics with Santa on weekends in December. filoli.org
Tom & Jerry House. For decades, Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein have decked out their 21st and Church Street digs with what just might be the city’s most impressive Christmas display. Last year, following the death of Tom, a longtime LGBTQ rights activist, at the age 77, the display still went up—complete with a towering tree, larger than life stockings, and all sorts of baubles that you need to see for yourself. Stop by and see what glittering concoctions will be up this year. 3650 21st St. (Castro)
Lights in the Park
Golden Gate Park’s pandemic-born lights display “Entwined” is returning this year with towering trees and bushes illuminated with twinkly LEDs. Bundle up for an evening stroll through Charles Gadeken’s sculptures. Until 9:30pm nightly, now through February 1. Peacock Meadow, 240 John F. Kennedy Way (Golden Gate Park), sanfranciscoparksalliance.org\\