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Holiday Event Listings



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  • Photo courtesy of Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate

Holiday Tradition
The city of Oakland bought the magnificent place of residence of Alexander Dunsmuir and I.W. Hellman Jr. in the 1960s, and these days, the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate’s grounds and mansion primarily serve as a space for weddings and other private events. There is, however, one public event that Oakland residents look forward to every year: the Holiday Tradition, which starts in early December and sometimes lasts until Christmas Day. The mansion, usually not open to the public except during select tour hours, will be decked out in holiday décor — Christmas trees, garlands, and all of the vibrant colors that scream winter cheer. But that’s not all; there’s also a brunch with Santa, screenings of holiday movies, high tea, and more. This is your chance to see what it was like for the Dunsmuir and Hellman families to call the estate home. — Azucena Rasilla

Dec. 8-22, general admission costs $12-$22, individual event prices vary, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, Dunsmuir-Hellman.com/Events

For the Culture: A Black Women's Holiday Market: An annual holiday marketplace that celebrates Black women artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. This dedicated marketplace will feature more than 30 Black woman-owned businesses and food trucks. Fri., Nov. 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free, Alena Studios, 2725 Magnolia St., Oakland.

Holiday Lounge: Seasonal items and unique gifts for purchase, including quilts, coloring posters and books, baskets, wall hangings, tree ornaments, hats, and scarves, and more. Dec. 1-Oct. 27, free. NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond, NIADArt.org.

Palestinian Holiday Crafts Bazaar: Unique gifts from Palestine, benefitting Palestinian children. Items include olive oil, pottery, embroidery, olive wood, jewelry, scarves, and cookbooks. Sat., Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, www.Middle East Children's Alliance, 1101 Eighth St., Berkeley, MecaForPeace.org.

Small Business Saturday Octopus Gift Bazaar: Gifts, gift wrapping, free hot cider, caroling, and a raffle for a $50 Octopus gift card. Sat., Nov. 24, 6 p.m., free. The Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster St., Oakland.

Religion & Spirituality

Hanukkah Celebration for Families with Young Children: Celebrate this festival of lights with Hanukkah songs, stories, a hands-on project, and treats. Led by Rabbi Bridget and Joel Siegel. Sat., Dec. 1, 10:30 a.m.-noon, free for children under one year, $5 for children, $12 for adults, JewishGateways.org/holidays-for-young-children. Epworth United Methodist Church, 1953 Hopkins St., Berkeley, EpworthBerkeley.org.


Alameda Mayor's Holiday Tree Lighting: Enjoy performances from community groups and special guests followed by the tree lighting ceremony. Sat., Dec. 1, 4:30-7 p.m., free. Downtown Alameda, Park Street, Alameda.

Fairs, Festivals, & Fiestas

16th Annual Holiday Stroll: Montclair Village celebrates the holiday season with an evening of festivities, live music, and performances, Children's Holiday Court, holiday trolley rides, toy, and food drives, plus giveaways, a Santa Photo Booth, and more. Thu., Dec. 6, 5:30-8 p.m., free, Downtown Montclair Village, LaSalle Ave. and Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting: Come for the lighting of the 55-foot tree and stay for live music, holiday pop-up shops, and Santa Claus himself. The festivities include live music and entertainment from local artists. Fri., Nov. 30, 5-9 p.m., free. Jack London Square, 55 Harrison St., Oakland.

Bridge Holiday Open House & Block Party: Tatsumaki Taiko, the Milkbar, and Bridge Storage and ArtSpace invite you to enjoy an evening of live music, food and drink, film screenings, art exhibitions, and a holiday craft market at three local businesses located at the intersection of South First and Maine Avenue in Richmond. Sat., Dec. 15, 3-8 p.m., free. Bridge Storage and Artspace, 23 Maine Ave., Richmond.

GIFTY 2018: Annual Craft Show & Open House: East Bay artists and craftspeople sell jewelry, clothing, whimsical metal sculptures, ceramic tableware, and more great holiday gifts Dec. 14-16, free. The Crucible, 1260 7th St., Oakland, TheCrucible.org.

Jack of All Trades Market: A curated mix of local makers, indie designers, antique dealers, collectors, artists, start-ups, and more. Find one-of-a-kind items, enjoy live music, and participate in several free DIY workshops for all ages. Second Saturday of every month, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Feb. 13, free, JackofAllTradesOakland.com. Jack London Square, 54 Washington St., Oakland.

Piedmont Ave Holiday Stroll: A nighttime art walk showcasing local businesses with carols from the Pacific Boychoir Academy. Sat., Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m., free. Piedmont Avenue, Corner of 41st St. and Piedmont Ave., Oakland.

SantaCon Oakland: The annual non-commercial, nonsensical Santa Claus convention Sat., Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Jack London Square Pavilion, 98 Broadway Ave., Oakland.

Second Annual Temescal Holiday Fair: This year's theme is Creators & Critters: shop for unique gifts and visit the free petting zoo. Sun., Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Temescal Alleys, 49th St. between Telegraph Ave. and Clarke St., Oakland.


Christmas Cookie Decorating Party: Baked cookies, icing, and toppings are provided. Vegan options available, plus hot chocolate and eggnog. Sat., Dec. 22, 5:30-8:30 p.m., free. The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, 3207 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, OaklandLGBTQCenter.org.

Hella Gay Dance Party: A once-a-month queer dance party featuring great beats, a diverse crowd, and good drinks. Third Saturday of every month. The Uptown Nightclub, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, UptownNightclub.com.

LGBTQ Thanksgiving: Give thanks and enjoy a delicious meal and a familial environment at this Thanksgiving celebration. Thu., Nov. 22, 1-9 p.m., free. The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, 3207 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, OaklandLGBTQCenter.org.

Queer Holiday Faire: Shop your favorite local queer makers with goods from Show and Tell Concept Shop, Dylan The Jeweler, Shooting Star Botanicals, Diaspora Co., and more. Sat., Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free, Qulture Collective, 1714 Franklin St., Oakland, qulturecollective.com.

Social Events

Snow Day in the Gourmet Ghetto: Take your children to a snow day complete with pony rides, DIY crafts, holiday gifts, and free hot apple cider (without the actual freezing cold snow). Sun., Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free. Gourmet Ghetto, Vine St. and Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, NorthShattuck.org.

Thanksgiving Concert and Vegetarian Dinner: Annual Thanksgiving International Vegetarian Dinner and Concert with Aks and Lakshmi, Electronic Bhakti Music, and Hindustani Classical Instrumental concert with Amit Gud, sarod, and Omkar Bhave, tabla. Thu., Nov. 22, 3-7 p.m., free, Badarikashrama, 15602 Maubert Ave., San Leandro, Badarikashrama.org.

Sports & Outdoors-Participatory

Oakland Turkey Trot: More than just a healthy start to the holiday, the Oakland Turkey Trot 5K is a fun and healthy way to give back while you give thanks. Thu., Nov. 22, 8:30-10:30 a.m., $20-$30, go.evvnt.com/179470-0?pid=5417. Oakland Public Library, Lakeview Branch, 550 El Embarcadero, Oakland, OaklandLibrary.org.

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