Dazzling Displays Around Bay

Holiday season ushers in twinkling lights, drive-thru light shows and new traditions
Fridays on the Homefront
Glad tidings for the holidays! This year your entire family can find quite a few socially distanced events around the Bay that balance fun with measures that help keep everyone safe. Our eight recommended holiday events include Oakland's Storybook Theme Park (above).

From the look of things, holiday joy is in the midst of rebounding this year under glowing skies and magical festivities…all around the Bay.

Thanks to a mix of old favorites and new attractions, for holiday season 2021 your entire family can find quite a few socially distanced events that balance fun with measures that help keep everyone safe.

Here are eight of the best Bay Area options out there…

• One of the most popular and long-running Bay Area attractions is Oakland's Storybook Theme Park, which opened in 1950, pre-dating the opening of Disneyland. Art Gray, who visited Fairyland as a child, says on the park's website, "It is a miracle to find a theme park in the middle of a great urban area that is so natural, so original, so enduring, so educational, so un-commercial." The Storybook Theme Park also features their 'Fairy Winterland' at Children's Fairyland, a magical land filled with friendly animals, shimmering lights, and multicultural attractions.

A Santa-led 'Festival of Lights Parade' and 'Thank you, Santa' Nights are just two of the many offerings at this legendary venue. Oh, and don't forget your complimentary cup of hot cocoa! The event is open December 17-30 (the park is closed December 24 and 25). General admission $15. Reserve your tickets today.

Fridays on the Homefront
'Christmas in the Park' - San Jose

• The delightful non-profit 'Christmas in the Park' celebrates this year's holiday tradition with 'A Very Beary Christmas' and a return to downtown San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park. Marvel at a walk-thru Christmas Tree that's 65 feet tall, and then relax at Blinky's Tavern, a brand-new inflatable beer and wine garden. Admission is free.

Last year, for Christmas in the Park, a 'Magical, Musical, Drive-Thru Experience' debuted at Lake Cunningham Park called 'Blinky's Illuminated Holiday.' So pack up the kids and follow along once again as Blinky the Reindeer takes the family on a musical journey of his imagination highlighted by over 200,000 lights. Priced at $30 per car.

Fridays on the Homefront
'Glowfari' at Oakland Zoo

• You won't want to miss Oakland Zoo and its 'Glowfari' Walk, 'A Wildly Illuminating Lantern Festival' that leads you along pathways to the zoo's 'Blue Planet,' 'Land of the Lost,' and 'Wild Kingdom' areas that are festooned with enormous glowing animal lanterns. December 1-23; 26-31, 2021; and select dates in January 2022. Advance ticket reservations are $24 for adults, $20 children/seniors.

• Dance through the Land of the Sugar Plum with this highly anticipated holiday tradition, the San Francisco Ballet's performance of 'The Nutcracker,' first performed on Christmas Eve in 1944. 2022 will be the last year this production is choreographed under the direction of Helgi Tomasson. All shows are performed at the War Memorial Opera House in the City's Civic Center. December 10 through December 30, 2021. Advance tickets available.

Fridays on the Homefront
'The Nutcracker' - San Francisco