Holiday by the Bay - Page 2

From Eames to ZooLights—there’s plenty to do this season for cheer and entertainment
Fridays on the Homefront
Holiday cheer #4: ZooLights at the Oakland Zoo.
Fridays on the Homefront
Holiday cheer #5: Ice-skating at the City's Union Square.
Fridays on the Homefront
Holiday cheer #6: Hornblower Classic Cable Cars in San Francisco.

Children's Fairyland is actually a mid-century creation itself as the nonprofit site was founded in 1950 as possibly the country's first-ever storybook themed park. Its contents are pure nostalgia, and that goes double at this time of year, when its Fairy Winterland celebrates Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and any other winter holiday you care to mention.

The park features daily visits by Santa and performances of its Storybook Puppet Theatre, holiday-themed storytelling and craft tables, its usual set of rides, and a Festival of Lights parade every day at 6:15 p.m.

Down 580 a few miles from Fairyland's lakeside location is the Oakland Zoo and ZooLights, the zoo's glittering annual holiday celebration. Somehow, Santa has time to visit here as well, where he has a workshop situated amidst thousands of glowing lights, swirling snowfall, a candy cane lane, the illuminated Outback Express Train, and the Music in Motion laser light show.

Back across the Bay Bridge, San Francisco has plenty of other holiday treats to savor as well, whether it's ice skating at Union Square and Embarcadero Center or visits to the often spectacular lobbies of the city's biggest hotels. If you want to take in a broader spectrum of San Francisco holiday décor, perhaps consider the 90-minute, motorized tour aboard Hornblower Classic Cable Cars, replete with singalongs and complimentary Santa hat.

So corral your guests, get out there and, heck, be jolly! Somebody told us 'tis the season.