Feature: 2015 Holiday Arts Guide

The weather outside is delightful and except for the drought, not at all frightful, but believe it or not the holiday season is upon us. And that means nearly two months of holiday fun and cheer are coming your way. To help you navigate the season and keep your spirits bright, we present our select guide to holiday fun inside and out from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Compiled by Charlie Swanson.


Lighting of Sonoma Plaza The Sonoma Plaza will light up with more than 100,000 bulbs, a performance from Transcendence Theatre Company, hot chocolate and cider and plenty of holiday cheer. Nov. 14, 453 1st St. E, Sonoma. 4pm to 8pm. Free. holidaysinsonoma.com.

Winterblast Eleventh annual holiday art party takes over SOFA, the Arts District in downtown Santa Rosa. Open studios showcase dozens of artists in their element (check out the striking tintype portraits at Jeremiah’s Photo Corner), while live music from Blackwater Gold and the Hubbub Club kick the holiday spirit into gear. Magic, belly dancing, food from The Spinster Sisters and others, drinks courtesy of Atlas Coffee Company and more are all on hand. Nov. 14, 312 South A St., Santa Rosa. 5pm to 8pm. Free entry. sofasantarosa.com.

Napa On Ice Napa’s outdoor skating rink, located on the grounds of the Napa Expo, is back for another year of holiday fun. Recreational ice-skating is open daily with lessons, parties, private ice time and special events offered. Nov. 20-Jan 10. $13 admission. napaonice.com. 707/227-7141.

Holidays in Carneros Nearly 20 wineries in the Carneros region of the Sonoma and Napa valleys will offer a variety of activities including food and wine pairings, live music, art and craft shows and special tastings. Nov. 21-22, various locations, 11am to 4pm. $50/$15 designated drivers. Contact the Carneros Winery Collective for info. 707/256-0693.

Napa Valley Wine Train Thanksgiving Thanksgiving on the Napa Valley Wine Train is a traditional gourmet feast with all the fixings in a non-traditional, but memorable setting. Nov. 26. Lunch 10:30am to 3pm, dinner 4pm to 8:30pm. $134-$209. winetrain.com/package/thanksgiving.

San Rafael Parade of Lights The 36th annual, family-friendly San Rafael Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland returns to downtown San Rafael on Friday, November 27 for a night of arts and crafts, carnival rides, live entertainment, tree lighting and sledding on a hill (constructed on A Street between Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue) with more than 40 tons of snow. Noon to 8pm. Sresproductions.com.

Yountville 27th Annual Festival of Lights Skip the shopping malls and join the people of Yountville for a food and wine festival in the holiday spirit. Santa, his elves and local celebrities will all be on hand to transform the town into a magical winter wonderland with thousands of sparkling lights, live entertainment and carriage rides. Nov. 27, 2pm to 6pm. Free. Yountville Community Center, 6516 Washington St., Yountville. ($15-$25 for tasting bracelets). 707/944-0904.

Healdsburg Downtown Holiday Party The chic stores downtown light up their windows with holiday lights and cheer. Live entertainment, caroling, carriage rides, pictures with Santa and merriment galore are all part of this annual small town holiday tradition. Nov. 27, Healdsburg Plaza, 4pm to 8pm. Free. 707/433.6935.

Heart of Sonoma Valley 32nd Annual Holiday Open House Toast the holiday season on a tour of more than 20 wineries including Benziger Family Winery, Imagery Estate Winery and Paradise Ridge. Includes access to wineries and winemakers, holiday gifts and souvenir wine glass. Nov. 27 and 28, 11am to 4pm each day. $45 per person, Designated Driver $10.  heartofsonomavalley.com. 866/794-9463.

Santa’s Riverboat Arrival Santa and Mrs. Claus give the season its start when they arrive by tugboat into the Petaluma River Turning Basin and disembark to hand out candy and take holiday photos with kids while live entertainment entertains the crowd. Nov. 28, River Plaza Shopping Center, 72 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 11am to 2pm. Free. 707/762-9348.

Napa’s 53rd Annual Christmas Parade This family-friendly evening parade features floats built by Napans themselves, Decked out in lights and focusing on the theme “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.” Saturday, Nov. 28, 5pm. First and Second streets between Franklin and Main streets. Free.

Windsor Holiday Celebration on the Green Open the holiday season and bring the kids to send letters to Santa, make crafts, decorate gingerbread and ride the Polar Express before the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Dec. 3, Windsor Town Green, 701 McClelland Dr., Windsor. 5pm to 8pm. Free admission, $1-$8 for various activities. olddowntownwindsor.com.

Light Up A Life St. Joseph Hospice honors lives lost with annual candle- and tree-lighting ceremonies. Dec. 3, Montgomery Village Terrace, 911 Village Court, Santa Rosa. 5pm. Free. mvshops.com.

Lighting of the Vines Second annual family-friendly event offers new surprises as well as the usual favorites including snacks, crafts, desserts and, of course, wine. Join the community in celebrating holiday cheer with the formal lighting of the vines taking place at dark. Proceeds go to Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. Dec. 5, Hamel Family Wines, 15401 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma. 4pm. $25, kids are free. 707/996-5800.

Holidaypalooza Wine club members-only holiday party takes you into wine caves and lets you meet the merry winemakers at Gun Bun, with food pairings, games, prizes and more. Bring a new, unwrapped gift to donate to Toys for Tots. Dec. 5, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. Sign up to join the wine club at 707/938-5277.

Calistoga 6th Annual Winter in the Wineries Visit up to 15 heralded wineries and meet the winemakers in and around the Calistoga area in relaxed tasting tours that you schedule at your convenience. Dec. 5 to Feb. 7, 2016. $50. visitcalistoga.com.

Napa B&B Holiday Tour & Taste Event The bed and breakfasts of Napa invite you inside their historic inns, decked out in festive decorations, to savor select wines and tasty holiday treats. Transportation and entertainment included. Proceeds benefit local charities. Dec. 5, 3pm to 7pm. $75 per person. napaholidaytour.com.

Petaluma Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Parade of sparkling boats shine on the Petaluma River to ring in the season and downtown shops stay open late for holiday strolling. Dec. 5, Petaluma River Turning Basin, Petaluma. 6pm. Free. visitpetaluma.com.

20th Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade A small-town celebration of the holiday season and Calistoga’s agricultural heritage boasts vintage tractors, antique trucks and other rustic autos lit up in dazzling displays in this perfect family event. Sat, Dec. 5, Lincoln Avenue between Cedar and Stevenson, Calistoga. 7pm. Free. visitcalistoga.com.

Luther Burbank Holiday Open House A popular holiday tradition in its 36th year, this open house features Victorian-era finery and a charming tour of the home and gardens, with free parking at First and D Streets and free rides on “Rosie the Trolley” to and from the Handmade Holiday Crafts Fair held at the Finley Community Center. Dec. 5-6, 10am to 4pm. $2 (12 and older). 707/524-445.

ICB’s 47th Annual Winter Open Studios More than 100 painters, sculptors, fabric artists, jewelers, photographers and other media producers open their doors to let you discover new and unique works of art where they are created. Dec. 5-6, Industrial Center Building, 480 Gate Five Rd., Sausalito. 11am to 6pm. Free admission and parking. icbbuilding.com.

Osher Marin Festival of Lights Marin’s biggest Hanukkah party includes latkes, sufganiyot (donuts) and other festive food with the jazzy sounds of Brandeis Marin, an artisan crafts marketplace and kids’ activities. All are welcome. Dec. 6, Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael. 11:30am. Free entry. 415/444-8000.

10th Annual Hanukkah Hootenanny Enjoy a Hanukkah bash featuring wine, brisket sliders, latke bar and traditional jelly doughnuts. Guests encouraged to bring unwrapped new toys and canned (non-perishable) food items for donation to local Napa charities. Dec. 6, Judd’s Hill Winery, 2332 Silverado Trail, Napa. Noon. $55/Free for Wine Club members. juddshill.com.

Guerneville Holiday Book & Bake Sale Find something great to read this holiday season as River Friends of the Library host their annual homemade baked goods sale and used book drive. Dec. 9-12. Guerneville Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville. Wed., 4pm to 7pm; Thurs.-Fri., 10am to 5pm; Sat., 10am to 3pm. riverfriendsofthelibrary.org.

Holly Jolly Holiday Fundraiser Dress in your holiday attire and bring family and friends for a day of Christmas films, live entertainment, food and more. The Will Ferrell comedy Elf begins the festive double feature, followed by the classic White Christmas. Dec. 12, Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. 5pm. $6-$8. 707/588-3400.

San Rafael Canal Lighted Boat Parade A spectacular display can be enjoyed by the whole family when boats decked out in holiday lights cruise along the San Rafael Canal shore. Prime viewing locations include Montecito Mall, the San Rafael Yacht Club and Pickleweed Park, and prizes are handed out for the best lights. Presented by Roots of Peace. Sat., Dec. 19, 5:30pm; lightedboatparade.org.


Holiday Arts & Seconds Sale Local Marin artists offer holiday shoppers a chance to pick up unique and unusual gifts and one-of-a-kind handcrafted items, including ceramics, jewelry, paintings and greeting cards. Refreshments included. Nov. 14, Terra Linda Community Center, 670 Del Ganado Rd., San Rafael. 11am to 4pm. Free admission.

West County Craft Faire Ramp up to the holidays with west county vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, quilts, body care products, art and much more with live music, food and refreshments and a raffle to benefit ECO2 School. Nov. 14, Sebastopol Grange Hall, 6000 Hwy. 12, Sebastopol. 11am to 4pm. Free admission. Sebastopolgrange.org.

Petaluma Arts Association Holiday Arts & Crafts Show Local artists and artisans show and offer their handmade wares at an art and crafts show perfect for gift giving, benefiting Mentor Me. Nov. 15, Cavanagh Center, 426 Eighth St., Petaluma. 11am to 5pm. petalumaarts.org.

Tam Valley Craft Fair Join more than 20 local crafters and artists and find bargains and unique one-of-a-kind items for all the people on your holiday lists. Free admission! Fri., Nov. 20, 5pm to 9pm, and Sat. Nov. 21, 10am to 3pm. Tam Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Ave., Mill Valley.  415-388-6393.

Gifts ’n Thyme Holiday Faire Forty-three years and counting, the fair highlights more than 85 local and regional artists and makers of fine crafts, holiday pieces and food. Live music. Nov. 20-22, Napa Valley Expo, Chardonnay Hall, 575 3rd St., Napa. 10am-6pm and Nov. 23 10am-4pm. Free. 925/372-8691.

The Holiday Boutique A tradition in the town of Ross for more than 25 years, the boutique offers homemade jams, jellies and baked goods, as well as holiday gifts and items such as wrapping paper and holiday cards. Proceeds benefit charitable causes; including supporting the community needs at St. John’s sister parish in Malawi, Africa. Nov. 27-28, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 14 Lagunitas Rd., Ross. Fri., noon to 6:30pm; Sat., 10am to 5pm. Free admission. 415/456-1102

Rohnert Park Holiday Arts & Crafts Faire 36th annual Faire features holiday decorations, live music and jolly entertainment, festive treats and cheerful holiday crafts and jewelry. Nov. 27-28, Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. 10am to 4pm. Free admission. 707/588-3456.

45th Annual Dance Palace Holiday Crafts Fair The Community & Cultural Center rings in the holiday season with winter holiday sights, sounds and fun. Shop locally and find handmade artisan crafts, clothing, woodwork art and more. Dec. 4-7, Dance Palace, 503 B St., Point Reyes Station. Fri., 4pm to 9pm; Sat. and Sun., 10am to 5pm. Free admission. dancepalace.org.

11th Annual Holiday Craft Fair This festive event features more than 55 new and returning artists selling their fine handmade arts and crafts. There is a wide variety of items to choose from including woodwork, jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, decorations, knitwear, fiber arts, plants and much more. Free. Sat., Dec. 5, 10am to 5pm, Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. 415/383-1370.

Landmarks Holiday Arts & Craft Sale The Belvedere Tiburon Landmarks Society and local artists bring a wide range of gifts and holiday items to the historic farm cottage setting of the Landmarks Art Center. There will be jewelry, glass work, knitted items, paintings, spices and rubs and even vintage books and baked goods on hand from North Bay artisans. Dec. 5, Landmarks Art & Garden Center, 841 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon. 10am to 4pm. Free. 415/435-1853.

Handmade Holiday Crafts Fair Event features more than 70 local artists, holiday goodies, entertainment, a prize drawing and trolley rides to the Luther Burbank Holiday Open House. Dec. 5-6, Finley Community Center, 2060 West College Ave., Santa Rosa. Sat, 9am to 5pm; Sun, 10am to 4pm. $2, 12 and under are free. srcity.org.

Freya Lodge Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair The Norwegian group hosts this classic fair. Enjoy a wide variety of high-quality handmade items made by Sonoma County artists. There will also be Scandinavian baked goods, Norwegian waffles, coffee and light lunch available to purchase with a cozy holiday atmosphere. Proceeds from food sales go to children’s charities. Dec.12, Freya Lodge Sons of Norway Hall, 67 W. Ninth St., Santa Rosa. 11am to 5pm. 707/953-2258.

Muir Beach Holiday Arts Fair Enjoy the spectacular scenery of Muir Beach while browsing through amazing artwork and colorful crafts from more than 30 local artists from Marin and throughout the Bay Area. Dec. 12, 10am to 5pm and Dec. 13, 10am to 4pm. The Muir Beach Community Center, 10 Seascape, Muir Beach. Free. 415/388-8319.

21st Annual Goddess Crafts Faire Women’s art, music, dance and handmade gifts by local and regional women celebrates the winter season and holiday. Dec. 12-13, Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. 11am to 7pm. $5-$13 suggested donation, kids free. goddesscraftsfaire.com.

30th Annual Occidental Holiday Crafts Faire More than 35 local and regional artists and baked goods by Salmon Creek School students delight the senses this season. Dec. 13-14, Occidental Community Center, 3920 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental. Sat., 10am to 5pm; Sun., 10am to 4pm. Free. occidental-ca.org.


The Holiday Gift Ballet Original, full-length ballet for the whole family takes place at the 1878 World’s Fair in Paris, France, and features 50 classically trained ballet dancers and lively fun. Opening night includes VIP wine reception. French boutique gifts, flowers and delicious treats are available. Nov. 13-14, 5409 Snyder Ln,. Rohnert Park. Fri., 6pm reception, 7pm show. $40; Sat., 1:30pm and 5:30pm, $27, $22 for seniors and youth.707/588-3400.

A Christmas Carol/Santaland Diaries 6th Street Playhouse puts on a pair of holiday classics. First, the Dickens’ story about Ebenezer Scrooge, played by veteran television actor Charles Siebert, experiencing an unforgettable night with three ghosts of Christmas is performed in the Hardt Theatre. Then, the hilarious and heartwarming comedy from David Sedaris, about a down-on-his-luck slacker working as an elf in Macy’s, is presented in the smaller Studio Theatre. Nov. 20-Dec. 20. 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W 6th St., Santa Rosa. $10-$37. 707/523-3544.

“A Christmas Memory” For the seventh year, novelist Truman Capote’s holiday masterpiece A Christmas Memory comes to life with an intimate candlelit reading by professional actors in a beautiful setting. The tender story recounts Capote’s memories of Christmas and his family that are both frank and funny. A reception with refreshments follows and proceeds benefit charitable causes. Nov. 27-28, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 14 Lagunitas Rd., Ross.  Fri., 7pm; Sat., 2pm. $20. 707/762-8872.

Le Cirque de Bohème Annual winter circus wonderland is based on the wondrous French traditions of a 1920s big top. This year, a brand new original production, Stolen Moonlight, tells its intimate, enchanting and magical tales with an amazing cast of performers who achieve world-class heights and delight audiences of all ages. Nov. 27-29, Dec. 19-20, Dec., 26-27, Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. Times vary, $28-$55, $18 kids. 707/933-3856.

Little Women: The Musical The heartwarming classic novel about four sisters in Civil War-era Massachusetts gets a new interpretation with a lively musical that is a perfect treat for the whole family. Nov. 27-Dec. 20, Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. $26. 707/588-3400.

Michelle Schmitt’s Holiday Benefit Concert Acclaimed singer and her band present “Another Christmas Story,” blending holiday classics and rock and roll soul and benefitting ExtraFood.org, which helps feed the hungry in Marin. VIP tickets include a reception by Heidi Krahling/Insalatas, special seating, and Schmitt’s upcoming new record. Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415/383-9600. Dec. 3, 8pm/reception 6:30pm. $25-$100.

Jazzin’ Up Joys of the Season Deborah Winters and the Peter Welker All Star Band headline a holiday party that brings big band jazz to holiday favorites and boasts many spirited surprises. Dec. 4, 8pm. $28-$45. Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415/383-9600.

Miracle on 34th Street The classic holiday story of the People vs. Kris Kringle warms hearts and spreads seasonal joy for the whole family in this musical adaptation. Dec. 4-13, Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. Fri. and Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $12-$18. 707/894-2214.

Occidental Community Choir: Got Nog? In its 37th year, the choir brings together beloved carols, traditional pieces, a Nigerian Christmas song and original works with special artist-in-residence Teresa Tudury sharing her talents. The first night’s performance features an audience sing-along and seasonal refreshments. Dec. 5, 11-12 at Occidental Center for the Arts; Dec. 6 at Sebastopol Center for the Arts; Dec. 13 at Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. $15, kids 12 and under are free. occidentalchoir.org.

Kitka: “Wintersongs” The Oakland-based women’s vocal ensemble channels Eastern European melodies with traditional vocal styling. They perform a program of critically acclaimed, winter-inspired music ranging from Slavic folk carols to Eastern Orthodox choral works. Dec. 12, The Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts, Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael. 8pm. $10-$28. 415/444-8000.

Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue Songwriter Nick Lowe and his band Los Straitjackets sprinkle the holiday cheer with a few brand new Christmas classics from their 2013 album Quality Street, as well as careful selections from their extensive catalog. Dec.12, 8pm. $55-$65. City Winery, 1030 Main St., Napa. 707/260-1600.

VOENA: ‘Voices of the Season’ Concerts The angelic voices of the beloved children’s a cappella choir, magical musical arrangements and Victorian-inspired scenes and costumes come together to create a lively holiday celebration that always sells out. Dec. 6, Lincoln Theater in Yountville; Dec. 13, City Winery in Napa; Dec. 19, Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. $25-$40. voena.org.

The Healdsburg Chorus presents “A Christmas Collage” The musical institution in Sonoma County presents their annual holiday show featuring a medley of Christmas favorites and other songs of the season. Dec. 6, Glaser Center in Santa Rosa; Dec. 13-14, Healdsburg Community Church. healdsburgchorus.com.

Hard Working Americans Holiday Toy Drive Special four-night concert engagement brings the rock and folk super group, made up of Todd Snider, Dave Schools, Neal Casal, Chad Staehly and others, to Mill Valley for a rocking week of music. Attendees are encouraged to bring unused toys, books and other gifts that will be collected and donated to make the holidays better for less fortunate children. Dec. 15-18. Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $42-$45. 415/388-1100.

Marin Oratorio Sings Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Johann Sebastian Bach begins his joyous Christmas Oratorio with a “Shout for joy.” This rarely performed Christmas Oratorio is filled with intimate arias, uplifting choruses, ringing trumpets, and rumbling kettledrums. The 100-voice Marin Oratorio Chorus and Orchestra will be performing this monumental work along with acclaimed soloists Christine Brandes, Karen Clark, Michael Belle, and Nikolas Nackley. Sat., Dec. 19, 7:30pm and Sun., Dec. 20, 3pm. James Dunn Theatre, College of Marin, Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and Laurel Ave., Kentfield. Suggested donation: $20 general, $15 students and seniors. 415/485-9385.

Narada Michael Walden Foundation’s 19th Annual Holiday Jam This year’s honored guest is Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, appearing along with Neal Schon of Journey and many special guests in a “Dancing in the Street Christmas Party.” The benefit supports music programs for Bay Area youth. Dec. 19, 8pm. $125-$175. Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415/383-9600.

A Chanticleer Christmas Holiday favorite from the vocal orchestra tells the Christmas story in Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, traditional carols and a medley of spirituals. Dec. 20, St. Vincent’s Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. 6pm and 8:30pm. $35-$75. chanticleer.org.

New Century Chamber Orchestra: “Holiday Lights” The Orchestra highlights an international “Chrismukkah” celebration with performances by the San Francisco Girls Chorus and klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer and selections from classical holiday music. Dec. 20, The Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts, Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael. 5pm. 415/357-1111.

Christmas Jug Band Annual appearance from the longstanding group of friendly Marin musicians brings a bluesy rock aesthetic to Christmas classics for two skewered and merry concerts of folksy scuffle swing. Dec. 20-21, Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. Sun., 7pm; Mon., 8pm. Discounted tickets for seniors and kids on Sunday. $24-$27. 415/388-1100.


50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 707/546-3600.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis presents the group’s seasonal mix of classical and rock in a multimedia show that’s long been a holiday favorite. Nov. 30, 7:30pm. $45-$75.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy The popular swing band offers up a ‘Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party’ with rocking renditions of yuletide classics and their own original Christmas tunes. Dec. 3, 8pm. $35-$45.

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus: Home for the Holidays! Acclaimed chorus brings traditional favorites and new works in their 25th annual Christmas celebration, full of rich tones and festive choreography. A portion of the proceeds benefits Sonoma’s Face to Face. Dec. 6, 3pm. $19-$50.

LeAnn Rimes The country and pop powerhouse once again presents a fun-filled concert as part of her Today is Christmas album and tour that boasts new arrangements of holiday classics as only Rimes can sing. Dec. 8, 7:30pm. $49-$59.

Posada Navidena This Christmas production from Sacramento’s renowned Ballet Folklórico portrays the story of the “Pastorela” (pilgrimage) made by Joseph and Mary before the birth of Christ, with traditional Mexican folk music and dance. Free pre-show arts and crafts at 6pm. Dec. 11, 7pm, $5 for children, $10 for adults.

Symphony Pops: A Very Merry Holiday Pops Santa Rosa Symphony and special guests Roustabout Theater and the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus present an afternoon of various holiday music, from traditional to swing to rock, to get you in the spirit of the season. Dec. 13, 3pm, $37-$80.

Moscow Ballet presents The Great Russian Nutcracker Christmas theatrical tradition with 40 world-class Russian artists is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Meet-and-greet packages and handmade Nutcracker dolls are available. Dec. 19, 3pm and 7pm, $34-$181.

Dave Koz Saxophonist and bandleader makes another appearance as part of his annual Christmas Tour that’s earned him the nickname “Santa Koz.” The high-energy show features special guests and jazzy takes on holiday classics with VIP packages available. Dec. 22, 8pm. $39-$169.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra It wouldn’t be Christmas in Sonoma County without the former Stray Cat turned big band front man Setzer and his musically animated ensemble rocking the stage with his classic rock guitar and swing band antics for the group’s 12th annual “Christmas Rocks!” tour. Dec. 23, 8pm. $65-$85.


It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play The family-friendly holiday classic about idealistic George Bailey’s Christmas Eve crisis of faith gets a lively stage interpretation that takes life as a 1940s radio broadcast. Raven Theater Windsor, 195 Windsor River Rd. Dec. 4-20, $10-$25. 707/433-6335.

The Night Before Christmas Healdsburg Ballet presents their 20th annual production of “The Night Before Christmas.” Dancers bring the classic story to life with a joyful blend of ballet, jazz and hip-hop set to classical and contemporary music. Dec. 5-6. Sat., 7pm; Sun., 2pm. Adults $20, Seniors $18, 12 and under $15. At the door, prices add $2. 115 North St., Healdsburg.

A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail H-Town Youth Theatre portray Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and their friends in the Hundred Acre Woods in a celebration of friendship, sharing and caring that’s become a holiday tradition. Dec. 11-20. $10-$15. 115 North St., Healdsburg. Raventheater.org.


10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415/473-6800.

Just Dance Academy Winter Performance Annual performance is an abbreviated version of The Nutcracker, followed by jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and Bollywood presented by the junior and senior dance programs. Nov. 22, 2pm. Adults $22, Seniors 65 and up/$20 Children 12 & under.

The TEN Tenors: Home for the Holidays International singing sensation proves it’s the most wonderful time of the year with their captivating and rousing holiday concert that features operatic adaptations of classics like “Joy to the World” and “White Christmas” as well as contemporary favorites. Nov. 27, 8pm. $30-$100.

Stapleton Ballet Nutcracker Vibrant dance company presents an inspired show with stunning visuals and imaginative choreography that’s a delight for all ages. Dec. 5-6, 1pm and 5pm both days. $35, $22, seniors and youth.

A Scarf in Union Square Celebrate the holidays with the Performing Arts Academy of Marin!  This festive event is sure to put you in the spirit of the season with classic melodies, dynamic choreography, and a re-imagined presentation of PAAM’s original production: A Scarf in Union Square.  Featuring performers ages 4 to 16 and members of PAAM’s Alta Vista Dance Company.  Sat., Dec. 5, 7pm and Sun., Dec. 6, 2pm.  $20 Adult,$16 Child (12 and under)/Senior (65 and over).

Mayflower Chorus: This Shining Night Familiar holiday melodies are infused with emotional harmonies from the 40-member chorus in this traditional performance running for 35 years. Dec. 11-12, 8pm. $18 General, $15 Seniors 60+ and Students 13-18, $5 Children 12 and under.

Marin Ballet Nutcracker Full-length ballet sparkles with holiday magic. Autographs and photos with dancers are available at the Candy Cane Party on Sat. and Sun., following the 1pm performance. Dec. 12-13, 1pm and 5pm. $42, $26 Seniors and Youth, $10 Candy Cane Party.

The Story of the Nutcracker Join the young dancers of Miss Sara’s Ballet School for this condensed, narrated, hour-long version of the classic holiday story featuring original costumes, scenery and choreography. Danced by kids for kids, “The Story of the Nutcracker” is aimed at little ones who may not be old enough to sit through a full-length ballet just yet, and is the perfect way for young children to experience their first Nutcracker. Sun., Dec. 13, 11am and 2pm.  $25, $20 seniors and children under 12.

Marin Symphony Holiday Pops Enjoy this Christmas concert with the full symphony that’s a favorite with all ages. Traditional carols, performed by adult and children’s choruses, includes sing-alongs, special guests and more. Dec. 15, 7pm. $45-$85, $20 Youth.

Marin Dance Theatre: Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop More than 125 professional dancers bring to life Dickens-style street scenes with gypsies, townspeople, aristocrats, school children, cadets and mysterious masked players in this 20th annual performance. Dec. 19, 1pm and 5:30pm. $40 Adults, $30 Students and Seniors, Teddy Bear Tea Party $7.

Dance with Sherry Studio’s Tapcracker Experience a new twist on an old classic.  Dance With Sherry Studio is proud to present, for the sixteenth sensational year, the funny, quirky, and hilarious original take on that old standard The Nutcracker. Discover a newer, jazzier version that highlights all the students in their various venues of dance which includes tap, jazz, hip-hop, breakdancing and musical theater.  Sat., Dec. 19, 2pm and 5:30pm.  $25 Advance, $28 Door, $12, Children 10 and under.

SingersMarin: ‘Tis the Season … Candlelight Magic Various choral ensembles come together for an uplifting holiday treat filled with cherished Christmas songs of peace and joy. Dec. 20, 4pm. $20-$35.


100 California Dr., Yountville. 707/944-9900.

Rock the Season Holiday Concert Napa Valley Community Chorus presents their third annual concert with special guests, performances by the Napa Valley Ballet, Napa Valley Children’s Chorus, and Ballet Folklorico of Napa. Dec. 3, 7:30pm. $20.

The Sound of Christmas The four great-grandchildren of the famous von Trapp family, depicted in the classic film “The Sound of Music,” are themselves vocalists and musical ambassadors. They come to the North Bay for a celebratory Christmas concert alongside the Justin-Siena Choir on the 50th anniversary of the film. Dec. 4, 8pm. $25-$45.

USAF Band of the Golden West Holiday Concert The United States Air Force’s Band of the Golden West brings the sounds of the season to the stage with a stunning 50-piece strong ensemble decking the hall with classic and memorable holiday melodies. Dec. 7, 7pm. Free.

Sing Napa Valley’s Messiah The holiday tradition returns with talented professional vocalists singing Handel’s stirring “Messiah” compositions, accompanied by Symphony Napa Valley. Dec. 13, 3pm. $30-$50.

Napa Regional Dance Company’s The Nutcracker The 15th annual production is fun for all ages and features live music by the Symphony Orchestra of Northern California. Dec. 19-20, Sat., 2pm and 7pm; Sun., 2pm. $25-$35.

Traditions New & Old First, classic film “The Snowman” shows on the big screen as the California Symphony and Pacific Boychoir perform the soundtrack live. Then classic selections and audience sing-alongs get the whole family ready for Christmas morning. Dec. 21, 7:30pm. $35-$70.


Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 888/955-6040.

Santa Rosa Symphony “Joy To The World” The symphony orchestra begins with a fiery performance of a folk song cycle by late 20th century composer Luciano Berio. Then, a majestic rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony boasts a full choir and several celebrated soloists. Dec. 5-7, Weill Hall. Sat. and Mon., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. Subscription packages, $76 and up.

Early Music Christmas: In Sweetest Joy Led by Robert Worth, chamber choir circa 1600 and organist Charles Russ illuminate an array of Italian, German and English compositions that embody the joyful spirit of the season. Includes a ‘BachGrounders’ pre-concert talk. Dec. 11-12, Schroeder Hall. 8pm. $15-$25. Sonomabach.org.

Soweto Gospel Choir World music choir steeped in African rhythms and soulful gospel power presents a program that celebrates the holiday season. Dec. 18, Weill Hall. 7:30pm. $35 and up.

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah The popular traveling ensemble, led by renowned conductor Nicholas McGegan and featuring award-winning soprano Amanda Forsythe, breathes life into Handel’s choral masterpiece. Dec. 20, Weill Hall. 3pm. $55 and up.

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