Ready or not, nearly two months of holiday fun and cheer are coming your way. To help navigate the season and keep your spirits bright, we present our select guide to holiday fun leading up to Christmas.
Marin Turkey Trot Work up an appetite with one-mile, 5k and 10k runs. Proceeds benefit San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
Packet pickup, Nov. 19 and 21; race, Nov. 22. Indian Valley College,
1800 Ignacio Blvd., Novato.
San Rafael Parade of Lights & Winter Wonderland Thirty-ninth annual event in the heart of Marin features a grand parade and tree-lighting ceremony, with snow sledding, kids activities, a holiday market and more. Festive window displays light up the scene while live music and holiday entertainment packs in families from around the Bay Area. Nov. 23–24. Fourth and B streets, San Rafael. Friday, noon to 8pm; parade begins at 5:30pm; Saturday, 9am to noon. 800.310.6563.
Point Reyes Open Studios Spend part of Thanksgiving weekend with artists in their studios throughout West Marin during the 20th annual free, self-guided tour. Includes displays and demonstrations. Nov. 23–25, 11am to 5pm. pointreyesart.com.
Bolinas Museum Turkey Trot Ninth annual family-friendly walk is a popular post-Thanksgiving tradition in West Marin. Prizes, treats and Bloody Marys are waiting at the finish line. Nov. 24. 48 Wharf Road, Bolinas. 8am. $10–$25; kids nine and under are free. 415.868.0330.
ICB’s Winter Open Studios More than a hundred painters, sculptors, fabric artists, jewelers, photographers and other artists under one roof all open their doors for this 50th annual event to let you discover new and unique works of art where they are created. Nov. 30–Dec. 2. Industrial Center Building, 480 Gate Five Road, Sausalito. 11am–6pm. Free admission. icb-artists.com.
Breakfast with Santa at Sausalito Yacht Club Annual family event features breakfast prepared by elves and a visit from Santa. Dec. 1. Sausalito Yacht Club, 100 Humboldt Ave., Sausalito. 8:30am and 10am. $15–$18; kids under two eat free. RSVP required. 415.289.4152.
Sausalito Gingerbread House Competition & Tour Twelfth annual citywide event features more than 30 businesses and merchants participating in creating festive and delicious gingerbread houses. Most are on display within walking distance of each other, meaning this is a family-friendly diversion from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. Dec. 1–31. Downtown Sausalito. Maps are available at participating merchants or at sausalitogingerbread.com.
Osher Marin Festival of Lights Marin’s biggest Hanukkah party includes festive foods, glow-in-the-dark dancing, live music, an artisan crafts marketplace and kids activities like Lego dreidel building, bouncy house hopping and cookie decorating. All are welcome. Dec. 2. Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 11:30am–2pm. Free admission. 415.444.8000.
Sausalito Woman’s Club Holiday Open House Santa makes an appearance for this community event. Toys for Tots and Giving Tree donations are appreciated. Dec. 2. Sausalito Women’s Club, 120 Central Ave., Sausalito. 3pm. 415.332.2700.
Mill Valley Winterfest Annual celebration includes snow-sledding, a visit from Santa, live entertainment, refreshments, children’s activities and a tree-lighting ceremony. Dec. 2. Downtown Plaza, 85 Throckmorton Ave.,
Mill Valley. 11am to 5pm. enjoymillvalley.com.
Dickens’ Family Victorian Holiday Party Hosted by characters from Charles Dickens’ works, this annual party boasts parlor games, dancing, crafts and light refreshments. Dec. 7. Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael. 6:30pm. $9–$12. falkirkculturalcenter.org.
Sensitive Santa Holiday event for children with special needs features an online sign-up to eliminate the stress of waiting in a line, a sensory-friendly playground and activities, therapy dogs from Marin Humane Society and a professional photographer. Dec. 8. All Children’s Academics, 1665 Grand Ave., San Rafael. Free; $20 donation includes raffle ticket. 415.258.9572.
Makor Marin’s Chanukah Art & Light The community organization dedicated to offering outdoor experiences that incorporate a Jewish curriculum hosts an expressive and exploratory day of art and learning at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts. First, take part in an art project in the center’s studio. Then, head into the sculpture garden for a hike that incorporates storytelling and sing-alongs that celebrate the Festival of Lights. Dec. 8. 616 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 3–5pm. Free. RSVP requested. 860.987.3110.
Sausalito Winterfest Thirty-first annual event includes Saturday’s Lighted Boat Parade on the water with dozens of brightly decorated vessels and fireworks. Then, Sunday’s Jingle Bell 5k features a runner’s brunch and children’s fun run. Dec. 8–9. Sausalito Waterfront. Saturday, 6pm; Sunday, 8:30am. winterfestsausalito.com.
Marin Center’s Pop-Up Holiday Boutique Shop for locally produced original arts and crafts including jewelry, woodworks and fashion accessories. Nov. 29–Dec. 7, Marin Center Exhibit Hall, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 11am to 7pm. Free. marincounty.org.
Dance Palace Artisan Craft & Holiday Market This 48th annual event offers art and fine crafts from favorite local artisans and boasts an expanded holiday market with live entertainment, kids craft stations and gourmet food. Nov. 30–Dec. 2. Dance Palace, 503 B St., Point Reyes Station. Friday, 4–9pm; Saturday, 10am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. Free admission. dancepalace.org.
Mill Valley Holiday Craft Fair Fourteenth annual fair features over 55 artists selling handmade arts and crafts, including jewelry, glasswork, fiber arts, ceramics and more. Dec. 1. Mill Valley Community Center,
180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. 10am to 5pm. Free. millvalleyrecreation.org.
Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society Holiday Art & Craft Sale Local artists bring a wide range of gifts and holiday items to browse in a farm-cottage setting. There will be jewelry, glass works, knitted items, vintage books and baked goods, with door prizes and hot cider. Dec. 1, Landmarks Art & Garden Center, 841 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon. 10am to 4pm. Free. 415.435.1853.
Muir Beach Holiday Arts Fair Head to the coast for some holiday shopping that boasts unique and handmade fine art, crafts, jewelry, gourmet treats, holiday knickknacks and more. Dec. 1–2. Muir Beach Community Center, 19 Seacape Drive, Muir Beach. Saturday, 10am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. Free admission. muirbeachartsfair.com.
Marin Indoor Antique Market Christmas Show Over 70 booths of antiques and collectibles features vintage and estate jewelry, furniture, Native American and Asian art and more. Dec. 8–9, Marin Center Exhibit Hall, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 10–5pm. $8. 415.473.6800.
Spirited Marin Holiday Marketplace Festive shopping village features Marin-based sellers and raises money for local nonprofits, with a special Airstream photography exhibit, seasonal drinks, music and more. Dec. 8–9. Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. Saturday, 10am to 8:30pm; Sunday, 10am to 5pm. spiritedmarin.org.
Marin Center Just Dance Academy Winter Performance commences Nov. 18. 2pm. $22–$27. Vocalist Evan Tyrone Martin stars in “An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas” Nov. 27–28. $60. Stapleton Ballet performs The Nutcracker. Dec. 1–2. 1pm and 5pm. $26–$38. Performing Arts Academy of Marin’s Holiday Spectacular gets festive Dec. 1–2. Saturday, 7pm; Sunday, 2pm. $22. Mayflower Chorus presents “Sounds of the Season” Dec. 7–8. Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2:30pm and 7:30pm. $8–$22. Marin Ballet’s Nutcracker returns Dec. 8–9. 1pm and 5pm. $25–$45; Candy Cane Party following each 1pm performance is $10. “Sister’s Christmas Catechism” offers holiday mystery Dec. 14–15. $60. Marin Dance Theatre’s “Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop” makes for a sweet treat Dec. 15. 1pm and 5:30pm. $32–$40. Singers Marin offers annual performance of “’Tis the Season . . . Sing Joy!” Dec. 16. 4pm. $25–$40. Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice marks the season Dec. 21. 8pm. $25–$65. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415.473.6800.
Sweetwater Music Hall Start the holidays with a post-Thanksgiving bash featuring rock band Jerry’s Middle Finger, Nov. 25. 5pm. $12–$15. “A Rat Pack Christmas” pays tribute to Frank Sinatra’s birthday, Dec. 12. 8pm. $25–$30. The Christmas Jug Band make their way back to town for two spirited shows, Dec. 17 and 20. 7pm, 8pm. $19–$27. Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons invite guests like Steve Kimock to play two nights of holiday magic Dec. 21–22. 9pm. $25–$40. 415.388.3850.
Throckmorton Theatre Michelle Schmitt’s 10th Annual Holiday Concert benefits the community on Nov. 29. 8pm. $25–$100. Deborah Winters and the Peter Welker All Star Band jazz up the holidays Dec. 7. 8pm. $25–$35. Narada Michael Walden Foundation’s Annual Holiday Jam returns Dec. 15. 8pm. $100–$175. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.
Holidays in Harmony Novato Music Association Chorus comes together in song for this annual winter concert. Nov. 30–Dec. 2 and Dec. 8. St. Vincent’s Chapel, 1 St. Vincent Drive, San Rafael. Times vary. $5–$20. novatomusicassociationchorus.org.
Inspector Gadje Hanukkah Celebration San Francisco–based Balkan Brass Band leads a holiday extravaganza that marks the Jewish Festival of Lights with plenty of dancing, cocktails, food and fun. Dec. 1. Osher Marin JCC’s Hoytt Theater, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 7pm, Balkan dance lessons; 7:30pm party. $10–$35. 415.444.8000.
Marin Symphony’s Holiday Concerts Spend the most wonderful time of the year with the acclaimed symphony orchestra, who present several concerts throughout the season. First, the chamber chorus shines in the Holiday Choral Concerts by Candlelight, Dec. 1–2, at the Church of Saint Raphael, 1104 Fifth Ave., San Rafael. Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 4pm. $20–$32. Next, the symphony presents its annual Holiday Pops concert, led by musical director Alasdair Neale and featuring beloved classics and contemporary musical treats on Dec. 11, at the Marin Center’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 7pm. $20–$25 and up. 415.479.8100.
Kitka: Wintersongs The Oakland-based women’s vocal ensemble channels Eastern European melodies with traditional vocal styling. Kitka perform a program of critically acclaimed, winter-inspired music ranging from Slavic folk carols to Eastern Orthodox choral works, Yiddish, Sephardic and Hebrew songs for Hanukkah. Dec. 9, the Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts, Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 5pm. $10–$35. 415.444.8000.
First Presbyterian San Anselmo Chancel Choir Daniel Canosa conducts a performance of three versions of the “O magnum mysterium,” by Javier Busto, Morten Lauridsen and Ola Gjeilo with orchestra. Dec. 9. First Presbyterian Church, 72 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. 10am. Free. 415.456.3713.
Very Merry Singalong on Tomales Bay West Marin nonprofit Sound Orchard leads a special selection of familiar carols, interfaith holiday music and non-secular songs for the season. Dec. 13. St. Columba’s Sanctuary, 12835 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Inverness. 7pm. $10-$20. soundorchard.org.
Stapleton Theatre Company The theater arts division of the Stapleton School of the Performing Arts presents A Christmas Carol: The Broadway Musical, an adaptation of the Charles Dickens tale. Dec. 13–16. The Playhouse, 27 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. Thursday–Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday–Sunday, 2pm. $16–$22. stapletonschool.org.
Marin Oratorio Boyd Jarrell directs the College of Marin choir’s performance of world-beloved works by Franz Schubert. Dec. 15–16, James Dunn Theatre, College of Marin, 835 College Ave., Kentfield. Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 3pm. $15–$20. 415. 457.8811. Y