Holiday Happenings in the Bay Area



Union Square on Christmas!

The holiday season is officially upon us, and all lovers of Christmas spirit and wintertime joy alike can finally listen to their mile-long playlists free of judgement.

However, there are plenty of more things than just music to get into the loving, giving, magical vibe of the most wonderful time of year. Here are just a few ideas to get you started making holiday magic.

If you have a whole day…

Check out San Francisco’s Union Square. Only a BART ride away, there’s plenty to do in just the small plaza – ice skating in the open rink, gift shopping at the multi-level Macy’s, having a hot coffee in the numerous espresso bars around the enormous Christmas tree right at the center of the square.

Afterwards, you could go elsewhere in San Francisco, like Pier 39 and the waterfront for tons of fun shops and activities, like the arcade Musee Mecanique (if you have spare change) or Ghirardelli Square for one of the richest hot chocolates you’ll ever taste.

Similar events take place in major cities around the Bay, like taking a ride on a water sleigh on Oakland’s Lake Merritt or having dinner in the beautifully decorated Santana Row in San Jose.

If you have a night…

Holiday themed movie nights with your loved ones are always a fun idea to get in spirit. Prepare some treats, like cider and those Pillsbury cookies everybody loves, a winter-y Netflix queue with favorites like Elf, Home Alone, or Love Actually, and a bunch of blankets, and you’re good to go!

Finding time and money to go to San Francisco can be hard, but you can go skating in our very own Dublin Iceland and warm up with some hot food after at delicious food spots in Downtown Pleasanton like Gay 90’s for a full meal or Inkling’s Coffee for just a snack. Our little town is full of its own events as well; Holiday Tea and Breakfast with Santa at the Senior Center are cheaper, yet just as fun alternatives.

If you don’t have much time at all…

We all know how the holiday buzz also comes with the holiday stress – the overwhelming need to accomplish so much in just twenty-five days, including shopping, passing finals, and finding time to relax. So if you can only find five minutes to spare, get a friend or family member to do your errands with you! From studying for your finals to shopping for Christmas gifts for the cousin that lives across the country, you can make almost anything fun if you do it with someone you love.

Holiday spirit, after all, isn’t just about spending money on gifts and activities. It’s fun to do these things, of course, but the most important thing is to surround yourself with those you love – if you do that, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable, fun filled winter season! Happy holidays, DHS!

NOTE: Reservations are encouraged for all of these activities. We recommend calling ahead of time and reserving a spot or purchasing tickets before attending, as these do fill up quickly.