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Walnut Creek Magazine

Cool Thing To Do During A Socially Distant December

Dec 02, 2020 03:06PM ● By Pam Kessler

December is upon us and that means, the holidays are in full swing. While things are different this year, we found plenty of ways to make it a magical season. From light shows to latke parties, here are 20 festive fixes for a fabulous month.

Get in the holiday spirit at Garden of d’Lights. Thousands of lights and lasers illuminate the magnificent collection of Mediterranean plants at Ruth Bancroft Garden Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings through January 17, 2021. Purchase tickets in advance for this festive outdoor walking tour at  

Breathe in the fresh sea air at Jack London Square. Take a late afternoon stroll on the Oakland waterfront under the glow of its famous 55-foot Christmas tree. Grab dinner to go from one of the nearby restaurants like Belcampo Meat Company or Farmhouse Thai.

Watch Dicken’s holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Streaming December 7-27, this special taped performance will elevate your spirits and help raise funds for the Lesher Center of the Arts which has been dark since March. For tickets, go to

Elevate your spirits with music. Join Diablo Symphony Orchestra for a free holiday concert and make the season merry and bright. Tune in on YouTube at 7:15 on December 17, for details go to   

Partake in Dickens Fair festivities. Don your Victorian garb and hop online to shop treasures from nearly 50 artisans, sing along with carolers, watch a puppet show, and even make brandied eggnog. Through December 24 at

Celebrate the power of dance. Now in their 27th season, Diablo Ballet performs Julia Adam’s smash hit, The Nutcracker Suite, with a whimsical local twist on the holiday classic. Stream it into your home over and over again on December 21-23. Use code FRIENDS10 for a $10 ticket discount at  

Explore holiday light displays from your car. You’ll fall in love with the magical holiday lights all over the Bay Area that illuminate the sky every night at dusk. Here a few of our favorite spots for sparkling color: Fourth Street in BerkeleySix Flags in VallejoAlameda’s Christmas Tree Lane, and Candy Cane Lane Pleasanton.

 Hit the slopes at Heavenly or Northstar. Ski season is officially open with social distancing protocols in place. Book soon before limited tickets sell out,

Deck the halls and support local schools! Head to Honey Bear Christmas Trees, on the corner of Pleasant Hill and Deer Hill roads, for fresh trees, wreaths, and garlands. Use code WCEF and 20% of your purchase will go to the Walnut Creek Education Foundation. 

Invite the Sugar Plum Fairy into your home. The San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker returns with a 2020 twist—watch the newly mastered recording of a previous year’s performance and take a digital tour of the War Memorial Opera House from the comfort of your couch. Through December 31, for tickets go to

Schedule a time to meet Santa. The big guy returns to Broadway Plaza for contact-free photos and don't worry, Santa and his elves will wear masks so kids of all ages can safely make memories. Through December 24, reserve a spot at

Explore San Francisco's urban light festival. lluminate SF shines a light on city neighborhoods with over 40 diverse light displays. Learn about the artists who brought these installations to life, like Hank Willis Thomas’ famous glowing LOVE OVER RULES sculpture in the heart of Yerba Buena. For details go to  

Live-stream Season in Song. California Symphony features Grammy award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, tenor Nicholas Phan, and the California Symphony Brass Quintet in a free online holiday concert. December 12, register at

Spread the Light. Join Chabad Contra Costa and the Jewish community on an eight-day celebration of Chanukah, December 10-18. Festivities include menorah lightings, the Macabeats live in concert, and cooking events. For details, go to

Elevate your spirit. Join Terrance Kelly and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir for a rousing virtual holiday concert celebrating the award-winning repertoires’ 35th season. December 5, for tickets, go to  

Watch a comedy show and eat Chinese food on Christmas. Join Lisa Geduldig, Alex Edelman, and Judy Gold for the 28th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy show served up in a virtual Chinese restaurant. December 24-26, for tickets, go to


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