Why not take this weekend to relax before the mad rush of Christmas and New Years? Spend it in the North Bay celebrating the Solstice among peaceful Redwoods, watching some dangerous car stunts or listening to a New Orleans style jazz band with a famous front man.
Winter Solstice Celebration
Celebrate the shortest day of the year with the tallest trees on Earth. The daylong solstice celebration at Muir Woods is full of fun festivities. In the morning, join rangers for a walk through the Redwoods and learn the traditional English Morris Dance. In the afternoon, you’ll have the choice between special art projects to create a Solstice crown and wreath with live seasonal music or a story about John Muir combined with a winter walk in the woods. End the day by lighting the ceremonial fire and luminaria and join rangers for a special song. Sat. 12/21, 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., $7 admission to Muir Woods
Sonoma Drift Winter Jam
If you’re looking for a unique way to kick off Christmas vacation, or you're a big fan of The Fast and the Furious franchise, look no further than the Sonoma Drift Winter Jam. The 2nd annual Winter Jam features two full days of drifting (where skilled drivers work to control a race car while it slides sideways at high speed). If you consider yourself a daredevil, you can even try to drive a car yourself. Just remember it's about style and execution, not who finishes first. Sat. 12/21 and Sun. 12/22, 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. $10 per day, Sonoma Raceway. Get tickets here
Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band
For more than 35 years, Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band have been touring the world with their diverse repertoire of hymns, blues, and rags. Every performance is an improvisation; there is no play list and the musicians never knows what song Allen or band director Eddy David might call next. The band’s sound is rooted in the music that Allen (who plays the clarinet) has loved since childhood and draws inspirations from music legends like George Lewis and Louis Armstrong. Sun. 12/22, 7:30 p.m. $75-125 Throckmorton Theatre. Get tickets here.