If you're an East-Coast transplant bemoaning the lack of snow here during the holidays, here's a little piece of home: There's a winter wonderland right here in San Francisco, next door to the Embarcadero ice skating rink in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Here, you can drink hot chocolate and watch snow falls three times a day (at 4pm, 6pm and 8 pm) amongst 300,000 sparkling lights.
Welcome to "Transported", our weekly series about getting places in San Francisco, whether you take the bus or the BART, bike or drive. Come here to find the skinny on secret parking spots, the new bike lanes and how to get across town on Muni without losing your mind.
Love bikes? Yeah you do. Show your love loud and proud along with over 1,000 other bike enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes at the SF Bike Coalition's annual fundraiser and member party, Winterfest 2010 this Sunday, December 5th at SOMArts Gallery. You'll get to raise a bottomless ice cold pint glass of New Belgium beer to one of the most precious bicycle resources and advocates in the city.
On November 20th, in partnership with the San Francisco Fire Fighters Toy Program, Broadway Showgirls helped launch a month-long charitable event running from Thanksgiving through Christmas that gathers toys and money for families in need. Patrons earn entry by donating an unwrapped new toy instead of paying a cover charge.
Spice up your lunch break and get in your good deed for today. From noon until 2 pm, hard hitting SF Giant Cody Ross will be signing baseballs for the first 300 people to get down to Cost Plus World Market and donate a minimum of 5 non-perishable food items to benefit the SF Food Bank. It'll be a good chance to keep living out joy and ecstasy over that little World Series win, for charity, of course!
Cost Plus World Market, 2552 Taylor St., (415) 928-6200
Christmas trees are lighting up everywhere, and today the sparkle comes to 555 California, for their 4th annual tree lighting with two very special guests, pop singer Natasha Bedingfield and 49ers tight end (and this year's dashing Hot 20 Under 40 cover guy) Vernon Davis. Hussle down there at 4:15 pm to get a good view of all the action.
Four reindeer trotted into the San Francisco Zoo this past Saturday and have proceeded to blow kids' minds wide open. According to the Chronicle, children were gasping at the sight of them, astonished they didn't have wings to fly with Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve.
Holly, Velvet, Peppermint and Belle, who have been munching on grass and locking their horns in play are visiting the Zoo for the holidays. They're just kids themselves--each only about 18 months old.
Yes, this is the sport you couldn’t make sense of during the Winter Olympics. Curling combines the finesse of golf with the strategy of chess, and involves two teams alternately sliding 16 granite rocks down a sheet of ice toward a target. While one teammate slides, two others vigorously sweep (with brooms) the ice ahead, melting it slightly and lubricating a path to victory. The team with the most stones closest to the target wins.
Finally, the solution for the OCD camper—REI’s camp mini kitchen is a compact carrying case with enough compartments to keep even the most organized packer sane. A collapsible aluminum tabletop folds up nicely into the front pocket, a metal frame expands out to form a solid work surface, a two-burner stove tucks away underneath the case, and there are storage pouches galore (including several specifically for wet and dirty cookware).
$100 at REI, 840 Brannan St., 415-934-1938, rei.com
Time to show off that double lutz—the city’s skating rinks are up and running.
After 20-plus years as the city’s largest outdoor rink—and our personal favorite, given its amazing views—the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center is a wintertime ritual for many San Franciscans. It opens every day at 10 a.m., closing at 10 p.m. on school nights and 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. As is custom, Bing Crosby will serenade your gliding (or flailing). Prefer surf and sun to ice and cold? Come weekly for “Aloha Fridays,” when the rink’s winter wonderland decor goes tropical and Hawaiian Airlines offers a chance to win airfare for two to Hawaii.
It's that time of year again—time to but out your panniers or giant bags and pedal around the city for the SF Food Bank. Now in its fifth year, the Supermarket Street Sweep sends riders all over San Francisco to shop for groceries that will go to help the Food Bank feed needy families this holiday season. The totals have risen steadily every year, with last year's riders bringing in a whopping 7,507 lbs of food.