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.
Who doesn't have fond memories of gluing together ramshackle gingerbread houses with snow-white frosting and candy decor in elementary school? Well, the gingerbread architects at the Palace Hotel are lightyears ahead in their mastery of building starchy structures than we ever could have imagined, and this Friday, November 26th you can see their work on full display and vote for which you think is the most magnificent until December 31st, all for a good cause.
Local sports luminaries, 7x7 and other sponsors are banding together at AT&T Park on Tuesday, December 7th to raise awareness for children in need this holiday season.
Okay, there might not be a lot of snow right now in the Bay Area (Seattle is another story), but post-Thanksgiving marks the time to bundle up, grab some bungee cords and head out to find your perfect Christmas tree. Here are some places to chop a dandy.
WallinFarm 840 Ferguson Road, Sebastopol, (707) 823-6973
Opening on Black Friday, avoid the city chaos and head to this cozy, 6-acre mom-and-pop farm in rural Sebastopol. It's a peaceful setting, perfect for spotting a picturesque Douglas fir for your living room. And you won't have to sacrifice a few Christmas presents to be able to afford one of their trees. For a tree about 9 feet tall, you won't have to pay more than $70. Their last day of chopping is on the 22nd of December.
A few weeks ago, we asked you to nominate your favorite local charities. Check out the seven you chose as your favorite in the city here, who will each be receiving a $700 gift from us. We've also been profiling each of these on our website. Don't forget to vote for your favorite to be featured as a "Charity You Love" in our February issue!