There's much to do in the days before the holiday.
See John Legend or George Clinton live, learn to make a gingerbread house over adults-only drinks, see a classic holiday movie set to a live symphonic score, sip all the sangria, hear a storytelling slam, and more.
Have a festive week!
Monday, December 17th
Marshawn Lynch = Restaurateur
When: Open daily
Where: Rob Ben's Restaurant & Lounge, 3627 San Pablo Aven. (Emeryville)
Be among the first to check NFL running back Marshawn Lynch's new restaurant, Rob Ben's Restaurant & Lounge. Named for Lynch's best friend, Robert Benjamin, who was murdered in Oakland at the age of 25, the restaurant takes the space of a longstanding soul food spot. // Keep an eye out for more details at facebook.com.
Shake Shack has arrived.
When: Open daily
Where: 180 El Camino Real, Suite #950 (Palo Alto), shakeshack.com
For West Coasters who've been hankering for some Shake Shack burgers and fries, the wait is over. Head down to Palo Alto to check out their new restaurant with just the right Bay Area influences—think beer from Fort Point, burger patties from Richards Grass-Fed Beef, Tartine sweet potato buns, and frozen custard "concrete" with ingredients from Manresa Bread and Dandelion Chocolate. Ummm, ya, we're already drooling for the SF location.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St. (NoPa), theindependentsf.com
Tis the season to get funky! Get ready to dance your off, because no one brings the beat and soul like P-Funk. // Tickets ($60) are available at ticketfly.com.
Tuesday, December 18th
Cannabis Holiday Bazaar
When: 6:30 to 8:30pm
Where: Lost Art Salon, 245 S. Van Ness Ave. Suite 303 (SoMa), lostartsalon.com
Join Marcia Gagliardi (aka Tablehopper) for a market stuffed with highly edible, cannabis-infused yummies including peppermint bark, gummies, teas, marshmallows, and beverages. Snag a gift bag full of samples for $5 on your way out. // Tickets ($20) are available on mymilligram.com.
Gingerbread House Maker & Mixer
When: 6 to 8pm
Where: Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery St. (FiDi)
Leave the kids at home and channel your inner child for an adults-only gingerbread house maker sesh mixed with cocktails, bites, and holiday cheer. // Tickets ($50) are available at facebook.com.
Midwinter Masquerade: An Immersive Holiday Dining Experience
When: 7:30 to 10pm
Where: Whitechapel, 600 Polk St. (Tenderloin),
Fancy yourself in a gin-soaked room in a forgotten section of the London Underground and get ready for a one-night-only dinner theater experience served up by Epic Immersive. Don your mask for pagan rites, food, and lots of cocktails. // Tickets ($150) are available at eventbrite.com.
Wednesday, December 19th
'Home Alone' With Live Score
When: 7:30pm; additional shows on Thursday and Friday
Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave (Civic Center), sfsymphony.org
Who doesn't love the childhood tradition of watching Home Alone? Give it a sophisticated boost this year as the SF Symphony plays the live score and carols are sung by local children's choirs. // Tickets ($70 and up) are available on sfsymphony.org.
Snickerdoodles, Sweaters, and Seasonal Stories
When: 7:30 to 9:20pm
Where: 826 Valencia, 826 Valencia St. (Mission), 826valencia.org
Celebrate the volunteers at 826 Valencia—and then become one!—at this "warm and wonderful celebration of all things December-y and literary." There will be a storytelling slam, hot chocolate, and cookies. // For more info, go to facebook.com.
Academy of Wine: Bubbles!
When: 8 to 9:30pm
Where: The Academy SF, 2166 Market St. (Duboce Triangle), academy-sf.com
The stylish social club is inviting members and non-members alike for an effervescent evening of wine tasting hosted by sommelier Michael Wells. On the menu? Bubbly, of course. // For more info, go to facebook.com.
Thursday, December 20th
All the Sangria
When: 5 to 9pm
Where: Spark Social, 601 Mission Bay Blvd. North (Mission Bay), sparksocialsf.com
Whether it's one last chance to see friends before traveling for the holidays or really because you want to celebrate National Sangria Day, take today's happy hour up a notch with all-you-can-drink sangria at Spark Social. Food trucks will be onsite with munchies as well. // Tickets ($25) are available at sparksocialsf.com.
7th Annual Winter Wonderland
When: 5 to 9pm
Where: Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St. (Bayview)
Fashioned after traditional German holiday markets, this yearly free holiday block party promised ice skating, snow, and a Santa village for the kiddies, crafts, food and drink (hot spiced wine and sausages!), live music, and more. // For more info, go to facebook.com.
YBCA Holiday Party
When: 6 to 8pm
Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St.
Play musical bingo with Kitten on the Keys, hear tropical bass from Sazon Libre, and chat up YBCA's featured artists at this free holiday shindig that includes admission to the exhibit Bay Area Now 8. // For more info, go to facebook.com.
Friday, December 21st
John Legend's "A Legendary Christmas"
When: 8pm, Friday and Saturday
Where: The Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave. (Oakland)
Buy a pair of tickets to hear the Legend perform his new holiday album and you'll pick up a copy of the album itself. // Tickets (starting at $149) are available at ticketmaster.com.
It's Queen Night!
When: 10:30pm to 2:30am
Where: Public Works, 161 Erie St. (Mission), publicsf.com
Don your most bohemian rhapsodic ensemble for this 70s party dedicated to Freddie Mercury. Grab a cocktails from one of two fully stocked bars and dance like no one's looking to tunes by Queen, Bowie, Abba, and the like. // For tickets ($10-$15) and info, go to eventbrite.com.
Saturday, December 22nd
Queer as Brunch
When: 10am to 2pm
Where: Jolene's Bar, 2700 16th St. (Mission), olenessf.com
If the LGBTQ nightlife scene isn't for you, now's your chance to check out the Mission's new gay bar, Jolene's, by the light of day. The just-opened watering hole dedicated to the queer community is serving up craft cocktails, performances, California-style bar bites and, of course, brunch which launches today. Go welcome them to the neighborhood. // facebook.com/jolenessf
Trip out on digital art.
When: Open daily
Where: Onedome, 1025 Market St. (SoMa), onedome.global
Buy a ticket ($33) to SoMa's new interactive art gallery Onedome to check out the exhibit LMNL, which is described as a "labyrinth" of immersive experiences. You'll wander through 14 rooms of responsive art pieces that play off lights, shadows, mirrors, and digital canvases for one trippy, tactile evening.
Après-Ski in Tahoe
When: Noon to 3pm on weekends
Where: The Backyard at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, 13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Ct (Truckee), ritzcarlton.com
Ski season is officially here, which means one thing: decadent après-ski time. When you're in Tahoe, head to the fire pits at the Ritz-Carlton and refuel on the new a la carte raw bar with chilled shrimp cocktails, oysters, ceviche, and of course, Champagne and wine.
Sunday, December 23rd
Black Santa's U wish Workshop and Pop Up
When: 11am to 7pm
Where: 54 Washington St. (Jack London Square)
Today's the last chance to catch the Black Santa pop-up and Mrs. C's Sweet Shop. Partake in novelty holiday sweets, festive workshops including ornament making and writing dreamers notes, photo ops with Black Santa and Mrs. C., and more. // For more information, go to facebook.com; blacksanta.com.
It's A Wonderful Life
When: 3 to 6pm
Where: The New Parkway (Oakland), thenewparkway.com
See Frank Capra's holiday classic in the most hipster-y movie theater ever. // Tickets ($8-$10) are available at ticketing.us.veezi.com.
Sunday Social Club
When: 5:30 to 11pm
Where: Tosca Cafe, 42 Columbus Ave. (North Beach), toscacafesf.com
Sunday supper with a show? Why not. Pop into Tosca Cafe for a special series of dinners this month. Dig into a four-course prix-fixe menu including a chicory Caesar and braised pork coppa while listening to live music from Ariela Morgenstern // $45; and reservations can be made at toscacafesf.com.
26th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
When: Two shows nightly, 5pm and 8:30pm, Dec. 23 through Dec. 25
Where: New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave. (Nob Hill)
Jewish humor. Chinese restaurant. Christmas. With 26 years under its belt, this comedy wonder speaks for itself. // Tickets ($52-$72) are available at koshercomedy.com.