'The Nutcracker' returns this Wednesday. (Courtesy of SF Ballet)

23 Fun Things: 'The Nutcracker' returns, tastings from steak to Champagne, shopping pop-ups + more Bay Area events

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It's about two weeks to Christmas and things are getting seriously freakin' festive.

This week, see The Nutcracker at San Francisco Ballet or A Christmas Carol at A.C.T., hear Chanticleer sing their holiday magic, enjoy a Moroccan-style dinner theater, shop Chronicle Books' warehouse sale and more holiday pop-ups. Have a good one!


Monday, December 10th

Wildfire Fundraising Dinner

When: Two seatings, 6 and 8pm

Where: The Bear & Monarch, 222 Sansome St. (FiDi), thebearandmonarch.com

Swank spot The Bear & Monarch is hosting a special dinner to support victims of the California wildfires. The evening will start with passed apps, beverages, and mingling in the Bayview Terrace Presidential Suite before moving downstairs to the restaurant's private dining room for a six-course dinner with wine pairings. // Tickets ($165/person) are available on eventbrite.com.


Foreign Cinema Book Party

When: 6pm

Where: The Riddler, 528 Laguna St. (Hayes Valley), theriddlersf.com

Yes, Foreign Cinema's cookbook came out a little while ago, and yes there have been parties. But so what? This is an excuse to drink bubbly at the city's prettiest Champagne bar, The Riddler, with chef-authors Gayle Pirie and John Clark of one of our all-time favorite SF restaurants. You'll nibble on Foreign Cinema delicacies such as Santa Barbara smoked salmon with caviar and creme fraiche toasts. // Tickets ($65/person) include a copy of the cookbook, bites, and bubbles. A portion of the proceeds will go toward California wildfire relief. Book online through OpenTable.


Aged Steak Tasting

When: 6 to 8pm

Where: Belcampo Meat Co., 55 Webster St. (Oakland)

If you haven't been to Belcampo's glorious Jack London Square restaurant yet, consider this a juicy opportunity. Founder Anya Fernald will be in the house to lead a tasting of two cuts of beef (NY steaks and ribeyes) at three different stages of dry-aging. She'll talk about the difference between grass- and corn-fed meats, show you how to cook the different cuts, and give signed copies of her new book, Home Cooked. Wine pairings will be offered, and guests will get 20 percent off all Belcampo products that day. // Tickets ($75) are available at eventbrite.com.

Tuesday, December 11th

San Francisco–based, Grammy Award–winning Chanticleer kicks off its Bay Area Christmas tour today.

(Lisa Kohler, courtesy of Chanticleer)

Art Pop-up Shop

When: 3 to 6pm

Where: Hotel G, 368 Geary St. (Union Square), hotelgsanfrancisco.com

Benefiting Creativity Explored, this mini marketplace of original and giftable art, apparel, stationary, and more includes snacks and drinks and a gift-wrapping station. Fifty percent of proceeds from art sales go directly to the artist. // Free to attend, register at facebook.com.


Cioppino for Charity

When: 5 to 10pm

Where: Finn Town, 2251 Market St. (Mid-Market), finntownsf.com

Eat all the cioppino, salad, and garlic bread you want today as 10 percent of your ticket price goes to support the Richmond Ermet Aids Foundation's services and hunger programs. Enter the raffle for a chance to win prizes including gift cards, wines, and a Finn Town cocktail named just for you. // $30/person; make reservations online or call 415.626.3466 after 1pm.


YIMBY Action Gala

When: 6pm

Where: Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market St. (Mid-Market)

Tired of sky-high San Francisco rents? As if we had to ask. Join your brethren at YIMBY Action's annual awards gala, which advocates affordable, market-rate housing in SF. // Tickets ($75/advance, $100/door) are available at gala.yimbyaction.org.


A Chanticleer Christmas

When: 8 to 10pm; Bay Area–wide performances through Dec. 23rd

Where: First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way (Berkeley)

A 40-year Bay Area holiday tradition, the SF-based, multi-Grammy-Award-winning, 12-man a cappella choir known as Chanticleer kicks off the season with a candlelit Gregorian Chant followed by a selection of classical music, spirituals, and carols—from the 13th to 21st centuries—that tell the story of the nativity. If this is your thing, it promises to be gorgeous as always. // Tickets ($64-$75) are available at cityboxoffice.com. For more Bay Area dates, go to chanticleer.org.

Wednesday, December 12th

The Nutcracker

When: 7pm tonight; performances through Dec. 29th

Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center)

It's opening night for this annual Christmas classic. See the San Francisco Ballet slay it. // Tickets ($49 and up) are available at sfballet.org; use the promo code SNOW online to save on select shows.


A Poetic Performance

When: 7 to 8pm

Where: Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St. (SoMa), moadsf.org

Elevate your Wednesday night at a free reading and wine reception with MoAD's two poets in residence: Raina J. León, author of three poetry collections and founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly about Latinx arts; and SF native Tongo Eisen-Martin, whose work homes in on the extrajudicial killing of black people in America. // Get more info and register for free at eventbrite.com.


The Future of Work

When: 6 to 8pm

Where: Manny's, 3092 16th St. (Mission), welcometomannys.com

Samasource and LXMI founder (and former 7x7 magazine cover girl) Leila Janah knows a thing or two about getting work—or rather about giving it. In her ventures, the Harvard-educated CEO seeks to #givework to low-income people around the world. Hear her speak tonight. // Tickets ($6-$54) are available at eventbrite.com.

Thursday, December 13th

Chronicle Books Warehouse Sale

When: 9am to 7pm, through Dec. 15th

Where: Chronicle Books, 680 Second St. (SoMa), chroniclebooks.com

Scoop up scads of cookbooks, cheeky tomes, and various other literary items up to 80 percent off at this annual three-day sale.


Champagne Tasting

When: 5 to 8pm

Where: Arlequin Wine Merchant, 348A Hayes St., (Hayes Valley), arlequinwinemerchant.com

Pop over to Arlequin Wine Merchant to pop some bubbles at their annual Champagne tasting event. Sip on more than 40 classics as well as some rare bottles, and snag a few featured bubblies at event-only discount prices. // Tickets ($75 pre-sale, or $80 at the door) are available by calling or visiting the store.


A Christmas Carol

When: Performances through Dec. 29th

Where: American Conservatory Theatre, 415 Geary St.

Don your best Dickensian garb—or at least your Christmas spirit—for A.C.T.'s 42nd annual rendition of the classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge. // Tickets ($30 and up) are available at tickets.act-sf.org.


Holiday Bazaar NightLife

When: 6 to 10pm

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr. (Golden Gate Park), calacademy.org

San Francisco Bazaar has curated a nighttime holiday market stocked with handmade jewelry, original artwork, ceramics, apothecary goods, and more. Shop, drink spiked hot bevvies, skate on the outdoor ice rink ($10 extra), and dance beneath the disco ball. Seventies-style attire is encouraged. // Tickets ($12-$15) are available online.


Meteor Shower Hike

When: 8 to 10pm

Where: Bernal Heights

The Geminid Meteor Shower is one of the biggest of year. Catch a killer view among fellow geeks on this hike (with drinks!) led by Urban Diversions. You could see 50 or more meteors per hour! BYO flashlight and blanket for viewing. // For more info, go to urbandiversion.com.

Friday, December 14th

The Reset's Holiday Pop-Up

When: 11am to 6pm

Where: The Reset Pop-Up, 2053 Fillmore St. (Pac Heights), thereset.com

Shop The Reset's fall collection of morning-to-night apparel basics alongside baubles from Dilara Saatci Jewelry at this special two-day trunk show (starts Friday at 11am). // For more info, go to facebook.com.


Neon Walking Tour

When: 5:45 to 7:30pm

Where: Meet outside Harrington's Bar and Grill, 245 Front St.

Join San Francisco Neon authors Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan for a dose of local history on this two-mile tour of some of the surviving neon art in downtown SF. // Tickets are $25; reservations required at eventbrite.com.


An Evening With Chris Robinson Brotherhood

When: 8pm tonight and Saturday; 7pm Sunday

Where: The Fillmore, 1805 Geary St., thefillmore.com

What could be less Christmas-y than listening to Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson rock out with his bluesy Brotherhood? Take a night off from holiday festivities, order up a whisky, and jam out. // Tickets ($35-$150) are available at concerts1.livenation.com.

Saturday, December 15th

(Courtesy of Berber Restaurant and Supper Club)

A New Dinner Theater Experience

When: 3:30pm to midnight Tues. through Thurs.; 10am to 2am, Fri. through Sun.

Where: Berber Restaurant & Supper Club, 1516 Broadway (Russian Hill), berbersf.com

North African eats, belly dancers, and aerial performers are all part of the new dinner-and-a-show experience at Moroccan eatery Berber Restaurant & Supper Club, opening today in Russian Hill. Luxurious textiles, wicker lanterns, and paintings of camels aim to capture a night out in Marrakesh. Plus, Nick Balla (Duna) helped put together a menu that fuses exotic spices with California ingredients, so you know it's going to be good. // $85 for five-course dinner and show (excluding beverage, tax, tip); reservations at berbersf.com.


Food Fair!

When: 11am to 2pm

Where: BiteUnite, 600 S Van Ness Ave (Mission), biteunite.com

New coworking kitchen and cafe BiteUnite is hosting a public open house featuring eats from their chef members, including Luis Villavelazquez of Les Elements Patisserie. Snack on fried plantains and dipping sauces, gluten-free waffles, kombucha, and coffee. BiteUnite is partnering with the American Red Cross to raise donations for California wildfire relief. // Free to attend, donations encouraged and can be made on crowdwise.com. For more event details visit facebook.


SantaCon Oakland Official After-Party

When: 5pm to 2am

Where: Esports Arena, 255 Second St. (Oakland), esportsarena.com/oakland

It seems The Town couldn't escape the scourge that is SantaCon, which hits Oakland for the first time today, beginning with a noon rally at Jack London Square. Sponsored by Red Bull and Deep Eddy Vodka, the afterparty includes a lounge at Esports Arena with live music and a donations drive. // Tickets ($5-$400) and more info at eventbrite.com.

Sunday, December 16th

Shop handmade local goods such as these vintage-style spirits decanters at Cerf Club's holiday craft market today.

(Courtesy of Reclamation Etchworks)

CUESA x Latinx Pop-Up

When: 10am to 3pm

Where: Jack London Square Farmers Market, Webster St. at Embarcadero W. (Oakland), jacklondonsquare.com

Head to Oakland for a special edition of the Sunday farmers market at Jack London Square. Along with CUESA's usual farmers and food makers, expect a special vendor marketplace showcasing 27 local Mercado Latinx artisans including chefs, designers, crafters, and builders all selling their wares. // Free to attend, register on eventbrite.com.


Holiday Craft Market

When: Noon to 5pm

Where: Cerf Club, 925 O'Farrell St. (Tenderloin), cerfclub.com

Browse beautifully handmade wares from local makers including Hampui Hats, Reclamation Etchworks, Thimbleberry Pottery, and more- at the new culinary event space Cerf Club. Free pours of mulled wine and snacks from Stag Dining will be on hand to get you in the holiday spirit. // Free to attend, RSVP on eventbrite.com.

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