Love Actually is all around with a special holiday screening set to live orchestra at the SF Symphony this week. (Courtesy SF Symphony)

25 Fun Things to Do This Week (12.13.21)


This story is brought to you by Poppy the AV, an all-electric self-driving Cruise vehicle, who knows the ins and outs of the City.

Let us entertain you, or at least point you in the direction of those who can.

An ugly sweater pub crawl, holiday films backed by a live orchestra, jazz and plants, and a K-Pop Christmas party round out our list of fun things to do this week around the Bay Area.

See you out there.

Explore the renowned works of Ruth Asawa with a free audio art tour. Perhaps best known for her hanging wire sculptures, which hang in the de Young and Guggenheim museums (to name a few), Asawa's art can be easily seen in a new way across 11 Bay Area locations, narrated with stories from Asawa’s family and friends;

Let’s toast to SF’s newest cocktail bar—conveniently located in the heart of Civic Center. Arriving just in time to be holiday show pre- and post-game, The Madrigal is a gorgeous cocktail destination that neighbors the War Memorial Opera House, Bill Graham, Davies Symphony Hall, Asian Art Museum, and more. Pro tip: They accept reservations 3pm to close Tuesday through Sunday (limited late-night menu from 9-11pm). // The Madrigal, 100 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center,

Love Actually is all around when you watch the holiday classic with an orchestra performing the score, live! Grab a drink from The Madrigal (see above) then stroll over to Davies Symphony Hall for a unique movie experience; Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm. (Got kids? Home Alone is screening later in the week.) // Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center); tickets at

Close out 2021 with a white truffle dinner. Trestle’s annual three-course prix-fixe menu ($39) is crafted to pair perfectly with the coveted fungi and is an affordable yet decadent treat this season; daily by reservation. // 531 Jackson St. (Jackson Square),

Thank you to our partners at Trestle.

Get festive and a little fancy with holiday-themed cocktails at SF legacy bar the Pied Piper. For those who like to drink their dessert, try the Hot Apple Pie (Tuaca, cinnamon, hot cider, and whipped cream). for something more delicate, try the Pear for Clara (pear purée, lemon, sparkling wine, and clove powder); available through December 31, 4pm to 10pm. // The Pied Piper, 2 New Montgomery St. (SoMa),

Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggin–get your tickets to Elfstravaganza at Balboa Theater. Enjoy one of the greatest holiday movies of all time on the big screen, plus Barebottle Brewing is throwing in two holiday brews; Tuesday at 7:30pm. // Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa St. (Outer Richmond); tickets at

Magic mushrooms are having a moment. If you’ve found yourself wanting to learn more about psychedelics (which are decriminalized in Oakland), join Real Talk Oakland for community and meaningful conversation, live music, and art; Tuesday at 6pm. // Agave Uptown, 2135 Franklin St. (Oakland); tickets at

Take selfies with Santa and the Grinch, watch holiday movies, compete in an ugly sweater contest, and shop the SF Etsy Holiday Market. It’s all part of Ghirardelli Square’s 12 days of fun before Christmas. Events are 2pm to 6pm daily. // For the full schedule, go to

Thank you to our partners at Ghirardelli Square.

Get down with the Black Pumas. Nominated for Album on the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist at the 2020 Grammys, the “psychedelic-soul” group lives up to the hype; Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm. // The Masonic, 1111 California St. (Nob Hill); tickets at

Break bread at the First Annual Black Elephant Party with celebrity chefs Nelson German (Sobre Mesa, AlaMar Kitchen) and Byron Neville Hughes (Last Supper Society). Featuring a six-course dinner, craft cocktail pairings by Bacardi USA, a "Black Elephant" blind gift exchange, and a winter coat drive benefitting East Oakland Collective. Prefer to be fashionably late? Check out the after-party (9:30pm; to midnight); Wednesday, dinner from 6pm to 9pm. // Sobre Mesa, 1618 Franklin St. (Oakland); tickets at

Get cracking over to The Dorian’s Fourth Annual Cab & Slab Dinner. Bring a bottle of your favorite cab to share (no corkage fees here) and feast on a family-style dinner. Arrive early to enjoy a Manhattan and martini cocktail bar; Thursday at 7pm. // The Dorian, 2001 Chestnut St. (Marina); tickets at

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s making a pit stop at the Ninth Annual Winter Wonderland at the Bayview Opera House. You can expect snow, ice skating, local vendors, visits with Santa, and other family fun; Thursday from 5pm to 8:30pm. // Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd St. (Bayview); details at

Newton Vineyard is bringing the best of Napa Valley to the city. Raise your glass while enjoying Mediterranean-inspired hors d'oeuvres at Ula, the new restaurants in the former Farallon space; Thursday at 6pm. // Ula Mediterranean, 450 Post St. (TenderNob); tickets at

Christmastime is here and what better way to celebrate than with A Charlie Brown Christmas tribute. David Benoit, the multi-Grammy–nominated artist and composer of the new Charlie Brown Christmas TV specials, is joined by vocalist Courtney Fortune to bring the classic music of Vince Guaraldi to life along with originals at Yoshi’s; Thursday at 10pm. // Yoshi’s Oakland, 510 Embarcadero West (Oakland); tickets at

Don’t miss Soundbox: Embarkation, curated by Grammy Award–winning drummer, producer, and composer Quentin E. Baxter. For this edition of the experimental late-night live music series, Baxter draws inspiration from his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina and the artists and poets who live and work there; Friday and Saturday at 9pm. // Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. (Civic Center); tickets at

This week, nothing else matters for Metallica fans. That’s right, Metallica is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a San Francisco takeover culminating with two headlining shows at Chase Center. For fans unable to attend in person, Amazon will be streaming the shows for free; Friday and Sunday at 7:30pm. // Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way (Mission Bay),

A Very Merry Misfit Cabaret has it all: burlesque, drag, circus, magic, and a holiday fairy named Candysprinkles—you never know what to expect (except a good time) at this dazzling variety show; Friday at 8pm. // Alcatraz Theatre, 650 Geary St. (TenderNob); tickets at

Calling all K-Pop superfans! Spend the night dancing to all your favorite K-pop hits from BTS, BLΛƆKPIИK, EXO, GFRIEND, Twice, and more presented by the folks at Funcheap and HellaSeoulSF; Saturday at 10pm. // Neck of the Woods, 406 Clement St. (Inner Richmond); tickets at

In a city of hoodies and jeans, we love an excuse to get dressed up—especially when it’s for a good cause. The Annual Guardsmen Tree Lot Party always delivers with festive ambiance, plenty of bars, and one of the largest holiday dance floors around. Plus, you’ll help raise funds for more than 2,500 Bay Area at-risk youth; Saturday, 8pm to 1:30am. // Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd. (Marina); tickets at

Makers Market heads to Walnut Creek. Peruse goods from more than 100 local vendors and hear live music at the open-air marketplace; Saturday. 11am to 5pm. // Broadway Plaza, 1275 Broadway Plaza (Walnut Creek); details at

To the window, to the wall… it’s time for the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. You know the drill: Don your best ugly holiday sweater and drink your way down Polk Street. But, please remember to be kind and to tip your bartenders; Saturday, 4pm to 10pm. // Mayes Oyster House, 1233 Polk St. (TenderNob); tickets at

Shop Artists & Fleas Holiday Market at Berkeley’s Maker’s Row and the surrounding parking lot. Expect tons of outdoor space to hang out with the best of California's makers, creators, vintage collectors, and more; Saturdays. // RSVP to receive $5 in market money at

Thanks to our partners at Fourth Street Maker's Row.

Expand your palate with delish dishes like ube horchata, Peruvian fusion stir fries, coconut bread rolls, and more while supporting BIPOC local food vendors and retailers at a pop-up food market; Saturday, 11am to 4pm. // Kapwa Gardens, 976 Mission St. (SoMa,

Make your credit card work for you at Winter Wonderland presented by Chase. Head to Thrive City for a spectacle of music, live reindeer feedings, and family and pet photos with Santa. Chase cardholders get expedited entry into the event and access to an exclusive lounge area complete with complimentary food, drinks, and giveaways; Saturday, 2pm to 6pm. // Thrive City, 1 Warriors Way (Mission Bay); details at

Plant store by day, wine bar by night—we can’t get enough of the jungle vibes at Arcana. Sunday nights, stop in for live music from a string quartet, plant-based bites, and wines by the glass; Sunday, 6pm to 9pm. // Arcana, 2512 Mission St. (Mission); tickets at

Poppy & The City | Cruise | SHORT

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