You better watch out: SantaCon is coming to town. (Courtesy of @the_christiannaa)

28 Fun Things: SantaCon, Soundbox, Holiday Block Parties, Civic Center Ice Rink + More Bay Area Events

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Now that you've recovered from Thanksgiving and maybe even put up a tree, it's time to get seriously festive.

This week, learn to make a mid-century modern gingerbread house, hit up holiday block parties in Hayes Valley and Dogpatch, learn to curl at the Civic Center ice rink, and dodge the drunken Santas at SantaCon. Plus, reset with rooftop yoga and mimosas, try dishes from around the world, enjoy a five-course tea tasting, and dine once at again at beloved restaurant Prubechu.


Monday, December 2nd

Brunch for Dinner

Seatings from 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Marla Bakery, 3619 Balboa St. (Outer Richmond), marlabakery.com

Weekend too busy to hit up brunch? Tonight, breakfast pop-up pros Hilda and Jesse are shifting gears, offering their usual morning menu during an evening affair at the soon-to-close Marla Bakery. Expect three courses including a beans on toast omelette, grilled trout porridge, and overnight oats with squash and cocoa nibs—plus the option to add on their "pancakes without boundaries" with black truffles. // Tickets ($48) can be purchased on Tock.


Interpreting the Humpback Whale

7:30pm

Morrison Planetarium at the Cal Academy, 55 Music Concourse Dr. (Golden Gate Park), calacademy.org

Curious how to speak humpback whale? Head over to Cal Academy for a special lecture on the complexities of their noises and calls—and, in a special twist, a lecture by SETI astrophysicist Laurance Doyle, PhD about how we can channel our understanding of their language to detect and interpret extraterrestrial intelligence signals. // Advance reservations ($15) required via calacademy.org.


Tea Tasting

Seatings at 5pm and 7:30pm

Samovar, Yerba Buena Gardens, 730 Howard St. (SoMa), samovartea.com/locations

Head to Samovar's tea lounge in the park to experience their new menu at this one-night-only five-course tasting menu. Tea will accompany every course, along with optional wine pairings. // Tickets ($60/person, $15 optional wine) can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Tuesday, December 3rd

Grand Gelinaz Restaurant Shuffle

Participating restaurants include Cala, Coi, Maum, Mister Jiu's, Nightbird, and SingleThread

Mix it up tonight with a little Russian roulette, restaurant style. On November 1st, 138 restaurants around the world each received eight recipes from another unknown restaurant. Tonight only, you can get a taste of some of those global recipes as reinterpreted into a multi-course menu by some of our own celebrated local chefs. Message from the Gelinaz team: "Don't ask for extra salt or Tabasco sauce. Eat your greens the way they are, and shut up." At the end of the evening, the originator of the recipes will be revealed. // Find more info on gelinaz.com.


Holiday Pet Celebration

4pm to 7pm

Americano, 8 Mission St. (Embarcadero), jdvhotels.com

Dog owners, bring your furry bestie to Americano for a special fundraising happy hour to benefit Copper's Dream Animal Rescue. You'll say cheese for professional pictures against a wintry backdrop with your pup; if you don't have a canine, you can borrow one of the adoptable pooches from Copper's Dream. Bites, cocktails, and pup treats will be available for purchase. // Free to attend, suggested $25 donation for the photo op. Event details on coppersdream.org.


Rare Device's Holiday Pop-Up

Through January 13th

Rare Device, 600 Divisadero St. (NoPa), raredevice.net

Pick up gifts for everyone on your list at Rare Device's annual holiday pop-up shop, this year featuring Bay Area–based illustrator Kristina Micotti. You'll find an assortment of stocking stuffers and gifts—think pins, prints, patches, and blankets—plus a floor to ceiling display of Micotti's adorable drawings.


All Stars Culinary Experience

6:30pm to 8:30pm

The Vault, 555 California St. (FiDi), thevault555.com

Today is Giving Tuesday! All Stars Helping Kids is putting together a grand tasting event for the occasion. Chefs from The Vault, Mina Group, A16, Waterbar and One65 will be dishing out great eats alongside wine from nine wineries,and cocktails from the Trick Dog crew. Expect a live DJ, silent auction, and raffle. // Tickets ($250) available at allstarshelpingkids.org.

Wednesday, December 4th

New Mill Valley Restaurant

5pm till midnight Monday through Friday, 10am to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays

Floodwater, 152 Shoreline Highway (Mill Valley), floodwatermv.com

Restaurateur Bill Higgins (Bar Bocce, Buckeye Roadhouse) and his two sons are launching a new restaurant with executive chef Michael Siegel (Betelnut, Bix). The massive space—it seats 240 throughout five dining areas—is serving seasonal California cuisine, with such dishes as scallop crudo, matzah ball soup, housemade sausage, mushroom pizza, cacio e pepe pasta, and a house burger. Add this to your list of spots ideal for fun group dinners.


Prubechu re-opens

5pm daily, Tuesday through Sunday

Prubechu, 2224 Mission St. (Mission), prubechu.com

It's been a year or so since Prubechu closed its doors, but now the team has found a new space and is reviving their unique Chamorro cuisine with a new twist. Gone is the tasting menu format in favor of family-style feasts—think big shared plates of red rice, empanadas, barbecue pork ribs, spicy stews, and ceviche with flatbreads, plus cocktails and natural wines. Lunch and brunch will be added in the coming weeks.


Civic Center Tree Lighting

4pm to 7pm, tree lighting at 5:30pm

Civic Center Plaza, 335 McAllister St. (Civic Center)

Civic Center Plaza transforms into a winter wonderland this Wednesday complete with holiday entertainment including the Dickens Fair Carolers and Tap Dancing Christmas Trees; a holiday toy giveaway for the first 400 children; DIY crafting with SF Etsy and the Asian Art Museum; and a Grinch and Santa appearance. Plus, munch on seasonal snacks from Off the Grid vendors and stay warm with mulled wine, Irish coffee, and Bi-Rite hot chocolate. Look for Mayor London Breed at the 5:30pm lighting of the 50-foot noble fir. // RSVP and find details for the free event on Eventbrite.

Thursday, December 5th

Seven Hills re-opens

5:30pm to 9:30pm Monday to Thursday, 5pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday, 5pm to 9:30pm on Sunday

Seven Hills, 1896 Hyde St. (Russian Hill), sevenhillssf.com

The Italian restaurant shuttered at the beginning of the year for seismic retrofit upgrades, and then ultimately decided to open in an all new location. Now housed in the former Stone's Throw space, Seven Hills is once again serving heartwarming bowls of their trademark homemade pastas. Bonus: There are more seats, so it'll be a bit easier to get in; expect brunch and lunch to be added soon.


The Caviar Co. Winter Soiree

6pm to 8pm

The Caviar Co., 1954 Union St. (Marina), thecaviarco.com

Make yourself a most glorious wreath of pine, cedar, and eucalyptus at the quite possibly the only workshop that also offers caviar tasting and cashmere shopping. Attendees will receive 20 percent off on all cashmere or caviar purchases. // Tickets ($45) can be purchased on Eventbrite.


Learn to make butter.

6:30pm to 8:30pm

Daily Driver, 2535 3rd St. (Dogpatch), dailydriver.com

Gather round with Daily Driver's head dairy maker to learn the tricks to making the perfect butter. Taste different types of butter, learn about Daily Driver's process, snack on bites, and enjoy a few glasses of beer and wine—then end the night by taking home three butters to use at leisure. // Tickets ($110) are available on dailydriver.com.


10th Annual Drag Queens on Ice

8pm to 10pm

Union Square, 333 Post St. (Union Square), visitunionsquaresf.com

Ice skating beneath the Union Square tree is never so fabulous as it is with Drag Queens on Ice. So, lace up your skates and glide alongside the most epic performers pre- or post-show, then grab a seat and watch from the sidelines as they lip sync and groove to the best holiday hits. // Tickets ($25) include ice skate rentals and admission to watch the show. Purchase via Eventbrite.

Friday, December 6th

Champagne Party + Sale

5pm to 8pm

Arlequin Wine Merchant, 372 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley), arlequinwinemerchant.com

Arlequin's annual Champagne party and sale is the perfect excuse to indulge in a few glasses of bubbly and also stock up on bottles for the holidays. Sip your way through sparklers from five districts of the Champagne region: Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, Montagne de Reims, and the Vallée de la Marne. // Tickets ($75 pre-sale, $80 at the door) are available in-store or by calling the shop at 415-863-1104.


SoundBox: Principia

9pm shows tonight and Saturday

Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave (Civic Center), sfsymphony.org

Head over to SoundBox for a night of mind bending musical art and audio. This December's performance will focus on how music is made, where it begins, and how it evolves into different forms. // Tickets ($65) can be purchased at sfsoundbox.com.


Hayes Valley Holiday Block Party

5pm to 9pm

Hayes Street (Hayes Valley)

One of SF's best shopping neighborhoods is pulling out all the stops for a festival day of entertainment and activities—there will be a pet parade, jazz trio, and photo bus, not to mention gifts for everyone. Enjoy some sweet promos and bites and sips at Hayes Valley's endless boutiques. // Find details and RSVP for the free event on Eventbrite.


Decemberfest at the Guardsmen

5:30pm to 8:30pm

Festival Pavilion, 38 Fort Mason (Marina), fortmason.org

Get down with Octoberfest in December at the Guardsmen Christmas Tree Lot where you can grab a tree and also sample craft beers from more than 12 breweries, plus gourmet pretzels and bratwurst. // Proceeds support Bay Area at risk youth. Tickets ($40) can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Saturday, December 7th

SantaCon

Noon to 6pm

Throughout San Francisco

Love it or leave it, SantaCon is back for its annual holiday mischief and merrymaking. The meet-up and toy drive (bring your new, wrapped toys to donate!) begin in Union Square at noon. // Free to attend, find more info on santacon.info.


Mid-Century Modern Gingerbread House Workshop

10:30am to 1pm

Prairie, 3431 19th St. (Mission), prairiesf.com

Traditional gingerbread houses have nothing on a mid-century modern tasty Tahoe ski lodge. Grab a friend and head to Prairie where the team will set you up with a house and all the frosting and candies you need to spruce up your stylish cookie home. There will be homemade eggnog and kombucha bellinis for sipping, as well as eats including egg salad on milk bread and gingerbread cake. // Tickets ($150 per house for up to two people, with $30/person after that) are available on Tock.


Winter Wreath Making

11am to 1pm

Gather Workshop at Dandelion Post, 421 40th St. (Oakland), dandelionpost.com

Spruce up your house for the holidays with a festive, one-of-a-kind wreath. During this wintery Gather workshop, Lorena Cortez of Home Sweet Flowers will give you all the DIY wreath tips and tricks you need to make a modern, long-lasting foliage and berry-filled piece. Plenty of drinks and festive treats will be on hand while you craft. // Tickets ($80) can be found on Eventbrite.


Dogpatch Holiday Sale & Marketplace

10am to 2:30pm at Magnolia, all day for the rest of the neighborhood spots

Magnolia Hall, 2505 3rd St. (Dogpatch), magnoliabrewing.com

Dogpatch will be bustling today as multiple businesses are offering special sales and activities. Triple Aught Design will host its annual blowout sale; Museum of Craft + Design will host the Style '19 craft fair; and Daily Driver will be stocked with local goods forsale. Over at Magnolia, there will be a Makers Market pop-up at with ceramics, chocolate, jewelry and more from local brands, plus a mimosa bar and wreath making. // Free to attend, event info on lovedogpatch.com.


DIY Cookie Decorating

9am to 1pm

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, 1 Ferry Building (Embarcadero), ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

At this weekend's farmers market, take a break from produce shopping to decorate some festive cookies. Tricks and techniques will be taught by Jen Musty of Batter Bakery. // Cookie decorating is available for $1, paid onsite via Apple Pay. Find event info on cuesa.org.


Rooftop Yoga

10:30am to 1:30pm

Hotel Via, 138 King St. (SoMa), hotelviasf.com

Unplug from holiday shenanigans for a moment and reset with a CorePower yoga class held on Hotel Via's rooftop—don't worry, heaters and a tent will keep you nice and warm. After class, enjoy bottomless mimosas and a cheese spread from The Charcuterie Company while you continue ogling the view. // Tickets ($32) can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Sunday, December 8th

New Bagel Shop

7:30am to 1pm, daily

Boichik Bagels, 3170 College Ave. (Berkeley), boichikbagels.com

The Bay Area continues to step up its bagel game. Welcome East Bay newcomer Boichik Bagels, which is recreating the flavor and texture of the doughy rounds once found at their now-closed New York shop, H&H Bagels. Stop in to grab bagels, spreads, and lox to create your own top notch breakfast spread.


Learn to Curl

10:30am to 11:30am (skate rink open daily from noon to 9:15pm, through Jan. 5)

Winter Park at Civic Center, 355 McAllister St. (Civic Center), sfciviccenter.org

Head over to Civic Center where the ice rink has expanded this year to include additional tracks through the trees in the plaza. Attend Learn to Curl sessions on Sundays this month. // Tickets ($20 for curling, $18 for adult skate, includes rentals) are available in person or in advance at winterparkicerinksf.com.


Santa River Cruises

Cruises at noon to 1pm, 1:30pm to 2:30pm, and 3pm to 4pm

Hornblower Cruises, 1206 Front St. (Sacramento), hornblower.com

All aboard to hang with Santa! Enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, and holiday music while you take a ride along the Sacramento River. Spend some time with Santa and relax during this festive outing. // Tickets ($20/adults, $10/kids) can be purchased on hornblower.com.


Outdoor Voices Birthday Bash

10:30am to 8pm

Outdoor Voices, 555 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley) and Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F Kennedy Drive (Golden Gate Park), outdoorvoices.com

Celebrate two years of Outdoor Voices in SF with a day of #DoingThings—with your pup, of course. The festivities kick off with a 10:30am Dog Jog from GGP to Outdoor Voices's Hayes Valley outpost; breakfast tacos will be your post-workout reward. End the day with a candlelight yoga flow class plus birthday cake, with crafts and pup portraits in between. // RSVP for the free event via Eventbrite.

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