Play, shop and celebrate the holiday season in Oakland

Support Keep Oakland Alive

This year it’s more important than ever to shop local. Keep Oakland Alive has made supporting local Oakland businesses simple, efficient and online.

Check it out:  

Oakland Holiday Event Guide

Here’s a sampling of festive holiday events taking place in Oakland through New Year’s Eve. An * after the event name indicates free admission. All area codes are (510), unless noted.

Through Nov. 30

Win gift cards and prizes when you play District Bingo. Dine outside; order takeout or to-go beverages at Jack London District (JLD) restaurants, breweries and taprooms; or purchase a treat at any of JLD retailer shops to complete a row and achieve BINGO.

Check it out here. 

Online through Dec. 20

The Crucible’s annual gift show goes virtual. They’ll be highlighting over 80 Bay Area makers and small businesses selling things like original jewelry, handcrafted soaps, sculpted glassware and much more. A number of vendors have also generously donated items to the Giving Back at GIFTY program, with 100% of funds raised going toward The Crucible’s programs.

Check it out here. 

Through Jan. 17, 5:30-10 p.m.

Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd.

Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd.
This brand-new, family-friendly experience features hundreds of larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Zoo, storytelling the ongoing journey of wildlife, the importance of every species on our planet, and the zoo’s commitment to conservation. Dozens of towering and even interactive, glowing lanterns await to entertain and enlighten at every turn. Take a mile-long socially distanced stroll through these illuminated and dazzling lanterns – from the ice-capped 15-foot tall penguin corridor to the breathtaking full-size elephants and lions to the enormous butterflies fluttering against the night sky.
Check it out here. 

On Demand At Any Time

Enjoy archival concerts, streaming free with a new post every Friday.

Check it out here. 

Saturdays, 9-10:30 p.m.

Join Chabot Space & Science Center’s resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening for a virtual viewing from the Observation deck. Weather permitting, view objects live through the telescopes. Chabot’s astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.

Check it out here. 

Dec. 2 to Jan. 3, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct.
Make magical memories for the holidays. Take a tour through the historic 37-room mansion and enjoy the beauty of the season. Each room will be adorned with lights and colorful décor. This year’s theme is butterflies and bows. In accordance with Alameda County guidelines,
all guests must pre-register for

Check it out here or call 615-5555. 


Thursday, Dec. 3, 4:30-7 p.m.

Join the Renaissance Center and Oakland Indie Alliance online for the virtual Holiday Retail Showcase. Check off your shopping list while supporting local small businesses. The event includes demonstrations, small business features and giveaways. There’s an option to purchase a VIP box.

Check it out here.

Friday, Dec. 4, 3-3:30 p.m.

Oakland Symphony Chorus Director Dr. Lynne Morrow brings her brilliant insight into the soul of the spiritual. Dr. Morrow had the inspiration for a new choral symphonic setting of spirituals and commissioned Michael T. Roberts who delivered a “Mass for Freedom.” During this virtual event, they introduce the work, followed by a video performance of the premiere and then a Q&A session.

Check it out here.

Dec. 4 to Jan.16, various hours

Creative Growth Art Center,
355 24th St.
Creative Growth is excited to host this beloved annual event, which looks a bit different this year. For those who prefer to stay home or aren’t local, shop the show online. For in-person shopping, there will be scheduled appointments to keep everyone safe. Reserve your spot to shop in-person.

Check it out here

To reserve call 836-2340 or email

Saturday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.

Join the Oakland Interfaith Family of Choirs under the direction of Terrance Kelly. Hosted by Don Reed with special guests JaCoree and ASL interpretation by Half-N-Half. OIGC performs a beautiful virtual concert to kick off the holiday season together. Chose-your-own ticket price for a 6 p.m. behind-the-scenes pre-show with a special performance by Terrance Kelly.

Check it out here

Sunday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Liberation Park, corner of Foothill Blvd. and 73rd Ave., Eastmont Mall
This holiday-themed farmers’ market will feature Black- and Brown-owned farm stands, restaurants, food trucks, creatives and more. The event encourages folks to support small, local Black- and Brown-owned businesses this holiday season. COVID-19 safety measures include a temperature check at the gate, a mask policy and mandatory physical distancing.

Check it out here

Dec. 7 – 11, 7 p.m. nightly

Jack London Square,
472 Water Street
While the holidays may look a little different this year, Jack London Square eagerly anticipates the return of festive spirit and holiday cheer on the Oakland waterfront. One of Oakland’s favorite holiday traditions continues with the virtual lighting countdown of the spectacular 55-foot white fir tree adorned with thousands of lights and hundreds of colorful ornaments. Hosted by KTVU Fox 2 anchor Gasia Mikaelian, the series of virtual events begin at 7 p.m. each evening and will feature a variety of festive holiday entertainment, local artisans and donation drives for local non-profits. The series culminates with the virtual tree lighting ceremony starting on Dec. 11. The tree will remain on the waterfront until early-January providing the perfect socially-distanced photo op with family and friends.

Check it out here or call 645-9292. 

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Oakland Indie Alliance will give local independently-owned businesses half-hour blocks each, to take over the @KeepitOakland18 Instagram account and host a livestream of their choice (i.e., a reading, a demo, a workshop, a tour, etc.). The goal is to drive Californians to support small and local businesses online, leading up to the holiday shopping season. Enjoy a virtual shopping experience and support Oakland’s indie businesses. The Virtual Bazaar is a partnership between the Oakland Indie Alliance, California Office of Small Business Advocate and NextGenPolicy.

Check it out here. 

Dec. 12-13 & Dec. 18-20,
various times

Approaching the longest night of the year, a young Reveler turns to a magical staff to help her find a way through somber and troubled times. The staff, imbued with ancient lore, takes her on an adventure that isn’t quite what she had in mind. Magic and mystery, spirits and song take the reins for this journey of the heart. The ancient traditions of bonfires, rituals, dances and songs that have sustained generations through struggle and celebration are rekindled this Solstice, proving that tradition—and magic—lives on. There will be plenty of music and dance, interactive moments, sing-alongs, laughter, a touch of darkness, and a lot of joy. All performances are virtual.

Check it out here or call 452-9334. 

Dec. 18-30, 4-7p.m.
Closed Dec. 24 & 25

Children’s Fairyland,
699 Bellevue Ave.
Evenings in late December are lit with the return of Fairy Winterland. This magical multicultural event brings families together to share in the season’s festivities. It’s the same Winterland you know and love, with a few additional measures to help keep everyone safe. The Fairyland halls will still be decked with thousands of twinkly lights and culturally diverse holiday displays. Black Santa will be there each evening at 6:45 p.m. to lead the physically distanced Festival of Lights Parade and, at the end, give out a treat to
all the kids.

Check it out here or call 452-9334. 

Recommended Posts