While outdoor winter attractions like skiing and snowboarding are certainly fun to embrace, I also love the quieter couple of months that follow a bustling December. This part of the season is perfect for appreciating rest and renewal during winter’s shorter days. Enjoying fresh catch from our coast and celebrating another year anew with all our diverse neighbors are two of my favorite winter traditions. Check out some of these local foodie events, a world-class golf event in spectacular Pebble Beach, and other heartfelt celebrations that make my highlight list for winter. Wherever you go, I hope you find nourishment and inspiration to kick off your new year!
Crab Feeds | Bay Area | Jan. – Mar.
The Bay Area’s popular crab-feed season is in full swing throughout January and February, despite a delay in the Dungeness crab season this year. These annual traditions put on by area schools, teams, civic organizations, and non-profits often sell out, so purchase your tickets NOW. Enjoy one of these local favorites or find one near you at patch.com.
- IFES Society Crab Cioppino Feed | Mountain View | Jan. 28
- Crab Cioppino Feed & Dance | IFDES Portuguese Lodge, Gilroy | Jan. 21
- Lions Club Cioppino Dinner | Los Gatos | Feb. 4
- Burrell School Vineyards Wine & Crab Feed | Los Gatos Mountains | Feb. 4-5
Chinese New Year Festival and Parade | San Francisco | Jan. 7 – Mar. 5
Have you spotted any peculiar rabbits on parade in San Francisco lately? This beloved Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, the largest of its kind in the world, has already begun with a Public Art Project celebrating the Year of the Rabbit (there are five sculptures spotlighting local artists on display throughout the city). The Parade, celebrated this year on Feb. 4, has been named one of the top 10 Parades in the world and is one of the few remaining night-illuminated parades in North America. Bright dragons, drums, and firecrackers light up the night to the delight of millions of spectators and viewers. The month-long celebration includes a Flower Market Fair, basketball jamboree, the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant and Coronation Ball, a community street fair, and Chinese New Year Run. For more information, visit chineseparade.com
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL Divisional Playoff | Levi’s Stadium | Jan. 22
Cheer on the Bay Area’s 49ers in this divisional round showdown vs. the Dallas Cowboys! Kick-off at Levi’s Stadium is at 3:30pm PT. For more information, podcasts, and tickets, follow the Niners here.
Restaurant Week | Napa Valley | Jan. 20 -29
For 10 full days, Napa Valley’s world-class restaurants offer exclusive deals on inventive epicurean meals and experiences. Browse the menu specials from participating restaurants here and go exploring!
15th Annual Hakone Lunar New Year Festival | Saratoga | Jan. 29
Come celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at beautiful Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, a wonderful spot to start anew for another year. This year, the lively festival celebrates the Year of the Rabbit with a Lion Dance, Children’s Costume Parade, martial arts performances, music, arts and crafts, food, boba tea, and more. Click here for tickets and more info.
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am | Monterey Peninsula | Jan. 30 – Feb. 5
Since 1947, one of the most exciting events on the PGA Tour is contested annually in front of thousands of spectators right down the coast at one of nature’s true treasures, Pebble Beach. Here’s your up-close chance to watch the world’s top golfers and celebrities compete alongside each other on some of the most diverse and magnificent scenery in golf. Celebrity-studded charity events kick off the week on Wednesday, with the official four-day tournament tee-off on Thursday. All proceeds benefit charities throughout the Monterey Peninsula. Click here for a schedule of events and to purchase tickets.
Valentine’s Candle Making Workshop @ Plants by POST | Downtown Campbell | Feb. 9
Bring your friends or loved ones for a special Valentine’s Day candle making workshop with Le Gaol Home where you will learn the entire crafting process and get to prepare and pour your very own. 6:30 – 8:00pm. Purchase tickets at legaolhome.com.
Valentine Fun Run | Downtown Campbell | Feb. 11
Start your Valentine weekend with a hearty run/walk with your sweetheart, family, and friends at this 46th annual 5K, 10K, and Kids’ Dash event at Campbell Park. Learn more at downtowncampbell.com.
Fly Me to the Moon: A Gala at Montalvo | Saratoga | Feb. 11
Dance among the stars at a glamorous winter gala at Montalvo! Start the evening with a jazzy cocktail reception in the historic Villa, then savor an elegant dinner with wine pairings, a live auction, and dessert buffet. This spot is guaranteed to be a magical setting for dancing the night away while supporting this dynamic organization’s arts and education programs. Purchase tickets at montalvoarts.org.
Valentine’s Choco-Stroll | Los Altos | Feb. 11
Stroll and shop for your Valentine while enjoying the sparkling lights and maybe a few sweets at shops throughout Downtown Los Altos from 11am-4pm. See more at downtownlosaltos.org.
Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off | Beach Boardwalk
Amateur and professional chefs alike compete in this two-day friendly competition, hoping to win prizes and bragging rights for Best Clam Chowder in the country’s largest and longest-running clam chowder competition. All proceeds benefit Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation. Join the delicious festivities and purchase a tasting kit here.