The holidays are coming! Take part in MANY festive events happening throughout the Bay Area and celebrate the diverse bounty and beauty of where we live. November also marks the giving season, so if you’re wanting a new tradition while giving back at the same time, grab your friends and family and begin Thanksgiving Day with a “Turkey Trot” run or walk! Your heart and your community will thank you. 😊 You can also volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter and see firsthand just how far a little giving can go.
There is no shortage of things to do—be it food, wine, theater, or lanterns! See some of my top picks below:
Water Lantern Festival | San Jose | November 3 – 5
This awe-inspiring event on Lake Almaden brings people of all ages together to light up the water with lanterns filled with letters of love, hope, and dreams. Watch your unique lantern float across the water and join thousands of others as you reflect, share your dreams, and celebrate life together. For more information and tickets, click here.
Restaurant Week | San Francisco | November 3 – 16
Celebrate the flavors of San Francisco’s unique and diverse neighborhoods through special prix fixe menus for brunch, lunch, or dinner. For more information and to see the list of participating restaurants, click here.
3rd Annual Vine to Wine | Saratoga | November 4
Celebrate the end of harvest at the Mountain Winery in beautiful Saratoga! Sip wines from all over the Santa Clara Valley and enjoy gourmet bites, live music, and stunning views of the Bay Area from this historic location. Purchase tickets here.
The Lion King | San Francisco | November 22 – December 30
Winner of 6 Tony Awards, The Lion King returns to San Francisco’s Orpheum Center for the holiday season. Since opening on Broadway in 1988, this Disney musical based on the much-loved 1994 animated film has smashed records worldwide. To purchase tickets, go here.
***** HAPPY THANKSGIVING! November 23 ******
19th Annual Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot | San Jose | November 23
Start your Thanksgiving Day on the right foot by celebrating generosity and wellness with participants of all fitness levels. Enjoy the largest Thanksgiving Day run in America on this flat and fast course that flows through Downtown San Jose and benefits four valuable local charities. Click here to register.
Enchant | San Jose | November 24 – December 31
Escape to an illuminated winter wonderland and stroll through the world’s largest Christmas light maze as Enchant returns to PayPal Park this holiday season. Lace up your skates and hit the trail on real ice, shop and wander through a village of tiny storefronts, enjoy festive treats, and don’t miss Santa’s Landing! Visit EnchantChristmas.com for tickets and info.
Holiday Wine Stroll | Saratoga | November 24
Enjoy a magical evening strolling through historic Saratoga Village while savoring tastes from some of the best local wineries. A tree lighting ceremony kicks off the evening with live music, free horse-drawn carriage rides, shopping, tasty nibbles, and holiday cheer for the whole family. Purchase tickets in advance.
Festival of Lights Parade | Los Altos | November 26
A Los Altos tradition since 1977, this beloved parade lights up the charming downtown with illuminated floats, twinkling costumed characters, local high school marching bands, and – finally – Santa in his sleigh! Visit losaltosparade.org
Holiday Lights Train | Santa Cruz | November 24 – 26
Take a special holiday outing with the family on a train! Come to the Boardwalk and hop aboard the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train—vintage excursion cars adorned with thousands of colorful lights—and sip hot apple cider, sing along to Christmas carols, and soak up the holiday glow of this delightful seaside neighborhood. Visit roaringcamp.com for tickets and info.
WinterFest | Santa Clara | Beginning November 25
Immerse yourself in an enchanted wintery world at California’s Great America! With over 60 rides and holiday attractions aglow with millions of lights, this beloved amusement park features ice skating, spectacular live shows, Santa’s Workshop, and one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees (imagine the photo ops!). There’s something here for every guest and appetite! It will run select nights through January 1. For more information, visit here.