Our Favorite Ways to Spend the Holidays Around Oakland, CA

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Oakland. This city continues to spearhead the dynamic pursuits and culture of the East Bay, producing famous additions to sport and music, as well as inspiring various subcultures. This energy is a year-round specialty of Oakland, and whether you may be a visitor, returnee, or local, you’ll be pleased to know it is indeed something quite visible in the events around here. Read on for some of our favorite ways to spend the holidays here in Oakland, and get ready to explore!

Hip Hop Nutcracker

Enjoy Christmas classic ‘The Nutcracker’ with an East Bay twist, Hip Hop! Indeed, this one-of-a-kind spectacle ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ brings jaw-dropping choreography, engaging beats, and the touching stories of this holiday season favorite to the setting of New York City. This is a great option for groups, couples, solo travelers, and families alike to experience the artistic innovation and creativity of Oakland while celebrating the holidays in this familiar, yet completely new retelling of this tale. Bring the whole group to see ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ and enjoy a memorable show of lights, illusion, and stunning dexterity during this holiday season.


Come celebrate the holidays with some of Oakland’s most interesting personalities, at the Oakland Zoo! The Glowfari series is an immersive and memorable experience held by the Oakland Zoo throughout each holiday season, complete with lantern festivals, thousands of lights along the footpaths, and a train ride through a Winter Wonderland to see Santa Claus! This is a great chance to explore a not-so-secret attraction of the Oakland area and enjoy a number of illuminated holiday-themed exhibits and rides. Photo opportunities, edutaining shows and exhibits, views over the zoo and the Bay Area, dining, and shopping are just some of the things visitors can enjoy at Glowfari.

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios

For those who want an in-person tour of the East Bay’s artistic endeavors, artist workshops, and small businesses, look no further than the Berkeley Artisan Holiday Open Studios! This is a great way for travelers with interests in the arts or just those wanting to get to know the East Bay better to meet the hundreds of studios and teams that make up the art scene around Oakland and Berkeley. With such a variety of shops, be sure to keep up to date to see which businesses are holding open studios, there’s always a new addition here!

Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair

This is a fun activity for travelers of all groups and sizes, the Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair! Enjoy the open-air festivities on this iconic Berkeley avenue, with local restaurants, independent artists and musicians, and crafts, clothing (did we mention delicious food?) up and down this event. This is a relaxed, community event that has something for everyone, and its proximity to the University of California, Berkeley campus among other parts of the Berkeley area means that further dining and entertainment options aren’t far, for those compiling a travel itinerary.

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