What to do now: December 14


In addition to an array of Christmas festivities to participate in over the next two weeks (including several Nutcracker productions with a twist), there’s a series of wonderful activities that don’t involve mistletoe or Christmas carols (from a circus with Parisian influences to a West End play on the local scene). In the midst of the holiday frenzy, treat yourself to something sweet or savory at a new location opening this week in the Ferry Building.

Seasonal fun for science enthusiasts

(Cal Academy Science under the starfish)

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is launching a brand new winter event, Science under the starfish, which includes a magic show, cookie decorating, snow science experiment, Christmas-themed crafts, puppet shows and more. Even the cafe will set the mood, with special items like eggnog and latkes. More! All exhibitions will be open late.

Wednesday, December 15, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A remix of a Christmas classic

(Peninsula Ballet Theater’s Hip-Hop Nutcracker)

The Peninsula Ballet Theater drops the beat with Hip-Hop Nutcracker, artistic directors and choreographers Isaac “Stuck” Sanders and Alee martinez‘s take on the 129 year old ballet. Buy tickets to the Friday Show at the Fox Theater in Redwood City while you still can! (Saturday’s show is already sold out.)

Friday December 17, 7 p.m.

Add some variety to your vacation

(Cheerfulness party, co-hosted by Edwin Outwater and Christ peaches)

Looking for a vacation variety show with flair? To verify Cheerfulness party at Davies Symphony Hall, co-hosted by the conductor Edwin Outwater and drag the dynamo Christ peaches, with music from the San Francisco Symphony and performances from a myriad of special guests.

Friday December 17, 7:30 p.m.

Trendy Peach Cobbler | Photo courtesy of Wagstaff San Francisco

Meet your new favorite ferry construction location

Pudding lovers – of the cream and bread variety, sweet and savory – rejoice! Friday, Quanisha Johnson launches a brick and mortar location of Yes Pudding at the Ferry Building. Come celebrate and devour his famous banana pudding. The day begins with a grand, hour-long opening ceremony, with the shop remaining open until 7 p.m. (Psst… Johnson is expanding their menu to include seasonal crisps!)

Friday December 17, 11 a.m.

The San José Nutcracker | Photo courtesy of Bari Lee

A very Silicon Valley Nutcracker

The Nutcracker of San Josér, presented by New Ballet at the restored California Theater, takes Tchaikovskyof classical ballet and places it in the Santa Clara Valley at the turn of the century. Dalia Rawson choreographed the production, which features Rebecca Nugent like Clara.

December 18 to December 22; VIP experience available.

Enjoy jazz and more at an SF landmark

(Christmas at Grace Cathedral, including Moving joy directed by Destiny Muhammad)

Since 1947, Christmas at Grace Cathedral has been synonymous with musical diversions in a majestic city setting, and this year is no different. Among the list of holiday events – check out the Cathedral website for all – is next week Moving joy, a jazz concert conducted by Destiny Muhammad.

Monday December 20, 7:30 p.m.

Tony Winner’s take on Tchaikovsky

(SF Symphony The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Told by Alan cumming)

Jean Mauceri conducts the San Francisco Symphony, while laureate Tony Alan cumming recount ETA Hoffmannthe original story of, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. This new production has three parts: the origin of The Nutcracker, what happens on Christmas Eve and the status of the girl and the prince once the ballet is over.

Tuesday December 21, 7:30 p.m.

SF Gay Men's Choir |  Photo courtesy of the SFGMC
SF Gay Men’s Choir | Photo courtesy of the SFGMC

Spend Christmas Eve at the Castro Theater

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus presents its Home for the holidays concert three times on Christmas Eve. Whatever performance you attend at the historic Castro Theater, expect an evening of mischief and merriment.

Friday December 24, 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Attend a circus in Sonoma

(Bohemian Circus Behind the mirror)

The Cirque de Bohème, inspired by an old-fashioned Parisian circus, is back at Cornerstone Sonoma. The brand new show this winter, Behind the mirror, combines poetry, music and mystery. World-class performers such as a magician, mime, contortionist, mentalist and juggler take the stage to wow the audience. (Bonus: on-site restaurant Folktable, run by Excellent chef Star Casey thompson, has created a special menu to enjoy before or after the show.)

Every weekend until December 26 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The Woman in Black | Photo courtesy of Tristram Kenton

A good case of stage fright

The original London production of the West End hit The woman in black premieres in San Francisco at the Strand Theater. The scary game – based on Susan hillThe ghost novel of – revolves around an isolated mansion in England, whose shuttered windows hide tragic secrets.

Until January 16.

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