Napa Valley Santa Wine Train

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November 16, 2017
Take a ride on the Napa Valley Santa Wine Train.

10 New Holiday Treats in San Francisco

Sure, San Francisco will play host to a number of grand traditions this holiday season: tree lightings, concerts, The Nutcracker. But if you’re looking for something a little different this year, there are plenty of options. Here are 10 fun holiday ideas that break with tradition:

San Francisco Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents
Kick off the holiday season at the glorious Castro Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 2, with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's "A Day of Silents." It may be just the tonic for too much family, too much turkey and too much football. Six silent film programs with live musical accompaniment will include Ronald Colman as Lord Darlington in "Lady Windemere's Fan" (a silent Oscar Wilde!) and director William Dieterle's debut, "Sex in Chains" in German, who would go on to direct Hollywood classics like the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "The Portrait of Jennie."

Home for the Holidays
Two-time Emmy Award and five-time Grammy Award nominated entertainer, Michael Feinstein returns to San Francisco, the city where he launched his career, with "Home for the Holidays," Nov. 29 through Dec. 3. In this all new show celebrating the magic of the season, Feinstein will perform holiday favorites as well as classic standards from the Great American Songbook.

The Strand, A.C.T.’s new Central Market venue, is the home of @TheStrand, a series of events showcasing original theatrical events. For the holiday season, "Small Mouth Sounds," a wickedly sharp comedy about a not-so-silent silent retreat, will perform through Dec. 10, 2017. For more traditional fare, "A Christmas Carol," the Charles Dicken's classic, which features a lively cast of dozens, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts returns with a sparkling, music-infused production. Bring your family, bring your friends, and check your “humbugs” at the door Dec 1 - 24, 2017.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Wonder and delight! Enter the world of Charles Dickens' Victorian London on a magical Christmas Eve, and discover the heart of the holidays. Resounding laughter, mirth and merriment abound. You are invited to join the dance, mingle with over 800 lively performers, and revel in hearty food and drink for five weekends Nov. 18 - Dec. 17, 2017.

Silent Disco Ice Skate Party
The popular Silent Skate Party returns to the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines on Dec. 14, 2017. A silent disco on ice, Silent Skate Party transports guests from the bustling Union Square to a skate dance party like no other. Headphones will be provided to all skaters, who then have the ability to choose one of three stations to skate to.

Butterflies & Blooms at the Conservatory of Flowers
Through Jan. 7, 2018, get eye-to-eye with a butterfly in the exhibit “Butterflies & Blooms” at the Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park. The city’s beloved Victorian greenhouse will transform its Special Exhibit gallery into a cottage garden aflutter with hundreds of butterflies including magnificent monarchs, western swallowtails, painted ladies and more.

Disney's Aladdin
Discover a whole new world at Disney’s "Aladdin," the hit Broadway musical, coming to San Francisco Nov. 1 to Jan 7, 2018 at the SHN Opheum Theatre. From the producer of "The Lion King" comes the timeless "Aladdin," a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
Tickets will go on sale Oct. 30, 2017 for the 25th annual “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant.” While not new to the local scene it is so wacky and wonderful, it had to be included in this roundup. The shows are scheduled for Dec. 23-25, 2017 at the New Asia Restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Featured comedians this year include Cathy Ladman, Gary Gulman, Wendy Liebman and Lisa Geduldig.

Napa Valley Santa Wine Train
Looking to go beyond San Francisco? You’re in luck. From Nov. 18 - Dec. 29, 2017, holiday elves will be busy transforming the Napa Valley Wine Train into an enchanting journey. Add a little sparkle and a lot of magic to the season with the Santa Train. Sip hot cocoa and munch freshly baked cookies. Enjoy games, sing-alongs, and a fun cast of characters. Watch faces full of joy, pressed against the glass, eager to get to their destination: the North Pole. Whether the Santa Train is a new family tradition or a yearly rite-of-passage, it’s a memorable interactive musical adventure in an elegant and nostalgic setting.

Space Brainz - Yerba Buena 3000
And now let’s just leave the present behind. Head over to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and wander through Damon Rich and Jae Shin's “Space Brainz - Yerba Buena 3000.” This exhibition presents their recent experiences from contested architecture and planning projects in North American cities. These stories, involving spiked fences, faulty sidewalks, grassroots riverfront development and other architectural hijinks, are illustrated in their models, drawings, photographs and mock-ups. Contained in a unified structure filling the gallery, the exhibition resembles a futuristic city where clashing interests maneuver to shape the world. The exhibition runs through Jan. 28, 2018.

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