Oh What Fun! 10 Christmas Activities

Oh  what fun!  Christmas is a wonderful time of year to enjoy all the festive activities available to you locally. So put on your fav...

Oh what fun! Christmas is a wonderful time of year to enjoy all the festive activities available to you locally. So put on your favorite sweater, don your best boots, and get ready to ride in a one horse open sleigh (not really, but maybe!)!!! Here are 10 Christmas activities you can enjoy by yourself or with your loved ones. 

1. Fairmont Winter Wonderland
Holiday decorations have transformed the lobbies of The Fairmont in San Jose and The Fairmont in San Francisco into magical winter wonderlands with festive holiday decor and gingerbread houses that are sure to dazzle and delight. This holiday season, create a new tradition and make memories to last a lifetime at Fairmont San Jose. They offer holiday packages that really make the season bright. I, personally, tried the Holiday Shopping Package with my girlfriends this weekend. It made shopping at Santana Row a breeze (not having to find parking or wrap my own presents?!? HELLO! SIGN ME UP!). 

2. Christmas in the Park 
(Pictured above) San Jose's Downtown square is transformed into a festive fantasy land of locally sponsored and decorated trees, lustrous lights, holiday games and rides, and the 60ft Community Giving Tree. Christmas in the Park (Nov 25-Jan 1) 

3. Ice Skating 
Wherever you live there is sure to be a seasonal ice rink (See Best Ice Skating Rinks in Every Major City. The Bay Area’s Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice made the list! Ringed with palm trees, San Jose’s ice rink attracts 50,000 skaters each season. It's a great setting for date nights and family outings. 
Located across the street from San Jose’s Christmas in the Park (See #2) and next to The Fairmont in San Jose, this is the perfect set up to the ultimate holiday activity weekend. I suggest spending the day at the park, grabbing some hot cocoa / adult beverages at the luxury hotel, take pictures with their Winter Wonderland in the lobby, and ending the day with ice skating. Just remember to bundle up! Tickets (Nov 16 - Jan 27)   

4. Nutcracker Ballet (…or movie) 
Ahh… the Nutcracker, a holiday classic. I love to go see this each year with my mother or grandmothers. I will be going to the San Francisco Ballet’s performance, and I recommend the new Nutcracker movie if your local ballet isn’t performing. Tickets can get pricey, so if you want to save a couple of dollars consider going on an “Extra Value” weeknight performance. Tickets (Dec 10 – 29)

5. Dickens Fair 
This fair makes it feel like it's always Christmas Eve in the charming gas lamp lit streets of Victorian London. I have attended before and always love to see all the shops, Victorian dressed carolers, ballroom dance floors, full band orchestras, tearooms, and hundreds of period dressed attendees. Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party  (Nov 19 – Dec 18)

6. Holiday Light Tour
Let your local Clark Griswold wanna-be get the attention he deserves! While some places may charge for you to drive through their light displays: I prefer the simple suburban classic of driving through snazzy neighborhoods and looking at lights. This is how, years ago, we discovered Christmas Tree Lane (or Fulton Street in the off-season) in Palo Alto. For the two weeks leading up to Christmas you can drive or walk through this display to see carolers, vintage lawn displays and lights, lights and more lights. Free: Fulton Street between Embarcadero Ave. and Seale Rd. Palo Alto, CA (Dec. 15-31)

7. Volunteer and Give Back
As someone who has been guilty of this before, please don’t get caught up in all the presents and glitz of the holidays and forget the real reason for the season. While help is needed year-round, this holiday is an excellent reminder to help those in need. Look into your local food banks, animal shelters, Meals on Wheels, or church to see how you can help. It will feel so meaningful, I promise! 
For More Information Visit Family Holiday Helpers

8. Host a Holiday Wrapping Party 
This is basically the easiest party you can throw around this time of year. Tell everyone to bring their presents to wrap. Serve some festive booze. Put on a Spotify Christmas Playlist. AND, if you really want to go all out: put together DIY table(s) for upping the gift wrap game. Everyone can paint their own holiday wrapping paper, tie ribbons and bows, name tags, and greenery clippings to add on top.

9. Hot Cocoa and Movie Night In
SHOUT OUT TO MY HOMEBODIESSSSS! This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one of your activities! Make your own at-home winter wonderland. After you’ve decorated your tree, lighted your menorah, and generally made your space “cozy,” make some homemade hot cocoa or mulled cider / wine. Get in your tackiest sweater and fuzzy socks and search Netflix for that perfect holiday movie. Bonus points if you have fresh cookies and a buddy to join. PS: My favorite holiday movie picks are Little Women and Elf. 

10. Decorate a Gingerbread House 
Cuz when was the last time you did that!?!? Connect with your inner child and go wild with the candy. Bonus: You can sneak candy while you decorate. Invite a friend; heck, invite a whole army of friends to decorate. Go nuts. Here's the Link to a more "grown up" kit.  

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