Through Dec. 26Irving Berlin's White Christmas: Full of dancing, laughter, and some of the greatest songs ever written, White Christmaspromises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the entire family.
Call for show times. $30-$85, Curran Theater, 445 Geary (at Mason), 551-2000.
Nov. 26-Dec. 19Black Nativity: Perennial holiday production features the extraordinary talent of Robin Hodge-Williams and the Bay Area's inspiring gospel artists. A soulful rendition of Christmas with extraordinary voices, exciting dance, and glorious music.
Call for show times. $27-$30, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter St. (at Mason), 474-8800.
Nov. 26-Dec. 19
Let it Snow! An Improvised Holiday Musical: The Un-Scripted Theater Company presents this improvised musical, filled with songs that promise to chase away the winter doldrums and put you in the holiday spirit.
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. $10-$15, Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter St. (at Powell), 869-5384.
Nov. 26-Dec. 12The Velveteen Rabbit: With charming music, colorful costumes, and larger-than-life characters, The Velveteen Rabbit is about the powerful relationship between a boy and his toy rabbit, and the enduring power of love.
Matinee performances; call for times. $15-$38, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at 3rd St.), 978-2787.
Nov. 27-Jan.9"Carols in the Caves": David Auerbach performs his Christmas caves concerts using ancient instruments in Sonoma and Napa wineries.
Call (707) 224-4222 or visit www.cavemusic.net for locations and schedule.
Nov. 27-Dec. 24A Christmas Carol:Dickens' classic returns to the Geary Theater to warm your heart. Reintroduce yourself and those you love to the season's most enduring story of hope, triumph, and transformation.
Call for show times. $15-$68, American Conservatory Theater, 405 Geary Street (at Mason), 749-2ACT.
Starting Nov. 28Beach Blanket BabylonSeasonal Extravaganza: The nation's longest running musical revue welcomes this joyful holiday season with special performances featuring a chorus line of tap dancing Christmas trees, special parodies of traditional Christmas carols, and a gigantic Yuletide hat.
Sundays 1 and 4 p.m. $25-$75, Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd (at Green), 421-4222.
Dec. 2-19Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings: David Sedaris' brilliant evocation of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a Macy's elf, along with Season's Greetings, a tale of a housewife whose Christmas traditions are slowly being altered against her will.
Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $20, Shelton Theater, Basement, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 820-1565.
Dec. 4-5Dance-Along Nutcracker: Join the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band for a wacky Nutcracker. You can rent a tutu and join in the fun
Saturday 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. $14-$21, Yerba Buena Center, 701 Mission St., 978-2787.
Dec. 5Deck the Hall: Treat your children to this festive holiday party, featuring a magical presentation of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas with puppets and narration. The post-show party includes entertainment, arts-and-crafts activities, refreshments, and a free gift.
11 a.m. and 3 p.m. $29, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
Dec. 10The San Francisco Guitar Ensemble Holiday Concert: This festive program will include solo, duo, and ensemble performances of holiday-inspired music including Vivaldi's "Concerto in D," Holst's "St. Paul Suite," and Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite."
8 p.m. $9-$15, Old First Church, 1725 Sacramento St. (at Van Ness), 474-1608.
The Christmas Revels: A theatrical celebration of the Winter Solstice that crosses religious and ethnic boundaries, appealing to young and old alike. Revels blends music, dance, ritual and drama, presented by a cadre of superb professional performers, designers, and directors.
Friday 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. $17-$35, Scottish Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, (510) 452-9334.
Dec. 10-26It Could Have Been a Wonderful Life: Fred Raker's hilarious send-up of all things show biz, featuring failed stand-up comedian Phil Resnick and his guardian angel, in the guise of Jack Benny.
Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $18-$20, Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason, Suite 601 (at Geary), 989-0023.
Peter and the Wolf: Delight your children with this charming musical tale that has enthralled generations. Christmas carols and a traditional sing-along make this perfect for music lovers of all ages.
1 p.m. and 4 p.m. $10-$43, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
Dec. 11 and 19
Chanticleer Christmas: The 12-man a cappella ensemble will perform their traditional mix of medieval and Renaissance music, spirituals, and traditional carols.
8 p.m. $25-$42, St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker St. (at McAllister), 252-8589.
The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys: Come celebrate and sing along with the Grace Cathedral Choir, accompanied by full orchestra and the world-famous Aeolian-Skinner organ. The program will include sacred Christmas masterpieces, light classical Yuletide songs, and sing-along carols.
Call for show times. $15-$30, Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. (at Taylor), 749-6350.
Piedmont Choirs Candlelight Concert: Continuing their tradition of presenting a Candlelight Concert at Old First, the sparkling Piedmont Choirs sing a nontraditional program to celebrate the season.
5 p.m. $9-$15, Old First Church, 1725 Sacramento St. (at Van Ness), 474-1608.
Colors of Christmas: Six superstar performers unite for one unforgettable Christmas show! This Grammy-winning lineup captures the uplifting spirit of the season with traditional holiday classics and solo spotlights of chart-topping pop hits.
8 p.m. $15-$75, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
Smuin Ballet Christmas Ballet: The 2004 edition ofThe Christmas Ballet takes the stage with even more classical sizzle and Broadway pizzazz than ever. With beloved favorites set to traditional Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas music, this is a treat to be savored by all ages.
Call for show times. Yerba Buena Center, 701 Mission St., 978-2787.
Dec. 15-Jan. 2
Birdhouse Factory: Featuring an internationally acclaimed cast of circus performers, Birdhouse Factory promises to be this year's hottest ticket during the holiday season.
Call for show times. $15-$38, Circus Center, 755 Frederick St. (at Lincoln), 759-8123.
A Christmas Carol: Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great grandson of novelist Charles Dickens, will interpret his ancestor's timeless tale, portraying every character in the story from Scrooge to Tiny Tim, while guests enjoy traditional holiday fare.
$65, The Fairmont, 950 Mason St. (at California), 772-5000.
Dec. 16"Home for the Holidays": Now in its 15th season, the annual San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus holiday show will feature traditional favorites: songs for Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Kwanzaa; sing-along carols; and, of course, the nuns.
7 p.m. $20, Castro Theater, 429 Castro St. (at Market), 865-3650.
The Sonos Handbell Ensemble: There is nothing more appropriate to Christmas than the celestial sound of handbells, and no one does it like the highly acclaimed Sonos Handbell Ensemble. A carol chime and sing-along will round out a program that all ages can enjoy.
Call for show times. $9-$15, Old First Church, 1725 Sacramento St. (at Van Ness), 474-1608.
"Choral Christmas Spectacular": The glorious sound of the San Francisco Symphony and the sheer power of the 120-voice chorus join forces to bring you traditional works like Silent Night and Ave Maria. Plus, you'll enjoy audience sing-alongs to the popular favorites.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $29-$62, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker: This timeless tale is a San Francisco holiday tradition and fun for the entire family. Captivating music, dance, and costumes of over 170 storybook characters.
Call for show times. $22-$135, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 865-2000.
"Lusty Harmonies": Twelve-voice choir Creative Voices presents Lusty Harmonies, featuring music by Biebl, Britten, excerpts from Rachmaninoff's "Vespers," and the stunning choral version of Barber's "Adagio for Strings." Don't miss this unforgettable holiday concert by candlelight.
8 p.m. Saturday. $15-$18, Presidio Chapel, Bldg. 130, Fisher Loop, Creativevoices.org.
"A Gospel Christmas": The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers of Los Angeles has been called "one of the best vocal ensembles in the world." Their program of traditional spirituals, gospel choruses, and holiday music promises to bring the audience to its feet.
7 p.m. $10-$50, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
"The Wondrous Sounds of Christmas": The Bay Brass joins members of the S.F. Symphony to blend the majesty of trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tuba with the angelic sound of harps and the power of the mighty Ruffatti organ. Includes audience sing-alongs.
2 p.m. $10-$50, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
"A Brass & Organ Christmas": Trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tubas join with Grace Cathedral's world-renowned Aeolian-Skinner organ for an unforgettable evening of magnificent sound.
7 p.m. $15-$40, Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. (at Taylor), 749-6350.
"A Celtic Christmas": Golden Bough presents a Christmas Eve concert of rare traditional Scots, Irish, and Welsh carols and songs of winter.
8 p.m. $9-$15, Old First Church, 1725 Sacramento St. (at Van Ness), 474-1608.
Holiday Activities and Celebrations
Through Jan. 2
Outdoor Ice Skating: The Kristi Yamaguchi Embarcadero Center Ice Rink is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
$3.50 children 8 and under, $7 adults, Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero (at Market), 956-2688.
Indoor Ice Skating: Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center; call for public skating hours.
$5.50 children 12 and under, $7 adults, 750 Folsom Street (at 3rd Street), 777-3727.
Indoor Ice Skating: Oakland Ice Center; call for public skating hours.
$6.50 children 12 and under, $7.50 adults, 519 18th St. (at Telegraph), Oakland, (510) 268-9000.
Nov. 26-Dec. 24
Nov. 27-Dec. 19
Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train: A Christmas light-bedecked antique Pullman train rolls through Victorian Santa Cruz as passengers enjoy caroling, hot-spiced cider, and a visit from Santa. Advance reservations required. Call for 888-25-EVENTS for tickets.
$14, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz.
Nov. 28-Dec 28
Metreon Winterland: A snow machine creates indoor snow five times each day at the Metreon Center.
Noon, 2, 4, 6, and 8 p.m. Metreon Center (Fourth and Mission streets).
Nov. 28-Dec. 23
Christmas Fantasy in the Woods: Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round's annual holiday celebration features $1 rides on the 91-year-old carousel, light and decorated tree displays, a crafts boutique, sweets, and visits from Santa on Mondays and Tuesdays.
5:30-8:30 p.m. Central Park and Lake Anza Drives, Berkeley, 510-524-8773.
Holiday Tea at the Top of the Mark: Enjoy a 360-degree view of the city as you partake in a scrumptious buffet. Children's tea on Mondays in December features a storyteller and magician.
Noon to 4 p.m. $17-$34, InterContinental Mark Hopkins, 999 California St. (at Mason), 616-6940.
Oakland Holiday Parade: Celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Holiday Parade as it travels through Oakland's City Center.
2 p.m. Starting at 11th and Broadway, Oakland.
SF Vaudeville Holiday Revue: Enjoy a circus for adults in a Barbary Coast speakeasy, with cocktails and dinner.
9 p.m. $39-$79, Broadway Studios, 435 Broadway (at Montgomery), 291-0333.
Dec. 6-Jan. 2
Nutcracker Tea at the Fairmont: Children get their hands dirty decorating gingerbread houses.
Call for times. $48, The Fairmont, 950 Mason St. (at California), 772-5204.
SF Weekly Holiday Party and Benefit for One Warm Coat: Enjoy music from the Supplicants and food from the city's best restaurants while supporting One Warm Coat, whose goal is to provide a coat to anyone who needs one, free of charge. Donate coats at Bay Area Macy's and Popeyes, Bay Street in Emeryville, and other locations listed at www.onewarmcoat.org.
7-10 p.m. $35, Diablo Grande Wine Gallery, 661 Mission St.
Las Posadas: A family event commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and their nightly search for a place to stay. Music, dancing, and piñata demonstrations.
4-7 p.m. Jack London Square (at Broadway), Oakland.
Christmas at Sea: Santa arrives at the Maritime Park in a rowboat. Enjoy kids activities, storytelling, holiday music, and more.
2 p.m. Under 17 free, Hyde Street Pier (Hyde & Jefferson), 561-6662.
Community Hanukkah Celebration: Enjoy live entertainment, eat yummy latkes, sing Hanukkah songs, play dreidel, dance the hora, and more.
2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. $7-$12 per family, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St. (at Presidio Avenue), 292-1255.
"Good Vibrations' Kinky Circus": Erotic carnival featuring Harlem Shake Burlesque Troupe, legendary drag king Jay Walker, drag queen extraordinaire Fauxnique, and Honey & Darlin' from Kitty Kitty Bang Bang performing a "traptease" aerial act. Semi-formal, formal, or fetishwear required.
9 p.m. DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh St. (at Harrison), 1-800-BUY-VIBES.
Kwanzaa Family Night Celebration: Learn the Nguzo Saba (seven principles of Kwanzaa) and enjoy entertainment and good food.
6-8:00 p.m. Bayview/Anna E. Waden Branch Library, 5075 3rd St. (at Revere), 557-4400.
"WinterFest: Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Las Posadas, Chanukah, & Other Family Traditions": Explore the magic of winter traditions from different cultures. Have fun making ornaments and playing games from other lands.
12-4 p.m. $5-$8, Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, (510) 238-2200.
"El Vez Merry Mexmas Show": The "Mexican Elvis" comes to Cafe Du Nord for two very special Christmas shows. Catch hits like "Santa Claus is sometimes Brown" and "Mamacita, dónde está Santa Claus?"
8 p.m. $15-$18, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), 861-5016.
12th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: For something different, try a Jewish comedy night at Christmastime in a Chinese restaurant, with straight and gay comedy. The fortune cookies are filled with Yiddish proverbs.
6 p.m. and 9 p.m. $36-$54, New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave. (at Grant), (925) 275-9005.
NORAD Tracks Santa: This time of year brings a lot of activity to the North Pole region. Log on to the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site to track Santa's sleigh and reindeer via radar on Christmas Eve.
Starts at 4 p.m. www.noradsanta.org.
Holiday Animation Film Festival: This program celebrates the art of animation both old and new with classic work by animator Norman McLaren, as well as work by contemporary artists. Includes Begone Dull Care and The Painterby physicist Steve Hinde, and Snow Seen From Warm Window by Mark O'Connell.
Noon and 2 p.m. McBean Theater, Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St., 561-0315.
"New Year's Eve With Sandra Bernhard": The wild woman's career spans film, Broadway, television, and books, but it's in front of a mike where her knife-edged humor truly shines. Be prepared for an outrageous event.
8 and 10:30 p.m. $80-$95, Alcazar Theater, 650 Geary Street (at Jones), 441-4042.
Coolworld Planet New Year 2005: Featuring four musical environments, each with its own special theme and world class artists. Guiding your way will be giant video screens on each stage that will be counting us down to the new year.
6 p.m. $35.00 - $75.00, Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos Street, 404-4111.
San Francisco Symphony New Year's Eve Gala: Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth sings spectacular numbers from yesteryear and today. Enjoy party favors and complimentary champagne, savories, and desserts, and dance the night away to the sounds of the Peter Mintun Orchestra on stage and Soul University in the 1st Tier Lobby. When the clock strikes midnight, 2005 balloons cascade from above.
9 p.m. $89-$148, Davies Symphony Hall, Grove & Van Ness, 864-6000.
Craft Fairs and Holiday Shopping
Nov. 27-Dec. 19
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair: An adventure into Victorian holiday partying with hundreds of costumed players in 90,000 square feet of theatrically lit music halls, pubs, dance parties, and Christmas shops on winding lanes.
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $8-$20, Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos Street, 404-4111.
Christmas Tree Sale: The annual giant indoor sale of trees and decorations, a benefit for underprivileged children, is held daily.
9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fort Mason Center (at Marina Boulevard & Buchanan Street).
The SAK Warehouse Sale: Large assortment of handbags, wallets, and cosmetic bags from $5 to $40. Products are from overages, last season, samples, and liquidation.
Friday 2-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 2111 Harrison St. (at 17th Street), 486-1326.
Creature Comfort, New Langton Arts' 20th Annual Art Auction: Langton is transformed into a plush winter lodge as guests relax and enjoy the creature comforts of fine California wines and spirits and a light supper while taking in nearly a hundred artworks and luxury packages up for bid to support Langton's programs.
$50-$300, New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom St., 626-5416, www.newlangtonarts.org.
Not Your Mother's Craft Sale: Find the latest chic and unique clothing, jewelry, home accessories, artwork, fashion accessories, and more. Shop, enjoy a brew, and listen to music.
7-10 p.m. $8, Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, (510) 238-2200.
Chillin' at 111 Minna: 21-and-up show featuring 40 fashion designers, 40 painters/photographers, and 30 filmmakers.
8 p.m.-2 a.m. $5, 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), 974-1719.
34th annual KPFA Crafts and Music Fair: 220 artists show their best work in a warm and spirited ambiance, with natural foods from many cultures and live musical performances.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. $5-$8, The Concourse, 8th & Brannan streets, (510) 848.6767 ext. 611.
Berkeley Holiday Street Fair: Over 200 street artists, merchants, community groups, musicians, and other entertainers will fill Telegraph Avenue during all six days of this festive and vibrant annual crafts fair.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Telegraph Avenue, between Dwight Way and Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
Naughty Santa's Black Market: A delicate balance between holiday party and fine-art crafts fair, featuring 65 offbeat Bay Area artisans selling handmade holiday gifts.
4 p.m.-midnight, $6, SomArts Gallery, 934 Brannan (at 8th Street), 695-9100.
Tree Lightings and Holiday Lights
Union Square Tree Lighting: Entertainment, including a visit from Santa, begins at noon, along with artisans displaying their holiday crafts. Tree lighting is at 6 p.m.
Union Square (at Geary and Powell streets).
Jack London Square Tree Lighting: The day-long celebration includes arts-and-crafts vendors, Santa, holiday entertainment, and the lighting of the 70-foot tree.
12-8 p.m. Jack London Square (at Broadway), (866) 295-9853.
Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting: The lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree, trimmed with Ghirardelli Chocolate and ribbons, includes holiday entertainment, caroling, dancing, and a visit from Santa Claus.
5:30 p.m. Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St. (at Larkin), 775-5500.
Zeum Carousel Lighting Ceremony: Watch as the historic 1906 carousel is set aglow with holiday lights. Evening includes carousel rides, refreshments, and entertainment.
5-7 p.m. Free, 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 777-2800.
Nov. 28-Jan. 3
Zoolights: The lights up with thousands of lights in a winter wonderland featuring nearly 100 creations and backed by a classic-rock soundtrack.
5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. $3-$6.50, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road (off Highway 580), Oakland, (510) 632-952.
Union Street's Fantasy of Lights. Enjoy live music, carolers, and entertainment as Union Street lights up for the holidays. You can visit Santa in his gingerbread house at 2122 Union St. Saturdays through Dec. 21, with a donation of a new toy for a needy child.
6 p.m. Union Street (between Van Ness and Steiner), 885-1335.
Lighted Yacht Parade: Enjoy food, fun, and arts and crafts starting at 3 p.m. The highlight of the evening is over 100 lighted yachts parading through the Estuary at 5 p.m.
Jack London Square (at Broadway), Oakland, (866) 295-9853.