Many families suffer a homemade-holiday-gift giver who inflicts rosemary vinegar one year, funny-looking candles the next. Do both giver and recipients a favor: Take this person, and some kids for good measure, to "Season's Greenings." It's a crafters' heaven that offers a smorgasbord of do-it-yourself projects using stuff that would otherwise go in the trash, with instruction on making gifts such as bath salts, miniature herb gardens, and custom snow globes. It starts at 11 a.m. at the Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason (at Halleck), S.F. Participation is 50 cents-$5; call 561-7690 or visit www.crissyfield.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Ride S.F.'s forgotten fun circuit
What's now a scroungy area of warehouses on the border between SOMA and the Mission District was once Woodward's Gardens, a paradise of exotic plants where ostriches and deer ran free and tourists could watch dancing kangaroos or feed trained seals. Similarly, the dodgy section of Haight Street at Shrader, presently home to roving packs of panhandling homeless folk, is the former location of the Chutes, an amusement park where crowds of giggling adventurers slid down steep inclines to splash into the water below. Picture the past with Brandon Baunach, who leads "The History of San Francisco Amusement Parks Bike Tour" around these bygone hot spots, sharing historical images of the city's former glories at each location. Get nostalgic starting at 10 a.m. at the Civic Center United Nations Plaza, Market & Seventh streets, S.F. Riding along is free; write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sfbike.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Holiday season in coastal California is similar to those in chillier climes -- decorations, piles of gifts, menorahs, unethical spit-swapping at drunken office parties. But in our balmier climate we miss out on a traditional white Christmas. One can experience a close facsimile without hitting the road to Tahoe, however, at "Rock On at Metreon," a celebration that provides hourly fake flurries from a snow machine. Dance around in the faux winter wonderland -- but don't count on making any snowballs -- as Live 105 DJs broadcast live each day at the Metreon, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free; call 369-6000 or visit www.metreon.com.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer