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Buy Books for Children in Need

, Dec. 17-24
510-652-2344
Buy Books for Children in Need
This season, several of Oakland’s independent bookstores are partnering with the Oakland Mayor’s Community Toy Drive and the Oakland Public Library to make sure that every gift bag given to a child in need includes a book. Participating bookstores, including Laurel Book Store (1423 Broadway, Oakland), Pegasus Books Oakland (5560 College Ave.), Marcus Bookstore (3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland), Great Good Place for Books (6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland), EM Wolfman Books (410 13th St., Oakland), Diesel Bookstore (5433 College Ave., Oakland), and Walden Pond Books (3319 Grand Ave., Oakland), will serve as collection stations for new books. They are also offering to help you make your selection, so the donation doesn’t have to take time out of your hectic holiday shopping blitz. (Although choosing an adorable book for a child could be the most pleasant purchasing experience out there.) If you’re really lost, and too shy to ask for help, the Oakland Public Library also has a list of recommendations on its blog (OaklandLibrary.org), including Ling and Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin, Ellray Jakes is Magic! by Sally Warner, and Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales. We recommend one of the many books written by local children’s book author and illustrator J. Otto Seibold — who we featured in last week’s Culture Spy (“Hot Dog,” 12/10) — such as the heartwarming Olive, the Other Reindeer.
Marcus Books 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland (map)

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Christmas Story and Carols

Wed., Dec. 17, 5 p.m.
510-548-2153
Enjoy the Christmas story by candlelight and sing carols. Free
Grace North Church 2138 Cedar St., Berkeley (map)

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Annual Crafts Market

Through Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
510-981-5150
A selection of local, handmade, and sustainable work from the Bay Area’s artists, crafters, and makers. Free
Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley (map)

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The 2014 Christmas Revels: An American Journey

Through Dec. 21, Saturdays, Sundays, 1 & 5 p.m. and Fridays, 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 21
510-452-8800
Filled with Cajun music, Appalachian clogging, old folk tales and holiday rituals that some of us still remember being passed down from parents or grandparents, the 2014 Christmas Revels will see a return to familiar American carols and folksongs, toe-tapping music and of course, plenty of laughter. With Rene Collins, Kevin Carr, Tristan Cunningham, James Galileo, Shira Kammen and Euphonia. Directed by David Parr. $25-$60
Scottish Rite Theater 1547 Lakeside Dr., Oakland (map)

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Kids Club

, Through Dec. 21
510-642-0808
Special gallery dedicated to involving elementary-school-age children in creative work. Part of experimental exhibition The Possible.
BAM/PFA 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (map)

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Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Through Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Over three acres of vintage exhibition halls into lamplit lanes, pubs and theatres, dance floors and music halls, tearooms and shops. Hundreds of costumed characters from genteel to boisterous bring the town to life and interact with patrons. $12, $25

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Fairy Winterland Celebration

Through Dec. 21, 12-7 p.m. and Through Dec. 23, 12-7 p.m.
510-452-2259
Fairy Winterland Celebration
Children’s Fairyland (699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland) is already an Oakland entertainment classic. But during the holidays, its programming transforms to involve all the seasonal classics, too. In a seamless convergence of all things cute, festive, and joy-inducing, the children’s theme park will reinvent itself as Fairy Winter Wonderland from December 5 through 21. The packed programming includes daily visits from Santa Claus, as well as a tour of the Festival of Lights every evening from the man himself. Each day will also feature a different guest performer providing some holiday cheer; attractions include a mini performance of The Nutcracker by the Oakland Ballet Company and The Puppet Company, a show by The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees (pretty self-explanatory), and a number of different magicians and storytellers. Holiday characters will also be roaming the park ready for photos and complimentary treats, and cider and hot cocoa will be on hand. Everyone is welcome and Fairyland promises that all celebrations are non-denominational. You might have trouble getting your kids to go home with you, however. $8
Children's Fairyland 699 Bellevue Ave. (at Lake Merritt), Oakland (map)

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Hanukah Candle Lighting

Wed., Dec. 17, 5:45-6 p.m., Thu., Dec. 18, 5:45-6 p.m., Fri., Dec. 19, 5:45-6 p.m., Mon., Dec. 22, 5:45-6 p.m. and Tue., Dec. 23, 5:45-6 p.m.
510-848-0237
Join the community for candle lighting to celebrate the holiday. Free

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Holiday Carolers

Mondays-Fridays, 6:15-7:45 p.m. Continues through Dec. 23
Enjoy TOSCA, the Oakland Symphony's chorus group while visiting Jack London Square. This ensemble of beautiful voices will be singing holiday carols live and in person on the beautiful waterfront. Free
Jack London Square 98 Broadway, Oakland (map)

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Holiday Boutique 2014

Through Dec. 23
510-523-6957
Mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, fused glass, fiber art, paper arts, mixed media, woodworking, paintings, photography. Free
Frank Bette Center 1601 Paru St., Alameda (map)

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Deck The Walls 2

, Through Dec. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
510-620-0290
Group show of works on paper all priced at $40. As well as Holiday Lounge storefront and small paintings for $30 each in the back room. Free
NIAD Art Center 551 23rd St., Richmond (map)

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Photos With Santa!

Through Dec. 24
510-357-6000
Visits with Santa throughout the holiday Season! Santa is located in center court. Free
Bayfair Center 15555 E 14th St, San Leandro (map)

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The Potters' Studio Annual Holiday Gift Sale

Through Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
510-528-3286
Locally crafted, one-of-a-kind, handmade ceramics by 10 select artists. On sale for the holiday gift-giving season will be ceramic cups, bowls, plates, elegant dinnerware, vases and sculptures. Free
The Potter's Studio 1221 Eighth St., Berkeley (map)

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ZooLights

Through Jan. 4, 2015, 5:30-9 p.m.
510-632-9525
Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a light show that's sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. $8
Oakland Zoo 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland (map)

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Berkeley Juggling Club

Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.

The circus arts aren't just for clowns anymore. They're not quite highbrow, but close -- not only do many regional teams and touring companies compete and perform across the country (Berkeley's unicycle basketball team is one of the best in the world), but some aerial feats developed in the circus have made their way into the fine-art world of dance. If it's about time you learned how to juggle, unicycle, aerobalance, slackline, or do anything else you've seen under the big tent (except, perhaps, elephant-riding), join the Berkeley Juggling Club at its weekly Wednesday meetings. Participation is free and open to all. On summer nights you'll find the gang at the UC Berkeley campus on the lawn north of the library (Memorial Glade); if it's dark or rainy, they'll be inside Dwinelle Hall, also on the UC Berkeley campus. 6-8 p.m. BerkeleyJuggling.org

free
UC Berkeley Campus UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley (map)

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