Visions of Sugar Plums
Break Move over Stomp!, as Break, an innovative new hip-hop ensemble, percuss and jump through 30 years of hip-hop history. Many of the artists honed their chops as Madonna's and Janet Jackson's backup dancers. A live DJ makes the mix happen. Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3pm. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $20-$50. 415.499.6800.
'The Nutcracker' Stapleton Ballet includes some hundred dancers and guest artists, and beautifully crafted costumes and scenery. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3, at 1pm and 5pm. Marin Center's Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $16-$28; Sugar Plum party after 1pm performance, $10. 415.472.3500.
'The Nutcracker' Marin Ballet presents lavish, full-length production of classic ballet. Meet the cast and see a puppet show at the Candy Cane parties following the matinees. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10, at 1pm and 5pm. Marin Center's Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $19-$31; Candy Cane party after 1pm performance, $8. 415.499.6800.
'The Nutcracker' Ballet Califia presents holiday classic as envisioned by company director David McNaughton. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 15-17. Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2:30pm and 8pm; Sunday at 2:30pm. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $12-$16. 707.588.3430.
'Sophie and the Enchanted Toy Shop' Marin Dance Theatre presents full-length, two-act children's ballet in which a magical toymaker whisks young Sophie away to a winter wonderland. Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1pm and 5pm; special Teddy Bear Tea Party after 1pm performance. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $16-$30. 415.499.6800.
'The Nutcracker' Napa Regional Dance Company continues a family tradition with an emphasis on stunning sets and costumes, as well as, of course, dance. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 16-17. Saturday at 12:30pm and 6pm; Sunday at 2pm. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Ave., Yountville. $15-$25. 707.944.1300.
'Tapcracker' Tap-dance version of ye olde favorite offers updated version with rappin' mice and Sugar Plum Barbies. Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2pm and 5:30pm. Marin Center Showcase Theater, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $12-$20. 415.499.6800.
Little Ones' Wonder
'Little One Inch' Youth in Arts Performing Arts Series and Tears of Joy Theatre present the puppet adventures of Issun, a little boy who, after proving his strength by defeating a rat, is called upon to save Japan from a great ogre. Two shows on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Marin Center's Showcase Theater. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 9:30am and 11am. $4-$8.50. 415.457.4878.
Bay Area Discovery Museum Blizzard of events for the young ones includes Gingerbread Architectural Extravaganza (Nov. 25-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 19-23), The Snowcat with flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny (Dec. 16-17, 27-29) and a special Kwanzaa hip-hop dance performance (Dec. 26). Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. $7-$9. 415.927.0960.
Fred Garbo Inflatable Theatre Co. "Pnuematic wizard" Fred Garbo has convinced a beautiful Brazillian ballerina to once again take a chance on a fast-paced show involving his inflatable objects (many of them he wears), much juggling and, of course, her dance. Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2pm. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 N. Main St., Napa. $15-$25. 707.226.7372.
Yes Please, Shopping!
Gifts 'n' Tyme Holiday Faire This fair features 82 booths and home-baked goodies by the greater Napa Valley Lion's Club. Start your shopping with handmade craft items. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 17-19. Friday, 10am to 7pm; Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Napa Valley Exposition, 575 Third St., Napa. Free. 925.372.8961.
Holiday Pottery Sale The Sonoma Community Center offers one-of-a-kind handmade goods by local artists and pottery students. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 17-18. Friday, 11am to 3pm; Saturday, 9am to 3pm. Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. Free. 707.938.4626.
Christmas Crafts Fair Hourly door prizes, imported items from around the world and a plethora of homemade crafts and artisanal offerings mark this event, partially benefiting the Russian River Watershed Protection Committee. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 24-26. 10am to 5pm. Sebastopol Veterans Building, 282 High St. $2-$3; under 12, free. 707.869.0054.
Holiday Festival Marin Art and Garden Center hosts festive shopping with annual greens sale, as well as baked goods, an open house, a toy drive and their newest tradition, the Teddy Bear Tea. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 1-2, 10am to 4pm. Tea, Saturday only, two seatings, noon and 2pm. Special tea craft this year is teddy bear making; $25. 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross. 415.455.5260.
Harmony Winter Festival Revamped winter crafts fair draws heavily from the ideas that work so well at its summertime compadre, the Harmony Festival. New this year is free admission and parking, as well as a renewed emphasis on locally made and one-of-a-kind items. The live music schedule is stellar, featuring the Waybacks, Keola Beamer, Gator Beat and "A Jewish Music Celebration" with the hottest in klezmer sounds. Fairy-tale costumed characters will stroll the hall, and the National Puppet Theater will creates its version of The Nutcracker. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3 and 9-10 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Grace Pavilion, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Free. www.harmonyfestival.com.
Dance Palace Holiday Crafts Fair One of our personal favorites, this shopping mecca gathers some 40 high-level craftspeople under one roof for some groovy early-season shopping. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 2-4. Friday, 3pm to 9pm; Saturday-Sunday,10am to 5pm. Dance Palace, Fifth and B streets, Pt. Reyes Station. Free. 415.663.1475.
December in Calistoga Community Christmas bazaar now in its 37th year offers artisan-made art, crafts, jewelry, ornaments and other treats. Santa will also be there for photographic opportunities. Saturday, Dec. 2. Crafts fair, Napa County Fairgrounds, 1435 Oak St., Calistoga. 9am to 4pm. Parade, down Lincoln Avenue, 6pm to 7pm. Both events free. 707.942.4232.
Goddess Crafts Faire Winter solstice Goddess Crafts Faire celebrates 12th year of handmade gifts by local and regional women, as well as live music, tarot readings and food. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3, 10am to 6pm. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St. 707.829.3938.
Muir Beach Quilters Quilt artists and other artisans gather at 34th event with handicrafts of all kinds and free activities for the kids. Perfect complement to a day at the beach; free shuttle from Muir Beach parking lot. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3. Saturday, 11am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Muir Beach Community Center, 19 Seascape Drive. Free. 415.383.6762.
Dickens of Holiday Crafts Fair Featuring juried work by some 60 craftspeople, offering everything from glass to woodwork to ceramics to clothing and more. Live music enlivens. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3, Saturday, 9am to 5pm, Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Finley Community Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. $2; under 18, free. 707.543.3737.
Occidental Holiday Crafts Faire The diversity of West County glows with this one-of-a-kind crafts and gifts. Santa and the missus are in attendance, and Faire Cafe is open. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10, Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Occidental Community Center, corner of Graton Road and Bohemian Highway. Free. 707.874.9407.
Merrily & Caroling
Holiday in Carneros South Napa comes alive at annual Holiday in Carneros Open House to benefit college scholarships for those planning to study wine. Participating wineries include Ceja, MacRostie, Schug, Buena Vista and many others, with special tastings, live music and other treats. Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 18-19, from 10am to 4pm. $25. www.carneroswineries.org.
Healdsburg Holiday Party Town celebrates with refreshments, music, horse-drawn carriage rides and more. Friday, Nov. 24, from 5pm to 9pm. Free. 707.433.6935.
Heart of Sonoma Open House Open house festivities with 22 wineries throughout valley opening their doors to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank and make holiday shopping all the easier. Wineries include Arrowood, B.R. Cohn, Eric Ross, Landmark (Saturday only), Loxton and many others. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 24-25, 11am to 4:30pm. $20 per drinker; $10, designated driver. 866.794.9463.
Festival of Lights Yountville is magnificently illuminated at annual event as Washington Street is closed to traffic--with the exception of horse-drawn buggies. Caroling, costumed characters, dancers and food booths complete evening's glitter. Friday, Nov. 24, from 2pm. Downtown Yountville, Washington Street. Free. 707.944.0904.
Parade of Lights All of northern Healdsburg lights up when Trentadue Winery, Chateau Souverain and Simi host family-oriented event for local charities. Santa will be in merry evidence and a trolley shuttles holiday-goers from place to place. Friday, Dec. 1, from 5pm to 8:30pm. Free; $5 tasting fee may apply. www.trentadue.com.
Light Up a Life Hospice helps to honor lives lost in annual candle- and tree-lighting ceremony. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3, in different locations. Friday, at 7pm, Center Park, the strip of trees outside of McNear's and the Mystic Theatre on Petaluma Boulevard South, Petaluma. Saturday at 6pm, Railroad Square, Third Street, downtown Santa Rosa. Sunday at 6pm, Star of the Valley, Oakmont. Free. 707.778.6242.
Holiday B&B Play resident tourist and plan the next weekend getaway when Napa B&Bs open their doors for an open-house holiday tour, replete with winemakers, chefs, food pairings, live music and other surprises. Saturday, Dec. 2, from 3pm to 8pm. $25-$35. www.napaholidaytour.com.
Luther Burbank Open House Annual festive community celebration, themed for the Victorian era and hosted by costumed docents. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3, 10am to 4pm. Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues, Santa Rosa. Free. 707.524.5445.
Victorian Tea Petaluma Historical Society and Museum holds its annual high English cream tea, replete with dainty sandwiches, scones, fine china and de rigueur costumed maids. Sunday, Dec. 3. Two seatings, at noon to 3pm. 20 Fourth St., Petaluma. $40. 707.778.4398.
Cirque on Ice Ice show that adds acrobats, contortionists and aerialists to the mix, guaranteeing that the word "spectacle" is not hyperbole. Wednesday-Thursday, Dec. 6-7, at the Lincoln Theater. 100 California Drive, Yountville. $30-$50; not recommended for children under eight. 707.944.1300.
Windsor Open House Old downtown Windsor (brand-spanking-new Windsor), hosts merchant open house with horse-drawn carriages, trolley rides and the Claus family. Santa and the missus arrive at 6:15pm to light the tree on the Windsor town green. Thursday, Dec. 7, from 5pm to 8pm. Free. 707.838.1260.
Petaluma Boat Parade Local watercraft wait for sundown to show their true colors in splendid nighttime display. Saturday, Dec. 9. Parade begins at the Petaluma Marina at 5:30pm and arrives at the Turning Basin downtown around 6:30pm. Free. Pssst: the best place to watch is the launch at Papa's Taverna. 707.769.0429.
Victorian Inns Holiday Tour Six grand Victorian Inns in Healdsburg will be open to the public during this free tour. Sunday, Dec. 10, from 2pm to 4pm, rain or shine. 707.433.8182.
'Sister Christmas Catechism' It's CSI: Bethlehem when Sister Christmas Catechism examines the nativity scene for clues as to what happened to the Magi's gold, in a bit of audience-reactive tomfoolery subtitled The Mystery of the Magi's Gold. Expect to perform, receive a gift, sing carols and even eat dessert. Dec. 12-13, 15-16 and 19-22. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 N. Main St., Napa. 7:30pm; matinee on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2pm. $35. 707.226.7372.
Fa La La La La
Cypress String Quartet New music ensemble are artists-in-residence at San Jose State University. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they premiere new work by George Tsontakis as part of the Santa Rosa Concert Association package; individual tickets available. Monday, Nov. 20, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 7:30pm. $16-$120. 707.546.3600.
Bach Christmas Celebration Santa Rosa Symphony and the Sonoma County Bach Choir team up to offer three concerts in honor of Monteverdi and the 1610 Vespers. Baroque at its finest. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3. Friday, St. Vincent de Paul Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. Saturday, St. Eugene's Cathedral, 2323 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa. Sunday, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 8400 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor. All performances at 8pm. $20. 707.546.8742.
Chamber Singers Sonoma County Chamber Singers chorale ensemble present work under the theme "The Gift of Music," featuring work by Tomas Luis de Victoria, Healey Willan, Alfred Burt, Morten Lauridsen and their composer-in-residence, Janis Wilson. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3. Friday at 8pm, Community Church of Sebastopol, 1000 Gravenstein Hwy. N., Sebastopol. Saturday at 2pm, the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. Sunday at 4pm, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1300 St. Francis Road, Santa Rosa. Free; donations accepted. 707.837.8984.
Sister Hazel & Gin Blossoms Firefighters' Toys for Kids Drive, Les Schwab and the MIX 104.9-FM sponsor concert to raise toys for holidays. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $10. 707.546.3600.
Concerts by Candlelight Marin Symphony's holiday concert is once again held by candlelight and features the Marin Symphony Chamber Chorus and Chantons, a choral ensemble composed entirely of teenaged women. Hanukkah music and a sing-along complete the evening. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3. Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm. Church of Saint Raphael, 104 Fifth Ave., San Rafael. $25. 415.479.8100.
Christmas Jug Band The ever-changing lineup of holiday merry-music makers might include the likes of Dan Hicks, Austin deLone, Norton Buffalo, Tim Eschliman and who knows who. Enjoy some irreverence with your eggnog this season. The lads begin the tomfoolery with a bit of grit on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the 2AM Club in Mill Valley. The family show is on Sunday, Dec. 10, at the 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley. Adults welcomed back on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma. Gigs conclude with three-day stand Dec. 20-22, at the Sweetwater Saloon in Mill Valley. Check www.christmasjugband.com for details.
Holiday Chorale Napa Valley Chorale under the direction of Jan Lanterman presents a slate of holiday music. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10. Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm. Jarvis Conservatory, 1711 Main St., Napa. 7pm. $35; includes refreshments. 707.255.5445.
Sing-Along 'Messiah' Sebastopol Center for the Arts invites all to raise a joyful noise with Handel's Messiah under the direction of John Maas. Rehearsal: Sunday, Dec. 3, from 4pm to 6pm. SCA, 6780 Depot St. Event: Saturday, Dec. 9, at the United Methodist Church, 500 N. Main St., Sebastopol. $6-$15. 707.829.4797.
Chanticleer Men's chorus blend traditional carols, Medieval and Renaissance sacred works and spirituals. Sunday, Dec. 10. Two performances, 6pm and 8:30pm. St. Vincent de Paul Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. $25-$42. 415.252.8589.
A VOENA Christmas VOENA (Voices of Eve 'N Angels), an internationally acclaimed multi-ethnic children's choir, mixes song with dance, a cappella, percussion and theatrics. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 16-17 at 3pm. COPIA, 500 First St., Napa. $22.50-$25. 707.265.5979.
Klezmatics' Happy Joyous Hanukkah Klezmer music, traditional Hanukkah songs and, yes indeedy, Woody Guthrie are all celebrated at this dizzying holiday show. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $35-$45. 415.383.9600. Catch them the next day at the Napa Valley Opera House on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2pm. 1030 Main St., Napa. $30-$35. 707.226.7372.
'Tis the Season, in the Spirit Over a hundred joyful singers from the five youth and adult choral ensembles of SingersMarin present a holiday choral concert with familiar Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Marin Center. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 4pm. $18-$28. 415.499.6800.
Collin Raye Family Christmas Tour Country star brings best-loved favorites to life in this family-friendly concert replete with a full orchestra. Monday, Dec. 18, at the Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $45-$85; a portion of the proceeds benefit the Children's Hunger Fund. 707.546.3600.
Symphonic Chorus Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, under direction of Dan Earl, present Sing-Along Messiah. The Baroque Sinfonia directed by Nicholas Xenelis will appear with the Chorus along with guest soloists. Wednesday, Dec. 20, at the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium, 1235 Mendocino Ave. 8pm. $15-$20. 707.546.2723.
Brian Setzer Orchestra Former Stray Cat front man brings his jive-jumpin' holiday show back for the fifth year in a row. Dig that crazy Christmas! Wednesday, Dec. 20, at the Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $45-$85. 707.546.3600.
The Kinsey Sicks America's favorite dragapella beauty-shop quartet present Oy Vey in a Manger, an over-the-top production featuring such classics as "Harried Little Christmas." Thursday, Dec. 21, at COPIA. 500 First St., Napa. 8pm. $22.50-$25. 707.265.5979.
Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band Allen and his sextet usually head for Europe in the winter, thank you very much, but hang stateside this holiday, bringing their Naw'lins sound to the 142 Throckmorton Theatre on Friday, Dec. 22. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. Price TBA. 415.383.9600. Allen and the boys travel east the next day to perform on Saturday, Dec. 23, at the Napa Valley Opera House. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 N. Main St., Napa. 8pm. $150. 707.226.7372.