December has always been my favorite time of year. I love Christmas, the whole Christmas season. Every year my dad took off two weeks around Christmas and he took my sister and I on fun, seasonal activities. We would get hot coco at the Christmas Tree Farm, visit a living nativity scene, and we had our annual trip into New York City to see the tree at Rockefeller Plaza and the amazing store windows. As I grew and had a family of my own I wanted to create these memories with my own children. This year we did three separate, local events to enjoy the holidays in the Bay Area and make new memories for our own.
Christmas Festival of Lights – Apostolic Faith Trinity Church
Close to our house, I noticed a beautiful church completely decorated in festive lights. We went on a weekend evening when the church was open for visitors. Volunteers dressed as wise men, hot coco and home baked goods were served, and the church lot had a bouncy house, petting zoo, living manager, and tracker ride for the kids. We saw a bell choir and the adult and youth chorus since all my favorite Christmas carols.City Sightseeing Festive Holiday Night Tour – San Francisco
Having done this in the past, we got a Groupon to see San Francisco’s holiday lights at night from the top of a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. The two hour tour including festive music, interesting facts about San Francisco, and of course the most beautiful light displays of the city. The final big stop was Treasure Island where we could see the night skyline of San Francisco. The kids declared it the most fun ever.
Tilden Merry-Go-Round – Berkeley
This is one we go to every year. The old fashion Merry-Go-Round at Tilden decorate for the holiday with lights and runs at night. $2 a ride, plus there was a Santa, a field with lights you could run around, and free blocks to play with. Who wouldn’t love it!
I can already tell the lasting impact these memories have on my children. The excitement they feel is contagious, and it makes the whole family excited for the holiday. I hope that my children will have the same lasting memories and love of the season that my parents installed in me.