15 Amazing family-friendly Holiday events in the Palo Alto Area




There is no doubt that December is one of the most cherished months of the year – by both young and old. The reasons are quite obvious for everyone: fun-filled Holiday activities, religious traditions, family and friend togetherness, tolerance, generosity and goodwill. As every year, the Palo Alto community puts on its festive clothes and invites everyone to enjoy the seasonal merriness. So are you ready for some traditional wintery fun? Here 15 amazing family-friendly Holiday events in the Palo Alto Area that you can definitely enjoy with your beloved ones.


Four Seasons Palo Alto Gingerbread decoarating


Four Seasons Quattro’s Pefect House: Gingerbread Decorating Event

Just like last year, Eric Keppler, the Executive Pastry Chef at Four Seasons, will mastermind a gingerbread decorating workshop on Sunday, December 2nd at 2:00 pm. Given the last year success, attendants are advised to make reservations well in advance. The price is reasonable, considering the amount of family fun you are sure to get: $85 per family (up to 2 children and 2 adults). If you wish to find out what this event is all about, you can access the blog entry I’ve shared with all of you last year I posted here.  Check out their Quattro’s website for more information.





Breakfast with Santa at Stanford Shopping Center

Ho ho ho! Santa is coming to town! And, this holiday, he is sure to drop by at the Stanford Shopping Center. When? On Saturday, December 10. Make sure to be there, as your little ones will be thrilled to welcome Santa and his friends to town. What’s there for them? A fun-filled day of arts and crafts. You can sign up for free at here.



Tree lighting in Palo Alto


Palo Alto Tree Lighting Ceremony

Though the date is not confirmed yet, one thing is for sure: Christmas would be less joyous without the annual Tree Lighting event! Usually held in early December, the event comprises lots of fun Christmas-themed activities such as tree ornaments workshops or live bands. So, in the meantime, we can keep an eye here http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/csd/events/Default.asp for updates. However, there was a permit issued for December 3rd, so most likely it may be held on December 3rd.  See link http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=1146&TargetID=14




Palo Alto diverse community


Your Voice Matters: Empathy & the Marathon to Create Inclusive Community

Leaving aside the festive atmosphere, we should not forget that the Holidays is also about sharing with the less fortunate, compassion, tolerance, and generosity.  With the recent elections, there is a lot of healing and a renewed appreciation for all our neighbors here in Palo Alto. And what better way to get into the Holiday spirit than with this marathon that aims at creating an inclusive community?  The event will be held on Sunday, December 4, in the afternoon. More details about the event can be found here:





Palo Alto Chamber Holiday Party & Toy Drive

To keep in line with the previous event, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center invites us all to put a smile on a child’s face on Wednesday, December 7, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Attendants are welcomed to bring unwrapped toys for the less fortunate kids. I heartily encourage you not to miss this event. More details can be found here.





Palo Alto Children’s Theatre: THE GINGERBREAD BOY

Once again, children aged 2 to 6 are invited to experience the unique and magical world of The Playhouse on December 17th  and 18th. The Magic Castle stage will host a very special, interactive classic story tale: The Gingerbread Boy.

Tickets can be purchased online at Palo Alto Children’s Theatre or by phone: 650.463.4970




Russian Christmas Festival

Christmas also means interculturality. The Russian Christmas Festival in Menlo Park is a great opportunity to develop cultural interaction and build bridges among people. To top it all, attendants will be able to delight in Russian traditional food such as bortsch, golubtsy (stuffed cabbage), buckwheat with mushrooms, and tasty desserts. Live music, a Lucky Barrel, and fun-filled activities for kids are only some of the surprises that await you there. More information can be found here.




Christmas Crèche Exhibit

From December 3rd to December 7th, young and old are invited to enjoy celebrate the birth of the Christ child with more than 350 nativities from around the world in artistic settings, hands-on activities, and live holiday music all wrapped in an enriching holiday experience. More information on schedule and availability can be found here.






A Festival of Lessons and Carols at Stanford

Just like every year, music lovers are invited to get into the holiday spirit with the Festival of Lessons and Carols, an event which will be held at the Stanford Memorial Church.  More details can be found here.





Grinch-Mas at Gamble Garden

If last year the Garden Gamble was surprising us with a day of Frozen activities, this year everything will evolve around a classic story:  ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas‘. Story reading, face painting, and many other fun activities promise to make this experience memorable! More details can be found on their website.






Hanukkah Celebration at Stanford Shopping Center

Hanukkah comes to Stanford Shopping Center!
Come and celebrate a Hanukkah winter extravaganza Thursday, December 29
5:30–8:00 PM at the Stanford Shopping Center, Macy’s Plaza, Palo Alto. This Jewish holiday celebration will be filled with musical performances, arts and crafts for the kids, face painting, dreidel games, candle lighting and a special Hanukkah puppet show and sing-along.

Come, shop, have some food nearby and join in the fun. Open to all families. More information found here.





Hanukkah Celebration at the JCC

Come and enjoy a festive lunch with traditional holiday foods, stories, music and blessings on Tuesday, December 20, 11:30 to 1:30 at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall.  This event is open to the community; family members welcome.

The music entertainment for this wonderful Hanukkah lunch will be Richard Glazier, pianist and narrator, who is excited to introduce his new show which includes a medley from My Fair LadyOne from A Chorus Line, a medley from Fiddler on the Roof and Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music.

For more information visit their website.





Los Altos Gingerbread House Exhibit


An event thought-out for the enjoyment of young and old alike, the 29th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit challenges us all to put our creativity to a test and design the perfect Gingerbread House. For additional information and applications please visit the City of Los Altos site.





Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade


On November 27, Los Altos hosts an impressive Festival of Lights Parade that is sure to get us all in the holiday spirit. This year, the theme of the parade is “A Child’s Holiday Fantasy,” and over twenty-five illuminated floats are expected to tease the eye of the attendants. More details about the event can be found here:





Holiday Tea With American Girl at Stanford Shopping Center

Throughout November and December, the Stanford Shopping Center hosts the Holiday Tea With American Girl event. The event includes a fun-filled hands-on decorating workshop, as well as delicious teatime treats. More details about the exact schedule, fees, and registration can be found on American Girl’s site. Or call 877.247.5223.


I don’t know about you, but my family and I are looking forward to all these amazing events!  It is going to be a tough decision to figure which ones to attend since there are scheduling conflicts with most of them.  We are definitely attending the Gingerbread Decorating Workshop at the Four Seasons, since we did it last year and had lots of fun. Which ones do you think you will attend?

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