Always a festive and enchanting moment of the holiday season, christmas markets and holiday fairs are popping up all over the Bay Area at this time of the year, transforming main streets or city squares into winter wonderlands filled with local arts and crafts, twinkling lights, the aroma of spiced cider and gingerbread cookies, and the joyful sounds of Christmas carols. This December, celebrate the joy of the holiday season by visiting one of the local holiday markets around the Bay:

French Winter Market in Santa Rosa
Savor French delicacies, enjoy a selection of locally crafted goods, listen to live music performances by the Santa Rosa French-American School choir and local artists, and glide on the ice skating rink at the French winter market organized by the Alliance Française of Santa Rosa. A great way to immerse yourself and the whole family into the holiday spirit!
Saturday, December 16, 11am-4pm. Old courthouse square, Santa Rosa.
Free admission. More info here

Mill Valley Tree LIghting and WinterFest
Live entertainment, a giant slide, and a variety of children’s activities with great food from local restaurants. The event culminates with one of Mill Valley’s hallmark moments, the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony.
Sunday, December 3rd,  Tree Lighting, 5-6pm
Sunday, December 17, WinterFest, 12pm-4pm
More info here

Holiday French Market in Berkeley
Bring the whole family to enjoy food, craftsmanship and holiday gifts at the family-friendly Holiday French Market organized by the Alliance Francaise in Berkeley.
Thursday, December 7, 5-8pm. 2004 Woolsey Street, Berkeley, CA 94703.
Free admission. More info here

French American School Winter Market
The Winter Market organized by the French American School in Santa Clara will showcase a broad selection of French creations and delicacies. The event promises a warm and inviting atmosphere suitable for everyone’s enjoyment. Indulge in a day of crêpes, hot chocolate, and children’s crafts for a delightful experience
Free admission, more info here

Winter Fair at the Lycée Français in San Francisco
The LFSF Winter Fair is a destination for all, open to neighbors and the public at large, hosted on the beautifully renovated Ashbury Campus at 755 Ashbury St. Local vendors will provide a selection of arts and crafts and a multitude of creative and one-of-a-kind ideas to make your shopping a breeze. Gourmet food vendors will delight visitors of all ages and hot cider will be served by the dad’s club. Visitors can also gear up for the winter season with the Ski & Sports gear resale market.
Sunday, December 3, 11am-4pm. More info here.

Winter Walk in Union Square, San Francisco
By popular demand, this Union Square holiday tradition is back with Two pedestrian-only blocks of fun on Stockton Street from Post to O’Farrell. Come enjoy an array of food trucks, bar gardens, entertainment, family-friendly activities, and holiday cheer. This event is free to the public. More info here

Swedish Christmas Fair, San Francisco
The 40th edition of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association’s Christmas fair is back in San Francisco. Experience a Lucia procession at both 10 am and 1 pm, enjoy a comforting sip of warm glögg, indulge in delightful gingerbread cookies, and shop for unique handmade Swedish gift items.Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors.
Dec. 2, 2023 – Saint Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco. More info here

Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco
Enter the winding lanes of Victorian London and immerse yourself in a world of music halls, theaters, pubs, dance parties, and charming shops overflowing with hand-made holiday treasures. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Discover holiday revelry in this lamp-lit city brimming with hundreds of lively and colorful characters from the imagination of Charles Dickens, the pages of history, and the sometimes saucy world of the Victorian stage. The Holiday Handcraft Marketplace is full of vendors with everything from collectible art to jewelry and textiles. Tickets to the fair are $45 general admission.
Weekends Nov. 18-Dec. 17, 2023 – Cow Palace, Daly City

Enchant Christmas in San Jose
Enchant is an immersive experience weaving magic into its every corner, perfect for joyful seasonal celebrations. Adventure through Santa’s Magic Timepiece, a captivating, larger-than-life light maze. Wander the Village of tiny storefronts featuring artisan vendors, specialty crafters, and boutiques – perfect for holiday gift gathering. As you shop, satisfy your festive cravings and indulge in a tasty seasonal treat or delightful beverage. Glide through a dazzling forest of Christmas lights and lace up your skates to hit the trail on real ice!
Nov 24 – Dec 31, Paypal Park, San Jose. More info here

German Holiday Market
The German International School of Silicon Valley presents its annual winter holiday marketplace to be held in downtown Mountain View. Sample German seasonal treats as you shop for Christmas gifts and enjoy festive holiday decorations with European vibes.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. City Hall Plaza, 500 Castro St., Mountain View.
Free admission. More info here

Pacifica Polar Palooza and Elf Market
The Pacifica Community Center presents an elaborate weekend of holiday festivities including a “Winter Elf Market.” The market takes place only on Friday and Saturday, but other events throughout the weekend include caroling, a building lighting, a tree lighting, photos with Santa, and free pony rides.
Dec. 1-3, 2023 – Pacifica Community Center, Pacifica. More info here

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