Best Things to Do in North Bay This December

Best Things to Do in North Bay This December

With the holiday season in full swing, December is full of exciting and festive events — from arts fairs and lighted boat parades and gardens to holiday shows done Broadway-style. Here are the best things to do in the North Bay this December. 

Featured photo courtesy of Mill Valley Winterfest. 

Elf on a shelf nestled in Christmas tree
Photo by Petros Kelepouris via Unsplash.

Downtown San Rafael Elf Hunt

Dates TBD

For the second year in a row, errant elves have been found amongst San Rafael’s shops, restaurants and businesses! Print out a map and find all the elves to be entered into a raffle for holiday gift baskets. This event is put on by the Downtown San Rafael Business Improvement group, and you can support local business by helping in the hunt!

More info: downtownsanrafael.org/elf-hunt

Winter Studios
Photo by Andrew Faulkner.

Winter Open Studios

Dates TBD

The ICB Building in Sausalito, home of many local artist studios, throws open its doors to the public in a return to its annual showcase of local art.

More info: icbartists.com

Muir Beach Arts Fair
Photo of paiting by Tom Soltesz.

Muir Beach Holiday Arts Fair

Dates TBD

Locally hand-made jewelry, fashion accessories, wreaths, and ornaments crafted of glass and wood are just a few of the options at this 40+ year old fair, famous for its appearances by the Muir Beach Quilters and the Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department. 

More info: muirbeachartsfair.com

A single candle burning in darkness
Photo by David Tomaseti via Unsplash.

Holiday Choral by Candlelight

Dates TBD

The Marin Symphony plays both traditional and contemporary holiday music set to candlelight in the beautiful setting of St. Raphael’s Church, with both instrumental and choral performances. 

More info: marinsymphony.org

Nicks cove santa claus on a boat
Photo courtesy of Nick's Cove.

Santa at Nick's Cove

Date TBD

Who says Santa has to drive around in a sleigh? At Nick’s Cove on Tomales Bay, the jolly man in the white, fur-trimmed suit arrives via boat before hanging out at  the boat shack taking photos, sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies with his fans. 

More info: nickscove.com

Winterfest in Mill Valley
Photo courtesy of Mill Valley Winterfest.

Mill Valley Winterfest

December 3 and 17

The annual Mill Valley Winterfest is back in town, featuring a fantastic lineup of performers, games/activities for children, Santa at the plaza, and a tree-lighting ceremony on December 3. You can also look forward to a holiday bash at the Community Center on December 17, featuring food trucks, performances and more. It’s a perfect outing for the family if you’re in Marin county.

More info: enjoymillvalley.com

Annual Lighted Boat Parade

Date TBD

The highlight of a month-long series of holiday events in Sausalito is undisputedly the brightly decorated boat parade in the harbor, followed by a fireworks show in keeping with the spirit of the season. The town also offers gingerbread house tours (Dec 1–31) and a Jingle Bell 5K and Brunch (Dec 10).

More info: winterfestsausalito.com

Teddy bear in front of Christmas lights
Photo courtesy of DRZ via Unsplash.

Teddy Bear Tea à la Française

Date TBD

Le Petit Jardin is pleased to announce its 14th Annual Teddy Bear Tea à la Française. If you don’t already know, teddy bear tea is an annual holiday tradition that got its start in Great Britain. You and your child will enjoy a tea service, traditional holiday music, interactive teddy bear stuffing, fireside story time, and a festive photo booth at this event! It’s the perfect holiday experience for your little one, and they’ll genuinely remember it for years to come. 

More info: lpjkids.com

Fairfax Craft Faire
Photo courtesy of Fairfax Craft Faire.

Fairfax Craft Faire

Date TBD

Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for holiday gifts for your friends and family. Come out to the Fairfax Craft Faire and shop for local artisan-made crafts/goods. While you’re there, make sure to check out the wreath-making booth around noon to create a personal wreath for your home.

More info: townoffairfax.org

Breakfast with Santa in San Anselmo
Photo courtesy of the Town of San Anselmo.

San Anselmo Breakfast with Santa

Date TBD

Enjoy a plate of breakfast with the old Saint Nick at the Ross Valley Fire Station. Children will have the opportunity to do some arts & crafts and take photos with Santa while they’re there. This is a perfect family-friendly event to get together with the community for the holidays. 

More info: townofsananselmo.org

Flyer for Jingle Bell Run in Sausalito
Photo courtesy of Sausalito Winterfest.

Jingle Bell 5k and Brunch

Date TBD

Slip on those running shoes and feel the wind at the Sausalito Winterfest Jingle Bell 5k. The race begins in the historic Sausalito waterfront early in the morning, and runners can complete it at their own pace. There’s also a kid-friendly race later in the morning. After the race, enjoy a holiday brunch at The Spinnaker restaurant. 

More info: winterfestsausalito.com

Tree lighting street party in Downtown Novato
Photo courtesy of Downtown Novato Business Association.

Holidays in Downtown Novato

December 7 & 14

For holiday celebrations and great local shopping, check out Downtown Novato this December. On December 7, the town will light the Christmas tree during a night of music, shopping, kids’ activities and visits with Santa Claus. Then, stick around for Not So Silent Night on December 14 to get the best of the downtown’s shopping scene with businesses open late through the night. 

More info: downtownnovato.com

Bouncy balls fall from crane at Bouncy ball drop in downtown novato
Photo courtesy of Downtown Novato Business Association.

Bouncy Ball Drop

December 31

Ring in 2025 with 25,000 bouncy balls at this one-of-a-kind ball drop in Downtown Novato. Where else can you celebrate the new year while also adding to your bouncy ball collection? Kids can walk away with a souvenir hard hat to commemorate the occasion — plus however many bouncy balls they can fit in their pockets! 

More info: downtownnovato.com

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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