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. 

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Mill Valley Winterfest
Elf Hunt Downtown San Rafael Things to Do December North Bay
Photo: Courtesy of Salford Community Leisure

Downtown San Rafael Elf Hunt

November 24–January 4

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:

icb winter studios_north bay_dec_800x450_ Andrew Faulkner

Winter Open Studios

December 1–3

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:

north bay_dec23_Muir-Beach-Arts-Fair-Tom-Soltesz
Photo: Paiting by Tom Soltesz

Muir Beach Holiday Arts Fair

December 2–3

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:

north bay_dec23_1200x800_david-tomaseti-AaZlf5FgUws-unsplash

Holiday Choral by Candlelight

December 2–3

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:

Photo: Courtesy of Nick's Cove
Photo: Courtesy of Nick's Cove

Santa at Nick's Cove

December 3

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. 

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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.

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Annual Lighted Boat Parade

December 9

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:

teddy bear
Photo: Courtesy of DRZ via Unsplash

Teddy Bear Tea à la Française

December 9

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:

people shopping at craft fair
Photo: Courtesy of Fairfax Craft Faire

Fairfax Craft Faire

December 9

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:

christmas breakfast
Photo: Courtesy of the Town of San Anselmo

San Anselmo Breakfast with Santa

December 9

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:

jingle bell 5k run poster
Photo: Courtesy of Sausalito Winterfest

Jingle Bell 5k and Brunch

December 10

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:

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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