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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

14 Things to Do Over Winter Break

Are you crawling the walls yet? Here are 14 things to do over winter break in the Bay Area. Add your own favorites in the comments section!

1. Visit the Golden Gate Express Train Exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

2. While you're at Golden Gate Park, check out the Academy of Sciences' Tis the Season for Science, through January 16. Get your fill of snow - indoors, see some live reindeer, learn about how holiday symbols connect with the natural world, see where cinnamon comes from, and find out if partidges really live in pear trees.  

3. Curiodyssey in San Mateo has Winter Explorer Days 12/20-23 from 10-3. Changing drop-in daily science activities - free with admission.

4. Visit the Marine Mammal Center in Marin, and check out the seals and sea lions getting rehabilitated. Open daily except Christmas and New Year's Day. Free admission and no reservations needed.

5. Waste some gas looking at holiday lights. Here’s a list of light displays in the Bay Area.

6. Go to the Oakland Zoo for Zoolights, through January 1st. Using LED-lights (those are the efficient ones, by the way), you’ll see animals, candy canes and Santa Clause, shaped by lights. There’s a train ride (Snowball Express), Santa’s workshop, and light show in the meadow. 

7. Gilroy Gardens has nightly weekend light shows, ice skating and rides.

8. Make some crafts and homemade treats! A sock-snowman, an edible snowman, easy Hanukkah crafts, caramel chocolate popcornrock candy, or chocolate dipped pretzels 

9. See a show. Xanadu in San Francisco through January 13. Cats in San Jose December 27 through January  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas in SF December 21-31. A Christmas Carol in San Jose through December 24. There are still a few Nutcracker shows left. The San Francisco Symphony has holiday shows.

10. Visit a museum you’ve never been to – look at my museum list on the right side and pick one! Favorites include the newly reopened Childrens Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum), the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Lawrence Hall of Science, the Tech Museum of Innovation, the California Academy of Sciences, the SF Museum of Modern Art & the Randall Museum.

11. Go ice skating. Here are several options for outdoor holiday ice skating in the Bay Area:

12. Kiddie Amusement parks! Try Children’s Fairyland in Oakland.

13. These Bay Area birthday party locations often have open hours – especially bounce house places like Bounce U and Pump it Up.

14. Go swimming – indoors at Silliman Aquatic Center. Their indoor play structure, slides and Jacuzzi are just thing for cold days. 

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