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What to do Christmas-New Years week

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San Diego, CA
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What to do Christmas-New Years week

We are visiting SF Dec. 29-31 with 3 kids ages 9, 12 and 16. We have been to SF several times and have done all the traditional things..Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Warf etc. We are coming to do holiday activites. Any suggestions?Any neighborhoods with fantastic light displays, any great shows/plays, holiday festivals, etc?

San Francisco...
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1. Re: What to do Christmas-New Years week

majority of light displays and gingerbread houses are in the lobbies of the major hotels such as Westin St. Francis, Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, The Palace; the neighborhoods with window displays include Union Street from Octavia to Steiner and Marina district (bus lines 30, 45, 22) Chestnut Street from Fillmore to Pierce; Macy's window in Union Square; Embarcadero 1-4 buildings; holiday ice rink in Union Square; events at Grace Cathedral: gracecathedral.org/calendar/…

there may be more events posted on this site nearer to mid-December: squidlist.com/events/index.php…

check back to this site the day before you leave: http://www.sfgate.com/96hours

free papers SF Weekly and SF Bay Guardian come out on Wednesdays so check the newspaper kiosks for those to give you ideas

Paxton Gate has a very cool children's store www.paxtongate.com/seestores_kidspics_lg.aspx

Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids

766 Valencia Street

between 18th & 19th Streets

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: What to do Christmas-New Years week

Have you taken the children to the Exploratorium? If not, it is a must. You may never get them out of there.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Also, the Academy of Science recently opened. You must see this. It is a natural science museum, an aquarium, a rain forest, a planetarium, a "living roof" and more, all rolled into a beautiful building. Get tickets online ahead of time. When you arrive, go first to the place where you get a time for the planetarium. This is a MUST.

http://www.calacademy.org/index_alt.php

Edited: 24 November 2009, 04:33
San Diego, CA
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3. Re: What to do Christmas-New Years week

Thank you, both, for your ideas! We will check out the window displays. I am originally from Chicago and forgot how much fun it is to do that. We don't really have that city atmosphere in San Diego! Thanks, too, for the links to other ideas!

We have not been to the Exploratorium or Academy of Sciences. Are they both places a 16 and 12 year old would enjoy? If we only went to one or the other, which would be best?

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: What to do Christmas-New Years week

Either of them would work for your children. The Exploratorium would be more fun because it is an interactive science discovery and most people have a hard time getting their kids out of it after a couple of hours. Look at the website I gave you.

However, the Academy of Science has much to see.....it is a brand new complex which encompasses a natural history museum, an aquarium, a rain forest, a planetarium, and a "living roof". It is almost too much to take in in one visit.

I think I would opt for the Exploratorium.

But, your choice.

San Francisco
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5. Re: What to do Christmas-New Years week

Macy's is again sponsoring the SF/SPCA kittens and puppies in their windows (it's already open for anyone already in the Christmas spirit). The windows are nicely decorated but the real attraction are the little ones frolicking about. Hands on can be had in the little office next to the elevators.

If you have to pick between the Academy and the Exploratorium, I'd opt for Exploratorium also (full disclosure, I haven't been to the new Academy yet). Believe me, ALL your kids will enjoy it. You will have diffculty dragging them out after 3 or 4 hours (it's also quite a bit less expensive than the Academy).

If they are Star Wars fans, the Yoda fountain at the Letterman Center is a short walk from the Exploratorium, here's a map: http://tinyurl.com/Exploratorium-to-Yoda

There is also the new Disney Family museum in the Presidio which just opened in October.

A definite holiday tradition is attending a performance of SF Ballet's Nutcracker (don't know if you've got girls or boys -- the girls seem to like it more but SF Ballet is a world class company).

One last suggestion is the Cartoon Museum near Yerba Buena.

Links:

www.exploratorium.edu

www.calacademy.org

…go.com/disneyatoz/familymuseum/index.html

http://www.sfballet.org/

http://cartoonart.org/

Edited: 24 November 2009, 15:14
6. Re: What to do Christmas-New Years week

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