Celebrating Diwali with Kids in the East Bay - 510 Families
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Celebrating Diwali with Kids in the East Bay

India’s most celebrated holiday, DIWALI, is on Monday, October 24th of this year.

Diwali, commonly referred to as the Festival of Lights, is a five-day annual event commemorating the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. In essence – it is a celebration of new beginnings.

Using stencils for rangoli (colored powder) is a common art custom during Diwali. It’s fun for all ages! | Photo: Shraddha V. Patel

Families celebrate Diwali in their own fashion while keeping its historical significance close to heart. Common forms of celebration include lighting diyas (clay lamps), rangoli (floor decorations with colored powder, rice, and flowers), fireworks, family gatherings, exchanging of gifts and well wishes, and plenty of food and sweets.

However you choose to celebrate or learn about Diwali this year, cheers to a new beginning!

Diwali events for families | Crafts to do at home | Diwali food and sweets | Navratri events for families

Diwali Events for Families

Kids get into the spirit of Diwali with sparklers. | Photo: Parul Patel
Sparklers are a great way to engage children in their own fireworks display while celebrating the Festival of Lights. | Photo: Parul Patel

2022 Bay Area Diwali Festival, Cupertino

When: Saturday, October 8 (11 am-6 pm)
Where: Memorial Park, 21121 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino
What’s great for families: In its 19th year of celebrating Diwali, this event will feature a feast of food that appeals to all senses, cultural activities that include performances and rangoli display, arts & crafts booth, and a kids zone.
Ticket Information >

Diwali Fireworks Bay Area, Pleasanton

When: Saturday, October 15, 2022 (noon-11 pm)
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton
What’s great for families: At just $3, families get an entire day of food and fun that ends with a display of fireworks at this AIA-hosted event. The Kids Zone attraction features pony rides, train rides, a petting zoo, and face painting.
View complete event details >

Festival of India & Diwali Mela, Fremont

When: Saturday, October 15, 2022 (10 am-7 pm)
Where: Mission San José High School, 41717 Palm Avenue, Fremont
What’s great for families: Festival of Globe (FOG) is celebrating Diwali in the heart of Fremont with arts & crafts, a kids zone, performances, and a fashion show. FREE admission and parking for this event!
Find out more on Facebook >

Diwali Festival, Sunnyvale

When: Saturday, October 15 (10 am-5 pm)
Where: Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 E Remington Dr, Sunnyvale
What’s great for families: South Asian Cultural Association of Sunnyvale (SACAS) is hosting a FREE family event that features diya lighting, dances, food trucks, a kids zone, henna, and much more.
Learn more >

Diwali: Festival of Lights, San Jose

When: Saturday, October 22, 2022 (9:30 am-12:30 pm & 1:30-4:30 pm)
Where: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose
What’s great for families: Learn about the grand traditions of Diwali with dance, music, and activities that bring the Festival of Lights to life. As part of the museum’s Cultural Celebration Series, it is included with Museum admission. Members do not need to purchase tickets in advance.
Find out more >

City Center Bishop Ranch Diwali Celebration, San Ramon

When: Sunday, October 23, 2022 (2 -4 pm)
Where: City Center Bishop Ranch, 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd, Suite 2650, San Ramon (event located in Alexander Square)
What’s great for families: This Diwali celebration will feature live music and Bollywood dances, henna tattoos, and a rangoli art experience all amidst the City Center full of shops and dining for after the event.
Learn more >

Diwali: The Festival of Lights with Non-Stop Bhangra, Alameda

When: Saturday, November 19 (5 -7:30 pm)
Where: 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda
What’s great for families: This one-of-a-kind, highly energetic celebration by Rhythmix Cultural Works features an evening of dance lessons, a live DJ, henna, a photo booth, food, drinks, arts & crafts for kids, and so much more. Before the event, practice your dancing and bhangra!
Ticket & Event Information >

Non Stop Bhangra Indian dance performance
Non-Stop Bhangra celebrates the beautiful and vibrant spirit of Bhangra, traditional Punjabi folk music, and dance. Featuring dance lessons and dance performances with Dholrhythms Dance Company, an eclectic mix of DJs, live drummers, and guest musicians. | Photo: Non Stop Bhangra

Remember to RSVP in advance, and let us know which celebrations you loved!

Crafts and Art at Home

In addition to Bay Area Diwali events, kids can enjoy creative ways to decorate and honor Diwali right at home.

diwali kid art
Happy Diwali | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Diwali Food and Sweets

Eating is always the best part of any holiday, amiright!? Here are our favorite places to shop for Diwali and grab your favorite Indian cuisine.

Favorite Diwali Grocery Stops

  • Viks Chaat (Berkeley): Vik’s is the one-stop-shop to grab a delectable lunch or dinner while picking up your Indian groceries. They also have a nice selection of Diwali gifts and, of course, sweets! The gulab jamun here is our favorite!
  • Bombay Spice House (Berkeley): Pick up all your groceries, shop for Diwali, and grab some samosas to-go.
  • Milan Sweet Center (Milpitas): If you’re going to venture out of the 510, this is the place to go! You can choose from an array of sweets and indulge in one-of-a-kind vegetarian food options. You will be hooked!
colorful diyas
Pick up some colorful diyas for Diwali while you shop for groceries at Viks. | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Favorite Indian Cuisines

When we’re not cooking at home, we like these places for delicious Indian food around the East Bay.

  • Annapurna (Oakland): an Oakland staple of Nepalese & Indian classics.
  • Udupi Palace (Berkeley): the idli sambar is one of the best in the East Bay.
  • Namaste Madras Cuisine (Berkeley): if you need your dosa fix, this is the place.
  • India Palace (Alameda): flavorful curries with meat or vegetarian dishes.
  • Chaat Bhavan (Fremont): choose from a variety of tasty Indian street food.
  • India Garden (Pleasanton): an abundance of delicious flavors and selections.
  • Amber (San Francisco): if you’re really looking to feel fancy for the night!

Navratri events for families

This time of year also includes festivities encompassing Diwali that celebrate good over evil; the nine nights of Navratri is the most renowned. This year there are plenty of events to join the circle (literally) of dance, live music, prayer, colorful attire, and social gathering while honoring the powerful goddess Durga.

Diwali Navratri
Kids of all ages can dress up in beautiful attire and enjoy Navratri | Photo: Parul Patel

It is not necessary to wear traditional clothing, but it does make it more fun! There are options to rent traditional Indian clothing or buy it.

Navratri 2022 officially begins on Monday, September 26, and ends on Wednesday, October 5 (event dates vary). 

East Bay Family Garba dancing with children
East Bay Family Garba in Oakland | 2019 | Photo: East Bay Family Garba

Prepare your family for Navratri this year with a garba and dandiya tutorial!

Gujarati Cultural Association (GCA) Bay Area Raas Garba, Fremont

Dates: Friday, Sept. 30; Saturday, Oct.1; Friday, Oct.7, Saturday, Oct.8
Time: 7:30 pm-11:30 pm
Where: Washington High School, 38442 Boulevard, Fremont, CA 94536
Website to RSVP >

SEF Dandia 2022, Santa Clara

When: Saturday, Oct.1; Sunday, Oct. 2; Friday, Oct.7
Time: 7:00 pm-11:30 pm
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara
Kids 5 & under, FREE
Find out more >

Jingle Garba: Let’s Go Kids, Fremont

When: Sunday, October 2 (5 pm-7 pm)
Where: Centerville Junior High School, 37720 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
More information >

Disco Dandiya for a Cause (Children’s Mental Health Awareness), San Ramon

When: Saturday, October 8 (5:30-9:30 pm)
Where: Gale Ranch Middle School, 6400 Main Branch Rd., San Ramon
Kids under 4, FREE
Ticket Information >

Did we miss one? Send us any events happening in your community.

Here’s to new beginnings. Happy Diwali to all! | Photo: Shraddha V. Patel

Read more about Diwali and Navratri here.


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2 thoughts on “Celebrating Diwali with Kids in the East Bay”

  1. Thanks for sharing! Another place for Indian sweets and groceries in the East Bay: New India supermarket in El Cerrito. 10289 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito

  2. Pingback: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) – Acalanes Parents Club

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