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 Sunday, November 12th of this year.

Also referred to as the Festival of Lights, Diwali commemorates the spiritual triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. For many, this marks a new calendar year and a path for 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 for five days in their own fashion while keeping its historical significance close to heart. Kids and adults alike enjoy dynamic festivities including fireworks, lighting diyas (clay lamps), rangoli (decorations with colored powder, rice, and flowers), family gatherings, exchanging gifts and blessings, and plenty of food and sweets.

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

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

Sparklers are a great way to engage children in their own fireworks display while celebrating the Festival of Lights. | Photo: Parul Patel

Bay Area Diwali Festival, Cupertino

When: Saturday, October 14 (11 am-6 pm)
Where: Memorial Park, 21121 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino
What’s great for families: This FREE Diwali event features a feast of food that appeals to all senses, cultural activities that include performances and rangoli display, arts & crafts booth, and a kids zone.
More Information >

Diwali Fireworks Bay Area, Pleasanton

When: Saturday, October 21 (noon-11 pm)
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton
What’s great for families: 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. (Kids under 5 are FREE.)
View complete event details >

Festival of India & Diwali Mela, Milpitas

When: Saturday, October 28 (10:30am-8 pm)
Where: India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas
What’s great for families: Festival of Globe (FOG) is celebrating Diwali with arts & crafts, diya painting, dance performances, and more!
Find out more on Facebook >

Diwali Festival, Sunnyvale

When: Saturday, October 21 (10 am-4 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 >

City Center Bishop Ranch Diwali Celebration, San Ramon

When: Sunday, November 5 (5 -6:30 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, a selfie station, and a rangoli art experience all amidst the bustling City Center full of shops and dining.
Learn more >

Diwali: Festival of Lights, San Jose

When: Saturday, November 11 (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 >

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

When: Saturday, November 18 (3-5 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 honor Diwali right at home.

diwali kid art
Happy Diwali | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Diwali Food and Sweets

No celebration is complete without food and lots of traditional Diwali sweets. Here are some of our favorite places to shop for Diwali and grab a bite.

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.
  • New India Supermarket (El Cerrito): A one stop shop for all of your Diwali (and everyday) staples.
  • 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

If we’re not cooking at home, our team enjoys 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.
  • 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.
  • ID Company (Newark): dosa lovers can get their dosa fix right here.
  • 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 raas garba (folk 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

Navratri 2023 officially begins on Sunday, October 15, and ends on Tuesday, October 24 (event dates vary). 

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

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

Dates: Friday, Oct.13; Saturday, Oct.14; Friday, Oct.20, Saturday, Oct.21; Friday, Oct.27, Saturday, Oct.28
Time: 7:30 pm-11:30 pm
Where: Washington High School, 38442 Boulevard, Fremont
Website to RSVP >

SEF Dandia 2022, Santa Clara

When: Friday, Oct.20 & Saturday, Oct. 21
Time: 7:00 pm-midnight
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara
Kids 5 & under, FREE
Find out more >

Jingle Garba for the Entire Family, Fremont

When: Sunday, October 15th
Time: 5:00-8:00pm
Where: Centerville Junior High School, 37720 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
More information >

Discovery Dandiya Night, San Ramon

When: Saturday, November 4th
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: Dougherty Valley High School, 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon
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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1 thought 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

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