Hanukkah events for families in Oakland, Berkeley, and surrounding areas.

Hanukkah Guide: Family-friendly Activities for the Festival of Lights

510families has partnered with our friends at PJ Library Bay Area to bring you everything you need to get ready for the Festival of Lights. Our Hanukkah Guide for East Bay kids includes recipes, book lists, gift ideas, activities, community events, child-friendly versions of the Hanukkah story, and much more.

This year, Hanukkah begins on Thursday, December 7, at sundown through Friday, December 15, 2023.

Family with Menorah
Lighting the menorah for Hanukkah together | Photo: PJ Library Bay Area

PJ Library Celebration Guide | Kid-Friendly Hanukkah Outings & Events | At-Home Crafts | Shopping and Food

PJ Library Celebration Guide to Gathering at Home

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, brings joy and sparkle during a dark time of the year. Beginning on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which falls in November or December in the Roman calendar, Hanukkah is a time to eat delicious latkes (potato pancakes), play dreidel (a traditional game featuring a spinning top), enjoy gathering with family and friends — and, of course, light Hanukkah candles for eight nights on a hanukkiah or menorah.

Here’s a quick reference to some more favorite stories, songs, and tips from the PJ Library Hanukkah Hub:

East Bay Hanukkah Events
Decorating Dreidels for Hanukkah | Photo: PJ Library Bay Area

Calendar of Kid-Friendly East Bay Hanukkah Events

No Events Found

More Bay Area Hanukkah Events

Hanukkah Inside Out, San Rafael

Sunday, Dec. 3 @ 11 am-2 pm. Parking lot party will include donuts, driedel, storytelling, and more fun for kids. Learn more >
Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael

Menorahs & Miracles @ Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose

Sunday, Dec. 3 @ 1:30-4:30 pm. Hannukah celebration with hands-on play was created in partnership with the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, PJ Library, and Yavneh Day School. Looks like tons of fun; kids make candles, play dreidels, eat latkes, and make other art. Learn more >
180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA

Chanukah Train, Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Thursday, Dec. 7 at 5.15 pm. The Santa Cruz train will be Chanukah-themed with driedels and kosher refreshments provided by Chabad by the Sea. 5 pm public menorah lighting; 5.15 train ride. Adults $31; Children 12 and under $27. Learn more >
Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

Winter Wonderland Hanukkah Celebration, Thrive City, SF

Thursday, Dec. 7 at 4 pm. Live entertainment, treats, and Hanukkah-themed arts and crafts will welcome families to Thrive City as the menorah will be lit for the evening. Learn more >
Thrive City (Chase Center), San Francisco

Latkepalooza, Foster City

Sunday, Dec. 10 @ 5:30-7:30 pm. Details to come. Learn more >
Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City

Union Square Menorah Lighting, San Francisco

Sunday, Dec. 10 @ 2 pm – 6 pm. This Sunday night lighting ceremony will include a dreidel house craft, children’s entertainment with Isaac Zones, and the actual lighting at 4.450 pm.  Learn more >
Union Square, San Francisco

Glowing Hanukkah, Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

Sunday, Dec. 18 from 3 pm to 6 pm. Celebrate with JCCSF with crafts, dreidels, songs fresh donuts, and more treats from Ghirardelli Square. Glittery and glow-in-the-dark attire is recommended. Hanukkah candles are to be lit around 4:30 pm. Learn more >
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

At-home Hanukkah projects & crafts

Find lots more wonderful kid-centric ideas on the PJ Library Hanukkah Hub >

Shopping & Hanukkah Food

Shop local! Afikomen on Claremont Ave. is a terrific local store in the Elmwood district with everything you need to celebrate at home — we are lucky to have it in our neighborhood. This Judaica shop offers wonderful customer service and so many great Hanukkah products for your family. Need a special gift? They have Hanukkah gelt, candles, menorahs, and toys too. If you call ahead, Afikomen can provide you curbside service (510-655-1977).

Local restaurants and caterers that do Hanukkah right

Saul’s Delicatessen, Berkeley

Saul’s Deli in North Berkeley has yummy Hanukkah foods year-round, but for the December holiday, they amp up the latkes. Order ahead. There will be a pick-up window for latkes and sides.

Rockridge Market Hall, Oakland

Market Hall has a delicious catering menu for Chanukah, which will be posted in December. Choose all your favorite traditional foods. Items are available for parking lot pickup or local delivery within five miles.

Wise Sons (Oakland)

Browse the catering menu to select traditional Jewish foods for the holiday.

Grand Lake Kitchen (Oakland)

Choose to pick up matzoh ball soup, latkes, brisket, or donuts. It’s everything Hanukkah to eat >

Donuts (Around the East Bay)

See our local donut guide and order a dozen of your faves >

Hanukkah books
Find these and more great Hanukkah books from PJ Library to get you in the mood for latkes and lights.

Be sure to sign up for free monthly Jewish children’s books from PJ Library all year round that are mailed to your home to keep.

We wish you and your family a Hanukkah season filled with love and light.

pj library log

Thank you to our partner, PJ Library Bay Area, a program of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, that provides free Jewish books to children from birth through twelve years of age.

✡️  Like and Follow PJ Library Bay Area on Facebook and Instagram.
✡️  Enroll in free Jewish books for children, from birth through 8 years old: PJ Library.
✡️  Enroll in free Jewish chapter books for readers, ages 8.5 – 12 years old: PJ Our Way.

[Content and images used with permission from PJ Library. Additional research conducted by the 510families team and the greater East Bay community.]

Find more seasonal family fun in our East Bay Holiday Activities Guide.

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