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

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

Our Hanukkah Guide for East Bay kids is a little different for 2020 focusing on at-home celebrations, interactive projects, outdoor lights, and online community. This year Hanukkah runs December 10 – December 18, 2020.

 guide to Chanukah events for Oakland, Berkeley families
Light the menorah | Photo: Heather Flett

Shopping and Food | Real-life Outings | At-home Celebrations

Hanukkah is a time for family, joy, and of course, light.  We are sharing this list of events taking place in the East Bay and hope your family enjoys eight days of celebrating miracles and connecting to one another. If you’re a parent to a young child and still figuring out your rituals and traditions, you’ll appreciate this
Jewish LearningWorks Guide for Hanukkah @ Home with Young Children.

Shop Local: Why we love Afikomen

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. Our friend, Liora, told us if you call ahead, they can provide you curbside service (510-655-1977).

Local restaurants and caterers that do Hanukkah right

brisket and latke
Traditional Hanukkah dinner | Photo provided by Chef Michael Goldfarb of Comestible Oakland

Comestible (Oakland delivery or pick-up)

A Hanukkah dinner by Comestible is $150 and feeds about four people a full menu of traditional favorites. There are two menus available with limited substitutions. Carryout or delivery are available. Spots will sell out so it is encouraged to pre-order. Find the menu here and call to place your order.

Sponsor

Saul’s Delicatessen, Berkeley

Saul’s Deli in North Berkeley has yummy Hanukkah foods year round, but for the December holiday, they usually amp up the latkes. Available for curbside pickup or limited delivery.

Rockridge Market Hall, Oakland

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

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, Multiple

Wise Sons offers a complete meal and a la carte for your favorite Hanukkah dinner items. Pick up at Beauty’s Bagels or arrange delivery available. See the Hanukkah menu.

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

chanuka books for kids from PJ Library
Here are some great Hanukkah books from PJ Library to get you in the mood for latkes and lights.

 

Sponsor

Virtual & Combo celebrations that look super fun for Hanukkah

We love to see the incredible creativity of gathering online while also sharing art materials and food.

Virtual Cooking demonstration with Michael Solomonov

Wednesday, Dec 2 @ 5:30-6:30 pm. The executive chef and co-owner of Zahav in Philadelphia will share some of his favorite Chanukah recipes during a virtual cooking event. Maybe you’ll be inspired. Free to attend, please RSVP

Kreplach Cooking Class with Jewish Gateways

Sunday, Dec 6, 2 – 4 pm. Chef Andrea Quinn will show the class how to make delicious Jewish dumplings with meat or cheese fillings. Receive the shopping list with ticket purchase. All levels of experience are welcome..
Register for $35 class.

ArtBash Live with the CJM

Friday, Dec 11. Pick up your art-making kit and get back together over Zoom on Sunday, Dec 13 (4:30–5:30 pm) to create some holiday-themed art projects. Tell a friend; all are welcome to join in the fun and make art together! There are many pickup locations.
Register to receive your free kit

Hanukkah for Young Children

Sunday, Dec. 13, 10-11 am Join Rabbi Bridget and musician, Joel Siegel, and celebrate along with other families of young children. Enjoy Hanukkah songs and dancing, the holiday story, and lighting the menorah. Tickets are $20 per family.

Chanukah Yoga and Storytime with JCC East Bay

Sunday, Dec. 13, 3 – 3:30 pm Practice Chanukah yoga poses and listen to Chanukah stories. Best for children 2 years to 7 years old, older siblings are always welcome. Tickets are $0 – $25 per family on a sliding scale.

Octopretzel Hanukkah Music and Puppet Performance

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 5-6:15 pm Expect family-friendly fun and interactive songs, klezmer music, traditional candle lighting with blessings, and super silly puppets – all from the comfort of your own home. Tickets are $15. The performance is via Zoom.

At-home Hanukkah projects & crafts

Color Me Mine, Alameda

Color Me Mine has many wonderful Judaica products to select and paint at home. Prices range from $10 to $40 the ceramic menorah running $32.50. Fees include paints and firing.

Mirror Menorah (Chanukiah) from Madua Crates

Ready to have fun while learning about Judaism and STEM? Make a Chanukiah while learning about the Jewish Holiday of Chanukah and the Physics and Math behind mirrors and reflections. Additional kits available. For ages 4 to 444. Madua Crates are available for $38 a month on a monthly subscription basis.

Menorah and Sufganiyah for Hanukkah
The Hanukkah menorah and Sufganiyah deep-fried jelly doughnuts. Yum yum.

 

Bay Area Hanukkah Outdoor Gatherings

There are a few cool socially distant Chanukah gatherings including a drive-in menorah lighting and two car parades you can drive in!

Union Square Menorah Lighting, San Francisco

Thursday, Dec. 10 through Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Each evening, the Bill Graham Menorah Project will sponsor a very large menorah lighting accompanied by community blessings. Times vary. You are also encouraged to watch online. See schedule >

Drive-in Menorah Lighting, Alameda

Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 4:30-5 pm. Celebrate Chanukah with Chabad of Alameda’s 4th Annual Grand Menorah Lighting. From the comfort of your car, enjoy a spectacular fire show, receive a box of Chanukah goodies, and sing along in unity as they kindle the grand nine-foot GLOW Menorah Please RSVP >
Corner of Viking Street and West Hornet Ave, Alameda Point

Drive-in Menorah Lighting, Novato

Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 4 pm. From the safety of your car but the community of a parking lot, join others to light a giant menorah.  Enjoy a special video, Chanukah songs, and more. Whole Foods Market and Nugget Market will provide latkes and donuts. Learn more >
Hamilton Community Center Parking Lot, 503 Palm Drive, Novato

Chanukah Car Parade, Brentwood

Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 4:30 pm. Along with the grand menorah lighting outside of Brentwood City Hall, there is a lighted car parade. Join. Honk. Light. Witness the car parade or drive in it. To participate in this coolest parade with a Car Menorah, donations start at $36.
150 City Park Way, Brentwood

Chanukah Parade, San Francisco

Tuesday, Dec. 15 @ 6 pm to 8 pm. Spread the light. Join a parade of all kinds of vehicles through the streets of San Francisco with or without a light-up menorah on your rooftop. There will be socially distanced menorah lighting and Chanukah Gelt. RSVP required.
Safeway parking lot, 1335 Webster Street, San Francisco

Bay Area light displays that aren’t all Christmasy

There are a few big changes to annual lighting traditions that you might want to know about. We’re seeing a move toward nature-themed installations that might suit a Jewish celebration of light.

Public Illuminated Art Displays, San Francisco

There are a few big changes to annual lighting traditions that you might want to know about. We’re seeing a move toward nature-themed installations that might suit a Jewish celebration of light.

Entwined, a large-scale art installation in Peacock Meadow at Golden Gate Park. Look for illuminated trees and tree-like sculptures. Some of them even look like giant menorahs.

Illuminate SF is a city-wide festival of light running Thanksgiving through January of non-holiday light art sculptures.

Admission-based enlightened experiences, Oakland

Glowfari at the Oakland Zoo is a massive display of hundreds of gigantic, larger-than-life, glowing Chinese lanterns to thrill your family. Most images will be of animals (including prehistoric!) and “conservation themes”. Runs now through January.

Fairy Winterland, though it still features Santa Claus, has made great strides to be more culturally inclusive with thousands of twinkly lights and culturally-diverse holiday displays. From December 26 through December 30, there is no Santa Claus. Of course, Hanukkah will also be over.

See our holiday lights guide and judge for yourself >


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

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