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 Sunday, December 18, at sundown through December 26, 2022.
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:
- Listen: The Hanukkah Story For Kids
- Recipes: 10 Easy Kid-Friendly Hanukkah Recipes
- Parent tips: Sharing Hanukkah at School
- Parent tips: Gifts, recipes, and activities for each night of Hanukkah
- Books: The Ultimate Hanukkah book list and Hanukkah books for interfaith families
- Listen: Family-friendly story podcasts, holiday playlists, dance mixes, and sing-alongs
- Sign up friends and family for FREE Jewish children’s books >
Calendar of Kid-Friendly East Bay Hanukkah Events
Saturday, December 10, 202210:30 AM: Candle-Making w Jewish Gateways & PJ Library @ Tassajara Park and Playground, El Cerrito
Sunday, December 11, 20223:00 PM: Chanukahfest @ JCC East Bay, Berkeley, Berkeley
Sunday, December 18, 202210:00 AM: Donuts & Dreidels @ Piedmont Community Hall, Piedmont
10:30 AM: Young Children's Hanukkah Celebration @ Lake Temescal, North Entrance, Oakland
1:00 PM: Thrive City Winter Wonderland: Menorah Lighting @ Thrive City, San Francisco
4:00 PM: Broadway Plaza Menorah Lighting @ Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek
4:30 PM: Grand Chanukah Celebration on the Lake @ Lake Merritt Amphitheater, Oakland
4:30 PM: Grand Menorah Lighting - Chabad Alameda @ Rittler Park, Alameda
4:45 PM: Community Hanukkah Menorah Candle Lighting @ Downtown Martinez, Martinez
Tuesday, December 20, 20225:00 PM: Piedmont Chanukah Celebration @ Piedmont Community Hall, Piedmont
Thursday, December 22, 20225:00 PM: South Shore Menorah Lighting @ South Shore Center, Alameda
5:30 PM: Oakland Car Menorah Parade @ Chabad Jewish Center of Oakland & Piedmont, Oakland
More Bay Area Hanukkah Happenings
Menorahs & Miracles @ Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose
Sunday, Dec. 4 @ 1:30-4:30 pm. Hannukah celebration with hands-on play was created in partnership with the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center. 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 Festival, Redwood City
Sunday, Dec. 4 @ 11 am-2 pm. Jelly donuts, latkes, games, jumpy houses, and kid-centric performer Andy Z. Learn more >
Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
ArtBash Your Way: Hanukkah, San Francisco & virtual
Pick-up Tuesday, Dec. 6 & Create Sunday, Dec. 18. The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents the newest Family ArtBash, aimed at kids ages 4 to 12, but open to everyone. Get all the supplies you need to create a seasonal art project together. The CJM is in San Francisco, but there are several East Bay pickup locations. Reserve your free kit >
Young Children’s Concert by Melita, Pleasanton
Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 4-6:30 pm. Join other families of young children for a Hanukkah-themed performance by Melita followed by a yummy Hanukkah dinner. This event is free, but reserve your spot. Learn more >
Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
A Tie Dye Chanukah, Oakland
Sunday, Dec. 11 @11:30 am-12:30 pm. For a $10 per child fee, families can enjoy the “trendiest donuts and dreidels” and all the holiday crafts with a colorful twist. Kids dye their own warm winter beanies, glaze donuts, and do a dance challenge. Learn more >
Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 3014 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland
Hanukkah Concert for Preschoolers, Foster City
Sunday, Dec. 18 @ 10-11:30 am. Wornick Jewish Day School hosts an in-person concert with Isaac Zones for 3-5 year-olds and their families. RSVP by December 14. Learn more >
800 Foster City Blvd. Foster City, CA
Bill Graham Menorah, Union Square, San Francisco
Sunday, Dec. 18 from 2 pm to 6 pm. The first lighting is observed with kids’ crafts all afternoon followed by a menorah lighting ceremony honoring George Zimmer. Food is provided by Jerry’s Kosher Deli. Free event, but RSVP is requested. Additional nights have additional nights through Sunday, Dec. 25.
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
Jewish Heritage Night @ Golden State Warriors
Tuesday, Dec. 27 @ 7 pm. Join the Warriors in San Francisco for a celebration including a special giveaway. Learn more >
Chase Center, 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.
Free lights in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Entwined San Francisco lights up Peacock Meadow in the City beginning Dec. 1 through mid-March, 2023. It has light features based on organic 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 from Nov. 11 through the end of 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. Runs from Dec. 16 to 30.
At-home Hanukkah projects & crafts
- Make a Clay And Craft Stick Menorah. For less than $5, children can make a menorah from crafty materials you may have at home. Follow instructions >
- Create a Glowing outdoor pathway. Light up the night outside your home with a simple crafty project. This activity requires about $15 in glow-in-the-dark paint available at a local craft store.
- Paint a Menorah from Color Me Mine, Alameda. Color Me Mine has many wonderful Judaica products to select and paint at home. Prices range from $10 to $40. Fees include paints and firing.
- Download Free Hannukah Printables: Activities and Guides (from puppets to dreidel rules)
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).
Chabad Oakland is providing a limited number of free Hanukkah menorah kits with all materials including the 44 candles.
Local restaurants and caterers that do Hanukkah right
East Bay Provisions, Berkeley
The catering arm at the Claremont Hotel & Spa is offering a big spread for Hanukkah this year including a brisket dinner that feeds up to 6 people. See menu >
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.
The books pictured above are as follows:
- Hanukkah Hamster
- Hanukkah in Alaska
- A Horse for Hanukkah
- I Know An Old Lady That Swallowed A Dreidel
- In The Month Of Kislev
- It’s A Miracle
- The Kugel Valley Klezmer Band
- Latke, The Lucky Dog
We wish you and your family a Hanukkah season filled with love and light.
✡️ 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.