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.

In 2021, Hanukkah runs from November 28 – December 6, 2021.

large menorah and child looks on
Lighting the menorah together | Photo: PJ Library Bay Area

PJ Library Celebration Guide | Kid-Friendly Hanukkah Outings & Events | 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:

 

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 the ceramic menorah running $32.50. Fees include paints and firing.

Homemade Glow-in-the-dark Donuts, Judaism UnBoxed. ‘Chanukah in a box’ includes recipes and ingredients for glow-in-the-dark doughnuts and edible cookie gelt along with a holiday guide and blessing cards. $75 includes shipping. Learn more >

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 >

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Calendar of Kid-Friendly East Bay Hanukkah Events

No Events

Hanukkah Outings Worth the Drive

Chanukah Festival, Santa Rosa

Sunday, Nov. 28, 4-6 pm. Celebrate Chanukah at Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa with live music, latkes, kosher foods, and dreidels. More info >
Montgomery Village Shopping Center, 911 Village Court, Santa Rosa, CA

Chanukah Train, Santa Cruz

Sunday, November 28 @ 5 pm or 6:30 pm with a menorah lighting at 6:15 pm.

Roaring Camp Chanukah Train
Santa Cruz Chanukah Train | photo: Roaring Camp Facebook

Share the light of Hanukkah aboard Roaring Camp Railroad’s Chanukah Train! Gather at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for the lighting of the menorah at 6:15 pm, and then set off on a one-hour train ride on Roaring Camp’s vintage excursion cars adorned with thousands of shining lights and Chanukah decorations. Share traditions and ride the train through the streets of Santa Cruz listening to stories, playing dreidel, and enjoying kosher refreshments provided by Chabad by the Sea. $27 child (age 2 to 12); $31 adult over 13.
Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Website for details and booking >

Drive-in Chanukah with Drone Menorah, San Mateo

Monday, Nov. 29, 5:30-6:30 pm. Join musician, Jonathan Bayer, and celebrate alongside a Dreidel Mascot. Enjoy Hanukkah songs and dancing, children’s entertainment, and a drone menorah. Free but RSVP required.
RSVP for the exact location in San Mateo.

Chanuka Celebration & Kids Concert, Palo Alto

Thursday, Dec. 2 @ 5-6 pm. Celebrate the festival of lights with a performance by Octopretzel (one of our faves!), a puppet show, crafts, and dreidel games for the kids. Learn more >
660 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA

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

Sunday, Dec. 5 @ 9:30 am-12:30 pm or 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

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

Hanukkah Concert for Preschoolers, Foster City

Sunday, Dec. 5 @ 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 1. Learn more >
800 Foster City Blvd. Foster City, CA

Chanukah Car Parade, Festival & Menorah Lighting, Brentwood

Sunday, Dec. 5 @ 4-6 pm. Join. Honk. Light. Witness the car parade or drive in it. The event begins at 4 pm with the lineup and includes a Chanukah Festival with latkes and games before the grand menorah lighting at Brentwood City Park. The entire event is outdoors. Learn more and RSVP >
City Park, 35 Oak Street, Brentwood

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

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

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.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, Multiple

Wise Sons Deli offers a complete meal and a la carte for your favorite Hanukkah dinner items with multiple pick-up locations and pop-ups. See the Hanukkah menu.

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

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

The books pictured above are as follows:

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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