I have such romantic ideas about public Christmas tree lightings. In my imagination, the children are bundled up all cozy and snug from a chilly evening staying up a bit past bedtime; we all countdown to the ignition; we celebrate a glorious sight. Twinkling Christmas Magic!
But really? I've been to a few of these and the ceremony is often crowded as heck and my small children are too short to see anything.
Pick your lighting-up ceremony — or ceremonies — based on how easy it is for you to get there and be prepared with a back-up plan for bored, hungry, confused kids who need the potty at the worst moments. Ice skating nearby? Perfect. A holiday cocoa? That's what they wanted to do in the first place! Some of these events offer crowds and chaos mixed with Christmas magic like a carriage ride. How to choose?
I offer you these tree lighting ceremonies in chronological order. Tell me which ones you've visited!No Events
I hope I didn't discourage you. If you're focused, you could almost make it to all of these… even with a whiny three-year old clutching your leg and begging for a cookie.
Find more to do this Holiday Season in our East Bay Holiday Guide.