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!
I offer you these tree lighting ceremonies in chronological order. Tell me which ones you've visited!
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Location: Piedmont Community Hall – 711 Highland Ave. Oakland
Join us as we light the tree for the season.
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, December 7, 2018
Location: Emeryville Community Center of Life (ECCL) – 4727 San Pablo Ave Emeryville
Grab a seat on the curb and enjoy the parade. Afterwards, head over to City Hall and enjoy the Tree Lightning Ceremony, where there will be music, dancing, and a special visitor.
Time: 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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.
[Thanks to Ghirardelli Square tree lighting in San Francisco for providing this image]