When I was growing up, it was our family tradition to go to the movies on Christmas. Luckily, most movie theaters are open on Christmas. They're not the only game in town, though.
What's Open on Christmas Eve
- Oakland Ice Center: Three open skate sessions on Tuesday the 24th. (My review of this venue.)
- Six Flags Holiday in the Park is open in Vallejo from 11 am to 6 pm. Entertain the older cousins here!
- High Scores Arcade is open for the day in both Alameda and Hayward.
- Plank (Oakland) is open 11 am to 6 pm
- Bowlero (Alameda) is open 12 pm to 8 pm
- Chabot Science Center is open 10 am until 2 pm on Christmas Eve.
- Lawrence Hall of Science: Is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Christmas Eve.
- There's always church!
What's Open on Christmas Day
- The Contemporary Jewish Museum aka the Jewseum will have a Free Admission Day with lots of fun activities including music and art from 11 am to 4 pm.
- The San Francisco Zoo is open 365 days each year including Christmas from 10am to 4pm. And they have seasonal reindeer. Aww. [More fun stuff to see and do for Christmas in San Francisco >]
- Round1 Bowling & Entertainment with kid-friendly karaoke and arcade games (Concord) is open 10 am to 2 am
- Many of the ice skating rinks offer public skating sessions on Christmas Day (Rinks in Walnut Creek, Concord, San Ramon, and San Francisco are open)
Outside Stuff that Doesn't Close That's Fun at Christmastime
- Little Farm is open on both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve because the animals still gotta eat!
- A big list of outdoor destinations for families, most of which are accessible on holidays and totally toddler-friendly.
- Plan your day around being at a great holiday light show when it gets dark. We like Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda and the smaller Mountain View cemetery in Piedmont.
- Head toward the water. Try Oakland's Shoreline Park where you can see the big container ships. Or fly kites in the Berkeley Marina if it's not raining.
- Explore the caves at Rock City. A windy drive to a fun place to rock scramble and take pictures.
- Bring your wheels to a flat elementary school playground or the Ohlone Parkway in North Berkeley (more places to learn to ride a bike >).
- Explore some of the East Bay's secret paths and staircases.