Our family tradition is to take a Christmas Day hike. If that’s not your scene, there’s a range of activities open over the holiday.
What’s Open on Christmas Eve
- Oakland Ice Center: Three open skate sessions on the 24th. Check out Whitney’s 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 in Alameda from 12:30 pm to 10 pm.
- Plank (Oakland) is open 11 am to 6 pm for food, bowling, and arcade fun.
- OMCA is open from 11 am to 5 pm.
- Lindsay Wildlife Experience (Walnut Creek) is open from 10 am to 2 pm.
- Head to Open Jump from 3 pm to 5 pm at Pump It Up in Oakland.
- Ride a ferry into San Francisco. It’s my favorite public transportation in the area and a thrill for both kids and adults.
- Go to the movies; many theaters are open over major holidays.
- There’s always church!
What’s Open on Christmas Day
- San Francisco Botanical Garden hosts a Free Admission Day from 7:30 am to 4 pm. Run through the lush lawns, hide in the trees, or visit the spectacular Children’s Garden. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Entwined light show at night.
- The San Francisco Zoo is open 365 days each year including Christmas from 10 am to 4 pm. [More fun stuff to see and do for Christmas in San Francisco >]
- The Hayward location of Round1 Bowling & Entertainment, with kid-friendly karaoke and arcade games, is open from noon to midnight.
- The New Parkway Theatre has showings between 10:30 am and 3 pm, including Cereal Cinema and a viewing of the Warriors game.
- Many of the ice skating rinks offer public skating sessions on Christmas Day. Rinks in Alameda, 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 Eve and Christmas Day 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.
- 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.
- Head to the Oakland hills. Search for salamanders in the Redwoods or walk the labyrinth at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve.
- 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.