(credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Hanukkah is a wonderful time of year to come together and share in celebrating with the local community. The entire family can get involved in the festivities with everything from stories and music to crafts and even fake snow. Here is a list of five of the best ways to celebrate Hanukkah in the Bay Area. For even more ideas, see our 2012 article.
Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Rd.
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Date: Dec. 14, 2014
Bring the whole family down to the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley on Sunday, December 14 to enjoy a Hanukkah Snowstorm. From noon to 4 p.m., the center’s gym will be filled with artificial snow for the enjoyment of kids and adults alike. Preschoolers have a special play area all to themselves, and “Frozen” favorite Olaf will be making a visit. This free event is open to the public and also includes carnival games and bounce houses.
Roaring Camp Railroads
5401 Graham Hill Rd.
Felton, CA 95018
Date: Dec. 18, 2014
Celebrate the Festival Of Lights aboard Roaring Camp Railroad’s vintage train. On the third night of Hanukkah this year, December 18, Roaring Camp will hold two departures from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Join other train riders in listening to Hanukkah tales, playing games and sampling kosher treats while rolling through the city of Santa Cruz in a festively adorned excursion car. Ride ticket prices include a choice of laser tag, arcade play or mini golf at the Boardwalk.
Head to Valencia Park in Santana Row on Wednesday, December 17 to enjoy a festive Menorah Lighting and holiday celebration. Located in the grassy area in front of Maggiano’s, the celebration will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to the lighting of the Menorah, families can enjoy refreshments, crafts and stories. The event will also include live entertainment.
Events at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Date: Dec. 16-24, 2014
The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco will be holding a number of events to celebrate the Hanukkah season. Kick off the season on Tuesday, December 16 at 4 p.m. at a Hanukkah holiday open house, complete with candle lighting, kosher treats, stories and songs. On Saturday, December 20, the center will host a family-friendly holiday-themed play date. On this date, there will also be a concert by Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band. Close out the season on Sunday, December 21 by attending the silent meditative Makar Or retreat.
Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.