Be of good cheer. It’s time to shop, mingle, sip tea and ogle the decorations — all for good causes. These fundraising festivities not only put you in a holiday frame of mind, but they also help preserve the Bay Area’s historic homes, fund museum programs and support countless charities.
Here’s a lineup to consider, starting with those that get under way before Thanksgiving. But don’t dilly-dally on making reservations for later events; they always sell out quickly:
In Oakland, the Dunsmuir-Hellman mansion will be decked out for weekend events from Dec. 3-18. (Staff archives)
Nov. 16: History Museum, Los Altos
Take part in “Catch the Spirit” at the Los Altos History Museum on Nov. 16 with a guided tour of the J. Gilbert Smith History House — an enchanting 1905 Craftsman-style farm edifice decked out for the holidays. Listen to piano, choral music and talks by local authors; shop in the boutiques; and enjoy refreshments from noon to 4 p.m.
Other highlights include the new display of over 60 Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls up until Feb. 26, and works by artist Hau Beiren (Paul Hau), in an exhibit extended through Dec. 31. Nearly 100 years old, the master is considered one of California’s greatest contemporary Chinese painters.
Details: Free admission, noon-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, at 51 S. San Antonio Road. 650-948-9427, or www.losaltoshistory.org.
Nov. 17-19: Montalvo, Saratoga
The Montalvo Arts Center, the exquisite 1912 Saratoga manse built by Sen. James Duval Phelan, hosts “Yuletide Marketplace” from Nov. 17-19. The villa morphs into a venue where you’ll find handcrafted gifts, clothing, holiday decor and edible treats.
After shopping indulge in a bistro lunch ($15). Or, on Nov. 17 and Nov. 20, treat yourself to tea; morning and lunchtime teas are offered that Thursday, and a champagne tea that Sunday ($40-$50). There’s a waiting list for the “tiny tots” tea.
The center is at 15400 Montalvo Road. Marketplace hours: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Free admission for shopping. Parking: $5. Details/reservations: 408-961-5858, or www.montalvoarts.org/yuletide. All proceeds benefit maintenance and preservation of the villa and grounds.
Nov. 20: Holiday Fest, Alameda
Nearly 50 talented East Bay artisans will sell their wares at the 2016 Alameda Holiday Fest on Nov. 20. This is a great chance to get special gifts such as knitted goods, linens, jewelry, dolls, as well as books penned by Bay Area writers.
The sale is at Harbor Bay Community Center and Temple Israel at 3195 and 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with a family-friendly movie being shown at 1:30 p.m. Admission, parking free. Details: 510-522-9355; facebook.com/AlamedaHarvestFest.
Nov. 25-Dec. 3: Filoli, Woodside
The most lavish holiday extravaganza — nine full days’ worth — happens at Filoli in Woodside from Nov. 25-Dec. 3. The stately property honors its centennial with “Holiday Traditions at Filioli: Celebrate! 100 Years of Holidays.”
Meander through the palatial residence while your senses feast on scented evergreen branches and showy floral arrangements. Hear musicians perform while sipping bubbly and shop every room of the home packed with gift ideas, including ornaments, wreaths, clothing, purses, edible gifts and stocking stuffers.
Guests can enjoy a series of buffets, lunches (even one for tiny tots) plus evening bistro dining. Reservations: 650-364-8300, ext. 508, or www.filoli.org. Tickets: $30-$90. Filoli is at 86 Canada Road, Woodside. Profits help preserve the historic property for future generations.
Nov. 26-Dec. 11: Shadelands, Walnut Creek
Again this year, the Walnut Creek Historical Society will host a two-week-long Holiday Faire, plus a series of Victorian teas, at the Shadelands Ranch Museum.
If you have yet to take in the splendid 1903 redwood-framed Colonial Revival home that crowns the site, you’re in for a treat. Dozens of vendors will sell handcrafted items and gifts in the lavishly decorated home from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily., and admission is free.
You’ll want to book a tea time if you can. The three-course luncheon — offered twice daily, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.– features traditional scones and the Secret Shadelands Tea Blend.
Admission to the Holiday Faire is free; tea tickets are $35. The Shadelands Ranch Museum is at 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Reservations: 925-935-7871; www.walnutcreekhistory.info.
Dec. 1-2, Valle Monte League
This marks the 49th year the devoted members of Valle Monte League have sponsored Christmas Tree Elegance. The Dec. 1-2 bashes have “A Piccadilly Christmas: London Past and Present” as a theme; the Doubletree by Hilton San Jose will be the locale.
The events feature a tour-de-force fashion show and a selection of elaborately decorated trees at a Designer Champagne Brunch ($125) and Holiday Champagne Tea ($125), both on Dec. 1. Attendees at the evening fete Dec. 2, “London After Hours” ($180), will dance until midnight to the popular Joe Sharino Band.
Details, tickets: 408-278-8001, or www.vallemonte.org. The fundraiser supports five licensed mental health agencies in Santa Clara County.
Dec. 3-18: Dunsmuir-Hellman, Oakland
The historic Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate in Oakland will again be transformed into an Edwardian masterpiece for this year’s “A Holiday Tradition.” Events will run from noon to 4 p.m. on weekends from Dec. 3-18.
Get inspiration for your own seasonal home decor from the opulent decorations in the 37-room mansion, and spend some time shopping in the Mansion Gift Shop.
There are Holiday High Teas for adults and children, and Brunch with Santa too. Though time slots fill up early, visitors can still enjoy carriage rides, entertainment, shopping and tours of the house. Find Dunsmuir-Hellman at 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. Tickets: 510-615-5555, www.dunsmuir-hellman.com/events.
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Published at Thu, 10 Nov 2016 18:00:26 +0000