The weather outside is delightful and, except for the drought, not at all frightful, but believe it or not the holiday season is upon us. And that means nearly two months of holiday fun and cheer are coming your way. To help you navigate the season and keep your spirits bright, we present our select guide to holiday fun inside and out from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Lighting of Sonoma Plaza The Sonoma Plaza will light up with over 100,000 bulbs, a performance from Transcendence Theatre Company, hot chocolate and cider and plenty of holiday cheer. Nov. 14. 453 First St. E., Sonoma. 4–8pm. Free. holidaysinsonoma.com.
Winterblast Ninth annual holiday art party takes over the South of A arts district in downtown Santa Rosa. Open studios showcase dozens of
artists in their element while
live music from Black Water
Gold and the Hubbub Club
kick the holiday spirit into gear. Magic, belly dancing, food from Spinster Sisters and others,
drinks from Atlas Coffee Company. Nov. 14. 312 South A St., Santa Rosa. 5–8pm. Free entry. sofasantarosa.com.
Napa on Ice Napa’s outdoor skating rink, located on the grounds of the Napa Expo, is back for another year of holiday fun. Recreational ice skating is open daily with lessons, parties, private ice time and special events offered. Nov. 20–Jan. 10. $13 admission. 707.227.7141. napaonice.com.
Holidays in Carneros Nearly 20 wineries in the Carneros region of the Sonoma and Napa valleys will offer a variety of activities including food and wine pairings, live music, art or craft shows and special tastings.
Nov. 21–22, various locations. 11am to 4pm. $50; $15, designated drivers. Contact the Carneros Winery Collective for info. 707.256.0693.
Napa Valley Wine Train Thanksgiving Thanksgiving on the Napa Valley Wine Train is a traditional gourmet feast with all the fixings in a nontraditional but memorable setting. Nov. 26. Lunch, 10:30am–3pm; dinner 4–8:30pm. $134–$209. winetrain.com/package/thanksgiving.
Yountville 27th Annual Festival of Lights Skip the shopping malls and join the people of Yountville for a food and wine festival in the holiday spirit. Santa, his elves and local celebrities will all be there to transform the town into a magical winter wonderland with thousands of sparkling lights, live entertainment and carriage rides. Nov. 27. Yountville Community Center, 6516 Washington St., Yountville. 2–6pm. Free ($15–$25 for tasting bracelets). 707.944.0904.
Healdsburg Downtown Holiday Party The chic stores downtown light up their windows with holiday lights and cheer. Live entertainment, caroling, carriage rides, pictures with Santa and merriment galore are all part of this annual small town holiday tradition. Nov. 27. Healdsburg Plaza. 4–8pm. Free. 707.433.6935.
Heart of Sonoma Valley 32nd Annual Holiday Open House Toast the holiday season on a tour of over 20 wineries including Benziger Family Winery, Imagery Estate Winery and Paradise Ridge. Includes access to wineries and winemakers, holiday gifts and souvenir wine glass. Nov. 27–28. 11am–4pm. $45 per person; designated driver, $10. 866.794.9463. heartofsonomavalley.com.
Santa’s Riverboat Arrival Santa and Mrs. Claus give the season its start when they arrive by tugboat into the Petaluma River Turning Basin and disembark to hand out candy and take holiday photos with kids while live entertainment entertains the crowd. Nov. 28. River Plaza Shopping Center,
72 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 11am to 2pm. Free. 707.762.9348.
Napa’s 53rd Annual Christmas Parade This family-friendly evening parade features floats built by Napans themselves, decked out in lights and focusing on the theme “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.” Nov. 28. First and Second streets between Franklin and Main streets. 5pm. Free.
Windsor Holiday Celebration on the Green Open the holiday season and bring the kids to send letters to Santa, make crafts, decorate gingerbread and ride the Polar Express before the annual tree lighting ceremony. Dec. 3. Windsor Town Green,
701 McClelland Drive, Windsor. 5–8pm. Free admission; $1–$8
for various activities. olddowntownwindsor.com.
Light Up A Life St. Joseph Hospice honors lives lost with annual candle- and tree-lighting ceremonies. Dec. 3. Montgomery Village Terrace, 911 Village Court, Santa Rosa. 5pm. Free. mvshops.com.
Lighting of the Vines Second annual event offers new surprises as well as the usual favorites including snacks, crafts, desserts and, of course, wine. Join the community in celebrating holiday cheer with the formal lighting of the vines taking place after dark. Proceeds go to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. Dec. 5. Hamel Family Wines,
15401 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma. 4pm. $25; kids are free. 707.996.5800.
Holidaypalooza “Wine club members only” holiday party takes you into wine caves and lets you meet the merry winemakers at Gun Bun, with food pairings, games, prizes and more. Bring a new, unwrapped gift to donate to Toys for Tots. Dec. 5. Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. Sign up to join the wine club at 707.938.5277.
Napa B&B Holiday Tour & Taste Event The bed and breakfasts of Napa invite you inside their historical inns, decked out in festive decorations, to savor select wines and tasty holiday treats. Transportation and entertainment included. Proceeds benefit local charities. Dec. 5. 3–7pm. $75 per person. napaholidaytour.com.
Petaluma Holiday Lighted Boat Parade A parade of sparkling boats shine on the Petaluma River to ring in the season while downtown shops stay open late for holiday strolling. Dec. 5. Petaluma River Turning Basin, Petaluma. 6pm. Free. visitpetaluma.com.
20th Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade A small-town celebration of the holiday season and Calistoga’s agricultural heritage boasts vintage tractors, antique trucks and other rustic autos lit up in dazzling displays in this perfect family event. Dec. 5. Lincoln Avenue between Cedar and Stevenson, Calistoga. 7pm. Free. visitcalistoga.com.
Luther Burbank Holiday Open House A popular holiday tradition in its 36th year, this open house features Victorian-era finery and a charming tour of the home and gardens, with free parking at First and D streets and free rides on Rosie the Trolley to and from the Handmade Holiday Crafts Fair held at the Finley Community Center. Dec. 5–6. 10am to 4pm. $2 (12 and older). 707.524.5445.
ICB’s 47th Annual Winter Open Studios More than a hundred painters, sculptors, fabric artists, jewelers, photographers and other artists open their doors to let you discover new and unique works of art where they are created. Dec. 5–6. Industrial Center Building, 480 Gate Five Road, Sausalito. 11am–6pm. Free admission and parking. icbbuilding.com.
Calistoga Sixth Annual Winter in the Wineries Visit up to 15 wineries and meet the winemakers in and around the Calistoga area in relaxed tasting tours that you schedule at your convenience. Dec. 5–Feb. 7. $50. visitcalistoga.com.
Osher Marin Festival of Lights Marin’s biggest Hanukkah party includes latkes, sufganiyot (doughnuts) and other festive food with the jazzy sounds of Brandeis Marin, an artisan crafts marketplace and kids’ activities. All are welcome.
Dec. 6. Osher Marin JCC,
200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 11:30am. Free entry. 415.444.8000.
10th Annual Hanukkah Hootenanny Enjoy a Hanukkah bash featuring wine, brisket sliders, latke bar and traditional jelly doughnuts. Guests encouraged to bring unwrapped new toys and canned (nonperishable) food items for donation to local Napa charities. Dec. 6, Judd’s Hill Winery,
2332 Silverado Trail, Napa. Noon. $55; free for Wine Club members. juddshill.com.
Guerneville Holiday Book & Bake Sale Find something great to read this holiday season when River Friends of the Library host their annual homemade baked goods sale and used book drive. Dec. 9–12. Guerneville Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. Wednesday, 4pm–7; Thursday–Friday, 10am–5pm; Saturday, 10am–3pm. riverfriendsofthelibrary.org.
Holly Jolly Holiday Fundraiser Dress in your holiday attire and bring family and friends for a day of Christmas films, live entertainment, food and more. The Will Ferrell comedy Elf begins the festive double feature, followed by the classic White Christmas. Dec. 12. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 5pm. $6–$8. 707.588.3400.
Holiday Arts & Seconds Sale
Local Marin artists offer holiday shoppers a chance to pick up unique and unusual gifts and one-of-a-kind handcrafted items, including ceramics, jewelry, paintings and greeting cards. Refreshments included. Nov. 14. Terra Linda Community Center, 670 Del Granado Road, San Rafael. 11am–4pm. Free admission.
West County Craft Faire Ramp up to the holidays with West County vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, quilts, body care products, art and much more with live music, food and refreshments and a raffle to benefit ECO2 School. Nov. 14. Sebastopol Grange Hall, 6000 Hwy. 12, Sebastopol. 11am–4pm. Free admission. sebastopolgrange.org.
Petaluma Arts Association Holiday Arts & Crafts Show Local artists and artisans show off their handmade wares at an art and crafts show perfect for gift giving, benefiting Mentor Me. Nov. 15, Cavanagh Center,
426 Eighth St., Petaluma. 11am–5pm. petalumaarts.org.
Gifts ‘n’ Thyme Holiday Faire Forty-three years and counting, the fair highlights more than 85 local and regional artists and makers of fine crafts, holiday pieces and food. Live music. Nov. 20–23. Napa Valley Expo, Chardonnay Hall, 575 Third St., Napa. 10am–6pm; 10am–4pm, Nov. 23. Free entry. 925.372.8691.
The Holiday Boutique A tradition in the town of Ross for over 25 years, the boutique offers homemade jams, jellies and baked goods, as well as holiday gifts and items such as wrapping paper and holiday cards. Proceeds benefit charitable causes, including supporting the community needs at St. John’s sister parish in Malawi, Africa. Nov. 27–28.
St. John’s Episcopal Church,
14 Lagunitas Road, Ross. Friday, noon–6:30pm; Saturday,
10am–5pm. Free admission. 415.456.1102
Rohnert Park Holiday Arts & Crafts Faire 36th annual Faire features holiday decorations, live music and jolly entertainment, festive treats and cheerful holiday crafts and jewelry. Nov. 27–28. Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 10am–4pm. Free admission. 707.588.3456.
45th Annual Dance Palace Holiday Crafts Fair The Community & Cultural Center rings in the holiday season with winter holiday sights, sounds and fun. Shop locally and find handmade artisan crafts, clothing, woodwork art and more. Dec. 4–7. Dance Palace, 503 B St., Point Reyes Station. Friday, 4–9pm; Saturday–Sunday, 10am–5pm. Free admission. dancepalace.org.
Landmarks Holiday Arts & Craft Sale The Belvedere Tiburon Landmarks Society and local artists bring a wide range of gifts and holiday items to the farm-cottage setting of the Landmarks Art Center. There will be jewelry, glass work, knitted items, paintings, spices and rubs and even vintage books and baked goods on hand from North Bay artisans. Dec. 5, Landmarks Art & Garden Center, 841 Tiburon Blvd, Tiburon. 10am to 4pm. Free. 415.435.1853.
Handmade Holiday Crafts Fair Event features over 70 local artists, holiday goodies, entertainment, a prize drawing and trolley rides to the Luther Burbank Holiday Open House. Dec. 5–6, Finley Community Center, 2060 West College Ave., Santa Rosa. Saturday, 9am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. $2; 12 and under are free. srcity.org.
Freya Lodge Holiday Arts & Craft Fair The Norwegian cultural center hosts this classic fair. Enjoy a variety of high-quality handmade items made by Sonoma County artists. There will also be Scandinavian baked goods, Norwegian waffles, coffee and light lunch available to purchase, and a cozy holiday atmosphere. Proceeds from food sales go to children’s charities. Dec. 12, Freya Lodge Sons of Norway Hall, 67 W. Ninth St., Santa Rosa. 11am–5pm. 707.953.2258.
21st Annual Goddess Crafts Faire Women’s art, music, dance and handmade gifts by local and regional women are all part of this winter season and holiday fair. Dec. 12–13, Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. 11am–7pm. $5–$13 suggested donation, kids free. goddesscraftsfaire.com.
30th Annual Occidental Holiday Crafts Faire Work by more than 35 local and regional artists and baked goods by Salmon Creek School students delight the senses this season. Dec. 13–14, Occidental Community Center, 3920 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental. Saturday, 10am–5pm; Sunday, 10am–4pm. Free. occidental-ca.org.
The Holiday Gift Ballet Original, full-length ballet for the whole family takes place at the 1878 World’s Fair in Paris, and features 50 classically trained ballet dancers and lively fun. Opening night includes VIP wine reception. French boutique gifts, flowers and other ticklers are available. Nov. 13–14, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. Friday: 6pm reception, 7pm show; $40. Saturday: 1:30pm and 5:30pm; $27 ($22 for seniors and youth). 707.588.3400.
A Christmas Carol / Santaland Diaries 6th Street Playhouse puts on a pair of holiday classics. First, the Dickens’ story about Ebenezer Scrooge, played by veteran television actor Charles Siebert, experiencing an unforgettable night is performed in the Hardt Theatre. Next, the hilarious and heartwarming comedy from David Sedaris, about a down-on-his-luck slacker working as an elf in Macy’s, is presented in the smaller Studio Theatre. Nov.
20–Dec. 20. 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. $10–$37. 707.523.3544.
Marin Center Just Dance Academy Winter Performance. Nov. 22. 2pm. Adults, $22; seniors and kids $20. TEN Tenors: Home for the Holidays. Nov. 27. 8pm. $30–$100. Stapleton Ballet Nutcracker. Dec. 5–6. 1pm and 5pm both days. $35; $22, seniors and youth. Marin Dance Theatre: Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop. Dec. 19. 1pm and 5:30pm. $40, adults; $30, students and seniors; Teddy Bear Tea Party, $7. Mayflower Chorus: This Shining Night. Dec. 11–12. 8pm. $18, general; $15, seniors (60 and over); students, 13–18, $5; Children 12 and under $5. Marin Ballet Nutcracker. Dec. 12–13. 1pm and 5pm. $42; $26, seniors and youth; $10, Candy Cane Party. Marin Symphony Holiday Pops. Dec. 15. 7pm. $45–$85; $20, youth. SingersMarin: ‘Tis the Season . . . Candlelight Magic. Dec. 20. 4pm. $20–$35. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415.473.6800.
‘A Christmas Memory’ For the seventh year, Truman Capote’s holiday masterpiece “A Christmas Memory” comes to life with an intimate candlelit reading by pro actors in a beautiful setting. The tender story recounts Capote’s frank and funny memories of Christmas and his family. A reception with refreshments follows; proceeds benefit charitable causes. Nov. 27–28.
St. John’s Episcopal Church,
14 Lagunitas Road, Ross. Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 2pm. $20. 707.762.8872.
Little Women: The Musical The heartwarming classic novel about four sisters in Civil War–era Massachusetts gets a new interpretation with a lively musical that is a perfect treat for the whole family. Nov. 27–Dec. 20, Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $26. 707.588.3400.
Le Cirque de Boheme Annual winter circus wonderland is based on the wondrous French tradition. This year, a brand-new original production, “Stolen Moonlight,” tells enchanting tales with an amazing cast of performers who achieve world-class heights. Nov. 27–29, Dec. 19–20, Dec. 26–27. Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. Times vary. $28–$55; $18, kids. 707.933.3856.
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. Nov. 30. 7:30pm. $45–$75. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Dec. 3. 8pm. $35–$45. San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Dec. 6. 3pm. $19–$50. LeAnn Rimes. Dec. 8. 7:30pm. $49–$59. Posada Navidena. Dec. 11. 7pm. $5 for children; $10 for adults. Symphony Pops. Dec. 13. 3pm. $37–$80. The Great Russian Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet. Dec. 19. 3pm and 7pm. $34–$181. Dave Koz. Dec. 22. 8pm. $39–$169. The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Dec. 23. 8pm. $65–$85. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 707.546.3600.
Michelle Schmitt’s Holiday Benefit Concert Acclaimed singer and her band present “Another Christmas Story,” blending holiday classics with rock and roll soul, and benefiting ExtraFood.org, which helps
feed the hungry in Marin. VIP tickets include a reception by Heidi Krahling / Insalatas,
special seating, and Schmitt’s upcoming new record. Dec. 3.
142 Throckmorton Ave.,
Mill Valley. 8pm; reception, 6:30pm. $25–$100. 415.383.9600.
Rock the Season Holiday Concert Napa Valley Community Chorus presents their third annual concert with special guests, performances by the Napa Valley Ballet, Napa Valley Children’s Chorus, and Ballet Folklorico of Napa. Dec. 3. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater,
100 California Drive, Yountville. 7:30pm. $20. 707.944.9900.
Jazzin’ Up Joys of the Season Deborah Winters and the Peter Welker All Star Band headline a holiday party that brings big band jazz to holiday favorites and boasts many spirited surprises. Dec. 4. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $28–$45. 415.383.9600.
The Sound of Christmas The four great-grandchildren of the famous von Trapp family, depicted in The Sound of Music, are themselves vocalists and musical ambassadors. They come to the North Bay for a celebratory Christmas concert alongside the Justin-Siena Choir on the 50th anniversary of the film’s release. Dec. 4. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater.
100 California Drive, Yountville. 8pm. $25–$45. 707.944.9900.
‘Miracle on 34th Street’ The classic holiday story of the People vs. Kris Kringle warms hearts and spreads seasonal joy for the whole family in this musical adaptation. Dec. 4–13, Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. Friday–Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. $12–$18. 707.894.2214.
Raven Theater It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Dec. 4–20. $10–$25. The Night Before Christmas. Dec. 5–6. Saturday, 7pm; Sunday, 2pm. Adults, $20; seniors, $18; 12 and under, $15. At the door, prices add $2. A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail. Dec. 11–20. $10–$15. 115 North St., Healdsburg, and 195 Windsor River Road, Windsor. 707.433.6335. raventheater.org.
Joy to the World The Santa Rosa Symphony begins with a fiery performance of a folk song cycle by late 20th century composer Luciano Berio; after, a majestic rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony boasts a full choir and several celebrated soloists. Dec. 5–7. Weill Hall, Green Music Center, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Saturday and Monday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. Subscription packages, $76 and up. 866.955.6040.
Occidental Community Choir: Got Nog? In its 37th year, the choir brings together beloved carols, traditional pieces, a Nigerian Christmas song and original works with special artist-in-residence Teresa Tudury sharing her talents. The first night’s performance features an audience sing-along and seasonal refreshments. Dec. 5, 11–12 at Occidental Center for the Arts; Dec. 6 at Sebastopol Center for the Arts; Dec. 13 at Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. $15; kids 12 and under are free. occidentalchoir.org.
The Healdsburg Chorus presents ‘A Christmas Collage’ A musical institution, the Healdsburg Chorus presents its annual holiday show featuring a medley of Christmas favorites and other songs of the season. Dec. 6, Glaser Center in Santa Rosa; Dec. 13–14. Healdsburg Community Church. healdsburgchorus.com.
VOENA: ‘Voices of the Season’ Concerts The angelic voices of the beloved children’s
a cappella choir, magical musical arrangements and Victorian-inspired scenes and costumes come together to create a lively holiday celebration that always sells out. Dec. 6, Lincoln Theater in Yountville; Dec. 13, City Winery in Napa; Dec. 19, Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. $25–$40. voena.org.
USAF Band of the Golden West Holiday Concert The United States Air Force’s Band of the Golden West brings the sounds of the season to the stage with a stunning 50-piece ensemble decking the hall with classic and memorable holiday melodies. Dec. 7. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. 7pm. Free. 707.944.9900.
Early Music Christmas:
In Sweetest Joy Led by Robert Worth, chamber choir Circa 1600 and organist Charles Russ illuminate an array of Italian, German and English compositions that embody the joyful spirit of the season. Includes a “BachGrounders”
pre-concert talk. Dec. 11–12. Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 8pm. $15–$25. sonomabach.org. 866.955.6040.
Kitka: ‘Wintersongs’ The Oakland-based women’s vocal ensemble channels Eastern European melodies with traditional vocal styling. Kitka perform a program of critically acclaimed, winter-inspired music ranging from Slavic folk carols to Eastern Orthodox choral works. Dec. 12, the Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts, Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 8pm. $10–$28. 415.444.8000.
Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue Songwriter Nick Lowe and his backing band Los Straitjackets sprinkle the holiday cheer with Christmas classics from their 2013 album Quality Street, as well as careful selections from Lowe’s extensive catalogue. Dec. 12. City Winery, 1030 Main St., Napa. 707260.1600. 8pm. $55–$65.
Sing Napa Valley’s ‘Messiah’ The holiday tradition returns with talented professional vocalists singing Handel’s stirring “Messiah” compositions, accompanied by Symphony Napa Valley. Dec. 13. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. 3pm. $30–$50. 707.944.9900.
Hard Working Americans Holiday Toy Drive Special four-night concert engagement brings rock and folk super group, made up of Todd Snider, Dave Schools, Neal Casal, Chad Staehly and others, to Mill Valley for a rocking week of music. Attendees are encouraged to bring unused toys, books and other gifts that will be collected and donated to less fortunate children. Dec. 15–18. Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $42–$45. 415.388.1100.
Soweto Gospel Choir South African choir steeped in continental rhythms and soulful gospel power presents a program that celebrates the holiday season. Dec. 18, Weill Hall, Green Music Center, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 7:30pm. $35 and up. 866.955.6040.
Narada Michael Walden Foundation’s 19th Annual Holiday Jam This year’s honored guest is Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, appearing with Neal Schon of Journey and many special guests in a “Dancing in the Street Christmas Party.” The benefit supports music programs for
Bay Area youth. Dec. 19.
142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415.383.9600. 8pm. $125–$175.
Napa Regional Dance Company’s ‘Nutcracker’ The 15th annual production is fun for all ages and features live music by the Symphony Orchestra of Northern California. Dec. 19–20. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. Saturday, 2pm and 7pm; Sunday, 2pm. $25–$35. 707.944.9900.
A Chanticleer Christmas Holiday favorite from the vocal orchestra tells the Christmas story in Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, traditional carols and a medley of spirituals. Dec. 20, St. Vincent’s Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. 6pm and 8:30pm. $35–$75. chanticleer.org.
‘Holiday Lights’ The New Century Chamber Orchestra highlights an international “Chrismukkah” celebration with performances by the San Francisco Girls Chorus and klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer and selections from classical holiday music. Dec. 20. The Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts, Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 5pm. 415.357.1111.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ The popular traveling ensemble, led by renowned conductor Nicholas McGegan and featuring award-winning soprano Amanda Forsythe, breathes life to Handel’s choral masterpiece. Dec. 20. Weill Hall, Green Music Center, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 3pm. $55 and up. 866.955.6040.
Christmas Jug Band Annual appearance from the longstanding group of friendly Marin musicians brings a bluesy rock aesthetic to Christmas classics for two skewered and merry concerts of folksy scuffle swing. Dec. 20–21, Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. Sunday, 7pm; Monday, 8pm. Discounted tickets for seniors and kids on Sunday.
Traditions New & Old First, classic film “The Snowman” shows on the big screen as the California Symphony and Pacific Boychoir perform the soundtrack live. Then classic selections and audience sing-alongs get the whole family ready for Christmas morning. Dec. 21. Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. 7:30pm. $35–$70. 707.944.9900.