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12 great Bay Area outings for holiday houseguests

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Thanksgiving and the winter holidays deliver houseguest season. You’ve ready your own home for coziness and celebrations. Now it’s time to point out these family members from close to and much why we love the Bay Area a lot.

Listed here are 12 locations to ship these houseguests frolicking, from three one-of-a-kind museums to 2 interactive sweet-tooth experiences. And never a single partridge in a pear tree.

Munro at Montalvo: Tales in Mild

Put merely, British artist Bruce Munro is to mild bulbs what Christo was to material fences. However we expect electrical masterpieces are far more superior than acres of orange material. The Montalvo Arts Middle has scored Munro’s first West Coast exhibition, and it’s one impressed by the “Chronicles of Narnia.” His “Stories in Light” present will illuminate Montalvo’s 175 acres in Saratoga by means of March 2019. You’ll be able to view it by yourself, be a part of Household Night time actions or dine within the 1912 villa earlier than exploring.

Particulars: Exhibition costs begin at $20; dates and occasions differ. 15400 Montalvo Street, Saratoga; 

Rosie the Riveter Historic Park

Seize a crimson bandana and head for the Rosie the Riveter WWII House Entrance Nationwide Historic Park in Richmond. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area Information Group) Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area Information Group

Take your pink polka-dot bandana and head to Richmond! Loads of U.S. museums discover America’s conflict historical past via the army lens. However this gem on the East Bay waterfront delves into what was occurring on the house entrance throughout World Warfare II, notably the role-changing efforts of “Rosie the Riveter,” the ladies who stored the factories buzzing. Study victory gardens and rationing campaigns, too. (And for those who don’t have a Rosie bandana, you should purchase one within the present store.) Close by is the SS Purple Oak Victory, a ship-turned-museum.

Particulars: Open every day (besides holidays) at 1414 S. Harbour Method, Richmond. Verify for particular occasions with WWII docents. The Purple Oak Victory is at 1337 Canal Blvd.; 

Museum of Ice Cream

Half one million guests from 65 nations agree: San Francisco’s Museum of Ice Cream is a must-experience. Your houseguests will love consuming ice cream, wading in a pool of rainbow sprinkles, climbing a pink rock-candy wall and enjoying ring-toss with whipped cream cans. And that’s simply the primary scoop of what awaits them at this internationally lauded theme parklike exhibit, which has discovered its everlasting house in San Francisco. Better part? The museum has new installations deliberate for 2019, so you’ll be able to take your friends twice.

Particulars: Buy tickets ($38) at Discover the museum at 1 Grant Ave., San Francisco.

Niles Essanay Silent Movie Museum

You don’t need to be a Laurel and Hardy movie buff to understand the treasures inside this East Bay museum. Past the classic posters and artifacts, you’ll discover a plethora of data on all sides of silent filmmaking, from planning and manufacturing to modifying and presentation. View a flick made in Niles by Charlie Chaplin and Broncho Billy Anderson, catch a weekend silent-film screening and tour the Edison Theatre, circa 1913, together with the unique tin-lined projection sales space. Did we point out Niles is a mecca for antiquing, too?

Classic film cameras, projectors and different artifacts of the silent-film period are on show in Niles. 

Particulars: $7 recommended donation. Open weekends at 37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont;

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Residence to the most important assortment of Egyptian artifacts in western North America, this museum encompasses a peek inside every day life, marriage, faith and after-life rituals of the Egyptians, from the Neolithic interval to at the moment. Study pyramids and temples, see uncommon mummified animals and a composite duplicate of a Center Kingdom monarch’s tomb. Don’t miss the Alchemy Exhibit, the primary of its variety within the U.S., which options the seven levels of the alchemical course of, a meditation chamber and a full-size copy of an alchemist’s workshop.

Particulars: $9. Open Wednesday-Sunday at 1660 Park Ave., San Jose;

Livermore wine nation

The Livermore Wine Trolley takes visitors on sipping jaunts each weekend. Doug Duran/Bay Area Information Group

How would you wish to zip by way of wine nation, going from tasting room to tasting room, as an alternative of sitting in an infinite line of visitors? You possibly can — in Livermore’s wine nation. And likelihood is excessive that your out-of-state relations don’t even find out about this laid-back valley, which gives a wealthy grape-growing historical past that dates again to the 1880s. In the present day it’s residence to about 50 wineries — and wine trolley excursions. The again roads and rolling hills present pretty views between sips, and downtown’s First Road is lined with eating places. For a enjoyable break, head to Campo di Bocce for a spirited recreation of bocce. You possibly can organize to have a glass of sauvignon blanc sitting courtside for you.

Particulars: Verify the web site of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Affiliation,, for tasting room hours. Discover Campo di Bocce particulars at and wine trolley info at

Pc Historical past Museum

Calling all nerds! You could assume your visitors are visiting Silicon Valley for your holiday stuffing, however we all know higher. They’re right here to see the evolution of computing, from the abacus to the smartphone in a one-of-a-kind 25,000-square-foot exhibition that includes 19 galleries, 1,100 objects and an array of multimedia experiences. Fly by way of World of Warcraft’s Azeroth. Velocity-text to victory in “Make Software: Change the World” and journey again in time to 1959 in a re-creation of a working enterprise pc middle within the IBM 1401 Demo Lab. You’ll be able to even play a spherical of Pong.

Particulars: $6-$17.50. Open Wednesday-Sunday at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View;

Midcentury trendy in Oakland

OK, the “World of Charles and Ray Eames” exhibit on the Oakland Museum of California actually ought to be titled “They Invented Cool.” You might not know the names of Charles and Ray Eames, however you’ll acknowledge their chair and different contributions to the midcentury-modern worlds of structure, furnishings, trend and movie. This married couple (Ray was a she, a Sacramento native) has been hailed as two of the 20th century’s most influential designers, and this exhibit presents an interesting romp by way of their world. You’ll by no means take a look at furnishings the identical approach once more. The exhibit runs via Feb. 17, 2019.

Particulars: Tickets, $19.95 basic, $14.95 senior/scholar. Open Wednesday-Sunday at 1000 Oak St., Oakland;

Pier 39

There’s a lot to do at Fisherman’s Wharf, your visitors gained’t know the place to start out. Listed here are two under-the-radar choices at Pier 39: Take a dizzying stroll by means of the arched doorways and colourful columns of the zany Magowan’s Infinite Corridor of Mirrors ($5; Constructing O, Degree 2) with out getting rotated, then re-create your first piano recital — or “Chopsticks,” we gained’t decide — on the three-octave musical stairs designed by Remo Saraceni. Every stair has a movement sensor that corresponds to a piano notice. Whenever you cross the motion-sensor beam, it performs the notice.

Particulars: Most points of interest open at 10 a.m. day by day. Situated at Seashore Road and The Embarcadero in San Francisco;


Candy sweet swings, sweet shows and an enormous marshmallow swimming pool make Candytopia irresistible. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area Information Group) 

This interactive sweet exhibit, situated throughout the road from the Museum of Ice Cream, contains a dozen rooms crammed with large sculptures, portraits and work made completely out of jelly beans, gummy bears, licorice, gum drops, rock sweet and different nostalgic sweets. The most effective half? Each bit is roofed in shellac to protect and shield it, so that you and the youngsters are welcome to the touch every little thing. And dive into a vat of 250,000 foam marshmallows. ‘Gram a lot?

Particulars: $26-$34. By means of Jan. 6 at 767 Market St., San Francisco;

Ruth Bancroft Backyard & Nursery

Famend California gardener Ruth Bancroft, an early proponent of drought-tolerant crops, left a three.5-acre legacy when she died final yr. She had crammed her household’s former orchard within the coronary heart of Walnut Creek with uncommon and delightful succulents and cacti – the world’s largest such assortment. Each season brings new blooms, so fall and winter are terrific occasions to go to. Think about this a refreshing break for your visitors – they usually may even discover sufficient inspiration to go house and rework their backyard.

Particulars: Admission, $Eight-$10. The backyard is open Tuesday-Sunday (closed holidays and the day after Thanksgiving) at 1552 Bancroft Street, Walnut Creek;  

Santa Cruz Seashore Boardwalk

Lastly, in case your crowd is just a little bah-humbug on the subject of holiday traditions, we’ve received an concept. How about driving the Looff Carousel, enjoying skee-ball and consuming corn canine on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Yr’s? The Santa Cruz Seashore Boardwalk is likely one of the few Northern California points of interest open on holidays, though the Big Dipper coaster typically takes the time off. However the On line casino Arcade and Neptune’s Kingdom are all the time open, and – climate allowing – some Boardwalk rides shall be, too. If your home visitors are visiting from a landlocked state, a visit to the ocean could also be one of the best holiday current of all.

Particulars: Boardwalk admission is free; rides, video games additional. 400 Seashore St., Santa Cruz; 


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