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FAB FIVE (or 6 or 8) for the Weekend

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 11:23 am in Family Entertainment, Family Outings.

WillyWonka & the Chocolate FactoryThere are just too many wonderful things happening this weekend to limit the list to a Fab Five, so we’re doing an Outstanding Octet instead, starting with…

1. The Rialto Cinemas Elmwood hosts its annual “Holiday Kids Matinees” starting this weekend. Cheap seats, sweet eats (Sweet Dreams candy shop and loads of wonderful cafes line the Elmwood neighborhood) and it’s a schools benefit too. Proceeds go to the PTAs at Le Conte, John Muir, Malcolm X and Emerson Elementary Schools. Catch Gene Wilder in the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” this Saturday and Sunday at noon, “Wizard of Oz” next weekend and “The Goonies” the weekend of Dec. 20-21. (Tickets: $3)

2. Would you like it with a mouse? Would you like it in a house? Or would you like it at Berkeley Rep’s “Discovering Dr. Seuss” family workshop? The fun starts Sunday at 11 a.m. (Free.)

3. Craft workshop anyone? Michaels craft stores are hosting a free family workshop where kids can make and wrap gifts for family and friends this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($5 per child for materials)

4. Make an Italian La Befana doll, an English party favor, a Filipino star lantern or a German Christmas tree ornament at the San Mateo County History Museum‘s special “Holiday Traditions Around the World” event this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Free.)

5. Check out the Grammy Award-winning Pacific Boychoir Academy‘s holiday concert this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Oakland’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and next Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church. ($15-$20)

6. The Berkeley Symphony is launching a series of family concerts this weekend with “Meet the Symphony!” at 9:45 and again at 11:15 a.m. this Saturday at Malcolm X Elementary School Auditorium. Hear excerpts from Rossini’s famous “William Tell” Overture, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and more. ($5-$10)

7. Santa’s doing a meet and greet every weekend, Thursday through Sunday, till Dec. 23 down on Berkeley’s Fourth Street. (We suspect he’s a Bette’s Oceanview Diner fan.) Go meet Santa and whisper in his ear, say hello to the Snow Queen, the Pied Piper and the various elves strolling the street, then make a donation to the Harrison House homeless shelter’s Children’s Learning Center. (Free, except for the donation part.)

8. Visit Victorian London at the annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace. Play period games, check out the entertainment and edibles and stroll the streets of Scrooge, Tiny Tim and all those Dickens heroes. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Sunday, now through Dec. 21. ($10-$19)

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