1. What’s a holiday without a Nutcracker or two (or three or four)? The San Francisco Ballet‘s glorious production fills the Opera House now through Dec. 28, and the Oakland Ballet‘s Paramount Theater extravaganza runs now through Christmas Eve.
2. Bad news from the North Pole – Santa’s mailbag is empty! And an elf mystery is afoot in the Fantasy Forum’s production of “The Biggest Gift” at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center this Friday through Sunday. This isn’t just a family friendly event – kids are invited to join the actors on stage and be part of the show. ($12)
3. Families with older kids may want to check out Golden Bough‘s Celtic holiday concert at Pleasanton’s Amador Theater this Saturday at 8 p.m. ($15-$25)
4. Or traipse over to San Francisco’s Exploratorium for a Holiday Film & Animation Festival that includes “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” this Saturday at 2 p.m. and more movies Dec. 26-28 at noon and 2p.m. (Free with museum admission)
5. And don’t miss the final weekend of the 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. this Friday through Sunday. ($10-$19)