Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink, late-Nov.–Jan. The Olympic skater lent her name to this annual holiday tradition a few years back – a chance for weather-wimpy San Franciscans to get a taste of winter without the snowplows and the ear-flap hats. The outdoor ice rink sits in the center of Justin Herman Plaza (Market St. at the Embarcadero), in between the Embarcadero Shopping Center, the Ferry Plaza and the Bay, and draws an interesting mix of children, noontime workers, detouring foodies from the farmers' market and tourists.
Celebration of Craftswomen – late Nov.-early Dec.The San Francisco Women's Building is the host and beneficiary of this mega holiday gift fair, now nearly 30 years old. Celebrating the art and crafts of women around the country, the celebration offers all manner of handcrafted items for sale, including ceramics, metal and wood sculpture, glasswork, jewelry, wearable art, furniture, photography, and paintings. Held at Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason, Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd., www.celebrationofcraftswomen.org.
Nutcracker – Throughout December For those who like their holiday rituals straight up, the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker, is as traditional as it gets. The renowned troupe holds the distinction of being the first American company to perform the full-length Nutcracker in the United States in 1944. The current production, as envisioned by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, is true to the story, with enough modern touches, lush sets and special effects to make it exciting for the media-saturated generation. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., www.sfballet.org.
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy – December 22-25The perfect holiday event for anyone who's feeling Christmas-challenged, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy (New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave., 415-522-3737) is a night of "Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese restaurant." San Francisco comedian Lisa Geduldig launched the event 15 years ago "as a community service," and to give fellow Jews and holiday-estranged types a place to go other than the movie theater or midnight mass. No matter what your affiliation, it's a good laugh and a good nosh. Past headliners have included Henny Youngman and Carol Leifer. Performances include a multi-course Chinese dinner capped off by fortune cookies that dispense Yiddish wisdom. You should have it so good.
ONGOINGMuseum of Modern Art Permanent Collection