5 Best Things to Do This Week: December 16 – 22

Smuin Contemporary Ballet presents “The Christmas Ballet”

Smuin kicks off the holidays with the welcome return of “The Christmas Ballet,” a program featuring two acts packed to the brim with both breathtaking classical ballet and festive contemporary numbers. The beloved Bay Area tradition will bring back time-honored favorites, in addition to unveiling brand new surprises — set to holiday tunes and incorporating a variety of popular dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, and swing. The first act, Classical Christmas, features dancers costumed in snow-white ensembles performing flawless ballets celebrating the holiday season. The Cool Christmas second act brings a red-hot costume change along with a medley of charming modern numbers, including the iconic “Santa Baby” featuring a 42-foot long feather boa.

Exploratorium After Dark
Bask in the cascading colors of this tremendous, torus-shaped sculpture. It is 26 feet in diameter and 18 feet high, and is made of 3,840 individually controllable RGB LEDs

Exploratorium After Dark

Lose yourself in thought-provoking programs and mind-bending experiences at adults-only After Dark Thursdays — including more than 650 interactive exhibits exploring perception, art, and science. Grab some friends, stash your stuff in musical lockers, get a drink at one of the pop-up bars or food at Seaglass Restaurant, and start exploring. You may find that things look different after dark. This week’s theme is “All is Bright.” Discover a once-missing element at Everything Matters: Technetium; excite your atoms at Glow, our annual festival of ebullient lights; experience a landscape of astonishing visual effects at Kaleidoscope; and bring flying, sailing, and cycling automata to life at Curious Contraptions.

Rombeiro Christmas House
The Rombeiro home in Novato glows with decorations on Thursday. The family uses about 200,000 lights for its annual holiday display. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

Rombeiro Christmas House

Located at 34 Devonshire Drive in Novato, this must see house will be featured on ABC TV’s The Great Christmas Light Fight during December 2019. The Rombeiro’s family house is open nightly from the first Saturday in December through January 6 (Three Kings Day) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Please help Ed and Kathy pay the power bill by feeding the box at the gate.

West End Nursery

West End Nursery Christmas House

Merrie Untermann and her friend Cindy Wookey started the Christmas House in 1985 to fill a niche of well priced, unique ornaments and decorations in Marin. Of course, back then it was more of a Christmas Corner, with just a handful of trees and a few decorations. Over the past 35 years, it has grown to include more than 60 glittering trees, becoming one of the biggest holiday traditions in the community. Every tree is decorated according to theme by a staff of talented elves… Barb Untermann has taken over for Merrie and her career as a photo stylist and designer has served her well in continuing to bring the Christmas spirit to West End.

Commuters descend into the Grand Hall of the new Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Emperor Norton’s Holiday Bazaar

Off the Grid, the quintessential champion of the mobile food movement in the Bay Area and beyond kicked off the first Emperor Norton’s Holiday Bazaar on Friday, November 29. The bazaar will run through December 24, 2019. This will be the first major public event to take place at the Salesforce Transit Center and Salesforce Plaza. The bazaar will deliver a magical experience with classic holiday décor, cozy spots to relax, and opportunities to shop for unique, handmade gifts, all paired with the soul-warming food and drinks that OTG is known for.


All listings are correct at the time of posting. Please be aware that events may occasionally be canceled or postponed. We always suggest contacting the promoter or venue to confirm details haven’t changed since the of publishing.

Kasia PowlowskaKasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include traveltrendsmushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction, and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is a never-ending endeavor.