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19 spectacular Bay Area displays

19 spectacular Bay Area displays

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In relation to hanging up outside vacation lights, J.R Mattos is far more on the ball than Nationwide Lampoon’s hapless Clark Griswold.

Actually, Mattos, a father of two, belongs to a uncommon class of passionate holiday-lights hobbyists who get fiercely formidable, draping their properties with tens of hundreds of twinkling vacation lights, erecting elaborate displays and even staging mild and music exhibits.

For the previous 10 years, Mattos has reworked the San Jose apricot orchard that’s been in his household for 5 generations right into a North Pole-themed winter wonderland, together with wrapping 60 timber in lights. This yr’s show opens Thanksgiving night time.

The vacation mild show on the Mattos house in San Jose. (J.R. Mattos) 

“We like Christmas a lot,” Mattos says matter-of-factly, explaining why he and his household dedicate their Decembers to internet hosting hundreds of individuals on their property. “We” means his spouse, mother and father, sister and brother-in-law, who all pitch in on November weekends to assist get the present prepared. Even Mattos’ Three-year-old daughter has began to assist.

“Word gets out,” Mattos says. “It’s grown over the years. We get 200 or 300 a night, more on weekends.”

The Bay Area can also be residence to different superb mild displays open to the general public all through the vacation season. Some are placed on by particular person householders, like Mattos. Different displays are the work of complete neighborhoods. And nonetheless different favourite displays come courtesy of common locations, such because the grand Filoli property in Woodside, the Oakland Zoo, the Santa Clara County Parks Division and even a cemetery in Oakland.

So bundle up. Listed here are a number of the greatest vacation mild exhibits within the Bay Area for walk-through or drive-by visits. Until in any other case indicated, you possibly can go to most of those nightly, after sunset and without charge. (And air high quality is predicted to enhance within the Bay Area by Wednesday, with two storm methods washing away the smoke from the Camp Hearth in Butte County.

1: Mattos Orchard Lights, San Jose

The show on the three-acre property of J.R. Mattos begins Thanksgiving night.
Particulars: 5 to 10 p.m. every day via Jan. 12 at 1545 Stone Creek Drive, San Jose.

Holidays at Filoli in Woodside. (Photograph – Drew Altizer) Drew Altizer

2: Filoli property, Woodside

The century-old Filoli property does the vacations in grand trend with elaborate displays of Christmas timber and different decorations filling the ballroom and different rooms of the stately mansion. However what’s particularly magical are the lights arrayed round Filoli’s world-renowned, English nation gardens. Take a break from strolling the gardens with a go to to the vacation wine bar, situated on the mansion’s terrace.

Particulars: 10 a.m.-Four p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and till Eight p.m. Fridays and Saturdays by means of Dec. 23 at 86 Cañada Street, Woodside. $10-$25,

Three: Deacon Dave’s, Livermore

The sunshine present at Deacon Dave Rezendes’ Hillcrest Drive house in Livermore has been featured on cable and worldwide TV, with HGTV as soon as rating it among the many largest residence displays within the U.S. Yearly’s present at Casa del Pomba — “House of the Dove” in Portuguese — has a theme; this yr’s stays a secret till opening night time on Nov. 30. “It’s about getting people in the Christmas spirit,” Rezendez, who serves at Livermore’s St. Michael’s Catholic Church, informed the Bay Area Information Group in 2016. Word that wait occasions of as much as an hour usually are not unusual; Mondays and Tuesdays are typically much less crowded.

Particulars: 6-9 p.m. day by day and till 10 p.m. Dec. 24-25 and on Fridays and Saturdays by means of Jan. 1; 352 Hillcrest Drive, Livermore;

Christmas Tree Lane, Alameda. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Information Group) 

Four: Christmas Tree Lane, Alameda

This neighborhood effort includes greater than 50 houses, and faculty bands and well-liked entertainers, together with Alameda’s Faucet Dancing Christmas Timber, have been recognized to carry out. Youngsters can mail their letters to Santa at a particular mail field.

Particulars: 5:30-10 p.m. Dec. 1-31 with Santa visits 6:30-Eight p.m Dec. Eight-23; 3200 block Thomson Avenue, between Excessive Road and Fernside Boulevard, Alameda;

5: Christmas Tree Lane, Palo Alto

One among Palo Alto’s most enduring vacation traditions dates again to 1940, when householders within the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Fulton Road determined to string lights and put up xmas timber and different displays. The one time this Christmas Tree Lane has gone darkish was in 1942, throughout a World Conflict II black-out. The show opens at 5 p.m. Dec. 15 with carolers from Palo Alto’s Okay-Eight Keys Faculty making their method up and down the lane. Observe: It’s greatest to park on adjoining streets and stroll over to Fulton Road.

Particulars: 5-11 p.m. Dec. 15-31 on Fulton Road between Embarcadero Avenue and Seale Street, Palo Alto;

6-10: California Christmas Lights must-sees

The California Christmas Lights, previously Lights of the Valley, web site tracks Bay Area vacation mild displays, together with some houses which have earned “must see” designations through the years for his or her spirited, over-the-top displays. Amongst them: mechanized gingerbread homes, Christmas villages and Santas. Antioch photographer Greg Rehm, for instance, transforms his residence into the “Candy Cane House of Antioch” the place households can have their photographs taken with Santa.

Particulars: Rehm’s residence at 2921 Camby Rd., Antioch is open from nightfall to 9 p.m. day by day and till 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Different must-see displays: 5-11:30 p.m. Nov. 23-Jan. 1 at 1279 Hearst Ave, Pleasanton; 6-9 p.m. every day, till 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday Dec. 14-30 at 2612 Calle Reynoso, Pleasanton, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 1-31 at “Widmer World” at 3671 Chelsea Courtroom, Pleasanton; and starting at nightfall Nov. 25-Dec. 27 at 467 Knottingham Circle, Livermore.

Lantern Mild Pageant, Alameda County Fairgrounds 

11: Chinese language Lantern Mild Pageant, Pleasanton

A light-weight-filled Chinese language artwork type that dates again 2,000 years is coming to Pleasanton’s Alameda County Fairgrounds. Thirty artisans from Zigong will rework the fairgrounds right into a nighttime show of monumental, hand-crafted lanterns that remember vacation traditions, structure, myths and tales from all over the world.

Particulars: 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, till 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday Nov. 30-Jan. 20 on the Alameda County Fairgrounds, 2100 Valley Ave., Pleasanton. Admission is $14 and up; $10 for parking;

12: Christmas within the Park, San Jose

Yearly, San Jose’s two-acre Plaza de Cesar Chavez is reworked right into a land of lights and vacation displays, together with a 60-foot tree and a forest of smaller timber adorned by San Jose faculties. Christmas within the Park additionally options particular occasions, together with a tree lighting Nov. 23, canine days Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, and the 5K Santa Run Silicon Valley on Dec. 16.

Particulars: 9 a.m.-midnight every day Nov. 23-Dec. 25 at Plaza de Cesar Chavez;

Oakland ZooLights 

13: ZooLights on the Oakland Zoo

Seeing the lions, elephants and alligators isn’t the one cause to go to the Oakland Zoo this month. The zoo hosts one of the uncommon vacation displays within the Bay Area. You’ll see a whole lot of hundreds of lights brightening timber and zoo buildings as you journey the Outback Categorical Practice or sail over the zoo in an illuminated gondola. Search for the brand new Winter Wonderland with Santa’s workshop. Heat up with scorching cocoa and s’mores, out there at Flamingo Plaza and the zoo’s major entrance.

Particulars:  5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 7-Jan. 6 (closed Dec. 24-25) at 9777 Golf Hyperlinks Street, Oakland. Admission $9-$10,

14: Fantasy of Lights, Los Gatos

Take pleasure in a 1.5-mile drive by way of a fantasy land of lights, animated figures and a 90-foot twinkling tree from the consolation and heat of your automotive. This present at Vasona Lake County Park comes courtesy of the Santa Clara County Parks Division. You may as well stroll by means of the park on Dec. 1-2, utilizing Three-D glasses to reinforce the visible expertise.

Particulars: The route begins at 333 Blossom Hill Street, Los Gatos. Tickets for the Dec. 1-2 walk-through are $5-$10. The drive-thru runs Dec. Four-30 (closed Dec. 25) and prices $20 per automotive. Tickets have to be bought prematurely at

15: Merry-Go-Spherical magic, Berkeley

The well-known Tilden Park carousel turns into a festive showplace in the course of the holidays, with timber festooned with lights and visits by Santa and his elves.

Particulars: Four-Eight p.m. weekdays, till Eight:30 p.m. weekends at Tilden Regional Park, Central Park Drive and Lake Anza Street, Berkeley. Dates nonetheless being finalized however more likely to run by way of Jan. 1;

Lights on buildings at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland/ (Dean Coppola/Contra Costa Occasions) 

16: Lights for the departed, Oakland

Don’t be scared away by the venue: Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery. You’d miss out on the artistic approach that Christmas lights might be formed into skaters, snowmen, playful penguins and horse and sleigh. Lights are also arrayed round buildings, arches and the cemetery fountain.

Particulars: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 1-Jan. 1 at Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Ave.;

17: Peninsula mild present, San Carlos

House after house on this 1950s-era neighborhood is adorned with lights, many with hearth pits blazing out entrance, the right spot to socialize with neighbors and guests.

Particulars: Nightly Dec. 1-25 on the 1900 block of Eucalyptus Ave., San Carlos;

18-19: Huge metropolis lights, San Francisco

Lace up your skates and luxuriate in turns across the ice rinks at San Francisco’s Union Sq. or Embacadero Middle — beneath the lights of grand motels, skyscrapers, big twinkling Christmas timber and, within the case of Justin Herman Plaza, the historic Ferry Constructing. These are signature San Francisco vacation occasions, and a good way to finish a day of buying and gazing at window displays at Tiffany’s and different outlets.

Particulars: Union Sq. ice rink, 333 Submit Road, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. every day via Jan. 21,$13-$18, together with skate rental. Justin Herman Plaza, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, by means of Jan. 6; Admission, $5-12, with $5 for skate leases,

If you understand of a spectacular show we missed and want to have it included on this record, e mail Martha Ross at [email protected]