Berkeley Holiday Traditions

Explore an alternative holiday shopping universe, right next door in Berkeley.

Once upon a time, holiday shopping was actually enjoyable; a time to celebrate the season, behold twinkling lights, and take a well-deserved "cheer" break. In other words, something far from the frenzied antics that start in the pre-dawn hours after Thanksgiving!

There's at least one place where that throwback tradition of great holiday vibe lives on. Berkeley is bright with high-quality holiday experiences to celebrate the season. Joy, Berkeley-style includes finding a parking space, local and organic snacks (and craft beer and natural wine) on nearly every block, and an abundance of holiday spirit. Friendly shopping streets and local, independent retail in neighborhoods all around.

Fun and festive weekend events, too. The 29th annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios is set for Saturdays and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., November 30–December 1, 7–8, 14–15, 21–22, 2019. Over 100 professional artists, craftspeople and galleries at studio buildings in Berkeley open their doors for the event; all work is handcrafted, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind.

The self-guided tour is a great chance to meet artists, buy original and creative gifts, and see working studios. Free tour map and directory available at

Another stellar Berkeley holiday tradition is the 36th annual Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair, Dec. 14-15 and 21-24, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Republic of Telegraph closes to cars and opens for random acts of merriment for the fair.

Fourth Street lights up with Dazzling Lights and Holiday Festivities, complemented by its signature blend of on-trend retail and local merchant storefronts. And for something all-Berkeley, head up to Tilden Park for the antique merry-go-round, all dressed up in holiday finery. Kids can even drop off a letter to Santa and see ol' St. Nick on Fridays before Christmas.

More spirit. Less stress. Revive, revel, and yes, relax! Create your new/throwback holiday tradition in Berkeley.

Fourth Street Holiday Lights
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