5 Best Things to Do This Week: December 23 – 30

Hand-picked events and happenings you won't want to miss.

Illuminate 2019

The Illuminate SF Festival of Light is happening through New Year’s Day 2020 and shining a light on San Francisco’s ever-expanding light art scene. Get your glow on during this two-month celebration during the longest nights of the year. The seventh annual light fantastic includes several dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations accessible by public transit and admission-free. Many of San Francisco’s intimate neighborhoods will also light up shopping districts, streets and galleries, and host participatory holiday activities.

Christmas Bird Count

Marin County is well covered with three Christmas Bird Counts, sponsored by the Marin Audubon Society, that cover North Marin, West Marin and South Marin. The CBCs are the longest-running citizen science program in the world with over 2,300 individual count circles. These bird counts provide valuable information about the long-term status of bird populations across North America and elsewhere. The Southern Marin Christmas Bird Count will be taking place on Saturday, December 28. The circle extends from the ocean under the Golden Gate Bridge on the south, Terra Linda on the north, Bolinas Lagoon on the west, and San Francisco bay and marshes on the east. Areas covered include the Audubon Canyon Ranch, Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Fort Cronkhite, Muir Woods, Tennessee Valley, Sausalito, Tiburon Peninsula, Ring Mountain, MMWD watershed and lakes as well as the towns of Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Fairfax, Ross, San Anselmo and San Rafael. This count area has been designed to include a wide variety of habitats and depending on weather usually produces over 175 different species of birds and over 70,000 individual birds. The count will take place rain or shine. You can also participate in the count by doing a feeder watch at your home for the day and reporting the results. The Christmas Bird Count Compilation Dinner will be held at the Tamalpais Community Center immediately following the count. Volunteers to help with the dinner setup and cleanup are needed. Sign up online by December 26 by completing the registration form online or contact compilers Ed Nute and Bob Hinz at smcbc.marinaudubon@gmail.com. For more information about Christmas Bird Counts go to the Audubon website.

Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks at the Asian Art Museum

A fierce three-headed serpent and a mysterious female deity were among the nearly two dozen 12th-century stone reliefs from Central Vietnam that lay unseen at the bottom of the Arabian Sea for nearly 120 years. Almost 5,000 miles away in the South China Sea, blue-and-white ceramic bowls, plates and jars rested in the hold of a sunken ship off the coast of Vietnam for more than five centuries. Preserved like time capsules under the seas, these shipwrecks contained artworks that were excavated in the 1990s by marine archaeologists, sold at auction, purchased by individual collectors and then donated to the museum. By tracing the pathways of these objects, from Vietnam to the ocean floor to San Francisco, Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks asks questions about how artworks enter museum collections.

James Tissot “Holyday (The Picnic)” (ca. 1876)

Legion of Honor and the De Young Free Admission

Every Saturday, the Legion of Honor and the de Young offer free general admission to the permanent galleries to Bay Area residents. Please note that admission to any special exhibits is not included nor discounted and will require the full admission price. Saturdays feature engaging art experiences for the entire family, including art-making, gallery guides, and tours with discussion and sketching in the permanent galleries. Full-priced admission to special exhibitions still applies.

Learn to Saltwater Fish

Come spend the morning learning the basics of saltwater fishing at Paradise Beach Park. A limited amount of poles will be available on a first come, first-served basis. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore, not from the pier. All skill levels are welcome, and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring your fishing pole. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park. Rain will cancel the event. No need to RSVP, just show up. Questions: Contact Supervising Ranger Kevin O’Donoghue. Park entrance is waived for participants. Meet at the fishing pier in Paradise Beach Park in Tiburon (3450 Paradise Dr).


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.

Categories: Things to Do