Rabbi Yosef Langer of Chabad of S.F. lights the Bill Graham menorah in Union Square in 2014. (Photo/Natalie Schrik)
Rabbi Yosef Langer of Chabad of S.F. lights the Bill Graham menorah in Union Square in 2014. (Photo/Natalie Schrik)

Where to enjoy public menorah lightings in the Bay Area

Menorahs made out of jelly beans. A virtual-reality Hanukkah experience. Eating latkes and doughnuts by the Petaluma River.

You can celebrate the Festival of Lights whichever way you want this year in the Bay Area. All events listed here are free (unless noted) and include some sort of menorah lighting; other Hanukkah events and parties are in our calendar.

Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 22, with the eighth and final night falling on Sunday, Dec. 29.


San Francisco

“Bill Graham Menorah Project”
Giant menorah lit every day in Union Square through Dec. 29. Kicks off with Bill Graham Menorah Day on Dec. 22, with kids crafts at 2 p.m., music by Jerry’s Kosher Deli, special guests, dignitaries and lighting at 4:30 p.m. Most other lightings at 5 p.m.

“Hanukkah Party at Ghirardelli Square”
Menorah lighting, Hanukkah crafts, dreidels, Harvey’s Donuts and more. Sunday, Dec. 22. 3-6 p.m. RSVP requested.

Hanukkah at Pier 39
Copper-sculpted, 9-foot-tall menorah with colored-glass insets will be lit every day at sundown Dec. 22-29.

“Pop-Up Glowing Hanukkah Party”
Off-site JCCSF event includes first-night lighting. Wear light-up, glittery and glowing clothes. With live music, doughnuts and activities with nearby stores. Make hygiene kits for homeless. Dec. 22 at Ghirardelli Square. 3-6 p.m. RSVP requested.

JCCSF daily lighting
At 4:30 p.m. starting on the second night. Weekdays include 4 p.m. story and crafts for kids, and music by Jonathan Bayer. Dec. 23-29 at JCCSF, 3200 California St.


East Bay

Celebration for young kids
Jewish Gateways event with songs, dancing, stories, menorah lighting and treats. For kids 1-5, their parents and older siblings. With musician Joel Siegel. Dec. 22 at Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $5-$12.

“Chanukah Wonderland”
Chabad of El Cerrito family festival with virtual reality game, build-a-menorah workshop, crafts and games. Dec. 22 at Albany Veterans Memorial Hall, 1325 Portland Ave., Albany. 3-6 p.m. $7.50 until Dec. 19. $15 at door.

Hanukkah festival
Menorah lighting, virtual reality Hanukkah experience, gelt drop, latkes and doughnuts, arts and crafts, and mini-golf. Dec. 22 at Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. 4 p.m. children’s activities. 4:30 p.m. lighting.

Chabad of Contra Costa
Dec. 22 with live music, bubble show, latkes, face painting, gelt and crafts. At Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek. 4 p.m. Also Dec. 29 with latkes, doughnuts and music. At Alamo Plaza, Alamo. 5-6 p.m.

“Celebration on the Lake”
Chabad of Oakland event includes latkes, coffee, dreidels, jelly doughnuts, gelt, crafts and games. Dec. 22 at Lake Merritt Amphitheater, between 12th Street and First Avenue, Oakland. 4:30 p.m.

Menorah lighting, Alameda
Hanukkah and klezmer music, kids’ crafts activities, latkes, jelly doughnuts and bagels. Temple Israel of Alameda. Dec. 23 at 523 South Shore Center, Alameda. 5-8 p.m.

Chabad of Oakland
Event in Piedmont includes latkes, doughnuts, hot drinks, dreidels and music. Dec. 23 at Piedmont Park, Highland at Magnolia avenues. 6 p.m.

Main Street Martinez
A community lighting with Congregation B’nai Shalom of Walnut Creek. With food and music. Dec. 23 outside Starbucks at 700 Main St., Martinez. 6-7 p.m.

“Menorah on Main”
Car menorah parade and lighting, performance by Aaron Impossible, live music by Gabriel Guevara, children’s performance, latkes, gelt and more. Sunday, Dec. 22 at Andrews Park, Vacaville. 4-7 p.m.

Menorah lighting, Travis Air Force Base
Live music, dancing, greetings by base officials and wing commander, hot drinks, holiday food. Monday, Dec. 23 at Travis Air Force Base, at the corner of Skymaster Drive and Travis Ave. 5 p.m. Special permit entry must be requested. (707) 424-1028

“Chanukah on Ice”
Chabad of Contra Costa lighting includes ice skating, live music and kosher Chinese food concession stand. Dec. 24 at Civic Park Ice Rink, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 7:15 p.m. $18, free for non-skaters.

Jelly Belly menorah
Three-hour festival for kids with food and live entertainment concludes with the lighting of a giant, candy-filled menorah. Held in conjunction with Chabad of Solano County. Dec. 29 at Jelly Belly Visitor Center, One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. 4-7 p.m.


North Bay

Sonoma County Chabad
First-night lighting with live music, kosher concessions, prizes, latkes and dreidels. Dec. 22 at Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa. 4 p.m. Also Dec. 24 party featuring latkes at Sonoma County Chabad, 2461 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa. 5 p.m. $5-$15. Also Dec. 25 event at Sonoma Valley Inn, 550 Second St. West, Sonoma. 5 p.m. $10. Kids Also Dec. 29 at Oakville Grocery, 124 W. Matheson St., Healdsburg. 5 p.m.

“Chanukah at the River”
Chabad of Petaluma lights a 9-foot menorah. With gelt drop, fire juggling, latkes and doughnuts. Dec. 22 at Water Street Promenade, 100 Petaluma Blvd. North. 4:30-6 p.m. Free with RSVP.

“Grand Menorah Lighting”
City of Napa Hanukkah celebration. Dec. 22 at Veterans Memorial Park, Napa. 5 p.m.

Chabad of Novato
First-night lighting includes doughnuts, latkes, crafts, music and a gelt drop from a fire truck. Dec. 22 on the lawn at Novato City Hall, 901 Sherman Ave. 5 p.m. tinyurl.com/gelt-drop. Also Dec. 24 party and Chinese dinner includes a lighting, game show, buffet, latkes, doughnuts and dreidel game at Chabad of Novato, 7430 Redwood Blvd., Suite D. 6:30 p.m.

“Pop-Up Jewish Marin”
Osher Marin JCC event includes a lighting, a glow-in-the-dark play structure, story time, Lego dreidel-making, face painting, music by Ellis Island and doughnuts. Dec. 23 at Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. 3-6 p.m.

Menorah lighting, Tiburon
Last night of Hanukkah includes lighting, holiday treats and music. Sunday, Dec. 29 at Downtown Tiburon Sculpture Fountain, Main Street and Tiburon Boulevard. 5-6 p.m.


Peninsula and South Bay

Festival of Lights celebration
A 6-foot-tall menorah will be lit daily during Hanukkah, Dec. 22-29. A party on Dec. 24 will include latkes, music and songs. At Stanford Hospital Atrium, 300 Pasteur Drive. All events at 4 p.m.

“Menorah of Warmth”
Chabad of Fremont event includes raffles, hot drinks, crafts and doughnuts. Scarf and coat donations welcomed. Dec. 22 at Fremont City Hall, 3300 Capitol Ave. 4-6 p.m.

Chabad of Sunnyvale
Event includes latkes, jelly doughnuts, arts and crafts, dreidels, live music, candle dipping and a virtual-reality Hanukkah experience. Dec. 22 at Zanotto’s Family Market, 1356 South Mary Ave., Sunnyvale. 4:30-6 p.m.

“Lights on Ice”
North Peninsula Chabad event includes ice-sculpture menorah, imported snow, jelly doughnuts, latkes, children’s activities, a dreidel mascot for photo ops and the Saul Kaye Band. Dec. 22 in Burlingame; RSVP for location. 5-6 p.m.

“Chanukah Train”
After the Chabad by the Sea menorah is lit, ride the Roaring Camp train through the streets of Santa Cruz while listening to stories and enjoying kosher refreshments. Dec. 26 at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St. 5:15 p.m. $25-$31.

Stanford Shopping Center
Oshman Family JCC final-night lighting for families includes musical performance by Noa Levy. Dec. 29 at Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto. 5-6 p.m.