Forget snow angels and hot cocoa – ditch the mittens and grab your swimsuit because the holiday season comes with a sun-kissed twist in Berkeley, California! At Telegraph Gardens, we embrace the unique charm of a Golden State December, where traditions take on a distinctly beachy flair. So trade in the pine for palm trees and join us as we explore how to celebrate the Berkeley-style holidays right from your cozy Telegraph Gardens apartment.
Surfing Santas and Bonfires on the Bay
Ditch the reindeer sleigh rides for a wave-catching Santa sighting! California beaches come alive with surfers dressed in red, spreading holiday cheer on their boards. Gather your neighbors for a bonfire on the beach with marshmallows and carols, watching the sunset over the Bay for a magical holiday tradition.
Embrace the Flora
California offers a bounty of stunning evergreen alternatives for your festive décor. String twinkling lights through leafy palm fronds or hang handcrafted ornaments made from pinecones, seashells, and dried citrus slices. Get creative – your Berkeley balcony can be a tropical wonderland!
Festive Feasts with a California Twist
Swap the roast for something lighter and brighter. California December calls for fresh seafood stews, citrus-glazed poultry, and vibrant salads bursting with local produce. Bake gingerbread cookies shaped like surfers or sandcastles, and top them with edible beach treasures like crushed candy canes and chocolate seashells.
Gift-giving with Local Love
Support Berkeley’s vibrant community by gifting items from local artisans and shops. Giving meaningful gifts to your friends, family, and loved ones is the perfect way to spread holiday cheer and discover the hidden gems in the city! Check out these stunning local businesses for gift ideas and more:
For Local & Handmade
Bay-Made: Curated selection of artisan-crafted goods from around the Bay Area.
Talavera Ceramics and Tile: Hand-painted ceramic tiles, pottery, and jewelry made with traditional Mexican techniques.
Fern’s Garden: Delicate jewelry and home decor made with natural materials like stones and flowers.
Tenzing Collections: Fair trade hand-embroidered textiles and accessories from around the world.
Angelic of Berkeley: Locally-made soaps, candles, and bath products with a focus on natural ingredients and sustainability.
Pegasus Books: Independent bookstore with a curated selection of new and used books, perfect for the bookworm in your life.
For Food & Drink Lovers
Berkeley Bowl: A beloved local grocery store with an incredible selection of gourmet foods, local produce, and international specialties.
East Bay Cheesemakers Guild: Locally-made artisan cheeses from small creameries around the Bay Area.
For Experiences & Adventures
Telegraph Hill Creative Studios: Offer classes and workshops in everything from pottery and painting to jewelry making and woodworking.
Cal Performances: Tickets to a concert, play, or dance performance at UC Berkeley’s prestigious performing arts center.
Golden Gate Fields Racetrack: Enjoy a day at the races with thrilling horse racing and beautiful views of the Bay.
Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tour: Learn about the fascinating history of Berkeley on a guided walk through the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
Support local charities: Find a cause your loved one cares about and make a donation in their name.
Embrace the Outdoors
December in Berkeley means taking advantage of the mild weather. Organize a caroling stroll through the charming streets of Downtown Berkeley, stopping to serenade your neighbors and soak in the festive spirit. Have a picnic lunch in Cedar Rose Park, adorned with twinkling lights, or take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic Ohlone Greenway.
At Telegraph Gardens, the holiday season is about creating memories and sharing joy. Embrace the unique spirit of a California December and make it your own. Turn up the festive tunes, gather your loved ones, and get ready to celebrate – Berkeley-style!
Let’s make this a December to remember.