Holiday Decorations. Photo by Jamie Goldberg.

A variety of family-friendly and shopper’s-paradise events will take place over the weekend, as well as a century’s worth of reflections on the Mission stalwart Community Music Center, Filipino Parol making, an opportunity to get vaccinated with Santa, and more.

‘A century of music for everyone:’ CMC turns 100

Friday at noon, the Community Music Center will recount its past 100 years of music education and community enrichment in a virtual annual report presentation. Julie Rulyak Steinberg and Sylvia Sherman, the executive director and program director, respectively, will be on hand to discuss challenges and successes so far as well as their future vision. You can read the annual report here and register for the webinar here

Registration is also open for the winter quarter at CMC’s Mission district branch. Classes begin on Jan. 3 and will be offered both online and virtually. Students can select from among private lessons and group classes. Call the branch at 415-647-6015 for more information, and view the course catalog here. Watch the video Mission Local made about CMC’s 95th anniversary below:

‘Live-fire’ restaurant to open in the Mission

San Francisco’s first and only live-fire restaurant, Osito, will open at 2875 18th St., near Florida Street, Friday evening. This is Chef Seth Stowaway’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant after a series of pop-ups. By the looks of the sleek Instagram accounts for the restaurant and sister bar Liliana SF, expect ”fire, preservation, and seasonality,” and dishes cooked without burners or ovens. Stowaway told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year that his concept is “an exploration of Northern California,” and a recent Instagram post said the opening menu has a “singular focus on winter game birds.” 

Fair warning: the tasting menus are $295 per person, with optional wine pairings starting at $95. It’s a similar price point and name to Lazy Bear (“osito” is Spanish for “teddy bear”), another Mission fine-dining experience a few blocks over at 3416 19th St., near Mission, which sells tickets for between $245 and $285.

Toy giveaway for families in need

Join the So-Low Riderz of San Francisco for the 7th annual “All In SF Toy Giveaway: Miracle in the Mission” at 701 Alabama St. on Saturday, Dec. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organizers are asking for help to spread the word so families in need are aware; if you would like to donate, email

Get vaccinated with Santa by your side

We have it on good word that Santa Claus is set to visit the Unidos en Salud/United in Health community testing and vaccination site on Saturday at 24th and Capp streets from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. What better way to get vaccinated or boosted than as a family, and with Santa by your side? Santa will also be giving out gifts to kids who get vaccinated, but the Grinch might make an appearance, too. Beware!

Winter Solstice floral craft workshop

ROSEANDTHORN Design is hosting a free, family-friendly workshop at StorefrontLab (337 Shotwell St. between 17th and 18th streets) on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. to make floral decorations celebrating winter. Attendees will also learn about sustainable floral design and how it supports local growers and the planet. Proof of vaccination is required for ages five and up. Learn more and register here.

The Matrix Resurrections’ to premiere at Castro Theatre

A red-carpet premiere for the latest “Matrix” film will be held at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro St.) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The film’s director, Lana Wachowski, and stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Neil Patrick Harris are expected to attend. Tickets are not available to the public, but there will be a fan zone with views of the red carpet. “The Matrix Resurrections” was filmed over three weeks in San Francisco last year, and the film will be released to theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22. You can enter to win a pair of tickets for an advance screening at AMC Kabuki on Dec. 20 at 6:20 p.m. here. The film’s trailer is full of familiar San Francisco scenes:

YouTube video

Encuentro del Canto Popular concert to celebrate the spirit of resistance

Acción Latina’s 40th Annual Encuentro del Canto Popular concert on Saturday will be a hybrid experience, with a virtual concert over Facebook live and a poetry reading at Medicine for Nightmares (3036 24th St.) from 6 to 8 p.m. Rebeca Lane, a Guatemala-based rapper and “revolutionary,” will headline the virtual performance, joining the Speaking Axolotl Latinx Reading Series for the in-person component. The event has traditionally been held as “both a fundraiser and celebration of the spirit of resistance within the music of Latin America.”

Mission Dolores Basilica Choir returns with annual candlelight Christmas concert

On Sunday, Dec. 19, the Mission Dolores Basilica Choir marks its return to live concerts with its 30th Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert at 5 p.m. in the Basilica (3321 16th St.). The concert features soloists Julia Mulholland and Mary Rauh under conductor Jerome Lenk with accompaniment by the Mission Dolores Basilica Chamber Orchestra. In addition to Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and traditional Christmas songs from around the world, choir alumni will participate in a section dedicated to traditional carols. Some current members have been singing with the choir for its entire life of 30 years. Tickets may be purchased for $20 here, and the concert will be live streamed here.

Local maker markets and holiday traditions

The “Miracle on Mission Street” holiday market takes place this Saturday at Kapwa Gardens (967 Mission St. between 5th and 6th streets) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Situated in the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Heritage District, browse and sample artistic and culinary creations from local Black, Indigenous, and people of color makers among the “urban oasis” of bamboo and Filipino Calamansi tree groves and murals. RSVP here for free tickets.

The San Francisco Public Library is offering kits for making Parols, Filipino lanterns displayed during the Christmas season, at their Ocean View, Excelsior, and main branch locations while supplies last. If you need help assembling those kits or already have your own supplies, register here for their virtual Parol making workshop on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Also on Saturday, Scavenger Crafts is hosting “Winter Magic Marketland” from noon to 5 p.m. at the queer community cafe Milk SF (302 Valencia St.). Peruse a variety of local artist and vendor wares, including apothecary tarot readings, cosmetics, comics, fashion, jewelry, pins, prints, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and more. There will also be leather.

Next door, in the Castro, catch the neighborhood’s first ever “Castro Winter Wonderland” block party on Noe Street between Market and Beaver on Sunday, Dec. 19. Note the time table: kid-friendly activities like photos with Santa, a petting zoo, and drag queen story time will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that, things get a little naughtier for “kids of all ages” with a sexy elf contest with a grand prize of $1,000. There will also be drag performances throughout the afternoon and music, entertainment, and an art market throughout the day. Visit the Castro Merchants website for more information.

Follow Us

"Annie" is originally from Nebraska, where she found her calling to journalism as editor of her high school newsletter. Before returning to the field, she studied peace and political science in the Balkans, taught elementary and middle school, and worked as an epidemiologist during the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow her on Twitter @anlancheney.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment
Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *