This week in Oakland: 5 outdoor end-of-year festivities

Our final event roundup for 2022 includes holiday adventures from this week into the new year.

As the county is currently experiencing the winter COVID surge, we are sticking with outdoor fun activities. If you’re looking for the latest public health guidance, check out our recent interview with Dr. Joanna Locke of the Alameda County Health Department. can read. He shared advice on testing, masking, etc. The federal government is again offering up to four free home tests per household. A Kaiser patient can also order up to four tests in her month at home and pick them up by mail or at her nearest Kaiser pharmacy.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, we hope you find some magic in this week’s activities list. Starting Wednesday, January 4th, we’ll be hosting even more local events.

If you have an event you would like us to consider in this roundup, please email us at If you have an event you’d like to promote on your calendar, you can always use the self-submission form by clicking the Events tab on your homepage.

Hike through the redwoods

View of Redwood Regional Park. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

As winter approaches, many animals fly south or burrow into the ground, but ladybugs prefer to crouch with them in plain sight, including one of Auckland’s local parks. I like To get a glimpse of the ladybug (one of the few insects with a winter habitat in California), you’ll need to hike Rhinehart Redwoods Regional Park, which boasts over 1,800 acres of woodlands and grasslands, walking and biking trails . Ladybirds like to congregate on branches and fences in swarms or colonies along the park’s stream trails, where they stay until February.

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Main Entrance 7867 Redwood Road, 5am-10pm

Roam the grounds of a Mormon temple

Christmas illumination at the temple.Credit: Mormon Temple

Opened in 1964, the Oakland Mormon Temple is the 13th temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Drive through the Diamond and Laurel districts to see the golden spires. The interior of the church is closed to non-Mormons, but the beautiful grounds with flowers, fountains and stunning views are worth a visit. During the holidays, the grounds are decked out in bright, colorful lights that last through New Year’s Eve.

Open daily from 9am to 9pm (confirmation required) Sites for specific closures), free admission, 4766 Lincoln Ave.

Christmas Magic on Picardy Drive

Since the Great Depression, East Oakland’s Picardy Drive residents have turned their homes into a spectacle of light. Credit: Amir Aziz credit: Amir Aziz

Each year, residents of this East Oakland neighborhood cheer up by decorating their homes inside and out with lights and a variety of holiday decorations. Not just for homes, but for many others who visit on foot or by car to check out the decor. The tradition of vacationing in this neighborhood dates back to the Great Depression. As you check out each house, look for the “holiday friendship chain” of light that connects the rooftops of each house. Start your walk or drive on either 55th Street or Theological Seminary.

55th Street & Picardy Drive Nightly Until December 31st

Stroll Jack London on holiday

A giant Christmas tree in Jack London Square in Oakland, California credit: Amir Aziz

The 50-foot Christmas tree is located in Jack London Square, the square between Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar and the Waterfront Hotel on Broadway. This tree lights up Auckland’s historic waterfront in holiday cheer each year. Inside the plaza, retailers such as Oakland Supply Co. offer last-minute gift-buying opportunities. As you walk, you can also see the USS Potomac, built in 1934. The ship was used as a presidential yacht by Franklin and his President Roosevelt until his death in 1945. This ship has survived numerous adventures, including being rescued in port after she sank. of Auckland. Before you leave, don’t forget to grab a drink at Jack London’s favorite watering hole, Hynold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. Her COVID closure in 2020 was the first forced closure of the legendary salon since the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. At this time, Oakland police and fire officials ordered all saloons in the town to close and restaurants to stop selling alcohol. The earthquake caused Heinold’s floor to tilt, which continues to this day.

Broadway and Embarcadero

Eat around Fruitvale

Pastries and cakes from Bakery El Sol, a family owned bakery in Fruitvale Public Market in Oakland, California credit: Amir Aziz

Fruitvale is a great place to find new eateries when you’re sick of leftovers and not in the mood to cook. Many nearby establishments offer outdoor seating. But if you want to take your food home, that is also an option. At the height of the 2020 pandemic, the Unity Council put together a map and register to showcase all businesses in your neighborhood. That comprehensive list is a great place to start, but we wanted to give you some of our favorites: Are you in the mood for tacos?Tacos El Ultimo Baile in Fruitvale Village has found success as a truck. After this he just opened in October. There is also Taquería San Jose, which has been open since 1991. Want some Mexico City food? Look no further than El Huarache Azteca (huarache or pambazo are he two must-try dishes). Looking for dessert? Try Mexican pandulce at Bakery El Sol, chocolate-filled churros from the stand just outside Fruitvale Village, or, weather permitting, Nieves Cinco de his mayo ice cream.

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