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Holiday Happenings: Shop Sip Gather Together

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Oh, what fun it is in Downtown Alameda this holiday season! Downtown merchants have plenty to offer for a festive holiday shopping experience, from Shop Late Thursdays to our popular Hot Cocoa Stroll.

So bundle up the kids, buy a warm beverage, and take a stroll downtown to enjoy the holiday together with friends and family:

Get the details about this year’s holiday happenings and more… DowntownAlameda.com/holidays

Hot Cocoa Stroll

Enjoy the Hot Cocoa Stroll on Friday 12/2 from 5-7pm with family and friends in Downtown Alameda. A variety of businesses will offer a warm welcome and a delectable assortment of sips & nibbles. There’ll be live music and activities on Alameda Avenue. Join Santa as he strolls to sweet & treat locations throughout the district! Take your time while visiting the shops, restaurants, and other fabulous services located in Alameda’s downtown district.

Shop Later Thursdays

The shops in the district are joining our restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues in staying open until 7:00pm (or later) on Thursday nights in December. Let the merchants in Downtown Alameda help you find unique gifts, jewelry, clothing, toys, books, and much more!

Grab a bite to eat, stop to enjoy the holiday entertainment, and get a little shopping done! (All performances are on Alameda Ave near the Al Fresco Dining Area, 5-7pm.)

Santa Visits

Have your cameras ready! Santa has promised to be part of our Shop Late Thursdays. He’ll be strolling the district popping into businesses, handing out treats, and posing for photos on Thursday nights from 5-7pm.

Tentative Schedule: (includes the cross streets)

  • December 2 – Hot Cocoa Stroll Locations 
  • December ​8 – Park Street between Central and Santa Clara
  • December 1​5 – Park Street between Encinal and Central
  • December 2​2 – Park Street between Santa Clara and Lincoln

Letters to Santa

Want to share a wish list with Santa? We will be hosting a special Letters To Santa station on Alameda Avenue the same evenings that Santa is visiting throughout December. Once your letter is ready, drop it in one of our special Letters to Santa Mailboxes or hand it to Santa and his elves in person. 

Alameda Visit + Shop eGift Cards

When shopping online, consider giving Visit + Shop Alameda eGift Cards as gifts to friends and family, and add them to your own wish list. This unique Alameda gift card is extremely versatile — a single Visit + Shop Alameda eGift Card can be used at more than 27 different businesses in Alameda, and the list is growing!

Sip, Savor, Discover: Autumn Wine Stroll!

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Sip and stroll your way through our historic downtown district tasting exquisite wines at the Downtown Alameda Autumn Wine Stroll on Sunday, October 23, from 12:00-4:00pm. Enjoy an afternoon filled with good vino, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment while learning about the unique styles of featured wineries and local chefs.

The Alameda Strolls are a great way to discover new places and support local businesses. Ticket holders will visit 10+ unique downtown shops and spaces to enjoy premium wine tastings from a fantastic selection of wineries. And while at select locations, guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chefs.

Ticket prices include a collectible tasting glass, premium wine tastings at 12+ unique downtown businesses, hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chefs at select locations, a commemorative guide and exclusive offers. 

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Sip, Savor, Discover: Rock & Roll Beer Stroll!

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Sip and stroll your way through our historic downtown district tasting local beer selections paired with yummy bites at the Downtown Alameda Rock & Roll Beer Stroll. Enjoy an afternoon filled with food, drink, and entertainment while learning about the unique styles of Northern California breweries and local chefs. The debut tour kicks off on Saturday, August 20, 1:00-6:00pm.

The Alameda Strolls are a great way to discover new places and support local businesses. Ticket holders will visit 12+ unique downtown shops and spaces to enjoy premium beer tastings from a fantastic selection of Northern California breweries. And while at each stop, guests will enjoy a savory or sweet bite perfectly paired with each beer. 

Ticket prices include a collectible tasting glass, premium beer tastings at 12+ unique downtown businesses, a delicious bite at each location prepared by a downtown eatery, a commemorative guide, as well as goodies and prizes from downtown businesses.

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Alameda’s 4th of July Parade is Back

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After a two year pandemic pause, the best hometown celebration is back! Alameda’s 4th of July Parade is the longest in the nation. Watch as more than 146 entries travel along Park Street before proceeding to Webster Street. Spectators will marvel at the huge variety of hand-decorated flatbeds, antique cars, marching bands, dance troupes, bicyclists, musicians, community groups, costumed characters, and dancing horses.

The 2022 Grand Marshals are the four members of Alameda’s Police Reform and Racial Equity Steering Committee – Christine Chilcott, Al Mance, Cheryl Taylor and Jolene Wright. Their tireless efforts, and work of more than 50 community volunteers who met for 3,000+ collective hours, resulted in a series of police reform and racial equity recommendations that the City Council unanimously approved in 2021. Among the recommendations is Alameda’s new CARE Team (Community Assessment Response & Engagement), run by specially trained Alameda Fire Department paramedics and Alameda Family Services‘ mental health clinicians who respond to calls for service foe mental health, substance abuse and homelessness issues.

The parade starts at 10:00am at the corner of Park Street and Lincoln Avenue. Some of the best viewing spots are along Park Street where the performances, cheering, and flag waving are especially exciting along the first stretch of the parade. For a front row seat along the sidewalks, plan to arrive well before the parade’s start time.

And, if you’re in want of a refreshment or are looking to do a little shopping this July 4th (or any day of the year), you’ll find a parade of locally-owned businesses in the downtown district, from breakfast spots to bookstores to antique treasures and more.

Check out the City’s Parade Program for more information on the parade, including the route map and the official line-up of entries.

Treat Dad to a Day in Downtown Alameda

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School is out for summer and Father’s Day is this Sunday, making it the perfect weekend for a family adventure in Downtown Alameda. 

Looking for a way to treat Dad to a day of fun? We put together some ideas that will make for a memorable day with Dad and the whole family.

Please remember that Alameda County health officials reinstated the indoor mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for your long-standing commitment and support of our business community, and for doing your part when asked. 

EAT – If doughnuts and pastries are a favorite morning snack, treat Dad to something tasty at Homeskillet or Crispian Bakery. You can’t go wrong with a maple bacon donut or a ham & cheese croissant!  

Maybe dad is more of a burger guy? There are a number of local eateries in Downtown Alameda you can to for a winning burger. Scolari’s Good Eats was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri for their Blueberry Bacon Blue Cheese Burger. And Spinning Bones was recently mentioned in SF Chronicle “Best Day Ever” write up as “one of the best burgers in Alameda right now”.

PLAY – There are plenty of activities to choose from in Downtown Alameda, and Dad will have a blast no matter what you pick. You could treat Dad to the latest blockbuster movie at Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, or challenge him to a classic video arcade game (the kind he played as a kid) at High Scores Arcade.

SHOP – Looking for unique and interesting gifts for Dad? You’ll find so many options in Downtown Alameda. Stop by CRAFT Beer & Wine so Dad can pick up his favorite beverage, or head over to Bonne Vie Fine Cigars for some hand-rolled fine cigars and humidors. If Dad in need of some new island gear to show off his Alameda pride, make sure to check out All Good Living.

Need a last-minute gift that Dad will treasure? The Visit & Shop Alameda eGift Card can be redeemed at a number of fabulous locations in Downtown Alameda.

For a comprehensive list of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, go to www.DowntownAlameda.com/explore.

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