Holiday Happenings

Eat, Shop, & Be Merry!
Shop Late Thursdays • Santa Visits • Holiday Window Contest • Hot Cocoa Crawl • Free Saturday Parking

Eat, Shop, & Be Merry in Downtown Alameda!

From Shop Late Thursdays to our popular Hot Cocoa Crawl, downtown merchants have plenty to offer for a festive holiday shopping experience.

If you haven't quite rallied your holiday spirit yet, take a stroll downtown and enjoy all the wintry, whimsical wonder that is on display. Local artists have been teamed up with downtown businesses to create dazzling holiday window displays this season. Vote for your favorites and help artists win cash and prizes thanks to our sponsors Digifli and Flax Art & Design.

In addition, look for Santa to be out and about in the downtown district.

To make it easier to shop downtown, parking is free at the meters on all Saturdays between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Read on for details about all these activities and more!

Holiday Events in Downtown Alameda

Shop Late Thursdays

November 29 - December 20

Dozens of shops in the district are joining restaurants, bars, galleries, and entertainment venues in staying open until 8:00pm or later on Thursdays during this holiday season. Grab a bite to eat, catch a movie, or toast the holidays with co-workers and then get a little holiday shopping done afterwards! Just look for the Shop Late Here posters in windows around the downtown district.

In addition, look for Santa to be out and about in the downtown district during our Shop Late Thursdays!

Shop Late Thursdays

Shop Late Thursdays in Downtown Alameda

Click to open Interactive Map

  • Airloom Deluxe
  • Alameda Marketplace
  • All Good Living
  • AutoZone
  • Bead Inspirations
  • Bonne Vie
  • Books Inc.
  • Daisy's
  • DeLauer's Newsstand
  • Farmstead Cheeses & Wines
  • Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden
  • Lauren's Closet
  • Lost City Antiques
  • Modern Mouse
  • Navadruga & Singing Bowl
  • Ozone
  • Rocket Reuse
  • Sole Desire
  • Sumbody
  • T-Mobile Store
  • To Herb With Love
  • Tootsies Alameda
  • Tot Tank
  • Toy Safari
  • Video Factory

Downtown Alameda Holiday Window Contest

November 29 - December 17

Through a collaboration with 2nd Friday ArtWalk, FLAX Art & Design, and Digifli, downtown businesses are teaming up with local artists to create festive holiday window displays this season. Bundle up the kids, buy a warm beverage, ice cream or fro yo and take a stroll to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season.

To place your vote, grab a ballot at your favorite window and then drop it in Santa’s Mailbox in front of the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex. Or, post a picture of your favorite window on social media using #DAHWC -- be sure to include the business location in your post.

See artist bios here:

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Downtown Alameda Holiday Window Contest

Click to open Interactive Map

  • Alameda See Spot Run
  • Bead Inspirations
  • Books Inc.
  • Club House Sports Bar
  • Daisy's
  • Fort Knox
  • GlassTek
  • Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden
  • LanVie
  • Lost City Antiques
  • Modern Mouse
  • OMM, Inc.
  • RE/MAX Tribute
  • Sidestreet Pho
  • Starbaby Studio
  • Starland School of Music
  • Studio 23
  • Team Silva Martial Arts
  • The Hobnob
  • The Local
  • The Sewing Room
  • Tootsies Alameda
  • Toy Safari
  • Tucker's Ice Cream
  • Twirl
  • West Wind School

Tree Lighting Ceremony & Hot Cocoa Crawl

December 8

Join Mayor Trish Spencer and Santa when they light the official island holiday tree on December 8 at City Hall. Enjoy live local holiday performances beginning at 4:30pm and meet the big guy himself.

Afterwards, do the Hot Cocoa Crawl with family and friends and vote on your favorite downtown holiday window display using #DAHWC (see info above).

While strolling the district, don't miss these special offers and happenings:

* Airloom Deluxe - Complimentary S’Mores in the courtyard firepit.

* Daisy’s - Serving classic hot chocolate with all the toppings.

Hot Cocoa Crawl

* Habanas - Serving Cuban coffee.

* Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden - Hot Cocoa specials ALL DAY! Craft-Chocolates will be featured for tastings.

* Lauren's Closet - Complimentary Cookies.

* Lola's Chicken Shack - Complimentary Hot Cocoa.

* Lost City Antiques - Complimentary Hot Cider.

* Main Squeeze - Free kids hot cocoa + 30% off other menu items.

* Starbucks - Serving Peppermint Hot Cocoa.

* Team Silva BJJYogi Tea with a $1 donation to fire relief victims.

* The Beanery - 50% off all hot cocoa -- huge variety including Peppermint, German, Mayan, Raspberry, and Old Fashioned!

* The Local - Buy One, Get One Free... Award-Winning Zacatecas Hot Chocolate.

* Tucker's Ice Cream - Free homemade Marshmallows with purchase of Hot Cocoa.

Hot Cocoa Crawl in Downtown Alameda

Click to open Interactive Map

  • Airloom Deluxe
  • Alameda Theatre & Cineplex
  • Cinema Grill
  • Daisy’s
  • Habanas Cuban Cuisine
  • Julie’s Coffee & Tea
  • Lauren's Closet
  • Lola's Chicken Shack
  • Lost City Antiques
  • Main Squeeze
  • Starbucks
  • Team Silva BJJ
  • The Beanery
  • The Local
  • Tucker's Ice Cream

Santa Visits

November 29; December 6, 13 & 20

We are happy to report that Santa has promised to be part of Shop Late Thursdays in Downtown Alameda this holiday season! He’ll be out and about in the district from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, November 29 and December 6, 13 & 20.

Additionally, Santa will be seated and ready to meet children of all ages at Lost City Antiques on these dates:

Saturday, December 8, 3:00-7:00pm
Sunday, December 9, 2:30-5:00pm
Wednesday, December 19, 6:00-8:00pm
Thursday, December 20, 6:00-8:00pm

Have your camera ready for fun photos!

Santa circle

Holiday Gift Faire

Sunday, November 30

20+ local East Bay makers will be selling awesome gifts for the Holidays at PHOENIX (2315 Lincoln Ave). Support local small businesses and artists and come shop at the faire! Hours are 6:00-10:00pm and admission is free.

POP! Artisan Gift Boutique

December 15-16 & December 22-23

Experience two weekends of an exciting, new holiday market celebrating all things handmade at POP! a Curated Artisan Gift Boutique at Park Street Plaza (1419 Santa Clara Ave). Each weekend will feature different vendors from 11:00am to 6:30pm.

Shop locally-made art and crafts, schedule a family mini-photo session with Cage and Aquarium Photography in our winter wonderland setting, and make last-minute holiday gifts with your kids at Joona Fabriculture (after freeing your creative side by enjoying a wine tasting at Bonne Vie, of course).

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Donate A Toy

Last Pick-Up on December 19

You can help ensure that all low-income families in Alameda receive age-appropriate holiday toys for their children aged 0-12. Drop off new, unwrapped toys at any of these Alameda Firefighters Toy Program pick-up points in Downtown Alameda:

Park Centre Animal Hospital, 2501 Central Ave.
McGee’s Bar & Grill, 1645 Park St.
OMM, Inc. Mason Management, 2514 Santa Clara Ave.
Starbucks, 1364 Park St.
Toy Safari, 1410 Park St.
Tucker's Super Creamed Ice Cream, 1349 Park St.
Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak St.
Alameda Police Department, 1555 Oak St.
Fire Station 1, 2401 Encinal Ave.

AFD Toy Program

Park Free Saturdays

November 24 - December 29

Thanks to our friends at the City of Alameda, parking meters will be absolutely FREE in downtown all day on Saturdays between Nov. 24 and Dec. 29. This includes the Civic Center Parking Structure. (Sundays are always free year-round.)

Please note that the two-hour limit will be enforced, so share the space with others.

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Share Your Photos

Enjoying our holiday activities? Share your photos of family and friends enjoying Downtown Alameda during the holidays on our social media sites using the hashtag #downtownalameda:



Oh, What Fun It Is in Downtown Alameda this Holiday Season!

For our full calendar of events, click here.

Thank you to our Community Partners:

Studio 23 Alameda
Re/Max Tribute logo
2nd Friday Art Walk Alameda
Digifli Electronic Bulletin Boards
ARPD logo