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Holiday Family Fun at Bay Area Museums

'Tis the Season for Science at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

The holidays are a perfect time for a family visit to a museum, where you can both have fun and learn something indoors. Many local San Francisco Bay Area museums offer fun holiday-themed programs, including hands-on activities, special exhibits, and more. You'll even find ice skating and real live reindeer! Here are six of our favorite local museums worth visiting with the kiddos this holiday season.

Bay Area Discovery Museum

This holiday season, family favorite the Bay Area Discovery Museum offers skating at its Iceless Skating Rink through December 30 and winter-themed drop-in activities. To wrap things up, ring in the new year a little early at their Noon Year's Eve party from 9 am–2 pm on December 31 with a noontime ball drop, DJ spinning tunes, art activities, and more. Location: Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 94965.

Charles M. Schulz Museum

Charles M. Schulz Museum New Year's Eve
Photo ©Charles M. Schulz Museum

Santa Rosa's Schulz Museum offers a variety of Peanuts-style holiday programs, including a holiday gift-making workshop, winter classes, and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! on December 31, complete with root beer toasts at noon and 3 pm. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa.

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park welcomes back its popular 'Tis the Season for Science program, with hands-on exhibits, snow flurries, science movies in the Snowman Theater, and live performances! There's even an outdoor ice skating rink (separate admission). The fun takes place through January 6; the Cal Academy is open on Christmas Day, too. Location: 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco.

Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco's Presidio presents the exhibition Home for the Holidays at Carolwood (on view through January 7, 2019) and free screenings of the documentary Christmas with Walt Disney, both highlighting holiday celebrations at the Disney family home. Location: 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco Presidio.

Lawrence Hall of Science

UC Berkeley's family-friendly science center holds its annual Winter Weeks celebration through January 6. Events include films, including The Polar Express, in the National Geographic 3D Theater, live animal encounters, hands-on science activities, planetarium shows, and a New Year's Eve balloon drop (at 11 am, noon, 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm; reservations required). Location: 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Habitot Children's Museum

Berkeley's Habitot offers a holiday-themed model train display, a New Year's-themed puppet show, and a Noon Year's Eve party on December 31. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley 94704.