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By Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Cherri Senders, Publisher of Labor 411

As we enter the home stretch of the holiday season, there’s a whole lot of ways for thoughtful San Francisco residents and visitors to have fun while making their communities better than battling fellow shoppers for those desperate last-minute gifts. Whether it’s visiting the theater, the zoo, or even Six Flags, visitors and residents to the City by the Bay have plenty of opportunities to support good, local jobs while having fun over the holidays.

The skilled and hardworking union members that make the Bay Area tick have certainly been working for us. From continuing the fight for a $15 living wage to protesting layoffs and an unfair contract at the City College of San Francisco, workers in the San Francisco Bay Area have been participating in actions throughout 2015.

So take a break from it all and check out one of these fun, family-friendly events.

1. San Francisco Zoo – Zoo Lights

• When: Friday – Wednesday, Dec. 18-23, Saturday – Wednesday, Dec. 26-30, Friday – Sunday, Jan. 1- 3
• Where: San Francisco Zoo, Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94132
• What: See the lights at the brand new South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary. Vistit Santa and his reindeer, watch one of the nightly shows, take a ride on the Little Puffer Steam Train and bring a coat because snow flurries are expected!
• Unions: UNITE HERE, IBT

2. San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker

• When: Dec. 16 – 31
• Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue (in the Civic Center), San Francisco, CA 94102
• What: The holiday classic, played in the City by the Bay since 1944.
• Unions: IATSE, UNITE HERE

3. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – Holiday in the Park

• When: Now through Jan. 3, 2016
• Where: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, 1001 Fairgrounds Dr. SW, Vallejo, CA 94589
• What: Synchronized light shows, sledding, life-sized snow globes, Santa’s workshop, rides and more!
• Unions: IAM

4. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – Smuin Ballet – The Christmas Ballet

• When: Dec. 17 – 27
• Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
• What: “Baby, it’s cold outside, but it’s sizzlin’ hot around the Bay Area when Smuin Ballet kicks off the holidays with The Christmas Ballet. From classical to cool, Smuin offers two acts filled with a stunning and original array of ballet, tap and jazz. A joyous celebration of dance and a true holiday classic, this year’s program features Smuin favorites and new pieces.”
• Unions: IATSE

5. San Francisco Symphony – Holiday Performances

• When: Dec. 16 – 24
• Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102
• What: Multiple holiday performances include Colors of Christmas, A Broadway Christmas with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Handel’s Messiah and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
• Unions: UNITE HERE, AFM

For more union gift ideas this holiday season, click here.

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