Campus offers a bounty of holiday shopping, events, fun

Vice Chancellor Graham Fleming this week sent out a message reminding the campus of the wealth of holiday opportunities offered by UC Berkeley:

You can take care of holiday shopping, entertain out-of-town guests and take in culture with a visit to one of CAL’s public museums and their gift shops, or the Art Studio. Most museums offer special events and fine shops brimming with museum-quality decorative arts, handcrafted jewelry, ornaments, apparel, toys, books, plants, and many other items for holiday and gift shopping. And, you can avoid traffic jams and long lines while supporting your favorite museum. Holiday closing hours and days are variable, so check their websites before visiting.


Garden shop holiday fete. Gifts (an extra 10 percent off), tastings, and Music.

Friday, Dec. 6, 2-5 p.m. Free admission to the garden and special tea demonstration. 

This Friday, the Botanical Garden offers a free holiday shopping party in its gift shop, with tastings, music and botanical wrapping for gifts. Visitors will get an extra 10 percent off holiday purchases that directly benefit the Botanical Garden.

From 3-4 p.m., Nicholas Weinstein from Homestead Apothecary will be teaching a short course on herbal teas. Cost ($15) includes two herbal tea blends to take home in holiday packaging. Space is limited; register online or call (510) 643-2755.


Chai Spice Workshop: Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-2:30 p.m. Register online, or call (510) 643-2755.

Docent tours: Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Free with admission.

UC Botanical Garden is located at 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.



Gift ideas abound, starting with a BAM/PFA gift membership. A new limited-edition membership comes specially wrapped and includes:

  • Gift membership certificate;
  • Belgian chocolate with the BAM/PFA logo;
  • Notepad featuring Wayne Thiebaud’s “Suckers” from BAM/PFA’s collection.

Starting at $50, BAM/PFA membership is a gift that keeps giving all year long. Purchase online or by calling (510) 642-5186.

Holiday shopping at the museum store:

Browse a broad selection of books, cards and posters, including gems from BAM/PFA’s rich history. Gift ideas include the stunning new catalogs for the Beauty Revealed and Yang Fudong exhibitions; the new 2014 Slingshot Pocket Organizer from the Berkeley-based Slingshot Collective, perfect stocking stuffers at just $6. BAM/PFA members get 10 percent off most merchandise in the museum store, and 20 percent off during special Member Shopping Weeks from Dec. 11 through Dec. 22 (in store only).

BAM/PFA, 2626 Bancroft Way/2625 Durant Ave., Berkeley. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. BAM galleries closed from Dec. 23-Jan. 1; PFA Theater closed from Dec. 16-Jan. 15.


December brings a wealth of science gifts and family fun at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The Google Lunar XPRIZE Challenge is the new Planetarium show. Winter Weeks offer hands-on animal and engineering activities, 3–D films, and a New Year’s Eve Day celebration where we’ll ring in 2014 in time zones around the globe. Visitors can journey into the wild with conservation biologists in Wildlife Rescue, and see how humans can help the world’s fauna survive for many years to come. The Discovery Corner Stores offers great holiday shopping for curious and inventive friends and family, including science kits, games and gift memberships, which mean a year of free admission.

Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Dr., Berkeley. Holiday hours: Open 10 a.m.–5 p.m daily, closing at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24. Closed Dec. 19 and 25.

Admission: $6 child; $9 youth/senior; $12 adult. Free for members and UC Berkeley staff, faculty and students. No admission is required to shop in the Discovery Corner Store. Call (510) 642-5132 to purchase a gift membership. Learn more about December at the Lawrence Hall of Science.



Visit the Magnes in December.

Film program:  Thursday, Dec. 5, 7-8:30 pm. SFJFF Movie Night: Orchestra of Exiles. Orchestra of Exiles explores the four-year odyssey of prodigious Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman in the founding of the orchestra that would become the Israel Philharmonic. At the heart of this film is Huberman’s personal transformation and subsequent heroic struggle to get Jewish musicians out of Europe to found this orchestra.

Current exhibitions:

Global India: Kerala, Israel, Berkeley. Unveils the extensive holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life documenting the history of the Jewish community in Kerala, South India. Runs through Dec. 13.

Lands/Scapes: On Painting and Jewish Geography. Spanning the 20th century and following the paths of Jewish migration, the exhibition offers of a new look at the artists’ relationship with the sites and spaces they inhabited. Runs through Dec. 13.

Holy Land, California: Prints by Albert Garvey, 1974. Emblematic of the unique view of modern Israel that emerged out of California in the 1960s and early 1970s, Garvey’s work captured Israel’s diversity through the lens of Pop Art’s popular medium of screen printing. This technique, along with the subjects portrayed, created an image of Israel that was distant from the ways in which the country had been represented until then in America and elsewhere. Runs through Dec. 13.

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. (510) 643-2526. Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Open through Dec. 13. Re-opening Jan. 28.


On Friday, Dec. 13, the Berkeley Art Studio will hold its inaugural Holiday Art Auction to benefit the Alameda County Community Food Bank and CoachArt. Pottery and other artworks from the Art Studio’s instructors, all professional artists, will be auctioned. The silent auction and art sale begin at 4 p.m., and cocktails and the live auction start at 6 p.m., at Anna Head Hall, Channing Way between Telegraph and Bowditch.

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, the art studio will hold its annual Holiday Pop-Up Shop from noon to 5 p.m., also at Anna Head Hall. Pottery and other artworks from the Art Studio’s members will be on sale. Everyone in the campus community is invited.