This week, escape the holiday madness with a hike in nature, watch a documentary film about immigration and catch a festive concert with Cal Pops Orchestra.
'Escape the Holiday Madness'
Whether you love the holidays or find them taxing, it's a great time of year to take a pause from all the shopping and parties to reconnect with nature. On Saturday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m., Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District will host a free group hike at Picchetti Ranch Preserve, located above Stevens Creek Reservoir about 30 minutes from downtown Palo Alto. Dubbed "Escape the Holiday Madness," the moderately-paced 4.5-mile hike will be led by experienced docents who will introduce participants to local plant communities. Weather permitting, hikers will share a picnic lunch at Stevens Creek. Wine lovers can linger at the end of the hike for a tasting at Picchetti Winery.
No registration is necessary. Meet at the preserve's parking lot on Montebello Road. To learn more, go to openspace.org.
'Beyond Space and Time'
Add a little art to your weekend. Join Israeli-born San Francisco artist Chagit Ofir for a free reception at Palo Alto's Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 6:30 p.m. Go to goo.gl/mBiyPa or call 650-799-1854.
'A Daring Journey'
Menlo Park resident and documentary filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman's latest film, "A Daring Journey: From Immigration to Education," tells the stories of three families who cross the border from Mexico to the United States. The film will screen for free online throughout December. Go to goo.gl/HrYncy or adaringjourneyfilm.org.
'Pops Holiday Magic'
Don your holiday attire and catch the Christmas spirit when California Pops Orchestra puts on its annual holiday concert, "Pops Holiday Magic," on Sunday, Dec. 20. The show takes place at 3 p.m. at Foothill College's Smithwick Theatre, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. Tickets are $20-$40. Go to goo.gl/rQW1PY or call 650-856-8432.
Calling all manga and anime fans age 10-14: Teen manga expert Valentina Begun will hold a winter break camp at Palo Alto's Art School of SF Bay, 392 S. California Ave. Participants will learn how to draw in both shoujo and shounen styles. Classes take place Dec. 21-23 and 28-30. Camp admission is $150 for half-day sessions, $300 for full days. Go to goo.gl/AJx9m8 or call 650-561-6501.
Chopshticks with Wayne Federman
For an evening of laugh-out-loud comedy and tasty Chinese food, head to Palo Alto's Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, on Thursday, Dec. 24. Dinner begins at 7:45 p.m.; Comedian Wayne Federman will entertain the crowd starting at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $55-$65. Go to goo.gl/YkX7zh or call 650-223-8791.