'Twas the morning of Christmas, all presents unwrapped, Aunt Bertha was settling in for her long winter nap. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But Uncle Henry drinking our very last beer. And then in a twinkling, I heard the next scene: The grumbling and bickering of each bored pre-teen. I sprang off the couch and announced to the crowd, "Happy Christmas to all, now it's time we go out."
It's Christmas morning, the presents are unwrapped and everyone is getting just a tad antsy. But with most places in town closed for the holiday, what's a stir-crazy family to do?
Patch dug around and uncovered a few Tri-Valley places open Christmas day—not many, but enough to keep everyone in your family busy for a few hours.
You can always count on movie theaters for an escape on Christmas day. Opening just in time for the holidays and showing Christmas day at Tri-Valley theaters: "The King's Speech," "Yogi Bear," "Tron: Legacy," "How Do You Know," "The Tempest," "True Grit," "Little Fockers" and "Gulliver's Travels." Shows vary by theater, so click on these local theater links to see what's playing near you: Regal Hacienda Crossings in Dublin, Regal Crow Canyon in San Ramon, Livermore 13 Cinemas, Vine Cinema in Livermore and Century Blackhawk Plaza in Danville.
Need to grab a quick toy for an unexpected guest or a bottle of pinot for dinner? CVS Pharmacy and Rite Aid stores are open Christmas day. Some Safeway stores are, too, including the stores in Pleasanton and Danville and the locations on Dublin Boulevard in Dublin and on San Ramon Valley Boulevard in San Ramon. You can shop at Lucky Supermarket on San Ramon Valley Boulevard in San Ramon and in Danville. Most convenience stores are sure bets on Christmas, especially those adjoining gas stations, including 7-Eleven and Fast & Easy Mart locations throughout the Tri-Valley.
For a quick coffee outing, you can try a chain coffee house. Most Starbucks are closed but Starbucks locations on Airway and Vineyard in Livermore, Dublin Boulevard (near Regal Cinemas), Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon and in Blackhawk Plaza will be open Christmas day.
Got the munchies? Dine at one of several Tri-Valley restaurants that keep their doors open Christmas Day. IHOP locations in Livermore and Dublin are open, as is Carrows and Fuddruckers in Dublin (until 2 p.m.) and Marie Callender's in San Ramon. Faz will serve a gourmet holiday feast at its Pleasanton and Danville restaurants or you can opt for a hotel restaurant, such as the Market Café and Bar at the Marriott in Pleasanton.
Because Chinese restaurants in some cities tend to stay open on Christmas, dining on chow mein and kung pao chicken has become a tradition for many. Pleasanton's Gold Chopsticks Restaurant, Shangri-la Chinese Cuisine in Dublin and Three Brothers From China in San Ramon are open Christmas day. However, the Patch survey of local Chinese restaurants found that most in the Tri-Valley are closed. Check the status of your favorite Chinese restaurant in your Patch restaurant directory.
Also, visit the Christmas Dining list on opentable.com for a list of Bay Area restaurants open on Christmas.
Exercise is a perfect antidote for that antsy feeling: Most Tri-Valley parks and trails remain open Christmas Day. Browse the Patch directory for a list of parks in your community by clicking on "Directory," then "Community Resources," then "Parks & Gardens." You can learn more about the 60-plus parks in San Ramon in Patch's "Park of the Week" feature.
Just a few miles from the Tri-Valley is "Walnut Creek on Ice," which offers ice skating from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas day plus food from McCovey's Restaurant. Get the details at www.icewalnutcreek.com.
Beyond Our Borders: If you're willing to travel outside the Tri-Valley, you'll find more open in San Francisco, including the San Francisco Zoo, the Contemporary Jewish Museum and tours to Alcatraz. For a roundup of Christmas entertainment in the "big city," visit bayareaonthecheap.com.
Holiday Worship Schedules: Several Patch sites have published stories listing Christmas Eve and Christmas day worship services. You also can browse Patch's list of "Religious Institutions" in the directory under "Community Resources." Click on church website links to review holiday worship schedules.
From all of us at Patch, Merry Christmas!