Home Summaries: ‘Tis the Season for Decorated Homes, Holiday Plant Sales, and ‘Winter Plant’ Picnics | News

Home Summaries: ‘Tis the Season for Decorated Homes, Holiday Plant Sales, and ‘Winter Plant’ Picnics | News

As a sustainable alternative to cutting down Christmas trees, Our City Forest rents live trees to Peninsula residents during the holiday season. Residents can choose between 5-gallon (4-5 feet) to 15-gallon (5-7 feet) trees to take home, decorate and keep for a month. Trees can be picked up at the environmental nonprofit’s nursery from now until December 21 and returned January 4-13. More information and rental agreement online.


Historic Filoli House and Garden, shown here decorated with lights in 2020, will begin holiday festivities on November 18. Photography by Jeff Barty.

Holidays in Filoli

10am – 9pm, daily, now – Jan 7 | Filoli Historic House and Garden, 86 Canada Road, Woodside | Tickets are required. Prices vary.

The historic Filoli estate will be decorated in a wonderland of color and magic throughout the holiday season. The festivities include 3,600 strings of lights stretching more than 25 miles, a 210-foot light tunnel and more than 7,000 decorations decorating the property, as well as a variety of special activities on different days, including visits from Santa.

Check Filoli’s calendar for holiday events.


Learn how to transform simple living spaces into beautiful, functional rooms during Palo Alto’s six-week interior design course for adults. Image courtesy Getty Images.

Introduction to interior design

Wednesday 13 December| Palo Alto Adult School, Online | Registration fee is $129. Registration and more information.

Learn how to transform simple living spaces into beautiful, functional rooms during this six-week course that walks participants through the interior design process from start to finish: Participants will learn how to design every aspect of a room while taking into account color theory, industry trends, special arrangements, and floor plans. Design ideas and interior design basics. The class also covers sustainable designs and how to modify designs for people with special needs.

This course will be led by interior designer Sarah Smallwood, whose work includes everything from residential home design to major global hospitality chains (such as Marriott International). Participants can choose to either enroll in the instructor-led course or the self-paced course, which offers multiple start dates.


A logging trail in the Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve. Image courtesy Getty Images.

“Signs of Winter” guided excursion

9:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, December 13 | Pulgas Ridge Preserve, 167 Edmonds Road, Redwood City | free. more information.

Explore the region’s winter flora and fauna with erudite naturalists Liz F. and Lina Mesa during this excursion along the Blue Oak and Dick Bishop Trails. Participants will see nests of dark-footed wood mice, as well as trees and shrubs displaying berries and nuts. Enjoy the views from the top of the ridge on this moderate-paced loop hike. This guided hike is approximately 4.2 miles long and includes 600 feet of elevation gain.

Meet at the Pulgas Ridge parking area on Edmonds Road.


Volunteers can help the Hidden Villa farm team take care of the organization’s farmland. Courtesy photo.

Volunteer Farm Day

9 a.m. – noon, Wednesday, December 13 | Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills | Registration is required.

Help the Hidden Villa farm team look after field-grown food for the local community. Volunteers are needed to help weed the farm fields as well as assist with other tasks. Participants must be prepared for contamination. The farm recommends wearing clothing that’s okay to get dirty, sturdy shoes, and a sun hat. Bring a water bottle and snacks, if you like.

Volunteers meet in front of the property at 9 a.m. and then head out into the fields from there.

Growing on about 7 acres of land, Hidden Villa produces food for the community and donates 25% of the crop to the food bank at the Mountain View Community Services Agency. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.


A selection of succulents, holiday center pieces and other plants will be available for purchase starting at $5 during the open house and succulent plant sale. Image courtesy Getty Images.

Succulent open house and holiday plant sale

9 a.m. – noon, Saturday, December 16| Martial Cotton Park, 5283 Snell Street, San Jose | free. more information.

UC Master Gardeners will hold an open house and plant sale in the demonstration garden at Martial Cottle Park. Visitors can pick up holiday gifts or treat themselves to a selection of succulents and other plants starting at just $5. Custom centerpieces are available.


The Mountain View Housing and Eviction Assistance Center will be at the Mountain View Library on Dec. 21 to connect landlords and tenants with legal resources and other housing assistance. Image courtesy Getty Images.

Housing Assistance and Eviction Center Clinic

6-8 pm, Thursday, December 21 | Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin Street, Mountain View (1st floor program room), | free. Walk-ins welcome.

A representative from the Mountain View Housing and Eviction Assistance Center will be available to answer questions and connect landlords and tenants with legal resources, information about rental assistance, tenant protection, mediation services and other support services aimed at reducing evictions.

More information and list of services.

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