We’re still enjoying some seasonal peace and quiet this week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t crazy-fun things to do, with and without family. Feel free to leave comments with more if we’ve missed something. Happy New Year–and enjoy!

Friday, December 27

Slumber with the Stars
6 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

2013 marks the 40th Anniversary of LASERIUM® The Cosmic Laser Concert, and Chabot is hosting its return to the Bay Area! During this Slumber with the Stars event, participants will begin the evening with a moderate 3- to 4-mile hike in the surrounding Redwoods before enjoying a private telescope viewing with one of Chabot’s staff astronomers. They will then be immersed in the darkness of the Planetarium while experiencing a stunning laser light show set to the music of The Beatles. Whether fans from the past or new to the show, LASERIUM® draws audiences into the light. Advance registration is required.

Debut of Zodiac Tours
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

Tour the Zodiac! This group of ancient constellations is visited by the Sun and planets as they wander along their roadway in the sky. Be dazzled by fabulous facts and fantastic fables of these notable star patterns and discover what hidden celestial treasures they hold. Zodiac Tours depart every Friday and Saturday evening this winter. Reserve a seat now!

57th Street Gallery Presents the Clifford Lamb and Melvin Butts Quartet
8:30 – 11:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
5701 Telegraph Avenue

Clifford Lamb was born in New York City and began his classical musical studies at the age of 5. By the age of 18, the music of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea inspired him to complete 4 years of jazz studies at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Clifford has been a professional musician for over twenty years. Melvin Butts is the Music Director and founder of the innovative group, the Mel-Tones. He is a veteran saxophonist, arranger and teacher, known for his incredible arrangements and versatility of styles. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Nighttime Comet Stories
9 – 11 p.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

Thought to be the “Comet of the Century,” Comet ISON has sadly fizzled away, but we’re still talking comets as we snuggle up and hear tales of comets past. Listen to our resident comet expert explain ISON’s path and what made this comet so special. Bring binoculars, blankets and warm clothes. Hot beverages will be for sale. Click here for more information.

Saturday, December 28

57th Street Gallery Presents Tazeko and Friends
8:30 – 11:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
5701 Telegraph Avenue

Yoshinobu Takeda, a.k.a. Takezo, was born in Kagawa, Japan, and grew up in Kyoto, where he began singing in bands and composing music at the age of 12. Among his earliest influences were American movie soundtracks, The Beatles, and Otis Redding. His instincts brought him to San Francisco in 1985 to pursue a career in music. Since then he has performed as a rhythm and blues singer and guitarist. Musicians are Takezo, guitar/vocals; Steve Willis, piano; Ruth Davies, bass; and Bobby Cochran, drums. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Tuesday, December 31

14th Annual New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop
11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

Ring in the New Year without staying up all night! Come to Chabot and celebrate strokes of midnight around the world at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. Kids count down to 2014 as thousands of balloons rain down on them. Each child receives a special prize. Now the kids can ring in the new year without staying up past their bedtimes! Tickets are available here.

Ring in 2014 with Haven
5 – 10 p.m.
44 Webster Street

Chef Chris Johnson’s five-course menu is a delicious way to end 2013! Think comforting classics dressed up in their New Year’s finest, with decadent surprises thrown in for good measure. And, of course, there will be plenty of bubbles! Five-course menu is $85 and beverage pairing is $40. Reservations are available through opentable.com.

New Year’s Eve Dinner at A16 Rockridge
5 p.m.
5356 College Avenue

Welcome 2014 with a special 6-course menu by Chef Rocky Maselli at A16 Rockridge this New Year’s Eve. The holiday meal will include items such as: roasted goat with turnip puree, parsnips, and fried rosemary; carrot sformato with braised winter greens, salsify, and pistachio-dragoncello; and mascarpone rum semifreddo with espresso chocolate cookie crumb, and chocolate rum sauce. The special a la carte menu is priced at $95 per person with an optional $75 wine pairing. Reservations extend from 5:00 pm -11:00 pm, but the restaurant will remain open to ring in the New Year.

New Year’s Eve “Surf and Turf” Dinner at Bocanova
5 p.m.
55 Webster Street

In addition to its regular dinner menu, Bocanova invites diners to ring in the new year with a four-course surf and turf prix-fixe dinner, including a complimentary glass of bubbly, priced at $58 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Dishes for the evening include chicken, mussel and shrimp chowder with aji amarillo; roast Dungeness crab with garlic, chili flakes and olive oil; and dry-aged featherbone steak with spiced salt and anchovy butter. To make reservations and for more information, call (510) 444-1233 or visit www.bocanova.com.

57th Street Gallery Presents James Levi and Surprise
9 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
5701 Telegraph Avenue

James Levi’s innovative playing has earned him recognition as one of the foremost drummers in the music industry. His talents have allowed him an international reputation as a musician with some of the world’s leading artists. He has a wealth of performing and recording experience as well as an extensive knowledge of jazz, R&B and Afro-Cuban music. James has this rolling kind of beat that’s smooth and easy, but relentless. Musicians are James Levi, drums; Ricardo Scales, vocals; Darr, vocals; Toya Alexander, vocals; Rodney Franklin, piano; George “JazzBeau” Spencer, piano; Max Vinisky, rapper; and surprises. Admission is $60, and includes food and champagne toast. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Thursday, January 2

Oakland City Council Rules and Legislation Committee
10:45 a.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available here. For more information, visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil or call (510) 238-7370.

Longfellow Community Association
7 p.m.
NOOCS (North Oakland Charter School), 1000 42nd Street

This public meeting consists of residents of the Longfellow community working together to enhance its beautiful, dynamic, and diverse community, and nurture a friendly, safe and attractive neighborhood that everyone can be proud of. Committees include Transportation and Land Use, which deals with such issues as traffic calming and speed bumps; and the Neighborhood Safety Committee, which addresses the creation of neighborhood watch groups. For more information and to confirm this meeting (recommended), email longfellowcommunityassociation@gmail.com or visit http://longfellowcommunityassociation.org.

To list an event for January 3 – 9, send the details to meg@oaklandlocal.com by noon on Tuesday, December 31.

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