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Punch Scoops
Our Favorite Discoveries

Punch Scoops

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair


The Great Dickens Christmas Fair has come once again to Daly City, transforming the Cow Palace into the streets of Victorian London. As you explore its many music halls, pubs and shops, you’ll meet the city’s inhabitants–from a posse of chimney sweepers covered in soot to the regal Queen of England. Beyond riffraff and royalty, you’ll also find the author behind the fair and his cast of characters. See if you can locate the spirited Oliver Twist or the scowling Scrooge (“Bah humbug!”). After polishing off a hearty English meal of bangers, meat pies and chestnuts, pay a visit to the detective who has taken up residence at the fair this year. If you help Sherlock Holmes solve his latest case, you might just earn yourself a key and an open invitation to 221B Baker Street.


hotel citrine/shoreline date (over)night


In theory, catching a favorite band live at Shoreline Amphitheatre has the makings of an epic date night but the hassle of getting in and out of the venue can put a damper on the evening. Just opened in 2021, Palo Alto’s Hotel Citrine caught our eye as a way to turn a Shoreline show into a memorable staycation or way to celebrate a milestone event. After booking a one-bedroom suite with its own private patio, we were met with glasses of complimentary champagne at check-in. We enjoyed delicious nibbles from the hotel’s Wild Onion restaurant by a fire pit poolside before making the quick (1.5 mile) mile jaunt to Shoreline, where we opted for the VIP deck and seating. The easy return to the hotel followed by a yummy brunch the next morning confirmed this is a winning combination.

the bridgerton experience


Regency-era London has arrived in San Francisco! Enchanted with the regal world-building of Bridgerton, I leapt at the chance to immerse myself in the romance with Netflix, Shondaland and Fever’s Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience. If you find yourself similarly enamored, don your most luxurious dress (tiaras and feathered fans welcome), then present yourself to the Queen. Impress her with your sweeping curtsy and she might just proclaim you Diamond of the evening. Afterwards, savor a themed cocktail, while admiring dresses worn on the show—then watch as the court violinist recreates Bridgerton’s memorable melodies and dancers swing from the chandelier. You’ll also step out on the ballroom floor to learn a simple period dance—before breaking out your more modern moves during the end-of-the-night dance party. —JH

stranger things: the experience


If you’re anything like me, you’ve wished you could push your way through the TV and enter into the world of your favorite show. For next-level immersion, Netflix and Fever have designed Stranger Things: The Experience, bringing the paranormal town of Hawkins to San Francisco. Get into the spirit by donning your best ’80s neon windbreaker, sweatband and legwarmers, then volunteer for the “sleep study” at Hawkins Lab. Your trip might just end with you manifesting telekinetic powers, escaping from lab-coated scientists and battling otherworldly monsters in The Upside Down. You’ll also get the chance to play retro games at the arcade, devour a sundae at Scoops Ahoy, leaf through VHS tapes at the movie rental shop and befriend Hawkins locals at the mall. —Johanna Harlow

mavericks beach


There’s nothing quite like watching the waves roll in at Mavericks Beach in Half Moon Bay. Significantly less popular than Half Moon Bay State Beach, Mavericks is the perfect place to avoid the crowds. For more of a hike, start your journey at the Pillar Point Bluff Parking Lot and it’s an easy 30-minute hike to the beach with gorgeous views. Don’t forget to bring a couple of layers, it can get chilly! — Sinead Chang

filoli historic house and garden


When you’re tired of wandering through your own backyard, look no further than Filoli. While the house is currently closed to visitors, my personal favorite spot has always been the garden. Painted arrows on the ground guide your visit, allowing for social distancing. It’s the perfect place for a walk with a loved one (I took my mom) or to snap a few graduation photos. During your visit, keep an eye out for the ever-changing art on display. Kristine May’s wire sculptures can be seen until November. Tickets must be reserved online in advance (even for members) and don’t forget to bring a mask. — S. Chang

the patio


Ahi tuna tostados, 21 flat-screen televisions and the city’s longest bar certify The Patio as one of the Peninsula’s premier sports bars. Replicate the intensity of Chase Arena with a packed room of hooligans or catch a more subdued afternoon soccer match from teams abroad. Stanford’s sports have never felt more at home than at The Patio. —Silas Valentino

alviso marina county park

1195 HOPE ST

This 20.6-acre bayside park, a gateway to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, runs along the slough adjacent the salt ponds of the South Bay. Ideal for walkers, bikers, birders and kayakers alike, the Alviso Marina County Park is replete with wildlife and views. —SV

edgewood park


Edgewood park makes you feel on top of the world. There are several routes to get to the top of the hill that stands in the center of the preserve, but my favorite is straight up the front. It’s more exciting. I go here to watch the fog roll in from Half Moon Bay and see the sun setting on the Peninsula. Admittedly, there’s not much to do here. However, if you need a spot to simply be alone or a place to go with your chill friends— Edgewood is my sole recommendation. —Gabby Occhipinti

stulsaft park


During a rainy, chilly winter day there is no park I enjoy more than Stulsaft, since few other people are there and even fewer dogs. You can rustle through the leaves and hear the creek running and feel as though you a world away from Silicon Valley. There’s enough room and off-trails that you can meander around and let nature take ahold of your senses. Bring a Thermos of hot coffee and stay awhile. —Sloane Citron



Capitola is quite possibly the cutest town in Santa Cruz. With several colorfully decorated homes and a simple-life vibe, Capitola has been a sanctuary of sorts for me since high school. The town has some pretty adorable shops and restaurants. Get some fries to go at Zelda’s or a bigger-than-your-face slice of pizza at Pizza My Heart and take it to the beach right next door. Pro tip 1: go to Panache to create your own heavenly lotion. Pro tip 2: go to Surf N Shack for classic Santa Cruz beachwear and the cutest pomeranian store-dog. —GO

the church of nativity


I’m not a Catholic but if I were, this is where I would come to pray. This sweet, mostly overlooked church built in the late 1800’s rests in its lush surroundings in an agreeably idyllic way, with fountains running and the reverend’s stately home gracing the grounds. The church’s highlight is its towering steeple that wistfully reaches out into the sky. There’s even a kindly wooden bench to sit in while contemplating the world. —SC

butano state park


The secret to the best day ever is to go to Butano State Park. I have a hard time letting this secret go public, but I digress. Head over to Pescadero in Half Moon Bay and get some take out at Taqueria De Amigos inside the gas station. I know what you’re thinking— trust me on this one. Otherwise, walk across the street to Duarte’s Tavern and feel like you just stepped into a 1970’s diner. After you’ve fueled up, head east on Pescadero Creek Road until you see signs for Butano State Park. Hiking in Butano has a way of getting all the problems out of you. I’ve never left the park with unresolved internal conflict. It works like magic. —GO

bike ride to breakfast



Biking through the hills of Woodside up and over towards Skyline can be slightly strenuous. However, right before the road gets too narrow to share, you’ll come across the cutest cabin you ever did see—Alice’s Restaurant. Alice’s parking lot is packed with motorcyclists in leather vests and groups of young families being adventurous and precious. If you live in the area and want to be a part of the fun, I’d recommend heading up on a Sunday (bike or bikeless) to feast in the forest… just 15 minutes from home. —GO