Holiday happenings herald family fun

Town Crier File Photo
Santa joins the crowd for the annual Holiday Barn Lighting at Westwind Community Barn in Los Altos Hills.

Following is a roundup of local family-friendly events scheduled during the holiday season. From annual tree-lighting ceremonies to caroling and concerts, opportunities abound to catch the spirit of the season.

Earth’s rotation provides an ever-changing light show this winter

Photos courtesy of NASA
Orion is among the many constellations that light up the winter skies.

As winter arrives, so will a variety of new constellations in the night sky visible from Los Altos.

Just what they wanted: Los Altos businesses offer ideas for unique and useful presents

A vintage typewriter from Los Altos Typewriter & Business Machines might spark creativity in the writer on your gift list.

Whether your family, friends and business associates are easy to shop for or notoriously difficult, neighborhood stores are brimming with possibilities. Following are a few holiday gift-giving ideas from Los Altos shops.

Mountain View restaurant serves free Thanksgiving meals to any and all

Photos courtesy of John AkkayaJ
Don Giovanni owner John Akkaya served 130 Thanksgiving turkeys in 2016 to 2,000 diners who queued up patiently along Castro street.

John Akkaya, owner of Ristorante Don Giovanni in Mountain View, believes in saying thank you. For close to three decades, he has been doing that by offering a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner to anyone who shows up at his restaurant.

Akkaya opened Don Giovanni at 235 Castro St. in 1997. His first restaurant, Burlingame’s Cafe Figaro, has operated since 1989. The Thanksgiving dinners also began in 1989.

Local holiday rituals bind families across distance and time

Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Autumn enters the home for Shreyas, from left, Rajiv, Uma and Sruthi Ramaswami to the sound of song and drumbeats. They welcome visitors to their Los Altos home to celebrate Navratri with music, food and companionship.

Flickering candles, familiar spices, songs learned as a child and repeated year after year - ask local families what marks their holiday season, and you’ll find answers that sound strangely similar, even as they honor different deities and homelands.

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stephanie Braun, from left, Adam Braun and Marty Braun of Mountain View and Michelle Evans, Chloe Knapp and Kevin Knapp of Sunnyvale swing at a recent Las Madres gathering at Marymeade Park in Los Altos.

A parent is born at the same time as her first child, and remade again upon the arrival of a second.

Her relationship to place changes, too. Wandering down the pavement feels different at toddler speed, and local park proximity jumps from mildly relevant to crucially calculated in minute-by-minute drive time.

SpecialtyMagazines advertise


The Town Crier publishes six different glossy magazines throughout the year that are inserted into the newspaper.

You can view the latest magazine as a PDF here or explore our archive of past issues. 


Our magazines include:

  • Camps (1/31)
  • Family Spotlight (2/28)
  • Living in Los Altos (3/28 & 9/26)
  • Home & Garden (4/25 & 8/29)
  • Senior Lifestyles (5/23)
  • Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival Magazine (7/11)
  • Home for the Holidays (11/14)

To advertise, contact our sales department by calling (650) 948-9000 or email

To offer submissions to editorial, contact editor Bruce Barton at

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