By Will Reisman, @WillReisman

Holiday Train Set to Ride This Weekend: Caltrain’ annual Holiday Train—aglow with 70,000 sparkling lights and carrying costumed characters and special entertainers—will entertain crowds of yuletide revelers this weekend. The train will visit nine Caltrain stations between San Francisco and Santa Clara over Saturday and Sunday. Along with catching a glimpse at the decorated chain and hearing talented choir groups sing holiday carols, attendees will also have a chance to donate gifts as part of the Toys for Tots campaign. The Holiday Train departs the San Francisco Caltrain Station at 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. A full schedule of the train stops is available here.

Hometown_Holidat_SocialSamTrans Will Be in Redwood City for Hometown Holidays: While Caltrain hosts its Holiday Train event, SamTrans will be participating in the Hometown Holidays celebration in Redwood City. For the fifth straight year, SamTrans employees will walk along the parade route as part of the event, which takes place this Saturday. The workers will be accompanied by one of the agency’s new 29-foot buses and the famous SamTrans “mini-bus,” a scaled-down go-kart version of the real thing. The festivities begin at 10 a.m., and last throughout the day, with the parade starting at 4:30 p.m. and wrapping up at 5:30 p.m. Along with the march through Redwood City, the Hometown Holidays event will feature live performances from local high school bands, an ice sculpture demonstration, a tree lighting celebration and much more. The whole event will take just a few blocks away from the Redwood City Caltrain Station.

Bring Your Big Ideas to San Jose: Some of the brightest minds in the education field will converge in San Jose this week for the Big Ideas Fest, a multi-day event aimed at identifying innovative and progress new ways to teach the country’s youth. Teachers, journalists, leaders of non-profit organizations, global ambassadors and more will take part in panel discussions, presentations, and collaborative programs, with the aim of exchanging big ideas about the future of education. The Big Ideas Fest will start on Wednesday afternoon and run through Saturday, taking place at the historic Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. Attendees travelling on public transportation can transfer at the Blossom Hill Caltrain Station to the nearby Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s 42 bus line for a trip to the event.

Run Wild in San Francisco: Bay Area residents can get some exercise in and support a good cause this Sunday by joining the Run Wild San-Ta Francisco 5K race at Crissy Field in San Francisco. The event, affectionately known as the “Santa Hat Run,” is an annual gathering where participants don their favorite Christmas gear and race through the scenic northern sections of San Francisco. All proceeds fro the run will benefit the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program. The event starts at 9 a.m. and Muni offers plenty of local buses for runners taking transit to Crissy Field.

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