Liana Finck at Pop Up Magazine’s Winter Tour 2019 at the Ace Hotel Theater on January 8, 2020. Credit: Erin Brethaeur

If you’re like me, the post-Daylight Savings Time darkness and stormy weather have you ready to go to bed by 6 p.m. But in an attempt to avoid complete hibernation during the winter months, we should all try to venture out every once in a while.

The good news is Oakland has a lot of fun events this week that offer a little bit of something for everyone, from plant parents to art aficionados to science fans. We also see two exciting come-backs: Pop Up Magazine—the show that features live storytellers—returns to the Paramount Theatre for the first time in two years, and the Chabot Space & Science Center re-opens Friday after being closed the entirety of the pandemic. 

Here, we’ve rounded up the best events going on in town this week. As a reminder, we are now including indoor events where proof of vaccination and mask-wearing are enforced in addition to outdoor events.

If there’s an event you think we should feature, email me at, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Pop-Up Magazine

After a two-year hiatus, the popular Pop-Up Magazine show is making its return to the Paramount Theatre. The show brings together journalists, authors, photographers, documentary filmmakers, and others to tell true stories live on stage. Performers use sound, illustrations, animation, film, and photography displayed behind them to make their stories come to life. Each performer is also accompanied by an electric and original score performed by Magik*Magik Orchestra. 

The list of performers for this year’s show includes Emmy-winning TV writer Cord Jefferson (Succession, Master of None, The Good Place); writers Ingrid Rojas Contreras (author, Fruit of the Drunken Tree), Jon Mooallem (The New York Times Magazine, author of Wild Ones and This is Chance!), and Ian Urbina (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, The New Yorker, the New York Times); radio producer Shima Oliaee (Dolly Parton’s America, Radiolab); and filmmaker Ben-Alex Dupris (director, Sweetheart Dancers).

Friday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m, $26-$79, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway

Re-opening of Chabot Space & Science Center

This weekend marks the official re-opening of this Oakland institution, which shut its doors on March 13, 2020, and has remained closed ever since as it worked on its online programming, completed renovations, and started a long-awaited partnership with NASA

Visitors will get to enjoy the center’s staple offerings — interactive exhibits, planetariums, hands-on activities, and powerful telescopes — in addition to the new NASA Experience exhibit, which will feature items from space research and exploration, including spacesuits from the Mercury and Gemini missions, experimental heat shield technology, and a fan blade from the world’s largest wind tunnel. Many of these items have never been on display to the public. 

The museum has undergone significant updates, including to its courtyard, interior, and air filtration system. A new mural by local artists Cece Carpio and Lindsey Millikan will be unveiled on the re-opening Friday. Visitors must wear masks.

Re-opening Friday, Nov. 12, 5 p.m. (general admission hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), $19-$24 (free for children under 2 years old), Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd. 

‘Patterns of Intimacy’ art exhibit

One of Mona Shomali’s paintings that will be on display as part of her upcoming exhibit ‘Patterns of Intimacy’ at OMIIROO Gallery.

Iranian-American, Oakland-based artist Mona Shomali is set to debut her latest exhibit titled Patterns of Intimacy at OMIIROO Gallery this Saturday. Through her nude collection of paintings displayed in this exhibit, Shomali seeks to challenge what interracial intimacy looks like. “This collection is for viewers to interpret subtle body language, dynamics of power. Asking the question, what is pleasure and what are the roles we play?” the gallery website reads.  The exhibit has its opening night this weekend and will be on display daily until Dec. 13 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13, 6 p.m to 8 p.m, free to attend, OMIIROO Gallery, 471 9th St.

The Plant Exchange ‘Adopt-a-Plant’ sale

Plant parents know that it’s never a bad time to bring more luscious greens into their homes, especially if they come from places that care about sustainability. The Plant Exchange, a nonprofit started in 2007, has a mission of sharing gardening resources as well as ways to recycle and reuse gardening materials. It is holding an adopt-a-plant sale this weekend, where you can select from the non-profit’s inventory of plants to add to your shelves. Gardening tools and other materials will also be available to purchase. If you’re already decorating for the holidays, don’t miss a selection of wreaths made out of real succulents. The organizers encourage people to sign-up for a time slot to limit crowding. 

Saturday, Nov. 13, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., sign-up for a time slot (though walk-ins welcome), The Plant Exchange, 4500 Lincoln Ave. 

The holidays are creeping up on us. If you have gift shopping to do, consider checking out Creative Framing & Gallery’s pop-up boutique this weekend for unique gift options from artwork to vintage furniture. If you can’t make it this weekend, the pop-ups will continue on Nov. 20, and the first three Saturdays in December. 

Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., free to attend, Creative Framing & Gallery, 2700 Park Blvd. 

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.