Picks of the Week: Hieroglyphs, hot air balloons and hikes to fuel your Thanksgiving break

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On Monday, before you set off on whatever holiday adventures you’ve planned, take a peek at the Bancroft Library’s newest exhibition. “Object Lessons: The Egyptian Collections of the University of California, Berkeley” showcases Egyptian artifacts from both past and present, and provides insight into Egyptology-related research conducted on campus. The library is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Mondays, so stop by any time during the day!

Then, take Tuesday to sail among the clouds. As part of its promo for “The Aeronauts,” Amazon Prime is really going the extra mile and putting on an entire cross-country ballooning fair , at which you’ll have the chance to take a hot air balloon for a spin, meet hypnotists and fortune tellers and munch on some snacks! The event is taking place at 3:00 pm on Treasure Island.  

If you’re still in the Bay Area by the strike of midnight Tuesday night, spend Wednesday appreciating an art that sadly does not have a subhead on The Daily Californian’s arts and entertainment page — baking. At 11:00 am, the annual masterpiece of executive pastry chef Jean-François Houdré will be unveiled at the Westin in San Francisco. Since 2005, Houdré has spearheaded the creation of a magnificent holiday sugar castle to celebrate the winter festivities. The chorus of young people and hot chocolate provided at 11:30 a.m. are just an added benefit!  

Use Thursday as a day for reflection and rest. Hopefully you’re able to spend the day with loved ones — which can, of course, prove equally stress-inducing and pleasurable. Either way, unwind with some feel-good Thanksgiving-themed media. We recommend “What’s Cooking” for a relatable tale of three Los Angeles families laughing and bickering their way through turkey day, or “You’ve Got Mail” for a good ole Meg Ryan rom-com that harkens back to a time when people actually used online chat rooms. 

On Friday, tie up your tennis shoes and resist the shopping craze of Black Friday by taking a stroll instead. San Francisco is offering a smattering of city walking tours the day after Thanksgiving. With scenic views of the bay and sweeping Spanish colonial-style estates, the Presidio is a prime spot to explore. Head off on the 1:00 pm tour to learn about the former military fortress and national park. And after the tour, why not do some self-guided exploring of the area? Plug in some headphones and get caught up on some recent releases in the world of music — FKA twigs’ Magdalene recently earned a 5.0/5.0 on our end. 

Then it’s on to the weekend proper! On Saturday at 2:00 pm, the Peking Acrobats return to Zellerbach Hall. These flexible fellows pull off all sorts of crazy maneuvers — including, apparently, passing tables to one another with their feet and levitating in a surreal fashion above a stack of chairs. It seems like something you’ve got to see for yourself. 

On Sunday, wrap up your holiday break with supporting local artists at the Etsy Holiday Emporium at Pier 27. Starting at 11:00 am the market will be open, giving you the chance to peruse some of the website’s handmade goods in person. Crafting workshops will also be provided, so come ready to perhaps make some art yourself as well! Then, in the evening, make your way back home to Berkeley. Before waving goodbye to the weekend, however, head over to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive for the 7:00 pm screening of “Amazing Grace,” which stitches together documentary footage of Aretha Franklin’s resplendent 1972 album recording at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church. We hear that it is not something to be missed. 

Sometime during your week, we also recommend that you take a moment to appreciate these turkeys who can gobble in remarkable unison. And, as usual, don’t forget to keep up with all of our arts content — we recommend Alex Jiménez’s review of “Bull in a China Shop” to get you started.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Until next time. 

At a glance:

Nov. 25: “Object Lessons: The Egyptian Collections of the University of California, Berkeley,” Free, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Nov. 26: The Cross-Country Ballooning Fair, Free, 3:00 pm, Treasure Island, San Francisco

Nov. 27The Westin sugar castle, Free, 11:00 am, The Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco

Nov. 28: Thanksgiving movies: “What’s Cooking” and “You’ve Got Mail” 

Nov. 29: Walking tour of the Presidio, Free, 1:00 pm, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco

Nov. 30: Peking Acrobats, $30-75, 2:00 pm, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Dec. 1: Etsy Holiday Emporium, prices vary, 11:00 am, Pier 27, San Francisco; “Amazing Grace,” $5-13, BAMPFA, Berkeley

Contact Ryan Tuozzolo at [email protected].