Even the most enthusiastic of elves needs a break from shopping sometimes. South of Market Street in San Francisco's Yerba Buena arts district, new museums, fresh eateries, and old favorites are perfect for a time out. And yes, if you simply must, there's terrific shopping too, at arty gift shops and at the new Bloomingdale's.
San Francisco's Yerba Buena arts district is just south of Market Street. Muni bus lines 14, 15, 30, and 45 serve the area. The most plentiful parking is at the Fifth and Mission Garage (enter on Mission Street headed east).
Museum of the African Diaspora: New center focuses on African arts; this month, check out the show of beaded prayer packets. Info: Closed Tue; $10; 685 Mission St.; 415/358-7200.
Museum of Craft and Folk Art: View crafts made by Japanese Americans in internment camps during WWII. Info: Closed Mon; $5; 51 Yerba Buena Lane; 415/227-4888.
Yerba Buena Gardens: Really, what can't you do here? Take in fountains, gardens, an art museum, a carousel, shopping, and movies, plus an ice rink for holiday twirling. Info: Between Third, Fourth, Mission, and Folsom Streets; 415/820-3550.
Bloomingdale's: The largest Bloomie's outside New York, in the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall. Info: 865 Market St.; 415/856-5300.