Holiday Caroling

Enjoy some time in our Holiday room with hot cider and cookies before beginning your voyage around Lake Merritt. Experience a unique view of Oakland as your Water Sleigh glides past the 18th Street Fountain and Holiday Cove before returning to the Boating Center. Registration Opens October 15th each year. See flyer in link below for more details

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Holiday Caroling Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When does registration open?
    Registration opens October 15th each year on-line at
  • What type of weather cancels the event? If it’s raining a little do, we still go?
    As long as it’s not pouring rain, very windy, or a thunderstorm, we are able to go caroling. It is up to the driver’s discretion. If WE decide it is unsafe to go out than refunds will be given.
  • Why no outside food or drink? We have been allowed in the past!
    Very strict no outside food or drink allowed in the holiday room. We do not have available staff to clean up after each party. Please enjoy our hot cider, water, and holiday cookies. If you are looking for a larger party space, you can reserve the upstairs Sailboat House event space to hold a party of your own.
  • When should our party arrive, what if it’s raining?
    Please arrive on the hour! If it is raining, we can open up a waiting room for your party. The Holiday room must be refreshed after each group and may not be ready before your reservation.
  • Can we bring our own songs?
    Yes! Our song book is 50 songs long but we love hearing new ones and may even add it to our song book!
  • Can we leave our belongings in the holiday room?
    No. All belongings are to be taken on the boat with you. The next reservation will be using the holiday room when you return from your trip.
  • How long will my tour be?
    The first 20 minutes will be spent in the Holiday room enjoying cider and cookies while everyone arrives and briefed on the rules. 40 minutes will be spent caroling on the water.
  • How early should we arrive?
    Arrive on time, on the hour. We will not be ready for your group prior to your reservation.
  • Will the driver be dressed like Santa?
    Not necessarily, although there will be a seasonally dressed driver for your sleigh.
  • Who needs to wear a lifejacket?
    All youth under 13 years of age must wear lifejackets. We provide them on the boat for everyone and they are located underneath the seats. We always encourage everyone to wear lifejackets while on board.
  • If we have a baby or infant do they count as a passenger?
    Yes. State laws limit us to the number of people (of any age) on the boat’s capacity plate.
  • Can I book all the tickets for the 6 pm tour?
    No. We reserve those tours for smaller groups so that everyone can have an opportunity to enjoy the caroling program. Maximum of 5 tickets sold per party for 6pm tours. Call back after Thanksgiving and you can see if there is still space. If so than you can purchase more tickets for your group.