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10 Best Christmas Activities in the Sacramento Area

christmas events in sacramento

Do you start listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving? We do! That's why we are already prepping for the holiday season here at Enyart Homes.

From the best streets to see Christmas lights to places where can roll up our sleeves and give back, the holidays are the perfect time to spend time with people we love and enjoy the beautiful area that we live in.

So, whether you've lived in the Sacramento area for awhile or you're new to the area, we hope you'll find some great activities to add to your holidays this season.

Also, while we certainly share this in good faith that the activities will be available, we do live in unpredictable times and nothing is guaranteed. Please call ahead, if possible, to make sure before you pack up the kids and coats and hit the road.

10 Best Christmas Activities in the Sacramento Area:

1. Visit the Fairytale Town Winter Wonderland:

christmas events in sacramento
Photo courtesy of Fairytale Town

This is on our list this year and we cannot wait to go! Fairytale Land is a fun place for the kids year-round, but especially magical around the holidays. They add extra lights, Santa shows up, carolers add ambience, s'mores kits are available for purchase and much more at this special ticketed event open for just 4 days!

So, mark your calendars for a date and time between Dec 11-12 and 18-19. Fairytale Town will be open special hours for the event from 1 PM to 7 PM. Visit with Santa in his workshop from 3 PM to 6 PM. (Professional photos with Santa can be purchased for a small fee or taken with your own device and photographer.)

Victorian carolers will stroll through the park on weekends from 4 PM to 6:30 PM or can be found singing around the fire. S’mores kits are available for purchase at the Cafe for $3 and the fire pit is open from 4 PM to 6:30 PM.

The Balance Dance Project will take the stage at 6:45 p.m. with a holiday themed performance and we launch the snowfall right after at 7 PM.

Learn more about the Winter Wonderland here.

2. Watch the Sacramento Santa Parade:

Looking for something fun and free? Who isn't! 'Tis the season to spend way too much money. So, get ready to enjoy this free local event full of holiday cheer.

This annual, hometown tradition features a large parade with horses, antique vehicles, youth groups, clowns, dancers, and of course Santa! Even the fire department comes out with their engines and much more.

Admission is free, so get out the folding chairs and claim your spot in time for the show to start.

You can get more details on when and where on their Facebook page here.

3. Go Ice Skating in Old Folsom:

christmas events in sacramento

It might never be cold enough in Sacramento for the lake to actually freeze over, but that's okay - we can fake it - with the annual outdoor ice skating rink in Old Folsom! Folsom creates a magical ambience each year, with thousands of lights and decor, as well as their beloved ice rink.

After skating, make sure to stroll the street with a warm hot chocolate and enjoy the lights. Buy your tickets online in advance to ensure you get in.

Learn more about ice skating in Old Folsom here.

4. Look at Christmas Lights:

christmas events in sacramento

Christmas lights are big in this area, so you may need to set aside a few days to see them all. We rounded up our personal favorites in not just one, but TWO posts - because that's how many truly great streets there are!

For more information, check out these posts with location details and more:

5. Light Up The Night at Cal Expo:

christmas events in sacramento

We can't forget the biggest holiday light display in the area: Imaginarium at the Cal Expo. This spectacular and immersive light display is open from November 19th through January 16th.

"The event is brought to you by the producers of Global Winter Wonderland, which opened in 2011 in Santa Clara as the first-ever Chinese lantern festival to ever be held in the United States. This new concept features an incredible array of lighting displays, responding to music and attendees. Guests will love walking through illuminated tunnels and the Field of Dreams aglow with over 30,000 roses arriving at Winter Wonderland. In total there are over three million LED lights," (source).

Tickets are required and can be purchased on their website here.

6. Cut Your Own Christmas Tree:

christmas events in sacramento
Photo courtesy of Carson Ridge Evergreens

You've got to choose and cut your own Christmas tree at least once in your life. If you're looking for the best place for such an adventure, you'll love Carson Ridge Evergreens. It's a bit of a drive from Sacramento, but you'll also have a good chance of catching snow, which makes it extra fun. For over 55 years, Carson Ridge has been one of El Dorado County’s best Family operated “Choose and Cut” Tree Farms. Enjoy the 9-acre farm with your family and find your perfect tree.

And, good news, you don't have to cut it down yourself. Once you've spotted yoru favorite, you simply yell, "Cutter!" and someone will be there to help you out.

Learn more about Carson Ridge Evergreens here.

7. Holiday Magic at the Sacramento Zoo:

Have a house full of animal lovers? Don't miss the magical events at the Sacramento Zoo. Christmas comes early to the zoo on December 12th, when residents can open their wrapped, edible gifts, like stockings stuffed with yams and carrots for the primates. Visitors will receive $1 off admission if they bring a non-perishable food item for local charities.

Or, visit the zoo on Christmas Eve in your pajamas! This fun and anticipated annual soirée gives free admission for visitors and the chance to explore in your pjs. Enjoy being serenaded by staff members while you explore. Free. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

To learn more about these events and more go here.

8. Watch The Nutcracker:

christmas events in sacramento
Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Ballet

A holiday classic, make time to see The Nutcracker live at the Sacramento Ballet from December 12-22nd. "Featuring choreography by co-artistic director Ron Cunningham, Sacramento Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker—the holiday tale that explores the vivid dreams of young Clara on Christmas Eve—will have 500 young dancers twirling alongside company members to Tchaikovsky’s iconic music, which will be played live by the Sacramento Philharmonic at six select performances, including Dec. 20 and 22 at 1 p.m," (source). Buy tickets in advance. Current pricing is advertised at $19-$75 ($33-$90 for live music performances).

Check times and learn more here.

9. Sweat at the Sacramento Santa Run:

christmas events in sacramento
Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Santa Run

Get your cardio in this season by joining in on the Sacramento Santa Run on December 19th. Thousands of racers dressed like Santa run right down Capitol Mall, through Old Sacramento, over the Tower Bridge and back for this jolly 5k fun run. Not ready for a 5k? No problem! You can opt for the shorter Merry mile. Throughout the course, you can stop and refresh at stations full of Christmas cheer, candy canes and seasonal refreshments.

Enjoy the featured performances by carolers in Victorian garb and scarf down milk and cookies at the finish line. A seasonal tradition you won't want to miss!

Buy your tickets and learn more here.

10. Go Tubing at Boreal:

christmas events in sacramento
Photo courtesy of Boreal

One of the best parts of living in the Sacramento area is being so close to the snow. Head right up the 80 to one of the best snow parks for all ages. Boreal has tons of activities, from a tubing run to an indoor trampoline park.

If the family is split on what snow activity they want to do - no sweat, we bet you'll all be able to find something to do at Boreal.

To learn more about the great activities, food and more at Boreal go here.


We hope this list has inspired you to revisit some old favorites and find some new ones this holiday season in the Sacramento area.

We love living in an area with access to so many of the best things that California has to offer.

If you're looking for more things to do in Sacramento, read this post. Or, if you're a visitor and you are thinking about relocating, give us a call. We would love to help you find your dream home: 916.524.9733.


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