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The Ultimate Guide to Fun Holiday Activities in Placer and Sacramento County

Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd began her Real Estate Career after being a stay at home mom a majority of her adult life.  In 2014, Amanda joined a local Brokerage ...

Amanda Todd began her Real Estate Career after being a stay at home mom a majority of her adult life.  In 2014, Amanda joined a local Brokerage ...

Feb 8 12 minutes read

Are you ready to have a holly jolly holiday season?! Each year, Placer and Sacramento County is filled with fun holiday activities for the whole family. We've rounded up a few of our festive favorites, perfect for kids AND adults. This list of ideas is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Please let me know if we are missing any activity, and we will add it right away!


1. Cookies and Milk with Santa! | Cost: FREE | December 19th from 11am -1pm | Twelve Bridges Elementary School, 2450 Eastridge Dr, Lincoln, CA 95648 | Santa Claus is coming to Twelve Bridges! This event is hosted by my team and I! Kids will get a free high quality picture with Santa, yummy treats, fun crafts, a chance to write last minute Christmas lists to Santa at our Santa Station and time to drop it in the North Pole Express mail box! You will be handed a card with a link at the end of the pictures with instructions on how to download your child's picture from Dropbox.

2. Country Christmas | Cost: FREE | Streets of Old Town Auburn, CA | December 12th from 5pm - 9pm | From 5pm to 9pm the whole community is invited to share in the holiday fun. Crafters and artists will have their wares on sale for that special one-of-a-kind Christmas gift. Great food and entertainment, pictures with Santa. Shops and restaurants open. Holiday Open House in all shops! If you miss it today, the 12th, you can go the following weekend, the 19th.

3. Holiday Concert | Cost: FREE | 511 5th St, Lincoln, CA 95648 | December 6th at 3:pm | Tis the season! This event features choral performances by The Lincoln Theatre Choritsters, the Lincoln High School Elite Choir and The Hills Brothers

4. Lincoln Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting | Cost: FREE | Downtown Lincoln | December 5th starting at 4:30pm | This event includes a parade, tree lighting, live entertainment, Santa, and more!


1. 7th Annual Macy's Theatre of Lights | Cost: FREE | 1002 2nd St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | Entire month of December, Thursdays-Sundays 6:15pm & 7:45pm | Make your holidays magical this holiday season by heading to Old Sacramento's 7th Annual Macy's Theatre of Lights. The free outdoor performances artfully mix the historic charm of Old Sacramento with state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology to create a memorable and visually-exciting holiday experience for visitors of all ages.

2. Downtown Holiday Ice Rink | Cost: $12 for skates, socks, gloves and admission (kids under 4 free) | 7th St & K St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | Through January 18th | Conveniently situated in the heart of Downtown, at the corner of 7th and K streets, the Downtown Sacramento Holiday Ice Rink has been the premier #URBANholiday destination for over 20 years. The outdoor rink is open annually from November to January and provides a playful escape into a winter wonderland and serves as a launching pad for exploring the ever-booming urban core!

3. Crazy Santa Hat Pub Crawl | Cost: Toy donation, plus individual drink tab | 509 29th St, Sacramento, CA 95816 | December 4th from 6:45pm - 1:45am | The Crazy Santa Hat Pub Crawl will brighten the Cancer Kids Holiday Party at UC Davis Medical Center. Attendees should wear a crazy Santa hat or something else with the holiday spirit in mind. The goal of this event is to donate toys and books to the children to make their stay more bearable. The organizers expect 200 crawlers to make their way through six bars throughout the night.

Note: Please do not drink and drive.

4. 107.9 The End Presents Jingle Ball | Cost: $30-$55 | 1515 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 | December 5th from 4pm-late | 107.9 The End presents Jingle Ball 2015 with Flo Rida,Kalin and Myles, Tori Kelly, Alessia Cara, Travis Mills, and Daya!

5. Global Winter Wonderland | Cost: Free - $18 | 1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815 | December - January 3rd, times ranging from 4:30pm - 10pm Monday - Sunday | Global Winter Wonderland returns to Sacramento with all new lanterns and an exciting new theme -- Magic of the Seasons! The multi-cultural theme park and magical world of light spanning 17 acres at Cal Expo will unveil sensational new attractions and a dazzling show, Circus of Light presents Acrobats on Ice.

6. Sacramento State Holiday Concert | Cost: FREE, donations accepted | 6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819 | December 5th from 3pm -5pm | The Sacramento Guitar Society (SGS) invites you to enjoy the holiday season with a variety of musical performances, including the Sacramento Guitar Society Orchestra (directed by Sean O'Connor), the only all-guitar community guitar orchestra in Northern California. SGS look forward to sharing a wonderful afternoon of music with the Sacramento community.

7. Fifth Annual Parade of Lights, Presented by The Sacramento Paddle Pushers | Cost: FREE | Greenback Ln, Folsom, CA 95630 | December 5th from 3:30pm - 6pm | Join "Happy Paddlers" for the Sacramento Paddle Pushers (SPP) Fifth Annual Parade of Lights, benefiting: D.A.R.T. and Project 680. Come to watch the parade of lighted kayaks or decorate your own and join in the fun. SPP will start at the Negro Bar Boat Ramp and kayak under the bridges to display the lights. If you don't wish to fully decorate your kayak you can just put on a bow and stern light. stand up paddleboards (SUP) are welcome too. Be sure to dress for chilly water and wear your personal floatation device. This year the Drowning Accident Rescue Team (D.A.R.T.) will be leading the way in one of their boats!

8. Sacramento Ballet Presents: The Nut Cracker | Cost: $19-$65 | 1301 L St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | December 12th - December 22nd, times ranging | Best-known and most beloved of all Sacramento traditions, Ron Cunningham's 28th production of his delightful The Nutcracker is a true holiday spectacular. The enormous growing Christmas tree, Clara's fearless battle with the Mouse King, the soaring Magic Balloon, the sparkling Snowflake Forest, the delicious Kingdom of the Sweets, and the radiant elegance of the Sugar Plum Fairy have been creating family memories for almost three decades. And yes, the Sacramento Ballet partners once again with the Front Street Animal Shelter to find homes for the adorable canines starring in the Prologue. Live music is an option for selected performances.

9. The Ugly Sweater Run | Cost: $40 | 3800 Landpark Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822 | December 12th 9am - whenever you finish | At The Ugly Sweater Run you can run, walk, or prance your way through a winter wonderland of holiday inflatables, music, hot chocolate, and even some nice beverages for those folks over 21. Bring your holiday best in sweater form as Best Ugly Sweater, Best Kids Sweater, and Best Pet Sweater are dished out with some great prizes.

10. Holiday Ball and Pony Express Ride | Cost: FREE | 111 St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | December 12th from 2pm - 4pm | Come join Old Sacramento Living History and the Sacramento History Museum for its annual Holiday Ball! Bring the whole family to this free event and enjoy a traditional Victorian holiday celebration, complete with song and dance and a visit from Father Christmas! Music provided by Claudia's Kitchen Band. After the ball, join re-enactors as they greet the California Division of the National Pony Express Association as they complete the historical Pony Express Trail from Folsom to Old Sacramento.

11. Holiday Magic, Presented by the Sacramento Zoo | Cost: FREE - $11.75 | Land Park Dr and Sutterville Rd, Sacramento, CA 95822 | December 12th from 10am -4pm | Bundle up the family and come enjoy the holiday season at the Zoo! Bring a new, unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item and receive a $1 off your Zoo admission. The U.S. Marine Corps will be taking your toy donations for Toys for Tots and food donations go the the Sacramento Food Bank and families in need. Animals will get special treats delivered to them and staff will be on hand to share facts, secrets and answer your questions.

12. Santa Holiday River Cruise | Cost: FREE - $19.33 | 1206 Front St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | December 5th - 20th, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am - 3pm | Looking to meet Santa while avoiding the huge lines at the mall? Instead spend your afternoon cruising along the Sacramento River with Santa himself! You and your family will be greeted with a complimentary cookie and cup of hot cocoa. Relax to the sounds of holiday music, or take your family to the coloring area where fun holiday-themed coloring sheets will be available. Don't forget to bring your camera because Santa will be on board and ready for a photo-op.

13. Fairytale Town Free Admission Day | Cost: FREE | 3901 Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822 | December 24th 10am -2pm | Happy Holidays from Fairytale Town! Guests who visit Fairytale Town on Christmas Eve receive FREE admission. It's the perfect opportunity to have some fun, enjoy a day of play in the park and take a break from the busy holiday season.

14. Holiday Drop-Off Night, presented by Sacramento Children's Museum | Cost: $20-25 per child | 2701 Prospect Dr, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 | December 21st from 5pm - 9pm | Need time to sneak away from the kids for some holiday shopping or a Date Night? Drop off your children at SCM for a night of Museum play and fun, including a viewing of Polar Express Museum.

15. Christmas in the Village | Cost: FREE | 10219 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA 95628 | December 5th from 12pm - 6pm | Visit with Santa, sing Christmas carols, Winnie the Pooh Play (Free admission for 1 canned-food item), a parade at 4:30pm and then tree lighting right after the parade.

16. Sacramento Santa Parade | Cost: FREE | 13th and L St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | December 12th at 10am | The Santa Parade has a spirit of its own, embodied by the many wonderful parade entrants -- from tuneful marching bands to high-stepping horses, colorful clowns to vintage vehicles, skillful twirlers to dazzling floats. The crowd of spectators greets the passing parade with enthusiastic approval. Their smiles and cheers are the perfect expression of the holidays -- and a big part of the Santa Parade spirit.

17. Merry Movie Night! | Cost: FREE | 9615 Railroad St, Elk Grove, CA 95624 | December 12th at 6:30pm | Bring your blanket and lawn chair and enjoy a magical holiday film under the stars as the City of Elk Grove presents the holiday favorite ELF. Mix96 will join us spreading holiday cheer for all to hear, plus there will be some great holiday games, giveaways, food and drink, a sELFie station, Elf Yourself costume contest and more.

18. Gingerbread House Contest for Teens | Cost: FREE (Materials provided, registration required) | 10055 Franklin High Rd, Elk Grove, CA 95747 | December 9th from 3:30-4:30 | Teams will compete to create the best Gingerbread House!

19. Jingle Bell Run/Walk | Cost: $40 | Donations accepted | Crocker Park 211 O St, Sacramento, CA 95814 | December 12th starting at 7:30am | Jingle Bell Run/Walk®is a fun, festive event for the whole family! Put on your reindeer antlers and your running shoes and come join us for some holiday cheer.

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