11 Festive Things to Do in Sacramento for Christmas 2023

A Christmas tree in front of the California State Capitol lit up for the holidays.

11 Festive Things to Do in Sacramento for Christmas 2023

December 11, 2023 | By The Railyards

As the air gets chillier and holiday lights start twinkling, it's time to dust off our favorite wintertime traditions here in Sacramento. From Christmas light displays to ice skating and more, discover the best things to do in Sacramento for the holidays.

11 Best Spots for Christmas Lights & Holiday Cheer in Sacramento

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Nov 8, 2023 - Jan 15, 2024 in Ali Youssefi Square
A beloved Downtown tradition, the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink is open for the holiday season. Enjoy an afternoon of ice skating – tickets are available when you arrive at the rink. For extra holiday magic, use your ice rink wristband to unlock discounts at local shops and restaurants. 

Come Skate Away

Photos with Santa

November 10, 2023 - December 24, 2023 at Arden Fair Mall
Arden Fair Mall is bringing a little holiday magic to the Sacramento area. Celebrate a holiday tradition by taking your kids to get their picture taken with Santa. Photos with Santa are free, and photo packages are available for purchase.

Visit the North Pole

Theatre of Lights

November 22, 2023 through December 30th, 2023 at Old Sacramento Waterfront
Sacramento residents can discover some of the city's most breathtaking Christmas lights in Old Sacramento along the waterfront. This free holiday lighting extravaganza will be held nightly from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. 

See the Lights

Imaginarium Holiday Light Festival

November 17, 2023 - January 7, 2023 at Cal Expo
Sacramento's largest holiday light festival, Imaginarium "Holiday Lights, Fairytale Delights," returns to Cal Expo this holiday season. Enjoy the glow of 5 million lights in this festive display that brings your most beloved fairy tales to life, synchronized music and light shows, circus shows, ice skating, carnival rides, games, live entertainment, and more.

Get Tickets Before They're Gone

Holiday Makers Market

Saturday, December 16, 2023 at DOCO
Give unforgettable gifts when you shop at the Makers Market pop-up in DOCO's West Plaza. Support local artisans, crafters, and makers showcasing handmade jewelry, candles, art, bath & body, and other specialty items in time for the holiday shopping season. The Holiday Makers Market begins at 11AM and ends at 4PM on Saturday, December 16.

Shop Local

Trans-Siberian Orchestra 

December 1, 2023 at Golden 1 Center
Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve" tour is coming to Sacramento this December. Enjoy the holiday hits of this multi-platinum, progressive rock group when they come to the Golden 1 Center. 

Rock Around the Christmas Tree

Festive Ornaments and Sparkling Delights Food Tour

December 8, 2023 - December 22, 2023 at Old Sacramento Waterfront
Savor small bites and bubbly delights as you make your own keepsake holiday ornament at the Festive Ornaments and Sparkling Delights Food Tour.  Indulge in small plates and decadent desserts and your choice of champagne, sparkling wine, or non-alcoholic beverage. Paint a ceramic ornament and take a tour of the historic Old Sacramento Waterfront. This walking (and eating) tour lasts about 2.5 hours. 

Book Your Tasty Tour

Home for the Holidays Concert 2023

December 9, 2023 at Memorial Auditorium
The Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra is partnering with KVIE, Sacramento's PBS station, to present “Home for the Holidays 2022”. Enjoy this matinee presentation of new and familiar choral holiday songs, complete with an audience singalong.

Get Tickets to the Orchestra

Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

December 27, 2023 - December 31, 2023 at SAFE Credit Union Performing Art Center
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch… but you do enjoy a holiday musical performance. Enjoy the mean green schemes of the Grinch with the record-setting Broadway holiday sensation. A family-friendly performance that will make your heart grow two sizes this holiday season.

See the Meanest Greenest Show in Town

The Nutcracker

December 2, 2023 - December 23, 2023 at SAFE Credit Union Performing Art Center
The Sacramento Ballet is continuing its beloved holiday tradition this December with this performance of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. Enjoy the choreography of local Sacramento dancers. Tickets are available online or by calling the box office.

Holiday at the Ballet

Santa Hustle Run

December 10, 2023 at Vernon Street Town Square

Santa is cruising through town, and you can join him with Roseville's Santa Hustle Fun Run! This run has different lengths available – 10K, 5K, and a Kid's Dash – so you can choose the best option for you. Participants will receive a cozy hoodie, an embroidered beanie, and a medal that jingles and spins!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Which Sacramento Holiday Tradition is on your list this year? Share your favorite festivities with us on social media.

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