It’s official…even if you have been trying to deny it (like I have), the fact is, it’s here. The holiday season is upon us! So with the hustle and bustle of preparing for the festivities, why don’t you take a break from the holiday cooking and start the season off with the annual tree lighting ceremony in Old Sacramento.
On Wednesday, November 26 join other families in Old Sacramento at Front and K Streets to watch the kick-off of the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Music and festivities will begin at 6:00 pm to get you and your family in the holiday spirit. Following the tree lighting, Old Sacramento’s Theatre of Lights will begin at 7:00pm.
The Theatre of Lights is a unique state-of-the-art live staging of the classic ’Twas The Night Before Christmas. The show blends a symphony of lights, sounds and visual effects which will take the audience back to a time when the beloved poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas was first introduced in Sacramento in 1857. The poem comes to life on the balconies and rooftops of Old Sacramento’s historic buildings on K Street between Front and 2nd Street.
The Theatre of Lights will take place through the holiday season with two 20-minute light shows at 6:15 pm. and 7:45 pm. every Thursday through Sunday until December 31st. December 24th will show at 6:15 and on New Years Eve 7:00 and 8:30pm.
This is a FREE family fun event… so wrap up the kids in their cozy sweaters, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy an evening in Old Sacramento. This is a great way to get into the holiday spirit (and escape the kitchen from all the pre-Thanksgiving baking and prep work!).
There will be plenty more festivities to come in the following weeks, so prepare yourself for some fun and excitement…and most importantly, have fun and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Okay, we’ve got our two Global Winter Wonderland winners! Congratulations to Jennifer Loper and Liza King! You both have won a family four-pack of tickets to this great winter event. Please contact us to claim your tickets. Thanks everyone!
I have to admit, one of my most favorite and cherished places to take the kids here in Sacramento is Fairytale Town. How can it get any better… a park made specifically for toddlers and little feet to run around and play to their heart’s content all while adding in the great nursery rhymes we have all grown up with? Stories and the Old Mother Goose rhymes literally come to life at this 2.5 acre play park. The kids can explore old nursery rhyme favorites while speeding down slides, climbing through tunnels and balancing along the “Crooked Mile”. Kids can enjoy viewing animals from the “Three Little Pig”, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and more. My favorite area is Mr. McGregors Garden where the kids can help water the vegetable plants. You can spend the entire day exploring and playing with your kids at this park!
And in the spirit of the holidays, Fairytale Town “gives back” to the community and gives thanks to the Sacramento community by offering a FREE Admission Day on “Black Friday”. Who really wants to fight the crowds at the mall when you can spend quality family time at Fairytale Town? On the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 28 from 10am to 4pm, Fairytale Town offers free admission to families who bring a canned food item for donation to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services- Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive. The day also includes free arts and crafts activities. Puppet Art Theater Company will be on hand to present Jack’s Holiday Adventure, at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 pm. In the Children’s Theater. Tickets for the puppet show are $1 for Fairytale Town members and $2 for nonmembers.
Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and most kids in the area have the week off school. If you are looking for some quality events and activities to keep your little ones (or big ones!) busy, take a look at the following list of camps, events and activities being offered in the Sacramento region. You are sure to find something your kids will love!
11/24 – 11/25 – Kings NEXT Basketball Clinic at Jackson Sports Academy (McClellan, CA) – This 2-day clinic includes basketball tips and conditioning skills from former Kings coaches and Monarchs players.
11/24 - 11/25 – Under The Oaks Kids Camp at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s Under the Oaks Kids Camps give children ages 6 to 11 the opportunity to experience, discover and explore the great outdoors! Each camp is focused on different nature-related themes with hands-on explorations, hikes, games, with crafts and stories.
11/24 – 11/26 – Fun and Fitness Camp at the Bounce Spot – The Bounce Spot’s Camp is a fun-filled day camp for children registered in Kindergarten thru 8th Grade. Our focus is Fun & Fitness, with a touch of education.
11/24 – 11/26 – Gobble Gobble Days at the Discovery Museum – It’s that time of year to pay homage to our fine feathered friend—the turkey. Bring your friends and family to the museum this week for some Thanksgiving fun. There is a turkey table topper craft for Kids 12 and under.
11/24 – 11/28 – Outdoor Ice Skating at Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink – see daily specials
11/25 – Free Train Ride Tuesday at the Fountains in Roseville – As a special thanks for visiting throughout the year, Fairytale Town offers FREE admission to visitors who bring in a canned good to donate the day after Thanksgiving!
11/26 – Old Sacramento Tree Lighting and Theater of Lights - The 58-foot tall City of Sacramento Christmas tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday evening, at 6 p.m. during a visually exciting official tree lighting ceremony that is free and open to the public. The festive tree lighting ceremony serves to kick-off the first “Theatre of Lights” performance of the season that will immediately follow.
11/28 – Free Admission Day: Canned Food Drive at Fairytale Town – As a special thanks for visiting throughout the year, Fairytale Town offers FREE admission to visitors who bring in a canned good to donate the day after Thanksgiving! The day also includes free arts and crafts and a puppet show.
Thru 12/31/14 – Holiday Food Drive at the Sacramento Zoo – During the holiday season bring a non-perishable food item when you visit the Zoo and receive $1 off your Zoo admission!
Thru 1/31/15 – Holiday Passport at Bounce U – unlimited open bounce for $49 first child, $39 sibling.
Thru 1/4/15 – Global Winter Wonderland - A spectacular holiday festival that includes massive chinese lantern displays, carnival rides, food, entertainment and shopping.
There’s truly something new and exciting rising up in Sacramento this holiday season. Beginning this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, Cal Expo will be lit up by a spectacular array of Chinese lanterns representing wonders of the world. These are not your ordinary Chinese lanterns – these are massive structures that take up to six weeks to build, some rising up to seven stories high.
Sacramento has been chosen as the only city in the country to host Global Winter Wonderland this year. The annual lantern festival is the largest of its kind outside of China and displays over 70 massive lighted lanterns that depict holiday scenes and iconic buildings throughout the world including the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge.
While the lanterns are clearly the main attraction to this event, visitors will also be thrilled to find that this multicultural theme park also has carnival rides, entertainment, an international food court, plenty of shopping opportunities and even a dinosaur maze for the kids. We’re sold, are you? If so, keep reading…we’ve got tickets to give away to two lucky readers!
Here are the details:
What: Global Winter Wonderland
Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento
Dates: Open Daily 11/22 – 11/30, 12/19 – 1/4 and weekends 12/5 – 12/7, 12/12 – 12/14
Times: 4:30 pm to 10 pm Sunday – Thursday, 4:30 pm to 11 pm Friday and Saturday
Admission: Adults $16, Seniors $12, kids (4-12) $12, kids (3 and under) FREE, season passes also available
Okay. Would you like to win some tickets to this fantastic event? Head on over to the Global Winter Wonderland website here, check it out a bit, then come back and tell us in the comment section below what part of this multicultural theme park your kids would absolutely love! You’ll then be entered into the drawing to win 4 tickets to the event. Two lucky readers will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Good luck!
11/13 – Preschool Program at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – Inspire your child to be a future Planet Protector! Drop in for free hands-on crafts, fun, and discovery. Created specifically with preschoolers in mind, this program offers engaging and age appropriate activities introducing ways to care for our environment.
11/14 – 11/16 – Disney’s Aladdin Jr. presented by the El Dorado Musical Theatre – Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. brings the famous movie to life on stage. In Agrabah, City of Enchantment, every beggar has a story and every camel has a tail. Aladdin, a kind but wily street urchin, falls in love with beautiful Princess Jasmine. It just so happens that the Sultan has declared that Princess Jasmine must choose a husband within the next day. After she turns down the offers from various wealthy suitors, Aladdin and the evil Jafar duke it out for Jasmine’s love. With a little help from a wacky genie, Aladdin manages to win Jasmine’s hand in marriage.
11/15 – Hands On History: The Donner Party at Sutter’s Fort – In the winter of 1846-1847 over 80 emigrants became trapped in the Sierra snows. We know them as the Donner Party, but they were made up of many different families and individuals. Sutter’s Fort was their destination and became their only hope of survival. Rescue parties of volunteers were assembled at the Fort, mules and packs were gathered, and a variety of food supplies were packed for the rescue. Few people are aware that the second relief party carried 100 pounds of cocoa and 400 pounds of sugar among other more staple items.
11/15 – Birding for Families at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Bring the family out and join for a birding and nature walk led by a naturalist and special guest guides from the Sacramento Audubon. Birdwatchers of all levels are welcomed. Make sure to bring your binoculars, or they can loan you a pair.
11/15 – Dancing Masks presented by the Fenix Drum and Dance Company – It’s time for the masks to come out again and be danced in a community celebration. Dancing Masks, the extremely successful exhibit of West African masks re-emerges! The one day exhibit will again feature authentic African masks from the collection of James Albertson and Julia Stagg.
11/15 – Coyote with Guy Galante - The coyote has been culturally significant for many generations and is featured in myths and legends of many Northern Californian native cultures. Today, coyotes still thrive in the open spaces and woodlands of the American River Parkway. Come hear stories and see photographic images captured by presenter Guy Galante who will lead a presentation about coyotes, holistic tracking skills, and how seeking the coyote can lead to a deeper appreciation for and connection with the Parkway, each other, and our selves. Then take a sunrise hike with Guy into the wilds of Sacramento Bar. Who knows what you will find! Note: The field study on 11/15 takes place at Sacramento Bar and begins at sunrise. Call Effie Yeaw Nature Center for more specific time.
11/15 – Cinderella presented by Runaway Stage Productions – The timeless fairy tale becomes a new audience favorite in the musical Cinderella, an adaptation of the treasured film geared toward young audiences. Poor Cinderella is endlessly mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and denied a chance to go to the royal ball. With a little help from her mice friends, and a lot of help from her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella’s dreams come true. She goes to the ball, meets the Prince, and falls in love!
11/15 – 11/16 – Discovering Dinos at the Discovery Museum – Go back in time and discovery the days of the dinosaurs in the Blast from the Past exhibit. Dress up as a famous paleontologist or your favorite dinosaur. Large dinosaur models are on display as well as teeth, claws, and bones. Children design dinosaur scratch art to take home as a souvenir. It is a fun day for your family and a great opportunity to grab some treasured photos
11/16 – Sunday Crafternoon at the Crocker Art Museum – This monthly gathering will inspire your family’s creativity and help you enjoy quality time together. Make simple crafts that celebrate the season, using a variety of beautiful materials. For ages four and up with adult participation required; siblings ages three and under are welcome to tag along at no extra charge. This program fills up quickly and advance registration is recommended.
11/16 – Critter Close-up at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Get eye to eye with one of Effie’s feathered, furry, orscaly residents.