Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready, Sac. From light displays to holiday performances and festive parties, winter is where the River City thrives.
Gather the family and friends to celebrate what makes the holiday season special with this guide featuring 20 winter events happening between December and February.
- Imaginarium: Light Up the Night | Friday, Nov. 18-Monday, Jan. 2 | Times vary | Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento | $10-$35 | Brighten your holiday spirits with over 3 million individual Christmas lights as you explore a rose garden, hop on carnival rides like a lit-up ferris wheel, and more.
- Enchant Sacramento | Friday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Jan. 1 | Times vary | Sutter Health Park, 400 Ballpark Dr., West Sacramento | $20-$34 | The national Christmas light extravaganza makes its way to the Sacramento region for the first time, with a story-themed maze that tasks visitors to recover eight lost presents for an elf and its reindeer friend.
- Theatre of Lights | Wednesday, Nov. 23-Saturday, Dec. 24 | Times vary | Old Sacramento Waterfront, 1014 Second St., Sacramento | Free | This yearly attraction features a live-action retelling of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” with Bill Farmer, the voice of Disney’s Goofy since 1987.
Holiday parties and events
- Dear Santa... I Can Explain | Sunday, Dec. 18 | 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. | Drake’s: The Barn, 985 Riverfront St., West Sacramento | $15-85 | Enjoy live entertainment and sip on hot chocolate while you prepare to tell St. Nick all the ways you’ve been good.
- Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl | Saturday, Dec. 17 | 4:30 p.m. | 828 J St., Sacramento | $12-20 | Grab your friends and break out your holiday worst for this annual tradition.
- Holiday Market and Interactive Craft Fair | Saturday, Dec. 17 | 2-8 p.m. | Olivers Brewhouse and Grill, 645 Fifth St., Lincoln | $5 | Can’t find the perfect holiday gift? Roll up your sleeves and make your own.
- Holiday Gift Wrapping Party | Tuesday, Dec. 20 | 6-9 p.m. | Lenise’s Cafe, 3150 Jefferson Blvd., West Sacramento | $35 | Sip on unlimited champagne as you wrap gifts for friends and family.
- Christmas Eve Dinner | Saturday, Dec. 24 | 5:30-8:30 p.m. | 5401 H St., Sacramento | $75 | Vegetarian and pescatarian options are available for diners of this three-course holiday feast.
- Sacramento New Year’s Eve Party 2023: Gatsby’s House | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m. | Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J St., Sacramento | $99-$695 | “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
- Sacto by Night New Year’s Eve Party | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m. | Sacto by Night, 7121 Governors Cir., Sacramento | $15-$25 | Make sure to abide by this event’s all-white dress code.
- Mix New Year’s Eve 2023 | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m. | Mix Downtown, 1525 L St., Sacramento | $50-$70 | Head to this rooftop bar to ring in 2023 with a confetti hurricane.
- Black & White New Year’s Eve Bash | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m. | Hilton Sacramento Arden West, 2200 Harvard St., Sacramento | $60-$480 | DJ Racer X and DJ Gino will be spinning hits courtesy of 97.5 KDEE.
- Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Gala | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m. | Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown, 300 J St., Sacramento | $120-$960 | The Epsilon Xi chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity hosts this party complete with a no-host bar.
- Surreal & Sequins ’23 NYE Ball | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m. | 1007 Seventh St., Sacramento | $50-$100 | Part fashion show, part art experience, all party.
- Winter Wonderland | Saturday, Dec. 17-Sunday, Dec. 18 | 1-7 p.m. | Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Dr., Sacramento | $7-$10 | Celebrate the holiday season with lights, vendors, arts + crafts, and more.
- Christmas Lights Drive-Thru | Saturday, Nov. 19-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 6-9 p.m. | Bayside Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Rd., Roseville | Free | Immerse yourself in the holiday sights and sounds from the comfort of your own car.
- Fab 40s Light Tours | Wednesday, Dec. 14-Friday, Dec. 30 | Times vary | Locations vary | $40-$425 | Hop on the Sac Brew Bike either alone or as part of a group and take a tour through one of the most iconic Sac neighborhoods.
- “A Christmas Carol” | Wednesday, Dec. 14-Saturday, Dec. 24 | 7 p.m. | Sacramento Theatre, 1419 H St., Sacramento | $35-$48 | This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ time-honored tale returns.
- “The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley” | Wednesday, Dec. 14-Saturday, Dec. 24 | 7 p.m. | Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento | $25-$47 | This play expands the stories of characters from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
- “The Nutcracker” | Thursday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Dec. 18 | 7 p.m. | Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom | $28-$46 | Clara and her nutcracker prince journey through the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets in this timeless holiday classic.