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Holiday Events

In addition to its fascinating Gold Rush past, the Sacramento area is rich with an amazing array of state-of-the-art museums and historic sites that offer visitors the chance to explore California’s fine art, history, science, and wildlife treasures all year long. In December, many of the nearly 30 members of Sacramento Area Museums (SAM) are offering holiday-related events and activities, a sampling of which includes the following:


Gingerbread Holiday at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – Now thru 12/21

The annual Gingerbread Holiday is happening again at the charming and nostalgic Old Sacramento Schoolhouse. Everyone is encouraged to bring a hand-made gingerbread house to display for visitors to enjoy. Entries will be judged and winners announced on Friday, 12/13. The display continues until December 21 when entries will be returned to their bakers or donated to local children’s homes and hospitals. For more, please call 916-483-8818 or email


State Capitol Holiday Music Program – Now thru 12/23

The California State Capitol Museum is proud to present the 21st Annual State Capitol Holiday Music Program which takes place in the magnificent rotunda of the California State Capitol, a setting, well-known for its acoustic qualities. This years’ collection of exciting musical performances is more diverse than ever, featuring a variety of cultural influences. Selections range from traditional standards performed by stringed instruments, soft brass, and choral singing to more contemporary popular and international music, and even a sing-a-long. For more, please visit


Home for the Holidays Exhibit and Scavenger Hunt at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – Now thru 1/4/20

To help keep homes shining brightly, guests are invited to explore the new “Home for the Holidays” exhibit to gain helpful hints on what can be done to ease holiday stress during this busy time of year. Visitors can complete the quick and fun scavenger hunt while learning how to reduce waste, live sewer smart, and save energy and water, then receive a gift of useful items to help use resources wisely at home (one per family, while supplies last). For more, please visit


Sacramento Valley Chorus at Wells Fargo Museum Capitol Mall – 12/13 & 20

To help get everyone in the holiday spirit, guests to the Wells Fargo Museum Capitol Mall will enjoy festive, fun and free caroling performances by the Sacramento Valley Chorus on the next two Fridays in December from noon to 1 p.m. For more, visit


Hands on History: A Simple Immigrant Christmas at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park – 12/14

Fort visitors can step back in time to enjoy festive holiday traditions from California’s early history when people from around the world passed through the Fort gates, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season. Complete with docents in period attire and hands-on activities, entertaining vignettes will be set up that showcase a few of the diverse holiday scenes that will include food, music, decorations and other holiday traditions. As a special treat for kids of all ages, Father Christmas will be on-hand to hear holiday wishes. For more, visit


Living History Holiday Ball at the Sacramento History Museum – 12/14

Free with admission, guests of all ages will enjoy stepping back in time at the Museum’s newly renovated and spacious main floor to watch and experience a nostalgic and simply magical Holiday Ball highlighted by lavish period gowns and apparel, live music, historical dancing and hands-on children’s crafts. For more, please visit


Sketch-A-Movie: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at the Crocker Art Museum – 12/26
Muggles, witches, and wizards are invited to this year’s Sketch-a-Movie featuring “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Before the screening, guests will enjoy easy-going sketching lessons, a scavenger hunt, and tours inspired by the film. Then, visitors are encouraged to sketch along and experience the movie with new appreciation and a few fun surprises. Costumes are encouraged, and sketching supplies will be provided. For tickets, please visit


Noon Year’s Eve (Free Family Festival) at the Crocker Art Museum – 12/31
One of Sacramento’s major annual traditions, families with young children are invited to count down to the “Noon Year” at noon at this fun and free celebration. Complete with live music from around the world, dance performances, art activities, and surprises throughout the Museum, this is one New Year’s celebration not to be missed. For more, please visit