Sacramento really comes alive come the holiday season.

From November through January, Sacramento comes alive with festive holiday events. From end-of-the-year celebrations to holiday-themed concerts, these events ensure a great time with family and friends. Our quick guide highlights some of the best activities to check out in the Sacramento area during this holiday season.

Celebrate the Holidays with a Concert or Show

Sacramento offers a number of festive concerts and shows throughout the holiday season. For a traditional holiday show, be sure to check out Sacramento Ballet’s annual performance of the Nutcracker. Select performances also feature live musical accompaniment by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra.

One of Sacramento’s most renowned choral chamber ensembles will be performing a fantastic selection of carols and other holiday songs. Called “A Master Singers Christmas,” this performance by the Sacramento Master Singers will be held at Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, CA. Harris Center for the Arts will be hosting several holiday performances this season, including Drumline Live Holiday Spectacular, Big Band Christmas, and An Irish Christmas 2018.

Enjoy the Holiday Ice Rink with Family and Friends

Every year, Downtown Sacramento’s ice rink becomes a popular spot for kids and adults alike. From November until mid-January, this ice skating rink provides a winter wonderland right in the heart of Downtown Sacramento. Make lasting memories with family and friends at this year’s holiday ice rink.

Explore a Holiday Festival

Festivals are one of the best parts of the holidays, they transform local downtown areas with dazzling light shows, craft fairs, and more. Macy’s Theatre of Lights is a favorite for those living in the Sacramento area. This live-action retelling of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” turns the Old Sacramento Waterfront district into a winter scene from the 19th century. The event is held throughout December until Christmas Eve, and it draws over 100,000 spectators.

Art gallery Beatnik Studios will also be holding their annual Handmade Holidays event. This Christmas party and craft fair event is one of the most unique markets during the holiday season. Visitors can listen to live music, eat delicious food, and browse handmade crafts and gifts from local artisans.

For an event to enjoy with grandchildren, Global Winter Wonderland is a great choice. This popular event in Sacramento features rides, hand-made holiday gifts, giant illuminated lanterns, live acrobat performances, and more.

Go for an Evening Cruise on the Sacramento River

This holiday season, the Hornblower is hosting “Holiday Alive After Five Cruises” for a unique happy hour experience. As they cruise down the Sacramento River, guests can sip on their favorite drinks while enjoying views of Sacramento’s city lights. This 1.5-hour yacht cruise includes a full bar, snacks, cocktail seating, and a DJ to ensure an entertaining evening.

Ring in the New Year with the New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular 

As this year comes to a close, there’s no better way to celebrate than with Sacramento’s New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular. This New Year’s Eve tradition features a dazzling fireworks show, food and drinks vendors, street entertainment, live music, and more. With activities that everyone can enjoy, it’s a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family.