HolidayTour in Old Sacramento Waterfront

Jordan Alwood

Tis’ the season for holiday cheer and shopping local! This holiday season, the Old Sacramento Waterfront is hosting “HolidayTour” for the entire month of December, and we’d love to share all the fun events you and the family can experience.


The HolidayTour is the perfect way to kick off holiday shopping while supporting locals. We love supporting local businesses and creators, so we decided to host this family-friend activation.

You can even win a prize just for shopping with us! The HolidayTour map has all participating businesses, as well as all the holiday activities around the district.

You can get this map by visiting one of the stores in the district or picking one up at the Visitor’s Center. Every purchase you make while you’re down here will get you a stamp, which will get you entered into a raffle with a big prize! While you’re shopping small, you can enjoy our activations around the entire area. Check them out below!

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

We kick off this festive month on November 3rd at 5 PM with the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy pre-show performances at 5 PM, followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 PM.

Live music and dancing will fill the streets and hopefully fill your hearts with lots of holiday cheer! The biggest tree at the Old Sacramento Waterfront is decorated with tons of holiday decorations and will be lit up for all of #DowntownSac to enjoy. This event is completely free– we just want to enjoy it with you!

Theatre of Lights

Theatre of Lights is a free holiday lighting extravaganza at the Old Sacramento Waterfront produced by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. The nightly performances are Thursday through Sunday from Thanksgiving Eve – Christmas Eve (no show on Thanksgiving) featuring a live-action retelling of Moore’s 1823 poem — “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known as “’ Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

After the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, the first Theatre of Lights show will be live at 6:15 PM. The highlight of the 20-minute production is a live dramatization on the balconies above K Street, complete with a special appearance by Jack Frost, and the lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree by St. Nick himself. Discover how early pioneers experienced the calamities — and revelry — that befell the new city in the 1850s, the sounds of the fires, floods, and parties will surround the audience as the 150-year-old building facades light up with color.

Conceived and created by Stage Nine Exhibitions’ Troy Carlson, Theatre of Lights brings together some of California’s finest talents in the field of light and sound: BP Productions, Associated Sound, and Emmy-nominated voice actor Bill Farmer, the voice of Disney’s Goofy. To see all dates and times click HERE.

Front Street Festivities

We’ve got some fun activities for you and the little ones to enjoy after you’ve walked around a while like the Christmas Candy Carousel or the Winter Wheel. There’s even a California Dream Express train that gives a great tour of the district. To read more, click HERE.

BearPaw Night & Star Wars Night

Support local charity by donating $25 and get.  a pair of bear paws! This will occur on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th.

There will also be a Star Wars night for all you fans! On December 17th, there will be Star Wars characters roaming the Waterfront. Use the force to stop them for a photo that’s perfect for holiday postcards.

Polar Express

Enjoy this magical family event! The evening begins in our passenger station where you will be entertained by Polar Express characters, and then board your train to the North Pole where you will enjoy hot chocolate and a sweet treat courtesy of our hot chocolate chefs.

Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf — Santa himself — will come on board to give each passenger the first gift of Christmas, a silver sleigh bell. Read more HERE.

Holiday Cheer

Thousands of Sacramentans make it a family tradition during the Holidays to attend Theater of Lights and The  Journey of the Polar Express in Old Sacramento. Now you can add to these traditions by joining Sacramento Living History for ‘Holiday Cheer’!

Come down to the Old Sacramento Waterfront in the late afternoon to get good parking and get in the spirit with us. This free, family-friendly event will teach you all about Christmas in the mid-1800s with era crafts and games, hot cocoa and mulled cider, a venue to take family photos, and caroling! Visit The Atrium to enjoy this magical time.

There will also be an option to create clay ornaments and paintings! Click HERE for more information.

Candlelight Concerts at Railroad Museum


Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Sacramento. Get your tickets now to discover Holiday music from “The Nutcracker” and more at the California State Railroad Museum under the gentle glow of candlelight. Click HERE for tickets.

California Dream Express Train

All aboard! The California Dream Express is here! Come take a tour and treat your kiddos to a train ride on the train through the Old Sacramento Waterfront. Read more HERE.

Feelin Festive?

With all these holiday treats, we can imagine how excited you are! Visit the Old Sacramento Waterfront today and enjoy the holidays with us.