Things To Do With Kids in Sacramento Over Winter Break
Aaahh, winter break. What a joyous time when kids look forward to weeks without school and endless opportunities to sleep in, watch movies, and enjoy the magic of the holiday season. But let’s face it — if you’re a parent without a plan for entertaining said children, winter break can be less than exciting.
Don’t worry! We compiled a list of activities to do during the break to make this time more enjoyable for the whole family.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Sacramento Partnership
The Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink has been a holiday tradition for over 20 years, providing a winter wonderland for skaters of all ages. Between November and January, families flock to this central ice rink to experience the magic of the holiday season and participate in this fun winter staple. Skate admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children 6 and under. Forgot your gloves or socks? No problem! You can purchase some for just $4.
Photo Courtesy of Global Winter Wonderland
Global Winter Wonderland is a spectacular festival and multicultural celebration with a variety of holiday activities the whole family will love. Admire the amazing illuminated landscapes, enjoy entertainment from Circus of Light, go ice skating, take a thrilling ride at the carnival, eat international cuisine, take a photo with Santa, go holiday shopping, and much more! Head to the Cal Expo each Friday, Saturday or Sunday through January 8 for a magical night you won’t forget. Check out the Global Winter Wonderland schedule for their hours of operation!
The 8th annual Macy’s Theatre of Lights is a free holiday program lighting up Old Sacramento between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. See a performance of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on the balconies above K and Front Streets at either 6:15 or 7:45 p.m. each night through Saturday, December 24.
Photo courtesy of Folsom Zoo Sanctuary
Take your little ones to experience Wild Nights and Holiday Lights at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary, happening each night through December 23. The zoo will come to life at night, as you get the unique opportunity to see exotic animals after dark, travel through an enchanted forest of lit trees, visit with Santa Claus, ride on the “Starlight Express” train, listen to carolers, enjoy seasonal refreshments, and much more! Admission is just $5 per person, and children under 2 years old are free.
Go to a Holiday Event
December 17, 2 p.m. | Saint Francis Church, Sacramento
The Sacramento Master Singers’ children’s holiday concert will feature holiday classics that the family can sing along to. Plus, it is rumored that there will even be a surprise visit from Santa. Get your tickets online in advance!
December 27 – January 1 | Community Center Theater, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy of Kevin White via Broadway Sacramento
The holiday spirit does not have to go once Christmas is over, thanks to the performance of this 1954 classic at the Community Center Theater. Bring the whole family along to this musical filled with laughter, dancing, and of course — some of the most amazing songs of the season. Tickets to this festive show would make a wonderful Christmas gift!
December 29, 1:30 p.m. + 6 p.m. | Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
The Crocker Art Museum is hosting their annual “The Sound of Music” Holiday Event, where folks of all ages are invited to participate in costume contests, door prizes, yodeling, and much more. You may even join in with a sing-along to “The Sound of Music!” The event costs $7 for members, $12 for students and youth, and $14 for non-members. You may register online in advance here.
December 31, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
Return to the Crocker Art Museum on New Year’s Eve for their annual Noon Year’s Eve celebration. This is one of the best ways to ring in the new year without keeping your little ones up past midnight. You’ll find live music, dance performances, festive art activities, and much more at this completely free event!
One of the best places to be when the temperatures drop is inside. Thankfully, there are several indoor places in Sacramento where your kids can get their muscles moving or exercise their creativity during the holiday season!
Photo courtesy of Sacramento Children’s Museum
Ditch the textbooks and encourage interactive and fun learning during winter break at the Sacramento Children’s Museum. This fun-filled museum is designed for ages birth to 8 years old, introducing them to the worlds of math, science, art, and social learning skills through a number of exciting exhibits.
artBEAST Children’s Studio offers open studio space, arts exploration rooms, and a variety of art classes that encourage your kids to express their creativity. The studio is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Most kids love playing on a playground, but sometimes colder temperatures or a little bit of rain make the experience less than enjoyable. Head to Funfinity Indoor Playground in Auburn for a safe, clean, inviting, accessible and affordable play experience for your kids! The Bungee Jumping station is a favorite amongst little ones, and parents love the area with a TV and pool table.
As mentioned, the Crocker Art Museum is full of excitement during the holidays — and all year long. Teach your children about the beauty and value of exceptional art, as you peruse the exhibits of this renowned museum. The Crocker is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and is closed on Mondays, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
The holiday season would not be complete without a photo and personal visit with Santa Claus himself. Take the family to the Center Court of Arden Fair Mall between now and December 24 so they can put in their last minute wish list requests before Christmas morning! Plus, a visit to the mall is a win-win, because you can finish up your holiday shopping while you’re there. Save some time and avoid the lines by texting “Santa080” to 39771 to make your optional reservation.
Santa will be accepting visitors at the mall at the following times:
December 12–20: Monday–Sunday | 9 a.m.–10 p.m.
December 21–23: Wednesday–Friday | 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
December 24: Saturday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
See “The Nutcracker”
A viewing of “The Nutcracker” is another holiday staple. Be captivated once again by Clara’s magical journey through the sparkling Snowflake Forest to the delicious Land of the Sweets. Select performances of “The Nutcracker” at Sacramento’s Community Center Theater will feature a special pre-performance before the show. Get your family’s tickets to one of the following performances:
December 22 | 7 p.m.
Go to the Movies
This is a popular time of the year to plan an outing to the movies in order to see heartwarming films suitable for the entire family.
Moana — Disney Pixar’s Moana took the top spot for the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend with $81.1 million in box office sales. Now’s your chance to watch — or re-watch! — this adorable animated movie set in the South Pacific.
Believe — Believe is playing throughout the holiday season. It tells the story of a small-town business owner who tries to save the local Christmas pageant against all odds. Due to its PG rating and holiday theme, this is the perfect movie for the whole family to see this time of year!
SING — SING is a quirky animated musical starring some of the most popular names in Hollywood, such as Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, and more! You’ll hear more than 85 famous songs in this entertaining movie that comes out on December 21.
Go to a Kings Game
Cheer on our beloved Kings at one of their home games through the end of 2017. Take a look at their schedule and purchase tickets for an upcoming game — on either Tuesday, December 20, Monday, December 26, or Saturday, December 31!
Help Someone in Need
One of the more important ways to spend your winter break is by giving back to the community. There are several ways you and your family can offer up your time, money, and resources to help local families in need this holiday season — and all year long. Check out these holiday volunteering opportunities in the Sacramento area.
Enjoy Your Winter Break!
Let us know what your family has planned for these precious days out of school! We would love to hear about your holiday traditions.