Where to See Santa in the Sacramento Area 2018 (Photo Opportunities + Events)
NOTE: This post was updated on October 30, 2018 to reflect updated information for the 2018 holiday season.
While we find ourselves maxed out during the holiday season, no one is as busy as Santa Claus this time of year. His calendar is filled with photo opportunities, breakfasts, sleigh rides, cocoa sipping, and toy making. It can be difficult to track down someone so busy and popular!
Get a chance to visit with Santa at any of these ongoing photo opportunities or at a myriad of holiday events leading up to the big day. When Santa Claus is not at the North Pole, you can find him at these locations in and around Sacramento!
ONGOING PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES
November 9–December 24, 2018
Arden Fair, Sacramento
Visit with Santa at Arden Fair for photos and a free gift! He will be available for visits at his temporary winter home, located near Nordstrom in Center Court. Reservations are available, but are not required. Take a look at the varying hours throughout the holiday season, keeping in mind that Santa will not be at the mall on Thanksgiving Day.
Global Winter Wonderland
November 16, 2018–January 6, 2019
Cal Expo, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy of Global Winter Wonderland
In addition to your Santa photo opportunity, get the whole holiday experience at Global Winter Wonderland, a spectacular holiday festival and multicultural celebration at Cal Expo. You can expect awe-inspiring illuminated landscapes celebrating holidays around the world, live entertainment, holiday ice skating, a full carnival with family and thrill rides, delicious international cuisine, photo opportunities with Santa, holiday shopping, fun crafts, and much more. There are various options for tickets, but general admission costs $19 for adults and $17 for children and seniors.
Sacramento RiverTrain’s Magical Christmas Train
November 23–25, November 30–December 2, 6–9, 13–16 + 19–23, 2018
Sacramento RiverTrain, West Sacramento
Every weekend until Christmas, you can meet with Santa Claus on the Magical Christmas Train! Tickets include a 90-minute train ride, an interactive show based on the book “Skippy the Traindeer” by local author, Shelle Hart, cookies, hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, and a personal visit with Santa Claus himself. Come dress in pajamas if you’d like, join in carols and reindeer games, and experience the magic and wonder of the holiday season aboard the Sacramento RiverTrain! Purchase tickets ranging from $39 to $54, and choose to add a “Skippy the Traindeer” storybook with your child’s name inscribed in it for an additional $6.
Wild Nights and Holiday Lights at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary
December 1, 7, 8, 14–23, 26–30, 2018
Folsom Zoo Sanctuary, Folsom
The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary comes to life in light each holiday season at Wild Nights and Holiday Lights. This annual event provides a unique opportunity to see zoo animals after dark, and features an enchanted forest of 50 lit trees and thousands of lights all over the zoo. Visit with Santa Claus and the zoo’s own “Santa Paws,” ride on the miniature “Starlight Express” train, listen to carolers, and enjoy seasonal refreshments. Wild Nights and Holiday Lights goes from 5–8 p.m. on the first two weekends in December, the days leading up to Christmas, and even after Christmas Day!
December 8, 9, 15 + 16, 2018
Fairytale Town, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy of Fairytale Town
Enter into a magical land filled with festive decor and a dazzling display of holiday lights at Fairytale Town’s Winter Wonderland. Enjoy holiday-themed hands-on activities, listen to strolling Victorian carolers, shop for gifts from local vendors, step inside a giant snow globe, and watch a flurry of snow fall each night near the Mother Goose Stage. And of course, don’t miss a special visit and photo opportunity with Santa in his workshop, located in the Children’s Theater, from 3 to 6 p.m. A visit with Santa is included with admission, and printed photos are available for $5 each.
EVENTS FEATURING SANTA CLAUS
Santa at Lyon Real Estate Offices
Parents are invited to stop by the following Lyon Real Estate offices during December when Santa will pose for photographs with his biggest fans. Games and treats will be available.
Santa visits are planned for:
- Wednesday, December 5 | 4–7 p.m. — Fair Oaks Office (Location)
- Wednesday, December 5 | 4–6:30 p.m. — Folsom Office (Location)
The following Lyon Real Estate offices are also drop-off locations for toys during normal business hours throughout the holiday season. Toys should be new and unwrapped, and will be distributed to families in need throughout the Sacramento region with assistance through partnerships with local non-profits:
- Cameron Park Office (Location)
- West Roseville/Rocklin Office (Location)
- Sierra Oaks Office (Location)
- Auburn Office (Location)
The Land Park Lyon Real Estate office has a Christmas tree filled with kids’ gift wishes. Stop by during normal business hours throughout the holiday season and help fulfill a special wish:
Breakfast With Santa at Elk Grove Regional Park
Saturday, December 1, 2018 | 8–11 a.m. (Varying Seating Times)
Elk Grove Regional Park, Elk Grove
Head to Elk Grove Regional Park to enjoy a special breakfast with Santa. In addition to enjoying a tasty breakfast, each child will have the opportunity to talk with Santa in his sleigh. Pre-registration is highly recommended, but walk-ups will be accepted if space is available. Tickets cost $7 at the door for ages 2 and up, and $5 in advance for ages 2 and up. You may register online, by phone at 916-405-5600 or 916-405-5300, or in person at a CSD registration location.
Breakfast With Santa in Roseville
Saturday, December 1 | 8:30–10:30 a.m.
Roseville Sports Center, Roseville
Calling all elves! Santa needs some help at his workshop. Enjoy a tasty pancake breakfast, make crafts in the elves workshop, play reindeer games, and visit with Santa at the Roseville Sports Center! Preregistration is required and admission is $10 per person.
Fair Oaks Christmas in the Village
Saturday, December 2, 2018 | 3–8 p.m.
Plaza Park, Fair Oaks
Bundle up for an entire afternoon of Christmas magic in the heart of Fair Oaks Village. Christmas in the Village features holiday music, hot chocolate and cider, food trucks, a gingerbread house display and raffle, cookie decorating, a Christmas parade, a tree lighting, carolers, arts and crafts, and much more. Plus, kids can pose for free pictures with Santa at Central Valley Community Bank! This enchanting holiday event should not be missed.
Breakfast With Santa & Mrs. Claus
Saturday, December 8, 2018 | 9–11:30 a.m.
Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy of the Cordova Recreation and Park District
The Cordova Recreation and Park District is hosting their annual Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a delicious breakfast of pancakes, sausage and refreshments. Then stop by the holiday craft fair for some Christmas shopping and pose for a picture with Santa. Admission is $5 per child and adult and free for ages 2 and under.
West Sacramento Breakfast With Santa
Saturday, December 8, 2018 | 8:30–10 a.m. + 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
West Sacramento Community Center, West Sacramento
Enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa Claus himself at the West Sacramento Community Center, complete with pancakes, hot chocolate, coloring, ornament making, letters to Santa, and of course, a special photo opportunity with Santa. Choose from the 8:30 and 10:30 seating times for this popular annual event! Advanced registration is required for all attendees, and tickets will not be sold at the door. Tickets cost $6 for kids under 2, $10 for kids ages 3–12, and $15 for adults and kids over 13.
Fair Oaks Breakfast With Santa
Saturday, December 8, 2018 | 8–9:30 a.m. + 10–11:30 a.m.
Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse, Fair Oaks
Head to the Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse for a delicious continental breakfast, holiday crafts, letters to the North Pole, a hot cocoa bar, and pictures with Santa. You must bring your own camera and register in advance, as seating is limited. Tickets are $10 each or $8 through November 21 (online only) with the code JOLLY.
The Santa Parade
Saturday, December 8 | 10 a.m.
Photos Courtesy of the Santa Parade
Witness the festive and exciting Santa Parade traveling through downtown Sacramento! This community tradition has graced the streets of the city since 1983, and has drawn thousands of visitors every year since. The parade starts at 10 a.m., rain or shine, and travels around the capitol building with floats, dancers, music and lots of holiday cheer!
2018 Homes For the Holidays Tour and Boutique
December 8–9 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (Saturday) + 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (Sunday)
William Brooks Elementary School, El Dorado Hills
This popular holiday tradition highlights five private residences in El Dorado Hills decked out in holiday splendor, displaying traditional and whimsical decorations and collectables to inspire your holiday decorating. After receiving decor inspiration, shop for gifts at the holiday boutique, visit with Santa, sip on wine or hot apple cider, and snack on homemade cookies and candy. This event is located at William Brooks Elementary School in El Dorado Hills. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Proceeds go to the Assistance League Sierra Foothills to assist homeless and disadvantaged children in El Dorado County.
Sacramento Santa Run
Saturday, December 15, 2018 | 9 a.m.
California State Capitol, Sacramento
See thousands of Santas at the 6th Annual Sacramento Santa Run 5K! Each participant will be given a free Santa suit to wear during the race; otherwise, all holiday-themed attire is encouraged! All participants are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys to packet pick-up or the start line main stage. Local law enforcement will distribute gathered toys to families in need in the Sacramento area throughout the holidays. Register in advance to participate in this fun and exciting race in the heart of downtown!
Catch him if you can!
Enjoy your special visit with Jolly Old Saint Nick! And until then, make sure you’re on his “nice” list…
Category El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Local Events, Neighborhood Guides, Roseville, Sacramento
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.