December is a festive and fun time for Sacramento area museums, who are hosting an abundance of holiday events throughout the month. From a black tie ball to craft fairs to music programs to a pajama party at the zoo, the Christmas season is a great time to get out and enjoy the city.
We’ve rounded up the events local museums are hosting this month so you can start your December event planning now. Take the kids, take a friend, or take yourself to any of these holiday happenings:
Twinkling Tractors at the California Agriculture Museum – Now thru December
The California Agriculture Museum in Woodland offers a festive and fun sight to experience as they showcase tractors decked with holiday lights! Offered on Wednesdays through Fridays now through the month of December, guests can stroll through the Museum and enjoy holiday lights without concern of being rained out. For more, visit californiaagmuseum.org.
Macy’s Theater of Lights at Old Sacramento State Historic Park – Now thru 12/24
Known as a magical, electrifying and family-friendly holiday tradition in Old Sacramento, the popular and free Macy’s Theatre of Lights performances return to Sacramento on select dates throughout November and December. The popular holiday show artfully mixes the historic charm of Old Sacramento with state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology to create a memorable holiday experience for visitors of all ages. The narrated reading of the famous and nostalgic poem “The Night Before Christmas” is brought to life through theatrical elements and visually-exciting lighting choreography that takes place on the balconies and rooftops of Old Sacramento’s historic buildings located on K Street between Front and 2nd Streets. For more info and to see a full schedule, visit oldsacramento.com.
“Highest Heaven” Exhibit on Display at the Crocker Art Museum – Now thru 1/22
Featuring more than 100 paintings, sculptures in wood and silver, ivories and other decorative arts, “Highest Heaven: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Roberta and Richard Huber Collection” examines the many intersections between culture and faith in the high plains of South America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art and drawn exclusively from the distinguished collection of Roberta and Richard Huber, the exhibition highlights the role of art as a medium of creative expression and cultural exchange between European powers and South American lands. For more, visit crockerartmuseum.org.
State Capitol Holiday Music Program – 11/30 thru 12/23
Amid a beautiful backdrop of vintage decorations in the Capitol Rotunda, a variety of diverse and amazing holiday musical performances will entertain State Capitol guests throughout the holidays. Depending on the day, visitors will enjoy FREE live musical entertainment including the Camellia Flute Choir, Sacramento Youth Symphony ensembles, Caltrans and CalPERS choruses, bell-ringers, harps, accordions, Broadway-style song and dance, baroque and brass ensembles, talented school choirs, and barbershop harmony. For more call 916-324-0333 or visit the museum calendar of events at capitolmuseum.ca.gov.
Gingerbread Holiday at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – 12/2 thru 12/19
Enter your gingerbread creation at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum 12/2 or 12/3 and be sure to visit before 12/19 to see dozens of sweet confections on display during the 29th Annual Gingerbread Holiday celebration! Always FREE, there will be houses, mansions, shacks and other gingerbread structures created by school children, families, bakery academy students and adults. Plus, guests can vote for their favorite entry! For more, visit scoe.net.
Crocker Ball at the Crocker Art Museum – 12/3
Billed as one of the area’s premier social and fundraising events, the Crocker Ball is a black tie affair uniquely designed for an amazing guest experience that includes a gourmet dinner, spirited live auction of coveted items and exclusive experiences, dancing to one of Northern California’s hottest bands and much more. Funds raised from the Crocker Ball support programs that help the Museum connect people with art, ideas, each other and the world around them. For more, visit crockerartmuseum.org.
All Nations Native Craft Faire at the Maidu Museum & Historic Site – 12/3
Guests will enjoy an artisan crafts such as Native jewelry, basketry, handmade crafts and more. There will be more than 20 Native American artisans from California tribes and the Cherokee Nation. Shoppers will also enjoy live entertainment including tribal drumming, traditional music and singing. For more, visit roseville.ca.us.
Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town – 12/8-11 & 12/15-18
Celebrate the holiday season at Fairytale Town’s Winter Wonderland! Their storybook park is open for play, trimmed with festive holiday décor and lit up with a dazzling display of lights, starting at dusk each evening (weather permitting). Guests will love a flurry of snow falling nightly at 7 p.m. near the Mother Goose Stage. Plus, visitors will enjoy making holiday themed crafts, visiting Peppermint Forest, Gum Drop Mountain, the Candy Castle and more! For more, visit fairytaletown.org.
Fun with Holiday Décor at the Crocker Art Museum – 12/10-11
Guests are encouraged to drop in to enjoy a holiday decoration extravaganza at the Crocker Art Museum. With four sessions and designed for guests ages 4 and up, visitors can choose to make traditional decorations from around the world or create their own decorations inspired by an array of unusual materials. For more, visit crockerartmuseum.org.
Holiday Magic at the Sacramento Zoo – 12/10
Why should only humans receive gifts during the holidays? It’s time for Holiday Magic when the community has the special opportunity to watch as the animals unwrap their holiday goodies! Plus, Zoo visitors who bring a non-perishable food item receive $1 off admission on that day. For more, visit saczoo.org.
Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas at Sutter’s Fort – 12/10
In John Sutter’s day, people from around the world passed through the gates of Sutter’s Fort, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season. “A Simple Emigrant Christmas” offers several vignettes showing holiday scenes, including foods, music, decorations, and traditions from other cultures. During this special “Hands on History” event, Fort visitors will be able to dip candles, make cornhusk dolls, and create keepsake ornaments. For more, visit suttersfort.org.
Beary Special Holiday Party at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – 12/14
The Sacramento Children’s Museum is proud to present the annual Beary Special Holiday party for special needs children and their families. The festivities include photos with Santa, holiday activities, refreshments and museum play of course. This is a RSVP only evening event as space is limited. Please call 916-638-7225 to reserve your spot today! For more, visit sackids.org.
Holiday Crafts & Cocktails at the Crocker Art Museum – 12/15
Due to popular demand, holiday craft night returns to the Crocker! Adult guests will enjoy sipping a holiday cocktail as they create seasonal decorations, last minute presents, or special creations for themselves. Participants are encouraged to bring their imaginations and good cheer for an evening of creative fun. For more, visit crockerartmuseum.org.
Pajama Party at the Sacramento Zoo – 12/24
Guests can celebrate Christmas Eve for FREE at the Sacramento Zoo without even changing out of their pajamas! Festive and fun, get there early as the Zoo will close early at 1:30 p.m. that day so the dedicated staff can enjoy time with their families. For more, visit saczoo.org.
Mars: Your Vacation Destination at the Powerhouse Science Center – 12/24, 12/26-12/31
Powerhouse Science Center is offering a wonderful holiday destination for guests to enjoy a fantastical voyage to Mars and experience the retrofitted Science In Motion exhibition. Visitors will practice rocket launches, see “rover” choices to help them navigate their excursion on the red planet, meander along the “Solar System Walk” to plot their course to Mars, and find out which critters in their live animal collection would be best suited to space travel. Plus, Aerojet Rocketdyne will share a special launch pad exhibit on display for this week only. For more, visit powerhousesc.org.
Underground Tours Offered by the Sacramento History Museum – 12/26 thru 12/31
Coinciding with the holiday break and offering a unique experience for friends and families to enjoy together, the Sacramento History Museum is extending its 2016 season with a special week of Old Sacramento Underground Tours. Visitors can take the hour-long tour at either 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. each day during this holiday week. For more, visit sachistorymuseum.org
For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit sacmuseums.org.