It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year here in Sacramento. If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit, the Old Sacramento Waterfront has plenty of fun and festive events throughout the month of December that are sure to get you excited for the holidays. Here’s your guide to getting in the Christmas spirit at the Old Sacramento Waterfront this holiday season.

Old Sacramento Holiday Christmas Tree

Image Courtesy of: Francisco Chavira

Do Some Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

Haven’t bought a gift for that special someone in your life yet? Not to worry-- the Old Sacramento Waterfront has several shops you can do all your last-minute Christmas shopping at. If you’re doing a white elephant gift exchange this year and aren’t sure what to bring, swing by Evangeline’s for gag gifts galore. If you’re looking to share your love for Sacramento with family and friends, grab a gift from Sacramento Sports & Souvenirs.

While you’re shopping around Old Sacramento, be sure to grab a HolidayTour map from any Old Sacramento business or the Visitor’s Center. With the HolidayTour map, you will earn a stamp for each purchase you make at an Old Sacramento restaurant or small business. At the end of the month, turn in your completed HolidayTour map for your chance to win the raffle.


Theatre of Lights 2_Photo courtesy of Old Sacramento Waterfront

Theatre of Lights

Grab the whole family and head out to the Old Sacramento Waterfront for a free holiday lighting extravaganza. Old Sacramento’s Theatre of Lights features a 20-minute live-action retelling of “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Each performance features a special appearance by Jack Frost and the lighting of the gigantic Christmas tree by St. Nick.

Performance Details:

Nov. 25, 2022 – Dec. 24, 2022

Thursday-Sunday | Shows at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Note: There is only a show at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


Sacramento History Museum- Holiday Cheer

Before heading to Theatre of Lights, head to the Sacramento History Museum for ‘Holiday Cheer’. This free, family-friendly event will teach you all about what Christmas was like in the mid 1800s with historical crafts, games, hot chocolate, and mulled cider.


Nov. 25, 2022, and Dec. 3, 10, and 17 |3 to 6 p.m.


Atrium 916 Saving Santa Photo Experience

Beginning Nov. 25, Atrium 916 will turn into a magical winter wonderland. This family-friendly experience offers cinematic family photo sessions and clay ornament sculpting. Don’t worry, adults, there’s something for you, too. You can relax on Atrium’s patio as you sip on a hot mug of mulled wine or spiced apple cider.


Nov. 25, 2022 – Dec. 23, 2022

Wednesday through Friday | 3 to 8 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday | 2:30 to 8 p.m.


California State Railroad Museum’s Candlelight Concerts

Head over to the California State Railroad Museum for a musical performance that’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Experience the magic of holiday music from “The Nutcracker” and more under the glow of candlelight at California State Railroad Museum’s Candlelight concerts.


California State Railroad Museum’s Candlelight Concerts will be held on Dec. 15 and 17 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.


Grab a Bite to Eat

Before indulging in a night of holiday fun, enjoy dinner at one of Sacramento’s premier fine-dining restaurants. Located in the heart of the Old Sacramento Waterfront, the Firehouse has been a local favorite serving delicious locally sourced dishes for nearly 60 years. From the oven-roasted maple duck to the clams and bucatini pasta, the Firehouse has something to please everyone, including a menu for those 12 and under.


Tower Bridge daytime shot with Old Sacramento waterfront

Getting There

From Folsom (Hwy. 50)

  • Merge onto US-50W
  • Merge onto I-5 N
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Elk Grove (Hwy. 99)

  • From Hwy. 99, merge onto US-50W
  • Merge onto I-5 N
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Roseville (I-80 W)

  • Merge onto I-80 W
  • Merge onto I-5 S
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Davis (I-80 E)

  • Merge onto I-80 E
  • Merge onto I-5 N toward Redding
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Natomas (I-5 S)

  • Merge onto I-5 S
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown


SacRT: Take advantage of the SacRT light rail, as the Old Sacramento Waterfront is conveniently located near the Sacramento Valley Station.



Where to Park

Here are the Two Closest Parking Garages to the Old Sacramento Waterfront:

Tower Garage | 1289 Front St.

Old Sacramento Garage | 274 I St.

From Nov. 23- Dec. 24, limited street parking is free after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and free all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

You can also visit to find and reserve parking nearby.


Holiday happenings in Sacramento made possible by OUTFRONT Media.