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 over 50 locally owned shops where you can do all your last-minute Christmas shopping. 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 for unique toys for the little ones in your family, head over to Stage Nine Entertainment Store. Be sure to check out the Old Sacramento Waterfront’s Holiday Gift Guide for their tips on the best local gifts.


Old Sacramento Waterfront Theatre of Lights

Image Courtesy of: Downtown Sac

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. 22, 2023 – Dec. 30, 2023

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.


Old Sacramento Waterfront Holiday Bars Map 2023

Image Courtesy of: Downtown Sac

Make Your Spirits Bright at an Old Sacramento Waterfront Bar

This year, the Old Sacramento bars are going head-to-head to see who’s the merriest of them all. Join in on the fun by going to your favorite bar and placing your vote for the best-dressed holiday bar. The fun doesn’t stop there—XOSO is hosting a western holiday bar crawl throughout the Old Sacramento Waterfront holiday bars on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 4-11 p.m., featuring discounted drinks, food specials, and a whole lot of yee haw.


Vintage Holiday Market

Experience the magic of the holidays at the Vintage Holiday Market on the Old Sacramento Waterfront. This market features handcrafted goods, holiday treats, warm beverages, and more.


Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 31, 2023

Friday | 5-9 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday | 2-8 p.m.


Selfies with Santa at Eagle Theater

Don’t have time to go to the mall to get professional photos with Santa this year? Not to worry! Everyone’s welcome to stop by Eagle Theater on Front Street to snap a quick photo with Santa on their own device.


Nov. 24, 2023 – Dec. 17, 2023 (with additional dates on Dec 19 & 20)

Wednesday-Sunday| 3:30-9:30 p.m.


Atrium 916 Saving Santa Photo Experience

Beginning Nov. 24, 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. 24, 2023 – Dec. 23, 2023

Wednesday through Sunday | 3 to 8 p.m.


Grab a Bite to Eat

Before indulging in a night of holiday fun, enjoy dinner at an Old Sacramento Waterfront Restaurant. Head to Rio City Café for delicious California cuisine and seafood classics with stunning views of the Sacramento River. If British pub food and holiday cocktails have your attention, a trip to Bear & Crown is a must. Other local favorites include La Terraza for Mexican food, The Firehouse Restaurant for fine dining, Willie’s Burgers for burgers and fries, and Cerealism for a sweet treat.


Old Sacramento Waterfront during the holidays

Image Courtesy of: Downtown Sac

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.