What do hockey games, giant silk lanterns, ice slides, and Mark Twain have in common? They all make an appearance in Sacramento this holiday season, creating an exciting and mesmerizing winter experience for all. 

Theater of Lights. Sacramento’s historic landmark and state park, Old Sacramento, goes all out for the holidays. The district decks its cobblestone streets, wooden platform sidewalks and historic buildings with cheerful holiday décor enticing shoppers and foodies of all ages and budgets to its many shops and restaurants, giving each a lovely holiday experience and a taste of the past. The highlight of Old Sacramento during the holidays is the Theater of Lights – a live, theatrical re-telling of the popular Christmas story Twas The Night Before Christmas, narrated by Mark Twain. The free, 20-minute performance can be viewed from K and Front streets, includes an amazing array of theatrical lighting, an appearance from Jack Frost and St. Nick, and the lighting of Old Sacramento’s 58-food Christmas Tree. Now in its seventh year, Old Sacramento’s Theater of Lights has become the most popular holiday tradition for residents and visitors. Runs Nov. 25-Dec. 31, 2015. Admission is Free.

Global Winter Wonderland. Now in its second year here in Sacramento, Global Winter Wonderland offers a truly unique holiday experience to anyone who enters through its Cal Expo gates. This year’s theme - Magic of the Seasons - features breathtakingly beautiful illuminated silk lanterns representing each of the four seasons. Imagine coming face-to-face with a giant octopus, or peak into a wintry fairy castle. Stroll through an oversized garden and even make your way through a corn maze.

While the giant lanterns are definitely the main attraction at this event, other entertainment includes acrobats on ice – free with admission, a holiday ice skating rink, carnival rides, weekend parades, holiday shopping, food vendors and photos with Santa. Open thru Jan. 3, 2016. Be sure to check the Global Winter Wonderland website, as days and hours of operation are limited.

Biggest Show on Snow. New to Sacramento this year, Raley Field is transforming its baseball diamond into an outdoor winter wonderland. From Nov. 20 to Jan. 3, the home of the Sacramento River Cats will host a variety of hockey games including a highly-anticipated game between the Stockton Heat and the Bakersfield Condors - the first ever American Hockey League outdoor game on the West Coast. In addition to hockey competitions, the Biggest Show on Snow will also offer public ice skating, a giant ice slide, music, arts and crafts, photos with Santa and a Christmas tree lot. Check the website here, for ticket prices and hours.

While these three events are holiday anchors in Sacramento this year, there are plenty of other special events and activities that will add magic to the season. Check out the following:

Santa Holiday River Cruise aboard the Hornblower

Christmas Train on board the Sacramento River Train

•Sacramento Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker

•City tree lighting in Old Sacramento