Winter Activities for Kids in the Sacramento Area
November 6, 2019

With cooler weather upon us, many families are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained with winter activities for kids in Sacramento. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly event to attend together, or an activity for the holiday break, we’ve put together our top picks for fun things to do in Sacramento with kids this winter.

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

7th & K Streets, Sacramento, CA 95814

November 1, 2019 – January 20, 2020
Monday-Thursday | 2 – 9 PM
Friday-Sunday | 10 AM – 10 PM

It’s time to lace up your skates and get ready for the 28th season of the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink presented by Dignity Health! After your day of fun on the ice, warm yourself up with a bite to eat and cross everyone off your holiday list. Lucky for you, Downtown Sac is booming with bars and restaurants, retail shops and workout hot spots, perfect for spending your day after a spin on the ice!

Come and make treasured holiday memories at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink!

Magical Moments at Sunrise Village - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Magical Moments at Sunrise Village

5912 Sunrise Mall, Citrus Heights, CA 95610

Magical Moments at Sunrise Village is a collection of special events that take place through the holiday season. For 2019, three Magical Moments are ready for you to experience with family & friends this holiday season. Each unique experience is free & features other fun activities including a $250 prize package giveaway.

Holiday Rock Laser Light Show
Friday, November 22 | 6 – 9 PM

For one special night, the Lowes parking lot will be transformed into a holiday rockin’ spectacle with Laser Light Shows, the Magical Moment’s Giant Human Snow Globe and food and a hot beverage truck. The light shows will perform three times, 6:30 PM, 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM.

Frozen Winter Festival
Saturday, November 30 | 12 – 3 PM

Three Magical Moments are ready for you to experience with family & friends this holiday season. Each unique experience is free & features other fun activities including a $250 prize package giveaway.

Nutcracker
Wednesday, December 18 | 5 – 7 PM

Presented by Sunrise MarketPlace as part of their Magical Moments free holiday events this season, this experience will bring the imaginative world of the Nutcracker to life at Sunrise Mall in the Macy’s Court. The Sac Civic Ballet brings the story of the Nutcracker to life with two special ballet performances. The 5:15 pm ballet performance will feature scenes from the Nutcracker ballet with a repeat performance at 6:10 pm.

Santa’s Whistlestop Adventure - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Santa’s Whistlestop Adventure

Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad
705 Sibley St., Folsom, CA 95630

Saturdays & Sundays, November 23 – December 22 | 11 AM – 4 PM

Take a ride on Santa’s Whistlestop Adventure for a short but scenic trip down to Santa’s Whistlestop at Willow Springs! Nestled in the woods next to beautiful Willow Creek right in the middle of Folsom, the Whistlestop is full of adventure for young and old alike. Spend some time with Old St. Nick, and enjoy various activities and refreshments before your family returns to the station.

Motorcars depart the station every 20 minutes, and you can stay as long as you like. Typically a 40-60 minute experience for the family.

7th Annual Holiday Outdoor Rink -

7th Annual Holiday Outdoor Rink

Skatetown Ice Arena
1009 Orlando Ave, Roseville, CA 95661

November 23 – January 20, 2020
Monday | 10 AM – 5 PM
Tuesday to Friday | 10 AM – 12 PM | 2 – 5 PM
Saturday | 2 – 5 PM | 7 – 10 PM*
Sunday | 2 – 5 PM

Skatetown will be closed on Thursday, November 28th for Thanksgiving.

You deserve a little ‘ice-cool’ fun Experience world‐class customer service while having your skates fit and tied. Hop on a Public Session with your family and friends to enjoy games and watch some awesome laser light shows. Ask the DJ to play your favorite songs. No skating experience? Slide on a loaner helmet, grab a skating aid and take a free lesson. Check out the daily Public Skating Schedule.

Magical Christmas Train - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Magical Christmas Train

400 N. Harbor Blvd., West Sacramento, CA  95605

November 23 – December 23 | 10 AM – 7 PM
Pre-assigned dates and times throughout November and December

Make timeless memories with Santa and his elves aboard the Magical Christmas Train. Passengers can hear the story of Skippy the Traindeer and learn how Santa helps when he finds a child in danger of losing their Christmas spirit. Tickets include a 90-minute train ride through a storybook wonderland, cookies, hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, and a personal visit with Santa Claus himself. Come dressed in your Christmas morning pajamas, if you’d like, and join in carols and reindeer games. One thing is certain, there is never a dull moment aboard the Magical Christmas Train.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony -  Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

1124 2nd St., Sacramento, CA 95814

Wednesday, November 27 | 5 – 7 PM

If it’s holiday memories you’re after, come find it! Kick-off the holiday season with the annual lighting ceremony for the holiday tree at the Old Sacramento Waterfront. The fun begins at 5 PM at Front and K streets with entertainment and family-friendly festivities leading up to the free, public ceremony at 6 PM.

Immediately after, watch the first performance of the 11th annual Macy’s Theatre of Lights featuring a live dramatization of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” on the balconies above K Street, complete with a special appearance by Jack Frost.   

The Polar Express Train Ride - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

The Polar Express Train Ride

106 K St., Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95814

Friday, Saturday and Sunday | November 29 – December 1
Wednesdays through Sundays | December 4 – December 22
Departure Times: 3:30 PM | 5 PM | 6:30 PM | 8 PM

Relive the magical journey of the Polar Express train ride on an hour-long trip to the north pole. Enjoy hot chocolate and a yummy cookie as you ride along with many of the story’s characters such as the Train Conductor, the Dancing Waiters, and a ghostly Hobo. Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf — Santa himself — will come on board to give each passenger a silver sleigh bell, the “first gift of Christmas”.

Winter Activities at El Dorado Hills Town Center - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Winter Activities at El Dorado Hills Town Center

4364 Town Center Blvd., #310 El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Experience the ultimate lifestyle destination at El Dorado Hills Town Center with events and activities lined up this winter season for kids and the whole family to enjoy!

Santa Photos
California Welcome Center
November 30 – December 24 | Pre-scheduled Time

Santa Claus will be spreading cheer while spending time in El Dorado Hills Town Center.  Families are invited to visit with Santa to share wish lists and to take purchased photos.  Meet Santa at the California Welcome Center on Post Street next to Cold Stone Creamery.

Carriage Rides
Theater Plaza
Friday, December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21  | 5 or 6 – 9 PM

Town Center is a magical place during the holiday season and there is no better way to enjoy its charm than with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Proceeds benefit 2 local non-profits.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Theater Plaza
Saturday, December 7 | 4 – 8 PM

El Dorado Hills Town Center will host the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in partnership with the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce and the El Dorado Hills CSD. The event kicks off at 4 PM with a merchant open house. The “Stuff Your Stocking” game starts at 4 PM, where children visit participating businesses to fill their stockings with special gifts.  Enjoy live bands from 4:30-6 PM and at 6 PM watch the winners of the Caroling Contest. Santa will arrive on his traditional EDH fire truck to light the tree with magic glitter around 6:30 PM.  Free cookies and hot chocolate and Kettle Corn for purchase.

Community Performances
Theater Plaza
December 14, 21| 12 – 3 PM

This community has so much talent and El Dorado Hills Town Center provides a venue to spotlight the numerous choirs, dance troops and non-profit organizations that reside here.   Between 12-3 PM in Theater Plaza between Cold Stone Creamery and The Mimosa House there will be up to three separate performances; 1 PM, 2 PM and 3 PM. Come out and support our youth as they showcase their extraordinary gifts in the form of song and dance.

Chanukah Menorah Lighting
Steven Young Amphitheater
Thursday, December 26 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Come join the Chabad Community Jewish Center at their 4th annual Menorah Lighting at Town Center! Participate in the lighting of the Menorah, enjoy delicious Chanukah treats and music.

Wild Nights & Holiday Lights - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Wild Nights & Holiday Lights

Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary
403 Stafford St., Folsom, CA 95630

December 6 – 30   | 5 – 8 pm

Celebrate the magic of the season and help support amazing animals by attending this incredible event in Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary! This event is perfect for parents seeking winter activities for kids in Sacramento, as the zoo with be ablaze with holiday lights, providing a beautiful backdrop for a unique family experience. An enchanted forest of beautifully decorated trees provides a colorful backdrop for Santa’s nightly visits, while carolers fill the air with seasonal cheer. This event also provides a unique opportunity to see some of the zoo’s animals who are more active at night, and zoo docents are on hand to share fun facts and answer questions about the animals.

2019 Christmas in the Village

2019 Christmas in the Village

Old Fair Oaks Village and in Plaza Park
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Saturday, December 7 | 2 – 7 PM

Come out for an old fashioned Christmas event in the Fair Oaks Village. This is a rain or shine event which features arts & craft vendors, local restaurants, free pictures with Santa, Children’s Play – Winnie the Pooh (1 canned food for entry), free children’s craft area at the Santa’s Workshop Booth, Christmas Parade with lights, Festival of Trees and Main Tree Lighting in Plaza Park, and more! Bundle up the kids and come out to enjoy an evening of holiday activities for the whole family!

Kids' Night Out Parents' Night Off - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Kids’ Night Out Parents’ Night Off

Wackford Community & Aquatic Complex
9014 Bruceville Rd., Elk Grove, CA 95758

Saturday, December 14 | 5:30 – 9 PM

Drop off your kids (ages 6-12) for a fun night out filled with age-appropriate activities including craft projects, games, dinner, and a movie at the Wackford Community Complex. Take this opportunity to finish the holiday shopping or enjoy a long overdue date night!  Pre-teens will be able to hang out in The Grove Teen Center! Space is limited so register early to guarantee your child’s participation.

Winter Wonderland - Winter Activities for Kids in Sacramento

Winter Wonderland

Fairytale Town
3901 Land Park Dr., Sacramento, CA 95822

Saturday & Sunday, December 14, 15, 21 & 22 | 1 – 7 PM

Celebrate the holiday season at Fairytale Town! The Town will be trimmed with festive holiday décor and lights, starting at dusk each night. Enjoy Elf themed hands-on activities throughout the event. Listen to strolling Victorian carolers, and shop for gifts from local vendors. Don’t miss a flurry of snow falling nightly at 7 PM near the Mother Goose Stage. And step inside a giant snow globe!

Santa will be making a special stop at Fairytale Town and will be available for visits and photos in his workshop, located in the Children’s Theater, from 3 to 6 PM. A visit with Santa is included with admission; printed photos by Clementine Photo Booths are $5 per photo. The Santa line closes at 6 PM promptly.

Kids Winter Art Camp

Kids Winter Art Camp

Just For Fun Art
3995 North Freeway Boulevard, #Suite D, Sacramento, CA 95834

Dec 20, 2019 – Dec 23, 2019 | 10 AM – 1 PM

Get creative over your winter break in the “Just For Fun Art” camp. Your young artists-in-the-making will be guided and encouraged to tap into their creativity and learn skills while having fun with various art mediums including acrylic painting, water coloring, succulent fairy gardens, rock painting, floral crafts, ceramics, pastels, and more.

Each week has a different theme so that kids attending more than one week will not repeat the same art. All activities are equally enjoyed by girls and boys of all ages.

Winter Nature Camps

Winter Nature Camps

Effie Yeaw Nature Center
2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael, CA 95608

December 23, 27, 30 & 31, January 2  |  9 AM – 3:30 PM

See and learn about the wonderful world of the American River ecosystem. This fun winter camp lets kids discover the natural habitat of the river and meet some of the animals who call the river home. Each day offers exciting activities, including hiking all over the preserve trail system, creating amazing art projects, and playing games that educate and entertain! If your child is ready to make great new friends and gain an appreciation for the American River, this camp is the perfect winter activity!

Winter Camp at Sacramento Zoo

Winter Camp at Sacramento Zoo

3930 West Land Park Drive,  Sacramento,  CA 95822

Looking for unique winter activities for kids in Sacramento? Look no further, because winter at the Sacramento zoo is unlike any other time of year! Whether your kids have participated in the zoo’s summer camp or are new to the zoo and want to try their programs, this three-day camp is a great way to keep kiddos busy during the holiday break. Campers will explore the zoo, learn about the animals, participate in games and crafts and even get up close and personal with some of their animal ambassadors! There are two sessions available:

Dinosaur Roar! | December 27-29  | 10 AM

What makes a dinosaur a dinosaur? Which dinosaurs lived in the same time period, and how did they all get along? We will explore together to learn about specific dinosaur species, dinosaur defenses, and the prehistoric timeline!

Dinosaurs Among Us | January 2-4 | 10 AM

Calling all Jr. paleontologists! Join us to check out all the dinosaurs visiting the zoo this winter and dig our way back through time to learn about them! We will look at fossils and figure out which animals at the zoo today are dinosaur descendants (hint: it might not be who you think!)

Winter Activities for Kids in the Sacramento Area

Families have so many options for winter activities for kids in the Sacramento area, it’ll be hard to pick just one! Whether you are looking for a family-friendly event to attend together, or a fun activity for the holiday break, these top picks for winter activities for kids in the Sacramento area are sure to offer something delightful for every family.

Still looking for more winter activities for Kids in Sacramento? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region.


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About Michele C.

Michele is a freelance writer based in Sacramento county. She lives in Elk Grove with her husband, two children and four cats. Michele is proud of her role as a working mother and maintains a full-time career. Writing is one of Michele’s passions and she aims to share her unique perspective on parenting through the written word.

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