Beyond Shopping: After Thanksgiving Activities For The Whole Family

By Alyssa Green

Thanksgiving dinner is over, leftovers have been stored away for weekend grazing, and the kitchen is all cleaned up.  What’s next?  Shopping?  Perhaps…but perhaps not.   I know it’s hard to believe, but I hate shopping on Black Friday.  Hate it, hate it, hate it!  So, if you are like me, you just might be looking for some other Thanksgiving weekend activities to keep your family busy.  Well, you and I are both in luck.  There is plenty going on that will move your family right into the Christmas season without shopping (okay, maybe a little bit of shopping…ie: craft fairs.)

11/23 (the day before Thanksgiving)Old Sacramento Tree Lighting – A FREE family event.  Festivities will include live performances, a visit from Santa and of course, the actual tree lighting!

11/23 – 12/31 –  Theatre of Lights – a 20 minute Old Sacramento light and music show running twice each evening, Thursday through Sunday (except on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.)  FREE fun for the whole family!

11/25 – FREE admission to Fairytale Town.  Hooray!  If you can’t make it on this free admission day, don’t fret.  You can still save – From now through December 4th, donate a coat for the “Coats For Kids” drive and receive 1 free child admission per coat donated. 

11/25-11/26Small Train Holiday at the California State Railroad Museum- this special Museum event will spark the interest of any child!  With toy train layouts throughout the museum, a special toy train movie, handcar rides, scavenger hunt, and story time with Mrs. Claus, this is sure to be a family event that will get you moving right into the Christmas season full blast.

11/25-11/27 – Crocker Art Museum Holiday Art and Craft Festival at the Scottish Rite Center.  Over 100 artisans will be selling their unique crafts from woodworking to jewelry to cards and homemade food.  A victorian Santa  Claus will be on hand for photo ops with the kids. 

11/25-11/26Arts and Crafts Holiday Fair at the State Indian Museum – FREE with museum admission, browse local handmade gift items like jewelry, basketry, pottery, ornaments and much more. 

11/26Dickens’ Street Faire in Old Town Elk Grove – at this unique festival you’ll find entertainers and merchants in mid-19th century attire strolling through Old Town Elk Grove.  The kids will enjoy the snow park while mom and dad browse shops, vendor booths and good food.  FREE.

11/26-11/27Ramblin’ Reindeer at the Discovery Science and Space Center – jump right into Christmas fun at this Discovery Weekend.  Stop by from 12:30 to 4pm on Saturday and/or Sunday for a lesson on the famous creatures that pull Santa’s sleigh.  Those in attendance will study reindeer hoof impressions, feel real reindeer pelts and make a fun reindeer decoration to take home.


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