The Best Christmas Lights Displays Around Sacramento

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It’s the most wonderful time of year – hot cocoa, cold winter evenings, hot-baked cookies and the most glorious light displays you can find!  One of our family traditions is to bundle up and go around the Sacramento valley searching for the best lights.  Luckily, we don’t have to travel far to find some neighborhoods that go “all out” and decorate their homes for the season.

Growing up, I can always remember Candy Cane Lane (or more accurately, Dovewood Court.) It was the one night of the of year that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got together to drink hot cocoa, stay up late and walk down the cold (and sometimes rainy) court.

Year after year, we have been going to view the spectacular lights at Dovewood Court in Orangevale and once you take a walk down this memorable street and see all the lights and holiday trimmings, you will also be transformed into another world. As a kid, I remember walking down this street in amazement to see all the lights and displays. And as an adult, I’m even more amazed that the entire street can all pull together to make something so magical and amazing for everyone to see.

Now, this isn’t the only place to see a fantastic light show.  Many areas around Sacramento have become family favorites and people drive many miles to view the light spectaculars.  Here is my quick list of places not to miss this holiday season:

North of Sacramento in Rocklin, the community on Pebble Creek Drive has also put together a wonderful light show.  Kids will love this area as almost every house has characters of one of their favorite Disney movies.  My kids were especially excited when they spotted Olaf!Holiday Lights collage

The “Fab 40’s” in East Sacramento.  The homes in this area are worth the drive to just view their fantastic landscaping and architecture.  But every year, they come together to give the neighborhood a light display that really helps put everyone in the holiday spirit!  You can walk down any of these streets—but I would suggest beginning on 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

Bayside/Adventure Church in Rocklin has transformed their parking lot into a mile-long, drive-through light display.   This is worth the drive, but be prepared for quite a wait to get through.  This is the first year of the display, and it seems that everyone in Sacramento wants to take a peek and we don’t blame them. The display is quite the sight, with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker battling it out, jolly elves and an incredible light tunnel all set to the tune of great Christmas music.  If you are willing to pack up some hot cocoa and wait in line, it’s well worth the wait.

Global Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo has become a family favorite for many.  Gorgeous light displays, exciting carnival rides and even ice skating!  This is an event not to be missed. Runs through January 8. Admission $16-18, not including the cost of rides and concessions.

Folsom Zoo’s Wild Nights and Holiday Lights is an event for anyone who wants to combine the  beauty of holiday lights with the fantastic animals at the zoo.  This is an annual family holiday event with thousands of colorful lights and decorations, train rides, carolers and even a visit with Santa!  December 16-23 from 5 pm-8 pm.  Admission is $5

Old Sacramento’s Theater of Lights is one of my favorite traditions.  Bringing the classic “The night before Christmas” to life with music, lights and dramatization- it’s a wonderful way to experience Old Sacramento and celebrate the holiday season. There are two shows nightly, through December 23,  6:15 and 7:45pm.  On December 24 there will be onlyshow at 6:15pm.

For a detailed list of where some great houses are to see, check out this website for more information.

A few tips for viewing the light shows around town. Dress warmly and prepare to walk (weather permitting of course), as some of these streets are very popular and sitting in a traffic jam with antsy children is NOT my idea of a good time. Bring hot cocoa for sipping and some canned foods for donating.  Most of these areas are accepting donations this holiday season.  And most important, cherish these precious moments with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

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By Heather Crivellone

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Global Winter Wonderland is Back for its Third Year at Sacramento’s Cal Expo

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Last week, Global Winter Wonderland opened for the season at Sacramento’s Cal Expo. Produced by China’s International Culture Exchange Group, Inc., the event features hundreds of giant traditional Chinese lanterns on display over several acres of the west side of the venue. Visitors will be delighted to walk through Santa’s Village, Snow Land, Candy Land, Toy Land, Fantasy Land and new this year, Under the Sea, an interactive area for children.

Entertainment includes the Circus of Light – fire-dazzling, action-packed acrobatic and circus performances, and “meet and greets” and photo ops with Santa and Global Winter Wonderland’s new mascot, Penny the penguin.

If that’s not enough to keep you all busy, enjoy games and rides at the carnival, ice skating at the rink, shopping at the holiday market, or dining at the International food fair. There’s plenty for everyone.

What: Global Winter Wonderland

When: Dec. 2, 2016 through Jan. 8, 2017 (only open on weekends with the exception of the week of Christmas)

Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

Cost: $18 for adults, $16 for children and senior citizens; $12 for ice skating; $25 for unlimited ride wristband

Here’s some more photos of this year’s event:

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Best Places to View Holiday Lights in Sacramento

Holiday Lights collage

Cold noses, hot cocoa, sticky peppermint candy fingers and lights galore!  Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Growing up, I can always remember “Candy Cane Lane”. It was the one night of the of year that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got together to drink hot cocoa, stay up late and walk down the cold (and sometimes rainy) court.

Year after year we have been going to view this spectacular light show that this court has to offer. Now, I call it “Candy Cane Lane”….however, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized that it’s actually just Dovewood Court in Orangevale. But once you take a walk down this memorable street and see all the lights and holiday trimmings, you will also be transformed into another world… hence the name “Candy Cane Lane” that I have somehow nicknamed and it’s just stuck with my family.

This street really has everything… Snoopy, the Grinch, and even a tribute to summertime with some Buffet and Margaritas!

As a kid, I remember walking down this street in amazement to see all the lights and displays. And as an adult, I’m even more amazed that the entire street can all pull together to make something so magical and amazing for everyone to see.

They have taken the simple “string of lights” to another level and have seriously transformed their homes into a winter wonderland. And, to make everything even more wonderful, they continue to collect cans of food to donate to Food for Families. These neighbors truly show everyone the real meaning of the holiday season!

Now, this isn’t the only place to see a fantastic light show.  Many areas around Sacramento have become family favorites and people drive many miles to view the light spectaculars.  Here is my quick list of places not to miss this holiday season:

The “Fab 40’s” in East Sacramento.  The homes in this area are worth the drive to just view their fantastic landscaping and architecture.  But every year, they come together to give the neighborhood a light display that really helps put everyone in the holiday spirit!  You can walk down any of these streets—but I would suggest beginning on 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

North of Sacramento in Rocklin, the community on Pebble Creek Drive has also put together a wonderful light show.  Kids will love this area as almost every house has characters of one of their favorite Disney movies.  My kids were especially excited when they spotted Olaf!

South of Sacramento in Elk Grove, the house not be missed is on Point Pleasant Road.  Another spectacular show to get you into the holiday spirit.

You can also find a detailed list of each area at this website.

And if you want a little more “excitement” to your holiday lights, then check out Folsom Zoo’s Wild Nights and Holiday Lights”  This is the 6th annual family holiday event with thousands of colorful lights and decorations, train rides, carolers and even a visit with Santa!  December 4 and 5, 11 and 12, and December 16-23 from 5pm-8pm.  Admission is $5 per person.

2nd Annual Global Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo has become a family favorite for many.  Gorgeous light displays, exciting carnival rides and even ice skating!  This is an event not to be missed.
Runs through January 3.
Admission $14-$25

A few tips for viewing the light shows around town. Dress warmly and prepare to walk (weather permitting of course), as some of these streets are very popular and sitting in a traffic jam with antsy children is NOT my idea of a good time.   Bring hot cocoa for sipping and some canned foods for donating.  Most of these areas are accepting donations this holiday season.  And most important, cherish these precious moments with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

By Heather Crivellone

Kick off the Holiday Season with a Local Tree Lighting Event

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Tis the season for baking, shopping and decorating in Sacramento!  This Wednesday, take a break from the holiday preparations and start the festive season off with the annual tree lighting ceremony in Old Sacramento. On Wednesday, November 25 at 6pm, join others in Old Sacramento at Front and K Streets to watch as the 58-foot tall Old Sacramento Christmas tree will be lit for the season.

Following the tree lighting, Old Sacramento’s Theatre of Lights will kick off the annual season with the classic “Twas the Night before Christmas.  If you haven’t seen this show, it’s one not to miss.  The Theatre of Lights is a unique state-of-the-art live staging of this classic tale.  Incorporating a symphony of lights, sounds and visual effects that takes the audience back to a time when the beloved poem was first introduced in Sacramento in 1857.  This poem comes to life on the balconies and rooftops of Old Sacramento’s historic buildings on K Street between Front and 2nd Street.

The Theatre of Lights will take place through the holiday season with two 20-minute light shows at 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday until December 17. Dec 17-23 the show will run every night at the same times.  December 24 there will be a 6:15 showing and again on December 26 and 27 back to the two times. December 31 there will be a 7:00 and 8:30 showing.

This is a FREE family fun event… so wrap up the kids in their cozy sweaters, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy an evening in Old Sacramento. This is a great way to get into the holiday spirit (and escape the kitchen from all the pre-Thanksgiving baking and prep work!).

Other tree lighting ceremonies in the area to get you in the festive spirit include (but not limited) to the following:
Rancho Cordova: November 29 from 4-7:30pm at the Village Green Park.  Enjoy this family fun free event.  Includes hay and train rides, food trucks, music, live entertainment and even a visit from Santa!

Elk Grove: Old Town Elk Grove will go back into time with their annual Dickens street fair on November 28.  The street fair will take place from 10am-4pm and their annual “Parade of Lights” will go from 6pm- 9pm.

Roseville: On December 3 from 6pm-8pm on Vernon Street in Old Roseville, enjoy a “Winter Wonderland” with activities for the entire family.  Kid’s activity zone, crafts, vendors and even snow!  It will be an event not to be missed.

There will be activities and festivals going on all month-long around the Sacramento valley.  I hope this quick list helps you plan some festive outings with your family.

Enjoy the beginning of the holiday season!

By Heather Crivellone

Holiday Lights Around the City!

imagesBy Heather Crivellone

Every family has their own traditions of some sort. And this time of year, moms all over the city are dragging their kids to events and doing activities to make their traditions “stick”.

Growing up, I can always remember “Candy Cane Lane”. It was the one night of the of year that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got together to drink hot cocoa, stay up late and walk down the cold (and sometimes rainy) court.

Year after year we have been going to view this spectacular light show that this court has to offer. Now, I call it “Candy Cane Lane”….however, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized that it’s actually just Dovewood Court in Orangevale. But once you take a walk down this memorable street and see all the lights and holiday trimmings, you will also be transformed into another world… hence the name “Candy Cane Lane” that I have somehow nicknamed and it’s just stuck with my family.

This street really has everything… Snoopy, the Grinch, and even a tribute to summertime with some Buffet and Margaritas!

As a kid, I remember walking down this street in amazement to see all the lights and displays. And as an adult, I’m even more amazed that the entire street can all pull together to make something so magical and amazing for everyone to see.

They have taken the simple “string of lights” to another level and have seriously transformed their homes into a winter wonderland. And, to make everything even more wonderful, they continue to collect cans of food to donate to Food for Families. These neighbors truly show everyone the real meaning of the holiday season!

Another area in Sacramento where the community has come together to put on a beautiful light display for the public is downtown in the “Fab 40’s”.  The homes in this area are worth the drive to just view their fantastic landscaping and architecture.  But every year, they come together to give the neighborhood a light display that really helps put everyone in the holiday spirit!  You can walk down any of these streets—but I would suggest beginning on 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

North of Sacramento in Rocklin, the community on Pebble Creek Drive has also put together a wonderful light show.  Kids will love this area as almost every house has characters of one of their favorite Disney movies.  My kids were especially excited when they spotted Olaf!

South of Sacramento in Elk Grove, the house not be missed is on Point Pleasant Road.  Another spectacular show to get you into the holiday spirit.

You can also find a detailed list of each area at this website.

A few tips for viewing the light shows around town. Dress warmly and prepare to walk (weather permitting of course), as some of these streets are very popular and sitting in a traffic jam with antsy children is NOT my idea of a good time.   Bring hot cocoa for sipping and some canned foods for donating.  Most of these areas are accepting donations this holiday season.  And most  important, cherish these precious moments with your loved ones.   Happy Holidays!

Holiday lights at Dovewood Court and the Folsom Zoo will make your nights “Merry and Bright”

imagesCAPUCGYPBy Heather Crivellone

Every family has their own traditions of some sort. And this time of year, moms all over the city are dragging their kids to events and doing activities to make their traditions “stick”.
Growing up, I can always remember “Candy Cane Lane”. It was the one night of the of year that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got together to drink hot cocoa, stay up late and walk down the cold (and sometimes rainy) court.

Year after year we have been going to view this spectacular light show that this court has to offer. Now, I call it “Candy Cane Lane”….however, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized that it’s actually just Dovewood Court in Orangevale. But once you take a walk down this memorable street and see all the lights and holiday trimmings, you will also be transformed into another world… hence the name “Candy Cane Lane” that I have somehow nicknamed and it’s just stuck with my family.
This street really has everything… Snoopy, the Grinch, and even a tribute to summertime with some Buffet and Margaritas!
As a kid, I remember walking down this street in amazement to see all the lights and displays. And as an adult, I’m even more amazed that the entire street can all pull together to make something so magical and amazing for everyone to see.

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They have taken the simple “string of lights” to another level and have seriously transformed their homes into a winter wonderland. And, to make everything even more wonderful, they continue to collect cans of food to donate to Food for Families. These neighbors truly show everyone the real meaning of the holiday season!

If you are in the area, and even if your not…it’s well worth the drive to check out the light show at Dovewood court. My family will be there, as we are every year…and I’m just as excited this year as I was 20 some years ago when I first set foot on this magical (yet sometimes cold) walk down “Candy Cane Lane“!
One simple tip… try not to drive through the court if you can. Depending on the age of your children, you may find that bundling everyone up and parking a few blocks away is a better way to view the light shows. Some of the houses have displays that are better seen on foot…and with the traffic that can occur, you may rather want to be in the fresh air than stuck inside the car with some screaming kids that want to get a better look at Santa or what not.

Holiday Lights collage

Also, if you are looking to make a night of some “holiday cheer”- think about hitting up the Folsom Zoo before going to Dovewood Court. The Folsom Zoo is hosting their “Wild Nights and Holiday Lights” from 5-8pm on December 7-8 and December 13-23.  Admission into the zoo is $5.

The zoo will be lit up and the animals exhibits are all festive and glowing for the holiday season. The miniature steam train (which is a favorite among kids of all ages) will be running and offering family rides on the “Starlight Express”.
There will be thousands of lights, an enchanted forest of lighted trees, Christmas carolers, refreshments and even a visit from Santa Claus!

So whether you decide to make the drive out to Folsom and Orangevale (it’s only about 20 minutes out of downtown Sacramento) or you decide to stay close to the city and view the lights in town… we wish you a very merry holiday season!

 

 

Holiday Lights- Dovewood Court in Orangevale and Folsom Zoo

Every family has their own traditions of some sort. And this time of year, moms all over the city are dragging their kids to events and doing activities to make their traditions “stick”.

Growing up, I can always remember “Candy Cane Lane”. It was the one night of the of year that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got together to drink hot cocoa, stay up late and walk down the cold (and sometimes rainy) court.

Year after year we have been going to view this spectacular light show that this court has to offer. Now, I call it “Candy Cane Lane”….however, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized that it’s actually just Dovewood Court in Orangevale. But once you take a walk down this memorable street and see all the lights and holiday trimmings, you will also be transformed into another world… hence the name “Candy Cane Lane” that I have somehow nicknamed and it’s just stuck with my family.

This street really has everything… Snoopy, the Grinch, and even a tribute to summertime with some Buffet and Margaritas!

As a kid, I remember walking down this street in amazement to see all the lights and displays. And as an adult, I’m even more amazed that the entire street can all pull together to make something so magical and amazing for everyone to see.

They have taken the simple “string of lights” to another level and have seriously transformed their homes into a winter wonderland. And, to make everything even more wonderful, they continue to collect cans of food to donate to Food for Families. These neighbors truly show everyone the real meaning of the holiday season!

If you are in the area, and even if your not…it’s well worth the drive to check out the light show at Dovewood court.
My family will be there, as we are every year…and I’m just as excited this year as I was 20 some years ago when I first set foot on this magical (yet sometimes cold) walk down “Candy Cane Lane“!

One simple tip… try not to drive through the court if you can. Depending on the age of your children, you may find that bundling everyone up and parking a few blocks away is a better way to view the light shows. Some of the houses have displays that are better seen on foot…and with the traffic that can occur, you may rather want to be in the fresh air than stuck inside the car with some screaming kids that want to get a better look at Santa or what not.

Also, if you are looking to make a night of some “holiday cheer”- think about hitting up the Folsom Zoo before going to Dovewood Court. The Folsom Zoo is hosting their “Wild Nights and Holiday Lights” from 6-9pm on Dec. 9-11 and 16-23.

The zoo will be lit up and the animals exhibits are all festive and glowing for the holiday season. The miniature steam train (which is a favorite among kids of all ages) will be running and offering family rides on the “Starlight Express”.

Whether you decide to make the drive out to Folsom and Orangevale (it’s only about 20 minutes out of downtown Sacramento) or you decide to stay close to the city and view the lights in town… we wish you a very merry holiday season!