It feels like just last week that I was writing about summer-y things to do in this column, but if you can believe it, the holiday season is already upon us and in full swing. Whether you’re looking for a fun date night idea, or just a reason to pack a flask and look at Christmas lights with friends, here are a few ways to get in the holiday spirit in and around the Sacramento region this year.
Go See a Play
Every year, many local ballet companies put on productions of The Nutcracker, and we can hardly think of a better way to get in the holiday spirit than to see this play. Perhaps the most anticipated are the Sacramento Ballet’s annual productions of The Nutcracker, this year under the guidance of a new artistic director Amy Seiwert, running from Dec. 14–23 at the Community Center Theater (1301 L St., Sacramento). Check out Sacballet.org to get times and buy tickets. Capitol Ballet Company is also presenting the full-length ballet of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, and on Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m. at Sheldon High School’s Performing Arts Center (8333 Kingsbridge Dr., Sacramento). Check out Capitolballet.com for more. Out in Folsom, Harris Center for the Arts (10 College Pkwy.) will host Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker, with six shows between Dec. 13–16. Look up Harriscenter.net for more info. But wait, there’s more! On Dec. 15–16 dancers from Sac Civic Ballet and the Deane Dance Center will present their annual holiday productions of Christmas Angels and The Nutcracker Suite at The Center at Twenty-Three Hundred (2300 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento). For more info, check out Deanedancecenter.com/performances.
Have Some “Alt” Holiday Fun
If you’re the sort of person who’s like, “Yeah, no, I’m not gonna go see The Nutcracker,” then maybe you should check out Merry Scary presented by The Scream Queens Gorelesque Troupe on Friday, Dec. 21. The Old Sacramento bar and eatery Knobs and Knockers (1023 Front St.) will host this wild party featuring holiday-themed burlesque, drag and variety with a “macabre and morose twist.” The Scream Queens, based out of Placerville, will be at Knobs every third Friday starting the 21st. Starts at 9 p.m., 21-plus, snag tickets ($20 seated, $15 standing) at Sachorrorfilmfest.com.
Check Out Some Magical Light Displays
One of our favorite things to do in December is to get bundled up, get a hot cup of coffee or tea, and head to East Sacramento’s Fab Forties neighborhood and just walk up and down the streets. The light displays are simply amazing! Pro tips: park far away and walk a few blocks, wear comfortable but warm shoes, don’t bring your dog (too many other people already do), go to the bathroom before (expect to be walking around for a couple hours—yes the lights in East Sac are that good) and for the love of god, please don’t leave any trash behind! Last year I was disgusted to see so much trash around East Sac from people looking at lights. Don’t be a dick! And if you’re not one for walking around other people’s neighborhoods but still want a great holiday light-gazing experience, check out Global Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento), open now through Jan. 6. They’ve got unimaginably cool light displays, plus laser tag, live entertainment, meet and greets, food, drinks and more. Check out Globalwonderland.com/sacramento for more info.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Submerge!
**This write-up first appeared in print on page 6 of issue #280 (Dec. 5 – 19, 2018)**