FRIDAY-SUNDAY and TUESDAY
Festival of Lights
Extravaganza in Old Sac
What: The fifth annual lights extravaganza in Old Sacramento blends lights, sounds and visual effects with a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore.
When: 6:15 and 7:45 p.m. through Sunday and 6:15 p.m. Tuesday
Where: K Street between Front & Second streets, Old Sacramento
Information: (916) 442-8575, www.oldsacramento.com
First day of winter
Walking in a nature wonderland
What: What better way to embrace the first day of winter than on a brisk nature walk led by a naturalist? Experience the beauty the new season brings to the American River Parkway.
When: 10:30 a.m.-noon
Where: Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael
Information: (916) 489-4918
Wet city in a dry time
What: History buff Shawn Peter will lead a two-hour tour through Old Sacramento’s underground watering holes and share tidbits about one of the wettest cities in the country during the era of Prohibition.
When: 5:30 p.m.
Where: River City Saloon, 916 Second St., Sacramento
Cost: $10 admission plus cost of drinks
Information: (916) 442-8575, http://downtownsac.org
Wild nights and holiday lights
What: For the fourth year, the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary has decorated its grounds and animal exhibits with thousands of holiday lights. Highlights include Santa visits, carollers and a miniature steam train. The event benefits the zoo. Or if you’re in the neighborhood of the Sacramento Zoo, get free admission by showing up in your pajamas from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
When: Folsom zoo event 5-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Where: Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, 403 Stafford St., Folsom
Cost: $5, free for children 2 and under
Information: (916) 355-7285; www.folsomzoofriends.org
Discover space exhibit, too
What: Santa is visiting the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center to eat pancakes with other guests. After breakfast and a chat with the jolly ol’ elf, see the Space Quest exhibit before it closes Jan. 5.
When: 8-9:45 a.m. Saturday
Where: Discovery Museum Science & Space Center, 3615 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento
Cost: $3-$5; children 1 and younger free
Information: (916) 808-3942 ; www.thediscovery.org
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
What: Sure, you can see “It’s a Wonderful Life” in any number of ways on home media, but Billy Wilder made the 1946 film for the big screen, and you may just want to see it the way he intended. Some Cinemark theaters have added an extra day with two shows of the 131-minute film.
When: 2 and 7 p.m., Tuesday
Where: Century Theaters in Elk Grove, Rocklin, Roseville and Sacramento
Information: (916)-683-5282; www.cinemark.com