Fun things to do this week


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

Cost: Free

Information: (916) 442-8575,


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

Cost: Free

Information: (916) 489-4918


Speakeasy tour

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,


Folsom zoo

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;


Pancake breakfast

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 ;


Classic film

‘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

Cost: $7.25-$10.25

Information: (916)-683-5282;