Merry & Bright Holidays Are Made At The Old Sacramento Waterfront


The Old Sacramento Waterfront remains a top regional holiday destination and will transform into a Winter Wonderland giving visitors the opportunity to come find new holiday memories with the holiday tree, window displays, music, lighting, and the Waterfront Wheel. While you explore the Old Sacramento Waterfront for the holidays make sure to shop, eat and drink and support small businesses. View our list of open businesses here.


Waterfront Wheel (October 30th – January 31, 2021)

Located at the newly activated Waterfront Park (in front of Rio City Café), a visually-exciting and whimsical 65’ Ferris wheel, operated by Brass Ring Amusements, Inc, will take center stage for the holidays with rides offered on Friday, October 30 and continuing daily through January 31, 2021. Offering fantastic views of the city atop the “Waterfront Wheel,” riders must be at least 42” to ride and in the same household in each open-air cart (that holds up to four people). Once debuted, hours of operation for the Waterfront Wheel will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with special holiday hours. The cost to ride the Waterfront Wheel will be $6 per rider.

Holiday Window Displays ( November 25 – January 1, 2021)

The Old Sacramento Waterfront invites you to grab your merriest mask and head downtown to join us to celebrate the season and check out festive holiday storefront displays. From Wednesday, November 25, 2020 through Friday, January 1, 2021 downtown shops and businesses will display their holiday cheer with window décor sure to put every visitor in the mood for some Fa-la-las during our Downtown Together Holiday Window Contest presented by Xfinity. Businesses will compete for the Judge’s Award, chosen by a local panel of celebrity judges, and the People’s Choice Award, selected by YOU! So don’t forget to check out the displays and place your votes by December 26, 2020.

Virtual Tree Lighting (November 25 at 6:00 p.m.)

To add to the holiday festivities and continue the spirited tradition for families throughout the region, a 60’ holiday tree will stand tall at Front & K Streets at the Old Sacramento Waterfront and will be lit for the first time on Wednesday evening, November 25 (Thanksgiving Eve), at approximately 6 p.m. As always, the holiday tree presented by Dignity Health will remain in place to inspire holiday spirit through the New Year. While crowds are not encouraged for the tree lighting, the community can watch a short ceremony that evening that will be live-streamed on the Old Sacramento Waterfront Facebook page. Plus, visitors, shoppers and diners to the historic district can enjoy seeing the tree and enhanced holiday decorations and taking family photos or holiday selfies anytime they visit the Old Sacramento Waterfront during the holiday season!

Dignity Health Holiday Tree ( November 26 – January 1, 2021)

The holidays might look different this year, but yule still love what we have in store for you! Viewable from afar from the patios of nearby restaurants at the Old Sacramento Waterfront, the Dignity Health Holiday Tree lights will sparkle every day through New Year’s Day alongside district decor and enhanced lighting powered by SMUD to inspire holiday spirit throughout the merriest season.

Holiday Hunt ( November 27 – December 31)

Do you love scavenger hunts? Well, do we have a treat for you this holiday season. Participate in the #DowntownSac Holiday Hunt! Starting November 27, you can play to win a staycation prize package! Participate in a variety of photo, trivia and location challenges. Whoever has the most points on December 31st will win a one night stay at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel and a variety of #DowntownSac gift cards.

Small Business Saturday (November 28 – December 26)

Shop one, shop all! Check everyone off your list this year while being a part of the holiday shopping tradition that brings together communities in support of their favorite small businesses. #ShopSmall for Small Business Saturday not just on November 26th but every Saturday following through December 26th!  Celebrate the ongoing effort to help local communities thrive all month long.

Dine Downtown (January 8 – 24, 2021)

Dine Downtown is back and better than ever! Your favorite dining experience has now been extended to 16-days, January 8 – 24, 2021, giving you more time to taste the best of Downtown Sac’s culinary scene in a delectable 3-course foodie experience. Mark your calendars and get your cameras ready to share your #DineDowntownSac experience and don’t forget to tag @OldSac. Our mouths are already watering. Stay tuned for participating restaurants and menus coming soon!

Downtown businesses are “Keeping COVID In Check” to safely welcome you back!

From expanded outdoor dining to curbside pickup and convenient takeout options, Old Sacramento Waterfront businesses are pledging to Keep COVID in Check by implementing public health guidelines and new distancing measures to keep employees and customers healthy and safe.