With parties and shopping dates overcrowding family calendars, December can feel like a marathon. Open your front door, take a breath and walk or drive around the neighborhood to enjoy the season’s light displays. Here are some favorites from around the region to thrill your little ones, and hopefully, you too.
Theatre of Lights
K and Front Streets
Old Sacramento, CA 95814
Hours: Through Dec. 23 – 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.;Dec. 24 – 6:15 p.m.; Dec. 31 – 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
In its third year, this dramatic retelling of “The Night before Christmas” features lights, sounds and other special effects. In keeping with the Old Sac venue and period theme, Mark Twain is your host for the evening. Enjoy visits from Santa on Saturday and Sundays, costumed living history characters, and themed street vendors.
Pebble Creek Lights
Pebble Creek Drive and Strand Road
Rocklin, CA 95765
Disney and Warner Brothers character cut-outs have adorned the front lawns of this Rocklin neighborhood for 16 years. Take a slow drive around two square blocks of displays, or park your car, pull out the strollers and savor the look of delight on your kids’ faces. Directions: From Sunset Blvd. in Rocklin, turn onto Little Rock Road, then turn left or right onto Strand Road. Follow the cars.
(near the intersection of Pleasant Grove Blvd. and E. Roseville Pkwy)
Roseville, CA 95678
Arches of strung lights over the sidewalk are the highlight of this neighborhood, which is perfectly located for a quick drive-by after a shopping trip to Westfield Galleria Mall. Directions: Turn onto Pioneer Road from Pleasant Grove Blvd. Turn left on Red Oak Court and then left on Twinwood Loop.
Kovar’s Satori Academy of Martial Arts
It’s a synchronized light show (FM 107.5) atop a karate studio featuring a 24-foot tall Christmas tree. Last year was the first time Kovar’s hosted the production (shown here during construction) and provided manpower for building it. Creator Bobby Bristow began constructing holiday light displays at his home in Carmichael six years ago, but had to close up shop due to throngs of nightly visitors. Last year’s display featured the big tree flanked by several smaller trees on either side; 100,000 lights blinked along 4 miles of extension cords and Kovar’s collected canned food donations for the Kiwanis Family
House. The show is back at Kovar’s this year, starting about a week before Christmas.
Rosie Carollo Christmas Lights and Toy Drive
3961 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95864
In this fifth annual event, the Carollo family honors the memory of Rosie Carollo who died due to an infantile spasm disorder at 2 years old. The family’s Christmas light display and toy drive benefits Sutter Memorial Children’s Hospital. New and unwrapped toys are accepted for children of all ages and this year, the Carollos are asking for pillow pets. Donations may be left on their doorstep through December.
Laura O’Brien is a freelance writer and mother (swap that) living in Roseville. She blogs occasionally at www.diaperdispatch.blogspot.com.