Nothing better than piling into the car after a heart T-giving dinner to take the family out to see the holiday light displays. And Sacto has a ton of them. Here are some top options for your holiday viewing pleasure. From DIY tours to acres of lighting displays, start your planning here!
Global Winter Wonderland
1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-3000

From Nov. 14, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016, the ultimate winter showcase in NorCal will be at Cal Expo. Spanning 17 acres, the Global Winter Wonderland is the light show you must see if you’ll see any this year. You’ll travel the world in one night, as you’ll walk through lighted pyramids, tropical forests and so much more. Sit on Santa’s lap, sample ethnic cuisines and take full advantage of the Expo rides. Ticket are $18 per adult, $14 per child/senior and $25 for unlimited ride wristband (Children 3 & under are admitted for free).

Wild Nights And Holiday Lights
403 Stafford St.
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 351-3527

For one night, you can see the zoo like you’ve never seen it before, as the Friends of the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary open their sactuary to non-members for three magical hours. This after-dark display will showcase a chance to see exotic animals in their nocturnal state. Jump on the miniature train (The Starlight Express) and wind through the lighted enchanted forest that runs throughout the grounds. See Santa Paws, partake in refreshments and enjoy the live carolers wandering throught the zoo. Admission is only $5.

Theater Of Lights
Old Sacramento at K St. and Front
(916) 442-8575

Sponsored by Macy’s and the city of Sacramento, K street becomes alive with optical effects every holiday. The massive display of light is accompanied by a live-action retelling of Moore’s 1823 poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (a.k.a.“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”), as performed on the balconies above participating retailers. Old Sac is mired in history, and the Theater will also tell of the 1850s settlers joys and pains relating to the migration West. The show is free and runs from Thanksgiving through New Years Day.

Related: Neighborhoods With The Best Holiday Lights In Sacramento

Holiday Light Tours
Sacramento VIP Limousine and Tours Inc.
8850 Auburn Folsom Road Suite E
Granite Bay, CA 95746

Instead of driving around the city, you can stay in one place this year and let Sacramento VIP Limos take you through Sacto’s best areas for lights this holiday. Stretching from Citrus Heights down to Elk Grove, the VIP tour drivers are in the know and will take you to the best spots in the area. Businesses and residential buildings are all fair game is these tours. Packages for the tours start at $149. Bring some drinks, some food and some friends. VIP has the rest covered.

Lights Of The Valley
California Christmas Lights
c/o Utkaduck Design
PO Box 1112
Livermore, CA 94551

So, say you want to make your own tour for free. The proprietor of has compiled years of user-submitted houses and neighborhoods for everyone. The site’s single-person operation is free from endorsements and compiles data from volunteers. Alex Dourov has done an immense job of creating the ultimate Christmas lights guide including the Bay to the Central Valley and beyond. Plan your own holiday lights tour here!

Related: Where To See Holiday Lights And What To Do After

Christopher Millard is a freelance writer and cultural critic whose music reviews can be found on He also works as a publicist for Valence Communications Group and is a contributor to the health and wellness magazine, Hybrid. Chris currently resides in Sacramento, California.