After last year’s fires swept through Santa Rosa and surrounding areas, one might think the Christmas Spirit may have darkened as well however, nothing could be farther from the truth. Kid-friendly, Santa Rosa holiday events are still jam-packed with good cheer and festive community fervor. Santa Rosa has not just risen from the ashes this last year, it has proven “the love in the air is thicker than smoke”. This holiday season is sure to be a joyous celebration of new life and communal gathering. Updated for 2018!
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Celebrate the holidays, wine country-style, this year in Santa Rosa, California. Festivals, open houses, craft fairs, tree lighting ceremonies, and more abound throughout the city. Not just known for great wine, Santa Rosa is also the home to the Peanuts museum (created by hometown hero Charles M. Schultz) and plenty of kid-friendly activities to help make this a great “Charlie Brown Christmas”.
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This post is sponsored by Visit Santa Rosa. For area-specific tips and recommendations on planning your next visit to Santa Rosa, be sure to contact Visit Santa Rosa for kid-friendly tips and recommendations during the holiday season and beyond.
“I Believe in SANTA Rosa!”
Is there anything more magical than twinkling lights wrapped around the Ol‘ Tannenbaum? Then don’t miss the Winter Lights Downtown Tree Lighting on November 23rd from 4 to 8pm. Located in the Old Courthouse Square, this free community event kicks off with Santa’s arrival on a fire truck. For the kids, there will be ornament painting, bouncy jump houses, face painting, and live performances.
Before the tree is lit, the beloved tradition of the Remembrance Candle Lighting happens in the square. When all the candles are lit for those who are no longer with us, the crowd counts down for the lighting of the central grand tree that is illuminated with thousands of LED lights.
Santa will be at Montgomery Village every Saturday starting November 24 until December 15th. Come have your photos taken with Old St. Nic from 11 to 3pm.
Free Carriage Rides are offered at the Historic Railroad Depot parking lot. From November 23rd to December 24th, take a ride through the area from 11am to 3pm.
WinterBlast is an annual street festival located in the SOFA (for South (of) A Street Arts District) area. It promotes over 40 artist studios and galleries and culminates around the infamous Sofa Parade (an actual parade of sofas!). This event takes place November 17th from 5 to 9:30pm. Be sure to join in the winter celebration with a procession of jazz musicians, circus-style performers, and artists. The festival is free and local food vendors will be there selling their goodies.
The sweet town of Bodega has their Christmas Craft Faire the weekend of November 23rd and 24th from 10 to 5pm. Local crafts and holiday decor are sold to raise funds for the Bodega Fire Department. All proceeds benefit the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department.
The 44th Annual Handmade Holiday Crafts Fair at Finley Community Center will be held December 1st (9am to 5pm) and 2nd (10am to 4pm). Come and experience over 80 local artist’s hand-crafted holiday décor and craft items. Kids activities will be available on Saturday from 10-2.
From the craft fair, take the FREE “Rosie the Trolley” to the historic home and gardens of Luther Burbank. In its 39th holiday open house, come tour the gardens and charming home of Santa Rosa legendary Luther Burbank. Entrance is $3 for 12 and older and will occur rain or shine.
The Chabad Jewish Center invites guests to their Chanukah Festival, December 2nd (from 4pm to 6pm) at Montgomery Village. Activities include a menorah lighting celebration, along with hot latkes, dreidels, gelt, and more.
Cirque de Boheme’s 2018 Holiday Show “Yesterday” pops up in Cornerstone Sonoma from November 23rd to December 16th. This 1920’s French-style circus takes place in a traditional circus tent (with no more than 150 guests at a time) and promises enchantment and wonder for all ages.
At the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, the holiday season is filled with spectacular shows. On November 23rd, experience a Magical Cirque Christmas, a night of magic, circus acts, and melodic singing for the whole family to enjoy. Another family-friendly show at LBC is Transcendence’s Broadway Holiday Spectacular. The song and dance show packs some best-loved Broadway tunes mixed in with holiday favorites. The show takes place on November 30th, as well as December 1st and 2nd.
Experience Mexico and the traditional Pastorela (pilgrimage) made by Joseph and Mary before the birth of Christ at the Ballet Folkloric De Sacramento Posada Navidena on December 7th. Free, pre-show arts and crafts activities for the family begin at 6pm. The Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops: Holiday Soundtracks is a traditional favorite at 3pm on December 16th.
The Moscow Ballet presents The Great Russian Nutcracker on December 18th, also at the Luther Burbank of the Arts. The Nutcracker Ballet, with a 60-foot growing tree and beautiful costumes and sets, is a delightful family tradition to begin at any age. There is only one Santa Rosa performance (at 7pm) however, so be sure to get tickets early.
Events aplenty are being planned at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Begin November 17th (from 1 to 4pm) with a Thanksgiving Feast with Snoopy. Help prepare Snoopy’s Thanksgiving meal of toast, popcorn, and jellybeans. Take home a commemorative Snoopy button to celebrate the Year of the Dog.
Celebrate Hands-on-Chanukah December 2nd (from 11am to 1pm) with menorah crafting and dreidel spinning for the whole family. Say “Hands-on-Chanukah” to get in free!
Assemble and decorate Snoopy’s Doghouse out of gingerbread December 15th and 16th. Children grades K-6 can join the Holiday Gift Making event on December 22nd, and learn to make creative and fun gifts. Please note that advanced reservations are required.
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! Looking for some kid-friendly fun for New Year’s Eve? Ring in the New Year December 31st (from 10 to 4pm) at the Charles M. Schulz Museum with crafts for the kids; the baby balloon drops at noon with a root beer toast!
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