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2018 Winter Holiday Events

Nov. 30-Dec. 23: Holiday Music Program – California State Capitol: Festive music and celebration began at our Capitol as early as December 1869, during its triumphant opening. Since 1996 the California State Capitol Museum, in association with the Legislature, the Governor’s Office, and the Department of General Services has worked to restore holiday traditions inside the Capitol with daily musical concerts and early twentieth century decorations. Daily performances in the Capitol Rotunda. More Information

Dec. 1- 30: Holiday Tours of Adamson House: Malibu Lagoons State Beach: Special tours of the house decorated for the holidays with family memorabilia on display exclusively for the Holiday Tours. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations required. There will be holiday music and refreshments. More Information

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1: 29th Annual Candlelight Walk – Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park:A ranger-guided walk through ancient redwoods lit by 400 luminaries, storytelling, silent auction, and light refreshments. More Information

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1: Lamp Light Tours – Columbia State Historic Park: Join us for a walking play that wanders the streets of Columbia at night and ends with music, dance, and refreshments. More Information

December 1-30: Holiday Twilight Tours: Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument: Experience Christmas at Hearst Castle, as it looked in its heyday with twilight tours. The Castle has been decorated much as it was in the 1930s when William Randolph Hearst welcomed his glamorous guests for the holidays. More Information

Dec. 1: Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Bazaar: Crystal Cove State Park: Featuring California’s only coastal beach holiday tree display, a visit from Santa and fun for the whole family. Crystal Cove Conservancy, the nonprofit partner of Crystal Cove State Park, will host the all-day event at Crystal Cove which will be decorated with traditional mid-century décor, carolers, and sparkling lights throughout the Historic District. More Information

Dec. 1: 20th Annual Lights on the Lake: Lake Perris State Recreation Area: The 20th annual “Lights on the Lake” holiday boat parade is at Launch Ramp 6 and will begin at 5 p.m. Vessels to compete for the best decorated. More Information

Dec. 1: Holidays on the Homestead: Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park: Originally a 1930’s homestead, the park will feature historic holiday decor with live acoustic music around a campfire, a chili cook-off, a tour of the historic grounds, a country craft boutique, real "cowboy coffee" brewed over the fire, and hot cocoa or cider for the kids. More Information

Dec. 3: Battle of San Pasqual – San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park: See the reenactment of the largest battle ever fought on California soil during the Mexican-American War. More Information

Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24: All Aboard for Holiday Story Time: California State Railroad Museum: To the delight of young children and train enthusiasts alike, a celebrity reader or Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends will read the children’s holiday books each week at 11 a.m. Books including The Night Before Christmas and Thomas and the Christmas Tree (both are Thomas and Friends books). More Information

Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Rememberance Day Beacon Lighting: Mount Diablo State Park: we invite you to attend the annual “Eye of Diablo” beacon lighting ceremony to pay tribute to and honor our veterans.Every year since 1964, the Pearl Harbor survivors and their families have memorialized Pearl Harbor Day by relighting the historic Beacon atop Mount Diablo’s summit. More Information

Dec. 7: Celebrate the Holidays with the Bidwells: Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park: The Bidwell Mansion Association (Association) and California State Parks is hosting its annual holiday event “Christmas with the Bidwells.” Visitors will be walk in the footsteps of the city’s founders, John and Annie Bidwell, who built the historic 26-room Victorian mansion. The “Christmas with the Bidwells” event will include: Tour of the Bidwell Mansion, historic vignettes in the mansion, and live music. Tickets may be purchased at the Bidwell Mansion, 525 Esplanade, Chico or call (530) 513-1454 to reserve tickets. Proceeds benefit education and interpretation at Bidwell Mansion. More Information

Dec. 7, 9,13: City Hotel Victorian Feast: Columbia State Historic Park: For over thirty years, the historic City Hotel has celebrated the holidays by recreating a 120-year-old banquet melodrama with a cast of colorful characters, minstrels, great food and wonderful wines. Mixing the melodrama with good cheer and holiday toasts, fine dining, and the beautiful surroundings of the restored hotel, it’s easy to see why the event is so popular. More Information

Dec. 7-8: 35th Christmas in the Adobes: Monterey State Historic Park: : Return to the days of Alta California and see Monterey’s historic adobes, each an easy walking distance apart and beautifully decorated for the season with welcoming, candle-lit luminarias at each entrance.  Enjoy festive music, living history portrayers, and the warm spirit of this year’s annual celebration that has become a family favorite during the holidays. More Information

Dec. 8: Holidays at the Ranch: Wilder Ranch State Park: Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music, and merriment from the early 20th century. More Information

Dec. 8: Pioneer Christmas - Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park Every Christmas season, Bale Grist Mill hosts a 19th century Christmas celebration, pioneer style.  Enjoy making a clove pomander or wreath of rosemary for your home, or string popcorn and cranberries for the tree. Write a letter to Santa in calligraphy and seal with red wax. More Information

Dec. 8: A Simple Emigrant Christmas: Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park: To help get Fort visitors in a festive holiday spirit, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park has a Hands on History" event.  Throughout the day, Fort visitors will step back in time to holidays past with festive, hands-on activities such as dipping candles, making cornhusk dolls and crafting holiday ornaments as part of special "Simple Emigrant Christmas" activities.  More Information

Dec. 8-9: Coloma’s Historic Holiday Houses: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park: A dozen historic gold rush era houses at the park will be open for a rare tour. Docents will be located at each house to interpret the history of the dwellings. At some of the houses we will be handing out treats and hot drinks. Activities will include wreath making and cookie decorating.  Tickets cost $5.00 per person, children 5 and under are free. This cost is in addition to the $8.00 per vehicle day use fee. For more information please call the museum at (530) 622-3470. More Information

Dec. 8: Christmas on the Northern Frontier Sonoma State Historic Park: “Christmas at the Mission” sing-along program in the Mission Chapel (ticketed event).Also “A Soldiers’ Christmas” living history, refreshments, crafts and Kris Kringle in the Sonoma Barracks. v “Allegro Toscana” Pickle Creek String Band performs in the Toscano Hotel and docents provide tours of the Toscano Kitchen. “Yuletide at the Blue Wing Inn” living history, crafts, and refreshments. More Information

Dec. 8: Christmas at the Beach: Bolsa Chica State Beach: This is a family friendly event that is free to attend. Come to our Visitor Center for crafts, games and food! A holiday movie will be shown out on the sand by Tower 21. More Information

Dec. 8: Redwood Loop Trail: The Nutcracker: Big Basin Redwoods State Historic Park: Enjoy a festive walk in the famous old-growth redwoods at Big Basin Redwoods State Park with Docent Karen DeMello. We'll listen to the Nutcracker Suite and imagine the forest performing the ballet along the easy, level, half-mile Redwood Loop Trail. More Information

Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 15-16: A Miner’s Christmas – Columbia State Historic Park: Sit around a campfire drinking hot cider or coffee and join in conversations with miners as they roast chestnuts.  Children can make some favorite crafts of the 1850s and keep an eye out for Father Christmas as he wanders the streets looking for good boys and girls.  For more information, contact Columbia State Historic Park at 209-588-9128. More Information

Dec. 8-9: Renegade Crafts Fair: Los Angeles State Historic Park: Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase unique artisan crafts, do it yourself workshops, music, and local food trucks. More Information

Dec. 9: Christmas at the Ranch: Anderson Marsh State Historic Park: An Old-Fashioned Victorian “Christmas at the Ranch” Open House at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park with docents in period dress, music and other activities. More Information

Dec. 9: Christmas Equestrian Parade – Columbia State Historic Park: Join us at the Columbia State Park Christmas Parade and add color and fun to your holiday season! Bring your kids! See horses, mules, donkeys, ponies and draft horses, their riders and drivers, colorfully decked out in holiday style in the parade on Columbia’s Main Street. More Information

Dec. 9: Holiday Open House: Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park: Sponsored by the Orange Grove Rebekah Lodge No. 84, Chico Women’s Club, and Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. The day-long event will include musical performances in the Mansion Parlor, with staff and volunteers will be dressed in period costumes to welcome guests for tours of the first floor of the decorated Victorian style mansion. The Open House welcomes all ages and is free to the public, but tickets are required for each performance. A limited number of tickets are available per hour, so guests are advised to obtain tickets early. More Information

Dec. 9: 35th Annual Las Posadas Nativity Procession: Columbia State Historic Park: Las Posadas is a Spanish tradition that re-enacts the biblical story of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Since 1983 the people of Columbia have put on their own version of Las Posadas each December--with a distinctive 1850s flavor. Characters in this re-enactment include Mary and Joseph and their donkey, the three Wise Men, the tax collector and innkeeper, and miners and musicians and other costumed townspeople.  Columbia's Main Street is decorated for the Christmas season, and luminaire light the way for the procession, while on-lookers hold candles and join in singing Christmas carols.  For more information, call 209-536-1672. More Information

Dec. 14: Una Noche de Las Posadas – El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park: Las Posadas (The Inns) is the time-honored reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter in Bethlehem as it was once celebrated in Early California and is still observed throughout Latin America. Join in this rich cultural tradition and experience firsthand the way in which Santa Barbara’s earliest Spanish and Mexican residents celebrated Christmas with music, food, and merriment. More Information

Dec. 14-15: Holiday Evening Tours: Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park: The tours will cover all three floors of the mansion, which will be decorated in Victorian holiday style. Parks staff and volunteers, dressed in period costumes, will be available to answer questions and provide insight into the history of this special home built by the city’s founders, Tickets can be purchased at the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park Visitor Center, 525 Esplanade in Chico on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information.\

Dec. 15: 57th Las Posadas/Old Town Celebration: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park: Enjoy the holiday spirit with festive decorations throughout the park and numerous activities including crafts, historical holiday experiences and entertainment, as well as multiple choir performances. At 5 p.m. see the 68th traditional Los Posadas procession commemoration the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter. More Information

Dec. 15: 41stth Pioneer Christmas Party: William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park: Come join the Ide Adobe Interpretive Association and California State Parks for annual Pioneer Christmas Party in Red Bluff. Learn about life in the 1850s in a celebration that re-lives the Christmas traditions of early California pioneers. More Information

Dec. 15: Holiday Open House: Donner Memorial State Park: Bring the family as we celebrate the holidays, community, and the pioneer spirit among the exhibits at the Visitor Center. Enjoy music, storytelling, arts and crafts, guided history walks, Jr. Ranger scavenger hunts, and refreshments. Retired DPR Ranger Jordan Fisher-Smith will speak about his award-winning book, Engineering Eden in the evening. More Information

Dec. 15, 22: Holiday Hayride Tours Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area: Get in the festive spirit and discover fun park trivia with a hayride through the campgrounds at Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area. We start at 6 Madrone Campground, and drive through the park picking up passengers along the way. Bring a thermos of hot cocoa, blanket, and warm clothing. Event is free; park entrance fee is $5. For more information, email

Dec. 16: Santa Claus for a Cause Run: Huntington State Beach: Come enjoy a run along the beach in your ugly sweater, elf outfit or Santa suit. A fundraiser for Ware in the World Foundation. More Information

Dec. 30: Run in the New Year: Bolsa Chica State Beach: Write your New Year's resolution on your bib and get in gear for the New Year. More Information