Top 5 Holiday Activities to Enjoy in Gold Country

The holiday season is upon us in Gold Country, and there are so many enchanting experiences awaiting you. Discover live music, glorious light displays, holiday goodies, and even a ride on The Polar Express with all of the history and charm of the Gold Country. Here are our top 5 holiday activities to enjoy in Gold Country.

Angels Camp Light Up The Night Drive Thru Event

Saturday December 4th, pack the car and family and head out for a night on the town like no other. Last year the Angels Camp Business Association hosted this event for the first time as a response to Covid. And it was such a success they brought it back this year and hopefully every year going forward. The fun begins with a drive thru Calaveras Lumber parking lot where Santa will be there to greet you with candy canes and a map to all the homes and businesses decorated to the max around the entire town.

From there you will start your caravan of community around town to enjoy the sights. All along the way passersby’s and homeowners will be sharing holiday waves and downhome cheer. Be sure and pick up a ballot at the drive thru with your map so you can vote on your favorite display! Lucky winners will receive a cash prize! 

Murphys Open House

On December 3rd, Murphys closes the streets and some of the local businesses stay open to celebrate the holiday season. The open house will take place from 5 to 8 pm. There is no admission fee. Enjoy the fire pits, support local vendors, and get into the holiday spirit with your fellow locals. There will be carolers singing on Main Street, led by the Murphys Congregational Church; but anyone is welcome to join in. And speaking of Christmas carols, you can eat a real-life ‘chestnut roasted on an open fire’ at The Spice Tin. Check in with for more updates and info. 

Sutter Creek Holiday Lights Tour

Every night in December, you can enjoy the Christmas lights displayed by local residents and businesses in Sutter Creek. Finish the night with a grand finale at Candy Cane Lane (located near City Hall at the bridge), where Sutter Creek will display their most joyous holiday lights. If you’re at Candy Cane Lane at 5:30 on December 10th or 11th, you can even have hot chocolate with Amador County Sheriff Redman and Sutter Creek Police Chief O’Connell.

Polar Express Train Rides in Jamestown

Live the Polar Express experience with a 60-minute train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Any fan of the classic Christmas movie will love to take a train ride with cookies and hot chocolate with the characters from the film. The destination will be the North Pole—where Santa himself will board the train to greet all the passengers and give them a silver bell. Get lost in the magic of the Christmas spirit right here in Gold Country. The train departs every Friday – Sunday until December 19th at 4:30, 6:00, and 7:30 pm. This event sells out quickly, so grab your tickets early!

38th Annual Historic Downtown Sonora Christmas Parade

On Friday November 26th, starting at 6 pm on the 3rd, Sonora will be hosting their Holiday Lighted Parade down North Washington Street in Downtown Sonora Historical District. Cheer for your favorite groups and clubs, delight in the dance troupes and decorated fire trucks and in pure Gold Country style, the lighted tractors! 

Christmas in a Celtic Land

On December 5th, head to Murphys for a festive Christmas celebration—British Isles style. The respected musical trio Golden Bough will be performing their cultural Celtic music on this night. The concert will start at 3 pm, preceded by a champagne reception at 2 pm. The event will have an admission fee of $50 to raise funds for the music programs of Calaveras Arts Council.

So don your festive apparel and immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit at these 5 holiday activities to enjoy in Gold Country. We at The Smith Home Team wish you the merriest of Christmases! We are always here to help introduce you to the Gold Country in addition to meeting all your real estate needs in the area. To get started, give Team French a call at (209) 303-7637 or email us at We look forward to meeting you.

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