96 Free Things To Do In Sacramento

Mix 96 wants to share all of the fun activities going on in and around the Sacramento area for you and your family to enjoy for free! Be sure to check back often to find new and updated free activities and events going on in your area.

  1. Great Gobblers

Effie Yeaw Nature Center – 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael, CA 95608

Date: Saturday, November 28

Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Thanksgiving is the time for turkey! Have you ever had questions about turkeys and their habitat? Come join the Effie Yeaw Nature Center to visit wild turkeys and learn all the great facts about them!


2. Fifth Annual Parade of Lights

Negro Bar State Park – Greenback Lane, Folsom, CA 95630

Date: Saturday, December 5

Time: 4:45 – 6:00 pm

The Sacramento Paddle Pushers are hosting their 5th Annual Parade of Lights! You can decorate your own kayak or paddleboard or just join and watch the lights.


3. Holiday Show of Hands

St. John the Evangelist School – 5701 Locust Ave, Carmichael, California 95608

Date and Time:

Friday, December 2nd – 5:00 pm-9:oo pm
Saturday, December 3rd – 9:00 am-7:00 pm
Sunday, December 4th – 9:00 am-3:00 pm 

Come celebrate art at the 38th annual “Holiday Show of Hands” with friends and family! Take pictures with Santa and participate in a silent auction with over five hundred items! There will also be a food court including the Dutch Bros. mobile coffee truck as well as 150+ vendors showing their artwork so make sure to stop by! Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday while Friday has a $5 admission fee.


4. Family Movie Night

Franklin Community Library

10055 Franklin High Road – Elk Grove, CA 95757

Date: September 3 – December 10 

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

This is a cheaper alternative to a movie theater. Instead of spending the money to take the family to the theater, you can take them to the Franklin Community Library for a movie, and check out some books on your way out! Popcorn included! Check the site for show times.


5. Get Creative: Crafting for Adults and Teens

Franklin Community Library – Franklin High Road, Elk Grove, CA 95757

Date: Saturday, November 21

Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

This month’s craft is adult coloring! Stop by to get your creative mind flowing and enjoy being a kid again.


6. Free Admission Day: Canned Food Drive

Fairytale Town – 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822 

Date: Friday, November 27

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Bring a canned food item to donate to the Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive for free admission to Fairytale Town. There will also be free arts and crafts!


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7. Harry Potter Film Festival

Franklin Community Library – 10055 Franklin High Road Elk Grove, CA 95757

Date: Saturdays, November 21 – December 12

Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Calling all Harry Potter fans! The Franklin Community Library is hosting a seven-week movie marathon of the Harry Potter series! Happening every Saturday through December 12th! Movies and pfopcorn included!


8. Gingerbread House Contest for Teens

Franklin Community Library – 10055 Franklin High Road Elk Grove, CA 95757

Date: Wednesday, December 9

Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Are you a master of gingerbread houses? The Franklin Community Library is putting local teens to the test in their gingerbread house competition! Show off your holiday skills in the free competition! Registration is required, but all materials are provided!


9. Holiday Concert

Sacramento State (CSUS) Music Recital Hall – 6000 J Street Capistrano Hall Sacramento, CA 95819

Date: Saturday, December 5 

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Awesome! The Sacramento Guitar Society is having a holiday concert this December! Enjoy holiday performances to get you in the holiday spirit! Donations are accepted, but attendance is free!


10. Professional Sales Hiring Event

 

Hyatt Regency Sacramento – 1209 L Street Sacramento, CA 95814

Date: Tuesday, November 17

Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Looking for a new job? Come to the Hyatt Regency to find your dream job! The event specializes in in outside or inside sales, advertising, business development, and management. Get your professional attire and resumes ready, the event is on Tuesday, November 17th!


11. Sacramento Grand Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Old Sacramento – 1002 2nd Street Sacramento, CA 95814

Date: Wednesday, November 25th

Time: 6:00pm

Get into the Christmas spirit with the Old Sac Christmas tree lighting! The whole family will enjoy this holiday tradition. After the tree is lit, the Macy’s Theatre of Lights performs! It’s all free to spectate!


12. Sacramento State’s Geology’s Rock Auction

Sacramento State (CSUS) – Alumni Center – 6000 J Street  Sacramento, CA 95819

Date: Friday, November 20

Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Sac State’s Geology students are holding their annual rock auction on Friday, November 20th! “Rock hounds” from all over come down to get some new and awesome rocks! You’ll have to pay for those, but admission to the auction is free. Kids’ activities and light appetizers are also included.


13. International Games Day

Lavender Library – 1414 21st St., Sacramento, CA 95811

Date: Saturday, November 21

Time: 12 – 6pm

Board games are a classic American past time! Stop by and celebrate this day of gaming with the Lavender Library. Bring your own board games to play or play any of the games provided by the library. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are having fun!


14. Duct Tape Party

Franklin Community Library – 10055 Franklin High Road Elk Grove, CA 95757

Date: Tuesday, November 17

Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

DIY this holiday season! The Franklin Library is hosting a duct tape party with supplies provided! Create and decorate your own wallets, lanyards, bookmarks, pencil pouches, luggage tags, keychains, and more! Admission is free!


15. Dive Bar: Dueling Pianos

1016 K Street

Every Thursday

Time: 9 pm

Every Thursday, the Dive Bar is Sacramento’s only place for Dueling Pianos! You can request and sing along to your favorite songs, and score some awesome drink specials! Dive Bar is now serving Buy One Get One FREE drinks!

16. Blue Cue Trivia

J and 28th Sacramento

Wednesdays

Time: 6:30 pm

Want to try your hand a Blue Cue trivia? Put your knowledge to the test and enjoy Happy Hour drinks and food for the first half hour! You could walk away with a prize too! The three winning teams get prizes!

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17. Placerville Art Walk

Historic Downtown Placerville

Third Saturday of the Month

Time: 5 pm- 9 pm

Every third Saturday of the month, Placerville is home to an art walk! Galleries and merchants host art shows and shopping demonstrations, complete with refreshments and music!


18. Coloma – Coloma gained fame in 1848 when gold was diccovered in the Sutter’s Mill stream. You can visit the historic site and learn about the historty this summer! Visit www.coloma.com for more!


19. Historic Locke – Another historic location! Built by Chinese immigrants in 1915, the Historic Chinese Town is still open to visitors! Go to www.locketown.com for more!


20. Poor Reds in El Dorado – Photo op! Take a picture with the legendary “Golden Cadillac” at Poor Reds in El Dorado! The area used to be a mining district in the 1800s, and is now a tourist hot spot!


21. Second Saturday Art Walk in Sacramento – Sacramento has art walks too! On the second Saturday of every month, local galleries stay open late night! Visit www.sacramento-second-saturday.org or www.2nd-sat.com for more!


22. Sacramento Historic City Cemetery – The Sacramento Historic City Cemetery offers free tours every Saturday at 10am. Tourists can see the burial sites of Sacramento Mayors and California Governors as well as memorials for Civil War Veterans and Volunteer Firemen.

See http://www.oldcitycemetery.com/index.htm for more!

23. Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – Relive the 19th century at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse! The building replicates the one-room schools found in the 19th century, and is furnished with antiques and reproductions. The site also features collections of photographs, books and desks from an earlier period. Staff to the Schoolhouse dresses in costume and actually teaches class! Go to  www.oldsacschoolhouse.org for more!


24. Jelly Belly Factory – If you haven’t been here, you need to go! The Jelly Belly Factory, located in Fairfield, is a must for the family! Visit www.jellybelly.com for more!

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25. Anheuser-Busch – Brewery tours are available in Fairfield, too! Take a tour of the King of Beers at Anheuser-Busch! Visit www.budweisertours.com for more!


26. Memorial Union Art Gallery – If you’re into art, you can visit the Memorial Union Art Gallery at UC Davis and check out some art for free! See www.daviswiki.org for more!


27. American River Bike Trail – The American River Bike Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the world! And it’s free to ride! Check out www.saccycle.com for more info!


28. Historic Old Folsom – Old Folsom is a hidden treasure of the area! With antique shops and the historic Sutter Street, Old Folsom is definitely worth the trip! Go to www.folsom.ca.us for more!


29. Folsom History Museum – The museum is one of the many great Old Folsom attractions! Located on Sutter Street. Kids 12 & under are free! Go to www.folsomhistorymuseum.org for more!


30. Capitol Park – There are about 40 acres to explore at Capitol Park! Check out Capitol Ave & 15th St. to take your own Capitol tour! Visit www.parks.ca.gov for more information!


31. Lotus Garden Yoga – Free yoga? That sounds like a great deal! The Studio and Meditation Retreat Center offers free Meditation Classes in Carmichael!


32. California State Capitol -You can actually go inside the capitol building for a tour! Learn about the State of California… and try to catch a glimpse of The Governor! See www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov for more!

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33. Mix 96 Live Broadcasts – Win Prizes, meet Air Personalities! Check our website for schedule! www.kymx.com


34. Apple Hill – Don’t apples sound good right about now? Make a day trip to Apple Hill and roam the dozens of ranches and orchards! You can also partake in wine tasting and fresh apple pie and cider sampling! Apple Hill is located in the hills along Highway 50 in El Dorado County.


35. Old Sacramento Past & Present – “Gold Rush” style children and family activities are open every weekend in Old Sac! Families can enjoy bowling, children’s games, Drum and Fife bands, storytelling, walking tours, bucket brigades and more! Varying FREE activities are available each weekend through August!


36. Amador County Wine Tasting – Amador County is yet another region rich with awesome local wineries! If this is closer to you, Amador is a great option! See www.cheers2wine.com for more!


37. Shepard Garden & Arts Center – The Shepard Garden & Arts Center is located in McKinley Park, and offers free floral and art shows! Go to www.cityofsacramento.org to get more information!


38. Port of Sacramento – If you want to visit the Port of Sacramento, you can arrange a tour at www.portofsacramento.com! The Port’s history dates back to 1849, where it helped to move men and equipment to gold fields!


39. Historic Old Town Roseville Farmers Market – Live music, a farmers market, AND cool, classic cars on display?! The Historic Old Town Roseville Farmers Market runs every Tuesday night, from the beginning of May through the end of July on Vernon Street! Check out www.roseville.ca.us for more!


40. Folsom Lake – Summer time is perfect for a trip to Folsom Lake! Folsom Lake is the most popular fresh water lake in NorCal. Folsom Lake is free on your bike or on foot! See www.myfolsom.com for more!

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41. Nimbus Salmon/Steelhead Fish Hatchery – See the spawning fish in action! During the beginning of November, you can watch the salmon make their way up a “fish ladder” to lay eggs in the pond at the top! Located at 2001 Nimbus Rd., Rancho Cordova, the Hatchery has a capacity of 30,000,000 eggs!


42. Effie Yeaw Nature Center – The Effie Yeaw Nature Center is award-winning! The Center offers environmental and cultural education for all ages! Located within the beautiful American River Parkway in Carmichael River Parkway in Carmichael. See www.effieyeaw.org for more!


43. William Land Park – Take a trip to the heart of Sacramento and visit William Land Park! The park is home to activities like the William Land Golf Course, FairyTale Town, Funderland and sits across from the Sacramento Zoo! So much to do around the area! Visti www.cityofsacramento.org for more information!


44. McKinley Park Rose Garden – Stop and smell the roses at McKinley Park! The park, located at H Street near 33rd Street, has its very own rose garden open for free public viewing! Visit  www.cityofsacramento.org to get more information!


45. California Vietnam Memorial – Located at Capitol Park in Sacramento, the California Vietnam Memorial is the perfect spot to take in some culture!


46. Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park – You can tour the Governor’s Mansion for free! The Stanford Mansion, once owned by Leland Stanford, former California governor, fcan be found at 16th & H St. Go to www.parks.ca.gov for more!


47. The Fab 40’s – How about spending a day on a driving tour? Check out some of Sacramento’s finer homes at the Fab 40’s! Just go to the “40’s” Blocks in Downtown Sacramento!


48. Brickyard Building Free Clinics Take your barbecues to the next level! Upgrade your outdoor living space with a tutorial from Brickyard Building Materials in Sacramento. The free how-to clinics happen on Saturdays from 10 to noon, April through September.

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49. The American River – The river is a classic summer staple! Float along an inner-tube, but don’t forget a life jacket! Make sure to check with local authorities for free life jacket stations along the River! See www.sarariverwatch.org for more!


50. Folsom Prison Museum & Gift Shop – This prison is the second-oldest in California! The prison opened in 1880, on the site of the Stony Bar mining camp area along the American River. Read more at www.myfolsom.com!


51. Cameron Park Skate Park – Cameron Park is a special place to visit! The park was originally established in the as a 150-acre cattle ranch in the ’50s. Now, the park is grounds for ranches, events, and more! Go to www.cameronpark.org for more information!


52. Ballroom Dancing – Know someone who could use some dance lessons? What about FREE dance lesson? The Ballroom at 6009 Folsom Blvd. Check out www.sacdance.com for free dance camps & lessons!


53. Whole Foods Market – Whole Foods is much more than a run of the mill grocery store! They have free events and classes too! You just have to check www.wholefoodsmarket.com! Located at 4315 Arden Way, Sacramento.


54. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op – Healthy eating is important to be educated on, even more so for young people. The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op has free orientation and training to learn more! Get all the info at www.sacfoodcoop.com!


55. The Avid Reader at the Tower – The Avid Reader is your source for books and community in Sacramento. Come to the largest independent bookstore in Sacramento for the books and events! Located at 1600 Broadway, Sacramento. Check www.avidreaderbooks.com for events!


56. Blue Diamond Almonds Retail Store – Love Blue Diamond? You can see how almonds are grown and processed, and have a taste yourself: all for free! Located at 1701 C St., Sacramento. See www.bluediamond.com for all the details!

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57. Jensen Botanical Gardens – Not only are the gardens gorgeous, but they’re also home to history, events, and garden work days! Check www.carmichaelchamber.com for more! Located at 8520 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael.


58. Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park – Tour the powerhouse and check out the massive General Electric transformers! The Powerhouse still looks like it did when it was built in 1895. Located at 9980 Greenback Ln., Folsom. See www.parks.ca.gov for more information!


59. Livermore Park – Livermore Park is a kid’s dream! It has water features for the kids to get their splash on! It’s also a great place to sunbathe or have a picnic! Located at 6004 Riley St., Folsom.


60. Folsom City Park – This park is borders the Folsom Zoo, so you can do both in one day! Classes and sports are available at the park too! Read more HERE!


61. The Sacramento River – The Sacramento River is a great spot to hang out, and to check out some wildlife! The river also has a wide range of recreational opportunities. Get all the details at www.sacramentoriver.org!


62. Visit the Old Towns – There are a few Old Towns scattered throughout the area. Visit Folsom, Fair Oaks, Roseville and Elk Grove to take in a little bit of history and knowledge of what life was once like!


63. Pops in the Park – Enjoy some concerts in the park this summer! The Pops in the Park Annual Summer Concert Series in the parks every Saturday in June! See http://midtowngrid.com for more!


64. River Walk Park – Check out the view of Old Sacramento and the Sacramento skylineand attend the summer concert series! Read all the details at www.cityofwestsacramento.org!

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65. Area Farmer’s Markets – Spend a day cruising the farmers markets! You can never go wrong with fresh produce! Get more info at www.cafarmersmarkets.com or www.california-grown.com!


66. Look at Christmas Lights – This one is seasonal, of course! Celebrate the holidays by looking at lights throughout the city! Check the local paper for details in December!


67. Bannon Creek Park – Take man’s best friend out for a park day! The Bannon Creek Park is a park for pets, picnics, bike trails, and more! Read it all at www.cityofsacramento.org!


68. Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area – This area has been declared a globally important bird area. The Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area provides a home to a globally significant number of waterfowl. Check www.trails.com for annual events!


69. Donald F. Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum – If you have an interest in pharmaceuticals, there’s a museum for you! You can visit the Donald F. Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum for free! Located at 4030 Lennane Drive, Sacramento. You can book tours at www.pharmacyfoundation.org!


70. Museum of Medical History – Here’s another option for the medically inclined! Explore 150 years of medicine and practices, and take a free tour! For more information, visit http://www.ssvms.org/museum.asp!


71. California Foundry History Museum – This is a great place to learn something new! Learn about foundries, which melt metal to make fire hydrants, water pipes, etc. and get the chance to work a water valve yourself! Located at 5301 Price Avenue, McClellan Park, Sacramento. Find all the info at www.foundryhistory.com!


72. Old Sacramento State Historic Park – This historic park was once home to the Pony Express and California Supreme Court! It’s the perfect activity to learn some local history! Read all about it at www.parks.ca.gov!

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73. Visit historic Old Sacramento – Experience over 50 Cafes, restaurants and eateries in Old Sac! There are also underground tours and museums there! Visit www.oldsacramento.com to see what’s free!


74. Wells Fargo History Museum – Travel back in time at the Wells Fargo History Museum! Get to know Wells Fargo and their history all for free! Located at 400 Capitol Mall, Sacramento. Get all the info at www.wellsfargohistory.com!


75. B. F. Hastings Building – The B.F. Hastings building once housed the western terminus of the Pony Express, the original California State Supreme Court, Theodore Judah’s office and more! Currrently, it is home to the Wells Fargo History Museum and the Sacramento Visitors Center. It’s free to visit at 1000 2nd Street (Corner of 2nd and J Streets) Old Sacramento!


76. Big Four Building – This building is named after the “Big Four” of western railroading: Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis P. Huntington and Charles Crocker. Check out the museum and library at 113 I Street, Old Sacramento.

See www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org for more!


77. California Peace Officers’ Memorial – This memorial is dedicated the over 1,300 courageous peace officers who have laid down their lives “in the line of duty.” See the exhibit at 10th Street and Capitol Mall, Sacramento. More info is at www.camemorial.org.


78. California State Archives – The state archives are open for research throughout the week! Come Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. except state holidays! You can look at important and historic state documents and visit the Golden State Museum! Get all the info at www.ss.ca.gov!


79. Eagle Theatre – The Eagle Theatre is a reconstructed version of California’s first public theater, which originally opened in 1849. Entry into the theater is free to school groups and visitors, and features docent-led programs on Sacramento history. Read more at www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org!


80. Historic Chinatown -Chinatown is keeping Chinese culture alive with association halls and a Chinese language school! Head on over for free, located at Third and Fifth streets, J and I streets.

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81. La Raza Galeria Posada -This nonprofit cultural center celebrates the art and life of Chicano/Latino and Native Americans. La Raza Galeria Posada displays art and culture in the organization’s store, gallery and more! Located at 1022-1024 22nd Street, Sac. Get more at www.larazagaleriaposada.org!


82. Pony Express Monument – Located at Second and I Streets, Sacramento, the Pony Express Monument pays tribute to the 80 riders who began the system in 1860. Check out the monument for free!


83. Theodore Judah Monument – Who is Theodore Judah? He was an engineer who created the plan for the Transcontinental Railroad! He’s honored in a monument at Second and L streets, Sacramento and it’s open free to visitors.


84. Victorian Houses – You could find your dream home at the Sacramentan Victorian Houses! Take a drive or a stroll down the tree-lined streets and check out the homes. Most of them can be found from Seventh to 16th streets, from E to I streets.


85. Napa Valley – Who doesn’t love Napa? Established in 1850, Napa is widely known for its wine industry. Napa is perfect for a day trip, just an easy drive from Sac! Get to planning at www.napavalley.org!


86. The Delta King – Step aboard the Delta King for a look back to 1920! The boat is home to history and special events, which you can read about at www.deltaking.com!


87. The River Road – Looking for a scenic drive around town? The River Road is best observed in the daylight on dry pavement. While going through the Delta, there are plenty of little towns to stop at!


88. Friday Night Concerts in the Park – From May to August, there are FREE concerts in the park every Friday night! Located at Cesar Chavez Plaza, 10th and L Streets in downtown Sacramento.

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89. Visit Historic Old Auburn – This area looks just as it did during the Gold Rush! Visit Old Town Auburn for various special events all year, including weekly Farmer’s Markets! Other events include antique street fairs, a summertime blues festival, a wine festival in the fall, and two weekends of country Christmas! Read more at www.oldtownauburnca.com!


90. Placerville, California (Old Hangtown) – Old Hangtown is another great day trip option! Placerville is another “Gold Rush” town loaded with history. It’s called “hangtown” because of all the hangings that took place there! Read all the details at www.goldbugpark.org or www.visit-eldorado.com!


91. Columbus River Preserve – The Columbus River Preserve is home to tens of thousands of rare animal and plant species. The walk trails are also open from dawn til dusk daily! Visit www.cosumnes.org for more!


92. Go Gold Panning – Did you know you can pan for gold for free in Sac? There are a few places to do it! Find your nearest location at www.goldfeverprospecting.com!


93. Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament – This Cathedral was built in 1889, and is located at J & 11th in Sacramento. Check out www.cathedralsacramento.org for more!


94. Reno – Reno is the Biggest Little City in the World, and is so close to Sacramento! You can spend the day in Reno and experience all sorts of events and scenery! Read more at www.cityofreno.com!


95. Public Pools – Public pools are a great place to cope with summer heat! Take the family to Colonial Park, Land Park, Roberston Park, Mama Marks Park and Bertha Henschel Play Pools all for free! Get all the info at www.cityofsacramento.org!


96. State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Gardens – Stop and smell the flowers at the State Capitol World Peace Rose Gardens! The .42 acre land space features 650 roses in more than 140 types of colors and smells. Additionally, 44 inspirational messages of peace are placed in plaques throughout the garden to serve as points of inspiration. Located at Capitol Park in Sacramento.


Do you know of a free event going on in the Sacramento area? Let us know about it by clicking here, and we might feature it in Mix 96’s 96 Free things to do in Sacramento!

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96 Free Things To Do In Sacramento

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