You may know and love Calaveras County as a destination for its burgeoning wine industry or its year round adventures. Nothing wrong with that! But we don’t overlook the more traditional things when it comes to the holiday season. On the contrary, spending the holidays in the hills offers plenty of choices for timeless winter rituals, and we’ve collected some of our favorites here to help you plan your year-end visit.
This Charles Dickens classic tells the story of miser Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve, presented by Murphys Creek Theater, featuring local actors and playing from Thanksgiving weekend through December 20.
When: Nov 28 – Dec 20, selected days and times
Where: Black Bart Playhouse
580 S. Algiers Street, Murphys CA 95247
Tickets: $20 purchase through website or at the door
Scene from the Sugar Plum dance at the Nutcracker, photo courtesy Studio 4 Dance Theater
Studio 4 Dance Theater offers audiences a fresh production each year while staying true to the magical tale with its unforgettable musical score. This year’s Nutcracker features 56 dancers ranging in age from 4-50 years old. The first act will boast a brand new set with a backdrop by local artist Tim Smith.
When: Dec 18 -19, 6:00pm; Dec 20, 1:00pm and 6:00pm
Where: Bret Harte Theater
329 Main St, Angels Camp CA 95222
Tickets: Thursday Adults: $13, Child 13-17: $10, Child 12 & Under: $7
Fri/Sat Adults: $15, Child 12 & Under: $10
Purchase at the website, by phone 1-800-595-4849, or at box office which opens 1 hour before show
Murphys Open House
Since we don’t have a central plaza for romantic winter evening strolls, we just go ahead and close the roads for a night so we can stroll through downtown Murphys. Watch the holiday parade, enoy an open house with Main Street’s merchants and celebrate small town cheer at this popular Murphys tradition, which happens the first Friday in December.
When: December 5, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: Downtown Murphys
Image courtesy of Railtown 1897
Polar Express Train Ride
Here’s something you might not get back home – Relive the magical journey of THE POLAR EXPRESS on an hour-long train ride to North Pole, courtesy of the folks at Railtown 1897 in Jamestown. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies as you ride along with many of the story’s characters. Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf — Santa himself — will come on board to give each passenger a special gift.
When: December 5-7; 12-14; 19-21 Departure Times: 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm
Where: Railtown 1897
5th Avenue and Reservoir Road, Jamestown, CA 95327
Tickets: $40 coach / $55 first class for all persons over 2 years of age. Visit website to purchase or buy on site
Image courtesy of Moaning Cavern
Caroling – in a cave, with rappelling Santa!
Do you love the tradition of caroling? Check it out underground amidst the natural acoustics of a limestone cavern! Join Moaning Cavern for a special evening of Christmas carols, sung a cappella by a local choir group. At the end of the concert, Santa will rappel into the 165 foot chamber with gifts and photo ops for attendees. Bring two cans of holiday-themes food to donate and receive $2 off your entrance fee. Tickets sell out fast to these concerts, so book soon!
When: December 13, 5:40pm – 7:30pm
Where: Moaning Cavern
5350 Moaning Cave Road, Vallecito, CA 95251
Tickets: $22, or $20 with donated food items, Check website for more event details.