If you are looking to escape the cold this Christmas, almost any city in California will provide respite. Stockton is one that’s worth checking out.
Stockton is located on the San Joaquin River in California’s Central Valley. Attractions include the Haggin Museum and the Oak Grove Regional Park which provides great ways to enjoy nature. Other attractions include the San Joaquin County Historical Museum and the Micke Grove Zoo.
The city is fun to visit year-round, but it really lights up around Christmastime. Here are some things you’ll want to check out during your holiday trip.
Visit with Santa
Christmas just isn’t complete without a visit with Santa. Fortunately, Stockton provides many opportunities for your kids to meet up with him. He will be in the Sherwood Mall and Weberstown Mall throughout the Christmas season. In addition to Santa visits, the malls will be festively decorated making them ideal destinations for crossing names off your guest list.
Santa will also be chauffeured through Lincoln Center, a marketplace that’s offers space to over 100 unique merchants, as snow gently falls.
The Tree of Lights
The Tree of Lights is an annual ceremony held at the Hospice of San Joaquin. It honors people who have made an impact during their lifetime by donating a Christmas light in their name. The ceremony is a peaceful and meaningful event. The tree is located on Pacific Ave and stays illuminated throughout the season.
Take in a Show
Stockton is full of performing arts venues that are guaranteed to be hosting holidays shows around Christmastime. The Stockton Civic Theatre almost always has something seasonal showing. Be sure to check the listings when you’re in the area.
The Makers Market
The Maker’s Market is a weekend long event that takes place in mid-December. The outdoor market is a great place to purchase food and unique gifts and crafts. Musical entertainment is provided.
Christmas Lane happens on the 1400 block of Meadow Ave just west of Pershing Ave. The residents participate dressing up their homes in the holiday finest making for a tradition that has been going on for over 40 years. Come by any day in December from sundown to 9 PM to take it in.
Zoo Lights at Micke Grove Zoo
Micke Grove Zoo is a great place to visit year-round, but its Zoo Lights event turns it into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. Guests can walk or drive through on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-8 PM to enjoy holiday themed activities, games, crafts, entertainment and more. Kids can get a free photo for Santa. And of course, there will be plenty of twinkling lights and hot food for purchase.
Christmas at the Children’s Museum of Stockton
The Children’s Museum of Stockton provides an educational experience to children in the community. The exhibits cover a wide range of topics and include a magnet wall, a children’s community bank, a recycling exhibit, a farm exhibit and more.
Every year the museum hosts a holiday event including visits with Santa. Be sure to find out what’s going on at the facility when you swing through.
Christmas at the Haggin Museum
The Haggin Museum is an art museum featuring a variety of fine art and historical works and collections. They host a wide range of events throughout the year. During the Christmas season, they have been known to bring in classical musicians that perform holiday favorites.
Festival of Trees at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum
The San Joaquin County Historical Museum offers outdoor and indoor displays that explore everything from the county’s heritage to its native people to modern agriculture. Every year they host a Festival of Trees which takes place over the course of a weekend in early December. Guests can come by to check out 60 uniquely decorating trees and participate in arts and crafts and children’s activities.
The event also includes visits with Santa, food for purchase and historical exhibits and demonstrations of pioneer handicraft. The staff is dressed in pioneer and Victorian attire that gives the days a vintage holiday flair.
The Miracle Mile
The Miracle Mile is home to several boutiques, shops and restaurants. It’s sure to be dressed up for the holiday season. It’s a great place to find unique gifts.
Downtown Stockton is a terrific destination for spending the day. It offers a variety of diverse eateries. You can also stroll the waterfront promenade to take in the showings of local art.
Take Part in the #Stockedfullofcheer Photo Contest
While in Stockton, be sure to take plenty of pictures to enter in the #Stockedfullofcheer Photo Contest. Happening throughout December, every day of the month has a different theme. Post a photo that matches the theme and use the hashtag #Stockedfullofcheer and you could end up being featured in the gallery and winning prizes like merchandise and gift cards from Stockton local businesses.
Stockton Delta Reflections Lighted Boat Parade
The Boat Parade is an annual tradition. It begins at Windmill Cove Downtown Marina. Visitors can gather to see boats and yachts as they sail down the downtown Stockton waterfront. In addition to the procession, guests can also see Santa and decorate cookies.
The parade starts at the Windmill Cove and sails on to the downtown Stockton Marina and Weber Point. It then returns to Light 39 in Deep Water Channel where the parade ends. It can be viewed anywhere on the downtown waterfront. The best vantage points are behind the ballpark and marina, the south shore near the marina, the waterfront warehouse and from Weber Point.
If you are thinking of escaping to California for the Christmas season, Stockton is a great city to explore. With so much to see and do, you may not have a chance to fit it all in. What will you be getting to first when you get to town?