From holiday train rides and music to ice skating and visits with Father Christmas himself, the Carson City area is buzzing with spirited things to do this holiday season.
The Silver & Snowflakes Festival of Lights at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Capitol steps will kick off the holiday season in Carson City. Carson Street will close at 4:30 p.m.
The free annual event includes entertainment by students from Carson Middle School, Carson High and the YTCC Showstoppers on the McFadden Plaza Santa Stage.
Free hot cocoa will be served by Carson City Elks Lodge No. 2144 at McFadden Plaza, where Santa and the Grinch will greet children.
Carolers from Sierra Lutheran will be strolling through the streets singing Christmas Carols at the various eating establishments and businesses. Empty Bowls will be at First Presbyterian Church to benefit FISH from 5 to 8 p.m.
Additionally, children 12 and younger can skate free from 6 to 8 p.m. at Arlington Square. Free cookies will be served by the Downtown Business Association at the rink as part of festival. Free Borges Horse & Carriage Rides will be offered 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Other holiday events in the area include:
Sister’s Christmas Catechism, a live comedy show, is at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. For reservations, call 783-6601.
Ice skating at Arlington Square Ice Rink on N. Carson and W. Robinson streets, across from the Carson Nugget, will be open through Jan. 27. Skate sessions are 3-5 and 6-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 3-5 and 6-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 and 6-10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 and 6-9 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $7 for ages 13 and up and $5 for ages 3-12. Skate rentals are $3 per session. For after school skating and other specials, go to carson.org/icerink.
Peanutcracker — The Story in a Nutshell returns to the Carson City Community Center at 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 2; 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Go to http://www.sierranevadaballet.org/performances/.
The Carson Lanes Winter Craft Fair is taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 2-4.
Consort Canzona will present “Lessons and Carols” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church, 3680 Highway 395, just south of Best Buy in Carson City. The concert will repeat at 5 p.m. the following evening, Dec. 3, at Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville. Go to CCSymphony.com, or call the Symphony at 775-883-4154.
Santa and characters from the classic holiday story, “The Polar Express,” will be brought to life on hourlong train rides. Polar Express trains depart from the Carson City Eastgate Depot, 4650 Eastgate Siding Road Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 23. Each trip includes a souvenir silver sleigh bell to remember the journey. Tickets are available at VIP parlor car tickets also are available at http://vttrain.activitytickets.com/activity/357?_ga=1.37163495.675064248.1474306233.
Santa will join the crew of the V&T Railroad on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 18. Trains run from the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson St. Children are invited to visit with Santa and write him a letter while enjoying holiday treats and other festivities. Tickets are $5 per person; children under 4 are free. For tickets, go to http://museums.nevadaculture.org.
An old fashioned holiday get-together will celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season when the Town of Gardnerville holds its 11th Annual Carson Valley Christmas Kick Off on Dec. 1 at Heritage Park Pavilion. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride around the park starting at 4 p.m. Santa will arrive at 4:30 p.m. There will be live entertainment starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring the Sierra Ringers from the Carson Valley United Methodist Church, the All About Dance Kids, Christmas Carolers, a musical light show and (weather permitting) a fireworks display follows the live entertainment. There will be hot chocolate, hot apple cider and Dutch oven cobblers provided by the Town of Gardnerville and popcorn provided by the Gardnerville Water Company starting at 5:30 p.m. Call 775-782-7134.
Virginia City’s Christmas on the Comstock, a month-long holiday celebration, kicks off Dec. 3 with a new The Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl, a holiday craft fair, the Parade of Lights, a holiday concert and photos with Father Christmas. The saloon crawl is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the event. The Parade of Lights holiday parade down C Street follows at 5 p.m. Live music by David John & The Comstock Cowboys will follow the parade at 7:30 p.m. at Piper’s Opera House. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. The 3rd annual Holiday Faire, also on Dec. 3, is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Art Center. Call 775-847-7774 for details. For photos with Santa, stop by the Virginia City Visitors Center at 86 S. C St. Dec. 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Greenhouse Garden Center is hosting a holiday wreath decorating workshop at 11 a.m. Dec. 3. The $50 fee includes materials. RSVP at 775-882-8600.
A free Christmas Open House at Silver Saddle Ranch is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3. Enjoy food and drink with Santa.
A Holiday Wine Walk in downtown Carson City is 1-5 p.m. Dec. 3. The $15 fee includes commemorative wine glass. Start at Carson Nugget, Cactus Jack’s or Carson Jewelry & Loan.
The Holiday Crawl to benefit the Holiday with a Hero program is 5-10 p.m. Dec. 3 in downtown Carson City. The cost is $20 in advance. Call 775-687-7410.
An afternoon of art and refreshments is planned at East Fork Gallery’s Christmas reception from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. The gallery, next to the Record Courier at 1503 Highway 395 in Gardnerville, features paintings, prints, and cards by local artists. It also offers gift items — pottery, turned wood pieces, jewelry, stained glass, and more. Call 775-782-7629.
Capital City Community Band’s free holiday concert is at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Carson City Community Center.
Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church is hosting a free Christmas Concert with Holly Starr at 6 p.m. Dec. 4. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The church is at 1505 Railroad Drive. To hear Starr’s music, go to http://hollystarrmusic.com. The church can be reached at 775-885-8361.
The Douglas County Democratic Women’s annual Holiday Celebration and Bake Sale is set for Monday, Dec. 5. Enjoy lunch, socializing, and other fun activities. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the DCDW Scholarship Program and support operating expenses. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch at noon. The cost is $18 with reservations and $20 for walk-ins. RSVP by Thursday, Dec. 1, to email@example.com or 775-267-0539. Go to www.dcdwomen.net.
Come out and enjoy some Christmas fun with Forte Award winner, Nick Josten, and some of Northern Nevada’s best stand-up comics as they present a Super Santa Extravaganza on Dec. 6. The Brewery Arts Center is hosting the stand-up comedy showcase at 8 p.m. in the Maizie Harris Jesse Black Box Theater, 449 W. King St. This month five comics will take the stage to offer unique interpretations of Santa Claus, ranging from an angry divorced Santa to a young Santa making moves in the hip hop world. Drew Shafer is hosting the Super Santa Extravaganza as Santa’s Special Elf. The Santa performers include PK Hutchinson, Jym Bettencourt, Kevin Fletcher, Raphael Lyles, Patrick Shillito. Josten will provide a special message about the true meaning of Christmas. The show is recommended for adults. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door with open seating and a cash bar. Call Josten at 775-450-4772.
The 7th Annual “This is Not a Christmas Concert” by Carson City Symphony’s Strings in the Schools program returns at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St. The free program features beginning violins and cellos, string ensemble, Pizzazz, and STRAZZ students from the Carson City School District. Call 775-883-4154, or go to CCSymphony.com. Food will be collected from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Governor’s Mansion. The 24th annual Share Your Christmas Drive-by Food Drive will be held in conjunction with the KTVN Channel 2 and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Non-perishable goods will be collected to benefit the local nonprofits Advocates to End Domestic Violence, FISH and Ron Wood Family Resource Center. Additionally, food will be collected from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the same day at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. Donate non-perishable food such as canned fruits, canned vegetables, tuna, pasta, and soup. Donations of cash and checks also accepted. Food can be dropped in advance at the Genoa Volunteer Fire Department, 340 Jacks Valley Road, Genoa. Go to http://www.carsonvalleycommunityfoodcloset.org, or call Kate Savage or Sarah Sanchez 775-782-3711.
Based on the beloved holiday film starring Will Ferrell, Elf the Musical Jr., a fish-out-of-water comedy, will play Dec. 9-11 at the Brewery Arts Center. Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 9; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 449 W. King St. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for ages 4-12. Tickets can be bought at www.wildhorsetheater.com, or by calling 775-887-0438.
Santa will be at Benson’s Feed and Tack, 2750 Highway 50, for photos with pets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10. The event is sponsored by Carson Animal Services Initiative.
The second of five trail runs in the 8th annual Be Bold, Run in the Cold winter trail series takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. Dec. 10 at Western Nevada College. Presented by Ascent Runs, every run in the series will have two distances to choose from, a 5K and a 10K+. The 5K will usually by between 3-4 miles. The 10K+ will be anywhere between 6-8 miles, depending on conditions. If conditions are ideal, the course is 7-8 miles. If conditions are not so nice, the course is close to 6 miles. To register, go to http://ascentruns.com/events/winter-trail-series/run-with-rudolph/.
Make a pine needle angel to decorate your Christmas tree and craft a holiday wreath out of pinecones from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St. Besides holiday crafts, the event will cover how to tell a pine from a fir or spruce by looking at their cones and needles. Families also will find out what kinds of animals eat pine nuts and how American Indians gathered, stored, and processed nuts for food. No reservations are needed, and all ages are welcome.
A Cowboy Christmas Concert returns to Nevada’s oldest settlement on Saturday, Dec. 10. The concert features holiday classics and original works from Mary Kaye and the Kaye Sisters. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at Genoa Town Hall, 2289 Main St. Tickets cost $20 per person. Admission for children 12 and under is $15. Call 775-782-8696.
Santa is ditching his sleigh this year to make his way through a portion of Carson City on the U.S.S. Nevada. The Olde Time Christmas Santa Parade starts at 11 a.m. Dec. 10. Lineup begins at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of W. Telegraph and Curry streets. The parade route is two blocks long, from Telegraph and Curry streets to Musser and Carson streets, and then back to Telegraph Street. Santa will be on the porch of Rocking and Rolling at Telegraph Square from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Telegraph Square also will welcome food trucks, vendors, face painting and other children’s activities from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food will be collected for Friends In Service Helping. A basket with gifts from local merchants and restaurants will be raffled off at the event. Tickets can be purchased at Rocking and Rolling anytime before the event.
Holiday music by the Douglas High School Madrigal Singers will fill Greenhouse Garden Center from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 10. A winning raffle ticket will be drawn during the performance. The winner must be present. Call 775-882-8600.
Once again, the bakers from Corpus Christi Catholic Church will be offering a festive selection of holiday cookies for $9 per pound. The 6th Annual Cookie Walk is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church, 3597 N. Sunridge Drive. Each box of cookies is custom created by the buyer. Call 775-267-3200.
Tell Santa your holiday wishes from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 at DeBug Computer, 1817 N. Stewart St., Suite 30. Come by for treats, and visit and take pictures with Santa. The event is free, but there is a recommended $5 donation to have your child’s or pet’s picture taken with Santa. All donations will go to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office’s Holiday with a Hero program.
Every year since 2001, the First United Methodist Church has re-enacted the night of Christ’s birth as a drive-thru, Living Nativity. Lit by 800 luminaria and occupying an entire city block, 10 scenes are depicted as cars drive by. Walkers also enjoy the story from a walking path. During the course of two nights, nearly 200 people of all ages are involved in telling the story, along with live donkeys, cows and sheep. No fees are charged, though canned food is collected for those in need. This year’s Living Nativity will be from 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11. The entrance is at Division and King streets, west of Carson Street. Go to www.carson1umc.org.
Savor hot chocolate, cider, candy canes and cookies on a magical trip from Virginia City’s F Street Depot. Rides on vintage, heated coaches are planned at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10-11. Tickets for the V&T’s Candy Can Express Trains are $18 for adults and $7 for children at http://virginiatruckee.com/theme-trains-events/.
Dayton Valley Library presents “Breakfast with Santa” from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Dayton Valley Community Center, 170 Pike St. in Downtown Dayton. Come and enjoy breakfast with Mr. and Ms. Santa who will be dressed in their traditional red coat and hat and will be passing out candy canes to the little ones and listening to their Christmas wish list. Bring along a non-perishable food item to donate in exchange for a photo with Mr. and Mrs. Santa. Food donations help local families enjoy the holidays this year.
An aural feast of seasonal and holiday entertainment is in store when the Carson City Symphony presents its 33rd Annual Holiday Treat concert from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Bob Boldrick Theater inside the Carson City Community Center. The program also features the Carson City Symphony Chorus and New Victorian Dancers. Lobby entertainment begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors, students and Symphony Association members. The concert is free for ages 18 and under. For tickets, go to the Carson City Visitors Bureau, 716 N. Carson St., or buy them at the door.
The Carson City Historical Society is holding its Christmas Party from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Bliss Mansion, 608 Elizabeth St. Finger food refreshments will be by A Catered Affaire. Wine and cider will be served by the society. Entertainment will be provided by Kim Harris as Julia Bulette, one of the most famous characters who lived in Virginia City during the Comstock Load era. All society members and friends of the society are welcome. Reservations are $30 and can be called in to Paula Cannon at 887-8865 by Dec. 7.
Mile High Jazz Band will present a holiday edition of Jazz & Poetry from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St. The theme for the night is “’Twas the Night.” Joining the band on the concert will be several poets reading some of their favorite poems related, in some manner, to the theme. Jakki Ford and Comma Coffee owner June Joplin will be singing some great songs with the band, some of them related to the holiday season. Admission is $5 for general admission and free for ages 18 and under.
Carson High School’s student musicians are taking over the Carson City Community Center for a string of holiday performances. The CHS Musical Theater will present its holiday concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 13. The CHS Choral Holiday Concert will pick up from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14, and the CHS Band with wind and jazz musicians will perform at the same time the following evening, Dec. 15. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students. CHS students with ID pay $1. Additionally, catch the CHS Drama team’s Winter Showcase at 7 p.m. Dec. 15-17 at the Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St.
Carson City’s offbeat holiday community show is returning to the Brewery Arts Center on Thursday, Dec. 15. The 15th annual Joyful Noise performance, presented by Cherie Shipley and Lake Tahoe Entertainment, will feature Trey Stone, Mark Ashworth Cherie and John Shipley and the six-piece Joyful Noise Chorus. The show starts at 7:30 and music runs until 9 p.m. in the BAC’s Performance Hall. Tickets are $8 for children; $12 for seniors and BAC members and $15 for general adult admission. Go to www.breweryarts.org.
Bring your cameras to see Santa at the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 16. Christmas crafts and other activities also will be available. The cost is $5 per child; adults and museum members are free. Gift shop items will be on sale for 20 percent off during the event. The museum is at 813 N. Carson St. Call 775-884-2226
The 8th annual Cookies with Santa takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at Cafe at Adele’s, 1112 N. Carson St. This local tradition combines a visit and pictures with Santa, music, and cookies all for the cause of collecting toys and raising money to provide Christmas to area children in need. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children. Every adult is asked to bring an unwrapped gift to be donated to help in assuring all children have a gift this year. Go to adelesrestaurantandlounge.com, or call 775-882-3353.
The holiday tradition of Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus’ production of Handel’s Messiah continues in Carson City at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Catch TOCCATA’s other Messiah performances at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at Cornerstone Church in Incline Village; 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Reno; and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Theresa Catholic Church in South Lake Tahoe. The 12th annual production offers general admission for $30, and preferred seating for $40 and $15 for youth/students. Seniors are offered a $5 discount. Students 18-23 are $5, and under 18 enters free.
ELVIS Holiday Spectacular, a major fundraiser for Youth Theatre Carson City, is returning to the Carson City Community Center on Dec. 17. The performance is from 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets for $12 each are available at http://www.youththeatrecarsoncity.com/.
Christmas cheer with Lacy J. Dalton will be offered from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Call 775-847-7474.
An assortment of holiday treasures will be offered at Carson Mall’s Holiday Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 19-24.
A holiday performance by the Carson City Symphony Chorus is at 5 p.m. Dec. 20 at Ormsby Post Acute Rehab, 3050 N. Ormsby Blvd. The concert, under the direction of Michael Langham, is free. Call 775-883-4154, or go to CCSymphony.com.
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the Leisure Hour Club will celebrate the holidays with special guest Christina Bourne at its dinner meeting at 6 p.m. at the Carson Nugget Ballroom. Christina Bourne will perform some holiday classics along with show tunes following the dinner.
A free Christmas Carol Playalong for string players is planned at 4 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Carson Mall, 1227 S. Carson St. Violin, viola, cello, bass and harp players are welcome to come and play. Everyone else is welcome to come and sing or listen. To play, contact Sue Jesch in advance at 775-450-5584 or firstname.lastname@example.org for sheet music and information. For more information, call 775-883-4154, or go to CCSymphony.com.
Join Piper’s Opera House as it rings in the New Year — New York style — on Saturday, Dec. 31. The historic Virginia City site will host the “New York Minute” celebration that includes live music by Deep Groove. There will be fancy hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, balloon drop and party favors, as well as a live feed from Times Square as the countdown to the ball drops happens on East Coast time. Doors open at 5:30 and the event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are limited; they cost $60 per person or $100 per couple. Get them at email@example.com, or call 775-843-5887. Proceeds will benefit Piper’s Opera House and Storey County School District programs.