With so many special events and activities taking place over the next few weeks, we thought it would be helpful to compile a timely list of all the entertainment-related and community-oriented holiday happenings in the mountain area between now and December 25.
If we missed anything, let us know and we’ll gladly add it to the Big Local List of Holiday Happenings — and continue to update this list throughout the season — so check back. Here we go!
The Golden Chain Theatre brings a Christmas classic to the mountain communities this holiday season with the magical musical experience, “A Christmas Carol,” opening the weekend following Thanksgiving and playing until Dec. 23rd. The production is rated PG for some spooky moments, and runs from Friday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Dec. 23. Curtains rise on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and on Sundays the matinee performance starts at 2 p.m. Directed by James Mierkey. Tickets range in price from $12 – $17.
It’s not in the mountains but this is cool, so we’re adding it anyway. For this annual event, the entire Zoo is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland, fully decorated and strung with miles of holiday lights. Enjoy holiday music, live entertainment, festive treats and beverages for adults and children. December 2, 7 – 9, 14 – 23, 26 – 30. Tickets for zoo members are $5 kids and $7 adult. Nonmembers $7 kids and $9 adult.
Looking for a quiet place for your little ones to talk to Santa? Come to Sierra Tel on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from noon until 4 p.m. Families have been bringing their children to see Santa at Sierra Tel for generations. Each child receives a gift from Santa along with a candy cane and the book of their choice. Remember to bring your camera to capture the magical moment!
Sierra Tel is fortunate to get on Santa’s calendar every year so he and the missus can talk to our young ones. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be taking telephone calls on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Have your children call the North Pole to tell Santa their Christmas wishes. 683-HOHO (4646) or 742-HOHO (4646) to deliver your Christmas wish list.
Join in singing along with the local band Sugar Pine at the North Fork Library on Wednesday, Dec. 12, starting at 7 p.m. This is a wonderful, free opportunity to sing Christmas carols with the best back-up since Santa.
Among the holiday traditions for birding enthusiasts is the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), when intrepid observers throughout the western hemisphere take to the field for one day to make a record of all the birds they see and hear. The Yosemite Area Audubon Society encourages everyone to participate in the Christmas Bird Count in the Central Sierra — with five dates at five different locations across the land, from Dec. 15 this year through Jan. 4, 2019.
The third annual Bicycle and Toy Giveaway for mountain kids is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. The event is a collaborative effort with G’ma and Pappa’s Motorcycle Apparel and the Sierra Shadow Casters Motorcycle Club based in Coarsegold. Santa will be arriving at G’ma & Pappa’s on his motorcycle sleigh at 10 a.m. The event is designed for families who are unable to purchase a new bike for their children. The process is based on the honor system, however, families must be from the mountain area communities and ID will be required to establish mountain residency.
Join friends at Gallery Row in Oakhurst for A Day with the Artists celebrating the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Williams Gallery West, Stellar Gallery, and Gallery 5. Visit with artists Trowzers Akimbo, Gloria Garland, Kathy Marks, Charlotte Hoffman, David Hoffman, Franka Gabler, Amy Morgan, Myrna Axt, and Lisa VandeWater… and gallery dogs Juno and Sheila. Give the gift of art!
It’s an annual tradition — the Elks Lodge Shrimp Peel is all-you-can-eat on *Saturday, Dec. 15, when the bar opens at 4:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 6 p.m. The price of $26 includes unlimited shrimp, salad, pasta and garlic bread at the Oakhurst Elks Lodge #2724. *This event was previously scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, then Saturday, Dec. 1 and was canceled due to weather.
The Mariposa Symphony Orchestra (MSO) belatedly kicks off its 17th season on Saturday, Dec. 15. with a popular Mariposa tradition: the MSO’s annual Festive Holiday Concert on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Fiester Auditorium of Mariposa County High School. Tickets for the MSO’s Festive Holiday Concert are priced at $10 for adults, $6 for students. Mariposa County Arts Council Members receive discounted prices at $8 adults, $5 students
Stop by the Mariposa Museum and History Center on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 1 – 4 p.m. for a Christmas Open House. Visitors may take a tour, watch the stamp mill run, shop in the gift store, enjoy some refreshments and say hello to Santa.
Trying to figure out when you’ll have time — in the hustle and bustle of the season — to write a proper letter to Santa, or make him some cookies? Wonder no more, Rev’s has you covered on Sunday, Dec. 16, from 2 – 4 p.m. Stop by Rev’s Farm House located at 49271 Golden Oak Loop in Oakhurst to let children write to Santa and decorate cookies for him.
(Call to reserve your spot today 559 658-3276)
For the ninth consecutive year, a group of choristers from the local area and a mini-orchestra made up of numerous talented local instrumentalists will come together for an impressive and inspirational Christmas program. This year’s program will feature a collection of musical pieces and accompanying inspirational texts and readings all supporting the theme, “Shine On, Christmas Star!” Singers from the choirs of New Community United Methodist Church and Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church will gather for two performances on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church. The first performance is in the afternoon at 4 p.m., and the second performance takes place in the evening at 6:30 p.m.
Stop by the Oakhurst Library on Thursday, Dec. 20 for an interactive dramatic reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. At 11:30 a.m., costumed historical interpreters will bring Christmas Past to you children with this 1820 poem, images of Victorian Christmas, and a unique 19th century Christmas ornament craft.
The Gingerbread House Workshops have long been a Tenaya favorite among guests of all ages. The kids love this event, but so do the parents and grandparents. You can work on your gingerbread house as a family, or get multiple houses and have a friendly family competition. Pricing is per gingerbread house. Dec. 20 and 22. $75 per gingerbread house.
All are invited to the Oakhurst Outpouring free comunity feast on Sunday, Dec. 23 from 3 – 7 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Center. As has been the case for a decade now, organizers promise food, fun, and fellowship, throughout an afternoon and evening that is perfect for all generations. Individuals and groups are warmly encouraged to attend or participate by providing food and service.
The home-cooked meal is provided by volunteers. Dinner generally includes ham, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberries, veggies, dessert and other traditional holiday fare. Organizers are looking for people to donate, cook, and serve.
Come check out the new program at Oakhurst Grill on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, plus $4 well cocktails and house wine! Raffle tickets are one for $2, or three for $5. Win prizes like a free appetizer, dessert, $10 off your check, or some bar swag. One hundred percent of the donations and raffle sales go to Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, Yosemite Badgers Youth Cheer, and Yosemite Badgers Youth Football. Denver at Oakland.
Tuesday, Dec. 25 — Merry Christmas!