Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for family, friends, copious amounts of food, and perhaps a football game or two. For folks looking for something beyond that, or families seeking activities that don’t involve shopping or television, you’re in luck, for there are plenty of unique, fun, and educational things to do in El Dorado County this holiday!
Check out our top 5 family-friendly activities in El Dorado County this Thanksgiving.
- The Festival of Lights in Historic Placerville is an annual family-friendly tradition that’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season! Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association, the traditional festivities will close Historic Main Street and feature music, entertainment, visits with Santa, and MUCH more at various locations up and down Main Street. The tree lighting is at 6 pm at the Courthouse.
Festival of Lights – Runs Friday, November 25 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Call 530-672-3436 for information.
- Pack a picnic lunch (turkey leftovers optional) and head to the Gold Bug Mine and Park. This real gold mine, situated on 60 acres, is offering extended hours during Thanksgiving weekend. Take a self-guided audio tour of Gold Bug Mine or walk off that extra helping of pie on the newly opened Deer Hollow Trail. Take the entertaining and educational self-guided walk that explores the park’s unique mining history and shows you how the landscape and natural habitats were altered in the quest for gold. The stamp mill, museum and miner’s blacksmith shop will all be open as well.
Gold Bug Mine – Open Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27 from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Whether you understand the leg lamp reference or not, don’t miss A Christmas Story, The Musical, this year’s holiday performance at the Imagination Theatre in Placerville. This laugh-filled musical opens Friday, November 25 and it’s recommended you get tickets in advance.
Imagination Theatre – Performances will be Friday & Saturday, November 25-26 at 7 pm and on Sunday, November 27 at 2 pm. Purchase tickets online or call 530-642-0404. Cost: $17
- History buffs will enjoy taking a guided tour of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm, which boasts a rich tapestry of wildlife habitat and diverse cultural history that includes both the Nisenan tribe and Japanese immigrants fleeing the Boshin war in the late 1860s. This 272-acre site contains an eight-acre lake, three ponds, the original 1854 farmhouse, and turn-of-the-century barn and dairy. Mature children 12+ are welcome.
Wakamatsu Historical Tour – The tour will be held Friday, November 25, 10 am-1 pm. Please call 530-621-1224 or email email@example.com to sign up and get the meeting location in the Gold Hill area. Cost: $5/Children 12-18 years old, $10/Adults.
- Enjoy FREE stagecoach rides (in good weather) at the Bell Tower in Historic Downtown Placerville on November 25 during the Festival of Lights, starting at 4PM for the first 125 riders. Free stagecoach rides are scheduled (in good weather) November 26 from 12PM-3PM during the Merchant’s Open House and on Saturdays and Sundays in December from 12PM-3PM. If you’ve never taken a ride in a real stagecoach, this is a real treat for the whole family! You’ll also be able to enjoy holiday entertainment at the Bell Tower on December weekends (weather permitting).
Stagecoach rides – November 25-26, December 3, 10, 11, 17, 18 (weather permitting).