Stuff to do this week, holiday-shopping edition

It’s about a week until both Christmas and Kwanzaa, and there’s about a week left of Hanukkah, too. Perhaps you’ve avoided holiday shopping altogether so far (if so, that’s quite impressive). Or, maybe you’re just a procrastinator. So, what’s the plan, now? People are probably still expecting a present from you and you’re running out of time. Here’s your solution: a few events this week offer both fun and locally made goods on the cheap.

For starters, a good way to get a lay of the land is to take the Downtown Sacramento Partnership-sponsored Boutiques and Bubbly: Bike Bus Tour ( Happening at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 20, the tour starts at the Capitol Garage (1500 K Street) with a bite to eat and a mimosa toast. Then, attendees hop on Off the Chain’s 15-passenger “bike bus” and make their way to various shops, including Andy’s Candy Apothecary, Chef’s Olive Mix and Downtown & Vine. Tickets are $35 and it’s a 21-and-over event.

Elsewhere downtown on Saturday, December 20 (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Beatnik Studios (723 S Street, hosts the Handmade Holidays shopping event. Combining the vibes of a holiday party and a craft fair, the shindig features 30 vendors selling stuff like hats, clothing, jewelry, art, toys, food and drinks. There’s a $2 entrance fee, but that still sounds like a pretty good deal based on the quality of everything offered at last year’s event.

Another cool craft market-slash-party event is Indie Craft Fair’s Merry Market at Shine (1400 E Street). This one happens from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 21, and features 12 vendors selling stuff like clothing, jewelry, candles, soaps and more. Entry is free and the Roaming Spoon will be on hand to sell vegan eats. Head to for more info. 

—Jonathan Mendick

(Below is some non-shopping-related stuff to do.)

Sacramento Santa Run

Saturday, December 20

Christmas is here and so is a whole lot of delicious, calorie-rich food. It’s OK: Have that extra slice of pie, but also do this 5K and burn off a few extra calories. Bonus: People will be dressed up as Santa, reindeer, the Grinch, menorahs, dreidels and whatever else you can imagine that’s Christmas- or holiday-themed. A Santa suit will be provided to every registered runner who needs one. $25-$35, 9 a.m. at the California State Capitol, 1315 10th Street;

—Aaron Carnes

Playing with Programming

Saturday, December 20

It turns out all those Legos we played with as kids weren’t a waste of time—they’re actually a mentally engaging form of play, just like computers apparently are. Kids now have better access to learn about programming, and building characters with Legos is a great introduction into that world. This demonstration will show the connection, let kids create a simple animation and, of course, it includes playing with Legos. $27-$30, 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Museum, 3615 Auburn Boulevard,

—Aaron Carnes

Sunday Crafternoon

Sunday, December 21

Candy canes made out of pipe cleaners, Christmas ornaments constructed from Popsicle sticks—get all those nieces, nephews and grandkids in the holiday spirit with DIY last-minute gifts and decorations. It’s an all-around win, because felt-and-glitter-glue stockings never go out of style and a construction-paper garland is exactly what Aunt Millie had on her wish list. $5-$10, at the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street;

—Deena Drewis


Monday, December 22

What says “holiday cheer” and “I’m not getting anything done at work this week anyway” better than a Monday night of drinking and getting down on the dance floor to Christmas tunes? DJ Shaun Slaughter and the Shady Lady Saloon join forces for the sixth year running for a night of seasonal craft cocktails, snacks and speakeasy glitz. Free, 8 p.m., at Shady Lady Saloon, 1409 R Street, Ste. 101;

—Deena Drewis

Free Admission Day

Wednesday, December 24

Face the facts: Christmas Eve is boring for a kid. They can’t open presents yet, Uncle Jim has been getting on your nerves and you’re looking for a little respite from small talk with relatives you rarely see. As luck would have it, Fairytale Town will be open for four hours to let little ones run rampant. Instead of tearing apart the house and driving you insane, they can play, laugh and run until their little feet give way. Free, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive;

—Eddie Jorgensen

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