Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas

Saturday, December 8th
10:00am to 5:00pm

Visit Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and enjoy a very festive Hands on History event, Simple Emigrant Christmas!

At this annual event, visitors will step back in time to the 1850s to enjoy festive holiday traditions from early in California’s history when people from around the world passed through the Fort gates, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season.

Complete with docents in period attire, entertaining vignettes will be set up that showcase a few of the diverse holiday scenes that will include food, music, decorations and other holiday traditions.

As a special treat for kids of all ages, Father Christmas will be on-hand to hear holiday wishes.


  • Sipping and create your own holiday candles
  • craft a “keepsake” holiday ornaments – that include snowflakes and cornhusk angels
  • Make holiday cards with nib (or “dip”) pens and colored ink
  • Grind raw wheat into “Christmas flour,”
  • Sing Christmas carols with Fort musicians

And, of course, popular demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of the Fort’s cannon.

Additionally, Friends of Sutter’s Fort Trade Store will be open, providing complimentary samples of gold nugget chocolates and offering a special holiday sale.


Admission costs for this special “Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas” event at the Fort are as follows: $7 per adult (18 and older), $3 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for children 5 and under.  For more information, please call Sutter’s Fort directly 916-445-4422.

Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud to sponsor Hands on History events at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. A special Thank you to Sutter Health for their generous support of the Volunteer Program, which helps to make these events possible.