Outdoor Activities in Sonoma County this December
December in Sonoma County is delightful. Every trip outdoors becomes a celebration. A new seasonal chill invigorates every activity, from drives along backcountry roads to steep uphill hiking. A late-fall clarity in the air enhances panoramic vistas, and the region’s immense natural beauty becomes a fitting backdrop for festive Holiday lights. Here are just a few ways to enjoy the outdoors this month:
Now through Jan. 1:
Pursue Holidays Along the Farm Trails
Explore the back roads of Sonoma County while visiting the ranches and farms of Sonoma County Farm Trails members to shop for fresh produce, cheeses, flowers, holiday trees, juices, gift baskets, and more. Tours, workshops, classes, and other activities are also offered. Register online for free, and you’ll receive a full list of participating destinations and offerings, and then check the Farm Trails website regularly to learn about upcoming activities.
Now through Jan. 2:
Skate on the Ice at Cornerstone Sonoma
Skate to your holiday heart’s content at the winter skate rink at Cornerstone Sonoma. Admission, which includes skate rental, is good for two hours of gliding over the ice. Open seven days each week, but closed on Christmas Day (open New Year’s Day, though). A friendly ice championship competition — open to all, no fee required — takes place on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. Prepare a three-minute performance and register online.
Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-933-3010
Saturdays through Dec. 23:
Take Free Guided Hikes at Jack London SHP
Here’s a great way to energize yourself during the Holiday season. These free guided Saturday hikes at Jack London State Historic Park will cover different territory each week, with difficulty and length determined by the experience level of participating hikers. Bring plenty of water, and lunch or a snack; wear sturdy hiking shoes and a sunhat; and carry sunscreen and hiking poles. Dogs are not allowed on back country trails. Rain cancels. No reservations required — just meet in the Ranch parking lot (turn to the right after entering). Parking is also free through the end of December (it’s the park’s way of giving back to the community after the fires). For more information, visit the website or contact Deborah Large.
Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, 707-938-5216
Dec. 9 (Saturday):
Run with Santa in Santa Rosa
It’s time for the Santa Rosa Santa Run — a day of family fun that includes a timed 5k Run/Walk, an un-timed Merry Mile that starts immediately afterward, and a festive finish in Santa Rosa where you’ll celebrate with cookies, milk, and music. Participants are encouraged to dress up as Santa Claus (one Santa suit is provided per registration entry) or one of your favorite holiday characters or traditions, such as Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, reindeer, elves, dreidels, menorahs, ornaments, trees, and candlesticks. Why not get your entire family or group of friends to dress up with a theme? Runs start at Julliard Park in Santa Rosa. Register here.
Julliard Park, 227 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa
Dec. 9 (Saturday):
Take the Kids to a One-Day Winter Camp
Youngsters will love this kids-only Winter Day Camp at Spring Lake Regional Park. Hosted by the park’s Environmental Discovery Center, it’s a fun day with experienced park naturalists providing nature activities, winter games, and seasonal arts and crafts. Fee: $20/child. Registration is required. For more info, visit this page or phone 707-539-2865.
Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa, 707-565-2041
Dec. 16 (Saturday):
Walk the Bay and Quiz Docents at Sears Point
Come enjoy the beautiful tidal marsh at Sears Point, the result of a 20-year restoration by Sonoma Land Trust. Four miles of trails, which are part of the San Francisco Bay Trail, are open every day from sunrise to sunset for your enjoyment, but on the third Saturday of each month docents are on hand to interpret the site, answer questions, tell you about the area’s history, and more. If you have a kayak, bring it along—a non-motorized boat launch is available. More info.
Reclamation Road, immediately south of the Highway 37/Lakeville Highway intersection
Dec. 17 (Sunday):
Take Time for Shrooming
With the winter rains, mushroom season arrives! Get outdoors and learn all about local mushrooms in and around the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed with expert Darvin DeShazer during the Laguna Mushroom Foray and Identification Workshop. You’ll start your adventure at Laguna Environmental Center in Santa Rosa, warming up with hot drinks, snacks, and a short overview talk about collecting wild ‘shrooms. Then, rain or shine, it’s out and about foraging for all things fungal for about two hours. Back at the center you’ll have lunch together (bring your own) and spend the afternoon displaying, identifying, and discussing the just-picked specimens.
Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa
Looking for more things to do on your visit? See more fun things to do in Sonoma County.