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The Holidays are Merrier in Midtown

12 Days of Midtown Holiday Activity Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as 12 Days of Midtown is finally here – to bring all of Midtown some Holiday cheer!

Starting on December 1 all the way to December 12, Midtown kicks off the holiday season every December with events and specials to celebrate the holidays and also support our local business community! Read on to learn what we have in store for this year’s 12 Days of Midtown, and learn more about other holiday events, promotions and specials happening this December.

December 1 : TEAMride and CYCLEBAR Holiday Rides! 

   

Kickin’ off our first day of 12 Days of a Midtown to a jump start is TEAMride and CYCLEBAR! Join the 5:30 class on Monday December 1 at TEAMride titled XMAS SZN or sign up for the 7:15 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. holiday themed cycle classes titled Kaskade Christmas Ride or Holiday Remixes Ride at CYCLEBAR to enjoy a holiday themed ride with all your favorite holiday jams and remixes.

December 2 – Burger Patch Launch of Holiday Menu

Known for its tasty plant-based menu items, Burger Patch is launching its seasonal holiday menu highlighted by a Holiday Patch Burger – complete with stuffing and gravy – and a Wintry Mix Shake for those hungry for some holiday spirit.

December 3 – Midtown Farmers Market Winter Wonderland 

Still have a long list of Holiday shopping that you need to get done? Visit our weekly Midtown Farmers Market to explore artisan specialty goods from 150+ local vendors – plus some limited-time holiday specialty vendors – along with the return of the ever-popular snow machine to bring magical snowfall to the streets of Midtown Sacramento.

December 4 – Red Rabbit Miracle Bar 

The spirited annual Miracle Holiday Bar Pop-Up at Red Rabbit will return for revelers to experience and enjoy for another season. When you walk into Red Rabbit during the Holidays, you will be transported into a magical holiday wonderland, with an abundance of lights and décor in every corner of the restaurant. Sippin’ on festive cocktails in your favorite Holiday sweater this season while enjoying Classic holiday music … sounds like a good night to us!

December 5 – District 4 Toy Drive 

Celebrating the holidays are not only about all the amazing and festive drinks, specials and events, but it is also about giving back! Councilmember Katie Valenzuela is hosting a District 4 Toy Drive to benefit the families at Leataata Floyd Elementary and the surrounding neighborhoods. They are taking donations of gifts and toys up till December 11; anything appropriate for children ages 0-17 will be gratefully accepted. Toy Drive Drop Off Locations include: City Hall, 1up Retro Gaming at 2325 J Street, Bike Dog 915 Broadway Suite 200 and Midtown Association 1401 21st Street, Unit A.

December 6 – B Street Theatre ‘TIS THE SEASON

‘TIS THE SEASON is a charming and hilarious collection of stories about the holidays! The family friendly play captures the excitement of what it’s like to be a kid during the holidays.

Whether it’s the true story of how elves became Santa’s helpers, an adventure solving a holiday-style Sherlock Holmes mystery, an exploration of the different winter traditions celebrated around the world, or the discovery of New Years fireworks, ‘TIS THE SEASON is a wonderful celebration of holiday magic! Buy your tickets here.

December 7 – Inks Eat & Drinks

Diners with an appetite for holiday festivities can enjoy seasonal dinner specials and holiday themed drinks that include drinks like the S’mores Stache and Sparkling Poinsettia and dining options like their turkey french dip and thanksgiving turkey sandwich.

December 8 – Hot Toddy Competition 

Adults with a thirst for holiday fun can visit Golden Bear during their highly-anticipated annual Hot Toddy competition.

Check back here soon to learn where to buy tickets and what the event has in store this year!

December 9 – Jungle Bird Sippin’ Santa

Sippin’ Santa is coming Home for the Holidays once again this year! Tis’ the Season to enjoy a Winter Wonderland escape right here in Midtown Sacramento at Jungle Bird. Make a reservation today to enjoy a tropical holiday escape. 

December 10 – Sac Pup Crawl and XOSO Sports Holly Jolly Pub Crawl

One special day with two great holiday themed bar crawls happening in Midtown.

Join the Sacramento SPCA and partnering Midtown businesses to celebrate the Pawlidays by giving back to the animals while you sip, savor and shop this holiday season! The Pup crawl is a ticketed event from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., where attendees receive a t-shirt, holiday jingle bells for your pup, photos with Santa, food and beverage specials, and more! The crawl will start at Truitt Bark Park.

Celebrate the Pawlidays by giving back to the animals while guests sip, savor and shop.

Or grab your favorite ugly holiday sweater and get tickets to the annual Xoso Holly Jolly Pub Crawl. Registration for the crawl includes one free Santa hat (first 150 check-ins), one free drink at the check in bar*, no cover at any of the participating bars, and drink/food specials at each stop! …but that’s not even the best part! In true holiday fashion, Xoso is turning good times into good for our community. For each pub crawl registration, Xoso Sports will donate a new toy to the Shriners Hospital for Children. Want to do more? Additional donations of toys and craft supplies will be accepted at check-in.

December 11 – The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley – Capital Stage

Capital Stage will bring the return of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice beloved characters with their Holiday Production of THE WICKHAMS: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY. The warm holiday comedy takes us downstairs where servants are bustling with the arrival of holiday guests. In the warmth of the Darcy kitchen, two years after the conclusion of Pride & Prejudice, family secrets are revealed, and loyalties are tested. A bright holiday tale full of mirth, wit, and the power of giving back to others! Get your tickets here. 

December 12 – Holiday Shopping at Strapping and other Midtown Locations 

Shop local this Holiday season at our favorite Midtown boutiques and gift shops, like Strapping! Their Midtown shop is decked out for the holidays and looking festive with holiday themed décor and seasonal gifts for your friends and family!

Get festive in Midtown this holiday season and join in on the holiday fun during the first 12 Days of December for 12 Days of Midtown! Support local businesses while enjoying holiday-themed dinners, drinks, events, shows, discounts, and more! Make sure to add #ExploreMidtown or tag us on social for a chance to be featured on our account!

Find Your Next Gift by Shopping Small this Holiday Season!  

You can always tell by the stack of Amazon boxes being dropped off on every other doorstep that the countdown to the gift giving season is in full swing.  

However, this holiday season, Midtown Association wants to reach you with the message to #ShopSmall in Midtown. With over 50+ local shops, you can find a gift for every friend, family member, and significant other that is unique and special!  

Instead of marking your calendars for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, make sure you note that Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses. 

You might not realize it, but every time you pick up a bag of coffee beans from your favorite neighborhood café, shop at our weekly Midtown Farmers Market, or buy a gift from a local clothing store in Midtown, you’re shopping small and making a difference in our community. 

Read on to learn about the many local shops in Midtown, be inspired for the upcoming gift-giving season, and learn of special Small Business Saturday promotions! 

Small Business Saturday Promotions 

On Saturday November 26, plan a fun-filled day of local shopping to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Start your day at the Midtown Farmers Market to pick up a free #ShopSmall shopping bag and check out the 100+ vendors! Afterwards, discover our small businesses throughout the Midtown grid and start crossing names of your shopping list. 

Bonus … SacRT is offering FREE rides to support Small Business Saturday. Rides on fixed-route bus and light rail are FREE from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with this free ride flyer.

Who’s ready to #ShopSmall? Use our below gift giving guide to find the perfect gift for every special someone! Or use our business directory to find all our shops and restaurants in Midtown. Any special promotions for stores will be italicized! 

Midtown 2022 #ShopSmall Gift Giving Guide 

For The Plant & Flower Lover 

Find houseplants, pots, accessories for every plant nerd in your life OR surprise your significant other with their favorite flowers or a beautiful holiday themed bouquet. 

  • Propagate | 1700 I Street – 20% off the entire shop for Small Business Saturday
  • Relles Florist | 2400 J Streetplants are 25% off, wrapped flowers are 30% off, and rose arrangements are 30% off.

For the Pet Parent  

Whoever said pets don’t need presents should be on the naughty list. Treat your furry friends to treats, accessories, adorable holiday outfits and all the holiday love this season by shopping at these Midtown pet shops! 

  • Leash and Collar | 1901 Q Street – Buy one get one 50% off on holiday toys! AND mix and match 3 walking accessories and get 30% off the bundle. 
  • Paws and the Palette | 1014 24th Street – Buy one get one free on exclusive treats!

For the Coffee Lover 

Midtown is filled to the brim with local cafes. Plus a warm coffee or tea may be just what you need to start your small business shopping spree on a good note!

  • Temple | 2200 K Street, 2829 S Street & 1615 16th Street – Purchase two bags of beans to receive a free festivity mug! 
  • Pachamama Coffee | 919 20th Street Spend $50 and get a free mug and 3 for $45 deal on all 10oz bags!
  • DRIP Espresso Cafe |1004 24th Street – $30 gift card value for the price of $25.
  • Milka Coffee Roasters |1501 G Street

Check out our other blog to learn about the many coffee shops in Midtown.

For the Beer Connoisseur, Wine Lover & Mixologist

Need a gift for that one friend who just invested in a fancy bar cart? Find them local beer, wine or spirits to complete their dream at home bar.

  • Good News Wine | 1050 20th Street – Complimentary hot cider while you shop, with the option to add sherry for a tasty treat. Plus 10% off with mention of Explore Midtown.
  • At Ease Brewing |1825 I Street
  • Midtown Spirits | 1717 19th Street – Buy a $50 gift card, and receive a free $10 gift card for yourself
  • Acheson Wine Company | 1629 19th Street- $10 wine flight to taste all  8 of Acheson wines
  • Revolution Wines |2831 S Street 

For the Fashion Icon  

Avoid fast fashion this holiday, and find your friend or significant other quality clothing pieces from local boutiques in Midtown!

  • Heart Clothing Boutique | 1903 Capitol Avenue – Give away to first 20 shoppers! Plus 20% off  store wide. 
  • Sugar Shack Boutique and Krazy Mary’s Boutique |2425 J Street & 3230 Folsom Blvd. – 20% off entire purchase (excluding gift cards). Plus a free gift with purchase for first 20 customers. 
  • Wild Poppy & Co |1008 24th Street – Special gift with purchase and 20% off any purchases in store. 
  • Little Relics| 1111 24th Street – 20% off any purchase. 30% off purchases over $100. An additional 10% off to anyone who brings a new and unwrapped toy.
  • The Cotton Club |2331 J Street
  • Peek a Boo at Prevues |2417 K Street
  • Swanbergs on J | 2316 J Street
  • Freestyle | 1906 L Street Buy one gift card get a coupon for yourself. Free tote and sticker with purchase over $50. More in store deals like free gift wrapping, stocking stuffer deals and more!
  • TRUE | 1900 K Street 50% off in store discount 
  • Shop Cuffs | 2200 J Street20% off purchases of $50+, and 30% off $100+ during Thanksgiving weekend
  • Shop YSJ | 1812 J Street20% off entire purchase for Small Business Saturday

For the Home Décor Designer  

Aspiring home décor designer or someone who is looking for some new pieces to add to their cozy apartment, Midtown has everything you are looking for!

  • Wild Heart Beauty | 2413 J Street | – 15% off for Small Business Saturday and spiked coffee for shoppers
  • Kulture |  2331 K Street50% off all large wood framed artwork and 20% off mirrors
  • Witching Post |  1729 L Street Donating 11% of all artwork sales and 26% of all furniture and accessories to Safe Haven (a local charity that aids domestic violence victims).
  • Bliss Marketplace |  2722 R Street -Collecting donations for new socks and underwear for the River City Foodbank. All donations will be matched by Bliss Marketplace!
  • Scout Living | 1215 18th Street 10-30% throughout the store 

For the New Parent 

Find new and unique clothes for your children at this cheerful boutique or visit the Sutter’s Fort Museum Store to gift your child with a present that encourages learning and discovery.

  • The Moppet Shoppe |2524 J Street – 20% off all Holiday apparel
  • Sutter’s Fort Museum Store | 2701 L Street – Special membership promotion over Thanksgiving weekend, and 10% off entire purchase on Museum Store Day on November 27.  

For the Future Bride 

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or want to give your friend a gift for her special day, check out these local bridal shops in Midtown.

For the Art, Music & Theatre Lover 

The best gifts are the ones we can experience. Find your friend tickets to a theatre show, or a new record or book, or encourage their favorite hobbies like photography or art!

For the Pop Culture & Video Game Nerd  

Need some help getting your bestie or significant other a gift that celebrates their favorite fandom, superhero or video game? Check out these stores to find the ultimate gift for them.

  • 1 Up Retro Video Games |  2325 J Street10% off all consoles, 15% off all games, and 20% off merch for Thanksgiving weekend!
  • Beehive Collectibles | 1006 24th Street All common Funko POP!$10 each, all Funko SODA Figures $10 each, all action figures 20% off, all POP! pins & FigPins 30% off, and 15% off everything else! 
  • Big Brother Comics | 920 20th Street #150 Buy 2 get 1 Free Board Games, buy 2 get 1 Free Trade Paper Backs and discounts on Magic The Gathering sealed products

For the Self-Care Specialist  

If you have someone hardworking in your life, sometimes the best gift is one that encourages them to take care of themselves. Whether it be a floating session or crystals, you can find plenty of healing and self-care options in Midtown.

For the Earth Conscious  

Find an array of home goods and body care products for your earth conscious bestie!

  • Sac Co-op | 2820 I Street 
  • Refill Madness | 1828 29th Street – 20% off all bath bombs, shower tabs and bath salts; 10% off ECOS hand soap refills; 10% off all Glad Rags Feminine Hygiene products; 20% off SenzaCare Dental Floss and 25% off Refill Madness T-shirts.
  • Nudge Eco Store | 1126 18th Street – 30 – 40% off a massive selection of products in every section: baby, bath, kitchen and cosmetics! 

For the Exercise Enthusiast 

Shopping for an avid runner or bicyclist? Look no further than Midtown to find them the perfect gift.

  • Cycle Bar | 1708 15th Street Take advantage of their Small Business Saturday deal of 10 rides for $149 and 30 rides for $299.
  • Fleet Feet |2311 J Street 
  • Pacos Bike Shop | 2028 K Street 

For the Sweet Tooth  

You can never go wrong with chocolate as a gift. Visit the Midtown boutique to find delicious bonbons, macarons, ice cream & more. To explore all of our favorite dessert shops read our blog on our favorite sweet spot in Midtown.

  • Ginger Elizabeth’s |  180l L Street Receive a $10 Gift Card with $100 In-Store Purchase (Gift card good in-stores or for pick-up orders on Toast)

For Everyone!  

  • Mixed Bag | 2405 K Street
  • Zocalos | 1801 Capitol Ave – For every $100 spent, receive a bonus $20 giftcard. This promotion runs from Black Friday to December 31st.
  • Strapping | 1731 L Street – Free gift for anyone who spends over $50
  • The Midtown Farmers Market | 20th and K Streets

Remember to #ShopSmall on Saturday November 26 to help support our small business community! We will be passing out free shopping bags at the Midtown Farmers Market to help you carry all the unique and special goods you find shopping! Tag us on @exploremidtown or #exploremidtown for a chance to be featured on our social media. 

Urban Walks, Runs & Bike Rides in Midtown

Sacramento is known for being in close proximity to endless outdoor activities in the Sacramento region and also in areas like Folsom, Auburn, and Davis. Gorgeous walks right along the river, challenging hikes with impressive views and bike rides for miles are often only a 30-minute drive away. But there are also plenty of options in Midtown that require no driving at all! To make it easy, we have compiled a list of fun and unique runs, walks and bike rides right in our very own Midtown backyard.

From a 5k run that features five of our beloved Midtown parks, to a curated walk that highlights our favorite Midtown murals…we’ve got you covered. You’ll be hitting your step goal in no time at all!

Midtown Parks 5k Challenge

Training for a marathon? We have developed a 5k route that connects five of our beloved Midtown parks: Marshall Park, Sutter’s Fort, Winn Park, Truitt Bark Park and Fremont Park. Plus, if you really want to challenge yourself, try your hand at our 5k challenge, where you must complete 20 reps of a certain exercise at each park! Check out the map below to do it yourself.

Bonus: Did you know that Fremont Park, Winn Park, and Marshall Park all have a paved path around the exterior of each park? It’s perfect for avid runners looking for an easy place to run every day! Sutter’s Fort also has an interior and exterior decomposed granite path that can be utilized for running or walking alike.

Midtown Mural Walk

One of the best ways to soak up some Midtown culture is by walking around the grid to check out all of our amazing murals. Check out this self-guided Midtown mural walking tour created using the Wide Opens Walls map feature. You can customize your tour by deleting stops or adding additional ones. Once you add it to the tour, it will show on the tour feature that allows you to drag and drop locations, creating the route that suits you. Plus, you can click mural details to learn about each mural you check out.

Next Sunday morning, grab a coffee, a friend and your camera to check out our district’s murals, from the myriad of muralists who have made their mark on the Sacramento art scene in Midtown! Don’t forgot to grab some instagrammable shots and tag us at @exploremidtown.

         

Midtown Streetcar Tour

Midtown is famous for having an eclectic mix of modern and historic buildings. We’re calling all the history and architecture nerds that are interested in the story behind the buildings that have been standing in Midtown for decades, specifically along J Street. This walking tour was designed by Sacramento Heritage, Inc.

150 years of changing transportation patterns and architectural styles give J Street and 28th Street a unique and eclectic character. A single block contains homes, restaurants, retail stores and services. This makes J Street one of the city’s most walkable, and one of its most active pedestrian environments. Architectural styles found along J Street include Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick, Craftsman, Prairie, Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Art Deco and International Style several times during the building’s life. Download the Sac Heritage Walking tour app on your phone to find several tours including the Midtown Streetcar Walking Tour or download our PDF. The tour explains the history behind each stop of the 29 locations.

             

Photo provided by Architectural Photographer Donald Cox

Bonus: History nerds will be excited to know that Donald Cox has spent many years researching and writing the histories of the Vanishing Victorian buildings in Sacramento. He and his wife, Paula Bohosian wrote the Arcadia book for Boulevard Park. Get a copy of their book here to find a compendium of the most interesting architectural homes in Sacramento!

Bike Ride in Midtown

If biking is how you prefer to get around, then look no further than Midtown. The neighborhood features miles of protected bike lanes, virtually no hills, and it’s location near the American River Parkway makes Midtown especially suited to bikers. Check out the ride below or create your own route with the map found HERE featuring all of the bike lanes in the central city.

If your ride is on a Saturday morning don’t forget to stop by the Midtown Farmers Market which features free bike valet in the summer months provided by the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates.

If you want a route to get started, try this 30-minute ride that begins at Fremont Park and zig zags for five miles past five serene parks and through three of Midtown’s restaurant districts. Finish up at with a cold beer at At Ease Brewing or a coffee treat from The Mill. More adventurous riders can continue north on 18th Street to catch the Sacramento Northern Bikeway into the river parkway for plenty more riding options.

 

 

 

Do you know of any other hikes, walks, runs or bike rides that you love to do in Midtown?! Message us on any of our social channels @exploremidtown and let us know. Remember to also snap your experience doing any of the walks, runs, or bike rides above and #ExploreMidtown or tag us @exploremidtown for a chance to be featured!

Celebrate Halloween in Midtown!

Bewitching brews, a boo bash, a vampire ball and the annual Midtown Sutter Halloween Festival and Pooch Parade are all taking place in Midtown Sacramento this October, distinguishing Midtown as a Halloween hotspot for you, your friends, and your pets to have a ghoulishly good time.   

Check out our list of must-attend October events in Midtown to celebrate your favorite scary month and scroll down to enter your pup into the pooch parade and win great prizes.  

Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade
Saturday, October 29, 12 PM
Marshall Park 

Did someone say happy HOWL-oween? This year, make sure your favorite four-footed friends get to indulge in some Halloween festivities! The restaurants of Midtown Sutter have joined forces once again to present the Midtown Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade on Saturday, October 29 from 12 – 3 pm at James Marshall Park. 

Presented by Midtown Sutter restaurants –including Barwest, Blue Cue, Café Bernardo, Centro Cocina Mexicana, Four Palms, Harlow’s, INK Eats & Drinks, Paragary’s Midtown, Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, and Tea Bar & Fusion Café – the canine-friendly event is highlighted by a much-anticipated “pooch parade” scheduled to take place at 2 p.m.  

Furry friends will strut and stroll while competing in an always-entertaining costume contest that will include prizes, like gift cards to Sutter Midtown District restaurants and Midtown Love swag, for the winning pooches. Make sure to register your pooch in advance here: https://exploremidtown.org/pooch-parade/

Before the highly anticipated parade of costumed pooches, there will be plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities such as live music presented by Harlow’s, DIY plant jars presented by Paragary’s, arts & crafts from Café Bernardo and Four Palms, a magician and puppet show presented by B Street Theatre, pumpkin bowling brought to you by Blue Cue, a face painter brought by Ink Eats and Drinks, lawn games like Giant Jenga from Barwest, a fun photo-booth from Tea Bar, dog treat guessing game from Centro, and even a fabulous bounce house from Red Rabbit! 

After a spirited day of Halloween fun with your pets, make sure to stop by the many eateries across the street from the park and throughout Midtown Sutter.

Barwest – 2724 J Street | Saturdays 10 am–2 pm
Blue Cue – 1004 28th Street | Saturdays 5 pm–1 am
Café Bernardo and Four Palms – 2730 Capitol Avenue | Saturdays 10 am–midnight
Centro Cocina Mexicana – 2730 J Street | Saturdays noon–10 pm
Harlow’s – 2708 J Street | Saturdays ______
INK Eats & Drinks – 2730 N Street | Saturdays 9 am–2 am
Paragary’s Midtown – 1401 28th Street | Saturdays 10 am–2 pm, 5–9 pm (only humans allowed here, unless your pup is a registered service animal)
Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar – 2718 J Street | Saturdays 3 pm–1 am
Tea Bar & Fusion Café – 2700 Capitol Avenue | Saturdays 11 am–8 pm


View a map of all restaurants here: https://goo.gl/maps/vFrUQBK7bnxWUXf69

Learn more about some of our favorite and read our blog about Midtown Sutter.  

 

Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 8, 1 p.m.
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op

The community is invited to enjoy an afternoon of live music with ACME Soundtracks plus Gabe Nelson and Hannah Lingrell, and Hans Eberbach.  Plus, guests will enjoy activities for the whole family including a free photo booth, a vintage clothing market, wine tasting, food sampling, and local community groups, too. For more, visit www.sac.coop. 

Paint Nite: The Haunted Mansion
Saturday, October 8, 12:15 p.m.
Streets Pub and Grub  

It’s time to plan a cool yet creative night in Midtown where guests can paint a creepy haunted mansion to get into the Halloween spirit. Starting with a blank canvas and ending with a completed masterpiece, participants enjoy wine, tasty snacks, and upbeat tunes. To register visit Paint Nite Registration 

Sugar Skull Decoration Night
Friday, October 21 at 7-9 p.m.
Kolores at 108 L Street 

Sugar Skull Decorating Night is back! Have your early Día de Los Muertos celebration at Koloros and decorate some sugar skulls. The event sells out quickly and is only $25.

May be an image of text that says "JOIN US FOR OUR SUGAR SKULL DECORATING NIGHT! FRIDAY 10/21 7:00-9:00 P M KOLORES 108 STREET SACRAMENTO,CA 95814 $25 INCLUDES SUGAR SKULL, CRAFTING MATERALS, SNACK BEVERAG! DIRECT MESSAGE TO RSVP @KOLORESBYKULTURE"

HarryWeen
Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Starlet Room at Harlow’s 

What do you get when you combine Harry Styles and Halloween? HarryWeen of course. A fun way to kick-off Halloween weekend is by dancing the night away in the Starlet Room at Harlow’s to the sounds of Harry Styles. For more, visit www.harlows.com/events. 

XOSO Annual Halloween Pub Crawl
Saturday, October 29, beginning at 4 p.m.  

14th Annual Halloween Pub Crawl 2022

Sacramento’s biggest Halloween Bar Crawl is just around the corner! Registration includes one complementary drink at check-in, drink/food specials at participating bars, and entry into the costume contest. Dress up in your funniest, cutest, or scariest Halloween costume for the longest running Halloween pub crawl featuring several Midtown locations. For more, visit XOSO Halloween Pub Crawl. 

Halloween Boo Bash
Saturday, October 29, 8 p.m.
Self Designs Art Gallery  

Visit Self Designs Art Gallery to experience an art gallery that transports guests to another dimension with creative sights and sounds. Attendees are welcome to participate in their Paint for Pride in the upstairs glow room.  Plus, there will be live body painting demonstrations by local artists and a two-level tour of the glowing atmosphere with amazing music, awesome projector visuals and complimentary party treats to fill Boo Bags. For more, visit www.selfdesignsartgallery.com. 

Shannon McCabe’s Vampire Ball
Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m.
Harlow’s 

Calling all vampire lovers…Harlow’s annual Vampire Ball returns this year as they celebrate 14 years of all things Anne Rice, a famous author of gothic fiction and all the vampires chronicled through the history. For more, visit www.harlows.com/events 

Now that you’ve got your calendar booked this month, are you ready to have a fangtastic Halloween?! Time to dust off your scariest, funniest, or cutest costume and get ready to have a memorable Midtown experience for Halloween this year. Remember to #ExploreMidtown or tag us on social media for a chance to be featured!  

 

Midtown Sutter, History and Today

Midtown Sutter might be Sacramento’s best kept secret. The renowned entertainment corridor has a friendly neighborhood atmosphere where you can find theatre, live music and a treasure trove of locally owned restaurants and bars. The area is crowned by the historic Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, an adobo-stucco construction that includes a replica fort that provides exhibits and living history interpretive services. 

When you visit the thriving Midtown Sutter, we invite you to think about the many generations of people who lived on this land before us. Sutter has changed a myriad of times in our history and will continue to change. Read on to learn about the history of Sutter, and places to explore today to fully experience Midtown Sutter. 

History at Sutter

The iconic Sutter’s Fort Park sits in the heart of Midtown, and is an area that has been the homeland of the Nisenan people since time immemorial. If you grew up in Sacramento, chances are you took a school field trip here to learn about what life was like for the pioneers in the mid-1800s, but how much did you learn about the lasting devastating impacts on the area’s original Native residents? 

Recently, California State Parks has recognized the need to reexamine the past at this National Landmark and confront the unbalanced perspective of John Sutter and his legacy, along with other settlers. You can find the plans of California State Parks to change the way history is interpreted at Sutter’s Fort to share a more inclusive and historically accurate history in their Sutter’s Fort Interpretation Master Plan. 

Long before colonizers ever set foot on Californian soil, Native peoples’ had created a mature and highly managed landscape. In the early 1800s, the colonization of California had reached the Native villages of the Sacramento River valley.

From 1839 to 1849, Sutter’s Fort was the economic center of the first permanent European colonial settlement in California’s Central Valley. Its founder was John Sutter who named his vast Mexican land grant “New Helvetia.” 

During that time, the Fort catalyzed patterns of change across California. Native peoples felt these changes most significantly as their lives were transformed by the Fort’s presence. Many different Native people helped build the Fort, and their exploited labor made the Fort’s many industries possible. In 1848, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill started the gold rush that ultimately undermined Sutter’s businesses at the Fort and led to an even greater exploitation of Native people across California.

Sutter Today 

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is often a memory for many schoolchildren who visited the park across generations in Sacramento. If you have never been to Sutter’s Fort or perhaps only went as a kid, we invite you to come back to reminisce about your school day field trips, learn a more inclusive and accurate history, and enjoy all the amenities offered.

Visitors to Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park are welcome to explore the historic structures and living history museum at their own pace with a self guided tour, and can find a map and brochure available at the kiosk. 

When you visit, plan your day to also visit the State Indian Museum (only a three-minute walk away). All the exhibits and photographs on display are presented with respect for those who went before us on this land and continue to live in California communities today.

Although Sutter’s Fort and the State Indian Museum are the best places to learn more about the history of Sutter, we encourage you to also explore the Sutter Midtown area and experience how it has evolved into a thriving district with restaurants, bars, live entertainment shops, and of course some of the best brunch in Sacramento! 

Exploring Sutter Midtown you will find understated elegance and well curated experiences that reflect a variety of the best of what Midtown has to offer. Plus visits are a breeze with easy freeway access and plentiful street parking in the area. 

Here are some of our favorite places to visit inside Midtown Sutter. 

Barwest | @mybarwest

2724 J Street

Visit Barwest to find a modern day neighborhood sports bar and restaurant that serves up delicious burgers, hot wings, beer, cocktails, wine and more. Check out this spot to gather with your friends to watch the next ballgame! 

 

Blue Cue | @therealbluecue

1004 28th Street

Featuring karaoke, darts, multiple pool tables, and a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere, the large, brick-walled space is bolstered by traditional bar cuisine combined with a wide selection of spirits and cocktails.

Café Bernardo | @cafe.bernardo

2730 Capitol Avenue

A casual dining concept based on the European tradition of cafe dining, Cafe Bernado is a longstanding local favorite featuring a farm-to-fork menu with house made bread, pasta and dessert. Come here for an inviting atmosphere for any moment. 

Centro Cocina | @centrococina

2730 J Street

Centro crafts all their dishes from scratch – from salsas, to masa and corn tortillas, slow-cooked meats, and hearty soups. The bright and colorful interior highlights items sourced from Mexico providing a festive and casual atmosphere.

Harlow’s | @harlowsnightclub

2708 J Street

Harlow’s is one of our favorite venues for nationally renowned musicians and acclaimed local acts. For more than 35 years, Harlow’s has featured some of the best live music for every type of fan from blues to soul to rock ‘n’ roll. 

Ink Eats & Drinks | @inkeats

2730 N Street

This tattoo-themed restaurant and bar is known for their Bloody Mary Bar and quality brunch fare! Ink offers an approachable yet inspired menu, great prices and down-to-earth attentive service. 

Paragary’s | @paragarysmidtown

1401 28th Street

Opened in 1983, Paragarys is considered a Sacramento dining staple, serving generations of locals over the years. Known for its delicious seasonal cuisine in a beautiful setting, this restaurant is perfect for your next dinner date.

The Red Rabbit | @sacrabbit

2718 J Street 

The Red Rabbit’s mission: raising the neighborhood bar. They believe in seasonal and local, creating their cocktails from the ground up with housemade syrups, fresh squeezed juices, and fresh herbs. Enjoy their farm-to-table food selections, the artisan cocktails, sourced beer and wine. 

Tea Bar & Fusion Café | @ilovetbar

2700 Capitol Avenue

At Tea Bar you’ll find create-your-own wraps and bowls, snacks like avocado toast and edamame, and frozen, iced, or hot teas all made with the freshest ingredients. Stop by for lunch or a snack before catching a show at B Street Theatre.

B Street Theatre | @bstreettheatre

2700 Capitol Avenue

Over the years the B Street Theatre has introduced more than 100 original plays. Located at The Sofia, this gorgeous theatre keeps audiences laughing and crying, and critics raving. 

From the Historic Sutter’s Fort, to delicious farm-to-fork dining, and even live entertainment, Midtown  Sutter has it all. We would love to hear from you about what you learn and experience while exploring the area. Do you agree with us that it may be Sacramento’s best kept secret? Tag us in all your adventures @exploremidtown on social media.

Gentle Density – The Rise of Alley Infill Development

Midtown has been and continues to be a premier destination to live due to its walkability, wide array of entertainment and arts, and incredible culinary scene. Since 2017, Midtown has experienced an influx of residential developments entitled and under construction, which supports those that want to live in the urban core. While many of the projects are large scale, mixed-use developments there is another development style that has seen a rise in Midtown that embraces a gentler, neighborhood sensitive growth.

Cities across the nation are looking at gentle ways to increase density in their communities. In places like Sacramento that includes making a concerted effort to encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units, rezoning single family zoning to allow up to fourplexes, and something more unique to the Central City – the construction of alley facing developments.

The Central City in Sacramento is commonly known and represents a grid pattern that is essentially 30 blocks by 30 blocks. Between each block moving north to south there are alleys that extend from Old Sacramento through Midtown to the Alhambra corridor. In total, alleys represent approximately 37 miles of roadway in the urban core.

In their original intent, alleys were looked as mostly utilitarian by nature, which typically house some of the most basic services of city life. Buildings were built in a way that almost always faced the street front, and activation of the alleys was nonexistent.

Today, alleys represent a world of possibilities and serve as a crucial part of the housing affordability question our city faces. In recent years, the city has developed design guidelines to help encourage alley activations with businesses. One of Midtown’s first and prime example of alley activation is in Liestal Alley between 17th and 19th streets, which includes Old Soul Coffee, porous concrete pavers for better stormwater management, and better lighting and landscaping.

Now alleys offer a new opportunity with the development of residential housing on what are often time single family lots in less dense parts of the urban core. Many of the lots in Midtown’s neighborhoods of Boulevard Park, Marshall School, New Era Park, Newton Booth, and Richmond Grove offer historic homes that stretch 160 feet from street to alley. Property owners are taking advantage of these deep lots by adding housing facing the alley that not only brings a greater density to the urban core, but also brings more attention and activity to often forgotten spaces in the alley.

Sacramento needs to develop housing product of all types from large scale multi-family apartments, to accessory dwelling units and of course alley infill housing. This gentle way of adding density utilizes small underutilized pieces a land that can feature duplexes, fouplexes and up to eight or ten units without offending the character of Midtown’s historic neighborhoods.

 

The next time you’re walking in Midtown think about cutting through an alley to find one of these hidden housing projects. You might be surprised how many you find. Snap a photo of your favorite alley infill project and tag @exploremidtown with the #alleyinfill for a chance to be featured on our social or in our newsletters.

10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Midtown

 A walk in the neighborhood has a whole new meaning when you live in Midtown. Living in Midtown means being a short walkable distance to restaurants. It means the Farmers Market is often your grocery store. It means brunch on weekends. And that coffee shops are often also your office. The perks of being a Midtown resident are endless.

Here are our top 10 reasons why you should live in Midtown!

1. Foodie haven

         

 There is a reason Sacramento is known for being the farm-to-fork capital! From mouth watering brunch (check out our blog on our Favorite Brunch Places in Midtown), to fresh and locally sourced entrees, to several  amazing dessert shops to satisfy any sweet tooth, Midtown is bursting at the seams with talented restaurants and cooks. Foodies are in absolute heaven when visiting the grid.

2.  Endless coffee chops

When you live in Midtown the neighborhood coffee shops are often an extension of your office. I mean, what is a city without some great coffee shops?! If you’re looking for a coffee place in Midtown, we got you covered, read our blog on Iconic Coffee Shops so you can become a Midtown coffee connoisseur.

3. The Midtown Farmers Market is in your backyard

Not to brag, but Midtown has one of the most impressive Farmers Markets in California, spanning more than five blocks and featuring more than 160 plus vendors. Who needs Walmart or Safeway when you can stroll down to the Farmers Market every Saturday to get fresh vegetables, home-made bread and the most gorgeous flowers to place on your kitchen table.

To make the most of your visit at the Farmers Market, you’ll want to check out our blog that has everything you need to know about the Midtown Farmers Market!

4. Beautiful parks & free workout classes

How great and safe a community is, can often be measured by their public parks. Midtown Parks features six beautiful parks (Fremont Park, Winn Park, Sutter Park, Truitt Park, Marshall Park and Muir Park) complete with beautiful art and engaging programming.

How many cities can you say offer free park programming almost every day throughout the Summer? Read about our Fresh Air: Fremont Park series to learn more about our everyday exercise programming at Fremont Park. Or plan to visit Winn Park on Wednesday to find great local artisan and food vendors, live music, yoga and yummy food trucks (pssst I heard that sometimes they even have a wine garden!) Learn more about all our parks at MidtownParks.org.

5. Walk & bike everywhere

Sacramento is one of California’s most accessible major cities, and Midtown in particular provides many different options from scootering to biking that make traveling to and around our central city effortless.

Read our transportation blog for more tips and information on how to travel the grid like a pro!

6. Fun nightlife

How many cities can you say have a bar inside a pink Victorian house? Whether you are partying in the Golden Hub or the Lavender Heights District or perhaps catching some live entertainment in the Sutter District we have unique bars and fun nightlife that make Sacramento an exciting place to go out on the town. Time to dial up your besties for a night of dancing!

7. Art around every corner

It is impossible to drive down a street in Midtown and not spot a beautiful mural on the outside of a building or even in unexpected places like an electrical box.

Initiatives like Art in Unexpected Places and Wide Open Walls have made Midtown a destination for art lovers and artists. The art not only beautifies our city, it helps represent our diversity and culture in Sacramento.

8. Dog friendly

How does the saying go? Happy dog, happy life? Living in Midtown is a dog’s dream, complete with dog friendly patios, events like the Pooch Parade that highlight our cute puppies and of course our favorite dog park: The Truitt Bark Park.

9. Midtown Love

     

 In Midtown we like to use the phrase Midtown Love, which means being in action to actively celebrate, include, and proudly protect our fellow community members. In Midtown we have no place for prejudice, sexism, racism or bigotry. We only have space for learning, love and inclusivity. You’ll often see our banners hung up on our light poles in Midtown that showcase our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Learn about other ways we are spreading love in the grid in our DEI blog!

10. A city lifestyle that you can afford

For many living in a city is a pipe dream because of how expensive big cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose have become in recent years. Living in Midtown is the perfect balance of city and suburban … and you’re bound to see many Victorian homes living in Midtown too!

Now that you know the perks of living in Midtown are endless; click any of the available properties in Midtown below to find your next home.

Follow us on @exploremidtown to find new happenings, businesses and events happening in Midtown! If you #exploremidtown remember to tag us, we may share your photo on our social media!