Anytime is a good time to visit our county’s spectacular historical museum in Micke Grove Park south of Lodi, but December is the “put it on your calendar” time! In December, the museum complex comes alive with both Christmas cheer and the stunning Festival of Trees! With more than 70 beautifully decorated unique Christmas trees, the San Joaquin County Historical Museum’s 22nd annual Festival of Trees is Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum (located in Micke Grove Park south of Lodi about one mile west of Highway 99 and south of Armstrong Road).
Visitors will be greeted by docents in vintage Victorian and pioneer clothes, lending a feeling that guest have stepped back in time to celebrate Christmas! The museum’s exhibit buildings will overflow with scores of festive trees, each decorated according to a unique theme by different individuals and groups from throughout San Joaquin County. The festival also features holiday exhibits, entertainment, model trains, and many activities including vintage craft demonstrations like wood carving, woodturning, jewelry making and quilting.
Children can partake in numerous hands-on activities including decorating cookies, making cornhusk dolls, dipped candles, and punched tin ornaments. A nominal fee is charged of $1 to $3 for children to make the crafts. Kids will be able to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and families can purchase photographs of their children with Santa.
Entertainment fills both days and includes the dancing of the Unique Vision Dance group, holiday harmonies of the Stockton Portsmen, and bagpipe music of the White Hackle Pipe Band. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. In addition to all the holiday festivities and decorated trees, visitors will enjoy the museum’s historical exhibits. The county museum features one of the largest collections of tractors, agriculture equipment and tools west of the Mississippi.
General admission tickets are $10, and $1 for children 2 to 12 years old (kids under 2 are admitted free). Tickets may be purchased at the event or in advance at the Music Box in Stockton and Lodi or by calling the museum at, (209) 331-2055 or 953-3460. By getting tickets in advance, the $6 parking fee into Micke Grove Park is waived. For more information, call the museum or go to www.sanjoaquinhistory.org. For additional Weekend Getaway destinations, see LittlePlacesIKnow.blogspot.com.