28 Best Things to do in Sacramento at Night & Late Afternoon | 2024 (with Photos)

Lara Mega

Lara Mega - Head of Content

Published: August 23, 2023

Hey there! I'm Lara, and I'm excited to share with you the most exciting things to do in Sacramento at night and late afternoon. Based on my personal experiences, I'm here to give you the ultimate guide to explore this fantastic city after dark. Enjoy your trip and make unforgettable memories!

a ferris on a city skyline at night

Sacramento, the capital city of California, has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike, especially when the sun goes down.

From live music and comedy shows to ghost tours and foodie adventures, there are plenty of unique and fun things to do in Sacramento at night.

Read on to discover our comprehensive list of the best things to do in Sacramento at night and late afternoon, ranging from classic tourist spots to hidden gems that only locals know about.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Mild weather, spring or fall, ideal for exploring.

Average Temperature

Warm and moderate temperatures in Sacramento, United States.

Transportation Options

Bus, light rail, bike share, car share, walk

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Take a stroll along the charming streets of Old Sacramento, where time seems to stand still with its well-preserved historic buildings and lively atmosphere.

Immerse yourself in the city's culture by visiting the renowned Crocker Art Museum, where you can appreciate exquisite art collections spanning centuries of human creativity. Don't miss the opportunity to savor the local culinary delights at the bustling farmers' markets, featuring fresh produce and delectable treats.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Lightweight clothing for warm weather
  3. Sunscreen and a hat for sun protection

What Not to Miss

  1. California State Capitol
  2. Old Sacramento Historic District
  3. Crocker Art Museum
  4. Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
  5. American River Bike Trail

What to Avoid

  1. High-crime areas
  2. Rush hour traffic
  3. Overpriced tourist traps

1. Explore Downtown Sacramento

a city street at night with cars and buildings

Downtown Sacramento is the city’s political and financial hub and home to Capitol Park, with the neoclassical California State Capitol.

Here, you can dine at some of the city's best restaurants, enjoy craft cocktails and good music at a trendy bar, or catch a performance at the historic Crest Theatre.

The area also features museums, galleries, and outdoor spaces like Cesar Chavez Plaza and the Sacramento Riverfront, where you can enjoy the fresh air and a great atmosphere.

2. See the Water Lantern Festival on a Date Night

a large number of lanterns lit up the night sky

The Water Lantern Festival is a magical event that takes place in Sacramento each year and is the perfect way to spend a romantic night.

Held at the Gibson Ranch Regional Park in Sacramento, this unique festival is a celebration of hope, love, and unity.

You can enjoy a mesmerizing display of floating lanterns on the water, each one inscribed with a personal wish. The festival also includes live music, food vendors, and other entertainment.

3. Explore Midtown Sacramento

a restaurant with tables and chairs under an umbrella

This historic district is the center of Sacramento's art, music, and cultural scene, featuring numerous boutiques, cool bars, clubs, and upscale and casual dining.

Midtown is also where you can find Revolution Wines, the only winery located in the greater Sacramento urban area.

Midtown hosts an art walk on the second Saturday of each month which attracts thousands of metropolitan residents.

4. Have a laugh at the Sacramento Comedy Spot

a man standing on a stage in front of a crowd

The Sacramento Comedy Spot is a popular destination for comedy lovers in the capital city of California.

Located in the heart of the downtown area, the Sacramento Comedy Spot features a range of shows and performances that showcase local and national talent in improv, stand-up, sketch comedy, and more.

5. Check out Broadway at Music Circus

a large crowd of people sitting in chairs watching a presentation

Broadway at Music Circus is a Sacramento summer tradition that has been entertaining audiences for generations. Broadway Sacramento offers specific plays every season.

Held during the summer months, the venue hosts a variety of classic Broadway musicals and other live performances, featuring some of the most talented professional actors in the business, including Tony Award-winning performers.

6. Go to Kupros Craft House for Trivia Night

a group of people sitting at a bar

Kupros Craft House is a premier craft bar and grill with a laid-back and inviting atmosphere.

The cozy pub is housed in an old Victorian house with stained-glass windows dating back to 1910. Its full bar features a great selection of beers on tap and handcrafted cocktails.

Kupros Craft House also hosts a variety of events, including trivia nights, live music performances, and comedy shows.

7. See a Free Movie at William Land Regional Park

people sitting on benches in front of a stage

Located in the heart of Sacramento and dating back to 1920, William Land Regional Park is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

This sprawling park offers a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and more.

One of the highlights of the park is the Land Park Amphitheatre, which hosts free outdoor movie screenings during the summer months.

8. Watch a Performance at The Sacramento Theatre Company

people sitting on chairs and a stage with red curtain

Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, The Sacramento Theatre Company is a historic venue dating back to the 1940s.

It has been entertaining audiences for generations with its eclectic lineup of shows, ranging from classic dramas to contemporary comedies.

Whether you're a lifelong theater buff or simply looking for a fun and engaging night out, the Sacramento Theatre Company is the perfect place to experience the magic of live theater.

9. Enjoy Craft cocktails and Great Views in a Rooftop Bar

two people toasting cocktails on a rooftop

Rooftop bars in Sacramento are a great way to experience the city's vibrant nightlife while enjoying stunning views of the skyline.

Mix Downtown, located on top of the historic Firestone Building, offers a relaxed atmosphere, multiple bars, cozy fire pits, and a spacious dance floor.

The Revival at The Sawyer, located on top of the Sawyer Hotel, offers a chic atmosphere, with a poolside lounge, hand-crafted cocktails, and delicious small plates.

10. Visit the Bailarin Cellars Winery & Tasting Room

people sitting at a table with wine glasses

The Bailarin Cellars Winery & Tasting Room, located in the Old Sacramento Waterfront district, offers some of the finest wines in the region.

Visitors can sample a variety of award-winning wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Syrah, among others.

The Bailarin Cellars Winery & Tasting Room also offers great atmosphere, making it an ideal setting for a romantic date or a night out with friends.

11. Step Back in Time at the River City Saloon in Old Sacramento

a man sitting at a bar with a red wallpaper

Located in the Old Sacramento Waterfront district, the River City Saloon is the city's last old west saloon dating back to the 1800s.

Visitors can step back in time and experience the atmosphere of the Old West, complete with rustic decor and live music.

The River City Saloon also offers a great menu of deli sandwiches and Old West Sarsaparilla, a favorite of cowboys and saloon patrons of yesteryear.

12. Take the Alive After Five Cruise on the Sacramento River

a body of water

The Alive After Five Cruise takes visitors along the Sacramento River, offering stunning views of the city skyline and landmarks such as the Tower Bridge and the California State Capitol.

On board, visitors can enjoy live music, a full-service bar, and good food, making for a fun and lively night on the Sacramento River.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to Sacramento, the Alive After Five Cruise is a great way to unwind after a long day and enjoy some beautiful scenery.

13. Play Laser Tag

a party with blue and green lights

For those looking for a fun and action-packed activity to do in Sacramento at night, playing laser tag is a great option.

One of the best places to go is Lazer X in Arden-Arcade, which offers an exciting laser tag experience for people of all ages.

The arena is spacious and features obstacles and hiding spots, creating a thrilling and immersive atmosphere.

14. Have a Drink at Malt & Mash

a bar with a television on the wall

Malt & Mash is a popular Irish American pub that offers an impressive selection of over 150 whiskeys and over a dozen local craft beers on tap.

The pub's location just across the road from the Golden 1 Center indoor arena makes it an ideal spot for pre-concert meetups and drinks before gigs start.

Malt & Mash is a great place to unwind after a long day or to catch up with friends over some drinks.

15. Have a Fun Night at Oishii Sushi & Karaoke Bar

a group of people playing music in a room

Oishii Sushi & Karaoke Bar is a lively restaurant and bar that offers an amazing selection of sushi, excellent cocktails, and karaoke.

The name "Oishii Sushi" means "delicious sushi" in Japanese, and the menu features a wide variety of tasty sushi rolls, sashimi, and other Japanese specialties.

After dinner, head to the karaoke bar at Oishii Sushi, where you can belt out your favorite tunes in front of a supportive crowd.

16. Enjoy the Charm of The Shady Lady Saloon

people sitting at a bar under the red lights

The Shady Lady Saloon takes you back in time to the Roaring Twenties with its vintage, decorated, modern speakeasy ambiance on R street.

The saloon offers a delicious variety of American fare, with a specialty for Southern dishes like shrimp po'boys, fried green tomatoes, and fried chicken and greens.

The bar is known for serving outstanding cocktails, adding to the overall charm of this establishment.

17. Watch a Mermaid Show at the Dive Bar

a large aquarium in a bar with people watching

The Dive Bar offers a diverse selection of seafood dishes and drinks, including specialty cocktails and draft beers.

On weeknights, the 40-foot saltwater aquarium at the Dive Bar features a mermaid show where you can witness a “real-life” mermaid swim and perform tricks.

The Dive Bar show offers a one-of-a-kind experience that you won't find anywhere else in Sacramento.

18. Cheer on the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center

the arena at the sacramento state university center

The Golden 1 Center is a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena and home to the NBA team, the Sacramento Kings, one of the most beloved and well-supported teams in all of California.

The arena is a world-class venue for concerts, family shows, and other events.

Whether you're a basketball fan or simply looking for a fun night out, the Golden 1 Center is definitely worth a visit while exploring the Sacramento nightlife.

19. See a movie at the West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In Theater

a large screen is lit up in the dark

The West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In Theater is a retro drive-in theater, located on Oates Drive, where you can enjoy movies under the stars.

The theater features six screens showing the latest Hollywood releases.

The West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In Theater is a great place to spend a fun evening with friends or family.

20. Eat and Drink at Azul Mexican Food and Tequila Bar

a table with a plate of food and drinks

Located in Midtown Sacramento, Azul Mexican Food and Tequila Bar is a popular spot in Sacramento for those looking to indulge in some delicious Mexican cuisine and drinks.

The restaurant offers an extensive food menu, from classic tacos and burritos to modern and creative dishes.

Azul's bar is known for its impressive selection of tequila, with over 100 different types of tequila and mezcal available to choose from.

21. Dine at The Waterboy on Capitol Avenue

a restaurant with people sitting at tables and eating

The Waterboy, located on Capitol Avenue in Sacramento, offers a food menu inspired by the cuisines of northern Italy and southern France.

Their full wine list and artisanal cocktails are also highly recommended. Diners can indulge in Seared Dayboat Scallops, Sonoma Liberty Duck, Gulf Shrimp, and other delectable dishes.

The restaurant has received high praise from both locals and visitors alike.

22. Play Arcade Games at Coin-Op Game Room

a bar with a lot of people sitting at it

Coin-Op Game Room, located in downtown Sacramento, is a fun pub that features an extensive list of craft cocktails and beers, as well as delicious food options.

What sets Coin-Op apart is its collection of classic arcade games, including favorites like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter.

Coin-Op is a great spot for anyone looking to unwind and have a good time.

23. Visit Fieldwork Brewery on Capitol Avenue

a plate of food and glasses on a table

Fieldwork Brewery is a popular spot in Sacramento that offers a unique atmosphere with its trendy décor and friendly staff.

Their impressive selection of beers, ranging from crisp lagers to rich stouts, is sure to please even the most discerning palate.

Fieldwork Brewery hosts Live Music Thursdays, where you can enjoy local musicians while sipping on a cold beer.

24. Hang Out in A Speakeasy Bar

the bar counter with luiquor on the shelf

The Roost is a must-visit speakeasy bar in Sacramento, hidden inside Bawk! on R Street and offering a fantastic atmosphere and great drinks.

If you're not sure what to order, the bartender will make you a surprise drink based on a game of ''spin the wheel.''

The Roost bar is the perfect spot for a fun night out with friends.

25. Explore the Bars and Pubs along the Lively K Street

a street with cars and buildings on it

K Street in Sacramento is a lively destination and home to a variety of bars and pubs that cater to different tastes and preferences.

Some popular venues on K Street include LowBrau, a German-style beer hall with a wide selection of brews on tap, and The Bank, a stylish lounge that once housed a historic bank.

K Street is also known for its live music scene, with venues like Ace of Spades where you can enjoy R&B, hip hop, metal, and rock music.

26. Ice Skate at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

a group of people skating on a rink

The Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink is a beloved winter attraction that offers a unique and memorable experience for those looking to skate under the stars.

The rink is open from November through January and features a festive atmosphere with holiday decorations and seasonal music.

The ice rink also hosts special events throughout the season, including themed skate nights and live performances.

27. Enjoy German Beer and Food at Der Biergarten

a person sitting at a table with a pizza and beer

Der Biergarten is a popular outdoor beer garden, said to be Sacramento’s first and only true Beer Garden.

It was built on a vacant lot at 24th and K Streets in Midtown Sacramento and offers a spacious outdoor area with communal tables, plenty of shade, and an inviting atmosphere.

Der Biergarten is known for its extensive beer selection and light German food menu.

28. Take a Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento Walking Tour

people standing in front of a building at night

The Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento tour is a self-guided phone app walking tour that takes you on a journey through the area's railroad history, underground tunnels, gold rush days, and skid row times.

At each stop along the way, visitors will also hear tales of those who are said to still linger here.

Ghost stories and legends are an integral part of Sacramento's history, and this tour offers a captivating look into the city's spooky past.

FAQs: Fun things to do in Sacramento at Night

Let's explore some common questions and queries relating to the fun things to do in Sacramento at night.

What is Sacramento best known for?

Sacramento is best known as the capital city of California, located in the heart of the Sacramento Valley. The city has a rich history as a center of California politics, culture, and commerce.

Some of the famous attractions in Sacramento include the California State Capitol Building, the Crocker Art Museum, the California State Fair, and the historic Old Sacramento Waterfront District.

Where do singles meet in Sacramento?

There are many great places for singles to meet in Sacramento, as the city offers a range of nightlife options, from trendy bars and clubs in Midtown to cozy wine bars and craft breweries in the downtown area.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also find like-minded singles at popular parks and recreational areas like McKinley Park, the American River Parkway, and the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains.

Does Sacramento have a downtown?

Yes, Sacramento has a vibrant downtown area.

The Sacramento downtown district features a mix of modern high-rise buildings and historic landmarks, with pedestrian-friendly streets and a bustling nightlife scene.

Some of the area's top attractions include the California State Capitol Building, the Golden 1 Center arena, and the Crocker Art Museum.

Does it snow in Sacramento?

While Sacramento is located in Northern California and experiences cooler temperatures in the winter months, it is rare for the city to see snowfall.

However, the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains offer plenty of opportunities for winter sports and outdoor activities, with popular ski resorts like Lake Tahoe just a few hours' drive away.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Sacramento at Night & Late Afternoon

As you can see, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Sacramento at night. It's a vibrant city, offering an array of unique and fun things to do after dark, such as the amazing local ghost tours, speakeasy saloons, and the show at the Dive Bar.

Whether you're looking for comedy and theater, classy cruises, karaoke nights, or a cool rooftop bar with specialty cocktails and craft beers, Sacramento has something for everyone.

Sacramento's nightlife scene is a one-stop shop for all kinds of entertainment, so plan your trip and explore all the exciting activities Sacramento has to offer.