By November 29, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

BigView – Home for the Holidays

The BigView
Home for the Holidays
By Chris Murphy

Sitting by the fire, hot cocoa with whipped cream and peppermint schnapps, stockings on the mantel, holiday parties; so many things can make you feel at home. Maybe watching like one of the iconic holiday movies of all time, White Christmas or Christmas Vacation. To me, “home” isn’t necessarily literally sitting on your couch, but it’s the feeling you have when you are with friends, out to dinner, enjoying a coffee, catching a vintage movie, walking around your neighborhood or even getting a cocktail at your fave watering hole with friends, but yes, that feeling when you are at peace, couch-side or fireside in your house is one of the best feelings in the world. This is the time of year when you hope to experiences as much of this as possible.

Home is also where we do business, where we shop, what we listen to and what we eat and drink. Additionally, as we get into winter, the roads are busier, the airports are jammed and we all want to experience things that are close to home, here in Stanislaus County and into the hills. Living local makes you feel good and the benefit that our community gets when we all support each other is multiplied many times.

As we think about home, we also want to make sure that we lend a hand to those that are between homes, missing family, lost, broken or just in a bad spot. We all have something extra that can be given to those in need. It is the season of giving, and that can mean so many different things. Sometimes the smallest token of appreciation can mean so much and two hours of your time ringing the bell for Salvation Army can improve the condition of many families. As we celebrate this season, gather with friends and family, let’s make sure that we are thinking of others. When we do, we shine inside and we all become so much better and makes our community stronger.

The classics of the classics!
Holiday Movies at the State
We hope you love holiday Christmas movies like we do. The State Theatre opened on Christmas Day in 1934, showing the Flirtation Walk. This year will be so very special as they open the new “Jewel” Theatre adjacent to the main auditorium. You can expect some cool innovative films and of course the amazing State Theatre popcorn with real butter and a refreshing “Statetini”. December is your hook up this season for the classics like It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Elf, and even Nightmare Before Christmas on Friday the 13th. And yes, Die Hard is actually a Christmas movie. There is something for every member of the family and when winter break hits, you have your movie playlist all set.
Get your tix in advance at

12/13 – Nightmare Before Christmas – 7 pm
12/15 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 5pm
12/18 – Home Alone – 7 pm
12/20 – Die Hard – 7 pm
12/22 – Elf – 3 pm
12/23 – A Christmas Story – 4 pm
12/24 – It’s A Wonderful Life – 4 pm

The State will be celebrating it’s 85th Birthday on December 21. There will be a full day of FREE family entertainment.

DoMo Deals
Everybody wants a good deal right? You can enjoy Aprés or Avant Skate in downtown Modesto. You can eat, go skate, drink, see a movie, enjoy Rockin’ Holiday and go back and skate. How fun is that? This is a cool ticket you can buy that gives you all-day skate and discounts at participating downtown restaurants, theatres and other businesses. Such a deal right? So give yourself a gift this season. Check out DOMO Deals as they well start making offers all year long.
Purchase Learn more here:

Visions of Sugar Plums
We have all heard this line in the Night Before Christmas and experienced the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. But we were wondering, what is a Sugar Plum? Is it a plum dipped and glazed in sugar? Are they chocolate covered? If that was your vision, it is something completely different.
Did you know that they are kind of dried fruit treat with spices, orange zest, nutmeg and powdered sugar and other ingredients? We threw out the challenge to our friend Marie Rodin and she is all set to make some sugar plums for the Rockin Holiday opening night! We are so excited and we hope you all will like them so she will do them all season long.
Rodin Farmer’s Market – 10th and J Street

SantaCon and ChristmasCrawls
Are you ready to release your inner Santa? Do you want to join up with other people wanting to do the same thing? On December 14, you can join in on Modesto’s famous and original SantaCon Pub Crawl. This is a free event and begins in front of Ralston’s Goat and Graffiti Dogs at 5:30 pm and ends up at Ralston’s Goat at 9:30 until closing time. There will be drink specials at each stop and please make sure to tip your bartenders and be a good Santa and let no Santa fall behind. This is a free event! Festive Santa, sweater, elf, attire is recommended.

Do you have your ugly sweater ready? If you want to show off just how ugly your sweater is, and maybe even win a prize, you need to sign up for the DoTheCrawl event costs $12

Santa Spottings
Do you believe?
Well we do, and this is the time of year when we hear the jingle of the sleighbells and hope you do too. This is one of those special things that bring a smile to kids’ faces. So those that are looking for a Modesto Santa experience, there are a couple of places you can enjoy and get your message to the big guy.

Rockin Holiday
Bring your own camera for this Rockin’ Santa experience at the Rockin’ North Pole in 10th St Plaza. Grab a seat in our Rockin’ Sleigh and enjoy the Rockin’ Snow, the Rockin’ Tree and be greeted by Rockin’ Santa and his Rockin’ Elves. Bring your list, and enjoy a special moment. There are also many other FREE photo opportunities at the Rockin’ North Pole. Thursday, Friday and Saturday Dec 7 – Dec 21 6-9 pm

McHenry Village
Step into the glittering and beautiful Santa’s Village at McHenry Village near Steward and Jasper. Take a break with Santa after visiting your favorite stores in McHenry Village, Modesto’s truly local shopping center. The whole center is decorated and even features free carriage rides on the weekends. Get most of your shopping done, see Santa, purchase a photo package and enjoy a great meal and cocktails all at one place. Learn more at

Vintage Faire
Don’t miss the amazing Santa HQ in the Vintage Faire center court presented by HG TV Magazine. You can check the Naughty or Nice meter, check out the Elf academy and make your own membership card and check out the magic Elf mirror. Then you can meet Santa and purchase one of the photo packages. With all of the shopping and dining opportunities, you can take care of everything on your list. Learn more at

Spirit of Giving Run
This is such a festive morning in Downtown Modesto for the annual favorite Spirit of Giving Run. You can enjoy the snow, the run, the fun, and kids can chase the Grinch out of town and even visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the Rockin’ North Pole. Registration and check in is at 7 am and you can use your own camera with Mr & Mrs Claus. Bring canned food to help out the Modesto Gospel Mission and then see a free showing of the Polar Express at the Brenden Theatre.

For over 60 years on Christmas Eve, NORAD tracks Santa Claus leaving the North Pole and delivering presents to children around the world. The program is in the tradition of the September 1897 editorial “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” in the New York Sun. NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defense Command. You can check the info all month long.

Modesto on Ice
All Skate! These are words we love and Modesto On Ice has brought a lot of magic to downtown Modesto. 90 minute skate sessions, group party areas and themed skate nights are all part of the fun. New this year are the new S’mores snack pack and the cozy firepits to make that delicious gooey treat. There are more spectator bleachers this year and the snack shack has more tasty items. ModestoView is proud to be a sponsor and Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group is the Skate Shack sponsor so it will be a fun season. It is so easy to register to skate on line and fill out your waiver forms. Modesto On Ice is open every day until January 20. There are lessons available and they have cool skate assist units to help the beginner skater.
Register and book your session at

Fields of Ice
Turlock has Ice Skating at Fields of Ice at RAM Farms. Fields of Ice is open daily until January 20. There is no reason to miss out on the skating and you can also pick up your Christmas Tree there too.
RAM Farms 10- 10 pm
716 N. Daubenberger Rd, Turlock

Dell’Osso Family Farms
Head out to Dell Osso farms and enjoy a complete holiday experience, with the snow tube slide, Christmas light tours, zip lines, great holiday treats at the Country Store Bakery, photos with Santa for $8 and the special Dell’Osso Express Train. Check out the website for hours, ticket prices and times for each activity.<>

Modesto Holiday Opening and Parade
December 7, Modesto kicks off the holiday season. This is a really special day so make sure you are rested up. Start your day with Breakfast with Santa and then get into Victorian character and visit the Dickens Faire on 15th St and the McHenry Mansion. There are tours, carolers and even horse drawn carriage rides. Then it is the Candyland themed Parade of Lights and immediately following, Rockin’ Holiday opens and we light the community Rockin’ Tree, followed by a show by the US 191st Army 191 Band and you can Rockin’ Santa, Rockin’ Snow and all the fun.

Breakfast with Santa 8am-11am, 211 Bodem St.
Dickens Faire 15th St. Downtown – 8am-3pm
Modesto Farmer’s Market- 16th St., 8am-12pm
Holiday Parade begins at 14th & I St., 5:30pm
Rockin’ Tree Lighting Ceremony Rockin’ Holidays –10th St Plaza 7:30
US 191st Army Band Concert – 10th St Plaza 7:45 pm

There is also a really cool parade with dazzling lights, entertainment and fun in Turlock that you need to check out. Join together in Downtown Turlock
Turlock Tree lighting 6:00 pm
Turlock 41st Annual Parade 6:30 – 9:30
Theme – Christmas at the Arcade
Sponsored by Turlock Firefighters Local 2434

Apres Skate
A night on the town means a night on the town. If you are going to get all spiffed up to head downtown to go ice skating, you need to think about what you are doing to do before, especially after skating. This is what we call Aprés Skate. You know, just like Aprés Ski after a good day on the slopes, you head to the lounge for a cocktail, and this is no different. You had a great time, skated singles and doubles, and now it is time to relax, with a special holiday cocktail, and enjoy downtown Modesto. Right around the corner from Modesto on Ice is our own Rockin’ Holiday, were you can meet up with Rockin’ Santa and experience the Rockin’ Snow. You can catch a movie at the Brenden Theatres in the new comfy recliners after a nice dinner at Fuzio, Ralston’s Goat, Tresetti’s or Graffiti Dogs. You can walk down 11th St and find so many tasty options, or walk over to the Gallo Center, Prospect Theatre or The State Theatre for a show. If you are skating late, you just might want a nice nightcap with friends and Uber home. Don’t forget, there is live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Rockin North Pole Stage in 10th St Plaza. No matter what, spend the day, or the evening in downtown and find something new to do.

Check out some of these special holiday drinks and snacks.
The GrinchTini – Fuzio
Jingle Juice – Fuzio
Santa Sleigh Dog – Graffiti Dog
Caramel Apple Martini – Ralston’s Goat
Pumpkin Pie Martini – Ralston’s Goat
Holiday Mule – Tresettis
Irish Elf – P. Wexfords
Christmas in Your Mouth – Rivets American Grill



Posted in: community, featured, news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.