TRY DOING THE CUT-YOUR-OWN TREE THING
The annual trek to one of the local Christmas tree farms is a treasured holiday custom.
While the options for trees have expanded to include their artificial counterparts, nothing quite captures the season like finding the perfect tree among a forest of choices, cutting it down on your own and tying it to the roof of your car for the journey home, where it will bring that fresh pine scent indoors.
Here are some of the local farms where you can find your own perfect tree.
Note: All farms sell pre-cut and cut-your-own trees, and many offer shaking, netting and loading services.
Sunshine Living Christmas Trees: One of the only container-tree farms in Sonoma County. Open Monday-Thursday, noon-dusk; Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-dusk. 294 Palm Ave., Penngrove. 664-9335.
Larsen Christmas Tree Farm: Family-run for over 50 years. On the weekends, local 4-H kids hold a bake sale. Open Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 391 Marshall Ave., Petaluma. 762-6317.
Liberty Christmas Tree Farm: Free complimentary candy canes, apple cider and greens/boughs. Open Saturdays & Sundays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 241 Liberty Road, Petaluma. 490-6011, www.libertychristmastreefarm.com.
Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm: A petting zoo and gift shop are big draws, and friendly, leashed dogs can receive dog treats. Free candy canes, popcorn and apple cider. Open weekdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m., weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 961 Chapman Lane, Petaluma. 763-4678, www.littlehillschristmastree.com.
North Eagle Christmas Tree Forest & Pottery: Choose a tree and the gifts to go beneath it. This farm is part of the Valley of the Moon Pottery North Eagle Gallery, with handmade pottery, paintings, sculptures and bonsai trees for sale. Open daily 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 6191 Sonoma Highway, Santa Rosa. 538-2554, valleyofthemoonpottery.com.
Celesta Farms: Find wreaths, garlands and table-top trees, as well as free home-baked cookies, hot cocoa, apple cider, coffee and candy canes. Dogs on leashes welcome. Open Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weekdays by appointment. 3447 Celesta Court, Sebastopol. 829-9352, www.celestafarms.com.
Fisher Farm: Bring home a flocked or natural tree, as well as wreaths and garlands. Open Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m.-dusk. 2870 Canfield Road, Sebastopol. 823-4817.
Frosty Mountain Tree Farm: Mrs. Claus reads stories on the weekend, the gift shop sells festive trinkets and coffee is hardcore (from Molly's Hardcore Coffee). There are also hay rides, farm animals, pony rides and an area for picnics. Open weekdays noon-5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 3600 Mariola Road, Sebastopol. 829-2351, frostymountaintreefarm.com.
Garlock Tree Farm: Horse-drawn carriage rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, a jumpie, a petting zoo and more. Check out the gift shop, grab a free candy cane and indulge in some of the delicious foods they sell in their caf??. Santa visits on the weekend. Open Fridays noon-5 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 2275 Bloomfield Road, Sebastopol. 823-4307, garlocktreefarm.org.