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Celebrate Mother Earth and Teach Your Children About Earth Day this Saturday, April 22

April 18, 2017

This Saturday, people all over the world will be celebrating Mother Earth. April 22 marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It’s a day of celebration, raising public awareness and coming together as a community to help preserve our land. Around the nation there will be rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects. Here in Sacramento, you can find several activities to join with your family to celebrate our precious earth.  And what better gift to give your children than a better understanding of how we each take a part in protecting and preserving our planet!

April 22 at the Sacramento Zoo your family can participate in EarthFest. This event will be held from 9am-4pm with the zoo general admission. You will learn how to protect and preserve the earth with environmental, wildlife and conservation organizations.  Kids can enjoy face painting, giant coloring wall, stuffed animal clinic (bring in your “sick” bears and get them “fixed”, crafts, games and more!

Sunday April 23 is the Annual Sacramento Earth Day Festival at Southside Park from 11am-4pm.  There will be over 150 organizations on site with practical information for saving money, living healthier and protecting the environment.  With entertainment, live music and food vendors all at one of the most popular Sacramento parks… this is an event not to miss!

The Sacramento Area Creeks Council hosts the annual Creek Week”with a variety of activities starting on April 21 and going through April 29.  Activities include: Creek exploration, Bufferlands Birds and Blooms tour, Steelhead Creek Beaver Pond walks, Mather Vernal Pool Flower walks and more.  And of course the week will end with the “Big Day Celebration” at Carmichael Park (5750 Grant Ave) on April 29 from 12-2pm. Enjoy vendors, exhibit, luncheon and activities at this celebration.

Sacramento Children’s Museum in Rancho Cordova (2701 Prospect Park) will also be hosting an event for the kids to have an opportunity to learn Earth-friendly lessons through interactive activities on Saturday April 22.  From 10am-2pm, enjoy live music and interactive, Earth-friendly activities. This event will be held outdoors and is free for all to enjoy.

If you are looking for something a little more “crafty” and would rather stay away from all the crowds, then check out Re-Create in Roseville. Re-Create is an eco-friendly art studio that is committed to reducing waste in the community. They take local businesses “trash” and turn it into art supplies and treasures for others to enjoy.  They offer classes, but if you would just like to craft on your own, they have open craft time Wednesday-Friday, 10am- 5pm and Saturday from 10am-4pm. Drop in rates are $6.75 per crafter per hour.

So as you can see, there are plenty of events throughout the Sacramento area to keep you and your family busy learning about and celebrating Mother Earth.  This is a great way to start getting your children involved in helping to make a difference in our world and I hope each and every one of you will take a part in one of these activities or any of the other activities that may be happening in your community during this month.

By Heather Crivellone

 

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The Easter Bunny is hopping around Sacramento with fun for the family!

April 6, 2017

Easter-Eggs-in-GrassSpring Break is here and you will find lots of Easter filled activities around the area.   The Easter Bunny has planned several egg hunts for the children to enjoy…. So grab your baskets and let the springtime festivities begin!

Here is a list of local events going on around the Sacramento valley:

Friday through Sunday, April 7-9 is the annual Easter Eggstravaganza at Funderland. Kids will enjoy a visit from the Easter bunny, egg hunts, arts and crafts and FREE ride tickets for bringing in a new ga e or art supplies to donate to River Oaks Center for Children. Egg hunts will take place every thirty minutes throughout the day and will be limited to groups of 30 children, so each child can find plenty of eggs.

April 9 at the Palladio in Folsom, from 1pm-5pm, join other families for a FREE family fun event. Enjoy spring activities with the kids and pictures with the Easter Bunny. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled to Saturday, April 15.

Fairytale Town will host its annual Spring Eggstravaganza on April 15 and 16. From 11am-3pm, enjoy egg hunts with special prizes, spring themed arts and crafts and an afternoon full of fun at Sacramento’s favorite park.

Elk Grove will be hosting their annual “Spring Eggstravaganza” on April 15 at the Elk Grove Regional Park. Egg hunts, crafts, games, amusement park rides and more.

Folsom’s 23rd Annual Eggstravaganza will be held on April 15 at Lembi Park. Family fun with vendors, egg hunts, carnival rides, prizes and entertainment.

If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, then check out the Underwater Egg Hunts at the Fruitridge Aquatic Center. This event is for children ages 12 and younger and those who are under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.   Let your kids try “hunting” for eggs in the pool and take some pictures with the Easter Bunny when they are done. Entry into this egg hunt is $3 per child.

El Dorado Hills community pool will also be hosting an “Aqua-Egg hunt”. On April 15 at 2pm, the Easter Bunny will be swimming with kids and helping them collect floating plastic eggs. Prizes will be awarded for the plastic eggs and it is sure to be a great time for kids of all ages.   This event is $10 per person.

So grab your baskets, bonnets and maybe even your swim shorts and head out to one of these fun filled family events.
“Hoppy Easter!!”

 

 

Sacramento’s Raley Field Overhauls Food and Kids Zone for the 2017 Baseball Season

April 4, 2017

The 2017 baseball season officially kicks off here in Sacramento this Thursday, April 6 at 7:05 pm at Raley Field. If you are thinking of treating the family to a night out at the game, here’s some motivation. Raley Field has overhauled their concessions and kids zone to make the Sacramento baseball experience top-notch for the whole family. First, when you enter the stadium, you’ll notice right away the new restaurant storefronts. River Cats management wanted to take eating at Raley Field to a whole new level in America’s Farm-to-Fork capital, so partnered with RS3/Ryan Sanders Sports Services to create a unique culinary experience at the ballpark. In the mood for Mexican food? Head over to Oso’s Cantina for fresh tacos. How about a gourmet hot dog with buffalo sauce topped with fresh blue cheese? You can grab that from the 50’s-style Cadillac Diner. There’s also Coop & Kennel, an Irish pub, the railroad history-themed Golden Spike for burgers, Raley’s for specialty sandwiches, and the old-fashioned Sweet Spot where you’ll be able to get your favorite frozen dessert like ice cream, root beer floats and even spiked shakes for the adults.

Once you’ve enjoyed your farm-to-fork dinner and watched a few game innings, the kids will probably get antsy. Head over to the new Down on the Farm children’s Area, located behind third base. While the old Raley Field kids zone required a fee for entrance, this new one is FREE. Your little ones will love to climb atop and slide down the one-and-only Tower Bridge play structure or climb all over the gigantic baseball and glove. Don’t worry, the bounce houses will still be available, in addition to a new misting pad to stay cool (yay!)

While the Sacramento River Cat’s Raley Field was already a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, it just got better. So, head across the river to enjoy a spectacular 2017 baseball season in Sacramento. For the 2017 River Cats baseball schedule, click here.

The 50’s-style Cadillac Diner was named after the 1989 movie Pink Cadillac, which was partially filmed her in Sac.

The Clint Eastwood dog at the Cadillac Diner.


Head to the Sweet Spot for a good, old-fashioned root beer float.

The new Down on the Farm children’s area.

 

 

Don’t Miss the Sacramento River Cats’ Home Opener on April 6 at Raley Field

March 29, 2017

River Cats at Raley Field

“Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for the RIVERCATS, If they don’t win, it’s a shame. For its one, two, three strikes, you’re out, at the old ball game.”

It’s that time of year again… when hot dogs and peanuts can constitute a “real dinner”.  Yes, it’s baseball season and that means for many of us in Sacramento, we are excited to get back to cheering on our local River Cats baseball team.

If you haven’t experienced a River Cats game yet, this is a great time to check out the schedule and put a game or two on your calendar.   The stadium is easily accessible from downtown and the freeways – they always have plenty of parking and the food lines have never been too crowded, it’s a great way to experience the thrill of a “Big League” game with your family without having to travel to the Bay Area. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have several families out there who bleed black and orange…and nothing can replace the thrill of watching a major league game with your family.  However, if you still want the experience without the cost- this is a great option, especially since the River Cats are a San Francisco affiliate.

Next Thursday, April 6 is the River cats home opener.  They will be welcoming the defending Pacific Northern Division Champion Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners) for a five-game series.  Tickets can be purchased online and range from $12-$42.Sacramento River Cats

Throughout the season, Raley Field will host special events and promotions on certain days of the week.  Here is a quick list of some of the more family friendly promotions:

Sunday Funday:  Hosted by K-LOVE radio station, there will be kid’s activities throughout the game.  Bounce houses; face painting, kids running the bases and more.

Baseball Bingo Mondays:  Follow along with the game cards and win prizes throughout the baseball game!

Family Night Tuesdays:  Enjoy $1 hot dogs and $1 ice creams… easy way to plan dinners throughout the summer!

Wellness Wednesdays:  Fun workouts and activities to keep your bodies moving and the wiggles out of the kids.   Yoga and Zumba are some of the line ups.

Orange Fridays:  Live music, drink specials (for the adults) and post-game fireworks show.

Saturday Nights:  Enjoy post-game fireworks show after every Saturday night game.

You can find the full schedule of events here and order tickets online or at the park. So grab your favorite baseball hat, your family and head out to the ballpark and cheer on the Sacramento River cats!

 

Exploring Caverns Around the Sacramento Valley

March 24, 2017

If you are looking for a quick and easy day adventure and want to explore the history of our area, then check out some of the local caves and mine adventures within the vicinity.  We have some of the most fascinating caves in the entire United States, and luckily for us they are within a short drive from the Sacramento Valley.

Our family has visited a couple of the caverns, but we still have many more to explore. With younger children, it is harder to keep their attention and their little fingers off of the sparkling crystals that hang above them, but the tours we took were perfect for curious kids and the sheer beauty kept their amazement.

Our first cavern tour was to Black Chasm Caverns. Located in Amador County, this cavern was worth the drive; and if you visit in the springtime, this makes for a perfect weekend drive as the countryside is beautiful. The cavern tour was approximately 45 minutes and was led by a very knowledgeable guide who showed us the stunning helictite formations.  We had the opportunity to see some of the greatest collections of sparkling helictite crystals and experience the “thrill” of entering into a cave. Black Chasm cavern is well-known for their beautiful rock formations, and they are definitely worth seeing! They also have gemstone mining above ground for the kids to collect real gemstones…. an attraction for kids of all ages!

Once you have explored the caverns, I highly recommend taking a hike at the “Zen Garden”.  This was by far my favorite adventure of our day.  The entrance to the Zen Garden Trail is located just passed the entrance to the caverns.  The trail is not obvious, so ask for a map when you visit the caverns visitors’ center.  There is a small set of steps near a large tree off the road… seriously, not the best directions, but this is a must-see experience.  The trail offers a landscape of standing stones that are beautiful to walk through and impressive to view.  The kids were climbing, hiking, and amazed at the wonders that nature provided in this “playground”.  This hike isn’t necessarily for those who are used to just a flat terrain… there were quite a few areas that became steep and offered a bit more to our “adventurous” side.Black Chasm Cavern (17)

Another local cavern to visit is Mercer Caverns, located in Calaveras County. Just one mile outside of the town a Murphy’s (this is a great area for a weekend trip), it will take a little less than 2 hours to drive from downtown Sacramento. Mercer Cavern will amaze you with its stunning stalagmites, crystals and re-crystallized limestone. Any kid will want to explore and learn the geology of the area after visiting this cavern. The tour was about 45 minutes and descended into the cave, approximately 161 feet below the ground level with a very knowledgeable guide who helped keep the kids entertained and learning about the history of the caves. Along with Black Chasm, they also offer a Gem Mining station above ground for the kids to try their skills and mining.

I had read that both of these caves were kid friendly – and they are for a certain age group, however, they don’t necessarily take into account the attention needed to follow along with the tour guides.  Yes, the cave is suitable for anyone who can walk up and down a steep set of stairs, but take into account the age of your children and if they can hold the attention of the tour guides. If you have kids that are a little older, they will thoroughly enjoy the tour and will be amazed at the sights they will see and the facts they will learn on this tour.

One thing to remember when visiting the caverns is that they are cool – approximately 54 degrees year round.  This wasn’t an issue for us, since we were visiting in the winter and were already dressed for the weather, however, if you plan on visiting in the hot summer months, remember to bring along a sweater.

Other popular cave tours in the area include:
California Caverns located in Calaveras County
Moaning Cavern located in Vallecito. For the more adventurous explorers, they also offer zip lining and cave rappelling at this location!
Gold Bug Mine is great for the youngest explorers- you just walk in and explore the cave vs. descending down steep stairs. They are located in Placerville.

So if you have an interest in geology, the history of our area, or you just want to go on an adventure with your family- then check out some of the local caverns in our area. This will make for a great family day trip, or even into a weekend vacation.

By Heather Crivellone

 

Aerospace Museum: Machines in Motion Free for Kids this Weekend

March 22, 2017

If you haven’t yet had a chance to get out to the Aerospace Museum of California  to experience the Da Vinci exhibit Machines in Motion, this just might be the weekend to do so. Kids are FREE with paying adult on March 25 & March 26, 2017. Click here for more information on the exhibit.


It’s Spring! Four Sacramento Activities your Kids are Going to Love

March 16, 2017

Whether your kids are currently on spring break or not, you’ll want to take advantage of this beautiful weather to get the family out to enjoy the sunshine and special spring activities around Sacramento. Here are four of our favorite family friendly events that are coming up.

  1. 1. To the Rescue: The Fire Trucks and People That Saved Our Cities. This new exhibit at the California Automobile Museum is just up your kids’ alley. They’ll get to enjoy this colorful and dramatic exhibit that includes antique fire trucks from as early as late 1800s, all the way through the 1940s. Also on display are fire-fighting equipment and other tools that helped fire fighters save our cities throughout the years. A highlight of the exhibit will be stepping up into a 1921 Graham fire truck and sitting in the driver’s seat. Exhibit runs from March 16 through May 29, 2017. If you go opening weekend (3/16, 3/18, 3/19) there will be special docents on hand to answer your questions and show you around. California Automobile Museum.
  2. Fun on the Farm: Enchanted Garden at Soil Born Farms. If your kiddos are into gardening, fairies or both, you won’t want to miss this special day at Soil Born Farms. Kids ages three to nine will explore the magical world of gardens and the flower fairies and garden gnomes who mysteriously live there. They’ll enjoy hands-on activities like making flower crowns, nature wands and more. They’ll also enjoy a healthy snack. Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Soil Born Farms. Tickets are $25 and advanced registration is required. While this event is currently sold out, you can add your child’s name to a waiting list here.
  3. Going West: Story of the Transcontinental Railroad at B Street Theatre. Kids can bring their California State Railroad Museum entrance receipt (or season pass) to the famed B Street Theatre on Saturday and Sundays at 1pm and 4pm beginning March 18 through April 2 to see a performance of Going West: Story of the Transcontinental Railroad. In addition to the performance, register for the Family Activity Day on March 25 for fun activities and healthy snacks. March 18 through April 2, B Street Theatre.
  4. Sutter Children’s Wellness Festival at Fairytale Town. Enjoy FREE admission and free play all day long while Fairytale Town partners with Sutter to celebrate active and healthy lifestyles among kids everywhere. Families can enjoy games, play and puppet shows. The Sacramento Division of Public Health will also be on site offering free immunizations for children under two years of age (bring your child’s immunization record). Saturday, March 25 at Fairytale Town.