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Searching for the Perfect Pumpkin and a Halloween Thrill? Check out our List of Sacramento’s Top 5 Pumpkin Farms

September 30, 2016

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It’s that time of year when the air is getting cooler, pumpkins are everywhere, the ghosts and goblins start to appear. Yes, it’s officially fall! If your family is like mine, we start to decorate the home with gourds, pumpkins and leaves in mid-September (even when the weather is anything but fall-like).  My kids are already deciding their Halloween costumes and my daughter is already planning her Trick-or-Treating route!

With the fun of the season here, we need to find the best pumpkins in town…and that means we have to visit one of the many local pumpkin patches in the area.

Sacramento has an abundance of pumpkin patches, petting zoos and fun things to do this time of year.  With my kids being a little older now, we want to find the most exciting and entertaining patches to keep them busy on our outing.   I have made a list of my top 5 pumpkin patches in the area to visit with your family (based on activities at the farms):

 1.       Goblin Gardens (Bastiao Farms): 3845 El Centro Rd, Sacramento
Open 7 days a week from October 1- October 31, 10am-7pm.
  
They have plenty of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained all day long.  Some of the activities include:  pick your own pumpkins, hay rides, hay maze, haunted train rides, haunted miners cabin, play area with giant slides and more!
$7 admission into the farm and children ages 2 and under are free.

2.      Bishops Pumpkin Farm:  1415 Pumpkin Lane, Wheatland
Open 7 days a week from September 17- October 31:
  9am- 7pm Sunday- Monday and 9am-8pm on Saturdays.
Free Admission, but parking is $10 on Fridays and $15 on weekends.
  Free Parking Monday-Thursday.
This place has is it all:
  zip line for the adventure seekers,  play areas for kids of all ages,  Coyote Mountain with giant slides and “gem panning”,  petting zoo, train ride, hay ride, corn maze and so much more!  Bring your appetites as they have plenty of food on site and spend the day at this fun pumpkin patch!

3.      Dave’s Pumpkin Patch: 3010 Burrows Avenue, West Sacramento.
Open Sunday- Thursday 10am- dusk and weekends 10am-9pm.
If you are searching for something a little more frightening for your Halloween lovers, then check out their famous Haunted Corn Maze.
  Opens in the evening for those who love a good scare!
Prices for activities are “a la carte” and can be found on their website.
  They have everything from the corn maze, to hay bale climbing, jumping pillows and petting zoos. Other activities include pony rides, BBQ, pumpkin picking and even a farmers stand. It’s the perfect afternoon (or evening) to get your fall festivities going.

4.      Branco Farms: 1033 Reserve Drive, Roseville.
Open 7 days a week from 12pm-9pm, October 7- October 31.
If you don’t want to head out of the city too far, this is the place for you!
They offer a huge assortment of pumpkins to choose from, pony rides, jump houses and even laser tag! 

5.      Fog Willow Farms: 11011 Cecatra Drive, Wilton.
Open Monday- Friday 12pm-6pm and weekends 9:30-6pm from October 1-October 31.
Admission is $4 and they offer a variety of activities including:
  hay rides, pony rides, family mining, petting zoo, and pumpkins galore! This is a fun place for kids who are for good old-fashioned family fun!

So grab a caramel apple, your camera and make memories this fall at one of our local pumpkin patches!

By Heather Crivellone

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The Mini Maker Faire Comes to Sacramento for a Day of Science, Technology and More

September 27, 2016

rocklin_mmf_logo_googleplus_2This Saturday, October 1st, Sierra College in Rocklin will host the 2016 Mini Maker Faire.

If you are not familiar with the Mini Maker Faire, it’s an all day event featuring rockets, robots, DIY science, technology and more!  This event will feature both established and emerging local “makers” showcasing their inventions and creativity.  Makers range from tech enthusiasts to scientists, crafters to engineers… and everything in between!  Neither age nor experience matters at this event – everyone comes together to showcase, learn and experiment.

My 7-year-old son is obsessed with the show “Battle bots”- and he is always trying to find ways to create robots from Legos, and is taking apart any old appliances we have to create new things… this is the event for him!

Not only will “Battle bots” be on site and demonstrating their skills, but there will be vendors and hands on projects for kids of all ages to enjoy. Some of the events and vendors include:
Upcycling of clothing Tie die stations Bender Toss competitions Rocket launching and photos Mutant vehicles Virtual Reality Zombie Games Robots and Battle bots Crafts and so much more!

This is a FREE family friendly event from 10am-5pm on the Sierra College Campus (5000, Rocklin Road) in Rocklin.   If you have children who are interested in science and technology of any kind, this is the event to take them to.  It’s free, educational and fun…and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

 

Win Tickets: Blue Angels Join the California Capital Airshow Lineup at Mather Field this Weekend for the First Time in Nearly a Decade

September 26, 2016

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The California Capital Airshow, presented by Sacramento County in partnership with the City of Rancho Cordova, will be flying in and entertaining thousands of spectators at Mather Field this weekend, Oct. 1 & 2. And this year, the world-famous Blue Angels will perform in Sacramento for the first time in almost ten years. In addition to the Blue Angels, air performers will include military and civilian performers that will delight the crowds with jet demonstrations, acrobatics, bombers, rare warbirds, and pyrotechnics. On the ground, attendees will be able to explore aircraft, interact with pilots and crew members, and enjoy educational interactive exhibits. Here’s what’s going on especially for kids:

The Hangar. Sponsored by the Sacramento Children’s Museum, The Hangar is a family-friendly area which features action-packed inflatables and interactive activities. There is no additional charge to enter The Hanger. Ideal for children under 12 years of age.

The Launch Pad. The Launch Pad is an interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) exhibit, sponsored by Aerojet Rocketdyne. The activities at this science and aviation launch pad are geared towards teenagers who are considering a STEM career. The Launch Pad combines the love of games and technology with real world applications and includes aircraft, space artifacts, robots, demonstrations and flight simulators. Ideal for 13 years and older.

What: California Capital Airshow featuring the world-famous Blue Angels

Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with flying performances from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

When: Oct. 1 & 2, 2016

Where: Mather Field, Rancho Cordova

Tickets: $10 for children, $30 for adults. Purchase tickets here.

Win Tickets: We have got 4, 1-day tickets to give away to one of our lucky readers. If you are interested in winning these tickets, please leave a comment in the section below telling us why you would like to attend this year’s airshow. Leave your comment by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Good luck!

Raley Field Hosts Dinger’s Drive-In this Fall for Families

September 23, 2016

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Baseball season is over for our beloved River Cats, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from Raley Field. This Fall, the River Cats invite you to come and enjoy family friendly-friendly movies out on the field. Dinger’s Drive-In debuts with Zootopia this Saturday night, Sept. 24 at 6pm. Grab a blanket or chair and your kiddos, and find a great spot on the field to watch the movie on the video board. The doors open at 5:30 pm and the movie will begin promptly at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $6 for children (ages 2 and under are FREE), $8 for adults. You can purchase tickets here: Tickets

If you can’t make it this Saturday night, then make sure you add to your calendar upcoming Dinger’s Drive-In movie nights: Oct. 15 & Oct. 29

What: Dinger’s Drive-In

When: Sept. 24, Oct. 15 & Oct. 29

Where: Raley Field

Admission: $6 for kids, $8 for adults, FREE for kids 2 years and under; buy tickets for all three movies for a special discounted rate of $15 per person

 

Sacramento’s Free Farm-to-Fork Festival is this Weekend: Here’s What you Need to Know if you’re Bringing your Kids

September 22, 2016

It’s here…Sacramento’s 4th annual Farm-to-Fork Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 am to 6 pm on Capitol Mall between Third and Ninth streets. This family festival is a great event to bring the kids to, as there are many child-oriented activities, family-friendly entertainment, and it won’t cost you a cent because admission is free…for everyone. Intrigued? Here’s what you need to know if you will be bringing the family down on Saturday:

What You Need To Know About Bringing Your Family Out To Sacramento’s Family Friendly Farm-to-Fork Festival

Enjoy these photos from previous years’ Farm-to-Fork Festivals.

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Fall is Finally here in Sacramento and a Trip to Apple Hill is Just what the Doctor Ordered

September 21, 2016

apple-hillCan you feel the chill in the evening air?  Fall is around the corner and it’s by far, my most favorite time of the year!  Not just for the “pumpkin spice lattes” you see everyone sipping in the mornings, but for everything related to fall. The beautiful colors that start emerging on the tree tops, the crisp chill of the morning air, the smell of apple pies and muffins baking in the oven – I love it all!

One of our families’ most cherished traditions is to head up to Apple Hill and spend the day picking apples. I’m counting down the days until we make our annual trip to get some apple donuts, fritters, pies and even enjoy a little Apple beer. Oh it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

If you have never been, it’s an easy drive from Sacramento, about 45 minutes East and a little past Placerville. They have so many orchards to choose from with activities for the entire family – I would suggest mapping out your day and planning what you would like to do, before you arrive. Some of the many popular activities include: Picking your own apples and pumpkins, Pony Rides, Hay Mazes and Hay Rides, Nature Trails, Craft Vendors, Fishing, Gold Panning, Petting Zoos’, Bake Shops and Apple Barns, Wine and Beer tasting and more. Personally, I enjoy just driving the back roads and admiring the color changes of the leaves (this will be more prominent later in October). My kids love picking apples and hiking around the nature trails. We always make a stop for kettle corn and a BBQ lunch before making the drive back down to Sacramento.

Whatever you choose to do, you will definitely be in for a “golden delicious” treat.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Apple Hill growers.  There are many more places to visit; this is just a quick snapshot of some of my favorites. To find a complete listing of Apple Hill growers, check out the Apple Hill website.

Abel’s Acres–They offer Pony rides, Hay Maze, food and fun for the entire family.

Denver Dan’s– They offer U pick apples, face painting, cooking classes and more.

Fudge Factory Farm– Candy tasting galore for those of us with a sweet tooth!

High Hill Ranch– Fishing, pony rides, hay rides, craft fair, cider mill and much more!

Kids Inc. – Arts and Crafts, You pick Pumpkins, Corn Maze, Nature Trail and Junior Farmer Tours… this is the farm my husband used to visit when he was a kid- so he loves taking our kids and telling them stories about when he would visit at their age (very nostalgic for us).

As I said, this is just a small list of what Apple Hill has to offer.  Check out the Apple Hill Growers full website and map out where you want to visit with your family.  They also have some great wineries and plenty of picnic spots for you to enjoy.

So don’t let this fall season pass you by – take some time to visit one of the most beautiful areas that Sacramento has to offer and make some lasting Fall memories with your family!

By Heather Crivellone

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Win Tickets: Fairytale Town’s Free Book Festival to Feature Barbara Jean Hicks, Author of Frozen: A Sister More Like Me

September 19, 2016

webeventbanner-21Every September, Sacramento’s favorite storybook park opens its doors to children of all ages for its free annual children’s book festival, featuring a lineup of renowned children’s book authors. This year, the 16th annual Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival will feature headlining author Barbara Jean Hicks, of Frozen: A Sister Like Me and a new book, Once Upon a Parsnip. Children will enjoy back-to-back readings and presentations on the Mother Goose stage from several authors and illustrators who will be available for book signings. Other fun literacy activities will be storytelling performances, hands-on activities, a scholastic book fair and more. And the best part about this festival? Admission is FREE giving all children and their parents/caregivers the chance to enjoy this special event.

What: Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival

When: Sept. 24 & 25, 2016

Where: Fairtyale Town

Admission: FREE

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Wondering who the other authors and illustrators will be? Here’s the lineup:

Allison Branscombe: All About China

Lynda Bulla: Under the Yellow Leaf

Madeleine Dunphy: Cat in the Night

Kelsey Lynn Estep: A Stone’s Throw

Ronald Javor: Homer Finds a Home

Sami Kader: Sami vs. the Negative Voice

Jennifer Kuhns: Paisley of Plaid…Being Your Very Best You!

Kris Aro McLeod: Catch a Kiss

Akshaj Mehta: Super Mouse

Lori Mortensen: Cowpoke Clyde

Karen Sanders and Hannah Howerton: The Little Lemon that Leapt

The folks at Fairytale Town would really like you to come out and enjoy this festival with them and so they are offering SacramentoKids.net a great giveaway package for one or our lucky readers. The package includes 4 Fairytale Town admission tickets, a Magic Key, a plush Humpty Dumpty doll and copies of Barbara Jean Hicks two books, Frozen: A Sister More Like Me and Once Upon a Parsnip. Want to win? Here’s how you can become eligible. Tell us which of the books above is your child’s favorite, and why. Leave your comments below by 5pm on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. A random drawing will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.  *Once entry per person, please.

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