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From Roller Skating to Free Concerts in the Park, Here are our Top Five, Nearly Free Summer Activities for Families in Sacramento

May 22, 2017

Summer is around the corner and the kids will be out of school in no time. Every year, parents scramble to find summer camps, sporting events, day trips and activities to keep the kids occupied – without  breaking the bank. If you don’t do a little research ahead of time, you may find yourself spending too much money on outings or end up with kids glued to their electronic devices. There are several free and inexpensive activities to do with the kids all summer long in the Sacramento region. Here are my top 5 summer activities that your kids love:

  1. Kids Skate Free.   Sunrise Rollerland and RollerKing in Roseville both participate in this program. Just visit their website and sign the kids up and you will receive weekly coupons to take the kids skating during the hottest part of the day (relief!). The only out-of-pocket costs are the skate rentals if needed and anything from the concession stand.
  2. Dollar summer movies at Regal Cinema. On select days you can visit Regal Theaters, UA Artists and Edwards Theaters during the summer and view an older family friendly move for only $1. Show times vary and I would check their website for listings.
  3. Kids Bowl Free.  Just like the skating program, all you need to do is visit their website and sign up. You will receive weekly free coupons to bowl all summer long. My family especially enjoys this program, I love visiting Strikes Unlimited during the hottest time of the day and getting some relief from our scorching summer heat!   Bowling alley rental is free for two full games and the only out-of-pocket is the cost of the bowling shoes. Participating alleys include:
    Steve Cooks Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights
    Pins N Strikes in Elk Grove
    Country Club Lanes in Sacramento
    Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin
  4. Cool off by visiting one of our many Spray Parks in the area.   This is a great activity if you have younger children especially, but even my older kids still love to run around and play at the parks that have the splash pads.   Visit our site to see a list of local spray grounds.
  5. Summer evenings are the best when there is free, family entertainment involved.  Our family has enjoyed Pops in Park for several years and we are excited for this year’s lineup. Every Saturday night in June, you can pack a picnic dinner and enjoy a live concert at one of East Sacramento’s favorite parks.
    June 3: Joy and Madness at East Portal Park (51st and M Street)
    June 10: John Skinner Band at Bertha Henschel Park (45th and Brand Way)
    June 17: Mumbo Gumbo at McKinley Park (H and 33rd Street)
    June 24: Unsupervised at Glenn Hall Park (Sandburg and Carlson Way)

So there you have it, my families top 5, nearly free summer activities. Hope you decide to make a list and take advantage of some of the summer fun in the area. I’m always reminding myself that we only have 18 summers with our kids… and I want to make each one of the count.

By Heather Crivellone


Kids Can Keep Their Minds Alert by Visiting These Sacramento STEM Museums Over the Summer

May 19, 2017

Take a look at this blog post from Seven of Sacramento’s Best STEM Learning Facilities for Students and Families.

Photo: Sierra College Natural History Museum

Forget Brunch and Manicures for Mom this Weekend – Check Out these 10 Unique Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Sacramento

May 10, 2017

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”- Robert Browning.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 14. Hopefully you have already made plans to help celebrate that special woman in your life. If not, don’t worry! We have compiled a list of activities and events that are happening around Sacramento this weekend. Whether your mom is adventurous or would rather enjoy a quiet picnic at the park, we’ve got you covered.

  1. Smother her in berries. Visit the annual Berryfest at the Placer County Fairgrounds on May 13 and 14. From 10am-6pm, you and mom can enjoy all things that are berries. Petting zoo, kids fun zone, berry tastings, live music, entertainment and much more!
  2. Get your game on. For the more sporty moms out there, check out the Junior Kings Mother’s Day Clinic. On May 13, you and mom can train like a pro. Learn basketball basics, sharpen your shooting and dribbling skills and make memories with former Sacramento Monarchs players. This event will be held from 9am-12pm at the Sacramento Kings practice facility at 1 Sports parkway. $75-$175.
  3. Picnic in the park. For an activity that won’t break the bank, consider packing up a picnic lunch and visiting one of our local parks. McKinley Park and Southside Park are some of Sacramento’s favorites, especially if you have younger children. If you would like to do something a little more active than strolling through a city park, then check out the Auburn Recreation area and hike along the river to find a good picnic spot.
  4. Tea and crumpets. Put on your fancy hats, gloves and consider having “high tea” at Dash of Panache in Roseville. Enjoy tea sandwiches, scones and sweet treats at the one and only Parisian-themed teahouse in Sacramento. Tea times are 11am and 2pm on Saturday, 2pm and 5pm on Sunday. $29.95.
  5. All Aboard! Jump on the Sacramento River Train on Mother’s Day for a train ride to celebrate mom. Train departs at 12pm and includes a relaxing 2 hour train ride to enjoy the sights of Sacramento and along the river. Mimosas and lunch options are available to purchase. This will be a relaxing trip all moms will enjoy!
  6. Cheer her on. For the ultra-marathoner mom, check out the Mother’s Day All Women Triathlon/ Duathlon and 5k. Swim, bike and run the course at Granite Beach with your mom, and bring along the dads and sons as well. This event may be held on Mother’s Day, but it’s for the whole family.
  7. Take in a live show at Sutter Street Theater on historic Sutter Street in Folsom. Treasure Island begins on May 13 and is part of the family series of live shows at Sutter Street. When you are finished watching Long John Silver and the other pirates, take a stroll and visit the boutiques along Sutter Street. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
  8. Eat, Drink and be creative at Art Bistro in Rocklin. Learn how to paint with your mom and create a memento from this Mother’s Day. This weekend, you can take a glass painting class and make a vase, learn how to paint a daisy, moonlit seascape or a whimsical tree. Unlike other paint night adventures, this location welcomes children ages 8 and older.
  9. Shop for antiques. One of my favorite things to do with my mom is to visit antique stores. If you haven’t been to the Sacramento Antique faire, make sure you take some time out of your day and visit. This faire is an outdoor antiques and collectible marketplace. Held the second Sunday of each month, you can browse 300 vendors from throughout Northern California.  Located at 21st and X streets, you are sure to find a treasure of some sort.
  10. Take it easy! Let her kick back and relax while you grill up some burgers and hot dogs, serve homemade lemonade and enjoy the wonderful Sacramento spring weather we will have this weekend.

Whatever you choose to do for mom this weekend, it’s bound to be a special day she’ll cherish for years to come!

Visiting the California Museum with Kids

April 25, 2017

California: the “Golden State”. Where everyone knows how to surf, lives by the beach and drinks Napa Valley wine. Well, at least that is the stereotype.

What most non-Californian’s don’t know is that we are such a diverse group. From Sunny San Diego to the stars of Hollywood, the low desert to the snowy mountain peaks on Mount Shasta and everything in between, California definitely has it all!

If you are visiting Sacramento on business or you live in our wonderful capital city, then visit our local California Museum and educate yourself on some the great achievements that our state is known for. I had the opportunity to visit this museum with my daughter – and I’m embarrassed to say that it was my first time entering into the building! With young children and living in the area for many years, I have visited all the “hot spots” –  the Railroad Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Aerospace Museum, Sacramento Children’s Museum, etc. I honestly never thought the California Museum was worth my time. Boy, was I wrong!

If you have never visited the museum, its home of the California Hall of Fame. The purpose is to engage, educate and enlighten people about our rich California history. Through interactive exhibits, we learn how the people of California have contributed to the world through innovation, arts, sports and culture. The idea of the “California Dream” comes to life and shows how many individuals have made their personal marks on history.

Exhibits included learning about immigrants coming to California, family experiences in the Gold Rush, and incredible women who have left major marks on California history. Interactive exhibits help teach about “Healthy Habits” and those who have shaped the movie industry in Hollywood. As a mom of a “pre teen” girl- I was proud to go through the exhibit of “Remarkable Women” with my daughter. She loved seeing the exhibits of female athletes, entrepreneurs and scientists.   Showing her that she truly can aspire to be anything she wants to be… including a famous cookie maker (Mrs. Fields) – that definitely got the wheels in her brain turning as she loves to bake!

The museum is open Tuesday- Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm. Admission into the museum is $9 for adults, $7.50 for children and seniors.

I would highly recommend making a visit to the California Museum. It makes for a great afternoon trip to Sacramento. Add into your day a picnic at the gardens of the State Capitol and take the walk a few blocks to the California Museum. It will prove to be an educational and fun outing for you and your family.

By Heather Crivellone


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


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.