ReCreate in Roseville… an Eco Art Center for Kids and Adults!

“Reuse, Recycle, Recreate”- that is the mantra of a local eco-friendly art studio in Roseville. We had the opportunity to visit ReCreate a few weeks ago and we all had an absolute blast!

 

As the saying goes, “One persons trash is another persons treasure”, well this is definitely the truth when it comes to this studio!

Recreate collects all sorts of interesting (yet unwanted) usable materials from local businesses and provides them for environmental lessons, and uses them to create works of art.

ReCreate is located in downtown Old Roseville (also a great area to walk around and “window” shop). As you enter the studio, you will see bins after bins full of reusable “things”. Everything from wine corks, electrical wire, bubble wrap, toilet paper rolls, coffee cans, etc. etc. Things we would normally just “toss” into the recycling bin, they put it back to use!

You and your child’s imagination can go wild here. Creating anything you can imagine with the use of a hot glue gun (yes- they have hot glue… it’s up high for the adults, but beware- it is available for those “reaching hands”).

They do offer Art classes and parties (check their website), for those who would like a little more structure. However, for me and the kids we opted to try their “Drop in crafting”. For only $5/ crafter, we had full run (basically) of the studio. You can also choose to purchase additional items for your creation (at a nominal price).

At first I was a bit intimidated, not knowing what to do and make. However, the staff was extremely helpful and they had so many examples throughout the studio that it really gave us some inspiration to start creating.

I was impressed as my daughter Siena (3) stayed so focused on her picture frame she decorated with buttons and “shiny” tape. Lucca (my little 1 year old) had fun coloring and was excited over the “choo choo” train that I helped him make out of wine corks and wooden blocks (he was actually still playing with that train this morning).

Luckily, they do have crayons and paper for the younger ones, but if your child enjoys art and using their imagination (who doesn’t?) then you will have a blast creating something unique with them.

The best thing about ReCreate is that not only is it a drop-in art studio, but they are helping local businesses to create less waste and teaching our children the concept of recycling and reusing. A teachable moment that goes far beyond the crafts they make in the studio.

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Sacramento FREE Museum Day- Saturday, February 5th, 2011

If you happen to be in town on Saturday, February 5th and are searching for some fun, inexpensive family entertainment- then pack up your kids, grab some snacks and hit up one of the great local museums our city has to offer.

Saturday, February 5th from 10:00am- 4:00pm, twenty-six (26) Sacramento area museums will be offering FREE ADMISSION to the public for the 13th annual Sacramento Museum Day.

This is a great way to get those kids out and learning all about Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and everything in between!

There are so many museums that I would suggest viewing their websites, decide which ones would interest your family, choose 2-3 of them and then map it out! Here is the list of those that are participating:

Aerospace Museum of California
California Automobile Museum
California Foundry History Museum
The California Museum
California State Military Museum
California State Capitol Museum
California State Indian Museum
California State Railroad Museum
Crocker Art Museum
Discovery Museum Science and Space Center
The Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum
Fairytale Town
Folsom History Museum
Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park
Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland)
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Museum of Medical History
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum
Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Sacramento Zoo
Sacramento Historic City Cemetery
Sacramento History Museum
Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento and Downtown locations).

The museums that typically experience overcrowding (and would result in a long wait to enter) include: Crocker Art Museum, Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, and the Sacramento Zoo. If any of these are on the top of your list to visit, then I would suggest getting there first thing in the morning!

Since my hubby is an engineer, you can bet that we will be visiting the Aerospace museum…that is after we get our 3 year old to soccer practice, fight the (almost) 2 year old away from the park swings, and trying to squeeze in a nap and (somewhat) nutritious lunch in for everyone. Whew…I’m exhausted already thinking about it. But- since it is free to get in… I won’t feel so bad if I doze off through some of the exhibits (mama needs her rest sometimes-doesn’t she?).

Have fun and happy exploring!

 

California Automobile Museum

 

Over the holidays, my family began to go stir-crazy from staying in and trying to keep warm…so we decided a day to visit some local museums was what we needed! My husband who is a car fanatic wanted to visit the California Auto Museum while the exhibit “Automobilia”- showcasing Italian auto manufacturing (sponsored by Ferrari) was there. Somehow he thinks that his next car should be a Ferrari… not sure if I agree with him on that one!

My daughter and I were “along for the ride” and my son (whose first words were car and truck) was just as excited to see the shiny hot-rods as his daddy was! Although, we were all in for a treat and I was surprised at how much everyone in the family enjoyed the museum!

 

The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to educate and entertain while preserving and promoting the automobile and its influence on our lives. As you enter the museum, you can choose to take a self- guided tour through the exhibits, but I would highly recommend following the tour led by one of the knowledgeable docents.
Our docent was VERY well informed and explained everything there was to know about each vehicle on display. My husband who knows practically everything about every car made was even very impressed and was excited to learn a few new things about some of the older cars. Our docent even got down with the kids and explained how things work in a fun way so that the kids could understand and enjoy the tour!
He was patient with our two rowdy kiddos and luckily there were plenty of opportunities for the kids to climb into and “drive“ some of the classics!

Unfortunately, the building itself is not climate controlled. So while we were trying to “get out of the house and stay warm”, our plan backfired on us- since the museum was quite cold! Knowing this now, next time we go we will dress appropriately (warmer clothes and layers in the winter and cooler clothes in the summer). The museum is open to the public 10am-6:00pm, 7 days a week. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students, ages 4 and younger are free.

The museum is always bringing in new displays, offering classes for the auto enthusiast and changing their exhibits. An upcoming exhibit (Jan 22-March 27) is “Dropped and Chopped“, exploring the classic years of traditional hot rods and custom cars between 1946-1960. I have a feeling that this definitely won’t be the last time our family visit’s the museum!

 

 

Runaway Stage Production at the 24th Street Theater- Cinderella is coming!

Most people from out of town wouldn’t necessarily think of Sacramento as being known for their theatre and arts. We can’t compare to New York’s Broadway or London’s West End, however, we can boast to have several fantastic theatre venues as well as having one of the largest collection of community theaters in California.

Some of these community theatres include the 24th Street Theatre, Kookabura Productions, Big Idea Theatre, B Street Theatre, Chautauqua Playhouse and many more.

One of the reasons I love living in this golden city is that I have the opportunity to expose my children to all aspects of the arts, yet we still live in “suburbia” in the middle of an agricultural area. We easily have access to the performing arts, museums and so much more!

Even though my kiddos are too young to fully appreciate the theatre and arts, I’ve been having fun watching them grow and learn as I expose them to different things…whether it’s finger painting in the backyard, viewing art at the museums on second Saturday… or my favorite, enjoying a live performance at one of our many venues.

Runaway Stage Productions has been operating in Sacramento since 1997 and currently is the only community theatre company in the greater Sacramento area to have an 18 piece Resident Orchestra dedicated to providing live music during performances (quite impressive I must say!).
This company stages 6 Broadway style productions each season and 6 original Storybook Children’s Theatre shows, which are tailored to the younger audiences.

My daughter (who is 3) absolutely LOVES this theatre. The actors are great at getting the kids involved (Boo’ing and hissing at the villains, applauding for the hero, etc) and they are patient with the kids after the show by giving lots of hugs and signing autographs for everyone.

The theater itself is older (built in 1929), but has been kept up very well and is a perfect venue for community theatre. Nestled in the quiet neighborhood of Curtis Park, they have ample parking behind the theatre and is walking distance from Crepeville, if you decide to take your youngster out for an after-show treat. The theatre itself does sell candy and snacks at intermission (yes, they do have an intermission so those kiddos can take a “pee” break), but I would suggest forgoing the $1 candy bar for a chocolate crepe down the street!

So if you have a little “Princess” or “Prince”, I would suggest taking them to see Cinderella (January 15th, 22nd and 29th, 12pm and 2pm). Tickets are only $8 general admission and $6 for kids 12 and under. That’s cheaper than taking them to the movies!

Not only is it a great way to start exposing them to the performing arts…but it’s a fun family “date” that you and your kids won’t forget!

Explorit Science Center in Davis

Are the rainy and cold days of winter getting you down? Do you have kids that are curious to learn a little bit about everything? Are you tired of being cooped up inside with those kids who keep asking…who, what and how??? Well if you need a little “brain stimulation” or just an excuse to get those little hands exploring… then a quick drive to Davis to visit the Explorit Science Center is what your family needs!

 

Just a quick 10-15 minute drive (depending on who’s driving) out of Downtown Sacramento and you and your children can discover the wonders of science with all of the hands-on exhibits.
Open on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, this center is great place for the kids to explore and learn at the same time.

The center has two levels- the upper level is always changing with different exhibits and the lower level is “hands on” exploration at multiple stations. You can discover the behaviors of moving objects, test shapes in a wind tunnel, experiment with sound waves, check out different “Creatures” and much, much more.

During our visit, we were able to create our own parachute and watch it fly…my daughter loved this, since she was able to cut out, tape and assemble it all together and then was able to let it “blast off”! My little guy couldn’t be torn away from the “test track”. He is way too young to understand how much energy is needed for a car to go over a hill…but since they had race cars and a track…it was all he needed to keep those cars in motion and him entertained for a long time!
We even had the opportunity to pet a “Bearded Dragon” and check out some live cockroaches…

My kids were a bit too young to actually understand and fully grasp everything this museum had to offer, but they both had a great time, especially in the “toddler area”. This room is full of blocks, tinker toys, books, puzzles, puppets, creatures of sorts (lizards, bugs, etc.). It was a great way to spend a rainy morning playing and learning about all types of new and exciting things.

The exhibits are always changing and while we were there, the exhibit “Wheels to Wings” was on display. You can learn everything from planes, trains and automobiles. This exhibit will continue until January 9th, 2011 and then “Game On! The Science of Sports” will begin. All those sports players out there will be able to learn how to improve their game while investigating the physics, biology and chemistry behind their favorite sports!

They do have an outdoor area with picnic tables if you plan on staying the entire day (given that the weather permits dining al fresco). This is a fun outing if you have kids that are school age and are interested in learning about how things work. Or even if your kids are young like mine, they still had a blast just exploring and playing with everything. They may not have learned or understood everything- but it was a great rainy day activity none the less.