Art in Sacramento for Kids

One of the great things about having children in Sacramento, is that there are so many opportunities to let them develop their imaginations and expose them to the arts.
Every month, Downtown Sacramento hosts “2nd Saturday”, where local businesses, art galleries and restaurants open up for a progressive art show.

Enjoy an evening of art, music, wine (for the adults), and people watching at it’s finest.

Our family especially enjoys “window shopping” through the boutiques on J street, listening to the live music and eating slices of pizza at Luigi’s Pizza Parlor during this festive art show.

Historic Folsom also hosts their version of “2nd Saturday” as well as Roseville with their “3rd Saturday” or every month.

With the variety of art shows you can take the kids to view, don’t miss an opportunity to visit the newly remodeled Crocker Art Museum.

Recently I took my kids to their “Wee Wednesday” at the Crocker Art and was highly impressed. First of all, the museum itself is gorgeous (I have been to quite a few in my days of prancing abroad) and I was pleasantly surprised at the architecture and the work on display.

“Wee Wednesday” was great for the kids (preschool age). The instructor had the children discuss a particular painting, helped them to understand what they were viewing, read to them and ended in the education room where they were free to create their own artwork, play with puzzles, books and just…explore! It was a great experience for children starting to develop a love for art.

Now if you and your kids are more “hands on”- then a trip to one of the local art studios is for you. Art Beast is a favorite for many local moms- $8/ person and you can spend the entire day getting lost in your creativity at this drop in art studio. Painting, coloring, sculpting, dramatic play, daily classes and so much more! This place has everything to keep your creativity entertained for hours and hours.

Trailmix.net is another fun destination for some drop-in crafters. Create a critter, paint a flowerbox and other outdoor craft ideas on their “a la carte” menus.

Recreate in Roseville is an eco-friendly art gallery where kids can create their own masterpieces with recyclables.

So whatever you choose there are plenty of opportunities to expose your children to the wonderful world of art here in Sacramento.

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Fairytale Town- a favorite outing for Sacramento area families.

If you haven’t taken your kids to Fairytale Town, then you are missing out on one of Sacramento’s oldest and most loved family destinations.

Fairytale Town has been inspiring children’s imaginations since 1959. This 2.5 acre play park brings Fairytales and Nursery Rhymes to life. With over 25 bright and colorful play structures to climb and explore on- it’s a great way to reinforce the love of literature through play.

Kids can slide down the giant shoe in “There was an Old Woman who live in a shoe”, they can sit in “Cinderella’s Carriage“, water the herbs in “Mr. McGregor’s Garden“, take a hike down the “Crooked Mile” or visit the “3 Little Pigs” and Eyore the donkey in the barnyard.

They also have year round theater performances and puppet shows for the kids (check their website for upcoming events). Fairytale Town is truly a family favorite for Sacramento area families.

My daughter celebrated her last birthday in “King Arthur’s Castle” and still talks about how much fun she had!

One thing to take into consideration when visiting this park is that if you have small children, you may want to bring your stroller and snacks.

They do allow outside food, but they don’t have strollers or wagons to rent (as many other parks do). They do have a concession and sell snacks, but I always prefer to bring in my own and have a picnic in “Sherwood Forest”.

Fairytale Town is located in William Land Park, across from the Sacrament Zoo and Funderland.  They are open 7 days a week 9am-4pm.  Admission is only $4.50 and for children under is FREE.  You can also purchase combo passes to both the Zoo and Fairytale town,  so on a warm spring day- arrive early and enjoy a full day of fun with your family. It will be an outing surely you will never forget!

St. Patricks Day Parade in Old Sacramento

On Saturday, March 17th, celebrate the Irish culture in Old Sacramento with the 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Over 1,000 marchers- including Irish Dancers in Celtic Costumes, Bagpipers, School Bands and other organizations will be marching to help bring in the “Luck of the Irish” to Sacramento.

The parade will begin at 1:00pm from 2nd and L Streets and will proceed through the historic district of Old Sacramento. The streets will be closed to traffic from 12:00pm- 3:00pm, so be sure to get there early! I would suggest parking in the Downtown Plaza parking structure and walking from the mall to Old Sacramento, just don’t forget to take your ticket to get validated (in one of the mall shops of course).

After the parade, there will be activities and food specials all day long throughout Old Sacramento.

The kids will love the Celtic Dancers and Bagpipers and I’m sure the dads will enjoy the green beer! And of course- if you see a Leprechaun, make sure you follow him to the pot of gold!

Enjoy!

Bounce U in Roseville

What is with this crazy Sacramento weather?? One day it’s beautiful and spring-like and we are out enjoying the sunshine at the parks, and the next day the forecast is calling for rain?? It’s enough to drive a mom crazy, especially when trying to plan activities for two rambunctious kiddos!
Luckily for us, there are plenty of indoor activities through the Sacramento area to keep us busy and to keep the kids moving and active. On one of our recent “rainy day excursions”, we visited Bounce U in Roseville.
This was our first experience at Bounce U and I was thinking…”just another bounce house place”. Well- to my surprise, they were a bit different.
What makes them different from other bounce/fun places is their customer service and their “sessions”. First session began at 9:30am and everyone went into the “bounce” room all at the same time. They had employees in the room watching over and helping the youngest ones to slide/bounce and have fun.
This room consisted of a bounce area, large inflatable slides, soft foam T-ball and basketball area and even a “shooting” cage to blast off soft foam balls.
As with all bounce/play areas, socks are required and they have cubicles to place your shoes and belongings.
Just as the kids were getting tired of the inflatable toys- one of the employees announced we were all moving to “the next room”. This was a surprise to me- since I’ve never been to a “bounce place” and “herded like cattle” into another area.
Even though packing up all our things and moving to another with two little ones was a bit of a hassle, it really was ingenious. The kids moved from one room with more “younger jump toys”, into a room with larger and more “advanced” jumpers.
In this area we again had full run of the room- larger bounce houses with basketball and balls to toss, climbers to slides and even a huge “spider web” to climb and reach an even larger slide. This “Spider web” was way too advanced for the little ones, so it was closed off while we were there.
The “session” was 1.5 hours and for $7 per kid (under 2 are free), we definitely played our moneys worth!
If you plan on visiting Bounce U, check their website for “open bounce” hours. Also- to make life easier for you, bring your backpack so you can keep all your belongings in one spot and easily accessible for the transition from room to room.

As my daughter said in mid-air as she was bouncing away…”Mommy- this place is awesome!”.

Discovery Museum Science and Space Center

Last month, America celebrated the launch of space shuttle Discovery’s last mission, as well as mourned the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.
With these monumental events, we took our children to the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, to let them explore and learn “hands on” about space.
I hadn’t been to the Discovery Museum in many years (think elementary school field trip!) and I found it just as fascinating now as I did so many years ago.
The museum is ever changing and bringing in different exhibits to explore and learn about. Currently (January 15th-mid August) you can view “Space Quest! An exhibit about Space and the Solar System”. Kids can dress up in Astronaut costumes and sit in a shuttlecraft cockpit that was used by real Astronauts during their training. They can view and handle “elements” from the periodic table and learn about molecules, atoms, gasses, electricity, etc.
My kids are still way too young to understand what they were learning about- but they had fun playing with the “Rocket Ships”, Robots and exploring the world of Space. If your youngsters are in grade school- this is a wonderful place for them to learn “hands on” and in a non-formal environment.
On the weekends they offer family craft times where the kids can learn and create (while we were there, they did a craft pertaining to DNA). They also have a planetarium (children must be over 4 to attend), wildlife shows and nature walks.
Our family enjoyed the exhibits and even enjoyed a picnic out by the pond. Luckily, they let you “come and go” throughout the day- so you can either leave and get lunch before the shows, or you can bring a picnic and eat at the outside tables.
Discovery Museum is a fun way to get your kids interested in science and a great family outing to enjoy together.