Celebrate National Donut Day

By Alyssa Green

Do you love donuts as much as I do?  Mmmm…just the thought of a fresh donut makes my mouth water.  Well, guess what?  We are designating Friday, June 3rd as a guilt free day for eating that yummy fried, sugary dough.  That’s because it is National Donut (or doughnut) Day.

National Donut day was brought to my attention by my son’s Cub Scout Den leader.  Apparently the day has quite a history.  And after learning of it, I am completely on board with devouring donuts in celebration!

In 1938, the first Friday in June was designated  “National Donut Day.”  The event commemorates and honors the female Salvation Army officers of WWI who served fried dough (donuts) and coffee to the soldiers on the front line.  This act of service instantly boosted morale and was greatly appreciated…and National Donut Day was born.  Click here to visit the Salvation Army website for more information on it’s history.

Is your mouth watering yet?  If so, head on over to Danny’s Mini Donuts located in Old Sacramento, tucked in a corner just across the street from the Railroad Museum.  Danny is a one-man show and not only serves his goodies fresh from the shop, but also bakes goodies for large events such as birthdays or office parties.  I say goodies because although his mini donuts are his most popular item, he also makes mini cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, brownies and chocolate candy.         

I had the pleasure of sampling some of Danny’s donuts and oh my…they were delicious!  Kids will probably choose the chocolate or vanilla with sprinkles, but adults will love the fresh strawberry and cream topped donuts.  The fun part is going into the shop and watching the donuts being made right in front of you.  Danny loves to have kids visit the shop so he can show them the donut making process.  And of course, the goodies are just the right size for little munchkins.

Now for the really fun part!  Danny is giving two of our lucky readers vouchers for 1 dozen donuts.  Visit his shop or website then come back here and leave a comment about what you like best about those mini desserts.  The drawing will be held on Friday, June 3rd – National Donut Day, of course!

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Summer Day Camps in Sacramento for kids

It’s hard to believe that the summer is upon us and before we know it the kids will be at home complaining that they are “bored” and have the “Summertime blues”. So before they spend hours in front of the TV, check out one of the many local summer camps in the area.

Fun camps like those at Fairytale Town will keep the kids engaged with arts and crafts, drama, gardening, music and more. Week long camps run June 13th-August 19th for ages 4-12. Discounts are available to Fairytale Town members.

For the kids who are more into the X-Games and love to skateboard, check out Epic Indoor Skate park. Weekly summer camps will teach kids at all levels and they will even have a chance to design their own skateboard!

For the drama queens in our life- they can attend a fast-paced intensive art experience. Act, Dance and Sing! For 1st-4th graders and 4th-8th graders. Acting Camp and Musical Performance for High Schoolers. Three sessions to choose from between June 27th-August 5th; visit www.sactheatre.org for more information.

For the eco-minded child, you can choose a camp like the one that is offered at Effie Yeaw Nature Center. August 2nd-13th, your child can enjoy games, crafts, nature walks and live animal presentations.

Or you can choose a camp at Star Eco Station where they will help care for giant tortoises, meet parrot friends, touch a rainbow boa and more! The camp at Star Eco runs from June 13th-Aug. 12th.

Or to keep those kids active, check out a “fun and Fitness” camp at the Bounce spot. Geared for children in K-8th grades, their days will be filled with activities and field trips (Explorit Science Center, Rock Climbing, Bowling, Ice Skating and more). June 10th-Aug 23rd.

The Sacramento Zoo also offers a fun and interactive camp for kids in preschool-9th grade. Kids will have a great time learning about animals and making new friends.

And if you have a little cowboy or cowgirl you can head up the hill to Time Stock Farm for their summer Horse Camps. Children will learn how to ride and care for horses. Class sizes are limited to 10 students each, so contact them early to reserve a spot.

So whatever you choose for your child, there are many options to keep them busy and engaged this summer.

Also check out http://www.summer-daycamps.com/camps/916.html for more ideas.

Have a great summer!

The 8th Annual International Kids Festival

By Alyssa Green

If you have kids and are staying in town this weekend, you might want to consider dropping in at the 8th Annual International Kids Festival at historic William Land Park.

For eight years now, the Russian-American Media has invited people of all ages, races and nationalities to come together for some FREE and lively fun for the whole family. 

Entertainment includes a multi-cultural talent show, a professional illusionist, sports and art competitions, free jump houses and face painting.  There will also be some yummy food and museum family-pack tickets to win!

The festival is on Saturday, May 26th from 10am to 4pm in the ampitheater area of Land Park.  Enjoy!

Big Spoon Frozen Yogurt- Storytime, Craft Time and FREE yogurt!!!

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!”
Is there a kid out there who doesn’t love ice cream and/or frozen yogurt? Or how about a kid who doesn’t love a good story or a craft to create?

At Big Spoon Frozen Yogurt, your kid can enjoy all of the above! With several flavors to choose from and over 75 toppings- you can truly make any yogurt creation… a kids’ dream come true!

And on the first and third Thursdays of every month, they host a Story Time and Craft Time for the kids.

On the first Thursday, a theme is chosen for the month and they will get to create a craft around the theme. Using their imagination- they may create kites, robots and more… all using craft supplies, spoons, cups and whatever fun items are available. During Craft Time- the use of scissors, glue and other items will be used, so parent involvement may be recommended.
On the third Thursday, they host a Story Time event. The stories are typically geared for preschool age and younger and each child will receive a complimentary kids’ size yogurt while they listen to the fun storyteller!
Big Spoon has 12 locations throughout the Sacramento area- check their website for the location and times of the events.

So as the Sacramento weather starts to heat up take a break from the sun and enjoy some quality time with your young ones at Big Spoon for fun crafts, stories and of course- Frozen Yogurt!

And to kick the summer off, Big Spoon has graciously given us FREE yogurt to give away to 5 lucky readers! Comment on this article and let know your favorite Big Spoon creation for a chance to win some free yogurt this summer.

Memories & Magic At The Sacramento County Fair this Memorial Day Weekend

By Alyssa Green

Living here in Sacramento, the capital city of California, we often focus our summertime attention on the California State Fair while sometimes overlooking the smaller, yet quainter Sacramento County Fair which runs May 26-30, 2011 at the Cal Expo.

This year’s county fair theme “Memories & Magic: An Enchanting Fair” sounds, well…enchanting, doesn’t it?  At the fair, your kids can join the circus and become stars or discover exotic wildlife in the Enchanted Forest where visitors will take a journey through classic tales such as The Princess and the Frog, Miss Spider’s Tea Party, and Hickory Dickory Dock.

Not to be missed is the daily Sea Lion Encounters show where visitors can actually meet the seal lions and have their picture taken with them.  Also make sure to visit animals at the Livestock shows and auction, and experience life on the farm at the Sunshine Saddle Ranch.

One of the best things about the county fair is it’s admission fees!  FREE for kids 0-12, FREE for senior citizens 62 and older, and $5.00 for anyone in between (13-61.)   Carnival tickets are just $.95, and “unlimited rides” wristbands are just $15.00 if purchased before May 25th.

As if those modest entrance fees aren’t enough to get you to the fair this weekend, there are also some even better specials.  Thursday, May 26th is “Buddy BOGO Day” (Buy One, Get One) on admission.  Friday, May 27th is “Mommy and Me” Day specifically dedicated to moms with young children who would like to visit the fair at a less crowded time.  Parents can visit the News 10’s Mom’s Like Me Club to download a coupon for free admission for Friday before 3:00pm.  Lastly, if you plan in advance, you can purchase a ValuPass at Walgreens which includes admission and a carnival wristband.

So, make this a family affair and gather your kids, grandma and grandpa, and whoever else wants to come and head on over to the Fair Grounds at the Cal Expo for some enchanting fun this Memorial Day.

StoryTime at Sacramento Splash

Sacramento Splash is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping local children understand and value their natural world through scientific investigation and outdoor exploration”. They offer local schools a chance to learn hands- on about nature and the environment around them.

We had the pleasure of meeting with Lu-Anne (the story time coordinator and “critter keeper”) last week to enjoy Story time at Splash.

This educational program is geared towards preschoolers as they will get the chance to view insects, turtles, frogs and more… all while listening to a fun, interactive story.

During our visit, Lu-Anne was very patient with our wee ones and encouraged their involvement with a fun book about sounds of the creatures around us. Our children “ooh-ed and ah-ed” at the tadpoles of different sizes and especially while watching her feed the snails to the turtles and worms to the frogs and snakes!

Splash also offers public programs throughout the year. “Nature in the Neighborhood” is a fun and educational program designed for families. And you can take a tour of the Vernal Pools of Mather Field, these are led by trained docents during the peak flowering phases. Check the website for more information and when to visit.

Story time at Splash is held May- October on Friday mornings at 10:00am. Cost is $5/ child and a call to reserve a spot is recommended.

I hope your kids enjoy the experience at Splash as mush as ours did!