Swanston Park- a great place to cool off and have some fun with the kids!

Temperatures have been rising fast- and it’s officially summertime here in Sacramento! To keep those kids active and cool, we have been visiting the local spray parks in our area. This past weekend, we visited Swanston Park located at 2350 Northrop Avenue. It was very easy to find, just off of Howe Avenue and very close to the many restaurants and shopping centers in case you need to make a pit-stop along the way!

The kids and I had a great time cooling off in the spray-ground. Sprayers, misters, water “shooters”, buckets of water that manually spin and soak you…it was a perfect way to cool off in the Sacramento heat! Once the kids were tired of splashing around- they enjoyed the afternoon playing on the playground.
The playground is the perfect size- not so big that you can lose track of your kids, but just big enough to keep them playing and having fun. My little guy loved the sandbox and spent most of his time digging and playing in the dirt (typical 2 year old boy!) My daughter loves to climb- so she was trying to master the unique curved climbing wall they had.  The spray ground is open 7 days a week from 11am-7pm during these hot summer months.

This is a really fun park to spent the entire day at, especially with a group of friends. They have bathrooms, picnic tables, shade, water play area, playground, tennis courts and a large field to run and play sports on. This is definitely a great summer destination when you are looking for a fun and cheap family outing!

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Kids Summer Movies for Just $1

By Alyssa Green

Sacramento summers can somtimes get pretty darn hot and miserable, which is why we here at Sacramentkids.net like to focus on ways to keep you and your kids cool.  There are just some days when you either have to be lounging in a swimming pool, or else staying inside in a gloriously air conditioned room.  Well, for those days when you can’t quite make it to the pool, why not take the kids to the movies?  Regal Cinemas and United Artists offer their “Summer Movie Express”  and Cinemark offers a “Summer Movie Clubhouse” where on two weekday mornings throughout the summer, kid friendly movies cost just a dollar.  Woo hoo!  Such a deal!  Click on the links below for more information.

Regal and United Artists Summer Movie Express – type in your zip code to find your closest participating theater and the schedule of movies.  Some of the movies showing at Regal in Natomas are Adventures of Tin Tin, Kit Kittredge: American Girl, and Hugo.  All shows start at 10am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Cinemark Summer Club House – scroll down and click on your nearest theater to see the schedule.  Movies showing at Century Greenback are Rio, Dolphin Tale, Yogi Bear and more.  Again, all movies are at 10am on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  You can also print off a coupon for $1 off and movie snack.

Family Friendly 4th of July Celebrations in Sacramento

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE 2012 LIST OF EVENTS.

By Alyssa Green

There is no celebration quite like the 4th of July to announce that summer is here in America.  Sacramento summers are perfect for Independence Day parades, barbeque’s, swim parties, carnivals and best of all, fireworks displays.

Photo By Timothy K. Hamilton

We have gathered a list of Sacramento area celebrations for you and your families to enjoy.  So, have a happy 4th and let’s get out and celebrate our Independence!

Carmichael, Carmichael Gala – Carmichael, the La Sierra Community Center.  Parade at 10am, free kids area with water slides, obstacle course, arts and crafts, band, snack bar and fireworks at 9pm.  Fireworks and parking are FREE.

Citrus Heights, Fireworks Extravaganza – Sunrise Mall.  Beginning at 7:30pm – a kids carnival, live music and 3-D glasses to watch the spectacular Fireworks display.  Fireworks and parking are FREE

Davis, City of Davis 4th of July Celebrations – Community Park.  Beginning with free swim at Arroyo and Manor pools followed by fireworks at 9:30pm at Community Park.  Swimming, fireworks and parking are FREE.

Elk Grove, Salute to the Red, White and Blue – Elk Grove Regional Park.  Festivities begin at 6pm with live music and food, followed by fireworks at 9:30 pm.  Admission is free, parking is $10.

FolsomFolsom Pro Rodeo  (and fireworks) – Dan Russell Rodeo Arena, July 1, 2, and 3rd.  Gates open at 6pm with Roping starting at 7pm and Riding events at 8:15pm.  Fireworks to follow.  General admission is $19.50,  Seniors and children under 12 $15.00.  Special online “Buckaroo Pack” just $60.  Includes 4 admission tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 drinks.

Rancho Cordova, Rancho Cordova 4th of July Celebration – Hagan Park.  This 2-day festival (July 3rd and 4th) includes a carnival (starting July 1st), a parade at 10am on the 4th, Kids Zone with live steamer train, petting barn, pony rides and peddle boats,  Teen Extreme Zone with a rock wall, bungee power jumps, jousting, etc., free concerts and of course, a fireworks show on both nights.  Admission $2.00, parking is $10.  Children under 5 are FREE.

Sacramento, Sacramento Independence Day Celebration – Cal Expo.  Gates open at 6pm on July 4th, with music provided by 107.9 and a performance from the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West.  The California State mascot “Poppy” will be there to entertain kids of all ages.  General admission is free, parking is $10.

Sacramento, River Cats Independence Weekend – Raley Field.  Join the River Cats as they play Tuscon at Raley Field on July 2nd and 3rd.  Enjoy fireworks during and after the games (and every Saturday night home game!)

Come On Out For Sacramento’s First Ever NASCAR Hauler Parade

By Alyssa Green

Sacramento kicks off the NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sonoma weekend with the first ever Northern California NASCAR Hauler Parade tomorrow, June 23rd at 2pm. 

Bring the family to downtown Sacramento on Thursday afternoon to watch the famous NASCAR Haulers cross over the Tower Bridge and head to the State Capitol.  Haulers will include those of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and many others with a total of 50 haulers.  This should be quite a sight for racecar fans!

For the best view of the parade, head on over to 11th and L Streets where Infineon Raceway will have a display, giveaways and tickets to this weekends races.  For more information on this event, click here.

Crawling Creatures At The Bohart Museum of Entomology

By Alyssa Green

There are two kinds of kids. Those who scream whenever they see a tiny crawling creature, and those who are immediately mesmerized by those same creatures.  For those of you whose child is of the first sort, I would recommend not reading any further. 

For those of you with the second sort, you have hit a gold mine!  You must visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology in Davis.  Located on the UC Davis campus, this “bug and insect”  museum, is less like a museum than a working laboratory that allows visitors to peek in on what’s going on in the Entomology world. 

We recently had the pleasure of visiting.  In addition to pictures and learning charts there is also an extensive collection of insects from around the world.  The most interesting (for me) was the butterfly collection that is actually displayed outside the museum in the hallway.  Inside, my boys loved seeing the live animals…tarantulas, scorpions, termites at work.  They were also thrilled to pick up and hold a hissing cockroach (yuck!) and a large walking stick. 

Although we were lucky enough to have one of the staff members come out and explain some things to my kids, generally visitors are on their own unless they are scheduled for a tour, which costs $2.00 per person.  I would definitely recommend taking a tour with a small group.  Especially if you are like me and don’t really know much about entomology.  It was very nice to have someone knowledgeable for my future entomologist son to “discuss” things with. 

The museum is small and therefore I would say one hour is plenty of time for your children to check everything out, including the gift corner where you can buy Bohart Museum t-shirts, small toys and most interestingly real scorpion suckers and chocolate covered insects.  Mmm…is your mouth watering as much as mine is at the thought of eating real insects? Uh….no.  I didn’t think so. 

So, if you ever find yourself in Davis with an insect lover in tow, be sure to stop in and visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology for a real treat.

Get out and Play, Splish and Splash at Seely Park!

Earlier this week, the kids and I had the opportunity to check out Seely Park. With the temperatures rising, I thought an outing to one of our many spray parks was in order. Hidden back on Pope Avenue, near Watt Avenue- this little spray park is a gem!  Just the perfect size for toddlers and a little older..this is a great place to cool off with your wee ones.

 

The park itself has all the amenities you could ask for- bathrooms, picnic tables, benches and plenty of shade. For the kids- it was a “summer outing dream come true”!
They have two play structures, both with slides, mini-rock climbing wall, bars to hang and swing on, swings, rocks to climb on and a great sandbox with a faucet in the middle to make mud pies galore! 
Once they are covered in mud- they can splish, splash and run through the small spray park.
The spray park is on the smaller side, which makes it ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. Older kids would still have fun- but not as much as the littler guys.

 

Luckily for my oldest, her little brother happened to take an early nap that day (very surprising!) so we were able to spend the entire afternoon playing, and playing, and playing…isn’t that what summer is all about?

Celebrate the Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at this weekend’s Juneteenth Festival

By Alyssa Green

Join thousands of Sacramentans this weekend in celebrating the anniversary of the end of slavery.  From the end of the Civil War on June 19th, 1865, the  day has been observed in the U.S. as the African American Emancipation Day.  The Juneteenth Festival this weekend (June 17-18, 2011) will be at William Land Park and promises to bring people of all backgrounds, both young and old, together for this special commemoration.  There will be music, entertainment, a talent show and food.  Here is what’s happening specifically for kids on Saturday:

Juneteenth Parade at 11 am – come see the Juneteenth parade, motorcycles , marching bands, low riders, marchers, clowns and much more.

Radio Disney will be on site from noon to 2pm – promoting going green with interactive games, radio show contest, gift bags, giveaways  &  live broadcast.

Children’s Area, noon to 6pm  – arts and crafts,  jump houses, interactive games , magician , face painting etc.

Fishing Derby, noon to 4pm – Catfish will be pumped into the pond across from the Sacramento Zoo and the Fishing derby will begin at noon.  Bait and poles will be supplied and instructors on hand by the Department of Fish and Game.  This is a great opportunity for kids to learn how to fish…and have fun!

So pack up your whole family and head on over to William Land Park to join in on the celebration of freedom at Sacramento’s Juneteenth Festival.