Splashing away at Morse Park- another way to stay cool during the hot summer months!

Our strange spring-like weather has disappeared and once again we are enjoying the hot Sacramento summer. To continue on our “tour” of the local spray grounds, we recently headed out to Elk Grove to play at Morse Park (5540 Bellaterra Drive).
I had heard many moms raving about how fun this park was-so we had to experience it for ourselves!

The kids were in heaven with the two play structures. They had plenty of climbing opportunities for my two little monkeys – a huge rope spider web, rocks to climb on, a climbing wall, bars to hang and swing on…a preschoolers dream (and a mommies nightmare with visions of trips to the emergency room!).

The spray ground was probably the best I have seen- areas for both younger kids and older kids.. And if you are planning to play with the kids- be prepared to not just get a little wet to “cool off”, but to get REALLY wet!
They have the typical misters and sprayers, but what makes this park unique is the large “hanging barrel” that drops water onto the ground, sprays out and literally soaks everyone! The older kids were having a blast getting drenched, while the littler guys were having fun shooting water from the “Nemo Fish” squirters.

If you are looking for a place to spend the afternoon, this is a good spot, the park will keep the kids entertained and cool for hours. They also have soccer fields, basketball courts, bathrooms and some benches and tables to picnic on.

Morse Park is situated in the middle of a newer residential neighborhood, so unfortunately there is not a whole lot of shade to go around. There are some umbrellas, but I would HIGHLY recommend bringing your own umbrella or set up an EZ-Up for a long afternoon out.
The spray ground is open from May1st-September 30th, 10am- sunset. If you plan on making the trip out to Morse Park- bring along lots of sunscreen, dry clothes and be ready to play hard and have some wet and wild fun!

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Story Trail and Tot Land at the Crocker Art Museum

By Alyssa Green

Last week my boys and I were thrilled to attend the Crocker Art Museum’s launch of two amazing new programs for kids and their families.

I have to admit, although an art lover myself, I have shied away from taking my loud and rambunctious boys to the museum.  Every time the thought entered my mind, it would abruptly be shoved out due to trepidation.  How would I teach them to love and appreciate art while at the same time keeping them quiet and making sure they don’t touch a thing?  No, it was always decided in the end, attending the museum with my boys could not possibly end well.

Sadly, here we are, with my boys being 7 and 10, and neither one of them ever having stepped foot in the Crocker Art Museum.   Imagine my surprise to hear of programs being developed specifically for kids.   And imagine my surprise when upon arrival, all the kids in attendance were encouraged to play, interact, talk and laugh.  They were actually expected to behave like children!

Tot Land is an interactive play gallery, geared towards children up to 5 years of age.  The gallery is chock full of fun things for toddlers to do.  There are learning games, puzzles, creative play stations, books, an arts and crafts table and the highlight of Tot Land, a huge interactive touch screen or “Interactive Living Art Wall” as it is called at the museum, that uses gaming software to create a truly unique art experience for kids.  Although this is located in the “tot room”, my boys found this the highlight of the tour.  They loved, loved, loved this touch screen!

Story Trail is an actual tour families can take with their children through the museum.  Upon arrival, make sure to check out a storybook called “Birdy’s Museum Adventure” from the administration desk and follow the story with your kids as it takes you throughout the museum to certain works of art in the permanent collection.  As you stop at each work of art, the children are encouraged by the story to find  images and shapes within each specific art piece.  The tour is easy for the kids to follow and drops them off in Tot Land at the end.  This tour is a perfect blend of exposing older children to the museum experience, while still keeping it fun, interesting and moving it right along.

As with so many of our outings, this one ended in the gift shop where there are plenty of  educational and fun items for adults and kids alike.  I could hardly get the boys out of there! 

In the end we all agreed that the Crocker Art Museum is a super fun (and cool) place to visit.  We will be back very soon, and next time my kids will try their hand at actually creating works of art through one of the many children’s art classes offered at the Crocker. 

For more information on all of the children’s programs offered at the museum, click here.  Happy creating!

Sactown Ice Cream And Sandwiches Is Giving Away Gift Cards!

Tucked into a quiet shopping center in North Natomas, you will find a summertime gem.  Sactown Ice Cream and Sandwiches, located just off Club Center Drive is a fantastic ice creamery with an old-time feel.  A Perfect family hangout on hot summer nights.  Whether you want to enjoy the coolness inside, or the warm summer nights outside on the patio, get yourself some good old fashioned Gunther’s ice cream (and much, much more) and just…..relax.

There is much more than ice cream cones on the menu.  Shakes, fruit freezes, ice cream cakes, hearty sandwiches and chips as well as some “on the stick” specialties like Mudd Pie, chocolate covered cheesecake, chocolate covered bananas and any flavor ice cream sandwiches.  Make sure to try my personal favorite, mini nutty cones (2 for $2.10) for those days when you just need something small to satisfy that sugar craving.

Now for the fun part.  Sactown has given us (2) $10 gift cards to give away to two of our lucky readers.  Just head on over to Sactown’s website then come back here and leave a comment telling us what cool treat you would buy with your gift card.  The drawing will be held on Monday, July 25th.

For the month of July Only, Sactown is offering 20% off entire orders on Monday nights by request and $1 chocolate dipped waffle cones.

Here are the year-round specials:

Monday Night is Family Night – receive 10% off your entire order from 6pm to 8pm every Monday night.

Tuesday Night is Dollar Scoop Night – that’s right, every Tuesday night between 6pm and 8pm, each ice cream scoop is only $1!

Birthday Club – sign up here, and receive a free ice cream certificate on your birthday.

So, if you haven’t had a chance to celebrate National Ice Cream Month yet, head on over to Sactown soon!

Ice Cream Safari at the Sacramento Zoo this Saturday, July 23rd

Lions and Tigers and Ice Cream- Oh My!!! Saturday, July 23rd is the Sacramento Zoo’s 27th Annual Ice Cream Safari. From 4pm-8pm, join other families for an afternoon full of fun at the zoo at their popular fundraiser.
With admission, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat Baskin Robbins Ice Cream in cones, sundaes and floats along with all you can drink Coca-Cola. Explore the 14 acre zoo with ice cream treats around every corner!
Along with the ice cream, there will be live entertainment, kids’ activities, face painting and more family fun.
Tickets are $15 for children ages 2-11 and $20 for adults at the door. Proceeds of the fundraiser will go towards general maintenance and animal care at the Sacramento Zoo.

 

I volunteered at this event a few years back and took my daughter last year and each time was an absolute blast. What can be better during the hot days of summer with your kids…watching and learning about the wild animals around us and enjoying our favorite summertime treat- Ice cream…and LOTS of it!

Vic’s Ice Cream Winners!

Congratulations to our 8 lucky winners of (5) Vic’s kiddie cone coupons:

Michelle, Jennifer, Christina L., Amy, Clay, Brenda, Kristy and Katrina      

                                                          
Please email us (click on our “contacts” tab) to claim your coupons. We’ll have another ice cream giveaway later in the week, so make sure to check back!

Picking fruit at Impossible Acres in Davis is a fun family event!

I don’t think anyone can argue that one of the best things of summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. They sweet, juicy berries, yummy peaches and nectarines. Whether they are in fresh cobblers, home-made pies or just out of the fruit bowl- everyone loves sweet summer fruit.
And a great way to get kids excited about fruit (other than the A-la-mode) is to get them involved in watching it grow and the fun of picking the fruit.
Luckily, here in Northern California we have plenty of “you-pick-em” orchards where we can take the kids to explore, learn and see where our food comes from.

With the beautiful spring-like weather we’ve been having it’s a perfect time to visit some of the local farms.  Impossible Acres, located in Davis is a small family farm that has been growing a variety of fruits and vegetables for over 12 years. They are very kid-friendly and when we visited they handed us all baskets and told us we could “sample” as we pick.
The kids had a blast running through the peach tress and “trying” the apricots. My daughter loves raspberries, so she filled her basket in no time and informed me that were making raspberry jelly that night!

Because it is a farm, don’t expect too many extra amenities… no real bathrooms, no frills, but some tables to picnic on and some of the tastiest fruit to pick and enjoy!

During the fall, Impossible Acres turns into a Pumpkin Patch and has farm animals, petting zoo and more…I’m sure we will be back for the autumn festivities! But as for now, we enjoyed the experience of picking the fresh fruit. Knowing where it comes from, how it’s grown and whose hands it was in makes for such a better experience and such a piece of mind when feeding your children.

There are many “U Pick-em” farms throughout the area and to locate others, check out http://www.pickyourown.org/CA.htm to find out locations and what types of produce are available. Currently at Impossible Acres you can get Blackberries, Marion Berries, Apricots, Raspberries, Peaches and Nectarines. The are open Wednesday through Sunday from 9am-6pm, and closed Monday and Tuesday.

If you decide to make the trip out to the farm with children here are a few tips: make sure the kids (and you) wear “real” shoes…my daughter refuses to wear shoes and even flip-flops drive her insane. Well, the dirt, thorns and bushes were enough to make her put on her “lace-up” shoes.
Bring water and put on the sunscreen!!!
We took a picnic and then headed out to one of the parks in Davis to enjoy lunch with the fresh berries we had picked. It was the perfect end to a wonderful summer morning!