Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink Opens For The Season

By Alyssa Green

The season has arrived for you to dust off your ice skates and head downtown for one of the most anticipated holiday activities of the season.

Westfield’s Downtown Ice Rink opens up on Friday, November 4th with a day of FREE skating from noon to 10pm.  Located at St. Rose of Lima Park at 7th and K Streets, the downtown ice rink has provided sacramento families a taste of a white Christmas for years.  Once on the ice,  as you glide peacefully with the wind at your back, you just might feel like you are in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.  Only the warm sun shining down on your face will remind you that you are actually in sunny California.  The ice rink gives you the best of both worlds!

 If you can’t make it on opening day, you’ll have plenty of time work in one or two trips before the rink closes on January 16th, 2012.  Meanwhile, here is a list of theme days for you to plan your visits around:

Tuesdays – every Tuesday from 4-8pm throughout the season is Family Night.  Kids get FREE skate rentals while parents relax on the sidelines with a cup of steaming hot chocolate (or you can be adventurous and lace up your skates, too.)

November 11th – Veteran’s Day – FREE skate rental for all those who have served our country, past and present.

November 12th – Cars on K Street – in honor of K Street being opened up once again to cars, FREE skate rental for everyone from 4-10pm.

November 17th – I love the 90’s theme night

November 19th – Yule Logs – Live music from “the hardest working band in ‘snow’ business.”

November 25th – Black Friday – FREE skate rental all day

December 1st – Disco Night

December 10th – the first 50 skaters to visit the rink will receive a FREE gift courtesy of

December 19th – 23rd – Westfield Week – show your downtown plaza shopping receipt and receive FREE skate rental.

December 29th – I love the 80’s theme night

January 5th – Luau on Ice

For a complete list of special days, click here.

Happy Skating!


Halloween Candy Buyback

By Alyssa Green

If your family is anything like mine, your kids have been to multiple Halloween parties by now, and your house is overflowing with candy wrappers.  And we still have Trick-or-Treating tonight.  Argh!

I don’t know any parent that wants their kids consuming all of the candy they receive during Halloween.  I have heard of parents paying their kids for their candy (and then throwing it out) but here’s an even better idea.

The Sacramento Children’s Museum is hosting “Sweet Exchange” November 1-5th.  Your kids can bring in their candy and exchange it for a fun goodie bag.  What happens to all that candy?  It gets donated to troops overseas.  Isn’t that a brilliant idea?

If you have older kids, goodie bags might not be much of an incentive for surrendering yummy treats.  How about cold, hard cash?  On November 2nd, Kids Care Dental Group is paying $2 per pound of candy (up to 2 1/2 lbs.)  Again, the exchanged sweets are sent to troops overseas.

So, save your kids teeth (and wasteline) this week and turn in all that candy for someting better.  Our troops will thank you!

Nourishing November at Apple Hill

By Alyssa Green

The weather has cooled, the crowds have dissipated and the fresh produce is waning.  So why visit Apple Hill in November?  Because November, for those very reasons,  just might be the perfect time to make that trip!

It’s true that many of the orchards and ranch’s close after Hallowen,  but there are still plenty that are open for business and doing a great job attracting visitors.  Instead of the BBQ’s, summer produce and cool drinks, you’ll find hot apple cider, fresh apple pies and pastries.  We’re calling this month at Apple Hill “Nourishing November” (not to be confused with non-fattening, mind you.)

Here’s what’s going on:

Abel’s Acres – still offering pony and horse rides on the weekends (weather permitting.)

Bavarian Hills – Winter Celebration and a warm, cozy restaurant.

Boa Vista Orchards– Cider Mill, grill open on weekends, arts and crafts fair through 11/20.

Denver Dan’s Apple Patch – Orchard tours, kids pie-making classes every Tues/Wed/Thurs at 10am and 2pm ($10 per child,) Apple Bavarian Torte tasing on 11/5-11/6, Pumpkin Roll tasting on 11/19-11/20.

El Dorado Orchards – Cider, train rides (weather permitting)

Fudge Factory Farm – stop in here for something a little different.  Chocolate, of course!  The Fudge Factory offers a “Create-a-Creature” treat for the kids.  Fun!

Grandpa’s Cellar – Offering FREE bakery treats to participants in the Apple Hill Harvest Run. Reader Visits Old Sacramento’s Replica Sailing Ship

By Alyssa Green

We love to hear from Sacramento area families after they have visited an attraction or place we have written about on our blog! reader Mary recently took her family to visit the Hawaiian Chieftan, the replica 1800’s Sailing Ship that is docked in Old Sacramento.  She was kind enough to give us permission to post her photos.  Looks like they had a great time!  Isn’t her son a cutie? 

If you have photos from a recent visit to a place we have highligted, we would love to see them…and there’s a good chance you might see yourselves on the blog.  So, keep on exploring our fabulous Sacramento area attractions and don’t forget to take lots of pictures!

Easy Spiderweb Cookies The Kids Will Love

By Alyssa Green

Here’s another quick and easy Halloween project for you to do with your kids.  Sacramento area craft blogger Brittney made these cute and amazingly easy spiderweb cookies…and we just had to share with you all.  They would be fun to make ahead for a party, or a fun project for your guest to make at your party.  

If you want directions, head on over to A Britt Without Boys for the tutorial.  Feel free to check out Brittney’s other Halloween project ideas while you are at it, they are all super cute and kid-friendly.  Thanks “Britt without boys!”

Free Scary Pancakes At IHOP

By Alyssa Green

It’s not often that one would associate Halloween with breakfast…but that’s just what IHOP (International House of Pancakes) has done!  This Friday October 28th, drop by any IHOP between 7am and 10pm for FREE  “Scary Face Pancakes”  for all children 12 years and younger.  The yummy, buttermilk pancakes have a whipped topping mouth, a strawberry nose, a side of two mini Oreo’s and some Candy Corn for your munchkins to add their own scary eyes and mouth.  What kid would not love this breakfast?

If you aren’t sure you can get up early enough on Friday, IHOP will give you a wake-up call!   That’s right, go to this page and sign up for IHOP’s Scary Pancake wake-up call.  Now,  just in case you can’t make it for the free pancakes on Friday,  rest assured.  Your kids can order Scary Pancakes anytime throughout the month of October.  Hooray!