New Year’s Eve events for the family to enjoy.

By Heather Crivellone

The Holiday excitement is over-  the presents have been unwrapped and put away and the kids are still buzzing with post holiday excitement. 
Now it’s on to the next sha-bang,  New Years!   I’m sure everyone is frantically eating the last of the Christmas cookies, making their New Years Resolutions and wondering if those resolutions will actually “stick” this year.  If this is the year that you are planning on losing weight, exercising more, organizing more or whatever you plan to resolve to do-  I wish you good luck on all of them. 

But before the New Year begins- we still have one last “hoorah”, New Years Eve.   If you are trying to find something fun to do with your family- since the kids (or yourself) may or may not stay up until midnight to watch the ball fall and ring in the New Year, I have a few options around town that may be just what you are looking for!

Bounce U located in Roseville and Rancho Cordova is hosting a New Years Eve DAY celebration.   $16 per child and siblings are only $14.  They will have games, crafts, pizza and an NYE celebration to help the kids ring in the New Year.  And of course- there will be plenty of bouncing to help get their energy out, so maybe mom and dad can have a peaceful evening.

The Bounce Spot in West Sacramento is hosting a New Years Eve Sleepover.  The cost is $35 per child and 25% of the proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life.  The evening will begin at 7pm and goes until 9am the next morning.  Includes bouncing,  dinner, balloon twisting, magic, face painting, a midnight surprise, sundae bar and much more.  The child must be between the ages of 3-13.  Spots are limited so you must RSVP.

Kids Park in Natomas is also hosting a New Year’s Eve Party for the kids and they will open until 12:30am  so the adults can celebrate on their own.  They will have hats, horns, crafts, games and sparkling cider to enjoy.  Reservations are recommended.

So however you plan to spend your New Years,  I wish you a very safe a happy holiday and cheers to you and your family and all those resolutions that are to be made!



Sacramento’s New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular Is A Family Event

By Alyssa Green

Looking for a fun way to spend New Year’s Eve with your family?  Head on down to Old Sacramento and ring in 2012 at Sacramento’s New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular. 

What I love about this FREE event is that there is a family-friendly celebration from 6pm to 9pm with street entertainment, radio disney, a robo band, dinner specials, food and beverage vendors and then the highlight of the evening, the fireworks show set to music your kids will love!

After the fireworks display, you can then go home, put the kiddos to bed (make sure you have a sitter) and head on out again for another, more mature celebration at midnight.

Here’s the schedule of events:

6-9pm – Robo Band at Front and L Streets

7-7:30pm – Radio Disney’s Rockin’ Crew – Tent at Front Street between K and L

7:45-8:15pm – Sing, Inc. Pop Academy

8:25-8:55pm – Radio Disney’s Rockin’ Crew

9pm – Spectacular fireworks show set to children’s music

While admission to this event is FREE, parking is not.  For parking information, click here.

Last Minute DIY Stocking Stuffers

By Alyssa Green

Christmas is just three days away.  Are you ready?  Some of you are nodding your head “yes,”  but the rest of you are panicking! 

Although I usually have my “big” shopping done way ahead of time, I consistently struggle with what to put in my kids’ stockings and then end up doing what I swear each year that “I’m not going to do again next year!”  I go back out, brave the holiday shopping center crowds looking for those last minute stocking gifts.

If you are in the same boat, then this post is for you.  Here are three easy and fun do-it-yourself stocking stuffer gifts your kids will love!  You decide whether the best part of each of these ideas is that you don’t have to risk your life vying for a parking space, or that the cost of these items is practically zero.  Either way, enjoy!

First up:  Candy Cane Playdough

This is a photo of candy cane playdough made by my good friend Stacie for her son’s classmates.  She found the idea, recipe and directions here, but made a few changes to the packaging.  First she washed out tall baby food jars (which she had on hand) and spray painted the lids.  In the making of the dough, she used peppermint extract instead of essential oil.   After the dough was made and placed in the jars, they were wrapped  in clear celophane bags and tied with a cute tag.  Voila! 

Next up:  Recycled Crayons

These mini star crayons were made by yours truly as a gift to my preschoolers last year.   Now, I have to admit that although the actual making of them was a cinch, it can get a bit messy.  And cleaning up wax is somewhat time consuming.  However, I had been collecting broken crayons for years, not wanting to throw them out so finally recycling them was a wonderful feeling. For directions, click here.

Last, but not least:  Paper Crafts

If you have boys, you know they love paper airplanes.  How about printing out some 3D paper models (cars, trucks, airplanes, etc.) for them to color and then fold and glue? has some great printouts.  You could make a little book for your kids stocking!

What little girl doesn’t love paper dolls?  Click here for some free vintage paper doll printouts.  I don’t happen to have any little girls in my family, but I just might have to print some of these out for my stocking! 

Well, I hope you find these stocking stuffer gift ideas as fun and interesting as I do.  Each project encourages creativity away from the t.v. and computer.  Yay!  Hopefully your kids will like them too!

We wish you all a very wonderful holiday!

Easy Paper Plate Christmas Tree Craft

By Alyssa Green

This Christmas craft is so easy you don’t even need directions.  Just look at the picture and you’ll  know what to do.  And you know what that means…your kids can do it, too! 

(But just in case…)  All you need to make this paper plate Christmas tree is, a paper plate, green paint, pom pons, scissors and glue.  Haphazardly paint your plate, let it dry, cut it into a tree shape, cut the remaining pieces into smaller shapes, glue to tree and then decorate with pom poms…or glitter, or anything else you have on hand.  Your kids can go crazy and make one for their teacher…and grandma and grandpa…and their friends.  Hmm.  This could get out of control!

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Crocker Art Museum’s Free Family Festival

By Alyssa Green

I know we have inundated all of you with Christmas festivities (there is just so much going on!) but if you also celebrate Kwanzaa (or even if you don’t) you won’t want to miss the Crocker Art Museum’s Kwanzaa Family Festival on Monday December 26th.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 as a means to bring African-Americans together as a community.  Celebrating the family, community and cultural traditions of the African Diaspora, Kwanzaa (which mean “first fruits of the harvest”) combines harvest festivals of several African peoples such as the Ashanti and Zulu.  15 million people worldwide now celebrate the 7-day festival.

Open from 10am to 5pm, admission to the Crocker Art Museum is FREE all day on December 26th, courtesy of Target!  The Kwanzaa festival, which begins at 12pm celebrates the museum’s collection of African art, not only through it’s permanent collection but also through music and dance performances.  Visitors will also enjoy an arts and crafts marketplace, a hands-on workshop and more. 

Remember, this is a family festival…so bring the kids!  If you would like to prepare your kids ahead of time with a little bit of Kwanzaa history, click here for a wonderful mini-lesson on the meaning and importance of the holiday.

4 Free Family Outings To Enjoy Before Christmas

By Alyssa Green

The kids are getting out of school next week for winter break, and their excitement for Christmas could be exhausting for parents.  Are you wondering how to keep them occupied and happy without spending a lot of money?  (We all know our bank accounts are near empty after Christmas shopping!)  Well, luckily there are quite a few options here in our great city of Sacramento.  

First, the Maidu Museum and Historic Site  in Roseville is offering FREE admission days from Monday, December 19 through Thursday, December 22nd. 

Located at the actual site where Maidu Indians lived years ago, the museum and historic site offer a fun and educational experience.  Take a short and easy walk along a 5/8 mile trail and view petroglyphs, age old Oak trees, bedrock mortars and a year round stream.   

Inside the museum, parents can enjoy a hot cup of coffee while kids explore Maidu Indian artifacts and listen to a guided tour, offered twice each day, at 10am and 1pm.

Next, Christmas Eve day offers families several opportunities for fun and FREE outings.

Coyote Tales at the Sac Nature Center – join the Effie Yeaw Nature Center at 10:30am on December 24th to learn about the coyote.  Listen to a Native American story about the coyote, take a look at a pelt and skull up close, and see a mounted coyote.  As always, admission to the Nature Center is FREE (however parking is $5 per car at Ancil Hoffman Park.  Still a deal for a family outing!)

PJ Party at the Sacramento Zoo – it’s party time at the Sacramento Zoo.  And you don’t even have change out of your PJ’s!  Even the zoo staff will be wearing their best pajamas.  The Zoo is open from 10am to 1:30pm and admission is FREE to everyone.  Come on out for this fun family event and run your kids ragged so they’ll let you sleep in a bit on Christmas morning (good luck!)

Fairytale Town Free Admission Day – you probably know by now that we love Fairytale Town…and we love to let you know about things going on there.  Admission is FREE for everyone the day before Christmas as a gift from Fairytale Town to it’s many patrons who visit throughout the year.  The park is open from 10am to 2pm.

We hope you are able to take advantage of these fun activities.  Happy Holidays!

Visit Auburn For An Old Town Country Christmas

By Alyssa Green

We are a bit late in reporting about this event, but luckily not too late.  This Saturday, December 17th, take a scenic drive into nearby Auburn for the 2nd of a 2-weekend family holiday celebration. 

The 25th annual Old Town Country Christmas comes alive on Saturday from 5pm to 9pm, rain or shine.  All shops and restaurants will be open as well as over 75 craft and food vendors, entertainment, visits from Santa, hayrides, pony rides, a bonfire and Old Town holiday lights.  

What a great way to finish up your last minute Christmas shopping or just bundle the kids up and spend a fun night out with the family!