Local Root Beer A Sacramento Favorite

By Alyssa Green

Root beer has been a popular drink here in America for about 150 years.  Whether consumed alone from a bottle or can, or with vanilla ice cream as a root beer “float,” kids and adults alike love the unique flavor of root beer. 

You are probably aware that there are many, many different root beer makers and everyone seems to have a different opinion about which is best.  What you may not know is that one of our local brewery’s makes a root beer that tops the list of favorites (for root beer history and reviews, click here.)

River City Brewing Company, whose eatery is located inside Westfield’s Downtown Plaza, in addition to brewing several ales, also brews a tasty specialty root beer as well.  Now, I am by no means a root beer connoisseur, but I do enjoy a good root beer…and River City Root Beer is one of them.

You can purchase the root beer on tap at River City Brewing Company or If you are dying for a good root beer float, head on over to any local Big Spoon Yogurt shop.  For just $2.00, you can make yourself a yummy River City root beer float that will satisfy your craving.

Now, the folks at River City Brewing Company have graciously donated some bottles of their specialty root beer to give away to one of our lucky readers.  We just love this city of ours and we love supporting local businesses such as this one.  So, if you are interested in hosting your very own root beer float party, check out River City Brewing Company’s website, then come back here and leave a comment as to what you would do with 10 bottles of root beer.  One entry per person and the winner will be chosen on Friday, March 2nd.  Good luck!

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Read Across America Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

For 2013 Dr. Seuss activities, click here.

By Alyssa Green

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…every child has a favorite Dr. Seuss book, don’t they?

This Thursday, March 1st kicks off Read Across America 2012 with birthday celebrations of one of America’s most beloved children’s authors, Dr. Seuss.

No doubt your child’s school will be celebrating in one way or another through the month of March, but if you would like to join in the fun by reinforcing the love of reading in your kids, here are a few events that you won’t want to miss.  For more information and resources on Dr. Seuss himself, click here. 

March 1st

McKinley Library – Preschool Storytime; Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday; 11:30am-12 noon.

Southgate Library – Preschool Storytime; Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday; 11am-12 noon.

March 2nd   

Michael’s Crafts – stop by your nearest Michaels store from 4-4pm on Friday evening and your kids will be able to make a Dr. Suess bookmark.

PBS Kids – Cat-in-the-hat-a-thon with two new episodes!

Cooledge Library – Family Program; Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, 3:30-4-30pm

Fair Oaks Library – Schoo Age Program; Dr. Suess Party! 4-5pm

McClatchy Library – School age Program; Celebrate Dr. Suess 4-5:30pm.

March 3rd

Barnes & Noble  Arden Fair Mall- Celebrate Dr. Suess’ Birthday storytime

Fairytale Town – Read Around Fairytale Town – Dr. Seuss stories come to life at noon and 2pm with children’s entertainer Mister Cooper.

For some educational (and fun) printable games and activities your kids can enjoy all month long, visit Seussville…

Five Historic Sierra Gold Mines Worth A Visit

By Alyssa Green

The Sacramento area is rich with history as it’s beginnings sprang up from the onset of the California gold rush.  The city is stock full of museums and other attractions that highlight that famed period in history.  Within just a short drive from the heart of Sacramento, visitors can step back in time and experience the gold rush for themselves.  Below are five historic Sierra Gold Mines worth a visit.

1 – Marshall Gold Discovery SHP & Sutter’s Mill – the site where “it all began!”  Gold was first discovered here by James Marshall as he was helping to build a sawmill for himself and John Sutter.  See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including a house, school, mining and store exhibits.  Visitors can pan for gold in the American River and enjoy hikes and picnics in the beautiful river canyon.

2 – Columbia State Historic Park – Gold was discovered here in the spring of 1850 and immediately attracted an influx of  other gold seekers.  Thus, the town of Columbia was born.  One of the best preserved gold rush era towns, visitors will enjoy stepping back into time and panning for gold, riding an old stagecoach, shopping and dining as they did in the bygone era.

3 – Empire Gold Mine – a working gold mine for over 100 years (1850-1959,)Empire Gold Mine was the site of the oldest, largest and richest mine in California.  The park contains many of the original buildings including the owner’s cottage and gardens in addition to a museum and of course the mineyard.  Spend the day learning about the history of gold mining and enjoy the park’s forested back country and 12 acres of trails for hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders.

4 – Hangtown’s Gold Bug Mine – Located north of Placerville, this historic gold mine is probably the nearest to Sacramento and a favorite among kids and school groups.  Gold Bug Mine offers a self-guided audio tour of it’s mines, a miner’s blacksmith shop, a stamp mill, museum, gift shop, hiking trails, picnic areas and gem panning.

5 – Kennedy Gold Mine – located near the town of Jackson, the Kennedy Gold Mine was famous for being one of the deepest gold mines in the world.  Visitors will tour the mine office building, see gold mining equipment and view a historic video of men working the mine in the early 1900’s and browse the gift shop.

If you plan on going, make sure to check each individual park’s website, as some of the tours are not fully in operation until well into spring.

Meet Sid the Science Kid this weekend at the Discovery Center!

By Heather Crivellone

Do you know about the kid who wants to know everything about everything? I’m talking about the famous “Sid the Science Kid”.
The popular PBS children’s show who features Sid- a 5 year old who questions and wants to know about everything will be visiting us here in Sacramento this Saturday!

The Discovery Museum will be hosting Sid the Science Kid on Saturday, February 25th. From 11am- 3pm, meet Sid and enjoy the interactive exhibits, activity stations and explore the world of science with your children. Exhibits at the Discovery Museum are always changing, and currently you can view their Dinosaur exhibit- Blast from the Past!

Lakeshore Learning Center hosts Free Crafts for Kids on Saturdays

By Heather Crivellone

Are you looking for a way to keep your kids entertained on the weekends…without turning on the tube? There are many options (some are even FREE) to keep your kids engaged, creating and using their imaginations on those “boring” Saturday mornings. Lakeshore Learning Center in Roseville has FREE crafts for kids every Saturday. From 11am-3pm, you can drop into the store (reservations are not required) and have your child create one of their “crafts of the day”. Every week is something new… this weekend they will be making a log cabin collage (in honor of presidents day I’m assuming), next weekend a Super Silly Storybook character (for Dr. Seuss of course). Check out their website to see upcoming events and even grab yourself a coupon…. you can always find something fun and educational for the kids at this store! Have fun and happy creating!

Spend President’s Day Weekend Playing At Nearby Sierra Snow Parks

By Alyssa Green

There’s snow in the Sierras, and just in time for President’s Day weekend!  If you plan on taking the kids up to enjoy the fresh snowpack, here are a few California and Nevada snow parks and resorts that are family friendly and somewhat reasonably priced.

Bear Valley Country and Adventure Company – This cross country area  has sledding and tubing hills for ages 3 and up.  Sledding is $11 per person, tubing is $16 per person and inlcudes sled and tube.  Located on Hwy 4, 45 miles northeast of Angels Camp.

Boreal Mountain Resort– One of  the more conveniently located snow play areas to Sacramento, Boreal’s Playland boasts a well-groomed tuning area with lanes and a moving carpet.  Cost is $25 per person for a 2-hour session which includes tube and access to the moving carpet.  Located just off I-80 near Donner Summit.

Granlibakken Resort – This smaller and quainter resort costs just $10 per person for full day access to the sledding hill which includes a sled or saucer.  Children 2 and under are FREE.  Located off Hwy 89 near Tahoe City.

Leland High Sierra Snow Play – Covering 30 acres, this snow park has 18 groomed sled hills for children of all ages from “mild to wild.”  Cost per person is anywhere from $12 to $30 depending on age and whether you want to walk up the hill the or get a lift via the tow.  Sleds and saucers are included in the prices.  Located near Dodge Ridge, 6 miles east of Strawberry on Hwy 108.

Soda Springs Winter Resort – Tube Town, Soda Spring’s snow play area has groomed tubing lanes, 20 long flumes with twists and turns, a 400 foot magic carpet ride and a Planet Kids zone for smaller children..  Cost is $25 per person for all day fun.

Tahoe Donner – Groomed sledding hill with 2 monitored tubing lanes and 6 unmonitored sledding lanes.  $11 per person, ages 12 and older, $7 for ages 4-12, and ages 3 and under are FREE. Sleds are included in price.  Located off I-80 at the Donner Pass Road exit.

Yuba Pass – A California Parks and Recreation Sno Park, Yuba Pass offers a premier snow play area with cross-country skiing, and groomed snowmobile trails.  This is a “bring your own sled” and “find your own hill” type of area, so no costs are required other than a $5 parking permit which must be displayed on your car’s dashboard.  Click here to purchase a parking permit online.  Location is on the south side of Hwy 49 at Yuba Pass.

Disney on Ice- Toy Story 3 is coming to Sacramento

“Blast off Space Rangers” and join Woody, Buzz and other favorite childhood characters on the ice for a fun filled evening.  Disney on Ice comes back to Sacramento with adventures, hoe-downs and fun for the entire family.   February 15th- 20th, join the gang from Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and watch as they all come to life and do amazing tricks on the ice.   You can see Buzz Lightyear (our favorite), Woody, Jessie, Barbie, Ken, Mr. Potato Head and the others engage in fast paced adventures, song and dance.    Watch as they come to life for your children and see the amazement in their eyes as friendships blossom and the toys all tell thier own story.

Tickets range from $15-$62. Parking is $12 per car. Wednesday and Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 11am and 2pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am, 3pm and 7pm and Monday 12pm and 4pm at the Power Balance Pavillion.