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25+ Free Or Nearly Free Sacramento Summer Activities For Kids

May 23, 2012

By Alyssa Green

Summer vacation is nearly upon us…what are you going to do with the kids?!  Well, Sacramento is a great place to be during the summertime.  There is a lot to do and see.  However, keeping your kids entertained throughout the summer can often get expensive.  That’s why we have come up with a list of 25 activities that won’t break the bank.  Take a look at our list of FREE (or nearly free) activities that will keep your kids busy this summer.   Have a good one!



1 – Mad Science Summer Kickoff – Kickoff summer vacation with the mad scientists launching rockets, making green slime and more.  June 9th  11am-3pm. Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. 

2 – Pops in the Park, East Sacramento -Family-friendly outdoor concerts,  every Friday evening in June.

3 – Juneteenth Festival –  2-day festival celebrating freedom, parade, talent show, fishing derby, food and music, June 16th.

4 – Luis Palau Sacramento Festival – Family friendly Christian festival with live music, food, children’s area, professional skate boarding demos and more. June 16-17


5 – Wells Fargo Wednesdays at the Sacramento Zoo – up to 4 children receive free entrance into the zoo with 1 paying adult, plus free train and carousel rides.  July 11, 18 and 25.

6 – Free kid’s day at the State Fair – Kids receive free entrance into the California State Fair each Tuesday, July12-29th.


7 – Screen on the Green, Outside family movies, various parks – August 4th & 18th.

8 – Kikkoman Factory Tour – starting up again this month after a hiatus, reservations required.

9 – Gold Rush Days – The past comes to life at this 4-day event in Old Sacramento, August 31-September 3rd.

10 – Banana Festival – Celebrate the banana at William Land Park with food, shopping, entertainment and family fun, August 10th.

11 – Crocker Holiday Monday – Target sponsors free entrance into the Crocker Art Museum on 4 holiday Mondays throughout the year, the last being Labor Day.


12 – Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – open all year long, your kids will love experiencing school as it was during the gold rush.

13 – Wells Fargo History Museum – learn the history of the company that offered banking services to gold rush pioneers.

14 – Old Sacramento Scavenger Hunt – download the form and help your kids learn about Sacramento’s gold rush history.

15 – State Capitol Tour – Learn the history and procedure of California law, free tours available every day on the hour.

16 – Sacramento Public Art Walk – these self-guided walking tours will help introduce art to your kiddos.

17 – City Water Intake Facility – a boat shaped structure offering spectacular views of the Sacramento River and also a way to cool off in the intermittent water fountain the kids can run through.  Turns out the fountain doesn’t run anymore, boo hoo.  Still a fantastic place to visit and get a good look at the river and it’s beautiful surroundings. 

18 – Bike the American River Parkway – one of the most scenic parkways in the nation, you’ll see fabulous views of the river and it’s surrounding wildlife.

19 – California Raptor Center – this UC Davis education and research facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned birds of prey is open to the public on weekdays and Saturdays.

20 – Bohart Museum of Entomology – UC Davis Entomology lab is open to the public and boasts an amazing collection of insects.

21 – UC Davis Arboretum – 100 acres of beautiful gardens, open 7 days a week, tours available.

22 – CSUS Aquatic Center – While the summer camps, classes and equipment rentals have fees, parking and use of the beach and picnic area doesn’t.

23– Big Spoon Yogurt Story Time – On the 3rd Thursday of each month, kids enjoy story time and a free yogurt creation.


24 – Regal Summer Movie – Kids and family movies just $1, Tuesdays and Wednesdays @ 10am.

25 – Funderland  Amusement Park –Small scale, old fashioned amusement park for kids 2-12 years.  Free entrance, rides $1.75 each.

26 – Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Wildlife presentations and nature walks along the American River Parkway, free entrance, parking $5.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 8, 2013 10:46 am

    Also, kids under 5 years old are always FREE at the California Automobile Museum (just a 10 min walk from Front Street).

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