Upcoming Events at Safetyville USA

By Heather Crivellone

Safetyville USA has been teaching children since 1984, the basic safety skills they need to know in a fun, interactive and memorable experience.
The goal of the program is to reduce injury and possible death of children resulting from preventable accidents. A trained volunteer tour guide leads children, preschool through third grade, through the town teaching them a variety of safety skills, including: fire, bicycle, pedestrian, electrical, stranger danger, and railroad safety.

Outside of Sacramento in Rancho Cordova- this “mini-city” is set up so children can explore their surrounding at their “own level”.

If you have groups of 10 or more preschoolers, you can take the guided tour around the “city” , however, when we went, we didn’t have that many children with us (WHEW!), so we decided to take the self-guided tour and let the children explore while we visited each exhibit and explained the safety issues with the children on our own. The children took turns pressing the buttons and practiced waking across the streets, watched a video on fire safety at the “fire station”, learned about the dangers of train tracks, electrical wires and more.
At the end of our self-guided tour, we all enjoyed our picnics outside and admired the tiny buildings that make up this fun city.

Safetyville is open to the public Monday-Friday 8:45-3:00pm and admission is $3 per person. Make sure you call ahead to make a reservation if you have a large group.

Events are held throughout the year and on Saturday, October 6th, join local firefighters for their annual Firefighter Chili Cook-off. From 12-4pm, enjoy entertainment, food, demonstrations and fun for the entire family. For more information on this event, visit their website.

And on Saturday, October 20th, your little ghosts and goblins can “trick and treat” in a secure and safe environment at their 20th annual Halloween Haunt. This is the best Halloween extravaganza around for the younger children! Admission is $6 per person and children 2 and under are free. Kids can enjoy games, mazes, magic shows, costume contests, face-painting, raffles and fun for the entire family.

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Update: Weekend Family Fun

Enjoy FREE admission to the California State Railroad Museum, Fairytale Town, Aerospace Museum, Military Museum, California Museum and the Oroville Temple Complex & Museum.  Check below for details.9/28 – Mountain Lions Home Opener – The Mountain Lions’ home opener against the Omaha Nighthawks will be the first-ever football game played at Raley Field, which opened on May 15, 2000.   The Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League will play their entire 2012 home schedule at Raley Field, home of the Pacific Coast League’s Sacramento River Cats. The United Football League provides a fun and affordable way for families and friends to enjoy high-quality professional football at an affordable price while providing an exciting and memorable game experience.

9/28 – Junk 2 Genius at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Sacramento Children’s Museum and reCREATE are bringing a quirky and fun art competition to Rancho Cordova. Join to watch the competition with free SCM admission and fun for the whole family, including a beer garden, food trucks, activities for the kids, and Museum play!

This fun, high-energy celebration of creative reuse is a timed sculpt-off where teams create sculptures from cast-off materials provided by reCREATE. Each team will receive a large box of similar materials and race against the clock to create their work of art! To add drama to the event, the theme for the sculptures will be announced when the competition begins. The creation time will have rules and referees to add to the excitement. When the alarm sounds, a panel of judges will critique the final pieces and award the Trophy du Trash. In addition, there will be a People’s Choice Award.

9/29 – Viva la Musica -The Sacramento Philharmonic’s 16th season opens with Viva la Musica! a concert celebrating the Latin music influence. A rhythmically charged celebration of our region’s spirit–and a virtual “who’s who” of internationally-recognized and award-winning composers with Latin American roots or ties. Music from Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Brasil, Argentina, Spain, and the US will be featured.

Come early and enjoy “festival activities” in the theater lobby and celebrate the rich cultural traditions and connections of our Central and South American communities. The talents of regional musicians, dancers, and artists from various cultural organizations will be showcased, including Institute Mazatlan Bellas Artes (IMBA), Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange of Sacramento, La Raza Galeria Posada, and Firehouse 5 Dance Studio. These activities are free of charge and the public is invited to participate, whether or not they are attending the paid concert that follows.

9/29 – Movie in the Park: Incredibles – Come out to Belle Cooledge Park to watch Pixar’s The Incredibles under the stars, hosted by Crosswalk Christian Ministries. Free admission and free popcorn and drinks!

9/29 – 2012 Romanian Festival – The purpose of the Festival goes beyond maintaining cultural heritage. The Festival is a great opportunity to unify a fragmented ethnic community of 30,000 Romanian-Americans in an effort toward creating a self-sustaining and socially contributing immigrant population. This community capacity building effort aims to increase education, employability, and the overall sense of community.

9/29 – Tracks & Scat at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Stroll through the Nature Preserve with a naturalist and learn to identify the tracks, scat, and other signs left behind by resident wildlife. All ages welcome.

9/29 – Big Wheels at the Franklin Library – Love big wheels? Then come and see an assortment of cool vehicles from fire trucks to motorcycles to Model-Ts. Join in for a fun-filled family day, where everyone is sure to have a good time!

9/29 – Smithsonian Day Live! -Spend a day at a museum for free! Smithsonian magazine plans to mimic the Smithsonian free-admission policy by offering free entry to participating museums in Sacramento. You must download your ticket before arriving.

Sacramento-area museums participating in Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live! include the Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California State Military Museum and Resource Center, La Raza Galería Posada, The California Museum, and the Oroville Chinese Temple Complex & Museum.

9/29-30 – Scholar Share Book Festival at Fairytale Town -Join Fairytale Town and several local area arts organizations for the largest early childhood literacy event in the region! The Festival features dynamic presentations from children’s book authors and illustrators, storytelling performances, hands-on literacy activities, a book fair, and information booths from literacy and arts organizations.

This year’s featured children’s book authors include: Bob Barner, Dorina Lazo Gilmore, Sandy Lynne Holman, Heather Leigh, Bethany Telles, Joanne Jeffers Veeck and Dawn Wynne. Featured illustrators include Felipe Davalos, Michael Slack, and Kenneth Spengler. Hazuki Kataoka of Storycard Theater will give a storytelling performance featuring their traditional Japanese picture-card stories called “kamishibai,” meaning “paper theater.” This two day program is free thanks to the generous support of ScholarShare College Savings Plan.

9/29-30 – Celebrate the the Union Pacific Railroad’s 150 year anniversary. Free admission to the California State Railroad Museum and free train excursion rides on both Saturday and Sunday.

9/29-30 – 15th Annual Reptile Show – The Sacramento Reptile Show is back for its 15th year at the Convention Center’s Exhibit Halls. The largest reptile exhibit in Northern California features more than 3000 reptiles on display. This popular reptile display will feature over 30 venomous species from around the world including King Cobras and Black Mambas.  Also returning will be “Izod the Alligator,” a 10 foot, 100 pound alligator for all to see! The Sacramento Reptile Show also provides the opportunity to purchase a new reptile pet from one of the many professional reptile breeders at the event.

9/29-30 – Slitherin’ Snakes at the Discovery Museum – Now is the perfect time to start spotting snakes when you are out enjoying nature. Learn about snakes at the Discovery Museum and visit the Bone Zone exhibit to see a snake skeleton. The classroom has a small display of snake skin for guests to view. Make and take a twirling snake kite to play with outside on the property’s fourteen acres.  Admission includes an animal presentation at Noon & 2pm, and a planetarium show at 1pm & 3pm (for ages 4 and above only).

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Pumpkin Patches and Fun in the Sacramento Area

By Heather Crivellone

October is always full of fun events and activities at our house. We love this time of year- the chill in the air, the leaves changing color, the caramel apples and the pumpkins galore! We love visiting new pumpkin patches and checking out the scarecrows, decorations, hay stacks, mazes and gourds. We love everything about this time of year! And if you are trying to find a place to take the kids for some “fall fun”, check out this list of local pumpkin patches and try and hit up one or a couple of them for some cheap family entertainment.

Dave’s Pumpkin Patch– 3010 Burrows Ave, West Sacramento
Opening Sept. 29th for the holiday season.
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10am- dusk, Fri-Sat: 10am-9pm
*Corn Maze, Craft Fair, Hay Rides, Hay Maze, Haunted Corn Maze, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides

The Pumpkin Farm– 7736 Old Auburn Blvd. Citrus Heights
Opening Oct. 1st– 31st
Hours: 9am-6pm
*Haunted Barn, Farm Zoo, Hay rides, Tower Slides, Corn Maze, Train Rid, Go-Kart Trains

Bastiao Farms Goblin Gardens– 3845 El Centro Rd, Sacramento/Natomas
Hours: 10am-7pm 7 days a week
*Corn Maze, Hay Bale Pyramid, Hay Maze, Slides, Hayrides

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm– 1415 Pumpkin Lane, Wheatland
Open Sept. 22th– Oct. 31st
Hours: September:  9am-6pm;  October: 9am-7pm weekdays,  9am-8pm weekends
*Hay Rides, Train rides, Coyote Mountain, Pig Races, Play areas, Petting Zoo

Fog Willow– 11011 Cecatra Drive, Wilton
Open Oct 1st-31st
Hours: Monday- Friday;  11:30-6pm  Saturday and Sunday; 9:30am-6pm
*Petting Zoo, Adventure Course, Hay Rides, BBQ

Impossible Acres– 26565 Rd 97D, Davis
Open Oct 1st- 31st
*Farm Animals, Hay and Corn Maze, Tractor Rides

Roemer Pumpkin Patch– 6851 Hedge Avenue, Sacramento
Open Sept. 29-Oct 31st.
Hours: Mon.- Fri:  2pm-5pm Sat-Sun 9am-5pm
* Corn Maze, Hay Rides, Hay Maze

Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Patch– 210 S Harding Blvd, Roseville
Opens Oct. 1st- 31st
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm; Sat and Sun 10am- 9pm
*Train Ride, Haunted “Mine Shaft”, petting zoo

Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch– 19376 Old River Rd, West Sacramento
Open Oct.1st-31st
Monday- Friday 10am-5pm
*Tractor Rides, Hay Maze, Corn Maze

I hope this helps you out as a little guide for some of our local pumpkin patches. This isn’t a complete list- but, hopefully enough to get you started and on your search for the “Great Pumpkin”.

Weekend Family Fun

Enjoy FREE admission to the California State Railroad Museum, Fairytale Town, Aerospace Museum, Military Museum, California Museum and the Oroville Temple Complex & Museum.  Check below for details.

9/28 – Mountain Lions Home Opener – The Mountain Lions’ home opener against the Omaha Nighthawks will be the first-ever football game played at Raley Field, which opened on May 15, 2000.   The Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League will play their entire 2012 home schedule at Raley Field, home of the Pacific Coast League’s Sacramento River Cats. The United Football League provides a fun and affordable way for families and friends to enjoy high-quality professional football at an affordable price while providing an exciting and memorable game experience.

9/28 – Junk 2 Genius at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Sacramento Children’s Museum and reCREATE are bringing a quirky and fun art competition to Rancho Cordova. Join to watch the competition with free SCM admission and fun for the whole family, including a beer garden, food trucks, activities for the kids, and Museum play!

This fun, high-energy celebration of creative reuse is a timed sculpt-off where teams create sculptures from cast-off materials provided by reCREATE. Each team will receive a large box of similar materials and race against the clock to create their work of art! To add drama to the event, the theme for the sculptures will be announced when the competition begins. The creation time will have rules and referees to add to the excitement. When the alarm sounds, a panel of judges will critique the final pieces and award the Trophy du Trash. In addition, there will be a People’s Choice Award.

9/29 – Viva la Musica -The Sacramento Philharmonic’s 16th season opens with Viva la Musica! a concert celebrating the Latin music influence. A rhythmically charged celebration of our region’s spirit–and a virtual “who’s who” of internationally-recognized and award-winning composers with Latin American roots or ties. Music from Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Brasil, Argentina, Spain, and the US will be featured.

Come early and enjoy “festival activities” in the theater lobby and celebrate the rich cultural traditions and connections of our Central and South American communities. The talents of regional musicians, dancers, and artists from various cultural organizations will be showcased, including Institute Mazatlan Bellas Artes (IMBA), Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange of Sacramento, La Raza Galeria Posada, and Firehouse 5 Dance Studio. These activities are free of charge and the public is invited to participate, whether or not they are attending the paid concert that follows.

9/29 – Movie in the Park: Incredibles – Come out to Belle Cooledge Park to watch Pixar’s The Incredibles under the stars, hosted by Crosswalk Christian Ministries. Free admission and free
popcorn and drinks!

9/29 – 2012 Romanian Festival – The purpose of the Festival goes beyond maintaining cultural heritage. The
Festival is a great opportunity to unify a fragmented ethnic community of 30,000 Romanian-Americans in an effort toward creating a self-sustaining and socially contributing immigrant population. This community capacity building effort aims to increase education, employability, and the overall sense of community.

9/29 – Tracks & Scat at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Stroll through the Nature Preserve with a naturalist and learn to identify the tracks, scat, and other signs left behind by resident wildlife. All ages welcome.

9/29 – Big Wheels at the Franklin Library – Love big wheels? Then come and see an assortment of cool vehicles from fire trucks to motorcycles to Model-Ts. Join in for a fun-filled family day, where everyone is sure to have a good time!

9/29 – Smithsonian Day Live! -Spend a day at a museum for free! Smithsonian magazine plans to mimic the Smithsonian free-admission policy by offering free entry to participating museums in Sacramento. You must download your ticket before arriving.

Sacramento-area museums participating in Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live! include the Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California State Military Museum and Resource Center, La Raza Galería Posada, The California Museum, and the Oroville Chinese Temple Complex & Museum.

9/29-30 – Scholar Share Book Festival at Fairytale Town -Join Fairytale Town and several local area arts organizations for the largest early childhood literacy event in the region! The Festival features dynamic presentations from children’s book authors and illustrators, storytelling performances, hands-on literacy activities, a book fair, and information booths from literacy and arts organizations.

This year’s featured children’s book authors include: Bob Barner, Dorina Lazo Gilmore, Sandy Lynne Holman, Heather Leigh, Bethany Telles, Joanne Jeffers Veeck and Dawn Wynne. Featured illustrators include Felipe Davalos, Michael Slack, and Kenneth Spengler. Hazuki Kataoka of Storycard Theater will give a storytelling performance featuring their traditional Japanese picture-card stories called “kamishibai,” meaning “paper theater.”
This two day program is free thanks to the generous support of ScholarShare College Savings Plan.

9/29-30 – Celebrate the the Union Pacific Railroad’s 150 year anniversary.  Free admission to the California State Railroad Museum and free train excursion rides on both Saturday and Sunday.

9/29-30 – 15th Annual Reptile Show – The Sacramento Reptile Show is back for its 15th year at the Convention Center’s Exhibit Halls. The largest reptile exhibit in Northern California features more than 3000 reptiles on display. This popular reptile display will feature over 30 venomous species from around the world including King Cobras and Black Mambas.  Also returning will be “Izod the Alligator,” a 10 foot, 100 pound alligator for all to see! The Sacramento Reptile Show also provides the opportunity to purchase a new reptile pet from one of the many professional reptile breeders at the event.

9/29-30 – Slitherin’ Snakes at the Discovery Museum – Now is the perfect time to start spotting snakes when you are out enjoying nature. Learn about snakes at the Discovery Museum and visit the Bone Zone exhibit to see a snake skeleton. The classroom has a small display of snake skin for guests to view. Make and take a twirling snake kite to play with outside on the property’s fourteen acres.  Admission includes an animal presentation at Noon & 2pm, and a planetarium show at 1pm & 3pm (for ages 4 and above only).

A Visit To The UC Davis Marine Lab Worth The Drive

By Alyssa Green

With UC Davis in our backyard, we are fortunate here in Sacramento to have a variety of unique educational opportunities available to our children.  You probably know all about the UC Davis Arboretum and you may know about the Bohart Museum of Entomology, but you probably don’t know about the Bodega Marine Lab.   Located on the coast in Bodega Bay (approximately 100 miles west of Davis) this working marine laboratory is staffed with UC Davis researchers, instructors and students.  Here is what they do at the Marine lab.

“The University of California, Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) is dedicated to understanding environmental processes at the land-sea interface on California’s North Coast – an area known for the productivity and diversity of its marine and terrestrial ecosystems. BML’s history of research, training and outreach has contributed invaluably to our knowledge of coastal systems and the policy that protects them.”

So, in a nutshell they study the marine life along the Northern California coast, how it interacts with the environment, and how the marine life is affected by environmental changes, fishing, disease, etc.

Although this educational facility requires a couple hours of driving to actually get to, it is well worth the drive.  First of all, let me point out that Bodega Head, where the marine lab is located is one of the most beautiful spots along the coast.  So, just the drive alone is amazing.  Second, the facility is quite large and offers free tours to the public each Friday between 2 p.m and 4 p.m.

My husband and I have been wanting to take our boys to the lab for quite some time, so we decided take Friday off and make a day of it.  We arrived at the lab right at 2 p.m. and were immediately ushered into a classroom.  I was surprised to realize that among the 15 visitors in our group, my boys were the only children (however, the lab is open during the weekdays for school groups and so our docent was very kid-friendly.)

We spent the first 15 minutes of the tour learning about what the facility does and what kinds of marine life are local to the coast.  We then all trooped out to the touch pool where my boys were thrilled to see (and touch, pick up, talk to…) a variety of colorful sea stars, urchins and anemone.  Next we went inside to learn about and view real live whale bones.  And then finally we toured the lab area. Inside the lab we were able to see and learn about the marine life that was actually being studied.  Just as the boys started to get antsy, the tour ended (perfect timing!)  We then left a small donation to the facility and on our way out spent some more time at the touch pool.

Now, although not part of the lab tour, the other “must see” here is the beach!  We drove a mile or so up the road and came to the most beautiful rocky beach area I have ever seen.  The path down to the beach was a bit steep and rocky, but not too difficult, even for the kids.  There were shells aplenty laying in the sand, big rocks to climb on, and frothy waves crashing onto the beach.  The perfect place for the kiddos to run around.

While I highly recommend adding this day trip to your calendar, just a word of caution.  The Northern California coastline can be treacherous.  The water is icy cold, and the waves are large with a very strong undertow.  Swimming is not recommended (take it from someone who was once swept away in the undertow, but thankfully saved.)  Keep track of your kiddos, stay out of the water and just enjoy the beautiful view!

Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch is opening this weekend… a fall favorite for many!

By Heather Crivellone

It’s that time of year… when the air starts to get crisp,  harvest colors are in full bloom and the pumpkins are ready for picking to be carved into Jack-O-Lanterns.  This weekend marks the official start of “fall” and what a great way to celebrate by visiting a local pumpkin patch for some fall goodies.

The Sacramento area has a wide variety of pumpkin patches and farms that host events for fall activities. Many are opening October 1st for the Halloween season… but my personal favorite- the “Disneyland” of all pumpkin patches (as I like to call it) is Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm and it opens this weekend- September 22nd. Located in Wheatland (about 45 minutes above Sacramento)- it’s well worth the drive!

Now, I may be partial to Bishop’s since I grew up in that area and have been visiting them since I was a child… It’s really quite nostalgic for me, as I’m able to take my children where I used to go (although it has grown so much over the years- I hardly recognize it from my past!).

They have everything to keep you and the kids entertained (literally) ALL day long.
Hay Rides? Yep! Train Rides? You bet! A Petting Zoo? Of Course! How about Pig Races? They have them! And if that’s not enough to keep you busy then how about multiple kids’ zones with slides and areas with structures to climb on, through, around and under. Or you can have your kids explore and climb “Coyote Mountain”, run through a crazy corn maze, enjoy live entertainment and even “mine” for marbles!

They even have shopping for us moms and grandmas (I always find the “must have” holiday decor here). And don’t worry- they have plenty of food options at the PigaDeli Square that you are guaranteed to NOT go hungry.

And since this is of course a pumpkin patch- don’t forget to pick out the perfect pumpkin to take home… there are so many to choose from- it may take a while so prepare yourself for an entire day of fun.

Bishop’s is located at 1415 Pumpkin Lane in Wheatland (about 45 minutes north of Downtown Sacramento). They are open September 22nd- October 31st. September hours are 9am-6pm daily and October hours are 9am-7pm daily. Admission into Bishop’s is free. Parking is free on weekdays and on the weekends it is $10 per car.

And this Sunday- you can “lace up” those sneakers and join in at thier first “Run Your Gourd Off”.  Choose from a 12K run, 5K run/walk, or a kid’s Pumpkin Dash ½ Mile course.  Proceeds from this event will help benefit their local High School extracurricular programs.

So check your calendars and find a day (if not this weekend)  to spend with the family out at Bishop’s pumpkin farm. If it isn’t already- it will soon become a family fall tradition!

Weekend Family Fun For September 21-23rd

9/21 – Phineas & Ferb at the Community Center Theater – Disney’s Phineas & Ferb Best Ever Live Tour is coming to Sacramento’s Community Center Theater. This is sure to be a fun filled night for the whole
family! Presented by Feld Entertainment, Phineas, Ferb, and the whole gang embark on a bold escape jumping out from behind our TVs and onto the CCT stage.   Before you can wonder, “Hey, Where’s Perry?” the beloved pet platypus shifts to his secret double life as Agent P to foil Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s evil plans.  Musical madness abounds!

9/21 – Tour of Gymnastics Champions at Power Balance Pavilion – The 2012 Kellogg’s® Tour of Gymnastics Champions is a national tour featuring Team USA’s top performing gymnasts following the 2012 Olympic Games in London.   2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin will lead an impressive cast that
will include members of the men’s and women’s 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic teams, along with past Olympians and U.S. medalists in men’s, women’s, rhythmic, and acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. Local area gymnasts will also have the chance to participate in this Tour stop’s performance.

9/21-22 – Stuffed Animal Sleepover at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Bring your favorite stuffed animal to the Nature Center (one stuffed animal per person & only the stuffed animal stays the night). Photos & video will be taken of their overnight adventure with live animals and nature. Make a memory scrapbook of the night with photos and materials provided on day of pick up.  First-come, first-served so hurry and register online or at the Nature Center as the registration is limited to 24 participants!

9/21-23 – Fall Foliage Fun at the Discovery Museum – Welcome the fall season by trekking around our grounds and learning to identify trees using our nature trail guide. The wide, smooth path around the pond is
good for toddlers, strollers, and wheelchairs. How many turtles can you see? Families with children twelve and under make a leaf headband to celebrate the first weekend of fall.

9/22 – Bicycle Safety Fair – This BSA Eagle project is being held at the LDS church at 751 Rio Tierra Ave., Sacramento 95833.  Bring your kids and their bikes anytime from 9:30am to 12:30pm.  CHP safety presentation at 10am, Natomas Bike Shop workshop, obstacle course, and more fun for the whole family.

 

 

9/23 – Peruvian Food Festival – At the 8th Annual Peruvian Food Festival, enjoy the best Peruvian food,
delicacies, and desserts. There will also be a Peruvian horse show.  Hosted by Club Peru of Sacramento.

 

 

9/23 – Chinatown Mall Culture Fair – Come enjoy the Annual Chinatown Mall Culture Fair. This festival will showcase
Chinese culture through song, dance and music, arts and crafts, children’s activities, community exhibits, free lectures, and food vendors. This in one event for the whole family to enjoy.

9/23 – Sunday Funday with the Science Wizard at Arden Hills Resort -Want to make science fun and exciting for your kids? Think silly putty, slime, and magic potions–that will do the trick! Don’t miss the fun with hands-on science experiments at the next Sunday Funday. The engaging Science Wizard is sure to inspire curiosity and spark young imaginations.  Parents are welcome to stay to enjoy the fun or leave their children in the care of certified Kid’s Korner staff while they enjoy a spa service or nice brunch at Mangos.