Weekend Family Fun

Wow!  It’s going to be a very busy Easter weekend!  You’ll have plenty of Easter or non-Easter activities to choose from.  Join the Old City Cemetery for a special Sacramento History Tour for kids, or dress up as your favorite vegetable and run for charity in the Veggie Chase.  Join in Easter festivities with the Sacramento River Train, Fairytale Town, or Sacramento’s parks and more!

easter-promenade_category3/30 – Living History Annual Easter Bonnet Promenade – Dress up in your favorite Easter finery—or other historic apparel—to celebrate in high style during the 18th Annual Living History Easter Bonnet Promenade!
You’ll enjoy a leisurely one-hour stroll through the historic board walks and cobblestone streets of Old Sacramento.

veggie_chase_category3/30 – Veggie Chase 5k and Kids’ Fun Runs -The Veggie Chase 5K also includes a separate Kids’ Fun Run. Come dressed as your favorite food! Outrun an official Veggie Chase veggie for two chances to be entered in raffle for iPad®. There’ll also be custom T-shirts, ChronoTrack disposable tag timing, an accurately measured course, awards, and fueling station. All registered participants will be provided a complimentary breakfast sponsored by local food vendors.  After the race, stay for the free Family Fun Festival which will include booths with nutritional information and lasting, inflatable activities, music, and games. Enjoy activities that promote fitness for a lifetime!

rabbit_nickpretecc_category3/30 – Family Activity: Hop, Leap, Jump at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center  – Hop on over for a hare raising good time. Join a Naturalist for a hike and discover where a rabbit would make a nest, hide from danger, or find a tasty plant to eat.

dscf3618_category3/30 – Sacramento History Tour for Kids at the Old City Cemetery – Tales of old Sacramento pioneers, trappers, railroad men, society women, heroes, and villains come to life on this cemetery tour specifically designed for kids in fourth grade and up. Come see why truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

eastereggstravaganza_category3/30 – Easter Eggstravaganza -The Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District presents an “Eggciting” Easter adventure for the entire family. Come enjoy a free egg hunt for children age 0-13 years old, pictures with the Easter Bunny, or purchase a $10 wristband for unlimited carnival games and bouncers, one face painting, and one train ride. Also, adults can join in on the fun by purchasing a $3 ticket to the adult egg hunt for a chance to win gift cards and prizes!

eggonauts_category3/30 – Egg-o-naut Challenge at the Discovery Museum – It’s that time of year when eggs are here, there, everywhere! The Discovery Museum is getting in the spirit with an “eggstra” special activity. Families are challenged to protect their egg-o-naut from the museum staff, who are dropping them off the second story balcony. Countdown and compete with other visiting families to see whose mission is the most successful

coloma_open_house_2013_category3/30 – Come Out and Play: Sacramento Open House – Come enjoy a free sample class courtesy of the City of Sacramento’s Parks and Recreation Department. Event has free parking, and light refreshments will be provided. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new, and allow your little ones to try a class out before committing.  Presented by the Neighborhood Services Division, a City booth will also be set up to provide information and resources.  Classes include: -Karate for Kids -Martial Arts for Adults -Belly Dancing -Funky Style Street Dance -Spanish 4 Toddlers -Drum Lessons with Chris Amato -Scandinavian Dance -Just 4 Kicks Soccer -And more!

kiwanis_category3/30 – Pancake Breakfast & Easter Egg Hunt – The East Sacramento-Midtown Kiwanis Club is hosting its 26th Annual Pancake Breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt. Come celebrate a Sacramento tradition with an Easter egg hunt, carnival games, and a fundraising breakfast benefiting the work of the Kiwanis in Sacramento.

playdate_category3/30 – Special Need Play Date at the Arthur F Turney Community Library in West Sacramento – Friends and family of children with special needs: come play in a fun-loving environment. Enjoy treats while your children make new friends. Plenty of room and toys to play with. Please RSVP so we’re sure to have enough goodies for everyone.

eggs!_category3/30-3/31 – Spring Eggstravaganza at Fairytale Town – This popular, fun-filled family weekend features egg hunts, prizes, spring-themed hands-on activities, and pictures with Peter Cottontail (additional cost). Egg hunt areas are separated by age groups as follows: 0-3 years, 4-6 years, and 7-12 years. The Fairytale Town Troupers will also open their sixth annual season with performances of Beauty and the Beat, a retelling of the classic fairytale with music, magic, and mid-century mod (additional cost).

sacramentorivertrain_category3/30-3/31 – Easter Egg Express on the Sacramento River Train – This is a fun family trip on the Sacramento River Train to a park where the Easter Bunny hides 100s of easter eggs for the kids to find! Along the way, there is entertainment strolling car to car. Children will be offered an egg collecting bag that they can decorate.  No food or drink is allowed to be brought on the train. There will be sandwiches and hot dogs with drinks available at the snack bar.

childrens_museum_category3/31 – Pop-Up Music: Sing-along-Saturdays at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Join Miss Shanna under the Community Tree for a fun sing-a-long. You can join all month to explore musical instruments while enjoying other special activities, such as Music & Movement dancing on Fridays and more. Museum
visitors will also have the hands-on opportunity to craft a musical instrument in the Art Studio all month long.


Day Outing at the Consumnes River Preserve

392_Par_98157_Image_640_426_1By Heather Crivellone

One of my favorite activities to do with my kids is to let them explore and hike around the many trails we have throughout the Sacramento Valley.  And with the beautiful Spring weather we have been experiencing, there is no excuse to not get out start exploring!

We recently visited the local trails at the Consumnes River Preserve with some friends for an afternoon outing, and it was an afternoon full of fun and discovery for our children.

The Cosumnes is a small river, a mere 80 miles long. Its headwaters in the El Dorado National Forest rise at only 8,000′ above sea level. From mostly rain, but also snow melt, the river’s water meanders from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Central Valley, just south of Sacramento.Yet the Cosumnes River is far more important than its size would indicate. It is the only remaining unregulated river on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. In its lower reaches, it flows through one of the biologically richestregions in California’s Central Valley, before merging with the Mokelumne River to flow into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The Cosumnes River Preserve was created to safeguard much of this unique landscape.The free-flowing nature of the river allows frequent and regular winter and spring overbank flooding that fosters the growth of native vegetation and the wildlife dependent on those habitats. More than 250 bird species, more than 40 fish species, and some 230 plant species have been identified on the Preserve.”

Located at 13501 Franklin Blvd. In Galt, approximately a 30 minute drive from Downtown Sacramento, they have several walking and hiking trails that are suitable for children.  We completed the Lost Slough Wetlands Walk, approximately 1 mile trail that took us out to the “boardwalk” through the restored marshes of the Lost Slough.  The kids were able to see different wetland plants, water birds, insects and we had a hard time keeping up with counting all the toads we heard!  It was a perfect afternoon walk for our preschoolers!

They also have the Consumnes River Walk Trail which is about 3 miles round trip and it winds through a cottonwood/ willow riparian forest, tule marsh, native grasslands and more.   And for a bit more of a workout- the Rancho Seco Howard Ranch trail is a 7 mile loop that starts at the Rancho Seco Recreational area and winds around the lake.  All of the preserve trails can be found online or at the Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center has displays and interactive educational exhibits that kept the kids busy exploring and learning about the animals and birds that live in this area.  With animal skulls, furs and different exhibits the kids were completely entertained.

So if you are looking for a fun and educational outing for your kids on one of these nice spring days – a drive out to the Consumnes River Preserve may be just the thing for you.  Pack a lunch (they do have picnic tables) and plan an outing in nature!


Weekend Family Fun

As always, there are some super fun family activities happening in and around Sacramento this weekend!  Join Funderland for an Easter Bash all weekend long, craft a yarn rabbit at the Discovery Museum, enjoy birds and breakfast at the Nature Center, learn about Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage movement, take in a basketball game and more!

cars_under_stars_logo_category3/21 – Cars Under the Stars at the California Automobile Museum – This Museum after-hours event is great for all ages. Enjoy all exhibits at half price. Freebies, including free tours, will be available.  Every month visitors can enjoy special programming coordinated by Museum staff and volunteers.  Visitors will also enjoy free coffee and hot chocolate.

3/21 – Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves at Sleep Train Arena – The Sacramento Kings take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in this basketball game.  Bring the family out for an exciting game!

easter_bash_funderland_1_category3/22-24 – Funderland Easter Bash – The 2013 Easter Bash includes Easter Egg hunts throughout the day, appearances by the Easter Bunny and Happy the Squirrel, fun Easter crafts, coloring contests, face painting by a pro, nine great kid sized rides, and more.  Bring in a new game or new art supplies for River Oak Center for Children and receive free tickets (amount of tickets based on item donated).  This event benefits River Oak Center for Children and celebrates Easter in a safe, fun, affordable setting.

egg_o_rama_fec_category3/23 – Egg-O-Rama Egg Hunt & Carnival – Come celebrate spring at Fulton-El Camino’s Egg-O-Rama! This fun-filled day will include games for all ages, an egg hunt (based on age), bounce house, face painting, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the morning at this exciting community event

babyexpo_category3/23 – Sacramento Baby and Toddler Expo – Where stylish moms and moms-to-be come to shop! You prepared for your wedding with love and care, do the same when preparing for your new family. Join for the fabulous selection of vendors offering wonderful products and services for expectant moms, new moms, and dads.  Event highlights include  mini workshops offered throughout the Expo by experts in the field, ideas for beautiful baby shower ideas, a chance to win great prizes,  and free swag bags to the first 100 guests.

Stamp-a-rama3/23-24 – Rascally Rabbits at the Discovery Museum – Wiggle your nose, perk up your ears—it’s bunny time! The Discovery Museum has gone to the rabbits this weekend. Have fun crafting a yarn rabbit to decorate your backpack or hang up at home and learn rabbit facts in the animal presentation. The museum’s newest bunny addition will also be debuting, so don’t forget to stop in the Nature Room and say, “Hello!”

3/23-4/14 – The Gingerbread Man at Chatauqua PlayhouseThe Gingerbread Man is adapted and directed by Marie Raymond. “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” Do they catch him?

camellia_instrument_petting_zoo_category3/24 – Free Family Concert Series:  I Can Do That! – Camellia Symphony Orchestra will once again present its very popular Free Family Concert Series with its instrument petting zoo. This year, the family concerts will also include a visual art element presented by I Can Do That! (formerly Very Special Arts) who will offer “funshops” for children to create art related to the musical experience. Leading the orchestra for this season’s concert series will be CSO’s new music director and conductor, Dr. Christian Baldini.

birdandbreakfast_category3/34 – Family Activity: Bird and Breakfast -The American River Natural History Association (ARNHA) and Sacramento Audubon are teaming up to offer a special weekend of morning birding trips coupled with wonderful breakfast fare.

This event combines some of the best local bird guides pointing out nests and local rarities on a 1 hour walk together with a pancake breakfast served by the Carmichael Kiwanis, good coffee, and other fun to help raise money for the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. No extensive birding experience is necessary—this event caters to all levels.  Saturday’s Bird and Breakfast event will feature a gourmet
breakfast buffet following a longer walk

3/24 – Spring Hunt at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Practice your observation skills and join a Naturalist as you take a hike and hunt for the signs of spring. See how many things you can check off the list. Bring your binoculars or borrow some from the Center

findingourvoice_susanb_bstreet_categoryThru 4/4 – Finding Our Voice: Susan B. Anthony & the Women’s Suffrage Movement – Don’t miss the world premiere of Finding Our Voice: Susan B. & the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Follow these brave women who, through perseverance, overcame opposition and brought about social equality.  At the dawn of the 20th Century, the struggle for women’s suffrage brings sweeping change for generations to come. But is the nation ready to give women the vote?

In his powerful, original new play, B Street Company Member David Pierini explores the impassioned crusade for the 19th Amendment from the uniquely poignant perspective of one young woman torn between freedom and family. Along the way, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, President Woodrow Wilson, and other champions of women’s equality inspire her to pursue her dreams.

Easter Egg Hunts and Family Fun Activities to help celebrate Spring!

easter_bunnyBy Heather Crivellone

Spring is in the air…so grab your baskets, bonnets and “Sunday bests” for some Easter fun in the Sacramento area.  Around town, you are sure to spot the Easter Bunny out and about, hiding the goodies for little kids.  There are quite a few Egg Hunts (Free) that your family can participate in this month, along with other fun holiday festivities.

For starters, if you want to get your child’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny, you can visit one of our local malls (Arden Fair Mall, Roseville Galleria and Sunrise Mall) and the Bunny will be available for photo sessions.

And for those of you who are searching for a fun day outing and egg hunt for your family, I have put together a list of some local activities:

Friday March 22nd – Sunday March 24th:  Funderland hosts their annual Easter Bash from 10am-6pm.  Egg Hunt will be $3 per child.  Easter Activities including arts and crafts, face painting, a visit from the bunny and more.  Also, Funderland hosts several carnival style rides that are favorites for all.

Saturday, March 23rd: at Ikea in West Sacramento there will be an Easter egg hunt in Smaland from 12pm-2pm.  This is a Free event.

Saturday, March 23rd: The Sacramento River Train will host a fun family trip to a park where the Easter Bunny will hide 100’s of eggs for the kids to find!  Along the way will be entertainment and treats.  Tickets are available online starting at $29.  Event starts at 10:00am

Saturday Mar 30th at 9am:  A Free community Egg hunt at H.C. Elliot Park in Roseville.

Saturday March 30th at 7:30am:  McKinley Park Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast will be held at the Clunie Clubhouse.

Saturday and Sunday March 30-31st:  Fairytale Town hosts their annual Spring Eggstravaganza.  Search for hundreds of hidden eggs, participate in hands on spring activities and enjoy the park that was made to inspire children’s imagination!  The egg hunt is FREE with park admission. 

Saturday March 30th: Fair Oaks Easter Eggstravaganza.  This is another Free Family Fun Event.

Sunday March 31st from 930-11am the Haggin Oaks Free Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.

This is just a handful of the events that are going on around town.  Some are free, some have a small charge – but one thing is for sure, whatever you choose to do, spring is here and there is no excuse to not get out and enjoy the season.

Weekend Family Fun

You will have plenty of wonderful family friendly activities to choose from this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  In addition to Old Sacramento’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, you’ll find Sutter’s Fort abuzz with Hands on History, several theater productions including Charlotte’s Web, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Shrek The Musical.  You can celebrate Einstein’s birthday at the Discovery Museum and even join in a couple of early easter egg hunts.  Whatever you do, have fun!

shrek_the_musical_category3/14-3/17 – Shrek The Musical – Based on the Academy Award-winning film that started it all, Shrek The Musical brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage at Three Stages. During its Broadway run, it played over 500 performances and garnered eight 2009 Tony Award nominations. Part romance, part twisted fairy tale, and entirely irreverent fun for the whole family, the musical boasts a terrific score, big laughs, great dancing, and breathtaking scenery. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram exclaims, “It is difficult to know where to begin praising this sparkling production. Every element of an outstanding musical is found in abundance here.”

event_category3/15-3/17 – Cashore Marionettes: Simple Gifts – A performance by the Cashore Marionettes is a celebration of life. Engineering marvels with an extraordinary quality of movement, these marionettes explore a range of emotions with precise action and endearing nuance. The combination of virtuoso manipulation, music, illusion, and artistry blend into a sensitive perspective of what it is to be human. Simple Gifts is a series of touching portrayals and poignant scenes from everyday life set to stunning music by such composers as Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven, and Copland.

3/16 – 17th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Hundreds of colorful marchers dressed in green, along with Irish and Highland dancers, pipe and drum bands, historic re-enactors, and a variety of cultural organizations, will all join together to be a part of the 17th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Always a free event, the parade steps off promptly at 1pm from 2nd & L Streets in Old Sacramento and proceeds throughout the national historic landmark.

handsonhistory_women_category3/16 – Hands on History: Hard Working Women of the Frontier – Author of Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War and Sacramento Chronicles: A Golden Past, Stapp will be at the Fort to give three presentations throughout the day about the multi-faceted roles of frontier women in California.

In addition to the special guest presentations, many interactive Fort activities will be available that demonstrate how pioneer women were vital economic partners in families, many of whom set up their own businesses selling eggs, milk, or baked goods to neighbors and travelers. Other special activities await Fort guests, too, including crowd-favorite black powder and musket demonstrations, dutch-oven cooking demonstrations, and an interactive wagon trail camp for visitors to experience what it was like to camp as part of a wagon train. On this special day, Fort guests will also learn to carry water buckets, use a yoke, make rope, decide what supplies are necessary for the trip, help load the wagon and climb inside an authentic covered wagon to feel what it was like to journey across country.

TopLeftPatty3/16 – St. Patrick’s Day River Cruise – This St. Patrick’s Day spend your afternoon on the Sacramento River. Enjoy a one hour cruise of the Sacramento River with face painters & balloon artists for the kids and specials on green beer for adults. See where the American and Sacramento Rivers come together to experience the wildlife and breathtaking natural beauty that this historic and important waterway has to offer.

3/16 – Easter Egg Hunt at Hagginwood Park – Join for a  fun-filled day of hunting the elusive eggs of Easter. Many have tried, and all have gained the prize of chocolates and candies!

3/16 – Easter Egg Hunt at Parkway Oaks – Join for a  fun-filled day of hunting the elusive eggs of Easter. Many have tried, and all have gained the prize of chocolates and candies!

scoutpatch_category3/16 – Cub Scout Academics: Weather at the Discovery Museum – Calling all Cubs and Webelos! What do you know about the weather? Here’s a great opportunity for a hands-on learning experience. During this action-packed morning you will make your own weather station to take home and track weather conditions, and learn the correct use of weather terms, use prisms to explain rainbow formation and identify different types of clouds, understand and discuss the greenhouse effect, hurricanes, and tornadoes, and perform an experiment to see the effects of acid rain and make a poster to understand the water cycle. Pre-registration is required. Attending Cubs & Webelos will receive
a Discovery Museum Participation Scout patch.

3/16 – Family Activity: Nature’s Symphony at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Listen for a drumming woodpecker, a sweet soprano songbird, and the deep bass notes of a bullfrog on this guided walk to discover the sounds of nature.

kate(action)_category3/16-3/17 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – This colorful and imaginative ballet tells a fanciful story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a world full of unusual characters. The story comes brilliantly to life with fanciful costumes, out of this world scenery, and fun, family friendly choreography.

3/16-3/17 – Einstein and Pi at the Discovery Museum – In celebration of Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday, the Discovery Museum is packing in the science fun with multiple activities for the whole family. Visitors will learn about Pi and how it was discovered, taking measurements and doing the math—just like Archimedes. A packet filled with more Pi activities to take home will also be provided. Add to the Pi chain by coloring a number and tacking it on the wall—how long will it go?  Visitors can also celebrate and learn a bit about Albert Einstein—make an Einstein craft to take home and dress up like him for a photo-op.

charlotte's_web_category3/17 – California Theater Center: Charlotte’s Web – Explore a magical barnyard world where animals talk and miracles happen. This story of courage and friendship, based on E.B. White’s touching novel of a lovable pig named Wilbur and a kind spider named Charlotte, has inspired readers for decades.  Recommended for grades K-5.

3/17 – Family Activity: Living in Water at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Discover the hidden world of water insects and polliwogs. Using catch and release activities get a close-up look at amazing little animals that live in
the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s pond.

Daffodil Hill opens this Friday…a Must See during this beautiful spring weather!

nybg_spring_09_daffodil_hillBy Heather Crivellone

It’s official Spring is on it’s way!  I absolutely Love, Love, Love Sacramento… With blossoms on the trees, birds starting to build their nests and daffodils in bloom, it’s just about the most beautiful time of year! And with Spring around the corner, make sure you don’t miss out on one of the more spectacular scenes in Northern California… Daffodil Hill (also known as McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill Ranch). Located in Amador County, just about an hour east of Sacramento, from mid-March through mid-April, Daffodil Hill explodes with thousands of blooms, attracting visitors from around the world. This beautiful area is home to over 300,000 bulbs, including 300 varieties of daffodils and a large number of other varieties of bulbs and flowers. They open when 25% of the flowers are in bloom, which is typically mid to late March and stays open through the first couple of weeks of April. Call their hotline (209) 296-7048 to find out for sure if they are open when you will be visiting. The latest message was that they would open this Friday, March 15th. (weather permitting).
If you haven’t been to Amador County- they have fantastic wineries and plenty of picnic areas. Wineries may not be on the top of your list of places to take kids- but, many of them do have nice picnic areas and the scenery really is just too beautiful to pass up if you are in the area.
Another fun and picturesque place to visit in the area is Amador Flower Farm and Nursery. You can picnic on their grounds, visit the gardens and observe the hundreds of perennials, shrubs and vines they have to offer. My kids don’t really have the patience to explore the gardens with me quite yet… but after some hiking, biking and possibly exploring the local gold mines, I’m sure I can wear them out enough to possibly sneak into my favorite wineries (Karmere and Deaver to name a few). Spring is absolutely beautiful in Amador, and if you are searching for a fun day trip- this is one worth taking!

17th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Sacramento

-leprechaun-clipart-4By Heather Crivellone
This Saturday, mark you calendars for the 17th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Sacramento. If you have nothing planned for this gorgeous day, head out to the historic streets of Old Sacramento for some “luck o’ thee Irish” and watch as hundreds of colorful marchers dressed in green, along with Irish and Highland dancers take to the streets! Your family can experience pipe and drum bands, historic reenactments and many other cultural events, including bagpipers, bands, elaborate Celtic costumes and fun throughout the day.
The parade will begin at 1:00pm and will take off from 2nd and L Streets in Old Sacramento.
As always, this is a Family Fun and Free event to all! Traffic will be closed from noon to 3pm, so plan accordingly if you are planning on visiting (or avoiding) the area.
I hope to catch a glimpse of a lucky leprechaun this year and hopefully find my way to a pot of gold!