Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Winners

Congratulations to Diane Richards and Francisco Mejia – you each have won a family admission 4-pack to the upcoming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Sleep Train Arena September 13, 2013.

Please contact us in order to claim your tickets.  Thank you to everyone who entered.  Have a great weekend!



Labor Day Weekend Family Fun

Misc Photos from 2011-2012 5638/30 – 9/2 – Gold Rush Days – Get ready to turn back time to the 1850s! Free to the public and a wildly favorite Sacramento heritage celebration, Gold Rush Days 2013 returns to Old Sacramento over Labor Day weekend. Nearly 200 tons of dirt will transform the streets of Old Sacramento’s 27-acre historic district into a scene straight out of the Gold Rush era.

Guests to Old Sacramento will be entertained by talented musicians performing live on several stages, Old West theatrics, and family friendly melodramas such as a dramatic “damsel in distress” skit featuring the Hook & Ladder Fire Brigade, history re-enactments such as Squatter’s Riots and Pony Express Relays, horse-drawn carriages, cowboys on horseback, ladies riding side saddle, wagon rides, gold panning, Artisan Alley, hands-on children’s arts and crafts activities, watermelon eating contests in the Save Mart BBQ Patio area, the popular Tent City depicting daily life during the Gold Rush, and much more.

family_bike_nights_logo_safetyville_category8/30 – Family Bike Night at Safetyville USA – Families attending will enjoy bike riding in an enclosed safe riding area, food court selling hot dogs, sodas, and other snacks, a special designated area for the young riders, bike safety clinic, and local area bike vendors on hand for bike assistance and questions. This event also features CHP involvement and presentation.

tejano-conjunto-fest1_category8/30 – 9/1 – Tejano Conjunto Festival –  The seventh annual Sacramento Tejano/Conjunto Festival celebrates the sound and spirit of two musical traditions. Blending Mexican-Spanish vocal traditions with Czech and German dance tunes and instruments, Tejano (“Texan”) and Conjunto (“Group”) music have spread far from their humble roots in the Lone Star State.

cosumnes_community_services_district_category8/30 – Hot Summer Nights Concert Series: Motown at Laguna Town Hall – Bring your family out to this free musical event with Motown Sound featuring Men N Black. Bring a blanket or low lawn chair and enjoy live music in the outdoor amphitheater. Blanket policy: No blankets or lawn chairs allowed in the amphitheater before 4pm. Items placed before 4pm will be removed by staff. No pets permitted, except service animals. Food available for purchase.

8/31 – Living 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 pond.

great_train_robbery2_category8/31 – Great Train Robbery with Sacramento River Train – Take a ride back to the old west on the RiverTrain. On this 3-hour trip departing from West Sacramento, keep an eye for outlaws who tend to hide out along the tracks. Fortunately, there is the Marshall on board to keep things safe. More often than not, he has to teach those outlaws a lesson. This trip includes the Western show and fun train ride and a barbecue beef & chicken dinner on board.

chalk_it_up_festivalattendees_category8/31 – 9/2 – Chalk it up! to Sacramento Festival – Now in its 23rd year, is a fun, family friendly outdoor event that celebrates great art and music.  The three-day event features over 200 sidewalk paintings created at the festival by local artists who donate their time, energy, and talent. The artwork is rendered with chalk pastels in a variety of methods. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals sponsor each sidewalk square to further the mission of Chalk-It-Up to Sacramento in support of children’s art programs. Fremont Park is wide open for the weekend and all activities at the festival are free.

Stamp-a-rama8/31 – 9/2 – Labor Day Campout at the Discovery Museum – Don’t want to deal with the crowds going out of town this weekend?  Bring your family to the Discovery Museum for some Labor Day camping fun. There will be a “campground” set up for kids to play in with tents, sleeping bags, and even a pretend fireplace. Celebrate National Trail Mix Day by kids making their own sample trail mix snack to enjoy outside.

in_old_california__200_category9/1 – Outdoor Movie Night in Old Sacramento – Come out and see John Wayne come to Gold Rush Sacramento in “In Old California.” See this outdoor movie on the lawn in Old Sacramento where the story actually takes place. John Wayne plays a squeaky clean Boston pharmacist, who heads to west to Sacramento and runs afoul of the corrupt city boss. It’s got everything a good Western needs, bar fights, horse chases, good guys, and of course bad guys. Oh yes, and how could we forget a love quadrangle.

9/1 – Hawk Talk at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Come learn about these amazing raptors that have color vision eight times better
than humans. Get a rare close look at one of our resident hawks and learn more about the hawk family.

cutebaby_category9/2 – Little Buckaroos Day at the Crocker Art Musuem – Families will have a yee-haw time at the third annual celebration of Sacramento’s Gold Rush Days. The West will be wild with wiggles and giggles in this event featuring live performances, craft-making
demos, hands-on art-making, and even a petting zoo. See if you can spot trick roper James Barrera and fiddler Steven Zdybel roaming around the Museum!

Help Support the Sweet Dreams Foundation this weekend at the Color Dash 5k!

imagesCAL05BBRBy Heather Crivellone

This weekend, join other families as they “get moving, while improving the quality of life for children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening disease”.  The Body on the Move organization is hosting a wild, color filled run – The Color Dash on Sunday, September 1st at the Palladio Mall in Folsom.  Registration into this colorful fun run will help benefit the Sweet Dreams Foundation as they will be donating 50% of the proceeds back to the foundation.

If you are not familiar with the Sweet Dreams Foundation, their mission is to “improve the quality of life for children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening disease through the creation of their Dream bedroom.”  These children can not live a normal life so they take the time to get to know the child’s needs and wants, then create an atmosphere that will be uplifting to the child to help with their healing process.​
Their goal is that through getting to know these children and their families they can give them a place to heal in their own home, their very own retreat!

This is truly an amazing organization, especially when you see the children who help out to volunteer and raise money for those in need.  Visit their website and take a look at some of the rooms  and those they have been able to create special retreats for…if you are like me…it will bring a tear to your eye!

If you would like to help this wonderful organization (and have a crazy- colorful time), then sign up for this weekend’s Color Dash.  If you have never participated in a “Color Dash” before, then be prepared to get “bombed” by color.  Wear as much white as you can… and by the end of the race you will look like a rainbow!  My daughter and I did one of these a few months back, and she keeps talking about how much fun it was to be “bombed by color”.  Even if you are not an avid runner- you can walk, dance and/or skip your way through this 5K race.  It’s all about having a great time for a great cause.

We hope to see you out at the starting line!




Win Tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Built To Amaze Circus

R143-ColorLogo312x312Have your kids been to the Greatest Show on Earth?  If not, you’ll want to head over to Sleep Train Arena September 13-16, 2013 for one of seven Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Built to Amaze! showtimes.

The 143rd Edition of The Greatest Show On Earth® presents an astounding display of spellbinding acts with an all-new show.  You’ll be entertained by more than 110 of the world’s best performers and 95 exotic and domestic animals.  And, you can get up close with some of your favorite animal stars at the Ringling Bros. Animal Open House, beginning 90 minutes before show time and FREE to ticket holders.

Circus Collage 4Would you like to win some tickets?  Of course you would!  We have two family 4-packs to give away to a couple of our lucky readers.  If you are interested in having a chance to win one of those family packs, head on over to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus website here, check out all the fabulous online kids activities they have, then come back here and leave a comment as to what your child’s favorite online activity is.  Two lucky readers will be randomly selected on Friday, August 30, 2013.  Vouchers are good for opening night only.  Good luck!

Circus Collage 2

Click here for a downloadable circus train activity sheet for your kids to enjoy before the big event! TrainActivitySheet SacStockton

Weekend Family Fun

You won’t want to miss this weekend’s events.  Your kids will love the Back to School Extravaganza at Funderland, or bringing their bikes down to the Sacramento Children’s Museum for Wheels Day.  How about exploring a Maidu Indian village along the American River?  Or learning about aviation at the Discovery Museum?  There is plenty to keep your little ones busy, so get out there and have a wonderful weekend!

8/23 – Hot Summer Nights Summer Concert Series: Music in the 80’s  – Bring your family out to this free musical event with Music of the ’80s featuring 8 Track Vandals. Bring a blanket or low lawn chair and enjoy live music in the outdoor amphitheater. Blanket policy: No blankets or lawn chairs allowed in the amphitheater before 4pm. Items placed before 4pm will be removed by staff. No pets permitted, except service animals. Food available for purchase.

flags_category8/24 – District 2 Multicultural Festival – Come and celebrate the District 2 Multi-Cultural Festival to celebrate our diversity! The festivities will include live music, dance performances, local food vendors, plus informational booths, community services, and a kids zone. Bring the family and neighbors to enjoy together!

8/24 – Exploring the Maidu Village  at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Nisenan Maidu people have lived in this area for thousands of years.  Come learn about their special relationship to the land – which they still celebrate today- through stories and a hike through the Village.

wheels_day_category8/24 – Wheels Day at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Vroom, vroom! The Sacramento Children’s Museum is setting up its very own race track in the back yard of the Museum for one special day in August. Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring their own bikes, trikes or scooters and play outside during “Wheels Day” at the Museum. In addition, the Museum will provide a few wheels to borrow, too. Participants are asked to bring helmets and can expect to learn about important safety tips as they cruise along the track.

8/24 – Fun on the Farm at Soil Born Farms – You are in for a real treat!  Join the fun & explore the American River Ranch. Meet the farm animals, explore the magic of seeds, harvest veggies from the garden, make a farm fresh snack, create something special to take home.Take this opportunity to get to know your community and your food!  Suggested ages 3-9.

funderlandteacups_category8/24 – Funderland’s Back to School Extravaganza – Start the school year with a bang by coming out to Funderland’s Back to School Extravaganza!  This year’s event features Mr. Cooper and his educational sing-a-long songs (11am & 3pm), a special performance by Radio Disney (1pm-2:30pm), educational vendor booths, games, crafts, & more!

Who says learning can’t be fun? Plus, if you donate new school supplies to River Oak Center for Children, you’ll receive a free goodie bag (while supplies last). So come enjoy a day of educational fun and celebrate a new school year with Funderland!

Stamp-a-rama8/24 – 8/25 – Aviation Antics at the Discovery Museum – Join in the celebration for National Aviation Day and learn about flight. A history of flight activity is available for children to learn about different modes of flight through the years.  In the Space Quest! exhibit, little ones pretend to fly in the rocket ship play station while wearing astronaut costumes. Test your aeronautical engineering skills by building a paper airplane and aiming it through a hanging hoop. Are you going to earn your wings?

aladdin2_category8/24 – 8/25 – Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp  at Fair Oaks Community Club House – New Star Children’s Theatre proudly presents an original musical written by Elly nominated Playwright Melanie Thompson, and composers Kayla, Dana, and Robert B.  Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp is a intuitive new version of the well-known tale of Aladdin. This story takes you on his journey of finding the magic lamp and having a Genie to give him his every wish. Aladdin finds out the true value of riches through his friendships, not gold. Starring a talented cast of children, teens, and some awesome parents too.

Flying High at the Nature Center8/25 – Critter Corner at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Where do our animals come from?  Why are they here?  Meet a couple of small animal residents at the Nature Center up close.  Learn about each of their unique journeys and how they became an educational ambassador for the Nature Center.

curtis_fest_category8/25 – 7th Annual Curtis Fest Artisan Festival at William Curtis Park – Curtis Fest was established in 2007 to give local artists a venue to exhibit and sell their work. This event has fun for the whole family. You are sure to find 50+ artists; petting zoo; children’s fairy; photo booth; and musicians Jon Merriman, Jahari Sai Trio, and Mike Justis Band; food trucks Wicked ‘Wich and Mama Kim’s will be on hand for yummy treats.

Exploring the World of Art in Sacramento with Kids

12570panel20By Heather Crivellone

One of the great things about having children in Sacramento, is that there are so many opportunities to let them develop their imaginations and expose them to the arts. Every month, Downtown Sacramento hosts “2nd Saturday”, where local businesses, art galleries and restaurants open up for a progressive art show.  Enjoy an evening of art, music, wine (for the adults), and people watching at it’s finest. With the variety of art shows you can take the kids to view, don’t miss an opportunity to visit the   Crocker Art Museum. During the summer, I took my kids to  “Family Fridays” at the Crocker Art Museum and was highly impressed. First of all, the museum itself is gorgeous (I have been to quite a few in my days of prancing abroad) and I was pleasantly surprised at the architecture and the work on display. The Family Friday series was a weekly program during the summer where families could enjoy making different art projects in the courtyard, followed by live entertainment.  Now, if you missed the summer events at the Crocker- there are plenty of family events throughout the year. Every Wednesday, they host their “Wee Wednesday” class for the preschool ages children and their caregivers.   This is an opportunity to introduce your young children to the beauty of art in a fun and interactive way.  Instructors will typically walk the children through the museum to a particular work of art and discuss it in ways that is fun and understanding for the children.  When we visited this event a few months back, they also read a story and  at the end of the class the children had an opportunity to explore Tot Land.  This is a child friendly, interactive area where the kids can play, create and learn about the world of art around them. Other special events that are coming up include: “Sketch It” on Sunday, August 25 11am-1pm where visitors five and older can sketch at their own pace while receiving drawing instruction. This drop-in program meets in a different gallery each month and all supplies are included. No experience necessary On Monday, September 2 from 11am-3pm families with young children will have a yee-haw time at the Crocker’s third annual celebration of Sacramento’s Gold Rush Days. The West will be wild with wiggles and giggles in this event featuring live performances, craft-making demos, hands-on art-making, and even a petting zoo. On this day there will be Free admission. Tuesday, September 3 from 10:30am-12pm join other families at “Artful Tot”.  “Toddlers can explore art-making with different materials and in new ways, from printmaking and color mixing to clay and fabric. Adults learn how to encourage experimentation and self-expression while nurturing their child’s creativity. Families are welcome to arrive anytime during this drop-in program. Please dress for mess. This program is for children from 19 to 36 months old and their caregivers.”  $10 Museum members per pair (includes one child + one adult) $15 Nonmembers per pair (includes one child + one adult) $5 per additional person. These are just some of the events that are coming up.  Check the website and calendar for other fun filled events at the Crocker Art Museum.

If you are looking for more hands- on, create your own “masterpiece” with your children, then check out some of our local art studios like Art Beast and Recreate.  Art Beast is a favorite for many local moms- $8/ person and you can spend the entire day getting lost in your creativity at this drop in art studio. Painting, coloring, sculpting, dramatic play, daily classes and so much more! This place has everything to keep your creativity entertained for hours and hours. Recreate in Roseville is an eco-friendly art gallery where kids can create their own masterpieces with recyclables.

And if you are looking for an ongoing class for your little Picasso- then visit Kids Studio of Fine Arts. Your child can learn everything from the basics of drawing to more complex and expressionistic styles of drawing and painting.  They offer classes for children between the ages of 4 and 18 and have many classes available throughout the week. So, just remember that when you are thinking about exposing your family to the arts.. there is no need to travel far for museums and “culture”… our beautiful golden city already has it all!

Art Collage

A New Little Engine That Could At Fairytale Town

By Alyssa Green

If you have been a loyal reader of this blog, then you probably know that Fairytale Town is one of our favorite places to visit!  Unique to Sacramento, this lovely little park has been entertaining children and families for 50 years and seems to just be getting better with age.  Earlier this week, with the help of Sacramento City Manager John Shirey, the folks at Fairytale Town unveiled a new play structure.  The Little Engine That Could – a tribute to the ever popular book by Watty Piper, first published in 1930.

Little Engine That Could Collage

The Little Engine That Could is the perfect addition to Sacramento’s most beloved children’s theme park.  Not only would you be hard-pressed to find a child who isn’t familiar with this story, but the structure itself ties right in to Sacramento’s railroad history.  And the kids are already loving it!  So, if you get a chance, head on out there this weekend and let the kiddos climb all over this persistent little engine – and don’t forget to read the story before you go!

Fairytale Town new train 027 - editedAnd just in case you need a refresher of what else Fairytale Town Has to offer, here are some photos of what kids have been loving for years and years!

FT Town collage