Weekend Family Fun

PicMonkey Collage

5/29 – Heart and Music – Natomas Charter School Performing and Fine Arts Academy’s Vocal Music Department wants to share their love of music with you. If music is the food of love, they have a feast fit for a king and something to whet everyone’s appetite. Come and hear their wonderful of classics, pop medleys, and Broadway’s greatest in this extraordinary vocal concert.

5/30 – Food Truck and Flick Night  – Enjoy a movie under the stars! Frozen will be shown on the big screen. You and your family can also grab a snack from local food trucks, Kine Shaved Ice and Costas Fine Kettle Corn.

5/31 – 6/1 – Wings of Freedom Tour at McClellan Airpark – This amazing national WWII living history tour will feature: The iconic B-17 Flying Fortress and extremely rare B-24 Liberator bombers. Flying escort to the bombers is the mighty P-51C Mustang fighter.  This is the world’s only full dual- control C model Mustang. Tour through and fly in these incredible historical jewels.

5/31 – Sacramento Fire Department Open House at Station 20 –  You are invited to bring your family and friends to visit with firefighters, take a tour of the fire station, get an up-close look at a fire engine, and more! Click here for the schedule.

5/31 – 4th Annual Sacramento Promenade of Mermaids – Mermaids, mermen, pirates and all sea creatures will take over the boardwalk of Old Sacramento! Prizes will be awarded for best costume for both adult and children categories

Thru 6/1 – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day – Not only does Alexander wake up with gum in his hair, his mother forgets to pack him dessert, and his best friend decides he’s not his best friend anymore. Even the inanimate objects come alive to conspire against Alexander. It’s enough to make anyone want to move to Australia!

5/31 – 6/2 – Terrific Tyrannosaurus at the Discovery Museum – There’s a plethora of T-Rex excitement happening this weekend at the museum. There will be a special area dedicated to this colossal beast!

Thru 6/2 – All Aboard Story Time at the Railroad Museum – Let the California State Railroad Museum help introduce and foster the love of reading for your little ones! With exciting locomotives and railroad exhibits as visual backdrops, this interactive and fun new program is designed for imaginative young children (Ages 2 to 5).  Museum staff will read a different railroad-related book each month. Afterward, little ones can enjoy the museum with their parents.


Sacramento Summer Bucket List and a Chance to Win FREE Passes to Our Local Museums!

By Heather CrivelloneCool_Summer_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_p

Its official….the countdown is ON!  The countdown to summer vacation that is. My kids are anxiously awaiting that last day of school to get  and I have to admit, so am I! Tired of the alarm clocks, the schedule, the homework… I’m looking forward to some relaxing time to be a kid with my kids.  Isn’t that what summer is about? And if you are looking for some ideas to keep those kids busy and not screaming “I’m bored” the first week of summer…then check out our Sacramento Summer “Bucket List”. You may find some things that you have never thought of, and if you have other ideas you would like to share, please email us.


Sacramento Summer Fun with Kids:

  1. Go Berry Picking.  We have some great local orchards that will let you bring the kids and pick fresh fruit to take home. Impossible Acres is my personal favorite!
  2. Take a Hike. We have great local trails in the area that will keep your kids busy and active all summer.
  3. Visit the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town and/or Funderland.
  4. Enjoy a FREE concert in the park at Pops in the Park. Saturdays in June, the parks in East Sacramento host concerts- this is always a fun tradition for Sacramento families!
  5. Visit a local Farmers Market. Many markets offer entertainment and food choices- so you can make an evening out of it.
  6. Grab some peanuts and cheer on our local River Cats Baseball team (check schedule here).
  7. Put on some sunblock and hit up one of our local Spray Parks in the area.
  8. Make homemade ice cream, or visit one of the great local ice cream parlors (Vics, Farrells, Leatherby’s and Gunthers are great options).
  9. Check out the Planetarium at the Sacramento Discovery Museum.
  10. Visit a local nature center- Effie Yeaw and Placer Nature Center are great for kids.
  11.  Catch a movie at the Drive In’s
  12. Play Flashlight Tag (can’t wait to do this one!).
  13. Check out the water parks in the area- SunSplash and Raging Waters.
  14. Take a FREE tour at the Jelly Belly Factory.
  15. Go Bowling- many leagues have summer programs for kids to bowl for really inexpensive.
  16.  Visit the Sacramento Children’s Museum.
  17. Take an Art Class or visit ArtBeast.
  18. Bounce out those giggles at the Bounce Spot or Sky Zone
  19. Visit one of our local libraries and check out some of the great free programs they have for kids in the summer.
  20. Learn how to flip pizza at Pizza Rock during their “Kids in the Kitchen”
  21. Bake some cookies to go with that pizza, or learn how to decorate those baked goods at Megan’s Bake Shop in West Sacramento.
  22. Take a bike ride along the American River Trail.
  23. Visit Six Flags Amusement Park
  24. Take your young children to Story Time at Big Spoon Yogurt (check your location for times and dates)
  25. Make plans to go to the California State Fair.

I hope this list gives you some ideas for things to do with your kids this summer. Our bucket list is made and ready to start crossing items off.  I added things like “Take a Nap in a hammock”, “Read a book” and “Stay in our pajamas all day.”  These are the activities I’m most looking forward to.

Let us know what is on your summer bucket list and get entered into a drawing to win a pair of VIP Passes for up to 4 people to visit some of our great local attractions.
We will announce the winner on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014.

Whatever your plans, have fun and make some memories with your kids this summer!

Memorial Day Weekend Family Fun

Sacramento Memorial Day Activities

5/22 – 5/26 -Sacramento County Fair –  Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the Sacramento County Fair.

5/23 – 5/26 – 41st Annual Sacramento Music Festival & Jubilee – Get ready to move your feet and dance in the streets morning, noon and night when the 2014 Sacramento Music Festival & Jubilee returns this Memorial Day Weekend!

5/24 – 4th Annual Pinata Festival – Celebrate the piñata at this fun-filled festival.

5/24 – International Kids Festival – Bring your family and friends to the Russian American Media’s 10th Annual International Kids Festival.

5/24 – Stuffed Animal Veterinary Clinic – Kids can have their teddy bear checked out by a veterinarian at the Sacramento Zoo.

5/24 – Telling Your Own Story at the Maidu Museam – Join artist, educator Stan Padilla in a bookmaking workshop where he will share his artistic experience as participants create and take home their own handmade book.

5/24 – Raptors of the River at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Take a walk on the wild side in hopes of spotting some of the raptors that call the river’s edge home.

5/25 – 15th Annual Reading of the Names Ceremony  at Capitol Park – Join the Vietnam Veterans of America Charter 500 as they remember the Fallen Veterans from California who were either killed in action or are currently prisoners of war or missing in action.

5/25 – Family Palooza at the Crocker Art Museum – Come celebrate the arts, creativity, and good old-fashioned fun at the Crocker’s second annual FamilyPalooza.

5/25 – Open Wide at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Slither on over to the Nature Center to learn all about snakes and lizards.

5/26 – Vettes for Vets and American Muscle is a car show held outside of the California Automobile Museum.

5/26 – Hornblower’s Memorial Day River Cruise – Come aboard for a Memorial Day River Cruise on the Sacramento River.


Sacramento County Fair comes to Sacramento this Memorial Day weekend


By Heather Crivellone

This weekend, the Sacramento County Fair comes to town and will take over Cal Expo for five days of fun and excitement!

I have to be honest- I have not had the desire to take my children to the fair yet.  Every year when the California State Fair comes to town….I purposely avoid that area of Sacramento.  Not because I don’t like deep fried Twinkies and the smell of the livestock auction- but because I am afraid of never being able to leave!  My kids would run off and get lost in junk- food heaven and would make me go on a few too many twirly rides!

However, this time around- I think it will be different and I’m actually excited to take them on their first fair adventure!

This year’s theme:  “Sacramento County Fair: Let’s Eat, Have Fun and Celebrate the Red, White and Blue” just screams summertime fun!  And what a better way to kick start your summer than with a trip to the fair over Memorial Day weekend!

Opening day will be Thursday, May 22.  On Friday, there will be a Demotion Derby as well as “Value Day” with dollar food items between 4pm-9pm.  Saturday is “Stars and Stripes” Bull Riding.  On Sunday watch and participate in the Junior Livestock Auction.  Finally, on Monday is Military Appreciation Day and a Freestyle Motorcross Event.

These are just some of the events taking place- along with the exhibits, carnival rides, live entertainment and all the yummy fair food- you can’t go wrong!  General admission into the fair is $5.  Children 0-12 are FREE.  Parking is $10 and of course tickets for the rides can be purchased at the fair or wristbands for the rides can be purchased online.

So if you are looking for something fun to do this holiday weekend, make plans to head out to the Sacramento County Fair and make some fond family memories!

Stay Cool at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

By Heather Crivellone

ferrelsI scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!”.  And with the Sacramento temperatures rising this week, I know where my family is going to be…. the ice cream parlour!

I don’t know a kid (or an adult) who doesn’t love some ice-cold, creamy goodness!  And here in Sacramento, we have quite a few options to choose from.

Many of our local ice cream parlors have become well-known family names that we have grown up with- Leatherbys, Gunthers, and Vics to name a few. Recently an old Sacramento favorite once again opened their doors to the public – Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant.

When you walk into this famous ice-cream shop, you will instantly be taken back into time, back into the 1890’s to be exact.  Their theme has employees dressed in part- wearing “old time” attire, straw boater hats and listening to catchy piano tunes. They first opened in Portland, Oregon in 1963 and quickly became popular by offering free ice cream sundaes to children on their birthdays.  This tradition still exists- as does the famous Farrell’s “Zoo” dessert (an ice cream sundae that is big enough for 10 people to share).  This is delivered to the guests’ table by several employees who have to carry it on a stretcher….this is accompanied by loud sirens and yelling.  Definitely worth the experience…not sure if I could eat that much ice cream- but it would be fun to try!

 I decided to treat my little guy to lunch and a sundae after he had to get his first cast put on a few weeks ago.  He was in ice cream heaven that he completely forgot about the use of his left arm! With a menu large enough to satisfy any appetite (burgers, salads, sandwiches, tacos to name a few) and plenty of entertainment all around (music, singing and dancing) you can be sure that everyone will leave full and happy!  Plus, if you have a loud family like ours, you won’t have to worry about annoying anyone…the place is loud and fun! 

So, if you’re dreading hanging out in the kitchen this week because of the heat, take your family out to Farrell’s for dinner and some ice cream.  Or, forget the dinner and just enjoy a good old-fashioned ice cream treat!

PicMonkey Collage




Weekend Family Fun

Sacramento weekend family fun

5/16 – Museum Campfire at the Maidu Museum – Sit under the stars at our outdoor amphitheater to enjoy native stories around the campfire. The museum will provide roasting sticks and marshmallows for a sweet program’s end.

5/17 – Armed Forces Open Cockpit Day at the California Aerospace Museum –  Join us in celebrating & honoring those who serve in our Armed Forces.  This special FREE Open Cockpit Day is hosted by Wells Fargo. Planes Open & Lots to See and Do!

5/17 – Farms, Friends and Fairytales – Join Fairytale Town for a fun-filled celebration of agriculture! Arrive early to watch the amusement park’s twin Babydoll sheep get sheared, then watch as the wool is spun into thread using an old-fashioned spinning wheel. Plus, participate in agriculture-themed hands-on activities, shop the mini farmers’ market, and visit with local area farms and organizations.

5/17 – Splash Park Season Opener – The Swanston Splash Park is gearing up for its sixth year of fun in the sun! This is a free event for families to come out and celebrate the opening of Splash Park for the summer and enjoy fun activities including magic shows for the kids, games, dance performances, and a bike rodeo where the first 1,000 kids will receive a free bike helmet! There will also be information on the many programs and services available.

5/17 – Fish Family Fest –  103.9 The Fish’s Christian Music festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy a day full of music with Francesca Battistelli, Hawk Nelson, Lincoln Brewster, Bob Smiley and many more.  Of course, like any good festival, there will be plenty to do, including food, carnival rides for the kids, and the artist booths.  It’s hours of music and fun for the whole family you won’t want to miss!

5/17 – 5/18 – Sleeping Beauty Dreams –  Sleeping Beauty Dreams, written by award-winning playwright, Amaranta Leyva, re-imagines the famous princess as an overprotected daughter looking for a way to break free of her castle walls in order to search for true love and her true self. A contemporary look at this classic tale, Marionetas de la Esquina’s humorous storytelling and whimsical puppetry awaken this sleeping princess as never before.

5/17 – Eppie’s Kids Duathlon –  Local nonprofit health and wellness organizations, Eppie’s Great Race, Nicolas’ Garden, and Soil Born Farms, are partnering to present ninth annual Eppie’s Kids Duathlon (running and cycling) along with a children’s health and wellness expo.  Activities will have a “Farm-to-Fork” focus, incorporating entertainment, and educational, hands-on health, nutrition and fitness activities.

5/17 – Birding for Families – Bring the family out for a birding and nature walk led by a naturalist and special guest guides from the Sacramento Audubon Society. Birdwatchers of all levels welcomed. Remember to bring your binoculars (or the group can loan you a pair)!

5/18 – Unleash Your Inner Animal – Join a Naturalist for an afternoon of channeling your inner animal to create an animal mask of your favorite oak woodland creature! Have fun getting creative and learn some fun art techniques. Supplies provided, space is limited. Sign-ups taken the day of the event.

5/18 – 22nd Annual Pacific Rim Street Fest – Taking place in Old Sacramento and the Sacramento Downtown Plaza, for years the festival has displayed the richness and diversity of many Pacific Rim cultures through cultural programs, entertainment, art, and food. The event also enhances the community’s knowledge of Asian/Pacific Island cultures in a fun and positive environment.  So stop by and taste the food at one of their many food booths, watch and listen to the variety of entertainers at one of the four entertainment stages, and purchase a T-shirt or merchandise from one of the art and craft vendors.

5/18 – A Day on the Farm at Soil Born Farms – Soil Born Farm’s spring fundraiser is a family favorite! Collaborating for the past seven years with their title sponsor Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, the intention of this event is to create an opportunity for families to visit the American River Ranch for a day of learning, eating, music, celebrating community, and exploring the natural world.

Hiking with Kids at Hidden Falls Regional Park

photoBy Heather Crivellone

Warmer weather in Sacramento means lots of outdoor adventures for our family!  We like to take advantage of these nice, sunny days as we spend every possible moment outdoors and exploring the world around us.  Usually this ends up in the form of hiking, biking or just running around in one of our great parks or nature centers here in the Sacramento valley.   My kids are (finally) at the age where we can take them on day hikes and not worry too much about if they can manage the distance or not.

Luckily for us, here in Sacramento we have many trails that are suitable for hiking, biking, jogging and exploring nature. There are several places that you can take children for an afternoon outdoor adventure (Effie Yeaw Nature Center, American River bike trail and Folsom Lake are just a few that come to mind). But this past weekend we decided to “head up the hill” to Auburn and visit Hidden Falls Regional Park. If you haven’t had a chance to experience this part of Northern California I highly suggest you put it on your “to do” list.

First of all, Auburn itself is a charming mountainous town with restaurants, wineries and “mom & pop” shops galore.  But, it was Hidden Falls that we were interested in visiting this time around.  The nature park is a 221-acre open space located at 7587 Mears Place, north of Mt. Vernon Road between Auburn and Lincoln. The park is host to groves of woodlands, 7 miles of natural trails that are suitable for hiking, biking, running and horseback riding. It’s also home to Coon Creek, Deadman creek and a 20-30 foot high waterfall that runs year round. Activities include fishing, hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing- a great way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon! There are several different trails that you can take, we chose one that was about 3 miles roundtrip and was easy enough for both my 2 and 4 year olds to hike. They had a blast skipping along the trail, spotting their favorite wildflowers, finding butterflies and hopping over a few piles of horse excrement (or as my children were yelling out “Big Poop”!) Once we arrived at the waterfall, it was a perfect stopping point for a snack and some great family pictures. The kids were troopers and made the hike in and out with minimal complaining (we were also bribing them with a stop to the ice cream parlor on the way home).

I highly recommend this park and the trails to the waterfall for families with kids of all ages. It’s never too early to get your kids out into nature and exploring. Plus, everyone can use a little calorie burn with their family fun!  And if you have the energy when you are done, check out Old Town Auburn and some of their shops and restaurants. Or, if wine tasting is your idea of fun, then check out Auburn’s wine trail, some vineyards are even family friendly to bring the kids along. But again, a trip up to Auburn ( about 45 minutes north of Sacramento) and a hike to Hidden Falls is well worth your Saturday (or any day) afternoon!

Hidden Trails Collage