It’s that time of year… Pumpkin Patch fun!

Bishops-Pumpkin-FarmBy 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 to hit up one or a couple of them for some cheap family entertainment.

Dave’s Pumpkin Patch– 3010 Burrows Ave, West Sacramento
Open September 27- October 31
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10am- dusk, Fri-Sat: 10am-9pm
*Zipline, Jumping Pillow, Pumpkin Princess Castle, Corn Boxes, Hay Rides, Pony Rides, Hay Maze, Corn Maze

The Pumpkin Farm– 7736 Old Auburn Blvd. Citrus Heights
Opening October 3-31 Hours: 9am-6pm (Closed Mondays)
*Haunted Barn, Farm Zoo, Hay rides, Tower Slides, Corn Maze, Train Ride, Go-Kart Trains, Jumping Castle

Bastiao Farms Goblin Gardens– 3845 El Centro Rd, Sacramento/Natomas
Opening October 1-31 Hours: 10am-7pm 7 days a week
**Closed on Oct 3 and Oct 6
*Corn Maze, Hay Bale Pyramid, Hay Maze, Slides, Hayrides, Toddler Pedal Car Track, Sunflower Pit

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm– 1415 Pumpkin Lane, Wheatland
Open September 20- November 2.
Hours: 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 October 1-31
Hours: Monday- Friday; 11:30-6pm  Saturday and Sunday; 9:30am-6pm
*Petting Zoo, Adventure Course, Hay Rides, BBQ

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

Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch19376 Old River Rd, West Sacramento
Open October 1-31
Monday- Friday 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun. 10-6
*Tractor Rides, Hay Maze, Corn Maze

Cool Patch Pumpkins
6585 Milk Farm Rd, Dixon
Open through October 31
*Corn Maze, Kid Zone, Scarecrow Contest, Pedal Track

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

 

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Weekend Family Fun

PicMonkey Collage

9/26 – 9/28 – Weekend in Greece 2014 Greek Culture and Food Festival – Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church invites you to a Weekend in Greece 2014. This three-day festival features a celebration of Greek culture and food. Saint Katherine invites everyone and their families as the event is open to the public. The festival features live, authentic Greek dancing performed by parishioners and their children in traditional Greek costumes and dances to Greek music. There will also be live bands, excellent food, and kids activities including bounce houses.

9/27 – 2nd Annual Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall – Designed to demonstrate where our food and drinks come from, the Farm-to-Fork Festival has proven to be one of the region’s most popular events. The free event, hosted on the city’s iconic Capitol Mall boasts an exciting selection of farm-to-fork offerings that are produced and available in the Sacramento region. Attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as live music, cooking demonstrations, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches and more. The UC Master Gardeners will be hosting a plant clinic and will be answering questions throughout the festival as well.

9/27 – Smithsonian Museum Day – These five Sacramento area museums are joining the Smithsonian Magazine “Museum Day Live!” nationwide effort by offering FREE admission to ticket holders all day long. California Automobile Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Maidu Museum and Historic Site, State Indian Museum, The California Museum.

9/27 – Galls for Fall at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Join a naturalist for a walk in the nature preserve to explore those inventive insects who build their homes in plants.

9/27 – Romanian Festival – Enjoy love music, traditional folk dances, children’s activities, authentic food and art exhibits at this annual festival celebrating Romanian culture.

9/27 – Red Panda Day at the Sacramento Zoo – Join for an interactive and educational event about Red Panda awareness and conservation. Kids and adults can become Red Panda Rangers after stopping at the various Red Panda Stations and completing the Panda activities. Other stations include face painting and an opportunity to decorate your own flag that will be added to the ones currently surrounding the Red Panda exhibit.

9/27 – 9/28 – Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival at Fairytale Town – Join Fairytale Town for the 14th annual ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival, the largest early childhood literacy event in the Sacramento region. Enjoy readings and presentations from authors and illustrators, then shop at the official bookseller, Time Tested Books booth to purchase your favorite story. The event also features storytelling performances, hands-on literacy activities, a book fair, and more. Plus literacy and arts organizations will be on hand to provide information about early childhood literacy programs offered in the region.

9/27 – 9/28 – Fall Foliage Fun at the Discovery Museum – Welcome fall by trekking around the museum grounds and learning to identify trees using their Nature Trail Guide. The Sacramento Tree Foundation is here to visit and work with guests on learning some tree-rific facts. Families with children 12 and under make a leaf headband to celebrate the first weekend of Autumn.

9/27 – 9/28 – Farm-to-Fork Weekend Excursion: Pear Giveaway – All aboard from Farm-to-Fork! Coinciding with the second annual Farm-to-Fork Celebration in the Sacramento region, California State Parks, the California State Railroad Museum Foundation and Sprouts Farmers Market in South Land Park will showcase the important role the region’s railroads have played in supporting agriculture on this final weekend of regular season excursion train rides on the Sacramento Southern Railroad. In addition to delighting in the sights, smells and sounds of an authentic, working locomotive as it rolls along the levees of the Sacramento River, train ride guests will be treated to free pears donated by Sprouts Farmers Market (while supplies last) upon their exit. Appealing to all ages, the train ride experience offers guests with the chance to enjoy train travel from an earlier era. Those aboard are treated to a six-mile, 45-minute roundtrip excursion along the levees of the Sacramento River. The train features a combination of vintage closed coaches with comfortable seats, and open-air “gondolas” with bench style seating.

9/27 – 9/28 – Sacramento Reptile Show – The Sacramento Reptile Show is back for its 17th year. For 2014 they have brought back the ever popular venomous reptile display featuring more than 45 venomous species from around the world including King Cobras and Black Mambas. Brads World Reptile will also be setting up a reptile education center to teach you about the world of reptiles. And, who can forget Izod the Alligator? Izod and Wild Things will be back to give you an opportunity to meet a 10ft 100lb alligator.

9/28 – Sun Seekers at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Some have scaly skin, some have slimy skin, some have legs, some don’t. Can you guess what they are? Join and meet one of these cold-blooded critters up close.

Baby Items Needed For Northern California Fire Evacuees

 

imagesCAYZHINOBy Alyssa Green

Many of you are aware that there are some pretty significant wildfires burning in Northern California at the moment.  Many people have lost their homes and hundreds more have been evacuated.  This leaves many families without the supplies they need.  With help from the Sacramento Children’s Museum, New Normal Meetup group is collecting basic baby items to donate to families in need.  If you would like to help, you can come down to the Sacramento Children’s Museum tomorrow – Saturday, September 20, at 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. and make a donation (see list of item below.) Mention New Normal Donation and receive a coupon for 50% off up to 4 people to the museum for immediate or future use.  Thank you for your help!

Requested baby/toddler items:

Diapers

Baby Wipes

Formula

Baby Food

Bottles

Clothing and blankets will also be accepted

Upcoming Events at Safetyville USA

BSafetyville chili cookoffy 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 September 20 from 12pm- 4pm,  join local firefighters for their annual Firefighter Chili Cook-off.  Enjoy entertainment, food, demonstrations and fun for the entire family. Tickets are only $5 per person and children ages 5 and under are FREE!  For more information on this event, visit their website.

And on Saturday, October 18, your little ghosts and goblins can “trick and treat” in a secure and safe environment at their annual Halloween Haunt. This is the best Halloween extravaganza around for the younger children! Admission is $6 per person and includes $2 coupon for food or games.  Kids can enjoy games, mazes, magic shows, costume contests, face-painting, raffles and fun for the entire family.

 

17th Annual Reptile Show comes to the Sacramento Convention Center

snakeBy Heather Crivellone

I am NOT a fan of slippery, slimy snakes, toads, lizards or anything of that nature.  However, since I have a little boy I am learning that I have to put my fears aside and pretend to be interested in these creatures.  Oh how I hate going into the reptile room at the Sacramento Zoo…and that seems to be my little boys’ favorite place to go!  So, you can imagine his excitement when daddy told him about the “17th Annual Reptile Show” coming to town.

So if you have a little boy (or girl) who loves reptiles, then this may be the outing for you!  On September 27-28, at the Sacramento Convention Center (1400 J Street in Downtown Sacramento), you can visit the largest reptile show in Northern California! Last year they had over 3000 reptiles on display and this year is going to be even bigger.  With exhibits showcasing venomous reptiles from around the world that include King Cobras and Black Mambas,  you can visit educational booths to learn about the World of Reptiles and even have the opportunity to meet a 10 foot, 100 pound alligator!

If you are interested in adding a reptile pet to your family- this is the place to ask questions, get information and even purchase from.  They will have vendors onsite to discuss everything you need about making the best choice for your family.

There are two options for passes to the event.  You can purchase either a one or a two day pass. Adults 13 and older $13 for a one day pass and $19 for the two day passes.  Children ages 4-12 are $9 or $13 and those who are 3 and under are free.

You can guarantee that I will stay clear of the downtown area on these days….however, I will be packing snacks for my little guy and his daddy to visit the World of Reptiles.  Now, I just need to lock the doors in case they decide they want to bring home a pet!!!

 

Weekend Family Fun

PicMonkey Collage

9/19 – Buccaneer Ball at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Sacramento Children’s Museum cordially invites moms and their sons(s) to the museum to dance the night away to a DJ for the first Buccaneer Ball! Pirate dress-up is encouraged and desserts and light refreshments will be served.

9/19 – Movie in Fremont Park: The Lego Movie – CADA and Friends of Fremont Park will be hosting Movie in Fremont Park featuring The Lego Movie. Enjoy live music by The Bell Boys with the feature film beginning after their performance. There will also be food trucks and face painting for kids.

9/19 – Talk Like A Pirate Day at Fairytale Town – Ahoy, me hearties! Join Fairytale Town in celebrating international Talk Like a Pirate Day. The Pirates of Sacramento will be on hand to present “Pirate Skool” and other games along with plenty of pirate themed fun and activities for yer whole family, savvy?

9/20 – Hands on History – Harvest: The Real Gold in California – When John Sutter arrived in California in 1839, his dream was to build an agricultural empire that would encompass all of the Sacramento Valley, filling it with ranchers, who owed fealty to Sutter and had to buy all their supplies from his trading post. Unfortunately, the Gold Rush crushed Sutter’s dream by re-routing the water courses without a thought for environmental damage and mountains reduced to gravel by hydraulic mining, all of which left tons of dredge tailings on the fertile soil. It took many years for California’s agricultural industry to recover, but we eventually achieved the agricultural prominence about which Sutter had dreamed. Join and be part of life during harvest time at the Fort.

9/20 – Cemetery Adventures for Children – Do you have a child who is interested in the cemetery but would rather see bugs than burial records? Perhaps they’d like to take a peek into a mausoleum, learn about the animals that make their home there, or hear a short tale about the exciting days of old. If so, this tour is for them. Specifically designed for children third grade and younger, this tour is more of an informal stroll to introduce kids to the many wonders the cemetery has to offer.

9/20 – Big Wheels at the Franklin Community Library – Bring the whole family to get up close and personal with trucks, buses, one-of-a-kind vehicles, and have all kinds of family fun. The event features the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and the first-ever real Batmobile. There will also be storytimes for preschoolers and you can even enjoy lunch from one of the visiting food trucks

9/20 – Birding with Families at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – 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 are welcomed. Make sure to bring your binoculars, or they can loan you a pair.

9/20 – 9/21 – Diesel Days at the California State Railroad Museum – the California State Railroad Museum is offering special train rides on the Sacramento Southern Railroad featuring two visually exciting and gracefully styled diesel locomotives. Especially when these eye-catching diesels are in operation, guests of all ages will enjoy taking a memorable and relaxing weekend excursion train ride that is reminiscent of train travel from an earlier era.

Those aboard are treated to a six-mile, 45-minute roundtrip excursion along the levees of the Sacramento River. The train features a combination of vintage closed coaches with comfortable seats and open-air “gondolas” with bench style seating.

9/20 – 9/21 – Terrific Triceratops at the Discovery Museum – Are you ready for some prehistoric fun? Kids will make a jointed Triceratops to remember the giant life-size juvenile in the exhibit. You can even touch a real Triceratops fossil!

9/21 – Under the Oaks at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Our mighty oaks provide food and shelter for many animals and insects. Lean how to identify the three species of oak trees found in the Nature Preserve and who may be living in them.