Snow White and Rose Red at the B Street Theatre

001By Alyssa Green

Over the weekend, my son and I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the B Street Theatre’s second Family Series production of the season – Snow White and Rose Red.  And we both loved it! My 11-year old was a little bit hesitant to see a Snow White play, worried that he would be the only boy in the audience.  Of course, he wasn’t.  And this story portrayed a very different Snow White than the Disney princess we all have grown up with. And he was very relieved!

Based on a story written by the famous Grimm brothers, this adaptation was written by the B Street’s David Pierini. The play begins with a family of traveling actors – Dad, mom and two squabbling sisters, who are camping in the frightful woods.  In order to tame the frightening noises of their surroundings, they offer to entertain the “woods” with a play.  The family decides on Snow White and Rose Red which is a story about – you got it – two squabbling sisters who live in the woods with their father.  The eldest sister Snow White is self-centered, selfish and just plain mean to her younger, and much sweeter sister, Rose Red.  Snow’s only ambition in life is to someday leave the lonely woods where they have lived with their father in poverty since their mother disappeared a few years earlier, and do whatever it takes to become rich.  As you can guess, Rose’s nature is much more kind and loving, and wishes only to please her sister and father.  The girls encounter a friendly bear who wished to warm himself at their hearth and then becomes their playmate for a season. They also meet a cranky little dwarf whom they save from harm a couple of times in their journeys.

Here’s what my son had to say about it:

“I really enjoyed Snow White and Rose Red.  I liked that it was a play within a play and that this story of Snow White was one I had never heard of before. The actors were all really good, and really funny.  My favorite characters were the mom and the silly dwarf who kept getting himself in trouble!”

Snow White and Rose Red is playing at the B Street Theater thru Dec. 28, 2014 with two special Thanksgiving showings this Friday and Saturday at 1pm and 4pm.  So, if you are not a big black Friday shopper and would much rather do something fun with your kiddos, head over the B Street for a great afternoon!


Preschoolers Love to Learn at Roseville’s Utility Exploration Center

By guest Lara Brandon

Fall and winter are great seasons to learn more about indoor activities for young children. The Roseville Utility Exploration Center has a free preschool program for kids once a month from 10am-12noon on Thursday mornings. They’re located next to the Martha Riley Library at 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville. A large majority of parents/caregivers participate in the Mother Goose on the Loose Program and then drop by the preschool program at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center.

Preschool program activities vary depending upon the month. They consistently have a Playdoh station with lots of cutters and tools. The Playdoh is typically homemade rather than store-bought. Kids can play with blocks and trucks or do some coloring. They often have a painting and stamping station. Sometimes they’ll have a water play station or a game. They have a large, homemade version of Kerplunk that the kids love. Staff members will occasionally pass out handouts on recipe ideas, energy conservation or kids’ eating tips.

The Roseville Utility Exploration Center has lots of other programs for school-aged children and adults. If they don’t have a scheduled program for that day, you can come in and wander around. They have a fun tunnel for the kids to climb through, lots of things to touch and explore, more handouts and friendly staff.

Mother Goose on the Loose is another free preschool program through the City of Roseville, at all 3 of the Roseville libraries. It’s a 30 minute weekly program, which is great for preschool and kindergarten preparation. Martha Riley Library is in the same building as the Roseville Utility Exploration Center. They have Mother Goose on the Loose on Thursday mornings at 9:30am, 10:30am, and 11:30am. “Miss Lisa” does an excellent job facilitating the program at Martha Riley Library. She incorporates songs, story time, puppets, stuffed animals, bells and scarves. Parent participation is required! The kids love Mother Goose on the Loose and “Miss Lisa.”

Roseville Utility Exploration Center Collage

Start the Holiday Season with Old Sacramento’s Annual Tree Lighting and Theatre of Lights

untitledBy Heather Crivellone

It’s official…even if you have been trying to deny it (like I have), the fact is, it’s here.  The holiday season is upon us! So with the hustle and bustle of preparing for the festivities, why don’t you take a break from the holiday cooking and start the season off with the annual tree lighting ceremony in Old Sacramento.

On Wednesday, November 26  join other families in Old Sacramento at Front and K Streets to watch the kick-off of the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Music and festivities will begin at 6:00 pm to get you and your family in the holiday spirit.  Following the tree lighting, Old Sacramento’s Theatre of Lights will begin at 7:00pm.

The Theatre of Lights is a unique state-of-the-art live staging of the classic ’Twas The Night Before Christmas. The show blends a symphony of lights, sounds and visual effects which will take the audience back to a time when the beloved poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas was first introduced in Sacramento in 1857.   The poem comes to life on the balconies and rooftops of Old Sacramento’s historic buildings on K Street between Front and 2nd Street.

The Theatre of Lights will take place through the holiday season with two 20-minute light shows at 6:15 pm. and 7:45 pm. every Thursday through Sunday until December 31st.   December 24th will show at 6:15 and on New Years Eve 7:00 and 8:30pm.

This is a FREE family fun event… so wrap up the kids in their cozy sweaters, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy an evening in Old Sacramento. This is a great way to get into the holiday spirit (and escape the kitchen from all the pre-Thanksgiving baking and prep work!).

There will be plenty more festivities to come in the following weeks,  so prepare yourself for some fun and excitement…and most importantly, have fun and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Fairytale Town gives back to the community and offers a FREE Admission day on November 28

Fairytale Town Concert SeriesBy Heather Crivellone

I have to admit, one of my most favorite and cherished places to take the kids here in Sacramento is Fairytale Town. How can it get any better… a park made specifically for toddlers and little feet to run around and play to their heart’s content all while adding in the great nursery rhymes we have all grown up with? Stories and the Old Mother Goose rhymes literally come to life at this 2.5 acre play park. The kids can explore old nursery rhyme favorites while speeding down slides, climbing through tunnels and balancing along the “Crooked Mile”.  Kids can enjoy viewing animals from the “Three Little Pig”, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and more.  My favorite area is Mr. McGregors Garden where the kids can help water the vegetable plants.  You can spend the entire day exploring and playing with your kids at this park!

And in the spirit of the holidays, Fairytale Town “gives back” to the community and gives thanks to the Sacramento community by offering a FREE Admission Day on “Black Friday”.  Who really wants to fight the crowds at the mall when you can spend quality family time at Fairytale Town? On the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 28 from 10am to 4pm, Fairytale Town offers free admission to families who bring a canned food item for donation to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services– Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive.  The day also includes free arts and crafts activities.  Puppet Art Theater Company will be on hand to present Jack’s Holiday Adventure, at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 pm. In the Children’s Theater.  Tickets for the puppet show are $1 for Fairytale Town members and $2 for nonmembers.


Thanksgiving Week Activities for Sacramento Families


Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and most kids in the area have the week off school.  If you are looking for some quality events and activities to keep your little ones (or big ones!) busy, take a look at the following list of camps, events and activities being offered in the Sacramento region.  You are sure to find something your kids will love!

Holiday Camps

11/24 – 11/25 – Kings NEXT Basketball Clinic  at Jackson Sports Academy (McClellan, CA) – This 2-day clinic includes  basketball tips and conditioning skills from former Kings coaches and Monarchs players.

11/24 – 11/25 – Under The Oaks Kids Camp at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s Under the Oaks Kids Camps give children ages 6 to 11 the opportunity to experience, discover and explore the great outdoors! Each camp is focused on different nature-related themes with hands-on explorations, hikes, games, with crafts and stories.

11/24 – 11/26 – Fun and Fitness Camp at the Bounce Spot – The Bounce Spot’s Camp is a fun-filled day camp for children registered in Kindergarten thru 8th Grade. Our focus is Fun & Fitness, with a touch of education.


11/24 – 11/26 – Gobble Gobble Days at the Discovery Museum – It’s that time of year to pay homage to our fine feathered friend—the turkey. Bring your friends and family to the museum this week for some Thanksgiving fun. There is a turkey table topper craft for Kids 12 and under.

11/24 – 11/28 – Outdoor Ice Skating at Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink – see daily specials

11/25 – Free Train Ride Tuesday at the Fountains in Roseville – As a special thanks for visiting throughout the year, Fairytale Town offers FREE admission to visitors who bring in a canned good to donate the day after Thanksgiving!

11/26 – Old Sacramento Tree Lighting and Theater of Lights – The 58-foot tall City of Sacramento Christmas tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday evening, at 6 p.m. during a visually exciting official tree lighting ceremony that is free and open to the public. The festive tree lighting ceremony serves to kick-off the first “Theatre of Lights” performance of the season that will immediately follow.

11/28 – Free Admission Day: Canned Food Drive at Fairytale Town – As a special thanks for visiting throughout the year, Fairytale Town offers FREE admission to visitors who bring in a canned good to donate the day after Thanksgiving! The day also includes free arts and crafts and a puppet show.

Thru 12/31/14 – Holiday Food Drive at the Sacramento Zoo – During the holiday season bring a non-perishable food item when you visit the Zoo and receive $1 off your Zoo admission!

Thru 1/31/15 – Holiday Passport at Bounce U  – unlimited open bounce for $49 first child, $39 sibling.

Thru 1/4/15 – Global Winter Wonderland – A spectacular holiday festival that includes massive chinese lantern displays, carnival rides, food, entertainment and shopping.


Win Tickets to Sacramento’s Global Winter Wonderland


There’s truly something new and exciting rising up in Sacramento this holiday season. Beginning this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, Cal Expo will be lit up by a spectacular array of Chinese lanterns representing wonders of the world.  These are not your ordinary Chinese lanterns – these are massive structures that take up to six weeks to build, some rising up to seven stories high.

Sacramento has been chosen as the only city in the country to host Global Winter Wonderland this year. The annual lantern festival is the largest of its kind outside of China and displays over 70 massive lighted lanterns that depict holiday scenes and iconic buildings throughout the world including the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge.

While the lanterns are clearly the main attraction to this event, visitors will also be thrilled to find that this multicultural theme park also has carnival rides, entertainment, an international food court, plenty of shopping opportunities and even a dinosaur maze for the kids. We’re sold, are you? If so, keep reading…we’ve got tickets to give away to two lucky readers!


Here are the details:

What: Global Winter Wonderland

Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento

Dates: Open Daily 11/22 – 11/30, 12/19 – 1/4 and weekends 12/5 – 12/7, 12/12 – 12/14

Times: 4:30 pm to 10 pm Sunday – Thursday, 4:30 pm to 11 pm Friday and Saturday

Admission: Adults $16, Seniors $12, kids (4-12) $12, kids (3 and under) FREE, season passes also available

Parking: $10

Okay.  Would you like to win some tickets to this fantastic event? Head on over to the Global Winter Wonderland website here, check it out a bit, then come back and tell us in the comment section below what part of this multicultural theme park your kids would absolutely love!  You’ll then be entered into the drawing to win 4 tickets to the event.  Two lucky readers will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.  Good luck!