Family Friendly Ways to Ring in the New Year!

untitledBy Heather Crivellone

Another holiday season is just about over- the wrapping paper has been recycled, the presents have been put away and the kids are busy playing with their new toys, and parents are counting down the days until school starts back up.  Yet- we have one more final “Sha-Bang” to finalize 2015…. New Year’s Eve! I’m sure everyone is frantically eating the last of the Christmas cookies, making their resolutions and wondering if those resolutions will actually “stick” this year. If this is the year that you are planning on losing weight, exercising more, organizing more or whatever you plan to resolve to do- I wish you good luck on all of them.

But before the New Year begins- we still have one last “hoorah”, New Year’s Eve. If you are trying to find something fun to do with your family- since the kids (or yourself) may or may not stay up until midnight to watch the ball fall and ring in the New Year, I have a few options around town that may be just what you are looking for!

Bounce U located in Roseville and Rancho Cordova is hosting a New Year’s Eve DAY celebration. $8.95 per child. From 3:30-5pm, they will have games, crafts, and an NYE celebration to help the kids ring in the New Year. And of course- there will be plenty of bouncing to help get their energy out, so maybe mom and dad can have a peaceful evening.

Crocker Art Museum- Holiday Noon Year’s Eve.  An event that everyone can stay awake for!  From 10am-2pm, join others at the museum and “count down” to the New Year at noon, while learning about New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.  Enjoy live music, entertainment and more at this family friendly event.

Roller King in Roseville will be hosting a “Blackout Skate Night”. From 7pm-1am, your family can skate in the New Year.  Music, games and fun for the entire family.  Bring a canned food item and receive $10 off your admission! $20 admission without a food item, $10 with an item to donate.

Sacramento Children’s Museum is hosting their “Who Year” celebration. From 9am-5pm, kids can enjoy the museum and celebrate New Year’s at every time zone.  They will have the opportunity to make crafts, celebrate with a “bubble stomp” and learn about different traditions around the world.

Old Sacramento New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular.  This is Free family fun event to ring in the New Year with Fireworks, entertainment and fun.  From 6pm- Midnight, put on your gloves, warm jackets and head out to Old Sacramento for the big fireworks spectacular. Kid friendly music, games and prizes will begin at 6pm. Fireworks to kick off the East Coast new year will begin at 9pm (to get those kids in bed) and if you would like to enjoy our West Coast new year, they will also have the firework show at 12pm.

So however you plan to spend your New Years, I wish you a very safe a happy holiday and cheers to you and your family and all those resolutions that are to be made!

 

 

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Keep the Kids Busy with a Week of Holiday Activities in Sacramento

Christmas Fun for Kids in SacramentoNow that your kids on winter break, are you looking for some last-minute activities to keep them busy before the big day? Here’s a list of holiday and Christmas activities and events that are happening this week in Sacramento.

Let them run around at Fairytale Town for FREE on Christmas Eve day. That’s right, Sacramento’s favorite storybook park will be open from 10am to 2pm on December 24, and admission is free for both kiddos and parents. It’s a great way to tire out the kids so they sleep on Christmas Eve!

If you don’t feel like changing out of your jammies, not to worry. It’s PJ Day at the Sacramento Zoo. And, guess what? Admission is FREE at the zoo, as well! So if you really want to tire those kiddos out, be sure to stop by both Fairytale Town and the Zoo for a day of Christmas Eve fun! Zoo hours are 10am to 1:30 pm.

How about the 6th Annual Wild Nights and Holiday Lights at the Folsom Zoo? This holiday event will showcase thousands of lights, trees, and decorations throughout the zoo’s grounds, buildings, and animal exhibits. Santa and zoo bear mascot Santa Paws will visit each night to pose for photos. Some of the zoo animals will even receive special treats during the event! Carolers and musicians add to the cheery atmosphere and the Starlight Express, a live miniature steam train, offers special night rides. SactoMoFo food trucks will be on-site.  Proceeds from the event benefit the zoo sanctuary animals. 12/21 – 12/23, 5pm to 8pm. General Admission is $5, train rides are $4.

Learn all about reindeer this week at Sacramento’s Discovery Museum. Not only will children learn all about Santa’s famous reindeer, but children will get to take home a reindeer souvenir. 12/21-12/24, hours vary – check website. Admission is $6 for kids, $8 for adults.

Enjoy a performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas at Davis Musical Theatre Performing Arts Center. Includes juice or hot chocolate and cookies to decorate and eat. 12/21-12/23, 3pm. General admission is $15.

 

Win Tickets: Experience a Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town

Winter-Wonderland-at-Fairytale-Town-3[1]

Celebrate the holiday season at Fairytale Town and experience a magical Winter Wonderland. Starting at dusk each night, families will stand in awe at the festive holiday décor, a dazzling display of lights, and even some snow fall near the Mother Goose Stage!

On Saturdays and Sundays, children will enjoy hands-on holiday activities while parents enjoy Victorian carolers and a holiday marketplace. Haven’t gotten your annual Christmas photo with Santa yet? You can get your family Santa photos at Santa’s Workshop located near the Children’s Theater each day between 3pm and 6pm. You can even meet two of Santa’s reindeer at Pooh Corner! And of course, your kids will have the full reign of all the usual fun the park offers all year long.

All of this magical winter wonderland fun is free with paid admission to the park. In addition, one lucky family will receive four free tickets, complements of the nice folks at Fairytale Town. If you would like a chance to win the family four-pack, you’ll have to act fast. Leave us a comment TODAY by 12 pm, telling us why your kids love Fairytale Town. The winner will be randomly chosen at 12:01 pm. Good luck!

What: Winter Wonderland

Where: Fairytale Town

When: Dec. 10-13 and 17-20, 2015

Admission: Regular admission fees apply

 

Best Places to View Holiday Lights in Sacramento

Holiday Lights collage

Cold noses, hot cocoa, sticky peppermint candy fingers and lights galore!  Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Growing up, I can always remember “Candy Cane Lane”. It was the one night of the of year that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got together to drink hot cocoa, stay up late and walk down the cold (and sometimes rainy) court.

Year after year we have been going to view this spectacular light show that this court has to offer. Now, I call it “Candy Cane Lane”….however, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized that it’s actually just Dovewood Court in Orangevale. But once you take a walk down this memorable street and see all the lights and holiday trimmings, you will also be transformed into another world… hence the name “Candy Cane Lane” that I have somehow nicknamed and it’s just stuck with my family.

This street really has everything… Snoopy, the Grinch, and even a tribute to summertime with some Buffet and Margaritas!

As a kid, I remember walking down this street in amazement to see all the lights and displays. And as an adult, I’m even more amazed that the entire street can all pull together to make something so magical and amazing for everyone to see.

They have taken the simple “string of lights” to another level and have seriously transformed their homes into a winter wonderland. And, to make everything even more wonderful, they continue to collect cans of food to donate to Food for Families. These neighbors truly show everyone the real meaning of the holiday season!

Now, this isn’t the only place to see a fantastic light show.  Many areas around Sacramento have become family favorites and people drive many miles to view the light spectaculars.  Here is my quick list of places not to miss this holiday season:

The “Fab 40’s” in East Sacramento.  The homes in this area are worth the drive to just view their fantastic landscaping and architecture.  But every year, they come together to give the neighborhood a light display that really helps put everyone in the holiday spirit!  You can walk down any of these streets—but I would suggest beginning on 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

North of Sacramento in Rocklin, the community on Pebble Creek Drive has also put together a wonderful light show.  Kids will love this area as almost every house has characters of one of their favorite Disney movies.  My kids were especially excited when they spotted Olaf!

South of Sacramento in Elk Grove, the house not be missed is on Point Pleasant Road.  Another spectacular show to get you into the holiday spirit.

You can also find a detailed list of each area at this website.

And if you want a little more “excitement” to your holiday lights, then check out Folsom Zoo’s Wild Nights and Holiday Lights”  This is the 6th annual family holiday event with thousands of colorful lights and decorations, train rides, carolers and even a visit with Santa!  December 4 and 5, 11 and 12, and December 16-23 from 5pm-8pm.  Admission is $5 per person.

2nd Annual Global Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo has become a family favorite for many.  Gorgeous light displays, exciting carnival rides and even ice skating!  This is an event not to be missed.
Runs through January 3.
Admission $14-$25

A few tips for viewing the light shows around town. Dress warmly and prepare to walk (weather permitting of course), as some of these streets are very popular and sitting in a traffic jam with antsy children is NOT my idea of a good time.   Bring hot cocoa for sipping and some canned foods for donating.  Most of these areas are accepting donations this holiday season.  And most important, cherish these precious moments with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

By Heather Crivellone

Cinderella Carriage Rides at the Fountains

fountains.jpgDo you have a little girl (or boy) who dreams of being a princess?  Have you ever wanted to be swept away by your fairy god mother and treated like Cinderella? Start your holiday season off like royalty and head to one of Sacramento area’s most upscale shopping venues- the Fountains in Roseville for some royal treatment! Whether you want to do some holiday shopping at the fountains, or just enjoy the spectacular lights and décor, you will find something to enjoy this time of year.   To live the dream of being Cinderella- the Fountains has special holiday Carriage rides fit for a princess this month.  For $4, you can ride around the mall in a beautifully light carriage that is sure to make girls of all ages feel like royalty! Along with the carriage rides, Victorian carolers will be making appearances singing all our favorite Christmas songs.

Here is the schedule for the Carriage Rides: Friday December 4, 11 and 18:  6pm-8pm Saturday December 5, 12, 19 5pm-8pm Sunday December 20: 3pm-6pm

Who says holiday shopping has to be boring?  Head to the Fountains for some glitz and glam.  If you need a break from the shopping, then you can always sneak into Dave and Busters for some arcade fun!

Happy Holidays!

 

Holiday Shows for the whole family

By Heather Crivellone

One of things I love the most about our wonderful city, is that we have so many opportunities to expose our children to the performing arts.  Between community theaters, art galleries, 2nd Saturday art walks and such, there is no excuse to not have our children exposed to the wonderful world of art.

This month, with the holidays upon us we have a wide selection of festive plays and musicals to put us in the holiday spirit.  I have compiled a list of some local shows that you can enjoy with (or without) your kids.  These are sure to put a smile on your face, a “jingle in your step” and definitely put you in the mood for some holiday cheer!

B Street Theater, located at 2711 B St in Sacramento is showing the classic “A Christmas Carol” through December 27. $15-20.

Consumnes River College Performing Arts Center at 8401 Center Parkway in Sacramento, will be showing “The Gingerbread Man” December 4-12. $10-$12

Sacramento Community Center Theater at 13 & L Streets in Downtown Sacramento, will be showing a light- hearted, silly version of The Nutty Nutcracker on December 11. $19-$75 And of course, the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” will also be performed December 12-22. Tickets for this popular show are $19-90.

Holiday Tapestry 2015: A Winter Celebration is a favorite among children of all ages, showcasing international dancing and celebrations from around the world. Showing at Hiram Johnson High School, 6879 14th Avenue, Sacramento. December 4-5. $18

Roseville Theatre Arts Academy, 241 Vernon Street in Roseville is showing “A Charlie Brown Christmas” December 5-19 $10

At Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael, they will be showing the musical hit “Scrooge” December 4- 23. $15 December 5-19, they will also be showing a more kid-friendly show “The Christmas Catastrophe”. $7

This is a short list of what is playing around town. As you can see, we have something for everyone and every price range. So do something different with your kids…turn off the TV version of “Rudolph” and introduce your children to the world of live theater… it will be a Christmas gift they won’t forget!