Monster Jam: An American Experience

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Sitting on the lower level of the Sleep Train Arena, we were close to the action and noise on the dirt-covered floor.  We took our two oldest kids with us and didn’t tell them where we were going until we got there.  The expressions on their faces were priceless when they realized that we were going to the Monster Jam truck rally.  We could hear the trucks well before we actually got into the arena.  Next time we will make sure to bring earplugs.

My family had never been to a truck rally before and had no idea what to expect.  For me, the show seemed to start off fairly slowly with races in much smaller vehicles.  The crowd roared when the actual monster trucks entered the competition.  Although the several different types of smaller vehicles were interesting and fun to watch, the monster trucks’ wheelee and freestyle segments with their slinging dirt and roaring exhaust were what we had all come to see.  My son and oldest daughter were riveted by the giant trucks flying through the air.
New Earth Authority’s Travis Groth left the ground accompanied by the gasp of the entire audience.  We were all instant monster truck fans when his truck crashed and landed upside-down.
My daughter was disappointed that Zombie won the donut competition when El Toro Loco obviously put on a better showing.  The crowd’s cheering for Kayla Blood was immediately followed by booing the judges.
Although she liked the roaring engines and flinging dirt of the donuts, her favorite part was the freestyle competition and Morgan Kane’s perfect score in Grave Digger.  The giant green and black truck flew back and forth over the dirt ramps and crushed cars all while deafening us with the roar of exhaust.  My Danish born wife said, “Now I feel very American.” with a huge grin on her face. We will definitely be doing this again.
Monster Jam will be at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena this weekend only with one show tonight at 7:30 pm and two shows tomorrow at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. For tickets, click here.
By Jed Christian
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Win Tickets: Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

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It’s almost here. The most anticipated Disney on Ice presentation is finally coming to Sacramento. Frozen, the academy award-winning Disney tale that has captivated the world is now told live, and will soon be skating into Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena for six grand performances over five days. Disney on Ice Presents Frozen, hosted by Mickey and Minnie, will feature favorite royal princesses Anna and Elsa, goofy snowman Olaf, Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven and will have the audience singing and dancing to favorite tunes “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman.” You’ll want to arrive early to learn the snowman dance at the Stonyfield YoKids and Disney Magic of Healthy Living Dance-Along Pre-show.

The folks at Feld Entertainment have graciously given us a family 4-pack of tickets for the opening night performance of this spectacular Disney on Ice presentation.

If you would like a chance to win, post the correct answer to the following trivia question in the comment section below : Which Hans Christian Anderson fairytale is Disney’s Frozen based on?

Post your answers by 3:00 pm on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. One winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

What: Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

When: Feb. 10-15, 2016

Where: Sleep Train Arena

Tickets: prices start at $25

 

Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day at a Sacramento favorite bakery

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Did you know that on Wednesday, January 27 the world will be celebrating a very important day?  Yes, it’s the most important day of the year… National Chocolate Cake Day!
I don’t know about you,  but this National day should be declared a National holiday in my chocolate-loving world!  I don’t think the kids would mind an extra day off of school to enjoy in the gooey decadence of chocolate cake… but since I’m sure it will never become an official National holiday, let me enlighten you a little bit about the history of chocolate cake.

Until the 1840’s, chocolate in America, was consumed primarily as a beverage.  It wasn’t until 1765 when the first chocolate cake was born.  A doctor and a chocolate maker teamed up and ground up cocoa beans between huge millstones to make a syrup, where this liquid was then poured into molds, which took the shape of  cake.
The first chocolate cake recipe dates back to 1847 and the first boxed cake mix was created by a company called O. Duff and Sons in the late 1920’s.  And it wasn’t until 1947 when our beloved Betty Crocker introduced their first dry cake mixes to the world.

So now that you have a little bit of history on the chocolate cake, go ahead and indulge this week in some chocolate decadence.  If you don’t feel like making your own cake, then check out the top 4 places to grab a sweet treat here in Sacramento:

  1.  Freeport Bakery:  2966 Freeport Blvd.  Sacramento
    Known by moms around town to have the best birthday cakes!  This place is a local favorite.  Whether you are in town on business and craving a sweet treat, or you are a local and need something for your next dinner party – Freeport has some of the best cakes in town!
  2. Rick’s Dessert Diner:  2401 J Street, Sacramento
    Best late night dessert spot!  This was my personal all time favorite place when I was pregnant… open late and has a German Chocolate Cake to die for.  Always busy, but worth the wait.
  3. Ettore’s European Bakery:  2376 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento
    Ettore’s is a great place to find elegant and unique cakes.  Definitely a crowd pleaser if you were to purchase a cake for your next dinner party.  Some favorites include the flourless chocolate cake and carrot cake.  This bakery never disappoints and you don’t even have to pack your bags to travel to Paris, you can have the best of the European pastries here in Sacramento!
  4. Ginger Elizabeth Chocolate:  1801 L St. #600, Sacramento.
    So, you wouldn’t necessarily come here for cake, but for the most decadent chocolates you have ever had…absolutely!  Located in the heart downtown, this is a great spot for a sweet treat.  Some of their most loved treats include:  coconut cardamom pralines,  macaroons and you can’t leave here without having a mug of hot chocolate.

This is just a short list of some of our favorite sweet spots in Sacramento.  So if you decide to celebrate National Chocolate Day or not, you have some ideas of where to go, unless you choose to grab a box of Betty Crocker and make your own special treat instead.  Either way, we hope you and your sweet tooth enjoy the day!

By Heather Crivellone

Win Tickets: All New Monster Jam Competition Comes to Sacramento

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Each January for the past several years, Sleep Train Arena has rolled out the dirt and hosted America’s favorite monster truck show, Monster Jam featuring world-famous monster trucks such as Grave Digger, Blue Thunder and El Toro Loco. We’ve all been thrilled by the engines roaring, the trucks racing, the amazing jumps and the overall competition. If you and your kiddos have been thrilled as much as we have, then you are in for a treat as Monster Jam rolls back into town with even more of what we love.

Get ready for new tricks and more competition from your favorite teams. New this year, Monster Jam will add speedsters and ATVs to the mix, creating new and exciting entertainment for monster truck fans. And make sure you get your pit passes and arrive early for Party in the Pits where you will meet the drivers a see your favorite truck, up close and personal.

What: Monster Jam

When:  Jan. 29, Jan 30, and Jan. 31, 2016.

Where: Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena

Admission: $10 for kids ages 2-12 (select seating), $20-$50 for adults, $15 Opening Night discount tickets (select seating), and $10 for Pit Passes. Buy tickets here.

Win Tickets: Would you like some tickets? We’ve got a family four-pack of tickets to give away to one of our lucky readers. Here’s what you need to do to be eligible to win. Answer this trivia question correctly in the comment section below by 5pm on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2015: What Monster Jam truck/team consists of all female drivers?

A winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Good luck!

 

 

Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Busy During the Storms

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“It’s raining, it’s pouring…the old man in snoring”- this is the tune of the week here in Sacramento, and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say “Thank Goodness!” As we all know, we desperately need all the rain we can get. However, kids don’t understand why we are cheering…they are just focused on the puddles and mud. Luckily for us here in Sacramento, we have several options to keep our kids warm and dry and these wintery and wet days. We can choose from museums (California Railroad, Automobile, Sacramento Children’s museum to name a few), Art museums and exploration (Crocker Art Museum, Art Beast,  Recreate).  Or if your kids are like mine and have more energy than they can burn, an indoor play facility (and I’m not talking about McDonalds) is what you need!

We have plenty to choose from – complete jumping adventures like Sky High Sports (an indoor trampoline center), to bounce houses and indoor play structures that are completely soft and made for the youngest of children.  There is something for every age and ability!

I have compiled a quick list of indoor play structures to help get those “wiggles” out when going to the park is not an option!

Sky High Sports is an indoor trampoline center located at 11327 Folsom Blvd in Rancho Cordova.  They have open “bounce” hours, dodgeball, AIRobics, special days for those with “special needs”, family and great holiday discount packages.  For the kids who are a little older and have lots of energy to burn- this is the place to take them! Admission is $12 per hour.

Bounce U has 2 locations, one in Roseville (7611 Galilee Rd) and another in Rancho Cordova (11280 Sanders Dr).  Both locations offer open play sessions of bouncing fun- all with slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses and more.  Admission is $7.50 per child and check their website for specific days and times each location is open.  They have two different sessions of “open bounce”- one for the children who are 7 years of age and younger and one for “all ages”.  This will help in making sure your little toddlers don’t get trampled by the bigger kids!

Laguna’s Awesome Party Palace is located in Elk Grove (3147 Dwight Rd)- about 20 minutes outside of downtown Sacramento.  As with most of the indoor bounce facilities, they don’t allow outside food or drink, but do offer a wide selection of snacks at reasonable prices.  Socks are required- so don’t forget to pack an extra pair!  Admission is $7 Monday- Friday and $8 on the weekends. I would suggest calling for weekend times since they host private parties.

The Bounce Spot in West Sacramento (2939 Promenade St) is open Tuesday-Friday for open play from 9am-11am and again on Friday nights for family fun 6pm-9pm  Admission is $5 during the day and $7 for Friday nights.  Check their website for weekend hours, since they are usually hosting parties.  They have a climbing structure, bouncer and toddler play area. They also have in the Bounce Room an obstacle course with big slide, a jousting bouncer, and a sports combo with soccer goals, basketball hoops, twister mat and volleyball net.  Socks are required and your kids will be fully worn out after a few hours here!

Another great place to take your kids on a cold day is Wacky Tacky (7351 Galille Rd, Roseville)-  This indoor playground has everything to keep your kids entertained for hours (and it also has free WiFi for the parents), you will be ensured a quiet evening since the kiddos will be asleep early after a day here!  The soft playground has climbing areas, obstacle-like courses, soft “shooting” balls and slides to keep them running, crawling and climbing for hours.   The kids love the fast slide…but as a mom, I would rather just sit back and watch them zip down it, since I’m not quite as fearless as they are!  Kids of all ages are welcome (they even have a soft play area for toddlers). Price is $7 for children over the age of 2 and they are open 7 days a week.  Check their website for “Open Play” times, since this is a great place to host birthday parties- you don’t want to show up when it’s reserved.

Climbaroo in Natomas (4421 Gateway Park Blvd) is another option for the younger children.  They have giant, soft blocks to climb and build with.  A climbing structure with slides and ropes to climb through and an area to just run, jump and be a kid in!  For the parents, they offer one of the best full service cafés for a “bounce house”.  They are open 7 days a week and offer special events like “mommy and me” dance days, family nights, and more. $9 for children ages 1-7 and $10 for ages 8-11.

Funfinity located in Auburn (11905 Dry Creek Rd) has something for everyone. Video games, Bungee Jumping, Bounce house, slides and more. They even have a café and beverages for the adults. For $8 admission, your kids can jump and play the day away!

And of course, if bouncing isn’t your kids “thing” or you just want a mellow afternoon and not get “crazy” at some of these indoor play centers, some of our local malls have great kids areas.  Plus, what mom doesn’t need an excuse to hit the mall? Arden Mall and the Roseville Galleria both have great indoor play areas for the kids to run around in and burn energy.  And if your kids are a bit older for these small play areas, the Arden Mall has the Lego Store to keep them entertained and building.  And the Roseville Galleria has a Color Me Mine to keep them busy and creating!

Or, if you want to keep it really simple and just sit back, enjoy some good food and let the kids play, then of course there is always Johns Incredible Pizza  in Roseville and Chuck E Cheese on Arden and in Roseville.  You can just order a pizza, hand over some coins and let the kids have some fun at the arcade.

I hope this list gives you and your family some ideas of things to do with your little ones when the weather just doesn’t cooperate.  It’s always good to keep our children active and it’s even better when they burn enough energy to take an “extra long” nap in the afternoon. Happy bouncing to you and your kids!

By Heather Crivellone

 

Discover the Dinosaurs comes to Sacramento this weekend!

IMG_7398.JPG“Discover the Dinosaurs” is coming back to Sacramento this weekend, and your family can learn about all things prehistoric at this 3 day event.

This Friday- Sunday (January 8-10), Cal Expo will be transformed into a land before time with exhibits showcasing the amazing dinosaurs of the past. “The goal of Discover the Dinosaurs is to create a fun environment of learning and activity that explores the wonderment and mystery of our pre-historic past. Once you enter through the stone arch, the adventure begins that is full of smiles, amazement and fun.”

Life like exhibits with sight, sound and motion along with hands on exhibits, will allow your family to really “dig in” and learn about these great dinosaurs of the past. Kids will enjoy activities such as:  Dino Dig (to discover fossils), Dino Theater (to watch educational movies), Dinosaur Rides (they can ride on the back of a T-Rex!), Gem and Fossil Painting, Bounce Houses and even Mini Golf!

Tickets are on sale at their website.  Adults that are ages 13 and up are $22 for an all-day ticket.  Children ages 2-12 are $26 for an all-day ticket.  Seniors $19. Admission tickets include Dinosaur exhibit complete with a Dino Dig, Dino Theater, Dino Coloring area and Scavenger Hunt, plus unlimited Dinosaur rides, mini golf and inflatables.

This will be an event not to be missed!  Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about the dinosaurs and will have fun doing it. So if you have a little paleontologist in the making- make sure you check out Cal Expo this weekend!