We’ve Updated Our Kids Day Camp Page

Sacramento Day Camps

We know it’s only spring, but summer is just around the corner. If you are planning on enrolling your child in a summer day camp or two, you’ll want to take a look at our updated  “Day Camps” page. Check it out HERE.

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Feed your Need for Speed at Go Kart Racer in West Sacramento

 

Bgo kart 4

The “Fast and the Furious” isn’t reserved for just Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker.  Does someone in your family have the “need for speed” and has always dreamed of becoming a Nascar or Formula One driver?  If so, then treat them to an outing at a local racetrack and have them put the “petal to the metal” and show off those racecar driving abilities.

My husband thinks we should move to Italy and become the next famous Formula One driver.  I’m not sure that is in our family plans quite yet, but I am willing to give him an evening or two at Go Kart Racer in West Sacramento.

Located at 1430 Enterprise Blvd. in West Sacramento, Go Kart Racer is the newest racing venue in Sacramento.  They offer indoor racing on two tracks at a professional and clean venue.   They have a full fleet of Sodi RX7 European racing karts.  These advanced karts deliver a combination of speed, handling and safety for drivers of all ages, sizes and skill levels. Now, even though they say “all ages”- the minimum age limit is 8 with a minimum height requirement of 4’ and they must drive the Kid Karts or Junior Karts. If you are 18 years of age or older, you must have a valid, government-issued ID (Drivers License, etc.), if you are under 18, you MUST have a valid driver’s license or learners permit and the parent must sign a liability waiver.

If you meet the above requirements, then you are ready to suit up and race.   Once you arrive at the facility (no reservations are required), you pay your $10 membership fee that includes a head sock, driving suit and helmet rental and choose your kart. With two tracks and plenty of karts, there was very little waiting and just the anticipation of the race. If you are not racing and just a spectator, you will be happy to know that they have a great viewing area to watch the race.  One of the bonus features of this racetrack was that they have an area to take pictures of the winners at a special “podium finish”.   This was fun for the guys to take “selfies” at the end of the race and having bragging rights as to who was the big winner of the night.

They have several racing package options to choose from and the cost for racing ranges between $25-60, anywhere from 20-70 laps.  Our total was $45 for about 20 minutes, and it was pure racing exhilaration the entire time! If you wanted to host a birthday party or corporate event, they also offer discounted packages, check their website for more information on these.

Even if your little speed demon isn’t quite ready for the race track, but still wants to be a racecar driver, then visit one of our family fun centers (Scandia or Sunsplash) for a race around the outdoor track with mom or dad in the driver’s seat.  So go ahead, buckle your seatbelts and put the pedal to the metal at one of these Sacramento speedways.

By Heather Crivellone

 

 

Easter Events the Entire Family will Enjoy

Easter-Eggs-in-Grass

It may not feel like it with the past rainy days, but spring is in the air.  Kids are ready to enjoy some time off of school, the daffodils have sprung out of the ground and blossoms are on the trees… so grab your baskets, bonnets and “Sunday bests” for some Easter fun in the Sacramento area.  Around town, you are sure to spot the Easter Bunny out and about, hiding the goodies for little kids.  There are quite a few Egg Hunts (free) that your family can participate in this month, along with other fun holiday festivities.

First, if you want to get your child’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny, you can visit one of our local malls (Arden Fair Mall, Roseville Galleria and Sunrise Mall) and the Bunny will be available for photo sessions.

And for those of you who are searching for a fun outing and egg hunt for your family, I have put together a list of some local activities:

Friday March 18-20, Funderland hosts their annual Easter Bash from 11am-5pm on Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.  Kids can enjoy an Egg Hunt ($3 per child); along with Easter activities including arts, crafts, face painting, a visit from the bunny and more.  Also, Funderland hosts several carnival style rides that are favorites for all.

Monday, March 28 at Ikea in West Sacramento there will be an Easter egg hunt in Smaland at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  This is a free event and it’s on a first come basis.

March 19, 20, 24, 26 and 27: Ride along The Sacramento River Train  and enjoy a train ride and Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny!   This 2.5 hour ride will give the kids time to decorate their Easter baskets, for when they stop at Elkhorn Park they will get to hunt for eggs!  The Easter bunny may make an appearance, and they will also enjoy a story and treats along the way.   This is an event everyone enjoys – a ride along the Sacramento River and the Easter bunny! Children 2-12 $29, Adults and teens $39.

Fairytale Town hosts their annual Spring Eggstravaganza on March 26 and 27.  Search for hundreds of hidden eggs, participate in hands on spring activities and enjoy the park that was made to inspire children’s imagination!  The egg hunt is FREE with park admission.

Bring your furry, four-legged kids to McKinley Parks 7th annual Easter egg hunt for Dogs. Watch as your dog sniffs out eggs filled with treats and prizes.  Enjoy food and human treats from local vendors, along with pet tattoos, trainer tips, pictures with the Easter Bunny and more! Proceeds from this event will support RedRover, an organization that helps to provide shelter for rescued animals. Tickets for adults is $20, dogs and kids are free.

Spring Fling at Palladio shopping center in Folsom on Sunday, March 20.  From 1pm- 5pm, families can enjoy crafts and games.  Live music and dancing and even the Easter bunny will be on site for pictures and spring fun.

This is just a handful of the events that are going on around town.  Some are free, some have a small charge – but one thing is for sure, whatever you choose to do, spring is here and there is no excuse to not get out and enjoy the season.

By Heather Crivellone

 

Five Spring Break Activities to do with your Kids

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Spring break is around the corner and the kids will soon be out of school. Now is the time to plan what to do with them. If you haven’t planned a big Spring Break trip, no worries. We have plenty of local activities to keep your kids busy and enjoying their time out of school without breaking the bank.  Depending on Mother Nature, we also have plenty of indoor activities to keep your family warm and dry in case El Nino decides to grace us with her appearance during the week off. Here is a list of some ideas to keep your kids entertained and active while on Spring Break:

1. Bike the Trails.  Living in Sacramento, we are lucky to have so many options to keep us outside and enjoying nature.  If you are searching for an active day out, grab your bike helmets, pack a lunch and hit the American River Bike trail for an afternoon outing.
The American River Bike Trail (a.k.a. the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail) runs along the American River and takes you through riparian habitat preserved by the American River Parkway.
This 32 mile trail runs between Folsom Lake’s Beal’s Point and into Discovery Park in Old Sacramento.  The bike path is completely paved and is shared among roller bladders, bikers, runners, walkers and even equestrians along the way.  There are plenty of spots to stop and rest, explore and take in a picnic.  You can also find restrooms, trailside maps and water fountains along the way.
Getting to the trail is easy, as there are many access points along the 32 mile route.  Visit the map for details, but some general spots to start at include the entrance at the Fish Hatchery near Hazel Avenue, Discovery Park, Old Town Entrance, CSUS entrance and Goethe Park.American River Bike Trail

 

2. Play at William Land Park. If your children are elementary age and younger, make sure you check out Sacramento’s most beloved childhood destination, Fairytale Town.   A day at William Land Park isn’t complete without a visit to Fairytale Town, Funderland and/or the Sacramento Zoo.
Fairytale Town is by far my most favorite Sacramento destination.  With a park completely dedicated to imagination, and classic storybook themes, this park will keep your kids busy and engaged all day long. Our favorite activities here are taking a walk down the Crooked Mile and sliding down the boot from the Old Woman who lived in a Shoe.
Funderland and the Sacramento Zoo are across the street and who doesn’t love good old-fashioned carnival rides and visiting the tigers and animals? A trip to these three favorite Sacramento children “hot spots” are sure to make your Spring Break week fun and entertaining for your kids.

Fairytale Town Concert Series

3. Challenge your kids to a game of Mini Golf and let them ride the “Screamer” at Scandia.
Mini golf is my kind of golf… even through the windmills and into the castle, I can compete with my husband at this type of golf!  My kids love the arcades, bumper cars, batting cages and even the crazy roller coasters they have.  We have not yet been brave enough to try the “Sky Screamer”- but, I’m sure they will be begging to do it soon.
We have several options for mini golf in the area:
Scandia Fun Center on 5070 Hillside Blvd, Sacramento
Sunsplash Mini Golf on 1893 Taylor Rd, Roseville
Indoor Mini Monster Golf (in case of the rain) at 12401 Folsom Blvd, Rancho Cordova.

Kids love this glow in the dark mini golf course

4. Hike the hills. Our family loves hiking.  It’s the best cheap or free entertainment for our kids.  We love to watch them explore the local trails, burn energy and SLEEP really well on those nights.
Some of my favorite local hiking destinations include:
Gibson Ranch Park:  8556 Gibson Ranch Rd, Elverta
Hidden Falls Regional Park:  7587 Mears Place, Auburn
Davis Arboretum: 440 La Rue Rd, Davis
Effie Yeaw Nature Center and Trails:  2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael

Dec 2012 Turkeys 4

5. Visit the Museums. Sacramento has several museums in the area that are great to explore and learn while playing and having fun .  Spring break doesn’t mean you have to turn those brains off – explore and learn at some of these great local spots:
California Railroad Museum:  125 I Street, Sacramento
California Automobile Museum:  2200 Front Street, Sacramento
Sacramento Discovery Museum: 3615 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento
Aerospace Museum of California:  3200 Freedom Park, Sacramento
Railroad Museum 2016 - HJ

 

Hopefully this list helps you with ideas of things to do with the kids during Spring Break (and other times of the year).  We have so many options to choose from, between indoor activities and outdoor adventures that you should be able to keep those kids busy and entertained all throughout the year.   This is by no means a complete list, but just some of my family favorites.  I hope you have fun exploring our Sacramento region with your family and Happy Spring!

By Heather Crivellone

Sacramento’s Best Train Rides for Kids

Train at Sacramento Zoo

It’s almost springtime! Let’s get outside and take the kids for a fun train ride.  But here’s the big question: What makes for a great train ride?  Most parents look at these or similar factors: price, location, scenic views, realism (does it feel like a real train or a toy train) and available dates and times.  We’re going to compare 5 train rides in Sacramento and the surrounding area: The Sacramento Zoo, Funderland, Old Sacramento, Folsom Zoo and the Fountains at Roseville.

Best prices lowest to highest: Fountains ($2 each or free on Tuesdays), Funderland ($2-2.25 per ticket), Folsom Zoo ($3 per ticket).

Location: This is somewhat subjective and based on where you live. The Sacramento Zoo and Funderland are within close walking distance of each other.  Old Sacramento has lots of stuff to do and see, including a train museum.  The train in Folsom is next to the zoo, library and park.  The Fountains are across the street from the Galleria Mall.

Scenic views: Old Sacramento (river and scenery), Folsom Zoo (outside of zoo and park) and Sacramento Zoo (animals).

Realism: Old Sacramento (real train) and Folsom Zoo (steam engine).

Available dates and times:

Sacramento Zoo: open from 9am to 5pm. Tickets for zoo: $11.75 general admission and $7.75 child/youth (ages 2-11).  Train rides additional $4 each.

Funderland: open Fridays 11am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm, verify hours on website. Weekday tickets: $2 per ride, $17 for 10 rides.  Weekend tickets: $2.25 per ride, $21 for 10 rides.

Old Sacramento: opens in April, Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm, Tuesdays 11am and 1pm, see website for dates. Tickets: $12 adults, $6 youth (ages 6-17) and ages 5 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the California State Railroad Museum.

Folsom Zoo: open Tuesday thru Friday 11am-2pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm. Tickets: $3 per person.  Ages 12 months and under are free.

Fountains at Roseville: open Monday thru Sunday 11am-6pm. Tickets at Guest Services: $2 per person.  Adults ride free with kids under age 2.

What if your kids are on spring break and you want to spend the whole day playing? Take a look at the websites for upcoming events.  For example, go to Funderland for their annual Easter Bash on 3/18 and 3/19.  Head over to the Sacramento Zoo for Earth Fest on April 2 or try a First Friday at the Fountains starting in May.  Walk around the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento and then take a train ride.  Get a combination ticket and go to the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town.  Find a Groupon or other online deal.  Remember, spending quality time with your kids and seeing things through their eyes is priceless.

Post and photos by guest writer Lara Brandon

Sac Zoo Train Lara Brandon

Funderland Train - LB

Train Rides - LB

Spring has Officially Sprung at Daffodil Hill

Today is the day!  It seems as if Mother Nature has decided to grace us with beautiful weather, flowers and most importantly, spring!  Now, I know we are all still trying to do the “rain dance” as we need all the water we can get-  but, we can’t argue at how beautiful these spring days have been.   Weather forecasts say to enjoy it now, as this weekend we may have some showers…but, let’s enjoy the spring while we have it.  And, with spring and the sunshine comes the bloom of daffodils- lots of them!
I absolutely LOVE this time of year, and one of my favorite weekend destinations is up the hill to Amador County.  If you have never taken a day trip to Amador, or if you are visiting the area, make sure you don’t miss out on one of the more spectacular scenes in Northern California -Daffodil Hill (also known as McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill Ranch). Located in Amador County, just about an hour east of Sacramento, from mid-March through mid-April, Daffodil Hill explodes with thousands of blooms, attracting visitors from around the world. This beautiful area is home to over 300,000 bulbs, including 300 varieties of daffodils and a large number of other varieties of bulbs and flowers. They open when 25% of the flowers are in bloom, which is typically mid to late March, but this year the flowers are already in bloom and they have made their official opening day today, March 2. Before planning your visit, make sure to call their hotline (209) 296-7048 to find out for sure if they are open when you will be visiting.  The farm is open from 10am-4pm and they have a small BBQ deli across the street if you would like to purchase lunch, or, if you are like me, then you will pack a picnic to enjoy under one of the many shade trees.

If you haven’t been to Amador County, they have fantastic wineries and plenty of picnic areas. Wineries may not be on the top of your list of places to take kids, but many of them do have nice picnic areas and the scenery really is just too beautiful to pass up if you are in the area.

Another fun and picturesque place to visit in the area is Amador Flower Farm and Nursery. You can picnic on their grounds, visit the gardens and observe the hundreds of perennials, shrubs and vines they have to offer. My kids don’t really have the patience to explore the gardens with me quite yet, but after some hiking, biking and possibly exploring the local gold mines, I’m sure I can wear them out enough to possibly sneak into my favorite wineries (Karmere and Deaver to name a few). Spring is absolutely beautiful in Amador, and if you are searching for a fun day trip, this is one worth taking!

By Heather Crivellone

Daffodil hill collage