Keeping Cool at Sacramento’s Splash Pads

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***It has come to my attention that not all of these parks are currently open.  Those that are listed with an asterisk are still closed due to the drought.   Most are open, so have fun splashing away with your kids!

 

As the Sacramento summer starts to heat up, parents are on the lookout for fun and inexpensive ways to keep the kids cool and occupied.  And with this heat, there is nothing better than playing in the water to cool off!  Long gone are the days of playing in the sprinklers in your own backyard, as Sacramento parks have installed more sophisticated and fun ways to cool off.  From wading pools to slides and splash/spray parks the options are endless.  And parents and kids love it!

If you haven’t checked our local weather forecast for this upcoming week….well, let me tell you, it’s going to be HOT!

If you don’t already have plans and want to keep those kids busy running and burning that beginning of summer energy, then visit one of our local spray grounds that are now open for the summer.

Here is a list of some of my kids’ favorite spots in Sacramento to splash about at:

Bridgeway Island Spray Park:  3650 Southport Parkway, West Sacramento

Bertelsen Park:  831 Redwood Lane, El Dorado Hills

Freedom Park– E and 32nd Street, North Highlands***

John Kemp Spray ground:  1322 Bundrick Drive, Folsom

Lone Tree Park (Kathy Lund Park) –  6101 West Oaks Boulevard, Rocklin***

Memorial Park Spray ground:  3980 Rocklin Road, Rocklin***

Nisenan Community Park:  700 Golf Links Rd, Folsom

Morse Park–  Bellaterra Drive, Elk Grove

Promontory Park:  2700 Alexandria Drive, El Dorado Hills

Seely Park–  3000 Pope Avenue, Sacramento

Stone Creek Park Splash pad:  3625 Spoto Drive, Rancho Cordova

Swanston Park–  2350 Northrop Avenue, Sacramento

Stephenson Family Park–  5511 Dorcey Drive, Elk Grove***

Village Green Park Splash park:  3141 Bridgeway Drive, Rancho Cordova

White Rock Splash Park:  10488 White Rock Road, Rancho Cordova

Whitney Park Spray ground:  1801 Whitney Ranch Parkway, Rocklin

Wright Park Spray ground:  9370 Sierra River Drive, Elk Grove****

So, grab the sunblock, snacks and lots of water and hit up one of our local spray grounds for some FREE family fun and a chance to “keep cool” during these hot summer days.

By Heather Crivellone

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Top 5 Sacramento Memorial Day Events if you are Staying in Town this Year

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Our days are getting longer, the evenings are getting warmer and the kids are counting down the last days of school.   Summer is around the corner and the official “kick off” to summer begins with Memorial Day weekend.

If you have chosen to stay local and enjoy the long weekend at home, we have several fun activities throughout the area to keep your family entertained:

  1. Sacramento County Fair:  May 26-30 at Cal Expo Fairgrounds (1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento).   This year’s theme is “Let’s Eat, Have Fun and Celebrate the Red, White and Blue”. Enjoy carnival rides, games and exhibits.   Watch professional bull riding and Monster Truck shows.   Check out the livestock auctions and of course- eat all the fried food imaginable! Children ages 0-12 are FREE, General Admission $5 and parking is $10.
  2. Take the family to enjoy the 7th Annual Vettes for Vets & American Muscle Car show at the California Automobile Museum (2200 Front Street, Sacramento).  May 30 from 9am-3pm, enjoy a FREE car show outside the museum with local hot rods and muscle cars.  To enter your muscle car- contact the museum and there is a $25 fee to enter into the show.
  3. Sacramento Music Festival will be hitting stages throughout Old Sacramento May 27-30.  Music lovers of all ages will enjoy hearing blues, jazz, rock and dance music during this annual event.    If you have never been to one of these events, I highly urge you to check it out.    Great music, food, vendors and activities.  Tickets can be purchased on the website and they start at $25.
  4. Check out the Greek Food and Wine Festival in Roseville, May 27-29.  Enjoy live music and entertainment, great food and wine.   There will be a kid’s zone with activities to keep the younger ones busy- and of course lots of dancing!   $3 admission and proceeds of this event will go to local charities.
  5. Head out to the ballpark and watch our Sacramento Rivercats take on the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Monday, May 30.  Spend the afternoon watching the baseball game and enjoy a Memorial Day BBQ at the park.  Tickets are $10-$63.

Whatever you choose to do this Memorial Day weekend, we hope you spend it with loved ones and enjoy the kick off to summer.

By Heather Crivellone

Hiking in Sacramento: Hidden Falls Regional Park

dsc_0116Throughout the Sacramento valley, we have some amazing opportunities to visit nature and explore popular trails.  Every month, I will try to introduce you to local family friendly trails that are within a “reasonable” drive from downtown Sacramento.   Last month, we visited the Auburn State Recreation Center, with over 100 miles of trails to bike and hike on.  This month, our family re-visited our favorite trail – Hidden Falls.

Hidden Falls Regional Park is a nature park that hosts 221-acres of open space, hosting groves of woodlands, and 7 miles of natural trails that are suitable for hiking, biking, running and horseback riding. It’s also home to Coon Creek, Deadman creek and a 20-30 foot high waterfall that runs year round. Activities include fishing, hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing. A great way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon!

There are several different trails that you can take, we chose one that was about 3 miles roundtrip and was easy enough for both my kids to hike. They had a blast skipping along the trail, spotting their favorite wildflowers, finding butterflies and hopping over a few piles of horse excrement (or as my children were yelling out “Big Poop”!)  Once we arrived at the waterfall, it was a perfect stopping point for a snack and some great family pictures. The kids were troopers and made the hike in and out with no complaining.  The terrain was easy, no steep climbs and well-marked trails, it could even accommodate a stroller!  This is a great trail to start your hiking adventures with your family.

Some amenities they have if you are beginning your hiking journey: They do have a bathroom at the beginning of the trail (vault toilets) for those who need them.  Free parking in the lot (arrive early to be guaranteed a spot as this trail has become quite popular on the weekends) and they have just a few picnic benches at the beginning of the trail.   I would suggest packing your lunch in and enjoying the view of the waterfall. But for those who would rather sit at an actual table, they do have a few near the parking lot.

Things to remember on a hike:

  • Apply Sunscreen
  • Bring Snacks
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be home before leaving on the hike.
  • “Leaves of three, let them be.” Yes, there is poison oak along the trails.   Just stay on the trail and don’t touch the leaves.
  • Always carry a small first aid kit for those small emergencies and skinned up knees.

I highly recommend this park and the trails to the waterfall for families with kids of all ages. It’s never too early to get your kids out into nature and exploring. Plus, everyone can use a little calorie burn with their family fun!  And if you have the energy when you are done, check out Old Town Auburn and some of their shops and restaurants.

Hidden Falls Regional Park is located at 7587 Mears Place, just north of Mt. Vernon Road between Auburn and Lincoln.  Approximately 1 hour from downtown Sacramento. Happy Trails!

By Heather Crivellone