Top 5 Family Friendly Activities in Folsom


When is the last time you visited historic Folsom and enjoyed downtown Sutter Street?  If you are new to the area, visiting Sacramento or just haven’t ventured into Folsom lately, I highly suggest you pack up the kids and make a day trip out of it.

Recently, we decided to visit historic Folsom for lunch, and we were pleasantly surprised by all the fun things we could do for the day with young children.

Folsom is located 35 minutes from Downtown Sacramento, and I’m sure everyone is familiar with what puts Folsom on the map…Johnny Cash and the Folsom prison!  But, if country western music isn’t your thing, no worries. There are plenty of activities (aside from the prison) to keep your family busy.

I have compiled a list of my top 5 things to do in Folsom if you have children:

  1. Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park.  A visit to this famous powerhouse will take you on a tour of California’s history.  Built in 1895, this is one of the oldest hydroelectric facilities in the world! If you have little engineers or anyone who enjoys history, this is a great walking tour.   The two-story brick and granite Powerhouse looks similar to what it did in 1895 and you are free to wander around and enjoy the grounds along with the museum where you can learn how the powerhouse generates energy.   Located at 9980 Greenback Lane, Folsom.  This is a nice tour that you can walk to from historic Folsom.
  2. Take a walk down historic Sutter Street and enjoy some “window shopping” and have a sweet treat or lunch.  Our favorite stops are pizza at Chicago Fire and a sweet treat at Karen’s Bakery or Snook’s Chocolate Factory.   You can always catch a live performance at the Sutter Street Theater.   On Saturdays and Sundays they have their family performances.  Now showing through August 21 is “All Shook Up – the musical”.  These are great performances that kids of all ages will enjoy
  3. If you want to get into the “great outdoors” and live on the “wild side” then take a visit to the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary.   Located at 403 Stafford Street in Folsom, the zoo is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9am- 3pm.   This sanctuary offers a chance to see some animals up close that you don’t normally get to see at the other zoo’s in the area:  Bears, Mountain Lions and Coyotes for example.  Animals that may be in our backyard but we wouldn’t dare get close enough to see.   The peaceful setting of this zoo makes it a wonderful morning trip for families… and, they have a park next to the zoo that keeps the kids busy all day!
  4. Busy Kidz, located at 118 Woodmere Road in Folsom is an indoor play city (in miniature) and is designed to encourage children ages 10 and under to explore the most beloved part of childhood:  Pretend Play! If you have younger children and it’s a hot summer day…this is the place to go….  They can play, pretend and have a ball at this indoor, interactive children’s museum.   Each building in the pretend city has a certain theme – restaurant, supermarket, doctor’s office, library, school, etc.  Kids can literally play all day at this unique play house.
  5. If you want to get your kids out and active, then look no further than the Folsom Bike Trail.   Just grab your bikes, some water and sun block and hit the trails from historic Folsom and ride as far as you can see…. Never know, you may end up as far as Old Sacramento if you have the stamina.   Lake Natoma is along the way and you can always stop and rent a kayak to cool off.

So, there you have it. My top 5 activities to keep you and your family busy in Folsom.   You can also visit the Folsom Prison museum, take a swim in Folsom Lake and shop all day at the Folsom Premium outlets.   Whatever you do, enjoy your time in this historic city.

By Heather Crivellone


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