Global Winter Wonderland is Back for its Third Year at Sacramento’s Cal Expo


Last week, Global Winter Wonderland opened for the season at Sacramento’s Cal Expo. Produced by China’s International Culture Exchange Group, Inc., the event features hundreds of giant traditional Chinese lanterns on display over several acres of the west side of the venue. Visitors will be delighted to walk through Santa’s Village, Snow Land, Candy Land, Toy Land, Fantasy Land and new this year, Under the Sea, an interactive area for children.

Entertainment includes the Circus of Light – fire-dazzling, action-packed acrobatic and circus performances, and “meet and greets” and photo ops with Santa and Global Winter Wonderland’s new mascot, Penny the penguin.

If that’s not enough to keep you all busy, enjoy games and rides at the carnival, ice skating at the rink, shopping at the holiday market, or dining at the International food fair. There’s plenty for everyone.

What: Global Winter Wonderland

When: Dec. 2, 2016 through Jan. 8, 2017 (only open on weekends with the exception of the week of Christmas)

Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

Cost: $18 for adults, $16 for children and senior citizens; $12 for ice skating; $25 for unlimited ride wristband

Here’s some more photos of this year’s event:






Holiday Events Beginning this Week in Sacramento

Even though Thanksgiving is still a few days away, there are several Christmas-themed events and activities already in the works. here’s what’s beginning in Sacramento this week:

Global Winter Wonderland is back in Sacramento for its third year. This year’s event at Cal Expo features hundreds of giant Chinese lanterns. Enjoy strolling through Santa’s Village, Snow Land, Toy Land, Candy Land, Fantasy Land, be entertained by the Circus of Fire, ride the Ferris Wheel or simply have a cup of hot chocolate while doing some holiday shopping. Opens tonight, Nov 21 at 5 pm.

Head down to Old Sacramento on Wednesday, Nov. 23 for the Old Sacramento tree lighting and the Macy’s Theatre of Lights season kick-off. Click here to read more about the Theatre of Lights and the re-telling of Mark Twain’s famous poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas, ” click here.

Global Winter Wonderland

global-winter-wonderland-2015-006Macy’s Theatre of Lights


Turkey Trots Around Town: Lace up those Shoes and Earn your Turkey Day Feast

ca-marathonSacramento may be considered a runners dream.  Everywhere you go, whether it’s along the scenic river trails, around the downtown parks, up in the mountainous hills, or just alongside the suburban sidewalks, you will see runners everywhere. It may be our climate, the terrain or just the scenery, but it seems as if Sacramento is a place where you can just lace up your shoes…and run!  And with the cooler November weather, it’s a great excuse to get outside, enjoy the fall colors and get in some exercise.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, many locals are gearing up for some annual traditional runs that always bring out the crowds for a good cause.

The 23rd Annual Run to Feed the Hungry race has become a family tradition for thousands of local residents. It is also one of the largest and respected races in the United States….with close to 27,000 participants each year! On Thanksgiving morning (November 24th), join others at the entrance to the Sacramento State Campus (CSUS) and choose between the 5K or 10K courses to run/walk through the beautiful tree-lined streets of East Sacramento.  All proceeds from the race will benefit the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS).

In Folsom, you can join other families in the Folsom Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  Choose between a 5K and 10K, starting at the Folsom Zoo/ Library entrance.  This event is raising funds for the Twin Lakes Food Bank & Never in Our Town youth scholarship.  Another great way to start the holiday morning with your family.

Elk Grove hosts their own Turkey Trot, beginning at 8280 Longleaf Drive.  Hundreds of people will be out to support Courage House – helping children who are rescued from human trafficking.  Another great organization to support on Thanksgiving morning.

If you are closer to Roseville, then you can join in their annual Turkey Trot, benefitting recreation programs for at risk youth.  This race will begin at the Vernon Street Town Square.

I can’t think of a better way to start out my Thanksgiving holiday – with my family, the beautiful colors of all, and a chance to give back to my community, all while burning some calories before the turkey feast begins!

By Heather Crivellone

Six Ways to Celebrate Veterans around Sacramento this Weekend


Election madness is finally over, and even if you are celebrating or mourning the outcome- one thing is for sure… we should all still be proud to be an American and honor those who have served our country!

Veteran’s day is celebrated this Friday, November 11.  This is a day that is dedicated to honoring those who have served in our United States military, and we are all very thankful to the sacrifices that are made to keep our great country safe! If you didn’t know the history behind Veterans day, it began as a day to remember the end of World War I and was declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.  Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday became Veterans Day in 1954.

Around Sacramento you can find several ways to honor veterans and military personnel.  Here is a quick list of events that are happening around the area:

On Friday, November 11 the 6th Annual Veterans Day Parade in Downtown Sacramento will begin at 11am at Capitol Mall.  There will be vendors, food trucks and children’s activities immediately following the parade.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade on Friday, November 11 will begin at 10:50am at the corner of Lincoln Way and Cleveland Street in Auburn.  The parade will end at the Gold Country Fairgrounds and will be followed by a luncheon and a “Proud to be an American” celebration.

The Sacramento Zoo will offer half-off admission to all military families on November 11.

The Aerospace Museum will be having a special veteran-honoring day that includes free admission into the museum on November 11 from 10am-4pm.  This is also “open cock pit day” where you can climb in a have your own adventure aboard the planes!

California State Railroad Museum will offer a Veterans Day Train Ride at 1pm 2pm and 3pm.  All veterans can ride free and will also receive free admission on this day.

Veterans Honor Run on November 12, people and pets can run this 5K course around William Jessup University in Rocklin.

This is just a quick list of what you can participate in.   The best way to celebrate Veteran’s Day in my opinion is to thank a veteran for all they have done and all they continue to do to make our country great.

Top Golf is the Newest Family Friendly Sports Venue in Sacramento


Top Golf is the newest family-friendly sports and entertainment facility in the Sacramento area.  If you haven’t visited a Top Golf in other cities, then you just don’t know what you are missing!

My family finally decided to visit this new hot spot and we are officially hooked on the “Top Golf phenomena”.   Located at 1700 Freedom Way in Roseville (approximately 40 minutes from downtown Sacramento), they are open 7 days a week… rain or shine for your golfing fun. Some, who have never experienced Top Golf, may think of this as an indoor driving range.  Now that I have played the game, it’s a little more of a cross between bowling and golf (this is coming from someone who doesn’t play golf or bowl very well).   The Topgolf games can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.   With a microchipped golf ball, they score themselves and players can choose to aim for whichever target they want (at least in the game we were playing).   Depending on skill level and competition level, you can decide the game you would like to play with your group.   And just like bowling, you take turns hitting the ball and if it is not your turn, you can just kick back and enjoy the view or watch one of the many other sports games that are playing on the HDTV’s throughout the hitting bays.

Each hitting bay is climate controlled (so you can enjoy golf on the coldest days of winter or during the 100 degree hot summer days we have here in Sacramento).  They have plenty of food and beverage options and servers to bring your food directly to your bay, or you can enjoy in the downstairs restaurant before or after your tee times. Food options include everything from the basic Nachos and French Fries appetizers, to full burgers, salads and even brunch menu items.  For kids of all ages, they also have video games, pool tables, corn hole games and more!  This is definitely a great alternative to the Friday night family movie night! Now, I wouldn’t take the youngest of kids, but use your judgment.   This is a sports complex with adult beverages being served.   My kids are 7 and 9, and we had an absolute blast playing an hour on a Sunday afternoon.


Everyone who chooses to Top Golf must have a membership.  This is a onetime fee of $5 and you receive a card that records your scores.   Once you have your membership, you then pay by the hour for up to 6 people in the bay.   Rates are $25 open- noon, $35 noon- 5pm and $45 5pm- close. They are open Monday – Thursday 9am- 10pm, Friday and Saturday 9am- 1am and Sunday 9am- 11pm.

If you are looking to improve your game, they also offer lessons and clinics for children.   This was a really fun afternoon for my family, and if you have a family who is active and want to try something a little different, then make the trip to Top Golf in Roseville.   You may have to wait in line to get a bay, due to popularity of this new venue, but they do offer plenty of entertainment while you wait.  Don’t let the crowded parking lot disappoint you, we were originally told we would have to wait over an hour for a bay, but got in and started golfing in less than 30 minutes.   It was definitely worth the wait and we are looking forward to our next visit to Top Golf.

By Heather Crivellone

Disney on Ice’s Passport to Adventure Opens Big at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center

g1c_sep-15-1Last night, Sacramento’s new downtown arena, Golden 1 Center, was crawling with little people. Not regular little people, mind you, but little princesses wearing crowns and waving lighted wands, and little pirates swinging swords. And the excitement was palpable. All these little people and their parents, grandparents and caregivers, were filling the arena to see their favorite Disney characters glide across the ice in Disney on Ice’s newest production Passport to Adventure.

The show started out in the African Savanna with the characters from Lion King, followed by a pretty amazing London performance by Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, and of course, the infamous crocodile. Pan, Tink, Wendy and her brothers not only skate on the ice, but fly through the air with the help of Tink’s pixie dust. When Captain Hook arrived in his pirate ship, I was duly impressed. How on earth did they get that ship to slide across the ice so gracefully…as if it were on water? Were there skaters inside guiding it? Was is an electronic vehicle? While we’ll never know, the fact is that the pirate ship stole the Peter Pan show. And the crocodile? Just wait for it!

After intermission, the action really started to heat up when we were transported under the sea with Ariel, Flounder and the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. No matter how many times I see those sea creatures on the ice, I’m always impressed with the colorful characters singing our favorite songs and “swimming” along in their undersea adventure. We all know the ending – that the sea witch is destroyed in the end, but it’s impressive to sea that massive creature deflate before our eyes and disappear from view.


The final performance in Passport to Adventure found us in the cold mountains of Norway with Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Hans, Kristoff and Olaf, the beloved snowman who wants to be at the beach. From the sound of it, the Frozen performance was by far the crowd favorite. Elsa’s costume and skating alone, was something to marvel at. Add to that our favorite songs Love is an Open Door and Let it Go, and you’ve got every single audience member on their feet belting out their favorite lyrics. What a way to end the night! So much fun in such a great new venue.

You definitely don’t want to miss this Disney on Ice experience! There’s still time to purchase your tickets, as performances run through Sunday. You can buy your tickets here. readers will receive a special 20 % discount by entering the code: MOM when purchasing.

What: Disney on Ice Presents Passport to Adventure

When: Friday, Nov. 4 at 7pm, Saturday, Nov. 5 at 11am, 3pm and 7pm, and Sunday, Nov. 6 at 12pm and 4pm

Where: Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk, Sacramento





Enjoy a Day Trip of Hiking, Gold Panning and Exploring in Bridgeport at the South Yuba River

bridgeport-bridge-1The weather may be cooling down, but it’s still beautiful in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  If you have never taken a trip to the foothills, this is the best time of year to take your family for a day hike in Bridgeport.   Bridgeport is located a little over an hour drive from Sacramento, at the South Yuba River Park in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  Home to the famous Bridgeport Covered Bridge, it is the longest- span wooded covered bridge still surviving in America!

For hiking enthusiasts, the South Yuba River has several trails to choose from.  Everything from easy strolls along the river, to more strenuous hikes that require a little more than just a good pair of shoes and a hiking stick.  With younger children, we typically choose the “easy to moderate” trails and find that we enjoy stopping to skip rocks along the river as much fun as the hike itself. 
Some of the more popular trails for those with kids include the Buttermilk Bend Trail, Kneebone Beach Trail and the Cemetery Loop Trail.   Each of these trails is easily accessible and range from ¼ mile to a little hiking, you can step back into time and learn about the famous Gold Rush era in their visitor’s center and gift shop.  On select weekends, they offer gold panning demonstrations and you can learn how to “strike it rich” in the river.   My kids had a blast trying to pan for gold and even though we didn’t find our fortune, we did discover quite a bit of “fools gold”- which is just as much fun for a 7-year-old!


During the warmer months, you can swim in one of the many swimming holes along the river or just relax on the sandy beaches.   During these colder months, I wouldn’t suggest a swim… but, the river is a great place to explore, skip rocks and enjoy the beauty of nature.  
Along with the hiking trails, many visitors to the area will bring their mountain bikes and visit Malakoff Diggins State Park, as they have over 20 miles of trails (ranging from ½ mile to 3 miles each way), to choose from throughout the park.  Trails also range from easy to steep elevation changes, so make sure you choose the proper trails for your fitness levels.

If hiking, biking and gold panning weren’t enough to enjoy in the park- you can always join in one of their free bird watching walks.  These walks run on one Saturday, every other month (the next walk is on December 10).  Enjoy a guided tour with a resident bird expert who will help you spot everything from Canyon Wren, Acorn Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles and more.  

So if you want to get out and experience nature, take a day trip to the South Yuba River State Park.    Pack a lunch, bring your camera and get ready for a fun-filled day outing with your family.

By Heather Crivellone