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Museums

California Aerospace Museum
3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan (916) 643-3192
Tuesday- Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
Adults $8, Children 5 and under are FREE

If you or anyone in your family is interested in aviation- then a visit the Aerospace museum is a must!  They have over 40 military and civilian aircraft on display, along with 15 restored engines, a beautiful Coast Guard Art collection, a Morphis Motion Ride Simulator and more!
Kids of all ages will enjoy taking a stroll in history out in the air park, as you can view aircraft dating back from 1932 and up to today.
The museum has a “Kids Corner” for the younger children- equipped with toys, coloring pages and markers.  A great way to keep them busy while you view the amazing engineering marvels!
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California Automobile Museum
2200 Front Street, Sacramento
(916) 442-6802
Open daily 10:00am-6:00pm
$8 adults, $4 students, Children 4 and under are free

Auto enthusiasts of all ages will love the displays and exhibits this museum has to offer.  Whether you are a fan of the classic car, hot-rods or just the history of the automobile, there is something for everyone.  The knowledgable staff is very informative and you will be impressed on what you can see and learn at this museum.
The building is not climate-controlled, so be prepared if you visit in the winter, make sure you dress in layers for the cold and if you are visiting in the summer…prepare for the heat.
The vehicles out in the showroom are only protected by ropes… keep this in mind if your child happens to be a “handful” and loves to run.  Even though they do have some classics for the kids to climb in,  I was a bit on edge with my little guy running and trying to touch everything…  especially near the Ferraris!
If your kids are a little older and love cars (what boy doesn’t?) then this would be a great outing for your family.

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California Museum
1020 O Street
 Sacramento 95814
(916) 653-7524
Home of the California Hall of Fame, this cultural destination is dedicated to  the rich history of California and it’s unique influence on the world of ideas, innovation, art and culture.  Open Mon-Sat, 10am to 5pm; Sundays 12pm to 5pm.
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California State Capitol
10th and L Streets
State Capitol, Room B-27
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 324-0333
 At the State Capitol, the past, present and future of California interact with equal force. The building serves as both a museum and the state’s working seat of government. Visitors to the Capitol can at once experience California’s rich history and witness the making of history through the modern lawmaking process.
The California State Capitol Museum is home to an extensive collection of important historical California artifacts, artwork, and antique furnishings.
Public tours are conducted daily, on the hour, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Weekdays: 8 – 5
Weekends: 9 – 5
Admission: Free
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
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California State Indian Museum – 2618 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 324-0971

The State Indian Museum, opened in 1940, depicts three major themes of California Indian life: Nature, Spirit, and Family.  Native peoples lived prosperously for thousands of years in what it now California.  All of the exhibits and photographs on display in the museum are presented with respect for those who went before us on this land and continue to live in California communities today.

California Indian cultural items in the museum include traditional baskets, along with some of the smallest in the world, a redwood dugout canoe, ceremonial regalia, beadwork, and hunting & fishing tools—some of which are more than twenty-four hundred years old.  There is also an exhibit depicting the life of Ishi, reputedly the last survivor of the Yahi tribe, illustrating how Native culture was powerfully impacted and forever changed when outsiders arrived.

Many Native people have donated photographs of family and friends for viewing in the museum.  There is also a wall of photographs devoted to honoring California Elders, and a hands-on area where visitors have the opportunity to utilize Indian tools like the pump drill, used for making holes in shell beads, and the mortar & pestle, used for grinding acorns.

Admission:
Adults $3 (18 years and older)
Youth $2 (ages 6 to 17)
Children Free (5 and under)

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California State Railroad Museum
Corner of Second and I Streets in Historic Old Sacramento
Open Daily from 10:00am- 5:00pm
$9 adults, $4 ages 6-17, 5 and under are free

Kids of all ages will enjoy a visit to what is regarded as North America’s finest and most popular railroad museum.  This museum really is quite spectacular. There are more than 20 restored locomotives and railroad cars, along with a variety of exhibits.
And for the kids, an entire floor is devoted to toy trains, displays and “Thomas the Tank Engine”.
My children (ages 3 and 19 months) had a blast playing at all the train tables and watching “Thomas” chug along the tracks!  Old Sacramento is a great place to explore and be transported “back into history” and the Railroad Museum is a fun stop for everyone.
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Crocker Art Museum
216 O Street, Sacramento
916-808-7000

Melding the old with the new, the Crocker Art Museum is housed in both a stunning old Victorian and a new state of the art architectural addition.  It is a must-see for those visiting Sacramento. Make sure to check out the musuem’s new children’s program Story Trail and Totland.  See the calendar to learn about their current exhibits and special events, including art classes. Of special interest to families:

  • Wee Wednesdays – designed for children aged 3-5 years, activities include art, story telling and songs. Reservations are required – and please note that not every Wednesday is designated as a Wee Wednesday.
  • The Museum does not allow backpacks or backpack carriers.  They do offer a place to store these items while visiting – and also offer complimentary use of a stroller
  • Every Sunday the Museum offers free admission between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00pm.

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Discovery Museum Science and Space Center
3615 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento  (916) 808-3942
Tues-Fri: 12-4:30; Sat-Sun: 10-4:30

This is a “hands on”, interactive museum that teaches children (and parents) the wonders of science and space.
Exhibits change throughout the year- check website for current exhibit.
They also have planetarium and wildlife shows, as well as nature walks and craft activities on the weekends.
planetarium shows are for children over the age of 4.  You can bring a picnic, as they have tables outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
This is a fun place to let your children learn “hands on” the wonders of science- and a great way to spend a family afternoon together.
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California Agriculture Museum– 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland Ca.  95776  (530) 666-9700

The collection of  Antique Tractors and Trucks  introduces visitors to vintages iron horses and mechanical equipment. The exhibits honor our agricultural  and transportation heritage. Two main galleries feature the  Heidrick Antique Ag Collection, and  the Hays Antique Truck Museum. Each gallery traces the mechanization  of the past, while it showcases the genius of our forefathers. Visitors can tour the main gallery on  their own or make arrangements for a tour group.

Open Wed-Sun, 10am to 4pm.  Closed Mon. and Tues.

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Maidu Museum and Historic Site
1970 Johnson Ranch Drive, Roseville (916) 774-5934
The Maidu Museum & Historic Site offers a unique cultural haven for families and individuals who want to experience the life ways and culture of the Nisenan Maidu who called this location home for thousands of years .
While the Museum presents interactive exhibits and displays, the outside trail wanders through the Historic Site and offers visitors a chance to see the lasting cultural landmarks via hundreds of bedrock mortar holes and deeply carved petroglyphs.

Open Monday- Friday 9am-4pm; Saturday 9am-1pm. $4.50 for adults and $4 for children and senior.
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Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – 1220 Front Street, Old Sacramento

The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum is a learning center that allows students of all ages to explore California’s early days of education. Located in the Capital City’s historic Old Sacramento area, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum is a living replica of traditional one-room schoolhouses found throughout America in the late 1800s. The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum is open most weekdays and weekends to the general public, and weekdays by appointment for school field trips. Costumed schoolmarms and school masters are available to tell about school life in 19th century California, and sometimes even lead visitors in a lesson. The one-room replica schoolhouse, established in 1977 by community volunteers, features a pot-bellied stove, vintage student desks and other furnishings typical of the period.  Free to the public.

Open Monday-Saturday, 10am to 4pm and Sunday 12 noon-4pm (volunteer permitting.)

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Sacramento Children’s Museum

2701 Prospect Park, Rancho Cordova, Ca.  95670
(916) 638-7225
Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
General Admission: $7.00, Over 60 and military; $6, Children 1 and under are Free

The Sacramento Children’s Museum believes that “play is an essential part of a child’s “work”. Through hands-on exhibits, children can use their imagination and creativity to express themselves and learn new things.
The museum is geared for children ages 0-8, but I think kids of all ages would have fun exploring and creating at the museum.
Some of the exhibits include a giant “Lite Brite”, “Airways and Raceways”, “Waterways”, an art center, dramatic play and much more.  Your kids will have fun exploring and learning at each of the different exhibits and will be begging not to leave!

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Sacramento History Museum

101 I Street, Old Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 808-7059

The Sacramento History Museum’s mission is to explore, interpret and display the region’s history from the days before the Gold Rush to the present. This diverse, and at times dramatic history unfolds throughout the museums galleries. The museum also offers the perfect starting point for exploring Old Sacramento State Historic Park and for understanding how the area developed and grew to the vibrant community it is today.

Visiting Hours:
The Sacramento History Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with last admission sold at 4:30 p.m.

Members FREE
Adults (18+) $5.00
Youth (6-17) $4.00
Children (0-5) FREE
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Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

2701 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 445-4422

Sutter’s Fort was built by Swiss immigrant John Sutter more than 150 years ago in Sacramento.  with walls that were 2 1/2 feet thick and 15 to 18 feet high — and developed what he considered to be the real wealth of California — crops such as grapes and wheat, along with vast herds of cattle. Aligning himself with the Mexican authorities, at one point, with his various land grants, Sutter owned more than 150,000 acres of the Central Valley, and was a generous host to such colorful and historically important characters as John C. Fremont and Kit Carson.

Today, the Fort is furnished and reconstructed to reflect its 1846 appearance. Many activities and programs recreate the past thanks to the volunteers who give their time to share their love of California History.

Adults $5 (18 years and older)
Youth $3 (ages 6 to 17)
Children Free (5 and under)

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Wells Fargo History Museum – 1000 Second Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 440-4263

Located in the Old Sacramento State Park, inside the restored B.F. Hastings Building, this historically furnished compact museum takes visitors back in time to visit an old Wells Fargo Agent’s office.

Exhibits show how Wells Fargo rode the river of gold flowing through Sacramento, kept the famed Pony Express going and helped the early days of State Government.

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