Win Tickets: See B Street Theatre’s 2018 Family Series at their New Home, The Sofia

 

Something really exciting will be happening at the beginning of the new year. Sacramento’s beloved B Street Theatre will be opening the 2018 season at its new Midtown venue – The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, or The Sofia – located at 2700 Capitol Ave. The center will have a 250-seat main stage, a 350-seat children’s stage – The Sutter Theatre for Children –  and will host not only theatre, but comedy, dance, and musical acts as well. An onsite restaurant, open-air courtyard and large lobby will make the guest experience unforgettable at this beautiful new performing arts center.

Here’s a little blurb from B Street about children’s theatre:

Children’s theatre has grown 25 percent nationally in the last five years. Join us for the Family Series in the Sofia and contribute to the growth in youth-oriented arts programming. The B Street Theatre’s Family Series is Northern California’s only fully professional, resident theatre for children. This beloved and highly acclaimed series bring the joy of live theatre to children through exciting, original plays and lively adaptations of classic novels, stories and tales. Since its premier season in 2003, the Family Series has presented over 50 professional play for approximately 300,000 children and families in the Sacramento region.

If you’ve never had the chance to see a Family Series production, you’re missing out. Each performance at B Street’s children’s theatre is fantastic. The story adaptations are wonderful, the acting is professional and entertaining, and kids love the experience. Here’s the list of 2018 Family Series productions:

Gandhi!

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Treasure Island

A Christmas Carol

If you can’t hardly wait to check out B Street’s new venue with your kiddos, we’ve got you covered. The folks at B Street have graciously given us a Family Series 2018 season subscription to give away to one lucky winner. To be eligible to win the season subscription, check out all the 2018 B Street productions here, and then leave a comment as to which one you would most like to see. Leave your comment no later than 5 pm on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The winner will be chosen on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Good luck!

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10 Fun Things to do with Kids in Sacramento in the Fall

While Sacramento enjoys great weather and lots of sunshine all year-long (Ok…summer might be just a tad warm), Fall is really one of the best times of the year to get out and explore what the city has to offer. The average temperature from Oct. through Nov. is about 70 degrees, with minimal precipitation. Add into the mix the thousands of trees with leaves changing color all over town, and you’ve got the perfect reason to get outside and enjoy the season. Take a look at our list of ten of the our favorite things to do with your kids this time of year.

1. Visit the Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River and witness the return of Chinook Salmon and steelhead trout as they settle into a spawning habitat at the base of the Nimbus Dam. This working hatchery offers visitors interactive exhibits at the visitors center; a spawning deck viewing window; a river discovery trail – a 1/4 mile trail along the river that allows for viewing of migrating and resident birds, deer, river otter a coyote; a fish ladder that helps the fish swim upstream; holding ponds offering close-up views of the fish; and a salmon-inspired play structure for the kiddos, complete with a shade canopy and bench. http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/nimbus

2. Get your fill of miniature trains at the California State Railroad Museum’s Big Weekend of Small Trains. This special event showcases a huge assortment of model and toy trains, hundreds of feet of track, along with make-believe cities and towns. The setup will really get you into the holiday mood. If you can pull yourself away from the magical world of toy trains, take some time to walk around the museum and see one of the West Coast’s largest collection of real trains and locomotives. www.californiarailroad.museum

3. Enjoy a Tuesday train ride along the Sacramento River. And speaking of trains, during the fall and winter, the California State Railroad Museum offers an excursion train ride to the general public on Tuesdays of each week. Trains depart at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm from the Central Pacific Railway Freight Depot in Old Sacramento and take riders on a 45-minute, round-trip journey along the levee. Witness the Sacramento River at it’s calmest – just before the winter rains pummel Northern California – and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season along the way. http://www.californiarailroad.museum

4. Explore a 100-acre nature preserve in the middle of the city at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. This preserve along the American River includes an education center with a staff of naturalists to help guests learn about the natural habitat that was once the summer home of the Nisenan Maidu native peoples. Visitors will see a replica Maidu village, a variety of native and non-native plants and animals that live on the preserve, and a garden of native flowering plants near the play area. Several trails are also available within the preserver for visitors to spot wildlife. Specific to the fall, keep your eye out for migrating birds, acorn-gathering squirrels and color-changing fall leaves on the many woodland trees. http://www.sacnaturecenter.net

5. Take a trip to nearby Apple Hill. For many Sacramentans, making the trip to Apple Hill is an annual fall tradition. While a year-round destination, the most popular and festive time to visit this conglomerate of farms is September through November. Located in the foothill towns of Placerville and Camino along Hwy 50, Apple Hill features family owned farms and ranches, offering a bounty of fresh produce, and definitely everything apple this time of year. Want to pick apples straight from the orchard? You got it. Have a hankering for a good old-fashioned apple pie? Take your pick. There’s also no shortage of apple cider, apple fritters, apple donuts, and more. Add to all the apple fun –  pumpkins, hay mazes, pony and train rides, even some trout fishing, and you’ve yourself and perfect day of fall family fun. http://www.applehillca.com/

6. Shop till your heart’s content at the Sacramento Harvest Festival. Held at Cal Expo, the Harvest Festival is the West Coast’s largest art and craft vendor fair. With hundreds of vendors offering more than 20,000 unique gifts – all handmade or embellished in the U.S. – you’ll be able to know just about everyone off your Christmas gift list in one fell swoop. Beyond shopping, the festival includes live music and comedy, themed performers (Mama Claus, Eddie the Elf, and Santa on stilts), an interactive kids zone and a food court. http://www.harvestfestival.com

7. Play at Fairytale Town – for free. Bring in a canned food to donate to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services the day after Thanksgiving, and you’ll earn free admission into Sacramento’s favorite park. At Fairytale Town you’ll experience all your favorite fairytale stories and characters throughout the park’s play areas and structures including King Arthur’s Castle, Mr. McGregor’s Garden, Sherwood Forest, the Crooked Mile, Cinderella’s Carriage, and more. The storybook park is located in the heart of the larger William Land Park, a beautiful expanse of open space where trees and fall leaves abound. http://www.fairytaletown.org/

8. Get your exercise in at Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving morning. This 5k walk/run and 10k run is for the entire family. Sponsored by Western Health Advantage, the money raised through this event supports the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. By registering your family to run or walk, you are not only burning ahead of time all the calories you’ll be eating at the later Thanksgiving dinner, but you’ll be giving back to the community as well. http://www.runtofeedthehungry.com/

9. Visit the California Museum and save $2 off admission. There are several kid-friendly museums in and around Sacramento, and while the California Museum is one of them, it often gets overlooked. Home to the California Hall of Fame, California Indians, California’s Remarkable Women, Health Happens Here exhibits and many more permanent and short-term exhibits, this museum is an educational paradise for your kiddos. And, receive $2 off admission through the end of the year. http://www.californiamuseum.org/

10. Walk the streets of Midtown and Downtown for some spectacular fall colors. Sacramento has been known as the city of trees for years and there’s certainly no shortage of foliage in the city. Take a walk around Capital Park, then head east on K Street into Midtown. Wherever your feet take you this time of year, you’re bound to run into some best fall foliage any California city can offer.

 

 

Mini Maker Faire for Future Engineers Returns to Rocklin this Weekend


Sacramento is calling all engineers-to-be, inquisitive minds and creative kids to come together this Saturday at the annual Mini Maker Faire in Rocklin.

A Maker Faire is a gathering of “fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do”. Discover everything from engineering, science, arts and crafts at this fun and hands on event.

This Saturday, October 14 from 9am to 4pm on the Sierra College campus, you can explore and learn about all things engineering and science related.

Last year, my family attended this event and I wasn’t sure who had more fun – the kids or the parents!  We visited the Auto Bots station, did experiments with circuits, learned to sew and so much more.  My kids were thrilled when they found out it was coming back to town, so you know we will be first in line at the exhibits this year!

This year you can view the entire list of events here, but a quick glimpse of some of the exhibits include:
Moving light demonstrations
Learn how to make circuits and fidget spinners
View a moveable fashion show
Enjoy a magic show
And so much more!

WHAT: Rocklin Mini Maker Faire

WHEN:  Saturday, October 14 from 9am to 4pm

WHERE:  Sierra College Campus at 5100 Sierra College Boulevard in Rocklin

ADMISSION: FREE!

So bring your curious minds and spend the day at Sierra College this weekend.  They will have plenty of food options available so you so you can enjoy the event and spend the entire afternoon.

By Heather Crivellone

 

 

Discover Gold’s Rich History in Sacramento and its Surrounding Hills

Sacramento is engulfed in history. Some of California’s most precious history comes straight out of Sacramento’s nearby hills.  If you have had a fourth-grader enrolled in a California school, then you were reminded of the importance of James Marshall, John Sutter and everything related to the Gold Rush. In case you need a quick history lesson, the California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848 when James Marshall found gold in historic Coloma. News of the discovery brought more than 300,000 people to California in search of their treasures and led to the Gold Rush that lasted from 1848 to 1855.

If you would like to take a walk down history lane, or help your children learn  first hand about the Gold Rush, then take a day trip to some of our famous landmarks. You can make it a day trip, weekend trip or even just an hour adventure. Here’s several places in or around Sacramento where you can immerse yourself in Gold Rush history.

Approximately 40 minutes above Sacramento is historic Coloma. Marshall Gold Discovery Park hosts the site of famous Sutter’s Mill, a museum with costumed docents, original and restored buildings of the gold rush and you can even pan for gold in the river.  Gold prospecting equipment and pans are available for rent at local stores and you can even take lessons at the Mother Lode Prospecting and Adventure Supply (located at 7170 Ca-49 #8, Lotus). This is a great day trip destination that your family can enjoy the beautiful fall weather, learn about the gold rush and possibly even strike it rich!

Sutter’s Fort is located in midtown Sacramento between K and L streets and 26 and 28 streets.  Sutter’s Fort retells the lives of the many cultures that lived during the Gold Rush history of the 1840’s.  Mexican citizens, emigrating Europeans, American Pioneers and Native Americans – each had a story to tell and the history lives among the walls of Sutter’s Fort. Visitors to the fort can explore the cultural site, museum, exhibits, ruins, bike trails and enjoy the natural beauty of the fort.  Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children.  Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Special events always take place at the fort. Upcoming events include:  the Haunted Fort and Evening Candlelight tours.  Check website for specific dates and times of any events.

If you are wanting to make a weekend trip, then head to the hills of Tuolumne County and visit the historic town of Columbia.  Located approximately 2 hours from Sacramento, you will truly be in Gold Country, and transported back into the Gold Rush era.  Columbia features the largest single collection of existing gold rush-era structures in the state and visiting this quaint town will transport you into the times of long ago. Streets are lined with blacksmith shops, leather making and quilt shops, bakeries – all adorned with merchants dressed in 1850’s attire. We visited Columbia for the first time and my kids went absolutely crazy!  They loved watching the “old-timers” in the blacksmith shops, the stagecoach ride, gold panning at the Hidden Treasure Gold Mine and they especially loved the one lane bowling alley.

Gold Bug Mine Collage 2

If you plan on visiting Columbia, I would suggest taking a tour to get the full Gold Rush history.  But even without the guided tour, we learned several facts about the Gold Rush and the kids still talk about how much fun they had visiting

You could easily visit Columbia as a day trip, but why not spend the weekend in the Gold Country and take your time?  Not only can you try your hand at gold panning, but there are also great hiking and biking trails.  Plenty of opportunities to fish, canoe, even zip lining and wine tasting are available in the area. 

So depending on whether you want to explore the Gold Rush in a couple of hours, a day or a full weekend, it doesn’t take long from Sacramento to be fully submerged in the history of our Golden State.

 By Heather Crivellone

 

 

 

Win Tickets: Fairytale Town Giving Away Prize Bundle in Celebration of the 17th Annual ScholarShare Book Festival

One of Fairytale Town’s signature events is coming up this next weekend. The 17th Annual ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival will feature New York Times Best-Selling Author and Caldecott award-winner Lindsay Mattick, author of Finding Winnie, the true story of World War I Canadian Soldier Harry Coleburn who rescued a baby bear as he headed overseas to war. He named the bear Winnie, and that bear became the model for one of the best-loved children’s book series of all time, Winnie-the-Pooh. The author is Coleburn’s great-great granddaughter. Lindsay, along with several other authors and illustrators, will be available for book signings.

The FREE, two-day festival is sponsored by ScholarShare College Savings Plan and will include live readings, storytelling performances, live music, hands-on literacy activities and a book fair. Here’s the full lineup of authors and illustrators who will be present during the weekend festival:

Lindsay Mattick  Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear • Sat 11:30AM, 3PM & Sun 12PM, 3PM
JaNay Brown-Wood Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story • Sun 12:30PM
Rita Campbell Emberlina Sprite-a-Light • Sun 10:30AM
Linda Champion & Rose Fante • Fairy Tales for Life • Sat 10:30AM (Linda) & 11AM (Rose)
Brandon Chappell Drew & Boo Adopt Lou & Sue • Sat 2:30PM
Erin Dealey K is for Kindergarten • Sat 2PM & Sun 11:30AM
Sandy Lynne Holman We All Have A Heritage • Sun 2 PM
Catlyn LeGault, Leonie Pickett & Miakoda Plude The Princess and the Sunflowers • Sat 12:30PM
Karen J. Moore Pen the Tale, Oogie • Sun 2:30PM
Elaine Russell All About Thailand • Sat & Sun 1PM
Karen Sanders-Betts & Hannah Howerton The Little Lemon that Leapt • Sat 1:30PM
Linda Joy Singleton A Cat is Better • Sun 11AM

WIN PRIZE BUNDLE: While admission to the ScholarShare Book Festival is FREE, Fairytale Town is offering one of our lucky readers a prize bundle during this weekend’s festivities. The bundle includes a copy of Finding Winnie, admission for four to Fairytale Town, a magic key and a plush Humpty Dumpty. If you would like to win this prize bundle, please visit the ScholarShare Book Festival page on Fairytale Town’s website here and tell us which author or illustrator you would most like to see in person. Leave your answer in the comment section below no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.  A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. One entry per person, please. Good luck!

WHAT: ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival

WHEN: Sept. 16 & 17, 2017

WHERE: Fairytale Town

ADMISSION: FREE

Win Tickets: Brick Fest Live!, the Largest Touring LEGO Fan Experience is Coming to Sacramento

Get ready LEGO fans, the Sacramento Convention Center is about to be inundated with those tiny little bricks that offer hours and hours of entertainment. On Sept. 23-24, 2017, Sacramento will be hosting Brick Fest Live! for the first time – and we hope the event becomes an annual tradition in our city.

Brick Fest Live! is the largest touring LEGO show in the United States featuring amazing creations, collaborative building activities including a brick wall and floor puzzles, mosaics, a Brick Fest derby, inspiration stations, a video game arena, shopping, a Brick Fest Theater for trivia and more.

Founded by a couple of dads-turned-entrepreneurs, Brick Fest Live! was created to “increase awareness that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are all in play when it comes to LEGO and other construction toys. Families build together to accomplish their goals and find creative solutions – all while inspiring the next generation of artists, engineers and leaders.”

WIN TICKETS: Want to win some tickets for your family? The folks with Brick Fest Live! have been super generous with us. They’re giving us four – that’s right, FOUR family packs of five (5) tickets to give away to you, our loyal (and lucky!) readers. Here’s what you need to do to be entered into the drawing. Head on over to the Brick Fest Live! website here, watch the video on the home page and in the comment section below, give us the answer to the following question:

HOW LONG IS THE BRICK FEST DERBY TRACK? Make sure to leave your comment with the correct answer no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Winners will be chosen and announced one at a time on the following days: winner #1 – Tuesday, Sept. 12; winner #2 – Thursday, Sept. 14; winner #3 – Tuesday, Sept. 19; winner #4 – Thursday, Sept. 21. Good luck!

WHAT: Brick Fest Live! LEGO Fan Experience

WHEN: Sept. 23-24, 207

WHERE: Sacramento Convention Center

ADMISSION: Ticket prices start at $24.50 and can be purchased here.

7 Big Events (4 Free!) Coming to Sacramento in September

School starting up again after a warm summer may signify the beginning of fall for the rest of the country, but the weekends here in Sacramento are still gloriously warm – and locals like to take advantage of the Indian summer we experience nearly every year. If you are looking to fill your weekends with family fun before the cooler weather really sets in, take a look at these seven festivals and events happening throughout the month of September in Sacramento. From educational to experiential to pure fun, your family is guaranteed a great time at any of these events.

9/1-9/4 – Gold Rush Days. The streets of Old Sacramento step back into the Gold Rush era, transforming Sacramento’s historic district into a scene straight out of the 1850s. Hundreds of costumed performers bring history to life in various ways. There is Tent City – a recreation of town life during the Gold Rush, Artisan Alley where tinsmiths, blacksmiths and lacemakers abound, fortune-seekers panning for gold, melodramas, pony express reenactments, wagon and buggy rides, good food and lots of fun. FREE admission.

9/2-9/4 – Chalk it Up. Fremont Park in downtown Sacramento hosts an influx of chalk art masterpieces, live music, public art, and community engagement.The main attraction of the Chalk It Up! festival are the hundreds of sidewalk chalk paintings that are created over the course of the weekend. Volunteer Artists turn gray concrete squares into beautiful works of art. These chalk masterpieces are started on the first day of the festival and the public is encouraged to watch their progress throughout the weekend. FREE admission.

9/9-9/10 – California Capital Airshow. The family friendly California Capital Airshow comes to Mather Airport in Rancho Cordova and highlights a century of American aviation and ingenuity. Visitors will enjoy miles of aircraft, military jet performances, world-class aerobatics, interactive STEM experience at Aerojet Rocketdyne Launchpad, Kiddie Hawk – a kids zone featuring education and hands-on activities and more.

9/14-9/17 – Marvel Universe Live. Marvel Universe LIVE! brings your favorite comic book character to life. Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man, The Avengers – Iron Man, Hulk, and more, and threatening villains – come to life in an action-packed experience at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. Feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more.  

9/16-9/17 – Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival. The largest early childhood literacy event in the Sacramento region, the Scholarshare book festival takes place at Fairytale Town and includes storytelling performances from real-life children’s book authors, hands-on-literacy activities, a book fair and more. FREE admission.

9/23 – Farm-to-Fork Festival. Celebrate where our food and drinks come from at Sacramento’s 5th Annual Farm-to-Fork Festival. The city’s signature event brings attendees face-to-face with the people who are feeding our region and the world. The free festival hosted on the city’s iconic Capitol Mall boasts a delicious selection of Farm-to-Fork offerings that are produced and available in the Sacramento region. Attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as live music, live cooking demonstration stages, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches and more! FREE admission.

9/23-9/24 – Brick Fest Live Lego Fan Experience.  The Brick Fest Live LEGO® Fan Experience is filled with hands-on attractions and activities engineered to inspire, educate, and entertain. Attractions include a Glow Zone – glow-in-the-dark creations, a brick fest derby, collaborative building experiences, video game area, mini golf, Brick Fest Theater & Entertainment, shopping and more!