Shake your Turkey Feathers this Thanksgiving for a Good Cause at One of our Local Fun Runs

 

Loosen up the belts and get ready – Thanksgiving is around the corner! For most people, that means football, mashed potatoes, stuffing and food galore.
This year, why not join other local Sacramento families and find a way to give back, earn that calorie intake and enjoy the beautiful fall weather Sacramento has to offer.
Across the region, you can find several “Turkey Trots” and fun runs to participate in with your family. Most are stroller friendly for even the youngest of participants and it doesn’t matter if you are an avid runner, walker or weekend warrior. Just lace up those sneakers and hit the streets for some community fun and exercise before the feast.

Here are my top 5 to choose from:

Saturday, November 18: Davis Turkey Trot. This family friendly event hosts eight different events and distances for all fitness levels. Enjoy the stroll through Davis’ residential neighborhoods and green belts. Live music, arts and crafts booths for the kids, vendors and fun is to be had at this event.

Thanksgiving Day: Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento is the largest Turkey Run in the country!
Join hundreds of people in support of the Sacramento Food Bank on Thanksgiving morning. This fun run begins at the Sacramento State Campus and winds through the beautiful tree-lined streets of East Sacramento, You can choose between the 5K or 10K option.

Thanksgiving Day: Turkey Trot for Teal 7 in Herald. Join other families at the 6th annual Turkey Trot for Teal. Walk, run or jog 3.1 miles and help raise money for the children’s cancer foundation. Once you are finished, enjoy treats and raffles to get you ready for your big day with family. Race begins at the Herald Community Center.

Thanksgiving Day: Folsom Turkey Trot. Choose from a 5k or 10k to participate in, starting at the Folsom zoo park. This fun run will benefit the Twin Lakes Food Bank. Registration sells out early, so if you are in the Folsom area make sure you check to see there is still space for you and your family.

Thanksgiving Day: Roseville Turkey Trot to support the Placer County Food Bank. This course will begin and end in Downtown Roseville on historic Vernon Street.

So this year, don’t feel guilty about going in for seconds with the candied yams. Burn those calories before you sit down at the table and support your local community at one of the many fun runs in the area.

 

Advertisements

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.

 

 

WIN TICKETS: Sacramento’s Harvest Festival Goes Beyond Holiday Shopping with Live Music, Holiday-Themed Performers and a Hands-On Kids Zone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like that, Halloween is over, which means the holiday season is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is three weeks away and Christmas just seven. It’s time to start planning your holiday shopping which means scouring the Internet and store ads for deals, and strategically planning your Black Friday shopping schedule. While you may already have some ideas of what to get friends and family, there always seems to be that one person on the list that is difficult to find a gift for. Enter the Harvest Festival, the largest indoor arts and crafts show on the West Coast.

Held at Cal Expo, the Sacramento Harvest Festival boasts thousands of unique items – all handmade and embellished within the United States. From clothing to specialty foods, to original art and photography, the this festival has got you covered. In addition to shopping, enjoy music by the Fargo Brothers, laugh with comedian John Park and the “Funny Waiter” show, take pictures with Mama Claus, Eddie the Elf and stilt-walking Santa, grab a bite or two to eat from the many varied food vendors and let the kids play at the KidZone area presented by Lakeshore Learning.

Sound like fun? We’ve got four family packs, that’s right – FOUR – to give away to four lucky readers. The family packs include four admission tickets and $10 in “harvest money” to spend at your favorite vendor booth. If you would like a chance to win, watch the Harvest Festival video here, and tell us in the comment section below what you plan to shop for when you attend. Leave your comment by 5pm on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Winners will be chosen on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Good luck!

WHAT: Sacramento Harvest Festival

WHEN: Nov. 17-19, 2017, 10am to 6pm

WHERE: Cal Expo, Sacramento

TICKETS: $9 adults, $7 youth, $4 kids, free ages 12 and under

*be prepared to pay a parking fee

Five Unique Ways to Have a Spooky Good Halloween with the Kids

IMG_2459 (2).

Pumpkins, colorful leaves, ghosts and goblins. Yes, it’s the spookiest time of year.  Kids everywhere are planning their costumes and parents are trying to figure out not to eat all the candy this year.  This is definitely a fun time of year with kids, and luckily for us here in the Sacramento area we have so many fun activities to keep those goblins busy with fun. From pumpkin patches and hay mazes to haunted houses and scary stories, there is something for everyone at every age in your family.

Here are my top 5 upcoming and ongoing Halloween festivities in the area:

Pumpkin Nights at the Gold Country Fairground, located at 1273 High St. Auburn.  This is the first year that Sacramento has hosted this event, and from the looks of it, I’m guessing it won’t be the last!  Visitors can experience Halloween in a whole new light… literally!  Pumpkin Nights will feature eight immersive lands created with over 3,000 hand carved pumpkins.  Take a walk through Harry Potter’s Great Hall, a tropical island land where pirates protect the pumpkin treasure, Dia de los Muertos and so much more.  This is an event for all ages to view some very talented carvers and become lost in another world. Tickets for Pumpkin Nights are on sale online and are $20 for adults and $16 for children.  This event will take place nightly through October 29 from 6:30- 10:30 Sunday-Thursday and 6:30-midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Boo at the Zoo at the Sacramento Zoo is an annual tradition.  On October 28 and 29, families can dress up in costume and trick or treat in a safe environment around the zoo and the wild animals.  Kids can have their face painted; enjoy crafts and other Halloween themed activities.  Live entertainment including a magician and animal keeper chats will be going on throughout the day. You can purchase tickets to this event online and the tickets range from $14-$16.

Spookomotive Train Ride presented by the California State Railroad Museum.   Kids can yell “All Aboard” as they head out away from the Old Sacramento train station and enjoy a whimsical ride along the river.  Each weekend is a different theme and they will have entertainment related to the themes and Halloween treats.  This activity is great for kids of all ages. The spooky train runs October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.  Tickets range from $3-$25 depending on if you would like to be seated in coach or first class.

Safetyville’s Annual Halloween Haunt will be held on October 28 from 11am-4pm.  This is a perfect event for your youngest of children, as they can prance around in their costumes at the Costume Parade; enjoy food, drinks and raffles.  Get lost in a Hay Maze and enjoy games all throughout the Safetyville “town”.  $5 per person and 2 and under are FREE.

For the more mature audience, head to Old Sacramento for some history and a bit of a scare at the annual Ghost Tour walk. Join other “ghosts” of on an eerie journey into time.  Beware of characters from the Gold Rush, wayward miners and even some stories of murder victims.  This is definitely not for the weak of heart.  They encourage families, but as long as children are mature and they prefer no one under the age of 8.  These tours depart from the Sacramento History Museum at 101 I Street in Old Sacramento.  Dress for the weather and be prepared for about a mile long walk.  Purchase tickets online and they can only accommodate up to 25 people, so order soon.  Tours run every half hour starting at 6:30 and ending at 9pm on Friday and Saturday evenings through the end of October.  Tickets are $15 adults and $10 for youth.

There are also several pumpkin patches, hay mazes and corn fields in the area to visit and enjoy.  Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the season and all the candy that you may receive.

By Heather Crivellone

Win Tickets: Fairytale Town Blasts off into Space for this Year’s Safe & Super Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and Fairytale Town is gearing up for its 31st annual Halloween event. The storybook park’s Safe & Super Halloween this year will send you into outer space for an intergalactic night of trick-or-treating, Jedi training, lightsaber fitness and planet hopping. Add that to an already fun backdrop of fairytale play structures, farm animals and gardens, and your kids are in for a very fun, very safe Halloween night.

WHAT: 31st Annual Safe & Super Halloween in Space

WHEN: Oct. 20, 21, & 22 from 5 to 9 pm

WHERE: Fairytale Town

ADMISSION: $7 advance tickets for members, $10 advance ticket for non-members. $12 per person at the door.

Want to win tickets? We’ve got a family 4-pack to give away to one of our lucky readers. To be eligible to win, leave a comment below telling us what your favorite Fairytale Town memory is. We must receive your comment no later than 5pm on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. We will announce the winner on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Good luck!

Win Tickets: Gibson Ranch Hosts its First Pumpkin Festival Complete with Hay Rides, Petting Zoo, Costume Contest, and More!

From bird watching to fishing to horseback riding and hiking, Gibson Ranch Park in nearby Elverta, Ca. has been the setting for many Sacramento-area family activities and events over the years. The 325-acre country park has now added “pumpkin farm” to its repertoire. Each Saturday and Sunday beginning Sept. 30 through Oct. 29, 2017, Gibson Ranch will welcome children of all ages through its gates for a day of fall fun. Here’s what you can expect at the new Gibson Ranch Pumpkin Festival:

Activities will include Games, pony rides, petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting, kiddie train, hay rides, straw bale maze, costume contest, character meet and greet and a pumpkin patch. Jugglers, magicians and balloon twisters will entertain the kiddos while the parents can shop the farmer’s market and peddler’s fair for holiday gifts.

WHAT: Gibson Ranch Pumpkin Festival

WHEN: Weekends, Sept. 30 – Oct. 29, 2017

WHERE: Gibson Ranch Park, Elverta, Ca.

ADMISSION: Free admission, parking $5, activity tickets $1 per ticket

WIN TICKETS: The folks at Gibson Ranch want you to check out their pumpkin festival, so they’ve given us a family fun pack (includes 1 parking pass and 55 activity tickets) to give away to one lucky reader. All you need to do to be eligible to win is tell us your favorite Gibson Ranch Park memory in the comment section below. Leave your comment by 5 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 – a winner will be selected on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm, the King of Pumpkin Patches in the Sacramento Area, adds Outdoor Movies to it’s Attraction Lineup

Bishops-Pumpkin-Farm

Pumpkins, falling leaves and cooler nights prove that it’s finally fall, my most favorite time of the year. Everything about fall I absolutely love – sweaters, caramel apples, and pumpkins galore! There are many pumpkin patches in and around Sacramento, but the one that I crown the “king of patches” is Bishop’s. 

Bishop’s Pumpkin farm is located at 1415 Pumpkin Lane in Wheatland (approximately 40 minutes from Downtown Sacramento). They have finally opened the farm for the 2017 season, and crowds have already been enjoying the hay rides and gathering their pumpkins for the fall. If you have never been to Bishops, then be prepared. You will need an entire day to enjoy all they have to offer!  The farm can get busy on the weekends, but if you plan your day accordingly (like Disneyland), and then you can have a sensational fall day full of fun and excitement.

Some of the attractions at Bishop’s include hay Rides, a corn maze, Sunflower Labyrinth, pony rides, zip line, train rides, petting zoo, pig races and so much more!My family has been making memories at Bishops since…well, since I was a kid. And that is a VERY long time. Some of the activities my kids enjoy most are gold (marble) panning, inflatable pillow jumping, running through the pumpkin and apple orchards and of course, eating a caramel apple!

This year, Bishop’s has added something new – Movies on the farm. Every Saturday in October, they will be showing a different movie.  Free with regular admission, but you’ll want to bring some chairs and a blanket to enjoy one of the family friendly movies on the big screen.  Here is the lineup:

September 30:  Sing
October 7:  Secret Life of Pets
October 14:  Minions
October 21:  Beauty and the Beast
October 28:  Hotel Transylvania

Admission to Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm is free and parking is free through the month of September. and then in October there is a parking charge on the weekends only. All activities have an additional charge for which you can purchase tickets. And if you get hungry while you’re there? There are also several dining options including great pies to take home (Thanksgiving is just around the corner).

Plan out your day by visiting the website to determine what attractions your family would like to participate in, and then purchase your tickets and get ready to make some fall memories!

By Heather Crivellone