Adventure Seekers Will Find Excitement on a Day Trip from Sacramento to the Granlibakken Tree Top Adventure Park in Tahoe City

Have you ever dreamed of being that “daring young man on the flying trapeze.  He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease?”  Or do you have children who were born daredevils and want to climb through the tree tops?  If so, then take a day trip to Tahoe City and visit the Granlibakken Tree Top Adventure Park. This park is not for those who have a fear of heights. It is for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies.  Considered an Aerial Adventure Park, the Granlibakken has a series of courses that are linked together by a variety of ropes courses, bridges, tree platforms and zip lines.  Each course is hovering in the air, anywhere from 15 to 50 feet amongst the beautiful Tahoe Treetops.

Each course is designated for a beginner, intermediate and even black diamond challenges.  You and your family will be challenged both mentally and physically at this adventure park.  Whether you choose to do the Flying Squirrel or Monkey course, you are sure to test your limits at some point. My daughter (who is a thrill-seeker) spent the day at Granlibakken with her Girl Scout troop.  They spent 2.5 hours zipping through the trees and climbing through the ropes on the Flying Squirrel course.  This course is designed for anyone ages 5 and over.   By the time the day was done, she was begging to go back and test her skills on the Fuzzy Bunny and Twins courses (which are much more advanced… and a little scary for a mom who has a fear of heights!)  Luckily, the adventure park put my fears to ease when I was educated on the safety of the courses.  Everyone who participates wears helmets and a full body harness.  The harnesses are connected to a continuous belay system that is basically fall-proof and kept my sweet little girl swinging through the trees! Adventure admission starts at $40 and the session lasts for 2.5 hours.  The Treetop Adventure Park is open year round: Rain, Snow or Shine! Located at 725 Granlibakken Road in Tahoe City, the drive is approximately 2 hours from downtown Sacramento, and well worth it!  So, whether you are looking for an adventurous afternoon with your family and friends, or you want to have a team building event, this is a great place to be.  You will be challenged, have fun, make some great memories and enjoy the beauty that Tahoe has to offer!

 

 

 

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Day Trip to Sugar Pine Reservoir

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For most kids in the Sacramento area, school has either started or will be starting up any day now. If you are hoping to get out of the city one last time before the hustle and bustle of back-to-school sets in, then take a quick day trip to Sugar Pine Reservoir. Located approximately an hour outside of downtown Sacramento, the Sugar Pine Reservoir is a perfect day trip to a quiet lake for some fishing, hiking, biking or water play activities.

We visited the reservoir on a Friday afternoon, and my children and I enjoyed the 3-mile walk around the lake (we didn’t actually finish all 3 miles, as they decided they wanted to play in the water instead). The paved trail winds around the lake, in and out of the forest with plenty of shade and lake views. It’s great trail for those with younger children in strollers or those who like to ride bikes or scooters. It’s not a strenuous hike, so you could even do it in flip-flops (although, I really wouldn’t recommend walking 3 miles in flip-flops).

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If you enjoy fishing, water sports, biking, hiking or just having a relaxing picnic with your family and friends, then this is a great spot to visit. The Sugar Pine Reservoir is located in the Tahoe National Forest, just above Foresthill. From Sacramento, take Hwy 80 East towards Lake Tahoe and exit onto Foresthill Road. Once you pass the town of Foresthill, you will come to Sugar Pine Road on your left. Follow the road for approximately 8 miles and you will find the Sugar Pine Reservoir boat launch area. This is a paid parking area ($5), so bring cash.

So if want to take a day trip and relax in the mountains, this is the perfect place. No crowds, just you, your family and the great outdoors.

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A Ten-Year-Old’s Perspective on Visiting Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo

 

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If you want to get out of town for some excitement and thrills, then take a day trip to Northern California’s biggest theme park – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, just a short hour drive from Sacramento. My daughter wanted to be a guest blogger and explain to everyone why Six Flags is a fun and entertaining day trip. From the perspective of a 10-year-old:

Six Flags is a great place to visit. It has something for everyone including rides, animals, food and more!

If you like animals, there are a lot of cool ones to see. Dolphins, seal lions, sharks and tiger, to name a few. You can see an animal show or just walk by and watch them play throughout the day.

If you like roller coasters and rides, they have lots of choices.  For those who are younger, then visit Looney Toons Town and ride the smaller kiddie rides.

My favorite ride is the Tasmanian Devil. It’s a super fast ride that spins you almost upside down. I love this one because it spins fast, but doesn’t actually go upside down. And my mom will ride it with me! My little brother’s favorite ride is Cobra – a fast, but not scary roller coaster.

For the bigger and scarier rides (I’m not ready to ride these yet- and my mom refuses to go on anything that goes upside down), they have several to choose from.
If you are brave enough, Superman is a really scary upside down roller coaster and the Joker is a wooden roller coaster that seems scary from the ground, but everyone says its fun.  I’m going to have to take their word for it!

On hot summer days, you may need to cool down on the water rides. Monsoon Falls is a log ride that seems harmless enough, but with a steep drop and lots of water, you are sure to get wet! White Water Safari is a rafting ride that takes you under waterfalls and you will definitely get wet on that one!

When you get hungry and need a snack, I recommend the churros. They are delicious!

My family had a great time at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – it is a fun place for everyone!

By Siena Crivellone

 

Seeing the Sights of Sacramento by Bike: Our Top Family Friendly Biking Trails in the Region

Living in Sacramento, we are fortunate to have some of the best biking trails in the area. Even if you are not an avid biker and don’t sport the fancy shorts, you can still enjoy a stroll down the trails with your family by your side.

Whether you want to stay within the Sacramento city limits, or head to some of our surrounding areas, you will find a trail that meets your needs. Rugged or flat terrain, cityscapes or river views…we have them all!

Here is a list of some of my favorite family friendly bike trails in the area:

American River Bike Trail (aka:  Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail).  This is probably one of the most popular trails in Sacramento.  On any given day, you find people running, hiking, biking and even rollerblading along this trail.
The trail is paved, runs along the river in many parts and is easily accessible from Beals Point (near Folsom Lake) and down at Jibboom Street in Discovery Park. Spanning 32 miles from Folsom to Old Sacramento- you have many options as to where to get on the trail at. We have done this trail many times with our children (ages 8 and 10) and we always find it easy to get on the trail at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery (off of Highway 50 at Hazel Avenue).

The Yolo Causeway Bike Path is a path that follows along the highway from West Sacramento to Davis.  If you are looking for an easy 3.7 mile path to lead you into the city of Davis, then this is it.  It’s definitely not a quiet path (going alongside the freeway is a bit noisy and windy), but it does have some nice views and is well-traveled by locals commuting in and out of the city.  There are no parking areas for the Yolo Causeway Bike Path, but the trail can be accessed from West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento and County Route 32A east of Davis.

Miners Ravine Trail is a 7.5 mile trail that winds its way through the city of Roseville. The trail travels between Sierra College Boulevard, through Royer Park and into Downtown Historic Roseville, along the way enjoying a wooded greenway, passing over creeks and through suburban neighborhoods.  This is a very easy trail for walkers, bikers and strollers to take advantage of.  There are several access points to the trail, but I have found the easiest (with children) have been to begin at the access at the shopping plaza along Sunrise Avenue (opposite of the Roseville Auto Mall).

Finally, if you are searching for a nice easy ride with kids, then check out William Land Park.  Trails will wind you around gardens, ponds and of course – the famous Sacramento Zoo, Funderland and Fairytale Town. Plenty of shade and areas to stop and rest make this a nice family friendly bike ride in the heart of Sacramento.

If you are visiting from out-of-town and want to check out some of these great trails but don’t have access to a bike, there are plenty of places to rent nearby.
Practical Cycle is conveniently located at 114 J Street in Old Sacramento and also at 150 Natoma Station Drive in Folsom.  They rent bikes, hybrids and even electric bikes.

City Bicycle Works is another option for bike rentals in downtown Sacramento.  Located at 2419 K Street, they have road bikes, hybrids and mountain bikes for daily rentals.

So the next time you are feeling a bit adventurous, hit the trails and explore the Sacramento region on a bike – you will see some great sights, get some exercise and create wonderful memories with your family.

By Heather Crivellone

 

Our Top Three Picks for Cold, Sweet Treats to Help you Cool Off During the Sacramento Heat

Summertime in Sacramento is hot, hot and hot!  We have been seeing double digits on the thermostats and everyone is trying to find ways to stay cool.  One of my favorite ways to stay cool is to enjoy super sweet, super cold and icy ICE CREAM!  Whether it’s Fro-Yo, from a carton, on a cone or in a sandwich…our family loves ice cream of all varieties!

Here are our top three favorite spots to get a sweet, cold treat and cool off in the Sacramento heat:

  1.  Vampire Penguin located in Downtown Sacramento, Natomas and Elk Grove. Not your average ice cream shop as they specialize in shaved “snow”.  With flavors like Green Tea and Smores, it’s not your typical “snow cone” from the little league baseball field.
  2. Smoosh Ice Cream Factory located in Folsom and Rocklin. Ice cream sandwiches made fresh to order… and these are not your ordinary sandwiches!  Choose your fresh-baked cookie (chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, red velvet… to name a few).  Then pick your flavor (too many to choose from) and then whatever toppings you would like them roll your sandwich in.  This is seriously a sandwich from heaven!
  3. The Devil May Care Ice Cream and Frozen Treats located at 322 3rd Street in West Sacramento. New to the area, this sweet shop is gaining serious popularity among the locals and River Cats fans.  New flavors are always emerging and you are never truly sure what you may find when you visit.  Besides ice cream, they have unique floats that are truly worth the visit.  Apple Pie and Pineapple Nutmeg have caught my eye, but my kids prefer good old Root beer.

So go ahead and treat yourself to an icy cold treat this month…after all, it is National Ice Cream Month!

Win Tickets: A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy, Fairytale Town’s Most Popular Summer Event

It’s starting to heat up here in Sacramento, which means hot days and warm nights – a typical Central Valley summer.  So, how do Sacramentans stay cool (and sane) all summer long? One of our favorite ways to stay cool is to eat ice cream. There’s really nothing better on a hot summer night than cold, creamy, all-you-can-eat ice cream. If you’ve got kiddos, you’ll want to head over to Fairytale Town on Saturday, June 24 to enjoy one of the summer’s most popular events, A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy – a Shakespearean-themed event at the area’s most popular theme park where fairies run wild all night long and eat ice cream to their heart’s content.

This enchanted evening features nonstop entertainment for the whole family including live theater performances of “Pyramus and Thisbe” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, arts and crafts, live music by Celtic band Stepping Stone and plenty of Crystal ice cream to go around. All of this within our beloved Fairytale Town. Here are the details:

What: A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy

Where: Fairytale Town

When: Saturday, June 24, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Cost: Advanced tickets start at $7 for children, $15 for adults

Win Tickets: We’ve got a family four-pack to give away to one of our lucky readers. Tell us what your favorite Crystal Ice Cream flavor is in the comment section below. Leave your comment no later than Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 5pm. A winner will be selected on Friday, June 16, 2017. Good luck!

From Roller Skating to Free Concerts in the Park, Here are our Top Five, Nearly Free Summer Activities for Families in Sacramento

Summer is around the corner and the kids will be out of school in no time. Every year, parents scramble to find summer camps, sporting events, day trips and activities to keep the kids occupied – without  breaking the bank. If you don’t do a little research ahead of time, you may find yourself spending too much money on outings or end up with kids glued to their electronic devices. There are several free and inexpensive activities to do with the kids all summer long in the Sacramento region. Here are my top 5 summer activities that your kids love:

  1. Kids Skate Free.   Sunrise Rollerland and RollerKing in Roseville both participate in this program. Just visit their website and sign the kids up and you will receive weekly coupons to take the kids skating during the hottest part of the day (relief!). The only out-of-pocket costs are the skate rentals if needed and anything from the concession stand.
  2. Dollar summer movies at Regal Cinema. On select days you can visit Regal Theaters, UA Artists and Edwards Theaters during the summer and view an older family friendly move for only $1. Show times vary and I would check their website for listings.
  3. Kids Bowl Free.  Just like the skating program, all you need to do is visit their website and sign up. You will receive weekly free coupons to bowl all summer long. My family especially enjoys this program, I love visiting Strikes Unlimited during the hottest time of the day and getting some relief from our scorching summer heat!   Bowling alley rental is free for two full games and the only out-of-pocket is the cost of the bowling shoes. Participating alleys include:
    Steve Cooks Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights
    Pins N Strikes in Elk Grove
    Country Club Lanes in Sacramento
    Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin
  4. Cool off by visiting one of our many Spray Parks in the area.   This is a great activity if you have younger children especially, but even my older kids still love to run around and play at the parks that have the splash pads.   Visit our site to see a list of local spray grounds.
  5. Summer evenings are the best when there is free, family entertainment involved.  Our family has enjoyed Pops in Park for several years and we are excited for this year’s lineup. Every Saturday night in June, you can pack a picnic dinner and enjoy a live concert at one of East Sacramento’s favorite parks.
    June 3: Joy and Madness at East Portal Park (51st and M Street)
    June 10: John Skinner Band at Bertha Henschel Park (45th and Brand Way)
    June 17: Mumbo Gumbo at McKinley Park (H and 33rd Street)
    June 24: Unsupervised at Glenn Hall Park (Sandburg and Carlson Way)

So there you have it, my families top 5, nearly free summer activities. Hope you decide to make a list and take advantage of some of the summer fun in the area. I’m always reminding myself that we only have 18 summers with our kids… and I want to make each one of the count.

By Heather Crivellone