Win Tickets: It’s a Winter Wonderland in Whoville this Holiday Season at Fairytale Town

As promised, our second Fairytale Town ticket giveaway is here!

Each December, Sacramento’s Fairytale Town gets decked out in some serious winter style for four festive days over two holiday weekends. Guests who visit the park on Dec. 9 & 10 and 16 & 17 will find themselves in Dr. Seuss’s Whoville experiencing a dazzling display of lights,  enjoying Grinch-themed hands-on activities throughout the afternoon and evening, listening to strolling Victorian carolers and visiting with Santa. And if that isn’t exciting enough, your kiddos will also have the opportunity to stepping inside a giant snow globe.

WHAT: Fairytale Town’s Winter Wonderland

WHEN: Dec. 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 7pm

WHERE: Fairytale Town, William Land Park, Sacramento

ADMISSION: $7 per person ages 2 and up (including adults), children under 2 are FREE

Want to win some tickets to this fun event? We’ve got a family ticket pack to give away. If you would like to win 4 tickets to this event, please leave a comment below telling us who your favorite Whoville or How the Grinch Stole Christmas character is. Leave your comment no later than 12:00 pm/noon on Wed., Dec. 6, 2017. One entry per person, please. The winner will be announced at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Good luck!

 

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Three Things to Do in Sacramento Over President’s Day Weekend

It’s President’s Day weekend, the kids are out of school and it’s going to be a wet weekend. Instead of being disappointed that you won’t be able to enjoy the great outdoors, check out some of the fantastic indoor activities you can do with your kiddos. Here are three events or activities you may want to check out this weekend.

1. Hands on History at Sutter’s Fort. Ok…so this one may not keep you completely dry, but it is worth it, I promise. The fort’s Hands on History: By Land and By Sea will take you back in time to the 1840s. Visitors will learn about the two ways emigrants came to California, the challenges they faced and what daily life was like when they arrived. Enjoy the fort in its re-enactment of its glory days, experience hands-on activities like packing a wagon, weaving rope, tying knots, creating maps and marching in the drum corps, and more. This is a fabulously fun and education experience for your whole family. Sutter’s Fort

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2. Live Free: California Motorcycle Culture at the California Automobile Museum. Been to Sacramento’s auto museum lately? If not, you’ll want to get out there by Saturday, Feb. 19 to see the California Motorcycle Culture exhibit before it leaves. Learn about the first motorcycles and see how they have evolved over the years. If you’ve got a motorcycle lover in your house, you won’t want to miss this exhibit. California Automobile Museum

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3. Junior Engineer training at the California State Railroad Museum. Head on down to the railroad museum this weekend and let your kids earn their Junior Engineer award. Download this pamphlet before you go and then set your kids free to complete the tasks and activities inside. Once they finish the packet and take the Junior Engineer Pledge, they are all set to help the hundreds of volunteers who protect and care for our California State Parks. California State Railroad Museum

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Five Reasons to Visit to your Favorite Sacramento Museum this Winter

da Vinci at CA Aerospace Museum

Wintertime in Sacramento is a great time to visit your favorite area museum. Here’s what’s new this winter:

1. Fast Tracks: The World of High Speed Rail at the California State Railroad Museum. If you’re a Sacramento area resident, there’s no doubt you’ve been to the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento countless times. But, have you been there lately? If not, you’ll probably want to head on over to see the Fast Tracks exhibit that was installed in late 2015 on the 2nd floor of the museum. The exhibit gives visitors a glimpse into the state’s rail future, literally. You’ll have the chance to step inside the cockpit of a series E5 Shinkansen bullet-train simulator that was imported from Japan and experience traveling at a high speed of 150 mph using interactive controls and a digital projector. Who wouldn’t love stepping inside this train of the future? Note: the museum’s website states that this exhibit is there “at least through the end of 2016”, and a call to the museum confirmed that it is still open as of January 2017…but if you really want to see Fast Tracks, it wouldn’t hurt to get over there soon!

2. Hands on History: Trappers, Traders and Treaties at Sutter’s Fort. Visitors to the fort on Saturday, Jan. 21 will step into the past through reenactments of the bustling life at Sacramento’s first settlement. Learn how animal trappers in the 1840s lived, worked and traded. Explore life at the fort for traders by examining pelts, creating documents using quill and ink, stringing trade beads, watching how flint and steel can start a fire and witness the firing of Sutter’s Russian-made cannon. 1/21, 10am to 5pm.

3. Sacramento Museum Day. This is your chance to visit one, two or three area museums…for FREE, or close to free. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 marks the 19th annual Sacramento Museum Day. This year, 24 museums will offer free admission, and two will offer half-price admission. Museums participating include the California Museum,

4. Machines in Motion at the Aerospace Museum of California. On display from Feb. 6, 2017 through Sept. 4, 2017 will be a special traveling exhibit featuring the ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci including 40 full-size replicas made from his designs and drawings. Da Vinci’s visionary inventions include flying machines, parachutes, and armored tank and a robot, spanning the use of the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. Visitors will be wowed as they have the opportunity to set the machines in motion while learning the mechanical principles da Vinci used to create each one. 2/6 – 9/4

5. Tractor Family Fest at the California Agriculture Museum. Home of the Heidrick tractor collection, the California Agriculture Museum houses a unique collections of tractors, artifacts and interactive exhibits. The museum, which is dedicated to instilling and understanding and appreciation of California’s rich cultural heritage, will host the Tractor Family Fest on Saturday, Mar. 18, 2017. Bring the family out to Woodland to enjoy the museum’s collection, live music, demonstrations and a new exhibit. Don’t forget to check out the newly expanded kids corner and climb aboard a Caterpillar 10. 3/18, 10 am to 2 pm

Four Tahoe-Area Snow Parks that are just a Hop, Skip and Jump from Sacramento

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Grab your sleds, snow gloves and get ready for some fun!  Snow play with your family is just a couple of hours away – and for the first time in several years, you can be guaranteed plenty of snow in the mountains. Whether you choose to intertube, sled, ski or snowboard, there are plenty of options for snow fun.   Here is a list of our top choices for family snow play.

Boreal – Conveniently located on I-80 at Castle Peak Exit on Donner Summit, they are now open 9am-9pm, 7 days a week for skiing and snowboarding. If you would rather just play in the snow then check out Boreal Playland Tubing Park.  They offer snow tubing equipped with 2 moving carpets, groomed tubing lanes and tubes to rent.  Admission ranges from $10- $49.  Along with other resorts in the area, they also offer ski and snowboard lessons.

 Granlibakken Resort – Located off Hwy 89 near Tahoe City, this smaller snow park is perfect for families with younger children.  Open 9am-4:30pm daily, they have a groomed snow play area and for $16 per person, you can rent and use their saucers and play area for the day. They also offer a season pass for $50- this is a great deal if you plan to visit the Tahoe area several times this year.

Soda Springs Resort/ Planet Kids – Planet Kids is best described as a snow playground featuring tubing carousals, tubing lanes, ski/snowboard learning areas, snow volcanoes to climb and more. This unique facility is designed specifically for children (age 7 & under) to experience winter and play in the snow. For $50, your child can ski and/or snowboard all day long.  Rentals are included in the admission price as well as full access to the Snow Mountains, intertube carousel and more.

In addition to Planet Kids, Soda Springs also offers lessons, lifts and Tube Town.  This is geared for children and adults 42″ and taller where a moving carpet is designed to escalate up the mountain so you can zip and zoom down the hill in your tube! $50 for an all day pass. Located approximately 1.5 hours above Sacramento and off of Hwy 80, Soda Springs makes for a perfect winter family day trip.

Tahoe Donner – Located off I-80 at the Donner Pass Road exit, they offer a groomed sledding hill with several sledding lanes and the opportunity to try out snowshoeing as they rent snowshoes to adults and children.  Admission into the snow park ranges from$9-$25 for an all-day pass to tube and play.  Ski and snowboarding lift tickets are an additional charge.

This is a small list of the local snow parks; you can even just pull off the road and find several hills with people sledding down (my favorite way of exploring the snow).   Make sure you dress appropriately, and if you need suggestions of where to purchase or rent gear, here are some options:

Any Mountain
392 Roseville Square, Roseville

REI
1148 Galleria Blvd, Roseville 2425
Iron Point Rd, Folsom
1790 Expo Parkway, Sacramento

Land Park Ski and Sport
4207 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento

Clark’s Snow Sports
212 Harding Blvd, Suite N in Roseville
So gather up your warm jackets, some hot cocoa and cameras and hit the slopes with your family (don’t forget the sun block and lip balm) and make some memories in our local winter wonderland!

By Heather Crivellone

 

Our Top Winter Break Activities to Keep your Kids Busy

winter-breakIt’s winter break for most kids in the Sacramento area and some parents are wondering how to keep them busy.  We have plenty of options in the Sacramento area and here is my top list of things to do with my crazy and active kids:

Sky High Sports is an indoor trampoline center located at 11327 Folsom Blvd in Rancho Cordova.  They have open bounce hours, dodgeball, AIRobics, special days for those with “special needs”, family and great holiday discount packages.  For the kids who are a little older and have lots of energy to burn, this is the place to take them! Admission is $12 per hour.

Bounce U has 2 locations, one in Roseville (7611 Galilee Rd) and another in Rancho Cordova (11280 Sanders Dr).  Both locations offer open play sessions of bouncing fun – all with slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses and more.  Check their website for specific days and times each location is open.  They have two different sessions of open bounce – one for the children who are 7 years of age and younger and one for all ages.  This will help in making sure your little toddlers don’t get trampled by the bigger kids!

Roller Skating and Ice Skating is always a great way to burn energy indoors.  Sunrise Roller Lane (6001 Sunrise Vista Drive, Carmichael) has several weekday sessions to choose from.  Admission is $8 and skate rental is $3.  Skatetown Ice Skating Rink (1009 Orlando Avenue, Roseville) is a premier facility that currently has both indoor and outdoor ice skating available.   Holiday rates include the price of skate rental and are $15 general admission and $13 for ages 10 and under.  Both roller skating and ice skating sessions have “learn to skate” times for those who may not be quite as comfortable on skates.

Check out one of our local museums: California Aerospace Museum, Sacramento Powerhouse Museum, Sacramento Kids Museum and the California Railroad Museum to name a few.  Each museum has interactive exhibits and is a great way to spend time with the kids, learn a few things and stay warm during these cold winter mornings.

Get busy creating a unique masterpiece at Color Me Mine Ceramics studio.  Choose a ceramics option (vase, trinket box, statue, bowl, etc) and spend hours painting and creating your own unique project.  Locations are in Elk Grove, Folsom and Roseville. The cost of the items are dependent on what you choose, but the best part of painting at a studio is that the mess is contained, they do the firing and glazing of the pieces and all the cleanup is taken care of- this is my kind of art project!

So even though it may be cold outside and the kids are bouncing off the walls, you don’t have to resort to turning on the TV and playing video games all winter break.  Go out, explore the city, get active and have fun creating memories with your children.

For information on SNOW PLAY, click here.

By Heather Crivellone

Sacramento’s Free New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular is Bigger, Better and More Family-Friendly than Ever

1488267_10153642396675065_1666433344_nWhile celebrating New Year’s Eve in Old Sacramento with the family has always been a great idea, this year it gets even better with a change in programming that caters more to families. Traditionally, the New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular has offered two fireworks shows – the first at 9:00 pm with a second, shorter fireworks show at midnight. However, in order to capitalize on peak draw times in Old Sacramento on New Year’s Eve, funds and resources for the two displays have been combined to create the largest fireworks program ever produced in Sacramento – at one time only, a more family friendly 9:00 pm.

While the highlight of the evening will definitely be fireworks, the FREE event will actually start at 5:00 pm with kid-friendly entertainment including music by The Hipwaders at Waterfront Park, balloon twisting and face painting and superheroes roaming the streets of Old Sacramento, available for photo ops with fans.

What: New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular

When: Sunday, December 31, 2016

Time: 5:00 pm, family-friendly entertainment; 9:00 pm fireworks show

Where: Old Sacramento, Waterfront Park

Admission: FREE

Parking: Sadly, not free. The entire district of Old Sacramento will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 4:00 pm; the Tower Bridge will be closed to traffic beginning at 7:30 pm, closed to pedestrians from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm; limited parking is available in the Old Sacramento Garage at 2nd and I streets and the Tower Bridge Garage at Capitol Mall and Front Street. You may want to venture out and park outside of Old Sacramento and walk in. For a map of city parking garages and lots near Old Sacramento, click here.

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

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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:

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