Win Tickets: It’s Girl Time at Golden 1 Center when Eight Princesses Come Together for Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big

Are you ready for a girls night out? Downtown Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center will soon host the newest Disney on Ice production – Dream Big – featuring eight of our favorite Disney princesses of all time. Audiences of all ages are invited to dabble in pixie dust with Tinker Bell and travel through Disney lands as they visit Ariel under the sea; watch as Cinderella, Rapunzel and Belle work to create their own magic; travel to the wintry land of Arendelle with Anna and Elsa; discover a new world with jasmine; and learn about strength and kindness with Snow White, Aurora and Tiana. As always, this Disney on Ice production will thrill audiences with breathtaking scenery, enchanting lights, high-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, and flawless skating.

WHAT: Disney on Ice present Dream Big

WHEN: Nov. 2-5, 2017

WHERE: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento

TICKETS: ticket prices start at $20

WIN TICKETS: Want to surprise that special little girl (or two) in your life with tickets to the show? We’ve got 4 tickets for opening night to give away to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment below telling us who your favorite Disney princess is, and why. Leave your comment no later than 5 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 – the winner will be chosen on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Good luck!


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

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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!

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


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



Head to the Country this Weekend for Tours of Local Farms at the PlacerGROWN Farm and Barn Tour this Sunday, October 8

Sacramento is known as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. Why? Because we are literally surrounded by agriculture – farms, ranches, vineyards and orchards abound in just about every direction. There is no excuse for not enjoying local, sustainable produce and meats. If you missed our Farm-to-Fork celebration a few weeks back, or you just want to see what happens behind the scenes at these farms and ranches, then check out the farm tour this weekend in Placer County.

This Sunday, October 8 from 11am-4pm in rural Placer County, join locals at the PlacerGROWN Farm and Barn Tour.

Families are welcome on this self-guided tour of local ranches, farms and vineyards. Each farm will feature different tours and activities for the family.  Locally produced food and drinks will be available for tasting and purchase, along with kid friendly activities, tours and entertainment.

WHAT: PlacerGROWN Farm & Barn Tour

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, 11 am to 4 pm

WHERE: Placer County farms, ranches and orchards

ADMISSION: FREE, however you’ll want to register your car here in exchange for a schedule of farms and activities.

Some of the PARTICIPATING FARMS include:

Alpacas All Around located at 4300 Horseshoe Bar Road in Loomis. Take a tour and learn all about Alpacas – definitely a favorite among the kids!

Coffee Pit Ranch at 4225 Karchner Road in Sheridan. Enjoy food, farm tours, live music and kids activities on the ranch.

Apple Orchard at Appile Hill

Highland Orchard located at 2170 Aguilar Road in Penryn. Take a tour of the mandarin farm, learn about Citrus planting 101, have some lunch and pick up plenty of mandarin options – jelly, jams, sauces and more!

Little Bear Tree Farm at 960 Meadow Road in Alta. Farm tours, kid’s activities, hiking trails, gold panning, animals and more. This is a great spot for the kids.

Goat House Brewing located at 600 Wise Road in Lincoln. Adults can enjoy handcrafted ales and walk the hop fields where the ingredients are grown. Kids can check out the goats and play games at the picnic tables.  Smoker’s Wild BBQ food truck will be on site for any lunch needs.

Rickey Ranch Pumpkin Patch at 6918 Cavitt Stallman Road in Granite Bay will be Halloween ready for the kids! Pumpkin patch, haunted house, hay rides and pony rides.  Perfect for the fall holiday.

For a complete list of the farms participating, visit the website and register your car. You’ll then be emailed the list.


  • Wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to walk on a farm.
  • Bring sunscreen. Weather forecast is showing that it will be heating up this weekend. Be prepared for a day outside and be sure to stay protected from the sun.
  • Map your trip. Choose the destinations you would like to visit, and plan accordingly.
  • Drive careful on the country roads – the roads may be narrow and windy and may have more than usual traffic due to the event.
  • Go with a curious mind, a desire to learn about the farms and have fun!

By Heather Crivellonehere the ingredients are grown, and experience the art of beer making


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.

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