Weekend Family Fun

You won’t want to miss this weekend’s events.  Your kids will love the Back to School Extravaganza at Funderland, or bringing their bikes down to the Sacramento Children’s Museum for Wheels Day.  How about exploring a Maidu Indian village along the American River?  Or learning about aviation at the Discovery Museum?  There is plenty to keep your little ones busy, so get out there and have a wonderful weekend!

8/23 – Hot Summer Nights Summer Concert Series: Music in the 80’s  – Bring your family out to this free musical event with Music of the ’80s featuring 8 Track Vandals. Bring a blanket or low lawn chair and enjoy live music in the outdoor amphitheater. Blanket policy: No blankets or lawn chairs allowed in the amphitheater before 4pm. Items placed before 4pm will be removed by staff. No pets permitted, except service animals. Food available for purchase.

flags_category8/24 – District 2 Multicultural Festival – Come and celebrate the District 2 Multi-Cultural Festival to celebrate our diversity! The festivities will include live music, dance performances, local food vendors, plus informational booths, community services, and a kids zone. Bring the family and neighbors to enjoy together!

8/24 – Exploring the Maidu Village  at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Nisenan Maidu people have lived in this area for thousands of years.  Come learn about their special relationship to the land – which they still celebrate today- through stories and a hike through the Village.

wheels_day_category8/24 – Wheels Day at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Vroom, vroom! The Sacramento Children’s Museum is setting up its very own race track in the back yard of the Museum for one special day in August. Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring their own bikes, trikes or scooters and play outside during “Wheels Day” at the Museum. In addition, the Museum will provide a few wheels to borrow, too. Participants are asked to bring helmets and can expect to learn about important safety tips as they cruise along the track.

8/24 – Fun on the Farm at Soil Born Farms – You are in for a real treat!  Join the fun & explore the American River Ranch. Meet the farm animals, explore the magic of seeds, harvest veggies from the garden, make a farm fresh snack, create something special to take home.Take this opportunity to get to know your community and your food!  Suggested ages 3-9.

funderlandteacups_category8/24 – Funderland’s Back to School Extravaganza – Start the school year with a bang by coming out to Funderland’s Back to School Extravaganza!  This year’s event features Mr. Cooper and his educational sing-a-long songs (11am & 3pm), a special performance by Radio Disney (1pm-2:30pm), educational vendor booths, games, crafts, & more!

Who says learning can’t be fun? Plus, if you donate new school supplies to River Oak Center for Children, you’ll receive a free goodie bag (while supplies last). So come enjoy a day of educational fun and celebrate a new school year with Funderland!

Stamp-a-rama8/24 – 8/25 – Aviation Antics at the Discovery Museum – Join in the celebration for National Aviation Day and learn about flight. A history of flight activity is available for children to learn about different modes of flight through the years.  In the Space Quest! exhibit, little ones pretend to fly in the rocket ship play station while wearing astronaut costumes. Test your aeronautical engineering skills by building a paper airplane and aiming it through a hanging hoop. Are you going to earn your wings?

aladdin2_category8/24 – 8/25 – Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp  at Fair Oaks Community Club House – New Star Children’s Theatre proudly presents an original musical written by Elly nominated Playwright Melanie Thompson, and composers Kayla, Dana, and Robert B.  Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp is a intuitive new version of the well-known tale of Aladdin. This story takes you on his journey of finding the magic lamp and having a Genie to give him his every wish. Aladdin finds out the true value of riches through his friendships, not gold. Starring a talented cast of children, teens, and some awesome parents too.

Flying High at the Nature Center8/25 – Critter Corner at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Where do our animals come from?  Why are they here?  Meet a couple of small animal residents at the Nature Center up close.  Learn about each of their unique journeys and how they became an educational ambassador for the Nature Center.

curtis_fest_category8/25 – 7th Annual Curtis Fest Artisan Festival at William Curtis Park – Curtis Fest was established in 2007 to give local artists a venue to exhibit and sell their work. This event has fun for the whole family. You are sure to find 50+ artists; petting zoo; children’s fairy; photo booth; and musicians Jon Merriman, Jahari Sai Trio, and Mike Justis Band; food trucks Wicked ‘Wich and Mama Kim’s will be on hand for yummy treats.


Weekend Family Fun

The weather is warming up and  you have a variety of fun and family friendly events to choose from.  Experience the wild west with a Great Train Robbery ride, or be a spectator at the premier hydroplane event at Folsom Lake.  If you want to be indoors, catch Annie Jr. at the 24th Street theater, Good Night Moon at the Woodland Opera House or Sacramento Public Library’s summer reading program kick-off and ice cream social.  Don’t forget that the River Cats are playing this weekend followed by a fabulous fireworks show!

dingerrivercats_category5/31 – Sacramento River Cats vs. Salt Lake Bees – Come out to enjoy a great game of baseball as the Sacramento River Cats take on the Salt Lake Bees. The hugely popular Raley Field fireworks shows are back. Stay tuned after the game for a spectacular fireworks display. Spend Friday night enjoying some baseball and fireworks!

annie_jr__ek4o_category5/31 – 6/2 – Annie Jr. at the 24th Street Theater -Based on the popular Broadway musical, Annie Jr. tells the story of a spunky, Depression-era orphan who is determined to find the parents who abandoned her on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan.

In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil plans, befriends President Franklin Roosevelt, and finds a new family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Annie Jr. features songs from the original Broadway show including “Tomorrow,” “Hard-Knock Life,” “Little Girls,” and “Maybe.”

19675/31 – 6/2 – Big Wake Weekend –  Bike Wake Weekend is California’s premier beach picnic and party, combining culture, sport, and entertainment. It’s been 46 years since a hydroplane event has visited the shores of Folsom Lake. This event changes that.

The three-day sun filled festival will also feature the Hyperlite Experience*, wakeboarding’s foremost presentation and show, as well as American Power Boat Association (APBA) championship race series, exciting exhibitions, themed beer gardens, quality food & souvenir concessions and Nationwide Insurance’ Motorsports Midway with entertainment for all ages.

Athletes will wow the crowd hitting kickers and performing huge aerial maneuvers. Technical gap sliders will also be in place to please the viewers looking for a more daring stunt.

goodnight%20moon%20logo5/31 – 6/9 – Goodnight Moon at the Woodland Opera House – Everyone’s favorite bedtime book comes vibrantly alive on the Woodland Opera House stage in this new musical generously underwritten by Jennifer Goldman, D.D.S. and Amy Tran, D.D.S. The show features catchy songs,
delightful choreography and a colorful set that pays homage to Clement Hurd’s vivid book illustrations. The story revolves around the humorous antics of one very nocturnal bunny as sings his way to sweet dreams through nursery rhyme scenes with the Three Bears dancing with chairs, the Cat and the Fiddle, and the Cow Jumping Over the Moon.

pioneervillage_group_folsomhistmuseum_category6/1 – A Night in History at the Folsom History Museum – A Night in History is a living history night featuring a BBQ dinner, ice cream sundae social sponsored by Snooks’ Candies, bluegrass music by Fiddle Flash and Friends, Old West entertainment by Legends ‘n Liars, blacksmith demonstrations, gold panning, and activities for children and a raffle of prizes. Dress in vintage or western attire and strut your stuff in a costume judging contest for adults and children.

wildthings_category6/1 – Animals of the World with Wild Things – Wild Things members will bring live animals from around the world to the library. Come learn about these amazing creatures and how they came to live at the Wild Things Wildlife Rescue Center!

6/1 – Critter Close-up at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Get a chance to meet one of the Nature Center’s resident animals up close! Learn all about an amazing animal and its own unique journey to becoming an educational ambassador.

untitled6/1 – Dia del Nino KiDDay Festival – This outdoor children’s festival serves to honor kids’ happiness, enthusiasm, and possibility.  Hosted by La Raza Galeria Posada, families will enjoy a variety of art activity center including chalk art workshops, dance/movement health and fitness workshops, puppet workshop, a ballet folklorico workshop, a create-a-garden workshop, a group art collage project, dance group performances throughout the day, and the unveiling of a  newly-created large community mural designed by Los Angeles muralist Shaun Burner and youth from Sacramento’s La Familia Counseling Center.

picnic_train_category6/1 – Great Train Robbery Ride – Take a ride back to the Old West. This 3.5 hour trip departing from West Sacramento includes a relaxing train ride over the Fremont Trestle and through some pretty countryside.  While riding along, however, keep an eye for outlaws who tend to hide out along the tracks. Fortunately, there is the Marshall on board to keep things safe. More often than not, he has to teach those outlaws a lesson!  You’ll deboard the train to enjoy a western barbecue lunch by the river.

summer-reading_category6/1 – Sacramento Public Library Summer Reading Program Kick-off – There’s only one thing we like as much as reading and that is ice cream! Celebrate with an ice cream and craft extravaganza to help kick off this year’s summer reading program. Don’t forget to sign-up for our program Reading is So Delicious. All library patrons can pick up their game cards and participate this summer to win prizes. Happening at Belle Cooledge, Franklin and North Natomas Libraries.

Stamp-a-rama6/1-6/2 – Sizzling Sun Fun – Visit the Discovery Museum this weekend and enjoy some sizzling sun fun. They are premiering a special planetarium show, Solar Max, highlighting sun spots at 1pm and 3pm for ages 4 and older and included with admission. As a souvenir, kids 12 and under decorate a glittery sun banner to hang up at home. Learn other space facts while touring our Space Quest! exhibit.

pekt_category6/2 – Positive Energy Kids Triathlon -The Positive Energy Kids Triathlon is a kids triathlon for ages 3 to 18 that incorporates exercise into a fun event. Participation, a positive experience, and a sense of accomplishment are what the young athletes walk away with after the event.

At this event, the goal is for every finisher—whether first or last or somewhere in-between—to feel a sense of triumph when they cross the finish line. Both finish times and placement take a backseat to the goals at hand, which are to introduce children to the exciting sport of triathlon as well as to simply portray exercise in a fun manner.  In order to participate, each child must bring: a swimsuit, a bike, a bike helmet, and a pair of athletic shoes for the bike/run portions.

What To See And Do At This Year’s State Fair With Kids

By Alyssa Green

The 2012 California State Fair is winding down, but there is still time to get out and enjoy what our lovely state has to offer.  The fair, which began on July 12th, ends this weekend.  If you haven’t had a chance to get out there yet, now is the time!

Just the mention of a fair brings to mind flashy games, fun rides and lots of yummy (and fattening) food.  All of that is, of course, what brings many of us out to the fair in the first place.  We want to have fun!  And we want our kids to have fun.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that rides and games are all that will entertain your kids.  The State Fair also offers wonderful activities and exhibits that expose your children to new and educational ideas and experiences.  Having spent quite a bit of time at this year’s event, here’s my recommendations of what to see and do with your kids.   Here’s what you won’t want your kids to miss out on.

The Farm.   If you visit “the Farm,” your kids can learn about California
agriculture by receiving a “farm passport”  which encourages them to walk around the farm area looking for specific fruits and vegetables, learn fun facts along the way and get their passport stamped.  Once completed they will receive a prize – a snack of their choice of a fruit or vegie.

They’ll also enjoy a farm tractor with slide to climb on, a little “piggies” ride for the teeny tiny kiddos, John Deere tractor pedal cars to ride, pony rides, a small petting zoo free of charge and have the opportunity to milk a (fake) cow.

Birds in Paradise.  This year’s floriculture exhibit is fantastic.  Kids will love seeing all the exotic birds, some in cages, some just perching contentedly around the exhibit which makes visitors feel as if they are in the jungle.  There are parrots, macaws, cockatoos, emus, peacocks and more.  My kids loved the photo op with colorful parrots sitting on their shoulders.

Toytopia.  Both today and yesterday’s most popular toys abound in Toytopia.    Enjoy the world’s largest Etch-a-Sketch, a retro 80’s video game arcade, a life-size transformer, a lego wall, a Barbie Doll display, and more.  Just be aware that there are also some toys for sale…and your kids will probably ask for some.

The Wizards Challenge.  This is a great place to let your kids run around in a contained area.  Let them try their hand at making gigantic bubbles, or test their balance as they run through the dragon’s lair.  Fun and challenging activities abound in this exhibit, so be prepare to spend some time.

The Animal Nursery.  Don’t pass up this wonderful opportunity to teach your kids about mamas and babies.  They’ll love the mama pig and her cute little piglets as well as some new little lambs.  There is also a video showing the birth of these babies, something kids in Sacramento don’t see everyday!

The County Exhibits.  If nothing else, this is a nice cool building to cool off in when it’s just too hot outside.  But really, once you get inside, you’ll want to take a look at all the fun exhibits the different California counties have put together.

Believe it or not, kids really enjoy the county exhibits too.  I don’t know about yours, but my kids love to collect stuff.  Especially if it’s free.  And here, there is plenty of stuff for your kids to pick up.  For instance, if you stop by our booth (Sacramento County,) you can pick up a “boarding pass” and once it’s stamped, your kids can walk away with a free airplane glider of their choice.

These are just a few of my recommendations.  There is so much more to see…the livestock of course, the horse shows, the doggy diving, the monster trucks, and much, much more.  So sure, have some fun on the rides, play a few games and try that chocolate covered bacon.  But don’t forget to explore all the other wonderful things the fair has to offer. Click here for a full schedule of events.

Free Admission to the Effie Yeaw Nature Fest

By Alyssa Green

Where can your kids learn about reptiles, birds, bees, local salmon, the forests, rivers and come face to face with a Mountain Lion and Lynx all in one day?  That would be at the Nature Fest hosted by our beloved Effie Yeaw Nature Center on Sunday, October 23rd.

Located in Carmichael’s Ancil Hoffman Park along the Amercan River, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center has been a favorite nature preserve for Sacramento children for years.  Our children have taken nature walks, learned about native animal species and developed a love and respect for nature here.  Now it’s our turn to give back. 

Drop by anytime between 10am and 3pm on October 23rd and support the center during this free family event (although parking cost $5 per car.)  Proceeds benefit the center’s education programs…so our kids will keep on learning!

For a complete schedule of events and more information on the center’s kids education programs, click here.

Celebrate Grandparent’s Day at Fairytale Town

Grandparent’s Day is this coming Sunday and what better way to celebrate than by hooking your child’s grandma and/or grandpa up with their “little angels” for a full day of fun? 

Fairytale Town celebrates the 33rd anniversary of Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, September 11th by opening up the park FREE of charge to any grandparent who accompanies a paying grandchild under 12 years of age.

So, no excuses!  Bring grandma some flowers, take her out to brunch…then send her to Fairytale Town with her favorite grandchild.  This is what memories are made of.

Target Sponsors Free Admission Day At The Sacramento Zoo

There are so many things to love about Target.  I could go on…and on.  But I will spare you that long list of mine.  What I will tell you is that Target has teamed up with the Sacramento Zoo …and everyone gets into the zoo for FREE on Monday, August 29th.  Why, you ask?  They are hoping visitors will donate a new, unopened back-to-school item for children in our community.  If you can’t make it on the the 29th, you can still receive $1 off each admission any day this month with the donation of a school supply. 

So, take advantage of all those back-to-school sales and pick up a little something for disadvantaged kids in the Sacramento area.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.  Not only will you have a blast at the zoo, but you’ll be supporting a great cause!

Big Fun at the California State Fair


By Alyssa Green

Hold on to your hats my friends because you are in for some “big fun” at the 2011 California state Fair. “The Fun Just Got Bigger” begins this Thursday, July 14th and continues through July 31st.  With plenty of deals, here’s the lowdown on how to make the most of your time and money (munchkins in tow) at this years big event.

Kids will love, love love the Big Bug Exhibit.  Featuring gigantic robotic insects, this indoor attraction includes a praying mantis, caterpillar, lady bug, fighting beetles, and more that move just like real life.  There are interactive areas and photo opportunities for everyone.  Entrance is free with fair admission.

Older kids will enjoy the Extreme Zone where they can see the Freestyle Motorcross competition, take a ride in a real Monster truck ($5 additional) and meet popular break dancers and local performing artists in Studio 102.

Other fun areas for kids include “California Ranchland,” a miniature dude ranch for kids; Kids Park, a special area for families with plenty of rides, games and hands-on activities; “Kangaroo Joey’s Big Adventure where you can meet a Kangaroo, Emu, and porcupine, all while traveling 4 different continents.  And of course, don’t forget to stop by the livestock pavilion to see the animals including the livestock nursery.

There is something fun for the entire family at this year’s State Fair.  For a list of fun things for adults, check out the fair website here.

Kids Days – every Tuesday admission for kids 12 and under is FREE, and rides are just $1 each.    Celebrate  Poppy’s birthday (our state fair mascot) on Tuesday, July 19th and catch the kids talent show on Tuesday, July 26th.

Free Rides For Reading – kids in grades k-8 get 2 FREE rides for reading 2 books.  You must fill out a Read to Ride form and bring it with you to the fair to redeem your ride passes.

Subway Savings Days –  Get a free fair admission ticket when you purchase and Unlimited Rides Wristband at Subway.  Hurry on this deal, it expires in just 2 day, July 13th.

100 Golden Deals – the State Fair’s ultimate coupon book can be purchased for just $5 and gives you coupons worth over $3,000.00 on food and shopping.  Definitely worth the price.

Poppy Pack – For $39.95 receive 4 admission tickets, 4 rides and 1 parking pass.  Presale only.

Unlimited Ride Wristband – You and your kiddos can ride everything over and over again with this wristband, just $28.00 per person.

State Fair Season Pass – Good for unlimited admission into the State Fair and Raging Waters Waterpark.  $29.99 per person