Where Kids Can Eat For Free Around Sacramento

imagesoyjuw3z5By Heather Crivellone

School is back in session, soccer season has started and moms across Sacramento are frantically trying to find fast and easy meals to prepare for their kids.   Eating out can be costly (especially if you have a large family), but luckily there are many local restaurants that offer FREE or reduced meals for kids on certain nights of the week.

During the month of September, Denny’s is offering FREE pancakes everyday to kids between the hours of 4pm-7pm.    Why not have breakfasts for dinner?  My kids love pancakes, so we will definitely be dining out after a long soccer practice this month!

Chipotle is also offering free meals to kids all day on Sundays this month.   Burritos, tacos or quesadillas- no cooking on a Sunday… sounds good to me!

Here is a list of local restaurants that also offer free or reduced prices for kids on certain days of the week:

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit (several locations throughout the Sacramento area)  Fresh BBQ and soft serve ice cream… this is my kids most requested location!
Hoppy Brewing Company (6300 Folsom Boulevard), check out the Sunday football games and let your kids eat for only $1.

Paesanos (8519 Bond Rd, Suite #101 in Elk Grove), Enjoy some of the best Italian food in Sacramento on Sundays and kids eat free all day.

Strings Italian at 1900 Douglas Boulevard in Roseville offers free kids meals all day on Sunday and Monday.  Great Italian food that’s quick and easy-  perfect for a busy school week!

Chevy’s on the River (1309 Garden Highway), kids eat free all day on Tuesday.  Who doesn’t love Chevy’s chips and salsa? And on the river- it’s like being on vacation on a Tuesday afternoon!

IKEA  in West Sacramento offers free meals all day to kids  Get some shopping done,  feed the kids and have a great night out.

El Torito (1598 Arden Way) offers free kids meals all day.  Everyone loves Mexican food… why not have some tacos, quesadillas and nachos on a Wednesday?

Woody’s (2316 Watt Avenue), enjoy hamburgers, French fries and all the best American food. 

Ihop (locations throughout Sacramento), kids eat free every night after 4pm.

To find more restaurants that offer a “kids eat free” program, check out our page for updated listings.
Restaurants change from time to time, so we do our best to keep this updated.  If you find your favorite isn’t mentioned, please feel free to contact us and we can add them.
So take a break from cooking and enjoy a night out with your family!


Feed your Need for Speed at Go Kart Racer in West Sacramento


Bgo kart 4

The “Fast and the Furious” isn’t reserved for just Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker.  Does someone in your family have the “need for speed” and has always dreamed of becoming a Nascar or Formula One driver?  If so, then treat them to an outing at a local racetrack and have them put the “petal to the metal” and show off those racecar driving abilities.

My husband thinks we should move to Italy and become the next famous Formula One driver.  I’m not sure that is in our family plans quite yet, but I am willing to give him an evening or two at Go Kart Racer in West Sacramento.

Located at 1430 Enterprise Blvd. in West Sacramento, Go Kart Racer is the newest racing venue in Sacramento.  They offer indoor racing on two tracks at a professional and clean venue.   They have a full fleet of Sodi RX7 European racing karts.  These advanced karts deliver a combination of speed, handling and safety for drivers of all ages, sizes and skill levels. Now, even though they say “all ages”- the minimum age limit is 8 with a minimum height requirement of 4’ and they must drive the Kid Karts or Junior Karts. If you are 18 years of age or older, you must have a valid, government-issued ID (Drivers License, etc.), if you are under 18, you MUST have a valid driver’s license or learners permit and the parent must sign a liability waiver.

If you meet the above requirements, then you are ready to suit up and race.   Once you arrive at the facility (no reservations are required), you pay your $10 membership fee that includes a head sock, driving suit and helmet rental and choose your kart. With two tracks and plenty of karts, there was very little waiting and just the anticipation of the race. If you are not racing and just a spectator, you will be happy to know that they have a great viewing area to watch the race.  One of the bonus features of this racetrack was that they have an area to take pictures of the winners at a special “podium finish”.   This was fun for the guys to take “selfies” at the end of the race and having bragging rights as to who was the big winner of the night.

They have several racing package options to choose from and the cost for racing ranges between $25-60, anywhere from 20-70 laps.  Our total was $45 for about 20 minutes, and it was pure racing exhilaration the entire time! If you wanted to host a birthday party or corporate event, they also offer discounted packages, check their website for more information on these.

Even if your little speed demon isn’t quite ready for the race track, but still wants to be a racecar driver, then visit one of our family fun centers (Scandia or Sunsplash) for a race around the outdoor track with mom or dad in the driver’s seat.  So go ahead, buckle your seatbelts and put the pedal to the metal at one of these Sacramento speedways.

By Heather Crivellone



Easter Events the Entire Family will Enjoy


It may not feel like it with the past rainy days, but spring is in the air.  Kids are ready to enjoy some time off of school, the daffodils have sprung out of the ground and blossoms are on the trees… so grab your baskets, bonnets and “Sunday bests” for some Easter fun in the Sacramento area.  Around town, you are sure to spot the Easter Bunny out and about, hiding the goodies for little kids.  There are quite a few Egg Hunts (free) that your family can participate in this month, along with other fun holiday festivities.

First, if you want to get your child’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny, you can visit one of our local malls (Arden Fair Mall, Roseville Galleria and Sunrise Mall) and the Bunny will be available for photo sessions.

And for those of you who are searching for a fun outing and egg hunt for your family, I have put together a list of some local activities:

Friday March 18-20, Funderland hosts their annual Easter Bash from 11am-5pm on Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.  Kids can enjoy an Egg Hunt ($3 per child); along with Easter activities including arts, crafts, face painting, a visit from the bunny and more.  Also, Funderland hosts several carnival style rides that are favorites for all.

Monday, March 28 at Ikea in West Sacramento there will be an Easter egg hunt in Smaland at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  This is a free event and it’s on a first come basis.

March 19, 20, 24, 26 and 27: Ride along The Sacramento River Train  and enjoy a train ride and Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny!   This 2.5 hour ride will give the kids time to decorate their Easter baskets, for when they stop at Elkhorn Park they will get to hunt for eggs!  The Easter bunny may make an appearance, and they will also enjoy a story and treats along the way.   This is an event everyone enjoys – a ride along the Sacramento River and the Easter bunny! Children 2-12 $29, Adults and teens $39.

Fairytale Town hosts their annual Spring Eggstravaganza on March 26 and 27.  Search for hundreds of hidden eggs, participate in hands on spring activities and enjoy the park that was made to inspire children’s imagination!  The egg hunt is FREE with park admission.

Bring your furry, four-legged kids to McKinley Parks 7th annual Easter egg hunt for Dogs. Watch as your dog sniffs out eggs filled with treats and prizes.  Enjoy food and human treats from local vendors, along with pet tattoos, trainer tips, pictures with the Easter Bunny and more! Proceeds from this event will support RedRover, an organization that helps to provide shelter for rescued animals. Tickets for adults is $20, dogs and kids are free.

Spring Fling at Palladio shopping center in Folsom on Sunday, March 20.  From 1pm- 5pm, families can enjoy crafts and games.  Live music and dancing and even the Easter bunny will be on site for pictures and spring fun.

This is just a handful of the events that are going on around town.  Some are free, some have a small charge – but one thing is for sure, whatever you choose to do, spring is here and there is no excuse to not get out and enjoy the season.

By Heather Crivellone


Family Friendly Valentine’s Events Around the Sacramento Area

Valentine clip art 3

Cupid is all over the place these days, reminding us that “love is in the air”.  February is the month of all things “lovey, dovey and gushy” (as my 6-year-old boy would say)!  It’s Valentine’s month and there are so many fun events and ways to say “I love you”.  If you want to give your kids and spouse an extra “treat” this month, here are a few ideas to make the special day even sweeter.

At Bounce U in Roseville, the entire family can enjoy a special night of bouncing, Valentines crafts and activities.  On Wednesday, February 10  from 6:00 – 8:00pm, Bounce U will be open for some Valentines fun.  Admission is $8.95 per child.

Enjoy a Valentines “High Tea” at a Dash of Panache in Roseville on February 14.  Prices are $27.95 for adults and $24.95 for children.  Everyone will enjoy a “fancy tea” full of treats and sweets!  Tea time sittings will be at 11am, 2pm and 5pm.
This event for more mature children- so, make sure you have your best dresses on and enjoy an afternoon of “High Tea”.

If you are looking for something a bit more active, then join other “sweeties” at the
 Annual Valentine Run/Walk on February 13.  Kids can choose between the ½ mile and ¼ mile Fun Run and adults can choose 1.8 or a 4 mile course.  Race will begin at Macy’s Country Club Plaza Mall and will take runners through the beautiful Arden Park neighborhood.

Disney on Ice is coming back to Sacramento February 10-15.  Everyone will enjoy watching their favorite characters from the hit “Frozen” skate the night away.  Tickets are available on the Sleep Train Arena website.

If you are looking for a fun “date day” to take your kids, you can always check out one of the many crafting studios located around town.  Petroglyph is my daughter’s favorite, and I’m sure we will spending an afternoon painting away and making another treasured ceramic piece for our collections.

And of course, you can always just bake some cookies with your loved ones, make some cut out Valentines hearts and snuggle up with your favorite people.  Whatever you choose to do, we hope it’s a special day for you and your family!

By Heather Crivellone

Win Tickets: Experience a Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town


Celebrate the holiday season at Fairytale Town and experience a magical Winter Wonderland. Starting at dusk each night, families will stand in awe at the festive holiday décor, a dazzling display of lights, and even some snow fall near the Mother Goose Stage!

On Saturdays and Sundays, children will enjoy hands-on holiday activities while parents enjoy Victorian carolers and a holiday marketplace. Haven’t gotten your annual Christmas photo with Santa yet? You can get your family Santa photos at Santa’s Workshop located near the Children’s Theater each day between 3pm and 6pm. You can even meet two of Santa’s reindeer at Pooh Corner! And of course, your kids will have the full reign of all the usual fun the park offers all year long.

All of this magical winter wonderland fun is free with paid admission to the park. In addition, one lucky family will receive four free tickets, complements of the nice folks at Fairytale Town. If you would like a chance to win the family four-pack, you’ll have to act fast. Leave us a comment TODAY by 12 pm, telling us why your kids love Fairytale Town. The winner will be randomly chosen at 12:01 pm. Good luck!

What: Winter Wonderland

Where: Fairytale Town

When: Dec. 10-13 and 17-20, 2015

Admission: Regular admission fees apply


11 Halloween Events to Keep your Little Ghosts and Goblins Happy

halloween_jack_o_lantern-wideThe weather may not be showing it, but it’s officially fall here in Sacramento! With the leaves beginning to change color and the ghosts and goblins making appearances, October is a glorious month full of color, fun and festivities! And Sacramento is full of events to keep you and your little ones (and not so little ones) entertained, scared, and having fun all month-long!

I have compiled a list of events that your family may want to check out this month.  Some of these events are free, some have a small admission charge and some may or may not be appropriate for your children’s age group.  Either way, there is something going on for everyone.

October 17-November 1:  The California State Railroad Museum is proud to offer diesel-powered “Spookomotive” train rides. This delightful, not frightful train is just the ticket for the family.  Ride the train along the levees of the river and listen to a whimsical Halloween story while the “skeleton” crew passes out a special toy treat for each child.  On the return trip, rock to the music of the “Monster Mash” and other creepy Halloween.  Each weekend is specially-themed: Super Heroes October 17 and 18; Princesses and Pirates October 24 and 25; and Wizards and Witches October 31 and November 1.  Tickets range from $6- $20.  Children 5 and under are free.

October 17- October 31: Sacramento Halloween River Cruise. For three weekends in October, the Hornblower will be cruising along the Sacramento River with fun, family friendly Halloween events. Cruise along the river as the evening begins to set with chilling haunted sounds and kid friendly events. The cruise is 1 hour in length and begins boarding at 2:45pm with a 3pm departure time. Everyone is encouraged to dress in their costumes for this family fun event. Tickets are $18.

October 9-24: Enjoy Spooky Ghost Tours at the Sacramento History Museum.  Journey back into town and hear ghost tales and spooky stories while walking through the history-rich streets of Old Sacramento. Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:30-9pm. $10 youths (ages 6-12) and $15 adult. **These tours are for a more “mature” audience.

Old City Cemetery 17 edited 1

October 17: Sacramento Children’s Museum- Monster Bash from 6-8pm. Enjoy an evening of ghoulish games and treats with music and dancing… and of course, museum play! $15 general admission.

October 17:  Annual Safetyville Halloween Haunt. 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”.  $6 per person and 2 and under are FREE. 11am-4pm.

October 23 and 24: The Haunted Fort at Sutter’s Fort State Park.  The historic site will offer a special Halloween program based in fact, but with a creepy twist.  Visitors will go on guided tours through the darkened rooms and hear unusual tales of how California’s early pioneers perished throughout history.  This creepy tour would not be suitable for the youngest kids in your household.

October 23-26: Safe and Super Halloween- Pirates. Kids can trick or treat in a safe environment throughout the park at Fairytale Town.   Hands on activities, a costume parade and live performances will keep you entertained all night long…5pm-9pm.


October 23: Folsom’s 7th Annual Night of 1000 Pumpkins. Admission into this event is One Carved Pumpkin per child. From 6-9pm in Historic Downtown Folsom, enjoy a large display of lit up carved pumpkins from the entire community! Vendors, live entertainment and family friendly events for everyone to enjoy.

October 24 and 25, 10am-6pmSpooktacular Halloween at Funderland.  Costume and Pumpkin Decorating Contests will take place throughout the day and offer the chance to win some prizes! The friendly Funderland Witch will be on hand telling kid friendly scary stories, and brewing up some great concoctions in the concession stand.

October 30 and 31, 5pm-8pm: Boo at the Zoo at the Sacramento Zoo.  Kids can safely trick or treat around the zoo at 25 different candy stations.  They can enjoy magic shows, costume dance party, games and more.  And of course…enjoy the animals! Admission is $8-12.

October 28 from 10am-112pm at the Crocker Art Museum: Wee Halloween  . Children ages 5 and under will decorate treat bags before being guided in small groups through the galleries, and serenaded with mini music, story and dance performances.  Costumes are welcomed.

This is by far, not all the events going on in our Capital City this month…but at least I’m hoping it gives you an idea of things to do and places to go during this fun and crazy month!

By Heather Crivellone

It’s Pumpkin Time in Sacramento!

Bishops-Pumpkin-FarmIt’s that time of year again…when the ghosts and goblins come out of hiding and everyone is sipping on their pumpkin spiced lattes. October is my favorite month and our family absolutely loves this time of year- the chill in the air, the leaves changing color, the caramel apples and the pumpkins galore! Visiting new pumpkin patches and checking out the scarecrows, decorations, hay stacks, mazes and gourds is always a treat. If you are searching for a place to take the kids for some fall fun, check out this list of local pumpkin patches and try to hit up one or a couple of them for some cheap family entertainment.

Dave’s Pumpkin Patch– 3010 Burrows Ave, West Sacramento
Open September 26- October 31
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10am- dusk, Fri-Sat: 10am-9pm
*Zip line, Jumping Pillow, Pumpkin Princess Castle, Corn Boxes, Hay Rides, Pony Rides, Hay Maze, Corn Maze General Admission $7 Monday-Friday. $12 Saturday and Sunday. Haunted Corn Maze $15 General Admission and $25 VIP

The Pumpkin Farm– 7736 Old Auburn Blvd. Citrus Heights
Opening October 2-31
Hours: 9am-6pm (Closed Mondays)
*Haunted Barn, Farm Zoo, Hay rides, Tower Slides, Corn Maze, Train Ride, Go-Kart Trains, Jumping Castle
Kids Farm Pass $10, Adult Farm Pass $8.

Bastiao Farms Goblin Gardens– 3845 El Centro Rd, Sacramento/Natomas
Opening October 1-31
Hours: 10am-7pm 7 days a week **Closed on Oct 3 and Oct 6
*Corn Maze, Hay Bale Pyramid, Hay Maze, Slides, Hayrides, Toddler Pedal Car Track, Sunflower Pit, Corn Canon
Admission is $7 (Kids 2 and under are free).

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm– 1415 Pumpkin Lane, Wheatland
Open September 19- November 1
Hours: 9am-7pm weekdays,  9am-8pm weekends
*Hay Rides, Train rides, Coyote Mountain, Pig Races, Play areas, Petting Zoo
Admission is free, Parking is Free during the week and on the weekends it’s $10-15.
Additional activities have a small fee.

Fog Willow– 11011 Cecatra Drive, Wilton
Open October 1-31
Hours: Monday- Friday; 11:30-6pm Saturday and Sunday; 9:30am-6pm
*Petting Zoo, Adventure Course, Hay Rides, BBQ
Admission is $4 for persons age 4 and older.

Roemer Pumpkin Patch– 6851 Hedge Avenue, Sacramento
Open through October 31
Hours: Tuesday- Friday 2pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm
* Corn Maze, Hay Rides, Hay Maze

Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch19376 Old River Rd, West Sacramento
Open October 1-31
Open Daily 10am-6pm
*Tractor Rides, Hay Maze, Corn Maze
Free Admission

Cool Patch Pumpkins 6585 Milk Farm Rd, Dixon
Open through October 31
Open Daily 9am-8pm
*Corn Maze, Kid Zone, Scarecrow Contest, Pedal Track
Free Admission, small fee for activities.

I hope this helps you out as a little guide for some of our local pumpkin patches. This isn’t a complete list- but, hopefully enough to get you started and on your search for the “Great Pumpkin

By Heather Crivellone