Mom of Four Small Children Braves the Crocker Art Museum and Leaves with Very Happy Kids

With four kids under the age of seven, I’m always looking for new ways to get out of the house AND beat the heat. Tired of splash parks and not wanting to go to an indoor play place, we found ourselves at the Crocker Art Museum.  I had been to the Crocker once before, many years ago, for their Wee Wednesday program (which was wonderful!) – but this time we’d be walking around the museum on our own and I was particularly worried about how my 3 and 4-year-old would fair.  I did a little research and found that the Crocker Art Museum offers something called The Story Trail.

If you want to take your kids on the Story Trail, just pick up a book called “Birdy’s Museum Adventure” at the admission desk and it takes you on a little scavenger hunt through the museum. My kids loved it! We were able to walk through many different galleries, ending in Tot Land which was by far everyone’s favorite stop.  It’s a very inviting space where the kids performed puppet shows, read books, and made crafts.

Over all I was very impressed with how kid friendly the Crocker Art Museum is. Not only did the Story Trail keep my kids engaged, but the museum staff was incredibly helpful. As soon as we left the admission desk a docent approached me and suggested a few exhibits the children might enjoy. Another docent encouraged the kids to touch an interactive exhibit (which they were thrilled about since the “no touching” rule had been firmly established!).  And I was thrilled that the museum offers free admission to children age 5 and under.

In addition to Story Trail and Tot Land, the museum offers a host of other kid-friendly activities and events. For babies and toddlers, there’s Wee Wednesdays, a gallery-based art experience, Baby Loves Art where babies and toddlers are free to roam the galleries while interacting with each other,  and Sunday Playday, a program that helps to support school readiness. Older kids will enjoy Sketch It, a drop-in art instruction program, Kids & Co. Gallery Adventure, an educational tour for children five years and older, and Wonder Lab, another drop-in art making program where kids with disabilities are especially welcome. For more information on all of the Crocker’s kids programs, click here.

We can’t wait to go back!

By Kate Nally








Celebrating the New Year with your Family in Sacramento


All the holiday presence have been unwrapped and put away, the last of the cookies are probably in the trash and the tree (if it was real) is probably dead and losing needles.  Yes – the holiday excitement is over – but it doesn’t mean the fun is over!

New Years Eve is always a party, no matter the age!  Sacramento has several options on how to celebrate and ring in the New Year with your family.  If you are like me, we celebrate the East Coast New Year with bells and whistles and then we are all sound asleep by the time midnight strikes.

If you are looking for some alternative ways to spend the celebration and not stay up until midnight, check out this list of fun things going on around the Sacramento area:
Crocker Art Museum celebrates a “Noon Year’s Eve” at 11, 12, 1 and 2pm.  Enjoy a celebration of live music, dance performances and festive art activities for the entire family.   This is a fun celebration that anyone can stay awake for!

Roller King in Roseville hosts a New Year’s party with a canned food drive to help local needy families.  From 7pm-1am, you can ring in 2017 on skates!  Admission is $10 with a can food.  If you can’t make it until 1am, then it’s only $5 from 7pm-10pm.

Sacramento Children’s Museum is hosting its annual “Who Year” daytime celebration.  The museum is open from 9am- 4pm with hourly New Year’s celebrations starting at 10am.  Enjoy games, arts and crafts, noise makers and a bubble stomp to ring in different countries New Years.

Old Sacramento hosts its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks extravaganza.  Beginning at 5pm, you can enjoy live music and family friendly activities until the fireworks begin at 9pm (early enough to get those kids home and in bed!).

So grab your family and get out ringing in the New Year around Sacramento.  My only resolution this year is spend more time making memories with my family- I hope you do the same!

By Heather Crivellone

Sacramento Weekend Family Fun: Circus XTREME, Buccanner Ball and Panning for Gold

Sacramento Weekend Family Fun 9-17-15

This weekend Sacramento has some great events going on. Head over to Sleep Train Arena for some captivating circus acts, watch Big Hero 6 in Freemont Park, pan for gold at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, or let the kids experience all kinds of big trucks at Touch a Truck in Rescue. Have a great weekend in Sacramento!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Circus XTREME – The circus rolls in to Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento with a brand-new show people of all ages. You’ll witness extraordinary animal performances, captivating clown escapades, and daring high-wire acts, with contemporary surprises and thrills to make the circus-going experience memorably unique. 9/17 – 9/20

Movie in Freemont Park: Big Hero 6 – Come on down to Fremont Park on Friday night for Movie in Fremont Park showing of Big Hero 6There will be live music, a food truck and a face painting station before the event. 9/18, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Buccaneer Ball – Dance the night away at the Sacramento Children’s Museum’s second annual mother-son dance, the Buccaneer Ball. Everyone is welcome: dads, daughters, grandparents, and more. Pirate dress-up is encouraged and desserts and light refreshments will be served. 9/19, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Birding for Families – Bring the family out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and join special guest guides from the Sacramento Audubon Society for a birding walk. Birdwatchers of all levels welcome! Bring your binoculars or the Center can lend you a pair. 9/19, 10:30 am to noon.

Touch a Truck at Foothills United Methodist Church – Bring the family down to United Methodist Church in Rescue on Saturday to see, touch and feel all kinds of trucks. Kids can explore construction, recreational, emergency, classic and antique vehicles, enjoy a “fun zone” that includes a petting zoo, face painting, cake walk games, live entertainment and food. While admission is free, some activities require tickets. Bring a non-perishable food item and receive 2 free tickets. 9/19, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Fall Foliage Fun at the Discovery Museum – Welcome fall by trekking around the Museum grounds exploring a variety of trees. Remember the trees you saw by making leaf rubbings in the classroom. Families with children (Ages 12 and under) can make a leaf headband to celebrate the autumn equinox (September 23). 9/19 – 9/20, 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Eureka – Pan for gold at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Get your hands on a pan and catch gold fever. Learn about some of the local Gold Rush history as you learn how to pan for gold like the pioneers. 9/20

Kids and Company Gallery Adventure Tour – Wildly amusing and surprisingly educational, this Crocker Art Museum tour is the perfect way to introduce art to children (Ages 5+) and the adults that tag along with them, in a fun and playful manner.

Labor Day Weekend Family Fun: Gold Rush Days, Chalk Art and Space Elevators

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Labor Day Weekend in Sacramento is always a busy one! So much to see and do. Gold Rush Days is going on all weekend in Old Sacramento. When you are done panning for gold, head over to the air-conditioned Crocker Art Museum for the free Little Buckaroos Day, don’t forget to head to Freemont Park for a look at the glorious chalk art. Enjoy your weekend!

Gold Rush Days – bring the family out to Old Sacramento this Labor Day weekend for a fun and FREE festival that will take you back in time. Experience Sacramento during the Gold Rush, complete with dirt streets, horses and carriages and period costumes and entertainment. Activities include country-western dancing, western movie: Paint Your Wagon, medicine shows, artisan alley, story-telling, watermelon and pie-eating contest, food, music and more! 9/4 – 9/7, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Just For Kids Native American Book Sale – Stop by the State Indian Museum to stock up on Native American books for children and youths. There will be special discounts and lots of titles. 9/5, 10:00 to 5:00 pm.

Happy Hearts Healthy Eating Day at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Happy Hearts Healthy Eating Day is an all-day event that promotes healthy eating and good exercise habits for Museum attendees. Visit the museum for lots of nutrition and fitness activities. 9/5, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Walk in the Wild at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Learn some tips for spotting wildlife on this guided walk in the Nature Area. 9/5, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.

Chalk It Up Festival at Freemont Park – Chalk It Up invites art lovers to come out and enjoy Sacramento’s chalk art festival, now in its 25th year. The festivities are nothing short of magical, not to mention great support for local youth arts. Each year the festival raises money at the event and gives it back to local youth art by way of grants. Come out and create art, come see the creations, enjoy the music, the food, the crafts, and the beer garden! 9/5 – 9/7.

Space Elevator Spectacular at the Discovery Museum – Let your future astronaut dream about the future of space travel this weekend. With advancements in nano technology, the idea of a space elevator is becoming more realistic than ever before. Learn about nanotubes and how they play a part in this futuristic feat. Kids can design a concept drawing of what their space elevator would look like. Families can complete the challenge of building a “space elevator” out of spaghetti and tape that can support a marshmallow station at the top. 9/5 – 9/7, 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm.

Museums on Us! – If you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit or credit card, admission to the California Museum and Crocker Art Museum are FREE for you today! 9/6

Critter Close-Up at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Get eye to eye with one of our furry, scaly, or feathered residents. 9/6, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

Little Buckaroos Day at the Crocker Art Museum – Families with young children will have a yee-haw time at this 5th annual celebration of Gold Rush Days. Giddy up and head over to the Crocker for live performances, craft-making demos, and art activities for the whole family. 9/7, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

All-Aboard Storytime at the Railroad Museum – join the California State Railroad Museum for railroad -inspired stories for kids. 9/7, 11:00 am and 11:30 am, East Theater.

Sacramento Weekend Family Fun

Weekend Family Fun in Sacramento

It’s going to be a beautiful spring weekend here in Sacramento with plenty of family friendly activities and events to choose from. Join Gunther’s Ice Cream for a huge anniversary celebration, make abalone necklaces for yourself or a loved one at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, watch sheep being sheared at Fairytale Town, and even join the Crocker for a FREE family festival full of activities and entertainment for the family. Have a good one!

Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Birding for Families. Join the Nature Center as guides from the Sacramento Audubon Society lead birdwatchers of all ages and levels on special bird walks. 5/16 at 10:30 am. Gifts from Mother Earth. Learn the skill of making abalone necklaces to create unique jewelry from Mother Earth. 5/17 at 1:30 pm

Discovery Museum Science & Space Center – Celebrate National egg month with the Discovery Museum’s Egg-o-naut Challenge. Families work to protect their egg-o-naut from museum volunteers, who will drop them off a second story balcony. Compete with other families to see whose mission is the most successful. 5/16 & 5/17, 12:30 pm to 4 pm.

Gunther’s Ice Cream – Bring the family down to the 75th anniversary of Gunther’s Ice Cream. Enjoy music, guest speakers, a magician and balloon artists, have your face painted and participate in other free activities as you stroll the closed-off street celebration with family and friends. 5/16, 12pm to 4pm.

Soil Born Farm – Enjoy a Day on the Farm at one of Sacramento’s best community farms. This year’s festivities will include live music, farm tours, cooking classes and demonstrations, kids activities, a farm stand and plant sale. 5/17, 10am to 3pm.

Fairytale Town – It’s all about farming at this weekend’s Farm, Friends and Fairytales. Join Fairytale Town for a fun-filled celebration of farm animals and agriculture! Watch Fairytale Town’s Babydoll sheep get sheared and the wool spun into yarn using an old-fashioned spinning wheel. Kids will also be able to participate in agricultural-themed activities, and visit with local area farmers. 5/16, 11am to 3pm. Sheep shearings at 11am and 1pm.

Crocker Art Museum – Join the Crocker for their annual day of art and creativity for the entire family at the FREE FamilyPalooza. Create one-of-kind art and enjoy life stage performances from some of Sacramento’s entertainment groups. 5/17, 11am to 3pm.

For more fun weekend activities, click here.

Sacramento Weekend Family Fun: March 20-22

PicMonkey CollageHere’s a great list of activities and events for kids and families in Sacramento this weekend. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather!

3/20 – Free Capitol Pops Concert at the California Automobile Museum – Join the Capitol Pops as they kickoff 18th season with this free concert open to the public.

3/20 – Sacramento Kings Basketball – the Sacramento Kings take on the Charlotte Bobcats at Sleep Train Arena.

3/20 – 3/21 – Shrek The Musical – Don’t miss this last opportunity to see Shrek The Musical’s this weekend at Consumnes Oaks High School. Our favorite green ogre will be joined by other fairytale character favorites likes the three little pigs, pinocchio, and the gingerbread man.

3/21 – Hands on History at Sutter’s Fort – Join Sutter’s Fort for this month’s Hands on History: Hard Working Women on the Frontier in celebration of Women’s History month. Visitors will enjoy black powder and musket demonstrations, an interactive wagon trail camp, and dutch oven cooking demonstrations.

3/21 – Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival at Fairytale Town – Enjoy FREE admission to Fairytale Town this Saturday during the Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival where kids will enjoy games, gardening activities and free play as they learn about healthy living.

3/21 – 3/22 – Discovery Weekend: Amateur Radio at the Discovery Museum – Kids can learn how to talk to people all over the world without cell phones and internet, using “ham radio.” Open Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 to 4:00 pm.

3/21 – 3/22 – The Reluctant Dragon at the Sutter Street Theatre – When Dragon Slayer St. George seeks to slay the town’s dragon, the peaceful, harmless creature who likes tea, and afternoon naps is befriended by a young boy who arranges a meeting between the two and a battle begins that  provides an entertaining climax and a happy ending.

3/22 – Sacramento Kings Basketball – more Kings basketball as Sacramento takes on the Washington Wizards at Sleep Train Arena.

3/22 – Sketch It at the Crocker Art Museum – kids ages 5 years and older can receive drawing instruction at this drop-in program.

3/22 – Mad Science at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Join Mad Science of Sacramento Valley as they visit the Children’s Museum on Science Sunday. Kids will have the opportunity to see science experiments and enjoy hands-on activities all day long.

3/22 – Early Engineers: Rockets at the Aerospace Museum – Learn all about propulsion and chemical reactions needed to launch a rocket into space. Kids will also design and build a rocket and launch tower.


Weekend Family Fun

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The weekend weather here in Sacramento is shaping up to be absolutely beautiful, so there will be plenty of reasons to get out of the house and do something fun with the kids. Head on down to Midtown for Hands on History at Sutter’s Fort, or go on a birding walk at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. If you want some peace and quiet, have the kiddos join Crocker Art Museum’s drop-in Sketch It program. Or simply, stroll along the American River Parkway. You can’t go wrong this weekend in Sacramento!

2/20 – Storytime at the Aerospace Museum – Bring your little ones to the Museum’s story time. Each Friday at 10:30 am, we will read stories about planes and space. Kids will make a craft or participate in activity and then tour the Museum.

2/21 – Birding for Families at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Bring the family out to join special guest guides from the Sacramento Audubon Society for a birding walk. Birdwatchers of all levels welcomed! Bring your binoculars or the Center can lend you a pair.

2/21 – Hands on History: By Land and By Sea at Sutter’s Fort – Through special presentations, exciting demonstrations and hands-on activities, docents will help Sutter’s Fort visitors understand the two different ways emigrants originally came to California — by land or by sea — while sharing the unique challenges they faced and what daily life was like during their journeys. A special station will be set up with pioneer clothes where visitors can select outfits and have their pictures taken with the wagon or with another pioneer setting (using their own cameras). More hands-on activities also await Fort visitors as they will help pack a wagon or trunk, make choices about what to bring along for their “journey of a lifetime,” learn how to use a nautical compass, hoist a laden barrel, weave rope, learn simple knots, create maps with available resources and even join the Navy and receive pay in Stonington Bank $2 bills.

2/21 – 2/22 – Discover Engineering NASA Weekend at the Discovery Museum – Blast off this weekend into the world of engineering! As participants in National Engineering Week, the museum is focusing on the engineering involved with space suits- past, present and future. The Family Feature focuses on EVAs (extravehicular activities) and the role space suits have in them. On Sunday NASA’s Mobile Exhibit will immerse visitors in the story of NASA and the International Space Station Program. Visitors will learn about current scientific research being done on the space station, where future exploration may take humans, and how NASA will prepare for long-duration space travel. As an added bonus, visitors will have the out-of-this-world opportunity to touch a four billion year-old moon rock!

2/22 – Owl Be Seeing You at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Uncover the mysteries of owls: what they eat, where they sleep, how they find food, and more. You will get a close-up look at a live owl!

2/22 – Sketch It at the Crocker Art Museum – Visitors (ages 5 and up) can sketch at their own pace while receiving drawing instruction. This drop-in program meets in a different gallery each month. No experience necessary and all supplies are provided.