Win Tickets: A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy, Fairytale Town’s Most Popular Summer Event

It’s starting to heat up here in Sacramento, which means hot days and warm nights – a typical Central Valley summer.  So, how do Sacramentans stay cool (and sane) all summer long? One of our favorite ways to stay cool is to eat ice cream. There’s really nothing better on a hot summer night than cold, creamy, all-you-can-eat ice cream. If you’ve got kiddos, you’ll want to head over to Fairytale Town on Saturday, June 24 to enjoy one of the summer’s most popular events, A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy – a Shakespearean-themed event at the area’s most popular theme park where fairies run wild all night long and eat ice cream to their heart’s content.

This enchanted evening features nonstop entertainment for the whole family including live theater performances of “Pyramus and Thisbe” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, arts and crafts, live music by Celtic band Stepping Stone and plenty of Crystal ice cream to go around. All of this within our beloved Fairytale Town. Here are the details:

What: A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy

Where: Fairytale Town

When: Saturday, June 24, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Cost: Advanced tickets start at $7 for children, $15 for adults

Win Tickets: We’ve got a family four-pack to give away to one of our lucky readers. Tell us what your favorite Crystal Ice Cream flavor is in the comment section below. Leave your comment no later than Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 5pm. A winner will be selected on Friday, June 16, 2017. Good luck!

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From Roller Skating to Free Concerts in the Park, Here are our Top Five, Nearly Free Summer Activities for Families in Sacramento

Summer is around the corner and the kids will be out of school in no time. Every year, parents scramble to find summer camps, sporting events, day trips and activities to keep the kids occupied – without  breaking the bank. If you don’t do a little research ahead of time, you may find yourself spending too much money on outings or end up with kids glued to their electronic devices. There are several free and inexpensive activities to do with the kids all summer long in the Sacramento region. Here are my top 5 summer activities that your kids love:

  1. Kids Skate Free.   Sunrise Rollerland and RollerKing in Roseville both participate in this program. Just visit their website and sign the kids up and you will receive weekly coupons to take the kids skating during the hottest part of the day (relief!). The only out-of-pocket costs are the skate rentals if needed and anything from the concession stand.
  2. Dollar summer movies at Regal Cinema. On select days you can visit Regal Theaters, UA Artists and Edwards Theaters during the summer and view an older family friendly move for only $1. Show times vary and I would check their website for listings.
  3. Kids Bowl Free.  Just like the skating program, all you need to do is visit their website and sign up. You will receive weekly free coupons to bowl all summer long. My family especially enjoys this program, I love visiting Strikes Unlimited during the hottest time of the day and getting some relief from our scorching summer heat!   Bowling alley rental is free for two full games and the only out-of-pocket is the cost of the bowling shoes. Participating alleys include:
    Steve Cooks Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights
    Pins N Strikes in Elk Grove
    Country Club Lanes in Sacramento
    Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin
  4. Cool off by visiting one of our many Spray Parks in the area.   This is a great activity if you have younger children especially, but even my older kids still love to run around and play at the parks that have the splash pads.   Visit our site to see a list of local spray grounds.
  5. Summer evenings are the best when there is free, family entertainment involved.  Our family has enjoyed Pops in Park for several years and we are excited for this year’s lineup. Every Saturday night in June, you can pack a picnic dinner and enjoy a live concert at one of East Sacramento’s favorite parks.
    June 3: Joy and Madness at East Portal Park (51st and M Street)
    June 10: John Skinner Band at Bertha Henschel Park (45th and Brand Way)
    June 17: Mumbo Gumbo at McKinley Park (H and 33rd Street)
    June 24: Unsupervised at Glenn Hall Park (Sandburg and Carlson Way)

So there you have it, my families top 5, nearly free summer activities. Hope you decide to make a list and take advantage of some of the summer fun in the area. I’m always reminding myself that we only have 18 summers with our kids… and I want to make each one of the count.

By Heather Crivellone

Searching for the Perfect Pumpkin and a Halloween Thrill? Check out our List of Sacramento’s Top 5 Pumpkin Farms

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It’s that time of year when the air is getting cooler, pumpkins are everywhere, the ghosts and goblins start to appear. Yes, it’s officially fall! If your family is like mine, we start to decorate the home with gourds, pumpkins and leaves in mid-September (even when the weather is anything but fall-like).  My kids are already deciding their Halloween costumes and my daughter is already planning her Trick-or-Treating route!

With the fun of the season here, we need to find the best pumpkins in town…and that means we have to visit one of the many local pumpkin patches in the area.

Sacramento has an abundance of pumpkin patches, petting zoos and fun things to do this time of year.  With my kids being a little older now, we want to find the most exciting and entertaining patches to keep them busy on our outing.   I have made a list of my top 5 pumpkin patches in the area to visit with your family (based on activities at the farms):

 1.       Goblin Gardens (Bastiao Farms): 3845 El Centro Rd, Sacramento
Open 7 days a week from October 1- October 31, 10am-7pm.
  
They have plenty of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained all day long.  Some of the activities include:  pick your own pumpkins, hay rides, hay maze, haunted train rides, haunted miners cabin, play area with giant slides and more!
$7 admission into the farm and children ages 2 and under are free.

2.      Bishops Pumpkin Farm:  1415 Pumpkin Lane, Wheatland
Open 7 days a week from September 17- October 31:
  9am- 7pm Sunday- Monday and 9am-8pm on Saturdays.
Free Admission, but parking is $10 on Fridays and $15 on weekends.
  Free Parking Monday-Thursday.
This place has is it all:
  zip line for the adventure seekers,  play areas for kids of all ages,  Coyote Mountain with giant slides and “gem panning”,  petting zoo, train ride, hay ride, corn maze and so much more!  Bring your appetites as they have plenty of food on site and spend the day at this fun pumpkin patch!

3.      Dave’s Pumpkin Patch: 3010 Burrows Avenue, West Sacramento.
Open Sunday- Thursday 10am- dusk and weekends 10am-9pm.
If you are searching for something a little more frightening for your Halloween lovers, then check out their famous Haunted Corn Maze.
  Opens in the evening for those who love a good scare!
Prices for activities are “a la carte” and can be found on their website.
  They have everything from the corn maze, to hay bale climbing, jumping pillows and petting zoos. Other activities include pony rides, BBQ, pumpkin picking and even a farmers stand. It’s the perfect afternoon (or evening) to get your fall festivities going.

4.      Branco Farms: 1033 Reserve Drive, Roseville.
Open 7 days a week from 12pm-9pm, October 7- October 31.
If you don’t want to head out of the city too far, this is the place for you!
They offer a huge assortment of pumpkins to choose from, pony rides, jump houses and even laser tag! 

5.      Fog Willow Farms: 11011 Cecatra Drive, Wilton.
Open Monday- Friday 12pm-6pm and weekends 9:30-6pm from October 1-October 31.
Admission is $4 and they offer a variety of activities including:
  hay rides, pony rides, family mining, petting zoo, and pumpkins galore! This is a fun place for kids who are for good old-fashioned family fun!

So grab a caramel apple, your camera and make memories this fall at one of our local pumpkin patches!

By Heather Crivellone

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Weekend Family Fun

PicMonkey Collage

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.

 

Weekend Family Fun

PicMonkey Collage

It’s going to be another fun weekend here in Sacramento! Learn about China from Sacramento author Allison Branscombe at the Arden Barnes & Noble or Monarch butterflies at the Nature Center. Laugh with the Addams Family at the 24th Street Theatre or blast off at the Discovery Museum. Have a great weekend!

1/23 – 1/25 – The Addams Family at the 24th Street Theatre – Laugh as the wickedly witty Addams family comes to life in an all-new musical comedy. When the grown-up Wednesday Addams falls head over heels for a normal boy, she invites his parents to the family mansion for a meet-and-greet gone gothic. Sit back and savor the horrific hospitality of Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Grandma, Lurch and everyone’s favorite weirdo, Uncle Fester, as the special occasion brings out the best and worst in everyone involved.

1/24 – Learn About China at Barnes & Noble (Arden) – Chinese New Year is right around the corner. Help celebrate the Year of the Sheep by learning all about China. This special event will feature Sacramento’s Allison Branscombe, author of All About China, telling stories, sharing crafts, and special treats. This event is a fun way to learn more about Chinese culture and this important holiday!

1/24 – Second Annual Healthy Folsom Challenge Kick-off and Health Fair – The Second Annual Healthy Folsom Challenge Kick-Off and Health Fair has it all from free B-12 shots, a free chair massage courtesy of Bryan College, cooking demonstrations, martial arts exhibitions, and more! You can also take the Healthy Folsom Challenge for a chance to win prizes.

1/24 – NorCal Snakes at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Slither on in for a special presentation by Lynne Tolman from the Northern California Herpetological Society. Try to “scale” back your enthusiasm as you learn about our local snakes. Learn all about the varieties that are found here, their life history, habitats, and meet live snakes up close!

1/24 – 1/25 – 3-2-1 Blast Off at the Discovery Museum – Time to blast off into out-of-this-world learning fun! See different models of rockets that have enabled space travel. Little ones can pretend to fly their own rocket in our rocket play space. After all that fun, children make a straw rocket in our classroom to blast off and fly.

1/25 – Mighty Meta-Morphin’ Moncharchs at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Come in for a special program all about the amazing Monarch butterflies. Learn about their lifecycle, their remarkable migrations, where they are wintering, and take some plant seeds home to make your yard monarch-friendly.

1/25 – Animal Shelter Kids Camp – Bradshaw Animal Shelter is offering humane education camps for children! Kids tour the shelter, interact with many animals, learn about responsible pet ownership from our vet, meet an animal care officer, make crafts, and more.

1/25 – Dr. Professor Tomas Kubinek: Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible – Do not see Dr. Professor Tomáš Kubínek because he has appeared in more than 30 countries and had a sold-out run on Broadway. Do not go because The New York Times called his work “absolutely expert and consistently charming!” Go because it’s madcap fun. This inventive comic genius and virtuoso vaudevillian combines talent, silliness, clowning, mime, acrobatics and music. He creates magical spaces. This is physical theater at its best. This family friendly performance promises to leave every one, of all ages charmed, laughing and inspired.

Win Tickets to Fairytale Town’s Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town 3

The holiday season in Sacramento is really quite enchanting.  Old Sacramento is decked out in festive decor and features the city of Sacramento’s Christmas tree as well as the nightly productions of the Theatre of Lights.  A few blocks away, visitors can ooh and aah over the beauty of California’s official Christmas tree at the State Capitol building, skate to their heart’s content at the seasonal Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink or enjoy the beauty of massive Chinese lanterns at the debut of Global Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo. Well, winter festivities are also descending upon Sacramento’s favorite storybook park, Fairytale Town.

For the two weekends before Christmas, Fairytale Town will transform into a winter wonderland that will include holiday lights, festive decorations, Santa Claus himself, two of his favorite reindeer and even snowfall! Visitors will enjoy arts and crafts activities, vendors selling holiday treats, strolling entertainers including Ebenezer Scrooge from the holiday tale “A Christmas Carol,” Victorian carolers and characters from the Sacramento Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Of course, children will also be able to enjoy all the other usual fun features of Fairytale Town like the Crooked Mile, Farmer Brown’s Barn and the Little Engine that Could. Here are the details:

What: Winter Wonderland

Where: Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento

When: Thursday – Sunday, Dec. 11-14 & 18-2, 2014

Times: 1-7 pm (weather permitting)

Cost:  All activities are FREE with paid park admission – $4.50 weekdays, $5.50 weekends

Are you excited for Winter Wonderland?  Great!  Our good friends at Fairytale Town have given us a family four-pack to give away to one lucky family.  You know the drill.  Visit the Fairytale Town website, check out the Winter Wonderland page, them come back here and tell us why your family would like to attend this great event.  The winner will be selected on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.  Good luck!

 

Weekend Family Fun

WEEKEND COLLAGE

8/22 – Movie in Fremont Park – CADA and Friends of Fremont Park will be hosting movie in the park and will be showing Back to the Future. There will also be live music by Rebel Punk and a food truck will also be on site for purchase.

8/22 – $4 Fridays at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – In celebration of summer, join the Sacramento Children’s Museum for its first $4 Friday of the year! Admission is just $4 after 4pm and includes both indoor museum play and outdoor fun!  Look forward to food trucks, live music by The Hoots, face painting, art of popcorn, and classic cars from the California Automobile Museum!

8/23 – 3rd Annual Multicultural Festival – The City of Elk Grove is hosting a global celebration at the third annual Multicultural Festival featuring ethnic food, music, entertainment, fashion shows, artwork and activities for children. Its two stages will feature more than 20 performances from around the world. This day-long festival is Elk Grove’s premier community-wide celebration of diversity, and is hosted by the City of Elk Grove’s Multicultural Committee.

8/23 – Sacramento Fire Station Open House at Station 8 – The Sacramento Fire Department will begin hosting Fire Station Open Houses on Saturdays starting in May. Bring your family and friends to visit with firefighters, take a tour of the fire station, get an up-close look at a fire engine, and more!

8/23 – Nature Story Time at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Come relax and enjoy some nature tales. This event is recommended for children and those young at heart.

8/23 – A Synchro Wish Upon A Star – Aqua Show – Sac Synchro, Sacramento’s only year round competitive swim team, presents their annual aqua show titled “A Synchro Wish Upon A Star.”  This year’s event will feature National Team Members Nicole Meza and Noelle Song who are representing the US at the Pan American games in Riverside.  After the show audience members have the opportunity to let their children “Try Synchro” with the team. Bring a suit and towel for girls ages 5-18 (girls only).

8/23 – Bach to Rock Open House – At this Bach to Rock open house you can jam with a staff member, tour the facility, and test out an instrument or two at this free, family friendly event. Can’t decide between the drums, guitar, vocals, bass, or keyboard? Well good news, they’re offering demo lessons for all ages! There will be a Rock City and Kids N Keys demo class for children ages 3-7, as well as a recording studio demo and tour, rock band and private lessons demos.

8/23 – 10 Year Anniversary of the Small Wonders Exhibit at the California State Railroad Museum – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum are proud to recognize August 2014 as Toy Train Month in celebration of 10 years of the popular Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains exhibit. Accumulated over four decades by the late Mr. Thomas W. Sefton, the collection includes 20th century toy trains, Buddy “L” riding toys, railroad-related artifacts, approximately 7,000 toy trains and a variety of accessories, such as locomotives and railroad cars from companies including Buddy L., Ives, American Flyer, Marklin, Marx, and Lionel.

8/24 – 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.

8/24 – Sketch It for August – Visitors Ages 5 and older 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.