***UPDATED FOR 2015***
It’s hard to believe, but summer is right around the corner…and you know what that means, the kids will soon be out of school. You don’t need to spend a fortune keeping them busy all summer long. There are plenty of fun activities and events that are free or nearly free right here in town. Take a look – the fun starts now!
1. Kids Bowl Free All Summer Long at Fireside Lanes – 5/1 – 9/7 – Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the Kids Bowl FREE program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. You can sign up online and your kids can bowl 2 free games every day of the summer. Special discounts are offered to parents, too!
2. Pay-What-You-Wish Sundays at the Crocker Art Museum – 6/21, 7/29, 8/16, 9/20 – Through the generous support of Western Health Advantage, the Crocker Art Museum will provide free access to the general public on the third Sunday of each month. “Pay What You Wish Sunday” is part of the Crocker ‘s commitment to provide Museum access to the entire community.
3. Sacramento Fire Department Open Houses – 6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27, 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29, 9/12, 9/19 – You are invited to 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!
4. Pops in the Park – 6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27 – FREE family friendly summer concerts the whole family can enjoy! Each Saturday throughout the month of June, you’ll be entertained by various artists at various East Sacramento Parks. Bicycle valet parking, food and drink is available.
5. Mommy & Me Day at Raley Field – 6/22 – Mommy & Me Days are non-ticketed, FREE events open to children ages 6-and-under and their parents. They are exclusive opportunities for families to enjoy a fun play date at Raley Field. Children will enjoy a variety of activities on the baseball field, including running the bases, playing catch, and exploring the River Cats’ inflatable bounce house and obstacle course. In addition, the River Cats’ beloved mascot Dinger will be on hand to entertain children and parents alike. Free parking, free snacks and drinks for the first 1,500 children.
6. Family Bike Nights at Safetyville, USA – 6/18-19, 6/25-26, 7/2-3, 7/9-10, 7/16-17, 7/23-24, 7/30-7/31, 8/6-8/7, 8/13-14, 8/20-22 – This FREE event is open to all ages and skill levels. A special area will be provided for smaller riders in the center in front of the capital. Additionally each event will include a safety or health lesson with a special guest speaker for the families that attend; i.e.: how to fit a bike helmet, pedestrian safety, stranger danger, etc. Helmets required, snacks and drinks will be available.
7. Wells Fargo Wednesdays at the Sacramento Zoo – 7/15, 7/22 & 7/29 – Bring your kids to the Zoo for FREE on three Wednesdays in July thanks to Wells Fargo! Up to four kids, ages 2-11 will be admitted for free with a paid adult. Wells Fargo will offer a free train or carousel ride to kids. On July 30th the famous Wells Fargo Stage Coach will be at the Zoo too! Sponsored by Wells Fargo.
8. Free Kids Day at the California State Fair – 7/14, 7/21 – On Tuesdays, kids 12 and under get FREE admission to the California State Fair, and all rides are only $1 for all ages!
9. Screen on the Green – 8/28, 8/29 – Screen on the Green is a series of FREE movie screenings held at various parks throughout the district. The program is made possible by contributions from Councilmember Steve Cohn and the Pops in the Park project. This year’s movie is Big Hero 6. FREE popcorn provided!
10. Gold Rush Days – 9/4 – 9/7 – Hitch up the team to your buckboard and come on down! Bring the young’uns and the in-laws, the neighbors and the new folk just off the stage from back East. Heck, bring your sweetheart along for a thrill. During Labor Day Weekend in Old Sacramento you’ll find yourself transported back to the days of gold and glory, when California was a brand-new state with brand-new ideas. Join in the truly old-time fun in the world of yesterday! Admission is FREE.
Parks with Water Features – there are plenty of neighborhood parks that have water features (splash grounds, kiddie pools, misters.) Take advantage of these fabulous and FREE ways to stay cool!
Effie Yeaw Nature Center – The Nature Center is part of a 77-acre nature preserve with riparian and oak woodlands, shrub lands, meadows, and aquatic habitats. There are three self-guided trails that are equipped with interpretive signage along the way, pointing out interesting features. There are also classes, workshops and family outings to participate in. While admission to the center is always FREE, there is a parking fee of $5 per vehicle.
Regal Cinemas Summer Movies – June through August, Regal hosts the Summer Movie Express. Kid-friendly movies are just $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. This is a great way to get out of the heat when the temperature rises.
Tower Theatre Summer Movies – The mid-week, morning screenings will run for nine weeks, from mid-June to mid-August for just $1. The coolest movie playing this summer? The Wizard of Oz on July 1 & 2.
Other Summer Activities Not to be Missed:
River Cats Baseball – Sacramento’s triple A baseball team is one of the best in the league. Take advantage of a good old-fashioned night out with the family at Raley Field. Enjoy fireworks on Friday and Saturday home games, and $1 hot dogs and desserts on Tuesdays. Parking is FREE this season. And don’t forget about the Dinger Kids Club!
Raging Waters – Raging Waters Sacramento features more than 25 exhilarating water attractions, breath-taking slides, crystal clear pools and fun-filled activities for children and adults of all ages. Thrill slides include favorites such as Splashdown, Hurricane, Cliffhanger Speed Slides, Breaker Beach Wave Pool and the Shark Attack Waterslide complex. Those park goers in the mood for more chill than thrills can cool down in the tranquil waters of the Calypso Cooler Lazy River or explore Treehouse Reef, our new 5-story children’s attraction with water slides, secret tubes and hundreds of water activities. And don’t forget, when you buy the Sacramento Season Pass, you also get FREE admission into the State Fair!