By Heather Crivellone
Well, summer is officially underway- and if you are like most moms out there, you are counting down the days left until school starts. Kids are probably complaining that they are “bored” or just getting those little hands into everything that they shouldn’t be getting into.
Here is a simple (and CHEAP) list of activities that you can do with your kids to keep those busy hands active and keep them entertained during these “dog days” of summer:
1. Visit one of our local libraries. They offer free story times and most have a “kids” area with toys, puzzles, computer games and other activities to keep them busy.
2. Go on a Scavenger Hunt. If you can’t imagine yourself creating your own map to find treasures, then head down to Old Sacramento and follow the one that has been created for Old Sac. You will learn a few things about our city, and have some fun along the way!
3. Take a nature walk with your kids and explore nature. You can visit places like the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Auburn’s Hidden Falls or just venture out in one of our city’s beautiful parks.
4. And speaking of parks- we have a plethora of family friendly parks with amenities to keep you and your kids busy all day. When was the last time you packed a lunch and had a picnic at McKinley or William Land Park?
5. Visit on of the local Farmer’s Markets in the area. Chat with the growers and sample some of fresh fruit and veggies. My kids seem to eat more veggies at the “samples” and it’s always a fun way to spend the afternoon or evening with the kids.
6. Take some of those veggies that you just bought at the Farmers Market and make some crafts. Have you tried painting with fruit and veggies? Cut the Apples and Potatoes and make paints… and if you don’t have any leftover, then use some leaves, sponges or anything else you can find on hand other than the typical paintbrush. Kids will giggle and have fun while creating their masterpieces.
7. Visit the Davis Arboretum. Beautiful gardens and trails will keep you busy.. take a lunch and stay the day.
8. Make a bird feeder with peanut butter, bird seed and toilet paper rolls. My kids had a blast doing this- although, we did have more bird seed on the ground than on the “feeder”, but every morning they still run outside to see the birds.
9. Visit a local pizzeria for lunch and see if you can do a “tour”. Pizza Rock in Downtown is great for kids- if you plan it correctly, you can watch them do their “pizza acrobats”.
10. Go to an outdoor concert or movie. Friday night concerts at Cesar Chavez Park (Through July 27th) or catch a movie at “Screen on the Green” Saturday nights in August.
11. Take the kids fishing. We are surrounded by water with lakes, rivers and streams. Or visit a park like Gibson Ranch where they stock their ponds for fishing.
12. Go on a bike ride. We have fantastic trails throughout the Sacramento Area. If you don’t have a bike, you can always rent one and travel along the American River. It’s a great way to get in some exercise and family fun all in one.
13. Take a trip to the State Capitol. Visit the gardens, take a tour of the building, or just take a picnic and enjoy the scenery.
14. Explore art in the area at the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. Or have the kids create their own art at Art Beast. This is a day adventure that will keep the busy all day long.
15. Visit a local farm to pick your own produce and check out the animals. They may even let you feed the animals. Impossible Acres in Davis is a great place to pick your own fresh fruit.
16. Tour a local historic site. Sacramento is bursting with history and you don’t have to go far to enjoy your own history lessons first hand. Sutter’s Fort, The Governor’s Mansion, and Old Sacramento to name a few.
17. Visit the LEGO Store at Arden Fair mall to create something unique. Have a building contest and get “out of the heat” and into some air conditioning at the local mall.
18. And to keep cool on these hot summer days, visit one of the many spray parks in the area. Free and fun ways to keep cool with the kids as they splash and burn energy.
19. Craft Times are offered at local Michael’s and Joann Stores. Also check out Big Spoon Yogurt on the first and third Thursday’s of the month. They offer story time and craft times for the kids (with a free frozen yogurt after).
20. Some movie theatres in the area offer $1 movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. The movies are kid appropriate and it’s a great way to get the kids out of the heat and do something “fun” for cheap.
Hope this list helps for things to do with your kids when they start complaining and yelling “I’m Boooooorrrreeeeddd!”.