Win Tickets: Gibson Ranch Hosts its First Pumpkin Festival Complete with Hay Rides, Petting Zoo, Costume Contest, and More!

From bird watching to fishing to horseback riding and hiking, Gibson Ranch Park in nearby Elverta, Ca. has been the setting for many Sacramento-area family activities and events over the years. The 325-acre country park has now added “pumpkin farm” to its repertoire. Each Saturday and Sunday beginning Sept. 30 through Oct. 29, 2017, Gibson Ranch will welcome children of all ages through its gates for a day of fall fun. Here’s what you can expect at the new Gibson Ranch Pumpkin Festival:

Activities will include Games, pony rides, petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting, kiddie train, hay rides, straw bale maze, costume contest, character meet and greet and a pumpkin patch. Jugglers, magicians and balloon twisters will entertain the kiddos while the parents can shop the farmer’s market and peddler’s fair for holiday gifts.

WHAT: Gibson Ranch Pumpkin Festival

WHEN: Weekends, Sept. 30 – Oct. 29, 2017

WHERE: Gibson Ranch Park, Elverta, Ca.

ADMISSION: Free admission, parking $5, activity tickets $1 per ticket

WIN TICKETS: The folks at Gibson Ranch want you to check out their pumpkin festival, so they’ve given us a family fun pack (includes 1 parking pass and 55 activity tickets) to give away to one lucky reader. All you need to do to be eligible to win is tell us your favorite Gibson Ranch Park memory in the comment section below. Leave your comment by 5 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 – a winner will be selected on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

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Win Tickets: Enter Comic Book City and Meet your Favorite Superheroes at Fairytale Town’s Safe & Super Halloween Event

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One of the best places for kids to celebrate Halloween in Sacramento is at Fairytale Town. Located in William Land Park, across the street from the Sacramento Zoo and next door to Funderland Amusement Park, Fairytale Town is celebrating its 30th year of Safe & Super Halloweens. And let me tell you, nobody does Halloween better than FTT. This year, the theme is a popular one – Superheroes. The three-night event will entertain little guests as they enter comic book city to trick-or-treat at 15 different stations, and they just might meet their favorite heroes along the way! Guests can take part in Wonder Woman’s Amazon training camp, see a magic show featuring Batman and Harley Quinn, and participate in a nightly costume parade.

WIN TICKETS: Doesn’t this sound like a blast? If you are ready to don your cape and mask and fly to this fun Halloween event, you are in luck. Our friends at Fairytale Town have given us 4 tickets to give away to one lucky SacramentoKids.net reader. Here’s what you need to do to enter. Leave us a comment letting us know what superhero your child would most like to run into at this year’s Safe & Super Halloween by Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at 4pm. One entry per person, please. The winner will be chosen via a random drawing. Thank you!

What: Fairytale Town’s Safe & Super Halloween: Superheroes

When: Oct. 21, 22, 23, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where: Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento

Admission: $10 per person (child & adult) with advance purchase, $12 at the door. Children 1 year and younger, FREE.

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Win Tickets: Enjoy a Pirate Adventure at Fairytale Town’s Safe & Super Halloween

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Don your fanciest eye patch and get ready to walk the planks at Fairytale Town’s annual Safe & Super Halloween. Your pirate adventure begins on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. For three nights, Fairytale Town will be transformed into a swashbuckling world of pirates with seventeen candy stations scattered throughout the storybook park. While trick-or-treating, young buccaneers will also have the opportunity to search for treasure, discover the Flying Dutchman, find the Fountain of Youth and participate in hands-on activities and a nightly costume parade.

If that isn’t quite enough entertainment for you, then you’ll want to head over to the children’s theater to watch a performance of Captain Scarlet and the Magic Treasure Chest, a pirate-themed magic and illusion show about a young and brave pirate girl who harnesses illusionary powers from a magic treasure chest while encountering the famous pirate Black Beard, who covets her treasure.

Win Tickets: Sound like fun? I bet you are already making plans to attend this amazing event! You can find ticket and other event information below. But if you would like a chance to win a family 4-pack to this year’s Safe & Super Halloween, you are going to have to get a little creative. To be eligible for the tickets, you’ll need to tell us in the comment section below, why you deserve the tickets…in pirate talk. We’ll choose a winner on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015.

What: Fairytale Town’s Safe & Super Halloween

When: October 23, 24, 25 from 5 – 9pm

Where: Fairytale Town

Admission: Advanced Tickets – $7 members, $10 nonmembers; $12 at the door; children 1 and under are free; Magic Show – $1 per person

Here’s some photos from last year’s event:

Fairytale Town Halloween

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.

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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.

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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

Weekend Family Fun

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10/17 – Campfire at the Maidu Museum – Storytelling has been an important part of Native American culture for thousands of years. Sit under the stars at this outdoor amphitheater to enjoy native stories around the campfire. They will provide roasting sticks and marshmallows for a sweet program’s end to this fun family event.

10/17 – 10/18 – Old Sacramento Magic Festival – The first major magic festival ever on the West Coast featuring a stellar international cast.  This incredible weekend also stars Eric Stevens, one of Magic’s bright new stars, Hank Morfin, headliner at The California Magic Dinner Theatre, Master Magician and Balloon Artist, Kenn Serrano and Man of Mystery, Terry Robinson.  The festival also features multiple One-Man Shows, International Galas, Lectures, an All-Star Street Magic Performance and much more! This is a family-friendly weekend showcasing a full spectrum of the Art, from close-up to stage.

10/18 – Halloween Haunt at Safetyville – Safetyville USA will be decorated in “Spook-tacular” fashion with a harvest-festival theme. There will be live entertainment, games, face painters, magic show, straw bale maze, raffles, costume parade, food and fun for the entire family.

10/18 – Rachel Coleman Signing Time Concert – Emmy nominated, co-creator and star of Signing Time, Rachel Coleman will perform to benefit the Signing Time Foundation which helps make sign language fun and accessible to all children. There will be time to meet and greet with Rachel after the show.

10/18 – Third Annual Monster Bash at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Join for a night of ghoulish fun at Sacramento Children’s Museum’s Monster Bash! Gear up for Halloween and wear your best costume and come play the night away at the museum. There will be a DJ, dancing, refreshments, photo opportunities, a haunted hallway, and even more.

10/18 – Birding for Families at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Bring the family out and join for a birding and nature walk led by a naturalist and special guest guides from the Sacramento Audubon. Birdwatchers of all levels are welcomed. Make sure to bring your binoculars, or they can loan you a pair.

10/18 – 10/19 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – This family musical contains a zany, wise cracking mirror who will only answer if spoken to in rhyme, as well as a whole court full of funny and bubbling characters. It hums with 14 lively songs, including a scary forest ballet.  Snow White runs away from the evil queen and seeks refuge with seven little miners. But the queen and her sister, a once-powerful witch, need “a locket from the pocket of a princess that is pure”. They come after Snow White, but Sir Pompous leads members of the queen’s court into the woods to thwart their evil plans. The queen is trapped in an ugliness spell and forced to remain that way, as the entire court reminds her (in a rousing gospel song), “You’re the mirror of every deed that you do!”

10/18 – 10/19 – Microscope Mania at the Discovery Museum – From large to microscopically small, the Discovery Museum has it all! Visit gigantic dinosaurs in the Blast from the Past exhibit and colossal redwoods in the nature area. Get down to the teeny and tiny in their microscope lab. By using different levels of magnification, visitors explore pond life and other samples. This is a great opportunity for youngsters to get their hands on real science tools.

10/18 – 10/19 – Folsom Renaissance Faire – The Folsom City Lions Park will be transformed to a delightful Elizabethan town filled with myriad characters and vignettes resembling those of Shakespeare’s plays we so dearly love. In addition, over 900 costumed entertainers and over 100 shopkeepers and artisans will add to the ambiance of the Faire. The Festival will be the ultimate Renaissance bash, a lively Dionysian party, where the guests enjoy turkey legs, exotic food, and drink as they banter with the myriad performers filling the streets. The event sports one-of-a-kind shows, music, and comedy.

10/19 – Sunday Crafternoon at the Crocker Art Museum – This monthly gathering will inspire your family’s creativity and help you enjoy quality time together. Make simple crafts that celebrate the season, using a variety of beautiful materials, while enjoying warm drinks. For ages four and up with adult participation; siblings ages three and under are welcome to tag along at no extra charge.

10/19 – Hunters of the Night at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Take an eye-opening look at these amazing nocturnal hunters. Find out when owls are most active, what an owl pellet is, and meet a resident owl up close!

Win Family Passes to Fairytale Town’s Safe & Super Halloween

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As a parent of young children, safety is a priority, especially when it comes to Halloween.  Well, Fairytale Town really GETS this and provides not only a safe, but a super fun environment for families at Halloween time.  In fact, they have been doing it for 27 years!  This year, Fairytale Town presents its Super & Safe Halloween: A Hobbit Adventure from 5-9pm on the evenings of October 25, 26 & 27th.

Safe  Super Halloween at Fairytale Town 5“Join us as we transform Fairytale Town into the magical world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Trick or treat at 17 candy stations as you journey through Middle Earth on your way to the Lonely Mountain. Peek into the elven kingdom of Rivendell, explore Bilbo Baggin’s hobbit hole, and wander through the forest—but remember to stay clear of goblins and orcs! Keep an eye out for Gandalf, dwarves, elves, hobbits and even Smaug the dragon! Plenty of photo ops, games, candy and family fun await!”

In addition to trick-or-treating, the fun will include costume parades, puppet shows, hands-on activities, and of course, the park itself with its fairytaled-themed slides,  gardens, and climbing structures….and so much more. This is sure to be your kids’ favorite Halloween party this year!

Advance tickets are required and are discounted if purchased before October 25.  Click here for more ticket information. 

Now, if you would like to win a family 4-pack to this year’s Hobbit Adventure, leave a comment at the end of this post telling us what your child loves most about fairytale town.  One lucky reader will be randomly selected on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.  Good luck!