WIN TICKETS: Sacramento’s Harvest Festival Goes Beyond Holiday Shopping with Live Music, Holiday-Themed Performers and a Hands-On Kids Zone













Just like that, Halloween is over, which means the holiday season is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is three weeks away and Christmas just seven. It’s time to start planning your holiday shopping which means scouring the Internet and store ads for deals, and strategically planning your Black Friday shopping schedule. While you may already have some ideas of what to get friends and family, there always seems to be that one person on the list that is difficult to find a gift for. Enter the Harvest Festival, the largest indoor arts and crafts show on the West Coast.

Held at Cal Expo, the Sacramento Harvest Festival boasts thousands of unique items – all handmade and embellished within the United States. From clothing to specialty foods, to original art and photography, the this festival has got you covered. In addition to shopping, enjoy music by the Fargo Brothers, laugh with comedian John Park and the “Funny Waiter” show, take pictures with Mama Claus, Eddie the Elf and stilt-walking Santa, grab a bite or two to eat from the many varied food vendors and let the kids play at the KidZone area presented by Lakeshore Learning.

Sound like fun? We’ve got four family packs, that’s right – FOUR – to give away to four lucky readers. The family packs include four admission tickets and $10 in “harvest money” to spend at your favorite vendor booth. If you would like a chance to win, watch the Harvest Festival video here, and tell us in the comment section below what you plan to shop for when you attend. Leave your comment by 5pm on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Winners will be chosen on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Good luck!

WHAT: Sacramento Harvest Festival

WHEN: Nov. 17-19, 2017, 10am to 6pm

WHERE: Cal Expo, Sacramento

TICKETS: $9 adults, $7 youth, $4 kids, free ages 12 and under

*be prepared to pay a parking fee


Win Tickets To The Sacramento Harvest Festival!

Harvest FestivalLooking for a unique holiday shopping experience?  Then you’ll want to head on over to the Sacramento Harvest Festival at Cal Expo November 22-24, 2013.

“The Harvest Festivals are the largest indoor arts and crafts shows on the West Coast and were rated as one of the top 200 craft shows in the United States.  The event offers over 24,000 unique handmade gifts that are all made in America.  Guests can browse jewelry, clothing, find are and photography, pottery, toys, home decor and more, all while mingling with the artists that create each piece.”

Here’s what else you’ll find at this wonderful family festival:

Live entertainment acts include a Johnny Cash Tribute band featuring James Garner and rock band Fargo Brothers.

Children 12 years and younger are FREE, and they will love  Mama Claus and Eddie the Elf who will be in the aisles singing Christmas carols.  WC Willy on stilts and Fables of the West will  will be  entertaining guests throughout the festival.  The kiddos can also head over to the KidZone, hosted by Nature of Art for Kids, where they’ll have plenty of fun, eco-friendly interactive art projects to keep them busy.

Would you like to attend the Harvest Festival and get some of your holiday shopping out of the way early?  Well, we have a family 4-pack to give away to one lucky reader.  For a chance to win, leave us a comment as to what unique gift you hope to find at this year’s festival.  A random drawing will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2013.  Good luck!

Weekend Family Fun

This weekend you’ll find Monster Trucks at Raley Field, Kings Basketball at the Sleep Train Arena, a Festival of Trees at the Automobile Museum, a harvest festival to begin your holiday shopping and many more fun activities your family will enjoy!

11/16 -Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks – The Sacramento Kings take on the Atlanta Hawks in this basketball game at the Sleep Train Arena (formerly Power Balance Pavilion.)

11/16 -17 – Monster X Tour at Raley Field – The Monster X Tour will include racing, wheelie contests, and freestyle competition, as well as myriad side acts including Moto X freestyle, trophy truck and demo cross. The list of participating monster trucks, which is subject to change, includes BigFoot, Time Flys, Detour, Fired Up, Super Stomper, El Perro Loco, Rock Star, California Kid, and General Lee.

11/16-18 – Kids & Company Gallery Adventures at the Crocker – Wildly amusing and surprisingly educational, this tour is the perfect way to introduce art to children ages five and older (and the adults that tag along with them) in a fun and playful manner.  Free with Museum admission. This program takes place every first and third Sunday of the month.

11/16-18 – Sacramento Harvest Festival at the Cal Expo Pavilion – The Sacramento Harvest Festival, one of the largest indoor arts and craft shows on the West Coast, will return with over 24, 000 handmade arts and crafts. This year marks the 40th Anniversary Tour for the Harvest Festivals. Attendees can browse original art, jewelry, clothing, pottery, toys, specialty foods, home decor, and more. Throughout the weekend there is live entertainment, strolling performers, artist demonstrations, food tastings, a hands on KidZone, and fabulous prize drawings.

Plus, anyone who brings a canned food donation for Elk Grove Food Bank Services will receive $2 off admission

11/17 – Family Activity: Things that Slither at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – What has no arms or legs and smells with its tongue? What can lose and re-grow its tail? Learn about the life cycles, predators, prey, habitats, and defenses of reptiles. Meet a resident reptile up close!

11/17 – Hands-on-History: Trapped in the Mountains at Sutter’s Fort – In the winter of 1846-1847 over 80 emigrants became trapped in the Sierra snows. We know them as the Donner Party, but the travelers included individuals and many different families. Did you know that the snowbound emigrants lived in two separate camps almost five miles apart? Sutter’s Fort was their destination and became their only hope of survival. Rescue parties of volunteers were assembled at the Fort, mules and packs were gathered, and a variety of food supplies were packed for the rescue. Few people are aware that the second relief party carried 100 pounds of cocoa and 400 pounds of sugar among other more mundane staple items.

View replicas of rarely seen original documents and hear the mysterious and haunting stories that have fallen through the cracks. Visitors will be able to pack a wagon or write in their journal with a quill pen, or make a corn husk or rag doll and create their own pioneer souvenir item. Come to the Fort and hear why there continues to be so much discussion about the Donner Party.  Cannon Demonstrations will be held at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.

11/17-18 – Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright at the Discovery Museum – This weekend is all about big cats at the Discovery Museum. Start out by viewing the cat corner in the Bone Zone exhibit. Kids try on tiger costumes and make big growls for the camera. Watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the Doctor’s Office play space. The classroom has Daniel Tiger coloring sheets, mask making, and tiger-themed freebies to take home (as supplies last).  Planetarium shows are at 1pm & 3pm for ages 4 and older. Tiger slide show in our planetarium at Noon & 2pm for all ages.

11/18 – Family Activity: Great Gobblers at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center -Beards, wattles, and snoods—what strange things to see on a bird! Look and listen for wild turkeys as you explore their world on this guided walk through the Nature Preserve.  All ages welcome.

11/18 – Festival of Trees at the California Automobile Museum – Join for a fun-filled evening that the entire family can enjoy. View the beautiful trees decorated and displayed by local merchants and organizations. The shimmering trees are the backdrop for this magical evening. You will be thrilled by the excitement of the auctions and raffles. Mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres will be served. There will be incredible live music, all in a fairytale-like atmosphere. Make this evening the most enchanting evening of the season!

The festival will feature “A Taste of Northern California” surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas. Some amazing items will be auctioned off including family vacations, weekend getaways, fun and exciting kids items, great gifts, and more. Generous, talented groups and individuals from businesses, civic groups, churches, families, and friends in the community have donated their time and talent to decorating Christmas trees and wreaths that will be raffled off during the event.  Remember, this year’s Festival of Trees will be benefiting The Birth Connection.

11/18 – Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets – The Sacramento Kings take on the Brooklyn Nets in this basketball game at the Sleep Train Arena.

11/18 – BusyKidz Grand Opening Celebration – Join in for the official ribbon cutting! BuzyKidz will have music, face painting, activities, snacks, a craft sponsored by Lakeshore Learning, and of course, all of BusyKidz to play in.

Weekend Family Fun

This weekend you can catch the fall colors at the Nature Center, see a performance of the Jungle Book, investigate insects at the Discovery Museum, enjoy one last Harvest Festival and celebrate 100 years of Disney characters with Disney on Ice!

11/1-4 – Disney on Ice – Join the celebration as 65 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic! You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, and many of the Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King,
Mulan, and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever.

11/3 – Our Day Outside at the Placer Nature Center –  Can you stalk like a bobcat, hop like a rabbit? Let’s move our bodies and play animal poetry. Come for a nature walk with animals in mind.   Snacks.  This FREE Event is brought to you by WarmLine Family Resource Center and is for children ages 0-5 and their siblings.Please register by calling WarmLineFRC (916)-632-2100 or; 10am to 12 noon, Placer Nature Center, 3700 Christian Valley Rd., Auburn 95602

11/3 – Disney’s The Jungle Book, Kids – Musical Mayhem Productions, in conjunction with Florence Markofer Elementary School, presents Disney’s The Jungle Book, Kids. The jungle is jumpin’ with jazz in this exciting Disney classic! Join Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie, and the gang as they swing their way through madcap adventures and thwart the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan.

Specially adapted from the beloved film, this musical includes all your favorite Disney tunes, like “The Bare Necessities,” and “I Wan’na Be Like You.” With colorful characters and that toe-tapping jungle rhythm, this one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for audiences of all ages. Come enjoy a fun and affordable musical theatre family night out!

11/3 – Celebrate Francie at Fairytale Town – Join and celebrate local children’s entertainer Francie Dillon! Francie is an award-winning Sacramento entertainer, and has brought great joy and inspirational energy to children and adults for more than 20 years. As a writer, recorder, and performer, her stories and songs have earned her national acclaim. In Sacramento she is the voice of Fairytale Town and her talents are well-known, especially among local families.

The evening will feature Sacramento food trucks, children’s entertainment, and the music of The Jazz Report and Mumbo Gumbo. Sponsorships and donations are greatly appreciated.

11/3 – Dia de los Muertos at the Sacramento History Museum -The events celebrate the annual “Day of the Dead” traditions—a national holiday in Mexico that is showcased by friends and families building elaborate altars to honor loved ones who have died then gathering in remembrance and celebration.

This is a wonderful chance to participate in hands-on workshops and attend special activities to learn more about this cultural tradition that is celebrated in cities around the world. Also be sure to mark your calendar to attend the Altar and Velacion Ceremony, the Altar Installation, and the spectacular Procession and Azteca Dance performances; these cultural traditions and celebrations are not to be missed!

11/3 – Step Up for Down Syndrome – Join the Down Syndrome Information Alliance as it celebrates its 8th Annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk! With its previous success of more than 1,000 people in 2011, the walk brings in families as well as local school groups, churches, community organizations, and professionals. This event provides opportunities to network, socialize, and most importantly, educate the public about what the community has to offer children and adults with special needs; and what these children and adults have to offer our community!

11/3 – Family Activity: Beneath Our Feet at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center -As the nights grow longer and cooler, burrow-dwelling rabbits, squirrels, and skunks are nestled safely in underground shelters. View “biofacts” like pelts and skulls from these animals and learn how earth dwellers survive.

All ages welcome.

11/3 – Healthy Kids Day – Join for health information, free screenings, and to apply for free and low-cost insurance and nutrition programs for adults and children. Programs include Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, CalFresh (formerly food stamps), and new information on the Affordable Care Act.

To apply, please bring proof of address (SMUD or PG&E bill), proof of income (recent pay stubs for 1 month), proof of birth for each child or proof of pregnancy (note from your clinic or doctor), a social security card for children, proof of resources & expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, bank statements) for CalFresh and Adult Medi-Cal.  This will be featuring free Tdap shots and Flu shots; please call ahead to see if you qualify.

11/3 – Fall Arts Festival – Peregrine School celebrates the arts with a free show and festival at its elementary school in south Davis. Live music by Tha Dirt Feelin, a Caveman Variety Show, a Day of the Dead altar, and a student art display highlight the diversity and depth of the school’s active arts program.

Ticketed art activities for kids—including chalk art, craft-making, and face painting—will be available. Hoppy Brewing Co. beer and La Esperanza Mexican sweets for sale round out the event.

11/3 – Harvest Festival -Come out to enjoy huge Twister, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin blasters, pumpkins stencil, foam bookmarks, corn husk dolls, and more. Togos, Squeeze Inn, and Smoothie Patrol will have food trucks on site. there will also be face painting, temporary tattoos, hair decorating, a cake walk, a pumpkin patch, bubble blowing, a “guess the weight” booth for a huge pumpkin, a book fair, a costume parade, and a raffle.

11/3-4 – Insect Investigations at the Discovery Museum – Get close up and learn about our favorite invertebrate—the insect! There are over 900,000 species of insects in the world, making up 80% of all living creatures. The Museum’s classroom is overflowing with critter fun. Posters, displays, and preserved specimens are available for this weekend only! To add more science to the day, there will be robotic insects,or hexbugs, available for children to race and compete against one another. The kids will craft a pencil critter to take home as a souvenir.

11/4 – Family Activity: Fall Colors at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Create colorful fall art by making a leaf rubbing for each of the leaf shapes found in the village area of the Nature Center. Learning each leaf is the key to identifying the many trees found in this area.  All ages welcome.

Weekend Family Fun

Events this weekend include Open Cockpit Day at the Aerospace Museum, Day of the Dead activities at the Sacramento History Museum, a Scarecrow Festival at Denio’s and much more!

10/19  – Monster Bash at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Come one, come all to the Sacramento Children Museum’s Monster Bash! Get those costumes ready for Halloween with a night of music, dancing, refreshments, and museum play.

10/19 – Two Rivers Elementary’s Harvest Festival – Dress up in your costume and bring the entire family to the Harvest Festival! There will be carnival games, a cake walk, a haunted house, BBQ, cotton candy, giant slide, bounce house, and much, much more. Last year over 1000 people attended. Don’t miss out on the fun this year as the tradition continues. It’s a fundraising event for the whole community.

10/20 – Halloween Haunt at Safetyville USA – The 21st Annual Halloween Haunt benefits the youth safety & health education programs at Safetyville USA. The miniature village takes on a harvest festival theme and provides activities and fun for the entire family in a safe environment.  Entertainment includes a magic show by Trevor Wyatt and a maze. Enjoy a family safe Halloween with food, games, stage shows, & fun.

10/20 – Family Activity: Amazing Salmon at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center -The incredible Chinook Salmon have arrived! Discover the amazing life cycle of these impressive fish and hike to the river in search of these kings of the river.  All ages welcome.

10/20 – Midtown Arts Festival -The Midtown Business Association (MBA) is proud to present the 2nd Annual Midtown Arts Festival, in conjunction with Sacramento’s ARTober: Fall for the Arts celebration, which will showcase the various arts in the region for National Arts and Humanities month in October.  There will be live music and performances from local arts organizations, in addition to the performances, attendees of all ages will have the opportunity to explore a variety of innovative art processes that will be demonstrated during the festival. The festival will also highlight local artist and craft vendors, and a Kid’s Arts Area. 

10/20 – Open Cockpit Day at the Aerospace Museum – Come see an open cockpit with a special admission of $5 (but museum members, active duty military, and children 5 and under are still free)!

10/20 – Decorate Frames & Candles for Day of the Dead at the Sacramento History Museum -Personalize your own Dia De Los Muertos picture frame and altar candles. Picture frames and candles are an essential part of Dia De Los Muertos altars used to remember and honor those who have passed.  This event is part of Souls of the City, presented by Sol Collective and the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation.

10/20 – Scarecrow Festival & Parade at Denio’s – Denio’s Scarecrow Festival & Parade is a benefit fundraiser for Roseville Firefighters Caring for Kids & Community.  Participants are invited to enter the scarecrow contest to help neighborhood schools and win fantastic prizes. Cash awards will be handed out to the top two scarecrows and a third will receive a special Denio’s Choice Award. The costume parade will also have winners for the most creative and fun costumes.

Activities will include caramel apple sales, a scarecrow contest and auction, trick or treating, raffle, and children’s parade and activities. 100% of proceeds from the day’s activities will be donated to the Roseville Firefighters Caring for Kids & Community charity.

10/20 – Halloween Crazy Cats & Ghosts at Pence Gallery – Ceramic artist Heidi Bekebrede leads a workshop for families (kids ages 4+) in sculpting crazy cats, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night, just in time for Halloween. Kids will scupt, paint with underglazes, and then come back once the pieces are fired.

To RSVP, please call the number below by Oct 19. Sponsored by Anne Lincoln & Steve Roth.

10/20-21 – Day of the Dead Celebration at the Discovery Museum -This weekend the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center salutes the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, a time for celebration. A common symbol for this holiday is the skull. Sugar skulls are a traditional gift given to both the living and the dead during these festivities. The whole family can learn about this fascinating custom, and children under 12 can decorate a small sugar skull to take home. There are coloring sheets too.

Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Early At The Sacramento Harvest Festival

By  Alyssa Green

Don’t wait until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping.  Get in the game early by attending the Sacramento Harvest Festival, November 18-20th.   This “Original Art and Craft Show” will be returning to Cal Expo the weekend before Thanksgiving and will give you plenty of ideas for those difficult-to-buy-for people on your shopping list.

One paid admission to this family-friendly event gets you in all weekend long to enjoy the shopping, crafts, food, music and entertainment.  Don’t be afraid to bring your kids along (unless of course, you are shopping for them) as there will be plenty to keep them busy and entertained as well.

Nature of Art will be hosting KidZone which will provide eco-friendly art and craft supplies for on site project making.  Anthem Blue Cross will also be hosting “Bring Back Recess” which gets your kids involved in classic kids games like hop scotch, jump rope and four square.

In addition to music and entertainment all weekend long for the grown ups, the festival also offers strolling entertainers who walk around…well, entertaining.  Your kids will love singing along with Mama Claus and Eddie the Elf and listening to Washboard Willy as he entertains with his “Washboard Jamboree.”

Admission prices are $9 for adults, $7 for Senior Citizens, $4 for teenagers and FREE for 12 years and under.  However, if you bring in a non-perishable food item, you will receive  a $2 off coupon from Elk Grove Food Bank Services.  Yay! 

So, if you want to get your shopping done early this year (you know you do!) head on over to the Sacramento Harvest Festival for some unique, American and handmade gifts for those you love, then sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Introduce Your Kids To The World Of Art During Sacramento’s Artober

By Alyssa Green

The month of October is National Arts and Humanities month and the Sacramento region has embraced this opportunity to share with it’s residence the importance of art in our community through a month long celebration.

Artober – 31 Days of Art and Soul was launched in 2010 by Mayor Kevin Johnson with the purpose of  “increasing the visibility of talent in Sacramento.” Communities throughout the region have planned special art events in celebration.  From music…to theater…to dance and literary readings, there is something to spark the interest of any person, of any age.  Below are five family friendly art happening that are definitely worth your consideration.

October 2 – Sacramento World Music and Dance Festival – Old Sacramento.   The Sac World Fest is a FREE annual event for the whole family which celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Sacramento Region through dance, musical performances poetry, culinary offerings, and more. 

Your kids will be mesmerized by the cultural dances and musical happenings in the streets.  In the Global Village they’ll learn about different cultures through crafts, art activities, musical instruments and dance clinics.  In the Old Eagle Theater they’ll hear stories, poetry and other readings geared towards youth audiences.  There is also a bonus Sac World Fest kickoff on Saturday Octber 1st.  For more information click here.                                                  

October 8-9Harvest the Arts Festival – South Natomas Community Center – with live music, Sac Show Biz Dancers, theater make-up demos and arts and craft activities for children.  Come support Natomas’ first annual harvest and arts festival!

October 9Community Center Theater Open House – This is a fabulous opportunity for your kids to see what goes on behind the scenes of a theater production.  Open from 1 to 5pm, this FREE event offers tours of the theater as well as presentations by professionals, students, and community groups.  Probably best for kids 5 and older. 

October 15Acorn Day – California State Indian Museum – Come on out to the Indian Museum for a fun and educational day in celebration of  the “Acorn” – a main food staple of the American Indians.  Kids can participate in native arts and crafts, games and other hands on activities.  Basketry, beadwork and clothing artifacts will be on display as well as basket making demonstrations.

October 16Water: A Free Family Festival – Crocker Art Museum – Liquid Assets: Perspectives on Water celebrates water as an essential part of living as well as creative inspiration in art.  There will be hands on activities, performances and demonstrations all centered around water in every day life.  Perfect for families with young children.  And as usual, we recommend you take the Story Trail tour and stop in at Tot Land for more kid friendly artsy experiences.