10 Fun Things to do with Kids in Sacramento in the Fall

While Sacramento enjoys great weather and lots of sunshine all year-long (Ok…summer might be just a tad warm), Fall is really one of the best times of the year to get out and explore what the city has to offer. The average temperature from Oct. through Nov. is about 70 degrees, with minimal precipitation. Add into the mix the thousands of trees with leaves changing color all over town, and you’ve got the perfect reason to get outside and enjoy the season. Take a look at our list of ten of the our favorite things to do with your kids this time of year.

1. Visit the Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River and witness the return of Chinook Salmon and steelhead trout as they settle into a spawning habitat at the base of the Nimbus Dam. This working hatchery offers visitors interactive exhibits at the visitors center; a spawning deck viewing window; a river discovery trail – a 1/4 mile trail along the river that allows for viewing of migrating and resident birds, deer, river otter a coyote; a fish ladder that helps the fish swim upstream; holding ponds offering close-up views of the fish; and a salmon-inspired play structure for the kiddos, complete with a shade canopy and bench. http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/nimbus

2. Get your fill of miniature trains at the California State Railroad Museum’s Big Weekend of Small Trains. This special event showcases a huge assortment of model and toy trains, hundreds of feet of track, along with make-believe cities and towns. The setup will really get you into the holiday mood. If you can pull yourself away from the magical world of toy trains, take some time to walk around the museum and see one of the West Coast’s largest collection of real trains and locomotives. www.californiarailroad.museum

3. Enjoy a Tuesday train ride along the Sacramento River. And speaking of trains, during the fall and winter, the California State Railroad Museum offers an excursion train ride to the general public on Tuesdays of each week. Trains depart at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm from the Central Pacific Railway Freight Depot in Old Sacramento and take riders on a 45-minute, round-trip journey along the levee. Witness the Sacramento River at it’s calmest – just before the winter rains pummel Northern California – and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season along the way. http://www.californiarailroad.museum

4. Explore a 100-acre nature preserve in the middle of the city at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. This preserve along the American River includes an education center with a staff of naturalists to help guests learn about the natural habitat that was once the summer home of the Nisenan Maidu native peoples. Visitors will see a replica Maidu village, a variety of native and non-native plants and animals that live on the preserve, and a garden of native flowering plants near the play area. Several trails are also available within the preserver for visitors to spot wildlife. Specific to the fall, keep your eye out for migrating birds, acorn-gathering squirrels and color-changing fall leaves on the many woodland trees. http://www.sacnaturecenter.net

5. Take a trip to nearby Apple Hill. For many Sacramentans, making the trip to Apple Hill is an annual fall tradition. While a year-round destination, the most popular and festive time to visit this conglomerate of farms is September through November. Located in the foothill towns of Placerville and Camino along Hwy 50, Apple Hill features family owned farms and ranches, offering a bounty of fresh produce, and definitely everything apple this time of year. Want to pick apples straight from the orchard? You got it. Have a hankering for a good old-fashioned apple pie? Take your pick. There’s also no shortage of apple cider, apple fritters, apple donuts, and more. Add to all the apple fun –  pumpkins, hay mazes, pony and train rides, even some trout fishing, and you’ve yourself and perfect day of fall family fun. http://www.applehillca.com/

6. Shop till your heart’s content at the Sacramento Harvest Festival. Held at Cal Expo, the Harvest Festival is the West Coast’s largest art and craft vendor fair. With hundreds of vendors offering more than 20,000 unique gifts – all handmade or embellished in the U.S. – you’ll be able to know just about everyone off your Christmas gift list in one fell swoop. Beyond shopping, the festival includes live music and comedy, themed performers (Mama Claus, Eddie the Elf, and Santa on stilts), an interactive kids zone and a food court. http://www.harvestfestival.com

7. Play at Fairytale Town – for free. Bring in a canned food to donate to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services the day after Thanksgiving, and you’ll earn free admission into Sacramento’s favorite park. At Fairytale Town you’ll experience all your favorite fairytale stories and characters throughout the park’s play areas and structures including King Arthur’s Castle, Mr. McGregor’s Garden, Sherwood Forest, the Crooked Mile, Cinderella’s Carriage, and more. The storybook park is located in the heart of the larger William Land Park, a beautiful expanse of open space where trees and fall leaves abound. http://www.fairytaletown.org/

8. Get your exercise in at Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving morning. This 5k walk/run and 10k run is for the entire family. Sponsored by Western Health Advantage, the money raised through this event supports the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. By registering your family to run or walk, you are not only burning ahead of time all the calories you’ll be eating at the later Thanksgiving dinner, but you’ll be giving back to the community as well. http://www.runtofeedthehungry.com/

9. Visit the California Museum and save $2 off admission. There are several kid-friendly museums in and around Sacramento, and while the California Museum is one of them, it often gets overlooked. Home to the California Hall of Fame, California Indians, California’s Remarkable Women, Health Happens Here exhibits and many more permanent and short-term exhibits, this museum is an educational paradise for your kiddos. And, receive $2 off admission through the end of the year. http://www.californiamuseum.org/

10. Walk the streets of Midtown and Downtown for some spectacular fall colors. Sacramento has been known as the city of trees for years and there’s certainly no shortage of foliage in the city. Take a walk around Capital Park, then head east on K Street into Midtown. Wherever your feet take you this time of year, you’re bound to run into some best fall foliage any California city can offer.




The Mini Maker Faire Comes to Sacramento for a Day of Science, Technology and More

rocklin_mmf_logo_googleplus_2This Saturday, October 1st, Sierra College in Rocklin will host the 2016 Mini Maker Faire.

If you are not familiar with the Mini Maker Faire, it’s an all day event featuring rockets, robots, DIY science, technology and more!  This event will feature both established and emerging local “makers” showcasing their inventions and creativity.  Makers range from tech enthusiasts to scientists, crafters to engineers… and everything in between!  Neither age nor experience matters at this event – everyone comes together to showcase, learn and experiment.

My 7-year-old son is obsessed with the show “Battle bots”- and he is always trying to find ways to create robots from Legos, and is taking apart any old appliances we have to create new things… this is the event for him!

Not only will “Battle bots” be on site and demonstrating their skills, but there will be vendors and hands on projects for kids of all ages to enjoy. Some of the events and vendors include:
Upcycling of clothing Tie die stations Bender Toss competitions Rocket launching and photos Mutant vehicles Virtual Reality Zombie Games Robots and Battle bots Crafts and so much more!

This is a FREE family friendly event from 10am-5pm on the Sierra College Campus (5000, Rocklin Road) in Rocklin.   If you have children who are interested in science and technology of any kind, this is the event to take them to.  It’s free, educational and fun…and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Sacramento’s Free Farm-to-Fork Festival is this Weekend: Here’s What you Need to Know if you’re Bringing your Kids

It’s here…Sacramento’s 4th annual Farm-to-Fork Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 am to 6 pm on Capitol Mall between Third and Ninth streets. This family festival is a great event to bring the kids to, as there are many child-oriented activities, family-friendly entertainment, and it won’t cost you a cent because admission is free…for everyone. Intrigued? Here’s what you need to know if you will be bringing the family down on Saturday:

What You Need To Know About Bringing Your Family Out To Sacramento’s Family Friendly Farm-to-Fork Festival

Enjoy these photos from previous years’ Farm-to-Fork Festivals.


Win Tickets: Fairytale Town’s Free Book Festival to Feature Barbara Jean Hicks, Author of Frozen: A Sister More Like Me

webeventbanner-21Every September, Sacramento’s favorite storybook park opens its doors to children of all ages for its free annual children’s book festival, featuring a lineup of renowned children’s book authors. This year, the 16th annual Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival will feature headlining author Barbara Jean Hicks, of Frozen: A Sister Like Me and a new book, Once Upon a Parsnip. Children will enjoy back-to-back readings and presentations on the Mother Goose stage from several authors and illustrators who will be available for book signings. Other fun literacy activities will be storytelling performances, hands-on activities, a scholastic book fair and more. And the best part about this festival? Admission is FREE giving all children and their parents/caregivers the chance to enjoy this special event.

What: Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival

When: Sept. 24 & 25, 2016

Where: Fairtyale Town

Admission: FREE


Wondering who the other authors and illustrators will be? Here’s the lineup:

Allison Branscombe: All About China

Lynda Bulla: Under the Yellow Leaf

Madeleine Dunphy: Cat in the Night

Kelsey Lynn Estep: A Stone’s Throw

Ronald Javor: Homer Finds a Home

Sami Kader: Sami vs. the Negative Voice

Jennifer Kuhns: Paisley of Plaid…Being Your Very Best You!

Kris Aro McLeod: Catch a Kiss

Akshaj Mehta: Super Mouse

Lori Mortensen: Cowpoke Clyde

Karen Sanders and Hannah Howerton: The Little Lemon that Leapt

The folks at Fairytale Town would really like you to come out and enjoy this festival with them and so they are offering SacramentoKids.net a great giveaway package for one or our lucky readers. The package includes 4 Fairytale Town admission tickets, a Magic Key, a plush Humpty Dumpty doll and copies of Barbara Jean Hicks two books, Frozen: A Sister More Like Me and Once Upon a Parsnip. Want to win? Here’s how you can become eligible. Tell us which of the books above is your child’s favorite, and why. Leave your comments below by 5pm on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. A random drawing will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.  *Once entry per person, please.


Weekend Family Fun: All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream, Campouts with Humpty Dumpty and Fun on the Frontier

Sacramento Weekend Kids ActivitiesFor many of you, it’s the last weekend before school starts up again for the kiddos and you’ll want to make the most of it. There are some fantastic activities and events happening around Sacramento this weekend. All-you-can-eat ice cream at the Sacramento Zoo sounds heavenly doesn’t it? How about letting your kids work off some energy at Safetyville’s Family Bike Night? Or camp out at Fairytale Town, play some games at Sutter’s Fort, or catch a movie in the park. We guarantee you’ll find something fun to do, so get out there and have some fun!

Family Campout at Fairytale Town – Spend the night in Fairytale Town’s storybook park. This exciting overnight adventure includes a theater performance, arts and crafts activities, a scavenger hunt, bedtime stories, and a sing-along. Wake up the next morning under Fairytale Town’s canopy of trees to a light continental breakfast. 8/14 at 5:30pm to 8/16 at 7am.

Family Bike Night at Safetyville USA – Family Bike Nights was designed to give families a safe place to ride their bikes together, learn basic bike safety rules, and get some exercise. Bring your bike and helmet because there is three and a half acres to ride on, a special area for new riders, bike safety clinics, and food available for purchase. 8/14, 5:30 – 8pm.

Hands On History: Fun on the Frontier – The special Hands on History: Fun on the Frontier event at Sutter’s Fort will showcase some of the pioneer games and activities popular during the early days at the Fort including: the Game of Graces, bean bag toss, and sack and barrel hoop races for the kids. The Fort will offer “games of chance” for adults, complete with fancy card shuffling tricks and more. Also, interactive and fun hands-on craft making will be available for kids of all ages who are interested in creating special keepsakes to take home. Of course, demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon. 8/15, 10am to 5pm.

Ice Cream Safari at the Sacramento Zoo – At the 31st annual Ice Cream Safari where you can get all-you-can-eat Baskin Robbins Ice Cream in cones, sundaes, and floats along with all-you-can-drink Coca-Cola beverages. Explore the 14-acre zoo with ice cream treats around every corner! There will be entertainment for the kids and fun for everyone. There will be a face painting station, an ice cream dance party, and live entertainment. Don’t forget to enter the Gi-Raffle for the chance to win some fun prizes. 8/15, 4pm – 8pm.

Rattlesnakes Myths and Truths – Join the Effie Yeaw Nature Center on Saturday for a fascinating lecture and field study by Mike Cardwell. You will learn about the ecology and behavior of local rattlesnakes, myths, and bite prevention/treatment and how biologists study wild rattlesnakes. You’ll see how tiny transmitters are implanted and how the snakes are radio-tracked, as well as other tools used to document the private lives of these fascinating and timid creatures. 8/15, 10am to noon.

Wizard of Oz presented by Runaway Stage Productions – Don’t miss this production is based on the MGM movie The Wizard of Oz, which won three Academy Awards and was one of the first films to be named to the National Film Registry. 8/15, 12pm and 2pm.

Bookworm Pencils at the Discovery Museum – It is time to go back to school and the Museum is celebrating with a “bookworm” pencil craft. Color your worm and have it crawl up your new pencil. Have one more weekend of fun with your family and friends before school begins. 8/15 & 8/16, 12:30 to 4pm.

Let the River Run Clean at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Take a hike to the river and learn some ways you can help take care of it and the salmon, egrets, beavers, and other wildlife that depend on its clean water. As you learn, you’ll put on some gloves and help clean the river by collecting trash along its banks. 8/15, 10:30am.

Movie Night in the Park: The Incredibles – District 4 hosts another movie night in the park! This time they will be playing The Incredibles, so come out and have fun. There will be free popcorn, juice, and water. 8/15, 8:30pm – 10:30pm.

Critter Corner at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Have you ever wondered where the animals in the Nature Center come from? Join in for this program to meet some critters and learn why these animals are unable to return to the wild. 8/16, 1:30pm.


Weekend Fun for Sacramento Families

Easter Weekend Activities in SacramentoIt’s going to be a busy weekend here in Sacramento with Easter activities and events galore. However, there are still a few other fun things going on around town…like Party for the Planet at the Sacramento Zoo, or the Wildflower Walk at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. And of course, if you are looking for Easter events, scroll to the bottom of the page for a link to our list. Have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather!

4/3 – 4/4 – Nano Days at the Discovery Museum – Join Sacramento’s Discovery Museum for a nano-celebration education kids through programs about nanoscale science and engineering, at how it affects our future. There will be plenty of hands-on activities to help your kids learn and have fun at the same time!

4/4 – Earth Fest: Party for the Planet at the Sacramento Zoo – come to the Sacramento Zoo and learn how to take care of our planet Earth. Find out what you can do to when you meet up with environmental, wildlife and conservation groups, visit the edZOOcation stations and participate in storytelling activities. Meet Gus the green tree frog when you stop by the recycle rummage sale. And of course, don’t forget to visit your favorite animal exhibits!

4/4 – Willy Wonka at the 24th Street Theatre – You won’t want to miss Runaway Stage’s adventurous adaptation of the classic tale Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Experience the wonders of the candy factory with Charlie Bucket and the other kids who have won the golden ticket that sends them on a tour of this most fantastical place. The production features original songs from the 1971 movie.

4/5 – Wildflower Walk at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – join the Sacramento’s nature center for a chance to explore nature’s spring wildflower blooms along the American River.

4/5 – Hornblower Easter River Cruise – how often do your kids get to hang out with the Easter Bunny for a whole hour? Well, hop on board the Hornblower for a 1-hour cruise with the famous bunny himself as you cruise the Sacramento River on Easter Sunday. While the Easter Bunny is sure to be the grand attraction, there will also be food and drink available as well as activities for the kids. Oh, and dont’ forget about the spectacular river views!

For other Easter events happening this weekend, click here.


Sacramento Weekend Family Fun: March 20-22

PicMonkey CollageHere’s a great list of activities and events for kids and families in Sacramento this weekend. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather!

3/20 – Free Capitol Pops Concert at the California Automobile Museum – Join the Capitol Pops as they kickoff 18th season with this free concert open to the public.

3/20 – Sacramento Kings Basketball – the Sacramento Kings take on the Charlotte Bobcats at Sleep Train Arena.

3/20 – 3/21 – Shrek The Musical – Don’t miss this last opportunity to see Shrek The Musical’s this weekend at Consumnes Oaks High School. Our favorite green ogre will be joined by other fairytale character favorites likes the three little pigs, pinocchio, and the gingerbread man.

3/21 – Hands on History at Sutter’s Fort – Join Sutter’s Fort for this month’s Hands on History: Hard Working Women on the Frontier in celebration of Women’s History month. Visitors will enjoy black powder and musket demonstrations, an interactive wagon trail camp, and dutch oven cooking demonstrations.

3/21 – Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival at Fairytale Town – Enjoy FREE admission to Fairytale Town this Saturday during the Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival where kids will enjoy games, gardening activities and free play as they learn about healthy living.

3/21 – 3/22 – Discovery Weekend: Amateur Radio at the Discovery Museum – Kids can learn how to talk to people all over the world without cell phones and internet, using “ham radio.” Open Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 to 4:00 pm.

3/21 – 3/22 – The Reluctant Dragon at the Sutter Street Theatre – When Dragon Slayer St. George seeks to slay the town’s dragon, the peaceful, harmless creature who likes tea, and afternoon naps is befriended by a young boy who arranges a meeting between the two and a battle begins that  provides an entertaining climax and a happy ending.

3/22 – Sacramento Kings Basketball – more Kings basketball as Sacramento takes on the Washington Wizards at Sleep Train Arena.

3/22 – Sketch It at the Crocker Art Museum – kids ages 5 years and older can receive drawing instruction at this drop-in program.

3/22 – Mad Science at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Join Mad Science of Sacramento Valley as they visit the Children’s Museum on Science Sunday. Kids will have the opportunity to see science experiments and enjoy hands-on activities all day long.

3/22 – Early Engineers: Rockets at the Aerospace Museum – Learn all about propulsion and chemical reactions needed to launch a rocket into space. Kids will also design and build a rocket and launch tower.