24th Annual Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn will Bring Fun and Entertainment to the Whole Family

Our Sacramento region is bursting with fall color.  Typically, we associate fall with apple pies, pumpkin spice lattes and caramel apples…but what about good old Vitamin C?  Oranges, mandarins and everything citrus is also a great fall combination.  Up the hill in nearby Placer County, it’s the season of the mandarin! 

Mark your calendars for November 17 – 19 for the 24th annual, Mountain Mandarin Festival located in Auburn.  As we all know, Sacramento and the surrounding areas are known to be the biggest and best of the Farm-to-Fork communities.  With local farms all around us, there is no reason we shouldn’t be enjoying the local produce and sampling some of the best fruits around.  Mandarins are no exception. You can enjoy mandarin everything this weekend at the festival.  Mandarin sauces, cookies, chocolates…even some adult mandarin libations at the Absolut Vodka lounge.
This is a great place to pick up some unique gifts for the holiday season and enjoy some live entertainment with the family.

Over 200 vendors will be on site, 16 local mandarin growers, 4 stages of entertainment, kids’ activities, petting zoo and even pony rides will be available.  This will be a fun event for the entire family.

Admission into the festival is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids 12 and under is free.  Parking is an additional $6.

If you have never had the opportunity to spend the day in Auburn, then this is a great time.  Fall is bursting with color in this quaint town known for its rich history during the Gold Rush.  Old Town Auburn also has many “mom and pop” shops that are always fun to visit and sure to have that “perfect” gift for someone in your family.

What:  Mountain Mandarin Festival
Where:  1273 High Street, Auburn
When:  November 17-November 19
Why:  To enjoy the bounty of our local fruits and support small town businesses during the holiday season.

Here is my favorite Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad recipe to try:

5-6 Cups Baby Spinach
1 Cup Mandarin Oranges
½ Cup Chopped Red Onion
1 Tablespoon Orange Marmalade
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the marmalade, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and pour over the spinach mixture.   Kids will even this sweet and savory salad!


Win Tickets: Fairytale Town Blasts off into Space for this Year’s Safe & Super Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and Fairytale Town is gearing up for its 31st annual Halloween event. The storybook park’s Safe & Super Halloween this year will send you into outer space for an intergalactic night of trick-or-treating, Jedi training, lightsaber fitness and planet hopping. Add that to an already fun backdrop of fairytale play structures, farm animals and gardens, and your kids are in for a very fun, very safe Halloween night.

WHAT: 31st Annual Safe & Super Halloween in Space

WHEN: Oct. 20, 21, & 22 from 5 to 9 pm

WHERE: Fairytale Town

ADMISSION: $7 advance tickets for members, $10 advance ticket for non-members. $12 per person at the door.

Want to win tickets? We’ve got a family 4-pack to give away to one of our lucky readers. To be eligible to win, leave a comment below telling us what your favorite Fairytale Town memory is. We must receive your comment no later than 5pm on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. We will announce the winner on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Good luck!

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm, the King of Pumpkin Patches in the Sacramento Area, adds Outdoor Movies to it’s Attraction Lineup


Pumpkins, falling leaves and cooler nights prove that it’s finally fall, my most favorite time of the year. Everything about fall I absolutely love – sweaters, caramel apples, and pumpkins galore! There are many pumpkin patches in and around Sacramento, but the one that I crown the “king of patches” is Bishop’s. 

Bishop’s Pumpkin farm is located at 1415 Pumpkin Lane in Wheatland (approximately 40 minutes from Downtown Sacramento). They have finally opened the farm for the 2017 season, and crowds have already been enjoying the hay rides and gathering their pumpkins for the fall. If you have never been to Bishops, then be prepared. You will need an entire day to enjoy all they have to offer!  The farm can get busy on the weekends, but if you plan your day accordingly (like Disneyland), and then you can have a sensational fall day full of fun and excitement.

Some of the attractions at Bishop’s include hay Rides, a corn maze, Sunflower Labyrinth, pony rides, zip line, train rides, petting zoo, pig races and so much more!My family has been making memories at Bishops since…well, since I was a kid. And that is a VERY long time. Some of the activities my kids enjoy most are gold (marble) panning, inflatable pillow jumping, running through the pumpkin and apple orchards and of course, eating a caramel apple!

This year, Bishop’s has added something new – Movies on the farm. Every Saturday in October, they will be showing a different movie.  Free with regular admission, but you’ll want to bring some chairs and a blanket to enjoy one of the family friendly movies on the big screen.  Here is the lineup:

September 30:  Sing
October 7:  Secret Life of Pets
October 14:  Minions
October 21:  Beauty and the Beast
October 28:  Hotel Transylvania

Admission to Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm is free and parking is free through the month of September. and then in October there is a parking charge on the weekends only. All activities have an additional charge for which you can purchase tickets. And if you get hungry while you’re there? There are also several dining options including great pies to take home (Thanksgiving is just around the corner).

Plan out your day by visiting the website to determine what attractions your family would like to participate in, and then purchase your tickets and get ready to make some fall memories!

By Heather Crivellone


Win Tickets: Fairytale Town Giving Away Prize Bundle in Celebration of the 17th Annual ScholarShare Book Festival

One of Fairytale Town’s signature events is coming up this next weekend. The 17th Annual ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival will feature New York Times Best-Selling Author and Caldecott award-winner Lindsay Mattick, author of Finding Winnie, the true story of World War I Canadian Soldier Harry Coleburn who rescued a baby bear as he headed overseas to war. He named the bear Winnie, and that bear became the model for one of the best-loved children’s book series of all time, Winnie-the-Pooh. The author is Coleburn’s great-great granddaughter. Lindsay, along with several other authors and illustrators, will be available for book signings.

The FREE, two-day festival is sponsored by ScholarShare College Savings Plan and will include live readings, storytelling performances, live music, hands-on literacy activities and a book fair. Here’s the full lineup of authors and illustrators who will be present during the weekend festival:

Lindsay Mattick  Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear • Sat 11:30AM, 3PM & Sun 12PM, 3PM
JaNay Brown-Wood Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story • Sun 12:30PM
Rita Campbell Emberlina Sprite-a-Light • Sun 10:30AM
Linda Champion & Rose Fante • Fairy Tales for Life • Sat 10:30AM (Linda) & 11AM (Rose)
Brandon Chappell Drew & Boo Adopt Lou & Sue • Sat 2:30PM
Erin Dealey K is for Kindergarten • Sat 2PM & Sun 11:30AM
Sandy Lynne Holman We All Have A Heritage • Sun 2 PM
Catlyn LeGault, Leonie Pickett & Miakoda Plude The Princess and the Sunflowers • Sat 12:30PM
Karen J. Moore Pen the Tale, Oogie • Sun 2:30PM
Elaine Russell All About Thailand • Sat & Sun 1PM
Karen Sanders-Betts & Hannah Howerton The Little Lemon that Leapt • Sat 1:30PM
Linda Joy Singleton A Cat is Better • Sun 11AM

WIN PRIZE BUNDLE: While admission to the ScholarShare Book Festival is FREE, Fairytale Town is offering one of our lucky readers a prize bundle during this weekend’s festivities. The bundle includes a copy of Finding Winnie, admission for four to Fairytale Town, a magic key and a plush Humpty Dumpty. If you would like to win this prize bundle, please visit the ScholarShare Book Festival page on Fairytale Town’s website here and tell us which author or illustrator you would most like to see in person. Leave your answer in the comment section below no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.  A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. One entry per person, please. Good luck!

WHAT: ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival

WHEN: Sept. 16 & 17, 2017

WHERE: Fairytale Town


Win Tickets: Brick Fest Live!, the Largest Touring LEGO Fan Experience is Coming to Sacramento

Get ready LEGO fans, the Sacramento Convention Center is about to be inundated with those tiny little bricks that offer hours and hours of entertainment. On Sept. 23-24, 2017, Sacramento will be hosting Brick Fest Live! for the first time – and we hope the event becomes an annual tradition in our city.

Brick Fest Live! is the largest touring LEGO show in the United States featuring amazing creations, collaborative building activities including a brick wall and floor puzzles, mosaics, a Brick Fest derby, inspiration stations, a video game arena, shopping, a Brick Fest Theater for trivia and more.

Founded by a couple of dads-turned-entrepreneurs, Brick Fest Live! was created to “increase awareness that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are all in play when it comes to LEGO and other construction toys. Families build together to accomplish their goals and find creative solutions – all while inspiring the next generation of artists, engineers and leaders.”

WIN TICKETS: Want to win some tickets for your family? The folks with Brick Fest Live! have been super generous with us. They’re giving us four – that’s right, FOUR family packs of five (5) tickets to give away to you, our loyal (and lucky!) readers. Here’s what you need to do to be entered into the drawing. Head on over to the Brick Fest Live! website here, watch the video on the home page and in the comment section below, give us the answer to the following question:

HOW LONG IS THE BRICK FEST DERBY TRACK? Make sure to leave your comment with the correct answer no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Winners will be chosen and announced one at a time on the following days: winner #1 – Tuesday, Sept. 12; winner #2 – Thursday, Sept. 14; winner #3 – Tuesday, Sept. 19; winner #4 – Thursday, Sept. 21. Good luck!

WHAT: Brick Fest Live! LEGO Fan Experience

WHEN: Sept. 23-24, 207

WHERE: Sacramento Convention Center

ADMISSION: Ticket prices start at $24.50 and can be purchased here.

Win Tickets: California Capital Airshow Takes Flight This September

California Capital Airshow 2012 http://www.markeloper.com/aviation

Sacramento will once again host one of the largest air shows on the West Coast. The California Capital Airshow lands at Mather Field on Saturday, Sept. 9 and continues to entertain fans on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Dubbed a “massive family friendly festival,” attendees of all ages will witness aviation and aircraft ingenuity from the past century. Aircraft on display and in the air include the Patriots Jet Team, U.S. Navy F-18 tactical demonstration, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight starring the A-10 Thunderbolt II, world-class aerobatics, barnstorming, warbirds and more. In addition, on the ground will be the Aerojet Rocketdyne Launchpad – an interactive STEM experience geared towards teens, Kiddie Hawk – a free interactive kids area, and plenty of food and drink.

Enter to win tickets: If this sounds like an event you would like to take your family to – for FREE – then head on over to the California Capital Airshow website here, and tell us in the comment section below which aircraft is featured on the Home page. Leave your comment by 5pm on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017 and you’ll be entered into the drawing to win a family 4-pack of tickets. The winner will be selected through a random drawing on Monday, Aug. 28. One entry per person, please. Good luck!

What: California Capital Airshow

When: Sept. 9-10, 2017

Where: Mather Field, Rancho Cordova

Admission: Ticket prices start at $10

Sacramento Celebrates the Red, White and Blue this Weekend for Independence Day

Throughout Sacramento, you can find events to celebrate our great country this weekend. Fourth of July is just around the corner and there are activities all weekend long to celebrate the “Red, White and Blue”!   Here is a quick list of some family fun activities that maybe in your area. Some are free, some have a small charge, but all will put a smile on your face as you celebrate America’s independence:

7/1- 7/3 – Folsom Pro Rodeo and Fireworks – Enjoy high-energy rodeo fun all weekend at the annual Folsom Pro Rodeo, that has become a Sacramento area tradition for over 50 years! Fireworks every night, non-stop rodeo action fun for the whole family. Get tickets in advance to ensure great seating to this fun event.

7/4- Sacramento River Cats hosts “Fourth on the Field”.   It doesn’t get any more patriotic than hotdogs, baseball and fireworks! Starting at 6pm, your family can enjoy live music, family games, food trucks and of course fireworks! General admission tickets are $10, children ages 12 and under are $5.

7/3-7/4 – Rancho Cordova 4th of July Celebration at Hagan Park – Rancho Cordova Fourth of July is a two-day festival celebrating the local community and our American heritage. Enjoy parades, food and beer garden, a kid’s zone, a BMX show, carnival and more. Don’t forget the spectacular fireworks show each night! Admission to the festivities at Hagan Community Park is just $2 and parking is $10.

7/4 – Military Appreciation Day at Funderland – In honor of the 4th of July, and those who have served or are currently serving with the US Military, Funderland would like to say thank you by extending some very special offers and discounts for you and your family. Remember that Military ID will be required to obtain these offers. Come in early as there are limited quantities of vouchers to give away!

7/4 – Sacramento Independence Day Celebration –  Cal Expo is known for hosting one of the largest-scale pyrotechnics display in Sacramento. This year, celebrate our independence starting at 5pm with free family friendly activities, live music and entertainment. Fireworks are starting at 9pm. Admission is free, but reserved seating inside the Grandstand can be purchased for $10.

7/4 – Salute to the Red, White & Blue in Elk Grove –  Elk Grove has been hosting their annual “Salute to the Red White and Blue” for over 20 years. Enjoy a day packed with family activities, bike and stroller parades, live entertainment, vendors and a fireworks show.   Festivities will begin at 4pm at Elk Grove Regional Park.

7/4 – City of Roseville Independence Day Celebration – The city of Roseville has a full day of fun planned for the holiday. Starting with a 5K/10K Run/Walk. Followed by a parade, carnival, bounce houses, food vendors, music and fun at Royer Park.   Placer County Fairgrounds will conclude the day with a fireworks show at 9:30pm.   No alcohol, glass containers, barbecues or personal fireworks permitted. Refreshments will be available for purchase at the fairgrounds.