Easter Events around Town

imagesBy Heather Crivellone

Spring has sprung and the Easter Bunny is around the corner!  If you are looking for some fun and inexpensive entertainment for your children- then check out some of the local Egg Hunts and festivals that are going on around town.

At Fairytale Town on April 4th and 5th, with the price of admission your family can join in on the “Eggstravaganza”.  The weekend will be full of egg hunts, prizes, spring themed arts and crafts and more!  Bring a basket and join in on the daily egg hunts that will be held at 12, 1 and 2pm.

On March 27-29 at Funderland, join other families at their annual Easter Bash.  Egg hunts will be going on every 30 minutes at the top and bottom of the hour ($3 for the hunt), the Easter Bunny and Happy the Squirrel will be on site to visit with the kids, Free Crafts throughout the park and vendors will be onsite for any shopping needs.   If you bring in a new game or art supplies to donate to the River Oak Center for Children, you will receive FREE ride tickets to enjoy in the park.

The Sacramento River Train will be hosting their Easter Egg Express on March 28, 29 and April 4, 5. This kid friendly train ride will last approximately 3 hours and will have entertainment along the way, and they will enjoy an Easter egg hunt in the park- the Easter bunny may even make an appearance!

On April 4 at 9:30am, join locals at William Curtis Park for a fun morning starting off with a Pajama Parade that leads to the Sierra 2 Center for some Easter crafts and an egg hunt!

The “World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt” will be hosted on April 4 at the State Capitol.  There will be over a half million eggs hidden around the Capitol grounds, bounce houses, face painting, a petting zoo and of course the Easter Bunny!

This is just a small list of what is going on around the city-  as you can see, we have plenty to choose from and enough to keep our kids happy and hunting this Easter Season!

 

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Weekend Family Fun

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7/25 – $4 Fridays at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – In celebration of summer, join the Sacramento Children’s Museum for $4 Fridays Admission is just $4 after 4pm and includes both indoor museum play and outdoor fun! Look forward to food trucks, live music by The Hoots, face painting, art of popcorn, and classic cars from the California Automobile Museum!

7/25 – Fun Tastic Evening Fundraiser at Funderland – Join the Keaton Raphael Memorial for a fun evening at Funderland Amusement Park, full of rides, games, and raffle prizes! All proceeds will benefit children battling cancer and their families. Please bring cash for purchasing any food, drinks, or raffle tickets.

7/25 – 7/26 – Last weekend for Disney’s High School Musical presented by the Roseville Theatre Arts Academy – Full of singing and dancing, High School Musical is an adaptation of the timeless love story, Romeo and Juliet. Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High must deal with issues of first love, friends and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities. Although Troy and Gabriella come from different cliques, they join together to audition for the school musical. Will the couple’s alliance open doors for others to shine as well?

7/25 – 7/27 – Last weekend for the California State Fair at Cal Expo – The seventeen-day California State Fair is a robust celebration of the State of California, its industries, agriculture and diversity of its people. For many the State Fair is the culmination of hard work throughout the year. For others, the State Fair is a family summer tradition of enjoyment with plenty of entertainment, fascinating exhibits, popular livestock venues and mouth-watering food!

7/26 – Fire Station Open House at Station 11 – The Sacramento Fire Department hosts Fire Station Open Houses on Saturdays all summer long. Bring your family and friends to visit with firefighters, take a tour of the fire station, get an up-close look at a fire engine, and more!

7/26 – Family Overnight Safari at the Sacramento Zoo – Camp-out with your family under the stars just yards away from slumbering lions, and wake to the call of flamingos — and of course a tasty breakfast. This fun-filled educational evening will guide you through all that the nighttime zoo has to offer. This is a perfect opportunity to see animal behaviors you may not have seen before.

7/26 – Great Train Robbery – Take a ride back to the Old West on the Sacramento RiverTrain! During this three and a half hour trip, keep an eye for outlaws who tend to hide out along the tracks. Fortunately, the Marshall will be on board to keep things safe. More often than not, he has to teach those outlaws a lesson!  Guests will de-board the train and a BBQ lunch will be served in kid-friendly Elkhorn Park.

7/26 – Beat the Heat at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Take time to appreciate trees for all the shade they provide by enjoying a leisurely morning walk on the Preserve trails. Join a Naturalist as you watch for deer, hawks, woodpeckers and much more before the afternoon heats up.

7/26 – Fun on the Farm at Soil Born Farm – Join the fun and explore the American River Ranch! Meet the farm animals, make a farm fresh snack, and create something special to take home. This event is suggested for children (ages 3-9) with adults.

7/26 – 7/27 – Fairytale Town Campout – 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.

7/26 – 7/27 – Last weekend for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty presented by the Fairytale Town Troupers – The unforgettable songs and characters from the Disney animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” are brought to life by the award-winning Fairytale Town Troupers. When Princess Aurora falls under the wicked spell of the evil sorceress Maleficent, it’s up to brave Prince Phillip, with the help of the good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, to battle an army of ghoulish goons, penetrate the forest of thorns and defeat Maleficent to save the day.

7/26 – 7/27 – Butterfly Bash at the Discovery Museum – Butterflies will be abound at the Discovery Museum this weekend. Multiple insect cases are on display highlighting local and exotic species of butterflies. Take a close up look at butterfly wings using a stereoscope. If you would like to take a walk, enjoy the butterfly garden. Kids will make giant paper butterfly wings to wear home!

7/27 – Critter Corner at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Skinks, blue bellies, and alligator lizards, oh my! Come meet some resident lizards and find out what makes these cold-blooded critters so amazing.

7/27 – Sketch It at the Crocker Art Museum – Visitors (Ages 5+) can sketch at their own pace while receiving drawing instruction. This drop-in program meets in a different gallery each month. No experience necessary, and all supplies are provided

Weekend Family Fun

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12/27 – Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat at Sleep Train Arena- The Sacramento Kings take on the Miami Heat in this basketball game.

12/27 – New Year’s Eve Banner at the Discovery Museum – Make the end of 2013 memorable by visiting the Discovery Museum with family and friends. Explore exhibits, a nature walk and the craft room.  Kids 12 and under color and assemble a New Year Banner to take home.  Admission includes an animal presentation at noon & 2pm, the Space Quest! exhibit and planetarium shows at 1pm & 3pm (for ages 4 and older).

12/27-12/28 – Comedy Sportz Improv Comedy – ComedySportz isn’t comedy about sports—it’s comedy played as a sport! Two teams compete for your laughs and your points by making up scenes based on your suggestions. This is high energy, interactive fun for all ages, similar to the hit show Whose Line Is It Anyway? As the winner for KCRA Best Comedy Club 2009 & 2010, ComedySportz loves to make you laugh!

12/27-12/29 – The Christmas Train aboard the Sacramento River Train – Come celebrate the holiday season on a festive two-hour train ride! This trip features a show that brings the fun family book Morgan and the Magical Christmas Train to life. Characters will interact with the kids, a musician plays fun music throughout the trip, and tickets include hot cocoa and cookies. Santa might also make a surprise visit! Guests are encouraged to come in their most holiday themed pajamas.

12/28 – Tissssssss the Season at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Have you been missing the cold-blooded critters that have been hiding out this winter? Come in to see and learn all about the Nature Center’s reptiles that are awake and warm!

12/28-12/29 – Beauty and the Beast at the Be Street Theater – “Beauty and The Beast” tells the story of a merchant’s daughter, Belle, who sacrifices herself to save her father.  Condemned to his ugly visage unless he can marry, the Beast repeatedly asks Belle for her hand in marriage. Belle rebuffs him, but slowly his violent and intimidating façade melts away as the Beast and Belle form a friendship. When the friendship is tested, by the appearance of Belle’s shallow sister, Magette, the Beast and Belle must learn to look beyond the surface and take the greatest leap of faith, the leap of love.

12/28-12/29 – A Winnie The Pooh Christmas Tail – A very special friend tells Christopher Robin a story of a Christmas Eve very long ago (about last year) when Eeyore, the old gray donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner of Hundred-Acre Wood, was absolutely miserable. It seems that he lost his tail and Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet got all of their friends together and a search was organized. There is a great deal of fun and excitement, plus delightful songs, in the adventure that follows.

12/28 – 12/31 – Winter Scienceland at the Discovery Museum – It may not snow often in Sacramento but that does not mean that we can’t celebrate the science of snow.  Learn a bit about snowflakes.  As a take home, children 12 and under craft a Jack Frost wand.  Admission includes these activities, an animal presentation at noon & 2pm, the Space Quest! exhibit and planetarium shows at 1pm & 3pm (for ages 4 and older).

12/29 – Coyote Tales at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Join the Effie Yeaw Nature Center for a program all about an animal some people may call the “Trickster”. Learn about this animal, hear some coyote tales, and get a close-up look at a coyote pelt, skull and even a mounted specimen! Then hit the trails with a Naturalist to search for tracks and scat of these wild canines.

All Aboard The Local Train Rides!

dsc_0273By Heather Crivellone

“They’re two ,they’re four, they’re six,  they’re eight..Shunting trucks and hauling freight..red and green and brown and blue..they’re the really useful crew….” Do your kids know the difference between Thomas, Percy and James? Are they excited and yell “choo-choo” every time they hear and or see a RR Crossing?  My son is obsessed with trains…he can  hear the train whistle miles and miles away! So I decided on one of our outings to give them the chance to enjoy the steam engines up close and personal.
Now, we have visited the Sacramento Railroad Museum multiple times and every time we are there we spend hours upon hours viewing the trains and playing in the kids’ area. However, this time I wanted to find a place that we could go and ride the trains, big and small.

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One of the great things with living in Sacramento is that in any direction you choose to travel there are great “day trip” destinations.   My family and I recently decided to head out to Sonoma County and enjoyed an afternoon in downtown with lunch, wine tasting and of course a trip for the kids to Sonoma Traintown Railroad.
Located just one mile south of the Plaza in Sonoma, Traintown features a quarter scale railroad on four miles of track, a miniature town, petting zoo and carnival rides for the family.
Admission into Traintown is free, but you do need to purchase train tickets to ride the train and tickets for the carnival rides can all be purchased at the concession stands.  Ticket prices are $5.75 for the train ride and $2.75 for carnival ride tickets.

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The train ride lasts about 20 minutes and goes through tunnels, over bridges, along side of waterfalls and makes a stop at “Lakeview”- the miniature town with a petting zoo for the kids to enjoy.
This was by far the favorite for our family.  We had so much fun exploring through this “town” and going in and out of the miniature buildings (school-house, doctors office, saloon, jail). Everything was made “kid sized” so the children were having fun climbing on the fire poles at the “fire station” and playing “teacher” at the school-house.
We also had the chance to pet and feed llamas, goats and sheep. The kids had a blast and then the conductor blew his horn…and we were back on the train to the carnival area and enjoyed riding the carousel, the “flying airplanes” and “dragon roller coaster”.

Sonoma Train Town Collage 2

Train Town was a great stop for the kids!  We spent the afternoon in downtown Sonoma enjoying some of the locals best selections of food and wine, and didn’t feel guilty for “dragging them along” since they had so much fun at  Train Town.

And if you are not feeling as adventurous as we were and would rather stay close to home, then check out the list I have complied for some of our local train rides for the kids:

Folsom Valley Railway  is located outside the Folsom Zoo at 403 Stafford Street in Folsom. You can enjoy a ride around the park on a “real” steam engine.  Tickets are only $3.00 and the train runs year round, just check the website for times changing each season.

The Train at the Fountains in Roseville– is  located at the center of the mall on Roseville Parkway and Galleria Boulevard. Take a break from shopping at one of the most popular and upscale malls in the Sacramento area and let the kids enjoy a train ride around the outside mall. Train runs daily from 11am-6pm, but takes a “rest” from 2-3pm. Ticket fare is only $2 and Tuesdays are free.

Sacramento Valley Live Steamers at Hagan Community Park in Rancho Cordova.  This is a family organization dedicated to preserving the love and history of American steam railroading with a large scale fully functioning steam engine and a railroad for children and adults alike to ride on and enjoy. You can take a scenic ride through the park with views of the American River on this local train. Check their website for times of departures.

Sacramento River Train departs from Woodland and is a must-do activity for visitors coming into town. You can choose regular scenic trips, dinner mysteries, brunches, etc. etc. But- for a family outing, the Easter Egg Express, the Pumpkin Express and the Christmas Train tops the list!  Check website for more information.

Nut Tree Shopping and Visitor Center Train Ride– Take a short drive to Vacaville to do some  shopping at the outlets. And while you are there the kids can ride the Nut Tree Railroad. Train operates 10am- dusk.

The Sacramento Railroad Museum is a great place to visit if you have children who love trains.  Train rides run during the summer and into fall.  Check the website for more information.

Hopefully this list will help you choose a fun and educational outing for your kids. If you have found other rides that are not mentioned here, please let us know and we would love to post your findings.

Have fun and “Happy Trails!”

Family Friendly Farm-to-Fork Happenings

Last year, Sacramento was named America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital – a well-deserved designation, as the Sacramento area has been supporting and consuming fresh, locally grown food for years.  Now that it’s official, just about everyone has enthusiastically jumped on board to participate in and celebrate Sacramento’s inaugural Farm-to-Fork Week, September 22-28, 2013.  While there are literally dozens and dozens of events and activities happening all month-long, we have highlighted the more family friendly events below.  However, you can find the complete list of activities and events here.

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Grow Your Groceries at Soil Born Farms – Soil Born Farms’ Grow Your Groceries is a beginning farmer training program designed to provide knowledge and hands-on experience to the aspiring urban grower. The instructors are experienced masters of organic agriculture and experts in farm entrepreneurship. Through classes, hands-on field days, and farm tours, this course will educate the aspiring urban farmer and the inspired home, community, or school gardener on best practices for growing abundant produce in small spaces.  9/7-9/11

Farm-to-Fork Train –  Guests will get to taste local food expertly prepared, see the farmland from the train, and tour a gorgeous local farm.  You will ride the train to Peabody Ranch and de-board there for appetizers and local wine. Guests will get a tour of Suzanne’s lovely farm and learn about the Farm to Fork movement from her perspective. After, you will get back on the train for a longer ride, while a three-course dinner with wine pairings is served.  9/21

All food is prepared by the excellent Chef Gabriel Glasier from Maranello Bar and Kitchen in Fair Oaks, with produce from local sources including Del Rio Botanical and Produce Express. The train heads back to West Sacramento and pauses at Peabody one last time where one-bite, pastry-style desserts are served on an elegant buffet table.

Sacramento Cattle Drive – Farm-to-Fork week will kick off September 23rd at 10:00am with a cattle drive from West Sacramento across the Tower Bridge and right down Capitol Mall toward the Capitol.  Bring the family out to witness this special event.  9/23

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Demonstration Gardens Tour at the Sacramento Food Bank – In mid-2012 Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services unveiled a Demonstration Garden where families can learn how to grow produce for their family. In just one year, hundreds of individuals from seniors to children have taken courses on composting, container gardening, seasonal produce, and starting a backyard garden. The Garden also produces a small amount of fruits and vegetables distributed in the community at local food distributions.  Please join to tour the Garden and learn about the courses offered in our community. A tour of all six of SFBFS’ programs will be provided by President/CEO Blake Young.  9/26

Farm-to-Fork Festival –  The inaugural Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Festival will be held from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, on Capitol Mall between Third and Seventh streets.

The free festival – the largest zero-waste event in the country – will feature a selection of everything Sacramento has to offer in farm-to-fork eating. From local chefs, farmers and other food producers to food trucks, animal displays, a kids’ zone and live music, festivalgoers can expect to learn about food from its source to the plate.  All of that will be accompanied by food demonstrations, live music, a beer garden and a wine pavilion.  9/28

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Sunday Funday in the Garden at Arden Hills – In celebration of Farm-to-Fork Week, it’s time for kids to really dig in to learn about the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in the garden. Kids should dress appropriately (tennis shoes required) for this “Sunday Funday” special activity where they will have the opportunity to learn more about where our food comes from and why fresh is best. Parents are welcome to stay to watch the hands-on activity or leave their children in the care of certified Kid’s Korner staff while they enjoy a spa service or nice brunch at Olive Branch Restaurant (costs not included in the price for Sunday Funday).  9/29

Hoes Down Harvest Festival – In its 26th year at Full Belly Farm, the Hoes Down Harvest Festival offers educational farm tours, a magical children’s area, hands-on workshops, farm products, craft vendors, a silent auction, and an abundance of organic food, live music, and good times.  10/5-10/6

Pick Me!  Food Crate exhibit at the California State Railroad Museum – The third and final phase of visually powerful fruit crate art will be showcased in an exhibit titled Pick Me! A Bumper Crop of the Pacific Coast. This popular exhibit includes selections from the entire U.S. Pacific Coast. For example, colorful labels showcasing Washington cherries and Oregon apples join the ranks of California oranges and asparagus that serve to entertain and amaze visitors.

Through this continuing vibrant exhibit, guests will gain an appreciation for an early art form that featured beautifully bold imagery, learn how fresh produce was kept cool during transport before refrigerated cars, and discover why the railroad was the key to the early success of the agriculture industry on the West Coast.  Additionally, you will also have the hands-on opportunity to create your own labels using magnetic cut-outs of typical design elements, so bring a camera to capture your creations. Museum guests of all ages and interests are sure to enjoy the final phase of the popular Pick Me! exhibit.  Now thru April, 2014.

Click here for a list of Sacramento area farmers markets.

Easter Egg Hunts and Family Fun Activities to help celebrate Spring!

easter_bunnyBy Heather Crivellone

Spring is in the air…so grab your baskets, bonnets and “Sunday bests” for some Easter fun in the Sacramento area.  Around town, you are sure to spot the Easter Bunny out and about, hiding the goodies for little kids.  There are quite a few Egg Hunts (Free) that your family can participate in this month, along with other fun holiday festivities.

For starters, if you want to get your child’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny, you can visit one of our local malls (Arden Fair Mall, Roseville Galleria and Sunrise Mall) and the Bunny will be available for photo sessions.

And for those of you who are searching for a fun day outing and egg hunt for your family, I have put together a list of some local activities:

Friday March 22nd – Sunday March 24th:  Funderland hosts their annual Easter Bash from 10am-6pm.  Egg Hunt will be $3 per child.  Easter Activities including arts and crafts, face painting, a visit from the bunny and more.  Also, Funderland hosts several carnival style rides that are favorites for all.

Saturday, March 23rd: at Ikea in West Sacramento there will be an Easter egg hunt in Smaland from 12pm-2pm.  This is a Free event.

Saturday, March 23rd: The Sacramento River Train will host a fun family trip to a park where the Easter Bunny will hide 100’s of eggs for the kids to find!  Along the way will be entertainment and treats.  Tickets are available online starting at $29.  Event starts at 10:00am

Saturday Mar 30th at 9am:  A Free community Egg hunt at H.C. Elliot Park in Roseville.

Saturday March 30th at 7:30am:  McKinley Park Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast will be held at the Clunie Clubhouse.

Saturday and Sunday March 30-31st:  Fairytale Town hosts their annual Spring Eggstravaganza.  Search for hundreds of hidden eggs, participate in hands on spring activities and enjoy the park that was made to inspire children’s imagination!  The egg hunt is FREE with park admission. 

Saturday March 30th: Fair Oaks Easter Eggstravaganza.  This is another Free Family Fun Event.

Sunday March 31st from 930-11am the Haggin Oaks Free Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.

This is just a handful of the events that are going on around town.  Some are free, some have a small charge – but one thing is for sure, whatever you choose to do, spring is here and there is no excuse to not get out and enjoy the season.

Egg Hunts, Easter Bunnies and Spring Time Fun in the Sacramento Area!

By Heather Crivellone

As we look outside our windows and see the raindrops falling this week, it seems as if Mother Nature is playing tricks on us.  Spring is officially here- and even though the clouds have come in to greet us, the springtime festivities are still right around the corner!  And with springtime here, that means we will be greeted with bunnies, butterflies, baskets and all the wonderful things that come with spring and Easter.

This weekend, March 30th-April 1st, Funderland Park (located at 1350 17th Avenue in William Land Park) will be hosting their annual “Easter Bash” (weather permitting of course).  For children 12 and under, they can enjoy hunting for Easter eggs ($3 per child), coloring contests, arts and crafts, and riding on some of Funderland’s famous kiddie rides.  Entrance to the park is always free and tickets for the amusement rides are available for purchase.

Next weekend (April 7th and 8th), join locals at a family favorite- Fairytale Town (located in William Land Park) will be hosting their annual “Spring Eggstravaganza”.  Watch as your children run through a park where nursery rhymes come to life and while they enjoy egg hunts, spring- themed activities and may even meet “Peter Cottontail”!  Daily egg hunts will be held at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm.  There will also be puppet shows throughout the day to enjoy.  Admission into Fairytale Town is $5 and children under the age of 1 is free.

Some local parks are also getting “Spring Fever” with egg hunts, games and fun for the family.  On Saturday, April 7th from 11am-12pm at Southside Park (2115 6th Avenue, Sacramento), you can enjoy an afternoon of egg hunting (with 15,000 eggs to be found!), crafts for the kids, raffle drawings and more.  This event is free, and since it is located at one of the most popular parks in town- this event is sure to be fun for the entire family!

Saturday, April 7th from 8:30am-2pm at the Elk Grove Regional Park (9950 Elk Grove Florin Rd., Elk Grove), the Easter Bunny will make an appearance and kids can hunt for eggs, have thier faces painted, play carnival games and enjoy yummy food.  Event is free, but each activity will be a small fee.

In Rancho Cordova at Hagan Park (2197 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova)- on Saturday, April 7th thier annual Spring Extravaganza will begin at 10:00am.  They will have a pancake breakfast to get the kids ready for the big egg hunt and then the family can enjoy the “Kid Zone” and craft faire after.

For an adventure “on the rails”, visit the Sacramento River Train at thier “Easter Egg Express”.  Located in Woodland, board the train and take a special train ride along the river with the Easter Bunny.  There will be hundreds of eggs for hunting and entertainment and snacks will be provided along the way.  The trip will take about 3 hours and the cost is $36 for adults and $29 for children 2-12 years of ages.

There are plenty of events and activites happening around town to keep you and your family entertained during this spring season.  Now, let’s just hope that Mother Nature cooperates with us.  Either way- I’m hoping you and your family have a “hopping good” holiday!