Five Unique Ways to Have a Spooky Good Halloween with the Kids

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Pumpkins, colorful leaves, ghosts and goblins. Yes, it’s the spookiest time of year.  Kids everywhere are planning their costumes and parents are trying to figure out not to eat all the candy this year.  This is definitely a fun time of year with kids, and luckily for us here in the Sacramento area we have so many fun activities to keep those goblins busy with fun. From pumpkin patches and hay mazes to haunted houses and scary stories, there is something for everyone at every age in your family.

Here are my top 5 upcoming and ongoing Halloween festivities in the area:

Pumpkin Nights at the Gold Country Fairground, located at 1273 High St. Auburn.  This is the first year that Sacramento has hosted this event, and from the looks of it, I’m guessing it won’t be the last!  Visitors can experience Halloween in a whole new light… literally!  Pumpkin Nights will feature eight immersive lands created with over 3,000 hand carved pumpkins.  Take a walk through Harry Potter’s Great Hall, a tropical island land where pirates protect the pumpkin treasure, Dia de los Muertos and so much more.  This is an event for all ages to view some very talented carvers and become lost in another world. Tickets for Pumpkin Nights are on sale online and are $20 for adults and $16 for children.  This event will take place nightly through October 29 from 6:30- 10:30 Sunday-Thursday and 6:30-midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Boo at the Zoo at the Sacramento Zoo is an annual tradition.  On October 28 and 29, families can dress up in costume and trick or treat in a safe environment around the zoo and the wild animals.  Kids can have their face painted; enjoy crafts and other Halloween themed activities.  Live entertainment including a magician and animal keeper chats will be going on throughout the day. You can purchase tickets to this event online and the tickets range from $14-$16.

Spookomotive Train Ride presented by the California State Railroad Museum.   Kids can yell “All Aboard” as they head out away from the Old Sacramento train station and enjoy a whimsical ride along the river.  Each weekend is a different theme and they will have entertainment related to the themes and Halloween treats.  This activity is great for kids of all ages. The spooky train runs October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.  Tickets range from $3-$25 depending on if you would like to be seated in coach or first class.

Safetyville’s Annual Halloween Haunt will be held on October 28 from 11am-4pm.  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”.  $5 per person and 2 and under are FREE.

For the more mature audience, head to Old Sacramento for some history and a bit of a scare at the annual Ghost Tour walk. Join other “ghosts” of on an eerie journey into time.  Beware of characters from the Gold Rush, wayward miners and even some stories of murder victims.  This is definitely not for the weak of heart.  They encourage families, but as long as children are mature and they prefer no one under the age of 8.  These tours depart from the Sacramento History Museum at 101 I Street in Old Sacramento.  Dress for the weather and be prepared for about a mile long walk.  Purchase tickets online and they can only accommodate up to 25 people, so order soon.  Tours run every half hour starting at 6:30 and ending at 9pm on Friday and Saturday evenings through the end of October.  Tickets are $15 adults and $10 for youth.

There are also several pumpkin patches, hay mazes and corn fields in the area to visit and enjoy.  Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the season and all the candy that you may receive.

By Heather Crivellone


Keep the Kids Busy with a Week of Holiday Activities in Sacramento

Christmas Fun for Kids in SacramentoNow that your kids on winter break, are you looking for some last-minute activities to keep them busy before the big day? Here’s a list of holiday and Christmas activities and events that are happening this week in Sacramento.

Let them run around at Fairytale Town for FREE on Christmas Eve day. That’s right, Sacramento’s favorite storybook park will be open from 10am to 2pm on December 24, and admission is free for both kiddos and parents. It’s a great way to tire out the kids so they sleep on Christmas Eve!

If you don’t feel like changing out of your jammies, not to worry. It’s PJ Day at the Sacramento Zoo. And, guess what? Admission is FREE at the zoo, as well! So if you really want to tire those kiddos out, be sure to stop by both Fairytale Town and the Zoo for a day of Christmas Eve fun! Zoo hours are 10am to 1:30 pm.

How about the 6th Annual Wild Nights and Holiday Lights at the Folsom Zoo? This holiday event will showcase thousands of lights, trees, and decorations throughout the zoo’s grounds, buildings, and animal exhibits. Santa and zoo bear mascot Santa Paws will visit each night to pose for photos. Some of the zoo animals will even receive special treats during the event! Carolers and musicians add to the cheery atmosphere and the Starlight Express, a live miniature steam train, offers special night rides. SactoMoFo food trucks will be on-site.  Proceeds from the event benefit the zoo sanctuary animals. 12/21 – 12/23, 5pm to 8pm. General Admission is $5, train rides are $4.

Learn all about reindeer this week at Sacramento’s Discovery Museum. Not only will children learn all about Santa’s famous reindeer, but children will get to take home a reindeer souvenir. 12/21-12/24, hours vary – check website. Admission is $6 for kids, $8 for adults.

Enjoy a performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas at Davis Musical Theatre Performing Arts Center. Includes juice or hot chocolate and cookies to decorate and eat. 12/21-12/23, 3pm. General admission is $15.


7 Ways Sacramento will Honor our Veterans this November 11th

US Flag SacramentoVeterans Day is Wednesday, November 11.  This is a day that is dedicated to honoring those who have served in our United States military.  We are all very thankful to the sacrifices that are made to keep our great country safe! The holiday began as a day to remember the end of World War I and was declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.  Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday became Veterans Day in 1954.

Around Sacramento you can find several ways to honor veterans and military personnel.  Here is a quick list of events happening in our area:

The 5th Annual Veterans Day Parade in Downtown Sacramento will begin at 11am at Capitol Mall.  There will be vendors, food trucks and children’s activities immediately following the parade.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 7, will begin at 11am on Main Street in Auburn.

The Sacramento Zoo will offer half-off admission to all military families on November 11.

The Aerospace Museum will be having a special veteran-honoring day that includes free admission into the museum on November 11.

California State Railroad Museum will offer a Veterans Day Train Ride at 1pm 2pm and 3pm.  All veterans can ride free and will also receive free admission on this day.

Chicago Fire Pizza is offering a 10% discount to anyone who shows a valid military ID.

Fat’s Asia Bistro is also offering a discount to Veterans on this day.  They will receive 20% off any appetizer or dessert.

This is just a quick list of what you can participate in.   The best way to celebrate Veteran’s Day in my opinion is to thank a veteran for all they have done and all they continue to do to make our country great.

By Heather Crivellone

Sacramento Weekend Family Fun: A Weekend of Festivals

Weekend Family Fun Sacramento Festivals

It’s a great weekend to celebrate the beginning of Fall. Join us at Capitol Mall for the 3rd Annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, or head to West Sacramento for Talk Like a Pirate Day. At William Land Park you’ll find Red Panda Day a the Sacramento Zoo, as well as free admission to Fairytale Town for the Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival. Check out our list of even more fun weekend activities below. Happy Fall!

Red Panda Day at the Sacramento Zoo – Join for an interactive and educational event about Red Panda awareness and conservation. Kids and adults can become Red Panda Rangers after stopping at the various Red Panda Stations and completing the Panda activities. Other stations include face painting and an opportunity to decorate your own flag that will be added to the ones currently surrounding the Red Panda exhibit. 9/26

Talk Like a Pirate Day  – Join the fun and adventure of Talk Like A Pirate Day. Meet local area pirates and mermaids, play games, go to Pyrate Skool, take photos with real pirates, shop, eat, and enjoy all the while supporting the Yolo County Children’s Alliance. There will be live music by The Bucklers, live cannons, merchants, and belly dancing. 9/26

3rd Annual Farm-to-Fork Festival – The free festival hosted on the city’s iconic Capitol Mall boasts a delicious selection of Farm-to-Fork offerings that are produced and available in the Sacramento region. Attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as live music, cooking demonstrations, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches, and more

Family Fest at Roseville Vernon Street Town Square – Come for a day of family fun at the 3rd annual Family Fest event. Enjoy a truck exploration zone, food trucks, a kids’ zone, and over 50 family-friendly vendors including sports organizations, places to go, and family services. There were stage performances presented by youth groups

Plants with Purpose at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Discover how the first Californians used only what the land provided for everyday life. Learn uses of many plants such as tule, willow, and other native plants that provided food, medicines, baskets, and other necessities. 9/26

Mega Family Carnival – The Mega Family Carnival is a celebration of the best products, services, and entertainment for families. This true community event offers unmatched face-to-face interaction between family product and service providers and thousands of moms, dads, expectant parents, grandparents, teens, and kids. The Carnival will include sections for infancy, parties, entertainment, household items, family resources, a vendor marketplace, and a family talent showcase. Entertainment at the carnival is includes bounce houses, face painters, performances by a magician, family fun, and more. 9/26

Scholarshare Children’s Book Festival and Fairytale Town – It’s Fairytale Town’s 15th annual ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival, the largest early childhood literacy event in the Sacramento. You’ll hear back-to-back readings and presentations from authors and illustrators,then shop at the official bookseller, Time Tested Books booth, to purchase your favorite story. Authors and illustrators will be available to sign books immediately following their presentations. The festival will also feature storytelling performances, hands-on activities, a Scholastic book fair and more. Admission to this two-day festival is free. 9/26 – 9/27

International Space Station Fun at the Discovery Museum – Are you ready to experience some of the toys and treats of the International Space Station (ISS)? If so, head to the Discovery Museum this weekend to play some of the games astronauts play in space. Children can craft a toy, just like ones experimented with on the ISS. You can also taste a treat that astronauts enjoy.

Wasps and Gall at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Explore the mysteries of galls and take a walk in the Nature Area.

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.


Ice Cream Safari is back at the Sacramento Zoo on Saturday, August 15

History-of-Ice-Cream-1By Heather Crivellone Lions and Tigers and Ice Cream, oh My! Saturday, August 15 is the Sacramento Zoo’s Ice Cream Safari. From 4-8 pm, join other families for an afternoon full of fun at the zoo at their popular fundraiser. With admission, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat Baskin Robbins Ice Cream in cones, sundaes and floats along with all you can drink Coca-Cola. Explore the 14 acre zoo with ice cream treats around every corner! Along with the ice cream, there will be live entertainment, kids’ activities, face painting and more family fun. General price tickets are $15 for children ages 2-11 and $20 for adults. Save a few dollars and purchase your tickets in advance on their website or at the zoo. Proceeds of the fundraiser will go towards general maintenance and animal care at the Sacramento Zoo. I volunteered at this event a few years back and took my daughter last year and each time was an absolute blast. What can be better during the hot days of summer with your kids than watching and learning about the wild animals around us and enjoying our favorite summertime treat – Ice cream…and LOTS of it!

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.