Kids Can Keep Their Minds Alert by Visiting These Sacramento STEM Museums Over the Summer

Take a look at this blog post from Seven of Sacramento’s Best STEM Learning Facilities for Students and Families.

Photo: Sierra College Natural History Museum


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.


Weekend Family Fun

This weekend would be a great one to spend outdoors.  How about a campfire at the Maidu Museum and Historic site?  Or catch one of two outdoor movie showings: Brave in Elk Grove, or Madagascar 3 in Fair Oaks.  How about some Hands on History at Sutter’s Fort?  And of course, there is the California State Fair.  You don’t want to miss that!  And if you are one of those who doesn’t take well to the heat, then head on over to the Discovery Museum or Sacramento Children’s Museum for indoor, air-conditioned fun.  Have a happy weekend!

7/19 – Movies in the Park: Madagascar 3 -Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District and Spanda Industrial General Contractors are excited to announce the free summer Movies in the Park series. Come out early to get a good seat and let your kids experience the Wonderful Outdoor World (W.O.W.) bus before the movie begins.  Concessions (hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and ice cream) will be available for purchase from the Fair Oaks Host Lions Club and Fair Oaks Youth Advisory Board (FOYAB).

$4fridays_category7/19 – $4 Friday Night at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – Celebrate summer inside and outside the Sacramento Children’s Museum during $4 Friday Night. Come and enjoy live music, food trucks (OMKarmabile and Sun Pizza), face painting, late night Museum play, Robo Party Bank, Big Spoon Yogurt, and other fun activities.

campfireatnight_category7/19 – Campfire at Maidu Museum and Historic Site – Storytelling has been an important part of Native American culture for thousands of years. Sit under the stars at the outdoor amphitheater to enjoy songs and native stories around the campfire. Maidu Museum will provide roasting sticks and marshmallows for a sweet program’s end to this fun family event.

fairytale_town_rabbit_hole_slide_2_category7/20 – Children’s Play Day at Fairytale Town -Celebrate the importance of childhood play with a fun-filled day for the whole family. This program features games, hands-on activities, arts and crafts, and more. Plus, enjoy a performance of Jack and the Meanstalk by the Fairytale Town Troupers on the outdoor Mother Goose Stage.

In Jack and the Meanstalk, Brave Jackson sets out on a dangerous quest to reclaim his lost family treasure and save the sleepy countryside from the dark sorcery in the sky. Armed with only his courage and a magical singing sword, Jackson climbs up and up, into the mysterious kingdom of the clouds, for an unexpected journey into adventure!

7/20 – Outdoor Movie Night: Brave at Calvine Storage King – Calvine Storage Kings in Elk Grove is offering a 4th summer of FREE outdoor movies. We’ve had so much fun the last few years that we want to do it again. But this year, we’ve made it even better:  Foodmob trucks will be on site from 5:30pm – 8:30pm!  We’ll also provide free popcorn, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on this fun-filled event! Come early to set up your chairs and enjoy the pre-show food. We’ll see you there!

suttersfort_category7/20 – Hands on History: Mining the Miners  at Sutter’s Fort – Join in the most profitable game of the mining era, “Mining the Miners.” Fort visitors are invited to spend the day enjoying hands-on activities such as gold panning, playing games of chance, period-appropriate bowling, and the opportunity to win “Sutter Bucks.” There will be a display of guns and weapons from the Gold Rush era, demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action, and the crowd-favorite: firing of Sutter’s cannon.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) is proud to present this special event to focus on providing high-energy, interactive, and educational activities.

Flying High at the Nature Center7/20 – What’s the Buzz? Solitary Bees at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Join “bee-ologist” Julie Serences to learn about the fascinating life cycle of
native bees and why they are important to the ecology of our landscapes. Following a 45 minute program, stroll the grounds with Julie to identify a variety of busy native bees.

7/21 – Bark Rubbing at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Come explore the variety of trees found in the Nature Center’s village and create your own colorful bark rubbing art. Learning each tree’s bark pattern is the key to identifying the many types found in this area. All ages welcome.

Stamp-a-rama7/20 – 7/21 – 3-2-1 Blastoff!  At the Discovery Museum –  Blast off to the Discovery Museum this weekend for a great family day! The Space Quest exhibit offers fun for everyone. Younger children try on costumes and make believe in the rocket ship play-space, while older kids become a human gyroscope.  All the youngsters, ages 12 and under, construct straw rockets this weekend. Test yours out in the classroom then take it home as a souvenir. Don’t forget to get your picture taken with a real Titan II engine that is on the museum grounds.  Also enjoy this month’s special planetarium show, Man on the Moon, highlighting the Apollo 11 mission. And don’t forget the animal presentation that is included with admission

2013-160thpoppy-signature-610x250_categoryThrough July 28 – 160th Annual California State Fair – 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 mouthwatering food.

Weekend Family Fun

Some great activities and events are planned around town this weekend.  Join Fairytale Town for Very Special Arts Day, or head to the zoo with your kids and their stuffed friends in tow.  The zoo vet will be on hand to give the stuffed animals a check-up.  Of course, the Sacramento Rivercats are in town – don’t forget about Friday and Saturday night fireworks after the games!  All astronauts are welcome at the Discovery Museum for Space Quest, or join Colonial park for movie night…so much to do.  You are bound to have a great weekend!

7/11 – 7/14 – Sacramento River Cats vs. Fresno Grizzlies  – Come out to enjoy a great game of baseball as the Sacramento River Cats take on the Fresno Grizzlies.

Family-Friday7/12 – Family Friday: Silver Day at the Crocker Art Museum – Join other families in the E. Kendell Davis Courtyard for music, art-making, and good old-fashioned fun. Picnic fare and artfully educational toys will be available for purchase in the courtyard. On Silver Day, enjoy an acoustic Indie-Folk performance by Be Brave Bold Robot.

2011_category7/13 – It’s My Park Day at Fair Oaks Park – During It’s My Park Day you can volunteer to clean a park and reduce your carbon footprint. Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District invites you and your family to help care for and celebrate your parks. The day will consist of planting, cleaning-up, repairs, and much more.  Come work alongside district employees to clean up your parks and make them the place to be. At the end of the day the district presents an afternoon BBQ and entertainment to show their appreciation

zoostuffedanimals_category7/13 – Stuffed Animal Veterinary Clinic at the Sacramento Zoo – Is your teddy bear feeling under the weather? Does your stuffed animal have a cut that needs fixing? The Stuffed Animal Veterinary Clinic is here to help! A Stuffed Animal Veterinarian will assess the overall health of your stuffed animal and make a diagnosis based on the symptoms.

very_special_arts_day_2_category7/13 – Very Special Arts Day at Fairytale Town  – Performances, visual art shows, and art “funshops” will be featured at this annual event presented by I Can Do That!  Very Special Arts Day brings together children of all abilities to interact through, create, and enjoy the arts. Enjoy a performance by ACT ON!, a children’s theatre camp project of I Can Do That!, and view visual arts creations by I Can Do That! students. Stop by the art “funshops” to make flying saucers, rhumba shakers, pipe cleaner jewelry, spiral mobiles, and more.

7/13 – Plants with Purpose at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Join a Naturalist for a walk as they share the Native Californian’s uses of plants for food, fiber, and medicine. Learn how the Native people “tended” the landscape so it would continue to provide a bountiful harvest.

7/13 – Movie Night: The Hobbit at Colonial Park – Join Councilmember Jay Schenirer & the Colonial Heights Neighborhood Association for movie night in the park. Come watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Free popcorn, ice cream, and water.  Scrumptious food trucks including Miz Shirley and New Bite will also have food available for purchase.

Stamp-a-rama7/13 – 7/14 – Calling All Astronauts at the Discovery Museum – Visit the Space Quest! exhibit—out-of-this-world fun for the entire family. A variety of activities are being offered to keep your little astronauts busy, including an astronaut finger puppet craft and stations where kids complete “astronaut tasks”. Bring your camera to take a picture of your child in an astronaut costume.

7/13 – 7/14 – Community Campout at Elk Grove Regional Park – Gather your camping gear and explore the great outdoors a little closer to home. Enjoy campground favorites like swimming, crafts, campfire songs, and s’mores. Dinner and breakfast will be prepared by the Elk Grove Lions Club. All ages welcome.

effie_yeaw_category7/14 – Wet and Wild Pond Animals at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Some are slimy, some are bumpy, and some even have hard outer shells. Come meet
some resident critters up close and find out why they call our local ponds and wetland habitats home.

Weekend Family Fun

It’s going to be a hot weekend, but don’t let that keep you from having fun!  Visit a Sacramento firehouse, enjoy a concert in the park, dig in the garden at Soil Born Farms or enjoy the air-conditioned indoors learning about rattlesnakes at the Discovery museum.  As usual, there is plenty going on this weekend.  Stay cool!

jack6/6 – 6/16 – Annual Puppet Festival:  Rumpelstiltskin at Fairytale Town – The last of Fairytale Town’s season of playful puppetry! Children and adults can enjoy live puppet show performances inside Fairytale Town’s Children’s Theater.  Puppet show tickets are $1 for members and $2 for nonmembers, in addition to park admission. For more information check out the performance schedule below.

6/7 – Gibson Ranch Star Gazing Party – Are you curious about the universe? Do you want to explore the heavens? Have you ever been a star-gazer? The members of the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society extend an invitation to you to join to view this wonderful universe.

phoebe_category6/8 – Fun on the Farm presented by the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op & Soil Born Farms – Participants are invited to join the fun and explore the American River Ranch. Come meet the farm animals, dig in the garden soil,  plant seedlings, have a farm fresh snack, and create something special to take home.

6/8 – Gathering of Honored Elders – Join as the California Indian Museum presents their 36th annual Honored Elders Day. This event is devoted to honoring the Elders who keep the traditions, stories, languages, and culture alive for future generations. Along with Native American dancers, guest speakers, community services organizations, and arts and crafts vendors who will all be on-site, Museum guests will also have the opportunity to meet the esteemed Elders and explore the treasured Museum.

Sac-Fire-Station-Open-Houses-20136/8 – Sacramento Fire Department Open House: Station 16 at 7363 24th Street  – The Sacramento Fire Department will be hosting Fire Station Open Houses on Saturdays from 2 pm to 4 pm on the dates and locations listed on the flyer, 2013 Open House Schedule. You are invited to bring your family and friends to visit with firefighters, take a tour of the fire station, and more! To find out where your fire stations are located, click on: Fire Station Map.

endurocross_category6/8 – Geico Endurocross – Endurocross is a mix of supercross, trials, and enduro racing held indoors over off-road riding obstacles, including rocks, boulders, logs, sand, mud, and special obstacles, like giant tires and a water hole, featuring some of the best motorcycle riders in the world!

6/8 – Bubbles and Chalk Drawings at the Library – Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to come make a mess with bubbles and chalk. Together with the Franklin Library they’ll explore blowing bubbles with lots of different materials and use their imaginations to make lots of creative chalk drawings.

pig_roast_pic_category6/8 – Pig-a-Palooza – This year’s pig roast fundraiser at the Oak Park Farmers Market will encompass a variety of pig-themed eats and activities. Local chefs will duel it out in a pork cook-off as they compete for the honorable title of “Primo Porker.”   The event will be family friendly, offering interactive children’s activities and discounted child price tickets. There will even be a pig calling contest…details to come! Food will be provided by Feeding Crane Farms, Bledsoe Meats, and other local vendors.

fishfesttitle_category6/8 – The Fish Family Fest – The 2nd annual one-day summer festival features some of best performers in Christian music. You’ll enjoy a day full of music with Brandon Heath, The Afters, For King and Country, Plumb, The Reel, Transparent, and others. It’s six hours of music and fun for the whole family you won’t want to miss.  You’ll also want to check out the delicious food, play area for the kids, and the artist booths.

pops_2013_category6/8 – Pops in the Park:  Mercy Me at Glen Hall Park – Pops in the Park is a series of free evening concerts that raises money for
under-funded neighborhood parks. Sponsorship and advertising dollars, as well as proceeds from the sale of food and beverages at the events, have been used since 1995 to fund the events, enhance neighborhood parks, bring improvements to the neighborhood, and provide youth athletic scholarships.

Living in Sapce6/8 – 6/9 Roses are Red… – Celebrate National Rose Month at the Discovery Museum. This weekend kids make and take scented sachets with lovely floral scents.  Enjoy walking the grounds and see if you find the wild rose that grows around the pond. Your admission includes this activity, the Space Quest! exhibit, a planetarium show (at 1pm or 3pm for ages 4 and older) and a creature feature (at Noon or 2pm for all ages).

Educational rattlesnakes at the Sacramento Effie Yeaw Natuer Center6/9 – Rattlesnakes at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Warm weather is perfect weather for snakes, especially for rattlesnakes along the American River. Learn all about these snakes and their imposters, and how to enjoy the American River and keep your family safe during this season.

Weekend Family Fun

This first weekend of May looks like it will be a warm one!  Spend it outside at the Sacramento Zoo’s Where the Wild Things Are, making hand print flowers at the Nature Center, or enjoying performances at Fairytale Town’s Annual Puppet Festival.  Or, stay inside while touring one of Sacramento’s fire houses or catching the last performance of The Little Mermaid: Search for Friends.  Enjoy!

Thru May 4 – The Little Mermaid: Search for Friends – closing weekend – A young boy and his father move to a lighthouse by the sea. One day, as the boy sits alone and lonely, a most miraculous thing happens: he is transported under the waves where he makes friends with a beautiful singing mermaid and battles a fierce shark who wants to barbeque them for dinner. Original script, songs, and music by Ray Fischer. Outrageous fun for the whole family!

fairytaletownpuppet_category5/2-5/5 – Annual Puppet Festival at Fairytale Town – Fairytale Town brings you another season of playful puppetry! Children and adults can enjoy live puppet show performances inside Fairytale Town’s Children’s Theater. This year’s festival features six original productions based
on new and traditional fairytales.

5/4 – Sacramento Fire Department Open House – The first of many fire station open houses in Sacramento this summer.  Fire Station 30 on Club Center Drive in North Natomas.  2 to 4 PM.

where_the_wild_kids_are_05042012_(2)_category5/4 – Where the Wild Things Are – Come to the Sacramento Zoo for a day of kid-centered cultural entertainment, art, music, and dance. Local museums, historical societies, genealogy groups, plus arts and crafts for great family fun are all included with regular Sacramento Zoo admission.

5/mayfourthstarwars_category4 – May the Fourth be with you – This Star Wars-themed mini-convention for fans, by fans, will feature vendors, costume characters, art, film, exhibits, games, hands-on activities, fashion show, contests, crafts, live comedy, and more.

5/4 – Tracks and Scat at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – There are many animal-made signs in the woods that reveal who has used the trail before you. Become a nature detective and search for some animal tracks, scat, and signs in the Nature Preserve.

5/4-5/5 – Science Days at the Discovery Museum – Let’s celebrate the universe! Meet an Aerojet representative and learn more about local contributions to the past, present, and future of space exploration. See a full-size replica of the Opportunity Mars Rover. Peer through one of the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society’s Solar Telescopes and see what’s happening on the sun! Space Days! activities are free with paid admission. Food trucks will also be on site throughout the weekend.

effieyeawflowers_category5/5 – Hand Print Flowers at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – April showers bring May flowers! Come to the Nature Center and get hands on with this craft by making your own personalized flower art!  Materials provided.

Weekend Family Fun

The big news this weekend is Sacramento Museum Day on Saturday, February 2.  30 museums are open to the public for free, or 1/2 price admission, so this is your chance to visit those museums you haven’t been to yet!  Go early and be prepared for the crowds.  It’s a fun-filled, but busy day.

Professional Bull Riders2/1-2 – Professional Bull Riders at Sleep Train Arena -Buckle up, Sacramento. The PBR Built Ford Tough Series is non-stop, adrenaline-fueled action featuring the Top 35 bull riders on the planet taking on the fiercest bucking bulls in the world in the toughest 8 seconds in sports. Every event begins with pyrotechnics, explosions, and flames.

Then the excitement really begins when the Top 35 bull riders in the world compete against the fiercest bucking bulls on the planet, providing two hours of thrills and spills guaranteed to keep you on the edge-of-your-seat and your heart pounding. The nationally televised Built Ford Tough Series visits some of the most famous arenas across the United States, including Madison Square Garden in New York and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Each event has a winner, and riders accumulate points toward the ultimate goal, the Professional Bull Riders World Championship. The highest-paid bull riders in the world are not only competing for the coveted Championship Buckle, but also the $1 million bonus awarded to the winner.

Sacramento Museum Day2/2 – 15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day – Sacramento Museum Day, a popular Sacramento cultural tradition, is designed to encourage all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife – at little or no cost.

A record 30 Sacramento area museums will offer free or half-priced admission all day during the 15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day. With assistance provided by the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, this hugely popular community event is presented by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) and proudly supported by Umpqua Bank and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Many of the museums are within walking distance of each other and easily accessible via public transportation. Event coordinators suggest that guests plan to visit no more than two or three different museums on this day in order to allow adequate time to enjoy the experience and to travel between individual sites.

2/2 – Kids Club: Chinese New Year at Arden Fair Mall – Join us in Center Court in front of Nordstrom where Eastern Ways Martial Arts will be teaching us how to lion dance to celebrate Chinese New Year! Each child will receive a special gift for attending. We’ll see you there!

Arden Fair Kids hosts a FREE monthly event for kids ages 2-10. Each child who signs up will receive a VIP membership badge and earn prizes for reaching milestones.

Tai Kwon Do Championships2/2 – 11th Annual Sacramento Invitation Tai Kwon Do Championships – The Sacramento Invitational TKD Championships is bringing a world-class Olympic medal winner from Team USA to participate in showcasing the world’s most taught martial art. This Olympic Medalist joins hundreds of black belt martial artists eager to fight in the Sacramento Invite! Hundreds of  trophies are up for grabs in the sparring circles of this competition.

Leapin Lizards at the Nature Center2/2 – Family Activity: Leapin’ Lizards at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Do lizards leap? What’s a skink? What’s a blue belly? Do lizards lose their tails? Come meet some resident lizards and find out what make these cold-blooded critters so amazing.  As always, events at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center are free for the entire family!  (Parking in Ancil Hoffman Park is $5 per car.)

Teens and kids in the kitchen2/2 – Kids & Teens in the Kitchen: Quick Breads and Yeast Breads at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op – Cooking is a skill that can be developed over a lifetime. Young people: get a head start in these fun, hands-on classes. Class ends with the students enjoying the dishes they have prepared together in class. Students will learn valuable skills in menu planning, using fresh seasonal ingredients, knife skills, measuring and working as a team.  There is nothing more enticing than bread fresh from the oven. In this class, students will learn the essential steps of bread baking. Jill Simmons will teach students how to make monkey bread with cinnamon and sugar, quick cheese bread, almost “no-knead” bread, and banana-coconut bread with macadamia nuts.

Stamp-a-rama2/3 – Stamp-a-rama at the Discovery Museum – Learn about the science of the universe and about our own solar system in the entertaining and hands-on Space Quest! exhibit. Explore color and light in the light effects room then try to use the astronaut glove boxes to complete building tasks.  Visit the 12-foot rocket play space and dress up in an astronaut costume and helmet.  Children make and take a space stamp banner as a souvenir.

Otters and Beavers2/3 – Family Activity: Fun Facts about Otters at the Nature Center – These two are not related, but are often mistaken for each other. Did you know what otters are highly intelligent and that beavers are actually rodents? Come learn some fun facts about these creatures who roam out local waters.