Introduce Your Kids To The World Of Art During Sacramento’s Artober

By Alyssa Green

The month of October is National Arts and Humanities month and the Sacramento region has embraced this opportunity to share with it’s residence the importance of art in our community through a month long celebration.

Artober – 31 Days of Art and Soul was launched in 2010 by Mayor Kevin Johnson with the purpose of  “increasing the visibility of talent in Sacramento.” Communities throughout the region have planned special art events in celebration.  From music…to theater…to dance and literary readings, there is something to spark the interest of any person, of any age.  Below are five family friendly art happening that are definitely worth your consideration.

October 2 – Sacramento World Music and Dance Festival – Old Sacramento.   The Sac World Fest is a FREE annual event for the whole family which celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Sacramento Region through dance, musical performances poetry, culinary offerings, and more. 

Your kids will be mesmerized by the cultural dances and musical happenings in the streets.  In the Global Village they’ll learn about different cultures through crafts, art activities, musical instruments and dance clinics.  In the Old Eagle Theater they’ll hear stories, poetry and other readings geared towards youth audiences.  There is also a bonus Sac World Fest kickoff on Saturday Octber 1st.  For more information click here.                                                  

October 8-9Harvest the Arts Festival – South Natomas Community Center – with live music, Sac Show Biz Dancers, theater make-up demos and arts and craft activities for children.  Come support Natomas’ first annual harvest and arts festival!

October 9Community Center Theater Open House – This is a fabulous opportunity for your kids to see what goes on behind the scenes of a theater production.  Open from 1 to 5pm, this FREE event offers tours of the theater as well as presentations by professionals, students, and community groups.  Probably best for kids 5 and older. 

October 15Acorn Day – California State Indian Museum – Come on out to the Indian Museum for a fun and educational day in celebration of  the “Acorn” – a main food staple of the American Indians.  Kids can participate in native arts and crafts, games and other hands on activities.  Basketry, beadwork and clothing artifacts will be on display as well as basket making demonstrations.

October 16Water: A Free Family Festival – Crocker Art Museum – Liquid Assets: Perspectives on Water celebrates water as an essential part of living as well as creative inspiration in art.  There will be hands on activities, performances and demonstrations all centered around water in every day life.  Perfect for families with young children.  And as usual, we recommend you take the Story Trail tour and stop in at Tot Land for more kid friendly artsy experiences.

Advertisements

Story Trail and Tot Land at the Crocker Art Museum

By Alyssa Green

Last week my boys and I were thrilled to attend the Crocker Art Museum’s launch of two amazing new programs for kids and their families.

I have to admit, although an art lover myself, I have shied away from taking my loud and rambunctious boys to the museum.  Every time the thought entered my mind, it would abruptly be shoved out due to trepidation.  How would I teach them to love and appreciate art while at the same time keeping them quiet and making sure they don’t touch a thing?  No, it was always decided in the end, attending the museum with my boys could not possibly end well.

Sadly, here we are, with my boys being 7 and 10, and neither one of them ever having stepped foot in the Crocker Art Museum.   Imagine my surprise to hear of programs being developed specifically for kids.   And imagine my surprise when upon arrival, all the kids in attendance were encouraged to play, interact, talk and laugh.  They were actually expected to behave like children!

Tot Land is an interactive play gallery, geared towards children up to 5 years of age.  The gallery is chock full of fun things for toddlers to do.  There are learning games, puzzles, creative play stations, books, an arts and crafts table and the highlight of Tot Land, a huge interactive touch screen or “Interactive Living Art Wall” as it is called at the museum, that uses gaming software to create a truly unique art experience for kids.  Although this is located in the “tot room”, my boys found this the highlight of the tour.  They loved, loved, loved this touch screen!

Story Trail is an actual tour families can take with their children through the museum.  Upon arrival, make sure to check out a storybook called “Birdy’s Museum Adventure” from the administration desk and follow the story with your kids as it takes you throughout the museum to certain works of art in the permanent collection.  As you stop at each work of art, the children are encouraged by the story to find  images and shapes within each specific art piece.  The tour is easy for the kids to follow and drops them off in Tot Land at the end.  This tour is a perfect blend of exposing older children to the museum experience, while still keeping it fun, interesting and moving it right along.

As with so many of our outings, this one ended in the gift shop where there are plenty of  educational and fun items for adults and kids alike.  I could hardly get the boys out of there! 

In the end we all agreed that the Crocker Art Museum is a super fun (and cool) place to visit.  We will be back very soon, and next time my kids will try their hand at actually creating works of art through one of the many children’s art classes offered at the Crocker. 

For more information on all of the children’s programs offered at the museum, click here.  Happy creating!

Cooling Off at Manor Pool in Davis

By Alyssa Green

It’s finally getting hot here in Sacramento, and we want to make sure you and your kids stay cool this summer.  When my boys and I were last in Davis, we stopped in at Manor Pool for a fun afternoon of swimming, diving and lounging.  There is something for every age here to enjoy.  A sprayground and zero entry pool for the little ones, a lap pool with water slide for the bigger kids and adults and a diving pool with two diving boards of different heights. 

There is plenty of shaded grassy areas for parents to lounge and a snack bar selling everything from drinks to ice cream to popcorn and pizza.  You could literally spend all day here.  I also love that there are plenty of lifeguards on duty.  I can truly relax in knowing that my kids are safe.  Even at the diving pool where my 7 year old thoroughly wore himself out by repeatedly jumping off the highest board for much of the afternoon.

The pool is open for “free swim” daily from 1pm to 5pm and costs $3.00 per person.  Babies are free.  We’ll definitely be visiting again soon, I hope we see you there!

Fairytale Town Family Pass Winners

Congratulations to Kristy and Amy!  You both have won family passes (4 complimentary admission tickets) to Fairytale Town!   Please contact us within 48 hours to claim your tickets. 

For those of you who didn’t win this time, check back with us next week as we have yet another fun giveaway…and it’s a big one!  We hope you all have a great weekend and don’t forget to head over to Southside Park for the Passport to Summer Youth Fair.

Have Your Child’s Birthday Party At Fairytale Town

By Alyssa Green

If you have small children or grandchildren and are at all familiar with Sacramento, you are sure to know about Fairytale Town.  You have probably even been there too many times to count.  But did you know that Fairytale Town offers great birthday parties?  With four different party options to choose from depending on anything from the age of your child to your budget, you can’t go wrong in finding the right party fit for your birthday boy or girl.  And the absolute best part?  Fairytale Town does all the work for you!  There are no major preparations, and no mess for you to clean up.  All that is required is your presence…and of course the presents.

For as little as $40 plus the cost of admission, you may rent out Pooh Corner in the 100 Acre Woods or the picnic area in the Sherwood Forest.

At Pooh corner, this includes tables and chairs to acommodate 25 guests.  The Sherwood Forest accommodates up to 50 guests.  You bring your own food, snacks and birthday cake.  The grown ups can sit and relax in the shade while the kids run and play on the nearby play sets and slides.  Perfect for quiet family parties.

The other two birthday party options are in King Arthur’s Castle and Mr. McGregor’s Garden.

King Arthur’s Castle offers two package options.  The Excalibur Party Package ($140.00) includes general admission for 10 guests, unlimited play time in the park, an hour of party time in King Arthur’s castle, kid’s meals, birthday cake, and hosted party games.

The Camelot Party Package ($180.00) includes general admission for 10 guests, unlimited play time in the park, and an hour of party time King Arthur’s Castle.  The birthday child and guests will receive a kid’s meal, birthday cake , hosted party games, party bags, and two complimentary admission passes.

Finally, the Mr. McGregor’s Garden party package ($160 + admission for children over 2 years old) offers an arbor shaded enclosed picnic area, kid’s meals, ice cream and party craft for all child sizes guests.  This is a perfect choice for the little tiny kiddos. 

So, whatever your occassion or budget, plan your next party at Fairytale Town…you can even book online here.  It can’t get much easier than this!

Heidrick Ag History Center – Review and GIVEAWAY!

If you are a parent to boys, you probably know all about John Deere Tractors. But did you know that within minutes of Sacramento your boys (or girls) can be in tractor heaven? That’s right, Woodland, California is home to the Heidrick Ag History Center which includes the Heidrick Antique Tractor Museum and the Hays Antique Truck Museum.  The area’s largest collection of tractors, trucks and farm equipment dating back to 1890.

My family and I had the pleasure of visiting last weekend.  Upon arrival we were greeted by our fabulous tour guide Jim Scott who walked around with us for over two hours sharing all kinds of interesting information. He was great with my boys, who at ages 7 and 10 were asking all kinds of questions and he was patient with them when they quickly ran off in the middle of his answers to see something else that caught their eye.

Highlights from the tour include the actual fire truck used in the movie James and the Giant Peach, a replica Route 66 Service Station, and for my 7-year-old, having the pleasure of pedalling a John Deere riding tractor throughout the entire museum.

I was surprised to learn that the Center offers both a conference room and outdoor courtyard for private rentals. The courtyard (equipped with a large BBQ in the form of a tractor) is a great place to hold children’s parties for which the center often brings a tractor or truck out for the kids to climb on and sit for photo ops. Something to think about for future birthdays….                                                                      

Now, for the best part – The Heidrick Ag History Center has graciously donated two family passes for us to give away to our readers. So, if you are interested, visit the Heidrick Ag History Center’s website and then come back here and leave a comment to be eligible for the passes.  The Drawing will be held on Wednesday, May 4th at 2pm.  Good luck!