Jul 242018
 
 July 24, 2018  activities, Sacramento Comments Off on Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove

Looking for a fun play to take your kids when it’s just too hot outdoors? Here is our experience at a local indoor playground for young kids, where little ones can explore and enjoy no matter what the weather. And even better, local readers can win free passes in our #SummerFunSac challenge on Instagram, so don’t miss out!

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: We received complimentary passes to Imagine Play of Elk Grove for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove

Imagine Play of Elk Grove is an indoor playground for young children and a haven for parents and caregivers wanting to give kids a safe place to play and explore. Everything is perfectly sized for little ones and designed to spark imaginative play and sensory fun.

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

My toddler and I recently had a chance to visit, and she had an absolute ball! As the youngest of three, she reveled in having a play space full of toys and equipment designed just for younger children!

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

There was a castle with stairs to climb and a ball drop built into the side, a pirate ship, a grocery store set up, and more hands on, open ended toys than I have room to list.

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

And as if that weren’t enough, they also have art and sensory activities offered every hour on the half hour in a connecting room. My daughter loved playing with the kinetic sand!

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.comIndoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

Just be warned that if you bring a child to Imagine Play, they will not want to leave! Luckily, you can bring in a packed lunch and drinks (not in the main play area, but in the adjacent seated area), or purchase snacks, juice boxes, and water.

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

Parents must be present and supervising their children, but the space is designed so that you can comfortably do this from the seated area, while enjoying your complimentary coffee ūüôā

Indoor Playground for Young Kids: Imagine Play of Elk Grove | Alldonemonkey.com

Can’t get enough? You could become a member, or host a party!

We loved our time at Imagine Play in Elk Grove, a wonderfully imaginative indoor playground for young children. Be sure to stop by, and don’t forget you could win free passes when you enter our Sacramento Summer Fun IG challenge!

Jun 192018
 
 June 19, 2018  Sacramento Comments Off on Sacramento Family Fun: Southside Park

One of my goals for this summer is to get out and explore the Sacramento area with my kids. It’s the whole reason I created the #SummerFunSac challenge on Instagram, to encourage others to do the same (and to commit myself publicly, so I’d follow through!) I’m happy to share with you today one of our great discoveries – Southside Park in downtown, beloved to Sacramento residents for many years and a new favorite for us. If you are looking for Sacramento family fun, you won’t want to miss it!

Sacramento Family Fun: Southside Park

Be sure to check out all of our Sacramento adventures, plus follow along on Instagram!

Features

The biggest attraction for my kids was the adventure playground! We loved the outer space theme and how the playground equipment itself had different features than what we typically see in neighborhood parks. And I always appreciate it when there is separate equipment for younger and older children, plus accessible ramps and handrails.

There was so much to climb on and connecting walkways that it reminded me of the Ewok village from Star Wars – kids can spend so much time playing without their feet ever touching the ground!

Sacramento Family Fun: Southside Park | Alldonemonkey.com

But by far my kids’ favorite part was the GINORMOUS sand pit! This is wonderful for open ended play for kids of all ages. My five year old and eight year old spent just as much time in here (perhaps more) than my two year old.

Sacramento Family Fun: Southside Park | Alldonemonkey.com

There is so much to do at the playground that we could easily come every day for a week without anyone getting bored!

Sacramento Family Fun: Southside Park | Alldonemonkey.com

While they were focused on the playground, however, I was enjoying all the big, shady trees and the view of the lake – you can even go fishing!

There are also a swimming and wading pool and a jogging trail, plus an amphitheater (though no alcohol is permitted).

Parking

One thing I was curious about and had trouble finding a definitive answer for ahead of time was about parking. Since Southside Park is in downtown Sacramento, I wanted to know if I needed to have quarters with me for the meters. In the end, I took them, but it turns out that you don’t necessarily need them. While much of the parking around the park is metered (and at least the ones we saw didn’t take cards), there is free parking right in front of the playground area. So in most cases you do¬†not¬†need to worry about having change with you, though I’m sure that on busy weekends you may still have to use metered parking.

Find out more about Southside Park on the City of Sacramento website. Do you have a favorite park for Sacramento family fun?

Jun 042018
 
 June 4, 2018  Sacramento, Summer Comments Off on Sacramento Summer Fun Instagram Challenge

The Sacramento area has so much to offer for families! This summer, get out and explore the River City with your kids by taking part in our #SummerFunSac Instagram challenge: You could win one of our great prizes, while celebrating Sacramento summer fun with your family! Read on for more details on this fun Instagram challenge.

Sacramento Summer Fun Instagram Challenge June & July 2018 #SummerFunSac

Sacramento Summer Fun Instagram Challenge: #SummerFunSac

Looking for a fun way to get out and explore the Sacramento area with your family this summer? Join in our #SummerFunSac Instagram challenge and giveaway, running this June and July and celebrating all the ways families have fun in the River City in the summertime!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

How to Participate:

It’s easy!

  1. Post a photo(s) of you and/or your family having fun in the Sacramento area this summer! All photos must be family friendly and include the #SummerFunSac hashtag.
  2. Follow me on Instagram.
  3. Follow the sponsor of the week on Instagram, if applicable (see sponsor list below).

Just think: you could go for a hike, stop by your local library, go to a museum, or just relax in the backyard!

Drawings will be held every Monday, choosing a random winner from the photos posted the previous week (Monday – Sunday).

The Prizes

I know, I know – You’re saying, just get to the good stuff already! What could we win?? I’m proud to say that all of the sponsors are local companies or events, so let’s show them some love!

June 4 – 10 (drawing June 11)

Sponsor: Sac Town Kids (@sactownkids)
Prize: a copy of their new book 1,001 Things to Do in Sacramento with Kids (& the Young at Heart)¬†(read my review), plus one of their denim book bags, which¬†reads, “All good things are wild and free.” -Henry David Thoreau.

June 11 – 17 (drawing June 18)

Sponsor: Fandemic Tour Comic Con (@fandemictour)
Prize: Pack of tickets to Comic Con, in Sacramento June 22-24, 2018! (See our review from a previous year)

June 18 – 24 (drawing June 25)

Sponsor: Pure Romance (@sizzlethefizzle)
Prize: Love Story body lotion

June 25 – July 1 (drawing July 2)

Sponsor: Mighty Kong Muffins
Prize: Pack of gourmet bran muffins (read our review)

July 2 – 8 (drawing July 9)

Sponsor: Upside Over Designs
Prize: $20 gift certificate

July 9 – 15 (drawing July 16)

Sponsor: Aerospace Museum of California (@aerospaceca)
Prize: Family pack of tickets

July 16 – 22 (drawing July 23)

Sponsor: Elite Bakery Cafe (@jasminematsoyan)
Prize: Coffee and dessert/pastry

July 23 – 29 (drawing July 30)

GRAND PRIZE
Sponsor 1: Fit4Mom Sacramento (@fitformomsacramento)
Prize 1: free one month unlimited membership for Stroller Strides & Stroller Barre

Sponsor 2: Imagine Play (@imagineplayeg)
Prize 2: Two play passes

Sponsor 3: Usborne Books and More Consultant Christina Garcia
Prize 3: $25 credit to be redeemed through this consultant only (shipping not included), plus a special offer if you choose to purchase more.

So start snapping photos, and you could be featured in my Instagram feed or win one of the fabulous prizes listed above! How will you showcase Sacramento summer fun this summer?

 

Mar 302018
 
 March 30, 2018  activities, Sacramento 2 Responses »

If you have kids that love airplanes, you won’t want to miss visiting the Aerospace Museum of California! Read more about our experience, plus learn about an incredible new resource for Sacramento families!

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

Aerospace Museum of California

My kids are fascinated by all things that go, so I was excited to take them to the Aerospace Museum of California, located right here in Sacramento!

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

Highlights

Built on the grounds of the former McClellan Air Force Base, the Aerospace Museum consists primarily of a large, open exhibit hall plus outdoor space with 50+ aircrafts!

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

Weather permitting, several of these are open every day for visitors to explore. When we visited, we got to climb aboard the “Jolly Green Giant,” a helicopter from the Vietnam War; a FedEx delivery plane; a Coast Guard aircraft; and (my favorite) a World War II era plane that flew supply missions during the invasion of Europe. Nothing teaches you history like being inside the actual aircraft that took part!

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

Related Post: Sutter’s Fort – Sacramento History for Families

Back inside, there are even more aircraft (and engines) to see, plus rotating exhibits on different topics – the current exhibit is the Art of the Airport Tower. My kids loved getting into the training craft – which were actually used to train pilots – and pretending they were flying a plane!

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

My oldest son’s favorite part, though, was the Morphis Simulator Ride. It is a mini-theater inside of an aircraft, which moves as you watch a short film about flight or space. (This is an additional cost from admission).

If you bring a toddler, you will need to watch them like a hawk in the main exhibit areas. Many of the aircraft on the exhibit floor are marked off with just a chain – an obvious “no touching” signal for most people, but not for a curious toddler! I actually ended up putting my two year old in a stroller as we went through these areas. Luckily there are several areas set up just for kids where she was able to play and really get a more hands on experience. She loved climbing up into the mini-aircraft and playing with the controls!

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

There is a small but well-stocked Kids Zone upstairs geared toward younger children. It is gated but open to the main exhibit floor so that parents can relax and enjoy the view while their kids are enjoying themselves with the many airplane-themed puzzles, toys, and art stations.

What made the visit special for me was chatting with the docents. These older gentlemen are so knowledgeable and really have a love for the aircraft. One told me that every time his wife goes to an outlet mall, he finds an airport to visit – win win! And they are all so patient with children and love to answer questions, so be sure to take advantage of this amazing resource!

Related Post: Sacramento Day Trip – Sonoma Mission

Planning Your Visit

How long you will spend here really depends on your child’s age and level of interest. My 5 year old was ready to leave after about an hour and a half, whereas my 8 year old could have easily stayed longer than the 2 hours we were there.

Aerospace Museum of California {Sacramento for Kids} | Alldonemonkey.com

Luckily Freedom Park is right next door, so I recommend packing a lunch (there’s nowhere to eat close by) and having a nice picnic lunch and playtime at the park after the museum or to break up a longer visit. (You can exit and re-enter the museum). Keep in mind that this park is one of the few in Sacramento without a shade cover, so it gets very hot in warm weather, so you’ll want to make sure you visit it earlier in the day during the summer.

I definitely recommend visiting the Aerospace Museum of California for hands on, real world learning about aviation!

Sacramento for Kids

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Long-time readers know how much I love to get out an explore the Sacramento area with my kids, but not having grown up here, I sometimes feel at a disadvantage. No more! Now I have in my hands an incredible new resource for families in Sacramento. No matter what your children’s interests or ages, you will find¬†tons¬†of ideas for family fun in 1,001 Things to Do in Sacramento with Kids (& the Young at Heart).

Whether you love nature or art, sports or festivals, you will find lots to enjoy in 1,001 Things to Do in Sacramento with Kids (& the Young at Heart)! I also love that the book includes activities that encompass a wide range of ages, so this book can be enjoyed by your family for many years to come.

At first I wished that the book were organized into themes, but I’ve come to appreciate the intentional randomness of the list. As the author notes, often the best adventures are actually a tangent from what you meant to do! This book is great for spring break or weekend adventures. My kids and I had a lot of fun just flipping through the book to see which ones we have done and just how many we have left to do! (The Aerospace Museum is #36 on the list, by the way!)

1,001 Things to Do in Sacramento with Kids (& the Young at Heart) is the ultimate bucket list for Sacramento families. I can’t wait for all of the adventures ahead of us!

You can find the book on Amazon or check out the website and now even the app (available on Apple and Google Play).

Dec 142017
 
 December 14, 2017  activities, family, food, Sacramento Comments Off on 3 Simple Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids

As parents, life can get so busy that often we have to stop and catch our breath and wonder, where did the time go? I always look forward to spending time with my kids, but practically speaking I actually spend most of my time running errands and doing household chores. Someone is always tugging on my leg asking to play freeze tag or build a fort in the living room, but I usually put them off because there is always a diaper to change, or a meal to cook, or laundry to fold. Trust me, I would much rather build a pillow fort! If you also find yourself struggling to find time to enjoy your family, here are three simple ways to reconnect with your kids – even when you are really busy!

Disclosure: I received complimentary samples of Mighty Kong Muffins for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

3 Simple Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

3 Simple Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids – Even When You Are Really Busy!

1. Take Play Breaks

My four year old could play freeze tag all day long. From the moment he wakes up until time to brush his teeth at night, anytime there is a pause in activity (and usually when there isn’t), he asks to play freeze tag. Somehow it always seems like he asks just as I need to change a diaper or when I’m in the middle of cooking. Rather than put him off completely, I try to take short play breaks with him. Be realistic about how much time you have, then set a timer and give your child your focused attention – no checking Facebook, no picking up toys off the floor, or straightening the furniture – just playing with him.

For me, this is usually 10 or 15 minutes at a time on a weekday. (I make sure to do non-timed, longer play times together on the weekends, but these are usually not practical during the week).  This seems like a really short amount of time, but it always seems surprisingly long, considering I am really focusing on him and not multi-tasking like I usually do.

It doesn’t stop him from asking to play again 5 minutes later, but he is more understanding when I have to say no, and I feel less guilty about getting my work done.

2. Play a Game after Dinner

Our kids get screen time in the evenings, yet we noticed that this often resulted in a race to leave the dinner table and get back to electronics. So now we have instituted the rule that we play a game (or do a puzzle, etc) after dinner before we all retire to our corners to relax before bedtime. The kids love it, especially since Daddy is home to join in as well, so no one is watching the clock and rushing to leave the table. As much as I love game nights, this abbreviated version works for us during the week, so we can still get in play time together as a family and make sure we really reconnect with our kids in the evenings.

3. Do Read Alouds

We all know how important it is to read together, and most of us tend to do this at bedtime, which is such a snuggly, cozy time to share a good story. Yet I noticed that we tend to do this with our kids individually (as they all go to bed at slightly different times), plus the stories tend to be shorter because of the late hour.

I loved that old-fashioned idea of a family sitting around reading a great book together, so I started doing family read alouds during the day. It is wonderful bonding time, plus it is a great way to engage kids with slightly more challenging material or to read stories they might not have considered. For example, a younger child might be more inclined to stick with an easy chapter book because of the excitement of reading with older siblings, and another might be surprised to find that they like a story outside of the genre they tend to favor. (For great reading ideas, see my book reviews!)

I have found that the easiest way to keep everyone’s attention, despite the range of ages and interests, is to involve food. Give the kids something to eat at the table, and they are more likely to be sitting quietly and listening as you read. As homeschoolers, we can often do our read alouds over lunch, but it’s also a great way to relax together over an after school snack. This is especially true if you have a child that doesn’t like to sit and talk when they first come home – here is a great way to reconnect with your kids without forcing conversations they aren’t ready for.

Finding a Great Snack to Share

We have recently discovered a new favorite snack, which is perfect to share during our family read aloud. While we do have the occasional treat, I am rather picky about making sure my kids have healthy snacks. So I was excited to find out about Mighty Kong Muffins, a family-run and locally-owned Sacramento business that makes the most delicious gourmet bran muffins in a staggering 22 varieties. (See their interview on a local news show).

3 Simple Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids and Might Kong Muffin Review | Alldonemonkey.com

I know what you’re thinking: Gourmet bran muffins? Yes, it’s true! The ingredients are all high-quality and non-GMO, with fresh fruits and nuts and high grade dark chocolate. You won’t find any flour in these muffins – or any preservatives or artificial ingredients, for that matter. These mini-muffins are a great snack you can feel good about sharing with your kids.

We received a variety pack of the Mighty Kong Muffins and so had fun sampling four different flavors: Ape Dates (date walnut), Naner Naner (banana walnut), Wapple Apple (apple raisin), and the seasonal Rumplepumpskin (cranberry pumpkin). (Note: all flavors are available without nuts). My younger son loved the Wapple Apple, which my older son couldn’t decide between the Ape Dates and the Naner Naner. Personally, I loved the Rumplepumpskin. In other words, every single one was a hit!

3 Simple Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids and Mighty Kong Muffin Review | Alldonemonkey.com

Related Post: Healthy and Fun Lunchbox Ideas

Which flavor will become your favorite? Check out Mighty Kong Muffins and order yours today!

What’s your favorite way to reconnect with your kids?

Oct 172017
 
 October 17, 2017  History, Sacramento 5 Responses »

During my parents’ last visit, I wanted to show them a part of Sacramento they hadn’t seen before, so we picked Sutter’s Fort, a site in the heart of Sacramento that is of major historical importance not just to the region but to the history of the American migration to the West. It is popular site for families and school field trips because it provides great hands on experiences to help investigate our state’s history. It is so convenient that it’s easy to make into one stop in a larger tour of the area, but there is so much to explore at Sutter’s Fort that we ended up spending the better part of a morning there.

Sutter's Fort: Sacramento History for Families | Alldonemonkey.com

Sutter’s Fort: Sacramento History for Families

History of Sutter’s Fort

If you travel in Northern California, you are bound to come across the name “Sutter.” There are the Sutter Buttes (named “Spirit Mountain” by the Maidu Indians) and Sutter County, and of course Sutter’s Mill, made famous by the discovery of gold there in 1848. All of these were named after John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant who received a land grant from the Mexican government in 1839. The settlement he established (named New Helvetia, or New Switzerland) was the first in Sacramento and the first non-native settlement in California’s Central Valley.

Sutter's Fort: Sacramento History for Families | Alldonemonkey.com

Soon after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, Sutter sold his fort and left, and it was later overrun by gold seekers. In 1871, a movement began to restore the site. and the reconstructed fort was opened to the public in 1905.

We were most interested in the connection between Sutter’s Fort and the Donner Party, which my son is fascinated by. In 1846 the Donner Party set out for California, but because of a late start and a tragic miscalculation in taking an untested shortcut, they arrived at the Sierra Nevada mountains too late in the season and were trapped in a blizzard. They were forced to make camp for the winter, and many soon began to die of starvation. It was five months before all were rescued, and many resorted to cannibalism. Only 45 of the original 81 members of the Donner Party survived.

Sutter's Fort: Sacramento History for Families | Alldonemonkey.com

When the plight of the Donner Party first became known, John Sutter sent help, and the survivors were eventually brought to Sutter’s Fort to recuperate. Among the artifacts on display at Sutter’s Fort today are items from the Donner Party, including the doll of young Patty Reed.

Many other artifacts from early California history are also on display, some of which can be seen in this online exhibit. They showcase the Gold Rush era, early California statehood, and the Civil War.

Planning Your Visit

Sutter’s Fort is located in midtown Sacramento at 2701 L Street. Parking is available on the streets surrounding the fort, so be sure to bring quarters for the meters. There is a grassy field surrounding the fort if your little ones need to burn off a little energy afterwards.

Be aware that the site consists of a number of buildings surrounding a large open courtyard, so while most of the exhibits are inside, you will spend a lot of time walking outdoors, so you need to plan accordingly in inclement weather.

Sutter's Fort: Sacramento History for Families | Alldonemonkey.com

As you enter the complex, you’ll be able to visit displays in the various buildings around the fort, such as the general store or the smithy. We had a great time talking to the blacksmith, and my son even got to go in and give him a hand!

Sutter's Fort: Sacramento History for Families | Alldonemonkey.com

Kids really get a sense of what life was like in those days – from doing laundry and baking bread to what it would have been like to travel cross country with your family in a wagon! My kids really loved climbing up in the tower to see the cannons, which were hung from the ceiling in such a way that they could swing around to point in various directions to protect the fort from attackers.

Sutter's Fort: Sacramento History for Families | Alldonemonkey.com

Keep in mind that Sutter’s Fort does host demonstration days and fairs periodically, so check the calendar before you come. You can even come to the “Haunted Fort” just before Halloween! We got lucky and happened to be there on a day with a large school group, so there were even more interactive exhibits than usual.

Also, they work closely with school groups and scout troops, so be sure to contact them if you’d like to plan a visit with a group of students. One program even lets the kids stay overnight!

If you are looking for an interactive history experience, we highly recommend Sutter’s Fort! For more information, visit the state park website or the Friends of Sutter’s Fort.

Many thanks to my parents, who kindly allowed me to use their photographs above.

For more Sacramento fun for families, be sure to visit my Pinterest board:

California Family Destinations

Today we are joining with other California bloggers to share favorite family destinations in the Golden State! Find great resources in this list, plus link up your own below!

Participating Blogs

All Done Monkey: Sutter’s Fort РSacramento History for Families
Family Review Guide: Ultimate Family Vacation Guide to Marriot Desert Springs Villas
The Funny Mom Blog: Tips for Picking the Perfect Airbnb in Big Bear Lake for Your Family
Mama Smiles: Jelly Belly Factory Tour & More California Fun for Kids
The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide: Free or Cheap Activities for Kids in the Hi-Desert of California
Little Hiccups: Kid-Friendly Fun in the Bay Area


Aug 302017
 
 August 30, 2017  activities, Sacramento 9 Responses »

Fans of Guardians of the Galaxy will be excited to know that a new Marvel Universe Live! show is coming to Sacramento in September! This exciting new show, which will be at the new Golden 1 Center from September 14-17, 2017, will feature Guardians of the Galaxy and more than 20 favorite Marvel super heroes and villains!

Marvel Universe Live Age of Heroes Giveaway & Coloring Page | Alldonemonkey.com

We are big fans of Marvel Universe Live and can’t wait to see a new show at the Golden 1 Center! And best of all, you can¬†win a family pack of 4 tickets to opening night¬†just be commenting on this post and telling us your kid’s favorite Marvel super hero (or villain)!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to this show for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Don’t miss the action-packed adventure of Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes. Spider-Man and The Avengers will be joined by the Guardians of the Galaxy,¬†including Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket and Drax. Witness a legendary battle to defend the universe from evil, in this newest production from Feld Entertainment, the world‚Äôs leading producer of live touring family entertainment.

What: Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes, featuring Guardians of the Galaxy
When: September 14-17, 2017: Thursday, Sept 14, 7:00 PM; Friday, Sept 15, 7:00 PM; Saturday, Sept 16, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM; Sunday, Sept 17, 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM
Where: Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento, CA 95814
Tickets: Tickets start at $20 each! Discount Opening Night tickets available for only $15 each on select seating  (not valid for premium/VIP levels)

Grab your free Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes Coloring Page to get ready for the show!

This September, take your kids out for a show with non-stop action, movie-style thrills and amazing stunts! Immersive video projection and cutting-edge special effects will captivate and transport audiences across the universe from the fantastical Savage Land to New York City and beyond. Spider-Man and Wasp’s dynamic aerial stunts along with Captain America’s daring motorcycle skills will be on display in the ultimate race against time to save mankind.

Tickets now available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the venue Box Office.

*Ticket prices subject to change; tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees. 

Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes will travel throughout North America on a multiyear tour, including stops in Denver, Las Vegas, Bay Area, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and New York.  After North America, the show will embark on an international tour starting in 2019. For a complete list of North American tour dates, locations and to purchase tickets, please visit MarvelUniverseLIVE.com.

Enter for a chance to win a family pack of 4 tickets to opening night on September 14: Comment below and tell us your child’s favorite Marvel super hero or villain!¬†Winner chosen at random. Contest ends September 6, 2017, at midnight PT.¬†

May 042017
 

This content has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PureLife35pk #CollectiveBias

It’s that time of year! The weather is finally warming up, and there are more and more beautiful days to get outside and enjoy with our kids. We love going to the playground, but I also love to take the kids hiking, where they can breathe in the fresh air and really reconnect with the natural world. Even if your children are very young, you don’t have to miss out on this fun activity, as many parks and recreational areas have paths that are easy for strollers and little legs. Here are our favorite kid-friendly hikes in Northern California.

10 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Northern California | Alldonemonkey.com #shop #PureLife35pk #CollectiveBias

Before You Go

Have a plan.¬†Exploring can be so much fun, especially in the great outdoors, but if you have little ones in tow, don’t waste all their energy wandering around looking for the trailhead. Most parks have¬†detailed information and maps of kid-friendly hikes available on their websites, or you can talk to a ranger once you arrive.

Use good shoes.¬†Bring home good memories, not sore feet! Make sure everyone has well-fitting, supportive shoes to wear. Remember that ordinary sneakers often don’t have good grip for outdoor trails, so use hiking shoes when possible.

Wear layers. The weather may be cool when you start, but you will quickly warm up as you walk, so be prepared by dressing in layers. This will also help if you are going to be hiking on a densely forested trail, where it may be significantly cooler than in sunnier areas.

Pack high-energy snacks. Nuts or trail mix are great snacks to keep you and your kiddos going on kid-friendly hikes.

10 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Northern California | Alldonemonkey.com #shop #PureLife35pk #CollectiveBias

Stay hydrated.¬†Drinking plenty of water is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, especially when you are active outdoors! My relatives are always surprised at how much my kids love to drink water, but it’s a habit that we have instilled in them from a very young age. My boys love to run and play, so it’s important to make sure they stay hydrated. And now it’s even easier, with the new 35 pack of Nestl√©¬ģ Pure Life¬ģ¬†water now available at Walmart. It’s such a great value, because it’s the same price as the old 32 pack – that’s 3 extra bottles for free! Find out more about this great offer at the end of this post.

10 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Northern California

Muir Woods National Monument:¬†Muir Woods is simply a classic spot to visit in Northern California, a lush forest of old growth redwood trees that has been federally protected for more than a century. It also boosts easy trail loops that are accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. There are also moderate to strenuous hikes if your children are older, but even if you stay on the easy trails, don’t worry that you are missing out – the views are still spectacular! Be aware that it is usually quite chilly inside the forest, even on warm days, so bring layers.

Lassen Volcanic National Park:¬†Lassen is another area that has been protected for more than 100 years and today is enjoyed by nearly half a million visitors a year. And frankly it is one of the most unusual spots we have visited in California: an active volcano, a gigantic steam vent, a cold boiling lake, and bubbling mud that smells like rotten eggs – it’s a kid’s dream!¬†The most accessible site is the Sulphur Works, and the Devastated Area (its actual name!) has a half-mile hard surface trail with wonderful views. Please be extra cautious not to let your children wander off the trails, especially in the hydrothermal areas, as it could be dangerous.

Mount Shasta area:¬†Mount Shasta is the second highest peak in the Cascade Range (which also include Lassen, see above). The mountain itself is awe-inspiring, and while most of its trails are more rugged, its Panther Meadows trail is relatively short and easy (approx 1 mile). But don’t neglect area at the base of the mountain, which has many beautiful areas for families to enjoy nature. The walk to Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir, for example, is just over half a mile from the picnic area, and is accessible even during the winter, when many trails on the mountain are closed. McCloud River and Falls also has kid-friendly hikes, and you can enjoy a walk around Siskiyou Lake using the new Wagon Trail.

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Point Reyes National Seashore: Often when we think of Point Reyes we think of the beaches Рpicnicking or flying kites among the dunes, or climbing the steep steps to the lighthouse Рyet the park is actually much more extensive than just the coastline. There are plenty of paved or well-packed dirt trails that are relatively flat and easy for little legs. Earthquake Trail in particular is paved and just over half a mile. And if the beach is what you are looking for, North and South Beach also have short paved paths in the dunes that offer beautiful views of the ocean.

Lake Tahoe:¬†The famously clear waters of Lake Tahoe – the second deepest lake in the United States – and the rugged Sierra Mountains that surround it attract visitors from all over the world. It is actually a cluster of state parks and recreational areas, such as¬†Emerald Bay State Park. Some of the trails around Lake Tahoe are quite strenuous, but it is easy to find ones to match your family’s abilities. For example, the Rubicon Trail is a flat, easy trail that goes right along the shoreline. Don’t miss the historic Vikingsholm Mansion!

Russian River: The Russian River is one of those areas in Northern California that I feel are underappreciated. It is a gorgeous area with beaches and wilderness areas for families to explore and has miles of trails for a range of abilities. The best known area for kid-friendly hikes is Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. Just north of Santa Rosa, this is an old-growth redwood forest with an easy self-guided trail through the grove.

Effie Yeaw Nature Center: This beautiful area near Sacramento encompasses 100 acres of woodland to explore along the American River. All of the nature trails are easy and include interpretive signs. You are sure to see wildlife during your walk, and there is always something to explore at the Nature Center. I love the natural playground and butterfly garden!

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Related Post: 18 Most Picturesque Places for Families to Visit in Northern California

Cosumnes River Preserve: This preserve Рmore than 50,000 acres Рis a wonderful place in the Sacramento area to explore nature with your kids. There are two easy trails to choose from, one dirt and one paved. It is a quiet, pristine area, great for spotting wildlife along the trail. Even the shorter, paved trail offers close up views of marshes and wetland plants.

American River Parkway: This 23 mile parkway is accessible at various points along Highway 50. There are a number of parks inside the parkway, including Effie Yeaw (see above). The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail is popular with bicyclists and pedestrians alike. It is paved and can be accessed from most of the parks within the American River Parkway.

UC Davis Arboretum: I am quite partial to the UC Davis Arboretum, as I used to study there when I was a grad student, and my husband and I would go for walks along its trails when we were newly married (eons ago!). Located on the campus of UC Davis, the Arboretum is open to the public 24 hours a day, with no fee for admission. The main path is a 3.5 mile paved loop. There are also plenty of open areas along the way where you can relax with a picnic or play catch. As you walk, you can enjoy plants from around the world, such as the Australia Collection or the East Asia Collection.

A New Reason to Enjoy Great-Tasting Water

As with any type of outdoor activity, it is essential to keep you and your little ones well hydrated when you are headed out on kid-friendly hikes. That is why I was excited to find out that Nestle Pure Life is now available in a 35 pack at Walmart Рat the same price as the old 32 pack! The packaging for Pure Life is also new, so look for it in the water aisle or in a special display.

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I want only the best for my kids, which is why I choose Nestle Pure Life, since it is filtered through a 12 step quality process and enhanced with a unique blend of minerals. You can tell the difference because of its great taste!

10 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Northern California | Alldonemonkey.com #shop #PureLife35pk #CollectiveBias

I keep a pack in the trunk of my car so we are ready any time we want to go for a hike or just head to the playground! Even just running errands on a warm day can make you dehydrated, so I make sure that the kids and I drink plenty of water. This new 35 pack makes it even easier to keep everyone healthy on those special days and everyday!

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Please note: Only the 24 pack is available online, so if the 35 pack of Nestle Pure Life is not available in your local Walmart, please ask a store manager about getting the product in your area.

And don’t forget to visit nestlepurelife.com to sign up for promotions, offers and more.

10 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Northern California | Alldonemonkey.com #shop #PureLife35pk #CollectiveBias

What are your favorite kid-friendly hikes?

Dec 052016
 
 December 5, 2016  activities, Sacramento Comments Off on Family Bonding: 10 Parent-Child Date Night Ideas

What is a parent-child date night? Simply a way to do something special and reconnect with your child. Sometimes we get so busy with our day to day routines that we can forget that these are not the end themselves, only the means. It’s helpful to take a step back and spend some special time with our children. This is especially true when you have multiple kids! When there is a new baby, for example, older kids will really enjoy the extra attention.

Family Bonding" 10 Parent-Child Date Nights | Alldonemonkey.com

Here are some fun parent-child date night ideas, but keep in mind that the most important thing is spending special time with your child!

Disclosure: I received complimentary passes to VIP Night at Century Arden 14 & XD Theater; however, all opinions are my own.

Parent-Child Date Night Ideas

  1. Go to a live show, like monster trucks or Disney on Ice
  2. Have fun at bowling or a video arcade
  3. Take a cooking or computer class together Рthey will love seeing you learn something, too!
  4. From Kid World Citizen on Creative World of Varya: Super Noche!
  5. From Moms and Crafters: Playdates with Mom
  6. From Adventures in Mommydom: Mommy-Son Mini Golf Date Night
  7. From Adventures in Mommydom: Daddy Daughter Date: Scavenger Hunt
  8. From Gianna the Great: “When I take my granddaughter out for a ‘date night’ we go have coffee/hot chocolate and a bookstore.”
  9. From Bicultural Mama: “My daughter had been asking me for a ‘Girls Night Out’ so a couple weekends ago she and I went to dinner at the restaurant of her choice, then went holiday shopping at the mall for daddy, then went home to watch Zootopia on Netflix.”
  10. Go to the movies! The boys and I had a blast attending VIP Night at the grand re-opening of the Century Arden 14 and XD Theater here in Sacramento. It was fun to get a sneak peek at this totally refurbished theater, with 14 wall-to-wall screens and custom digital surround sound. But what we loved the most was the luxury loungers – no joke, each seat is an electric-powered recliner, complete with cup holders and footrests.

Family Bonding: 10 Parent-Child Date Night Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

I am nearly 6 feet tall, and often feel uncomfortable in theater seats, plus I am always self-conscious of blocking the view of people behind me. Not so here! I had plenty of room to stretch out and not worry about those behind me – or in front! Aren’t you tired of having to stand up or shrink in your seat to let someone else pass by? (Or okay, let’s admit it – aren’t you tired of being the family that arrives late and makes everyone else stand up or shrink in their seat so you and your wiggly kids can pass by?) I was amazed at how wide the aisles were –¬†all¬†of them, not just those in the middle of the theater. What luxury!

Family Bonding" 10 Parent-Child Date Nights | Alldonemonkey.com

And if you have picky kids in your family, you will also appreciate the self-serve concession stand, where you can get your order just how you want it. So next time you are headed to the theaters, check out the new Century Arden 14 and XD Theater for movie watching in style!

Nov 042016
 
 November 4, 2016  Kid Fun, Sacramento Comments Off on Why You Should Take Your Boys to Disney on Ice

I’m lucky enough now to have gone to Disney on Ice several times, and it is always such a great show. The first time I went, though, I was nervous about taking my boys with me. Would they have fun or would they be totally bored? Is the show really for girls, or can you take your boys to Disney on Ice without regretting it?

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I’m happy to report that each time my kids have had a blast! So mamas, you can relax and enjoy yourselves: Here’s why you should take your boys to Disney on Ice, too!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Disney on Ice for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Why You Should Take Your Boys to Disney on Ice 

It’s not just princesses and fairy dust.¬†This year’s Disney on Ice is subtitled Passport to Adventure, and it is focused on just that: adventure.¬†There is flying and battling with Peter Pan, silly fun with the Lion King, and of course Olaf. My six year old, of course, noticed right away the weapons (“Is¬†Hans using a real sword?”), and both laughed along with everyone’s favorite snowman. There is so much variety to the show that there really is something for everyone.

Why You Should Take Your Boys to Disney on Ice | Alldonemonkey.com

Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Don’t limit your idea of what they would enjoy.¬†Who says boys can’t enjoy a little sparkle and glitter? If you never let them experience it, you may never know what they’d really like. My three year old loves Frozen and is drawn to anything with Anna and Elsa on it, so the second half of the show was a big hit. Even in those moments where I thought the show would be too “girly” for them, my boys loved the theatrics.

It’s a big show with lots cool effects. It is always fun to go out together and see a live show, especially one like this that is designed to really draw in the audience with big gestures and effects.¬†Let’s see – there are¬†fireworks, bubbles, snow, dancing starfish, a crocodile (“Is that real?”), a sea witch, kids that can fly, and set changes that morph and melt into the ice. My 6 year old was particularly interested in how the Darlings were able to fly with Peter Pan and how the lights were used to create different effects on the ice floor.

Why You Should Take Your Boys to Disney on Ice | Alldonemonkey.com

Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

You get to check out a cool new venue.¬†If you go to see the show this weekend in Sacramento, you get to check out the brand new Golden 1 Center. (Spoiler alert: It’s really cool!) It is spacious and clean, and the food choices are excellent (very important when you have kids with you!)

You deserve it. As a mom of boys, you’ve seen more than your share of pirates, dragons, zombies, skeletons, and storm troopers. You deserve a few hours of happy Disney characters ice skating to songs you love, so let them watch what you like for once while you sing along with Frozen.

Why You Should Take Your Boys to Disney on Ice | Alldonemonkey.com

My favorite moment: Let it go, Elsa! Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Tip:¬†Boys are less likely to have seen some of the popular Disney movies, so be sure to prep ahead of time by watching some together, like Lion King¬†and¬†Peter Pan. They’ll love the movies and have more fun at the show if they already know the characters and the plot.

So take your boys to Disney on Ice this weekend along with the rest of the family, and you will all have a great time!

WHEN: Thursday, November 3 ‚Äď Sunday, November 6

Thursday, Nov. 3,  7:00 PM

Friday, Nov. 4, 7:00 PM

Saturday, Nov. 5, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, Nov. 6, 12:00 PM & 4:00 PM

WHERE: Golden 1 Center ‚Äď 547 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

TICKETS: Ticket prices start at just $20! Special Opening Night discount tickets available for 50% off for select seating (not valid for VIP/Front Row levels). All seats are reserved; tickets are available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745- 3000 or visit the Golden 1 Center Box Office.

*tickets prices are subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

Visit Disney On Ice for more details about this show and the full line up of Disney On Ice productions for the 2016-2017 season.

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