Jun 132016
 June 13, 2016  Kid Fun, Sacramento Comments Off on Wizard World Comic Con Coming to Sacramento

Wizard World Comic Con comes to Sacramento - with a giveaway!

Wizard World Comic Con is coming to Sacramento!  The fun begins at 3 pm on Friday, June 17 and goes through Sunday, June 19.  Here are all the details, plus a discount code and you can enter for a chance to win a 4 pack of passes for your family!

Photos courtesy of Wizard World Comic Con

What: Wizard World Comic Con, “Where Pop Culture Comes to Life”

Who: Celebrity guests scheduled to appear include William Shatner, Ray Park (Darth Maul from Star Wars Episode 1), Billy Boyd (Peregrin Pippin Took from The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes from Captain America), and Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter from Agent Carter).

When: June 17-19, 2016

Where: Sacramento Convention Center

For more details and tickets: Wizard World Comic Con Sacramento

Discount Code: SACBLOG16 for a 50% off general admission (kids 10 and under are free!)

Comic Con Giveaway

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Jun 102016
 June 10, 2016  Sacramento 4 Responses »

Review of a fun new family friendly Hawaiian restaurant in midtown Sacramento.

An island of Hawaiian culture and cuisine has arrived in Sacramento, in the form of a family-friendly, family-owned restaurant.  We had the fun task of visiting them recently and trying out what they had to offer.  Read on to see what we thought!

Disclosure: We received complimentary meals at Coconut’s Fish Cafe for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

When you enter Coconut’s Fish Cafe, the first thing you notice is the fun island decor.  It’s all tastefully done – no hula outfits here! – with paintings of Hawaiian fish and (our favorite!) tables shaped to look like fish/surfboards.  You immediately feel like you’ve entered a little tropical paradise right in the heart of midtown Sacramento.

The staff is also incredibly friendly.  Waitresses circulated constantly to answer questions and clear away plates.  Even in midst of the busy lunch crowd customers’ needs were quickly taken care of.

And after meeting the owner, it was easy to see why.  Founder Michael Phillips is so personable, and his outgoing personality sets the tone for the restaurant.  His obvious enthusiasm for the restaurant is infectious, and it’s clear that Coconut’s Fish Cafe is a true labor of love.

It is also a family affair: the co-owners are his daughter and son-in-law, though they are currently out on parental leave, as their daughter was born earlier this month – her photo prominently displayed on the wall by proud grandpa!

The thought and care that has gone into each dish is obvious.  There are no filler items on the menu.  Even the kids fish and chips dish – which in many other places is a deep fried mess – is actually something I was happy for my kids to enjoy.  I loved that the breading was so light and not greasy, but Phillips says that the real key is in the tropical fish.  Hawaiian fish have a much milder taste than our cold water varieties, and so kids that visit Maui get hooked on the taste, even if they didn’t previously like fish.

I can attest to the truth of this – My older son does not eat fish (not even fish sticks), but he agreed to try the grilled mahi mahi kids plate.  (Yes! A kids plate that actually is a real meal, not just junk food!)  He not only said it was good, he actually ate it.  And that is really something for my picky eater!

All of the dishes at Coconut’s Fish Cafe are health conscious yet also incredibly flavorful.  For example, Phillips uses coconut milk in the cole slaw instead of heavy mayonnaise – it is such a great combination!

I was excited to try their signature fish tacos.  I love that in designing this dish, Phillips was careful to use Hawaiian flavors, such as mango salsa and wasabi, rather than doing a fusion with Mexican tacos.

So if you are looking for something new, fresh, and healthy that the whole family can enjoy, I highly recommend Coconut’s Fish Cafe in midtown Sacramento.  Be sure to tell Chef Phillips we said hello! 😉

If you are going, do make sure to plan on extra time to find parking, especially if you go at peak times.  Street parking in this area can be difficult to find!

For more family fun in Sacramento, be sure to check out my Sacramento for Families board on Pinterest!

May 042016
 May 4, 2016  Sacramento 1 Response »

Pamper Yourself with Brunch at the Elephant Bar | Alldonemonkry.com

Weekends are made for doing those extra – yet essential – things we don’t have time for during our regular work-a-day lives, like spending time with our loved ones and taking time for ourselves.  Having a leisurely brunch out at a restaurant with amazing food is a wonderful way to pamper yourself this Mother’s Day or anytime you want to do something special for yourself.

Disclosure: We received complimentary meals for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Review of the brunch menu at the Elephant Bar Restaurant

My family and I recently discovered a new favorite place to have brunch: The Elephant Bar Restaurant, which we visited in Sacramento.  The layout is spacious and elegant, and the menu has something for everyone – from sweet treats to savory dishes.  It is the perfect way to treat yourself and your loved ones this weekend!

The atmosphere at The Elephant Bar is sophisticated yet relaxed, making it perfect for going together with your girlfriends, getting some one-on-one time with your partner, or having a family brunch.  As a mom, it was the perfect fit for me, because I felt pampered but also didn’t feel uncomfortable having my kids with me.

The service was incredible.  Manager Kimberly and her team – including our server Jason – took great care of us.  I love that this is a place where the staff samples all of the offerings so that they can really tell you all about them.  Kimberly made herself available to answer any questions about the restaurant and was genuinely interested in what we thought about the food, and Jason was incredibly patient with my very talkative kids.  He told us that the restaurant is very responsive to patrons and has even adjusted its menu in response to patron feedback.

Review of the brunch menu at the Elephant Bar Restaurant

The Brunch Menu

And the food was amazing.  A-MAZE-ING.  If you’re going to take the time out of your schedule to really treat yourself to a nice meal – whether it’s arranging for a babysitter or getting the kids ready to go out with you – you want the food to be worth it.  And the food at the Elephant Bar is just that.  The brunch menu is all new and includes sweet dishes like Raspberry Passion Pancakes and Gooey Butter Cake French Toast, plus heartier ones like Philly Cheesesteak Frittata.

We ordered the Raspberry Passion Pancakes for the kids and the Philly Cheesesteak Frittata for ourselves.  (They do have a separate children’s menu, but we were excited to try the new brunch offerings!)

I just love the idea of pancakes infused with raspberry and passion fruit.  They were great!  The pancakes themselves were not too sweet, which is how I like it, to pair with the honey maple syrup and whipped cream.  And I love that they are served with breakfast potatoes to balance out the meal.  The Philly Cheesesteak Frittata is a real protein boost, which is something I look for.  The meat was really flavorful, and I loved the chipotle pesto!  But what really stole the show was the French toast, which we devoured as well.  It was crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside – heavenly!  And did I mention that we somehow found room to sample the wonderful creme brulée??

Review of the brunch menu at The Elephant Bar Restaurant

So if you are looking for a way to pamper yourself and your loved ones, be sure to have brunch at The Elephant Bar Restaurant!  We will definitely be going back again.

The Elephant Bar Restaurant now offers brunch on the weekends from 10 am to 2 pm.

Apr 212016

18 Most Picturesque Places to Visit in Northern California with Your Family | Alldonemonkey.com

We love to travel with our kids, and though this often includes international travel, we have found that when traveling with young children it can be much easier to travel locally.  Luckily for us, we live in Northern California, a beautiful, varied region that attracts travelers from all over the world – and we’re lucky enough to have all these scenic places right in our backyard!  So if you are in our neck of the woods, here are our picks for the most beautiful places to visit in Northern California with your family.  Share your favorites in the comments!

18 Most Picturesque Places to Visit in Northern California

1. San Francisco: Okay, I’m cheating because they are so many picturesque places in San Francisco alone.  From the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park to Lombard Street and Pier 39, there are so many spots to visit.  Here are recommendations of where to visit in San Francisco as well as great day trips you can take in the area.  What is your favorite Bay Area spot?

2. Lake Tahoe: Truly a gorgeous place to visit, one that will win over even the most “indoorsy” child.  In addition to lake itself (one of the largest in the country), there are also lots of fun places to play, hike, and picnic in the surrounding area.  And in the winter, it is a great place for skiing and playing in the snow!  Tip: If Lake Tahoe itself is crowded, try exploring one of the smaller lakes in the area, such as Dicks Lake or Eagle Lake.

3. Yosemite: We absolutely love going to Yosemite and have visited regularly before and after having kids.  There is something for everyone, whether you crave solitude in the woods or more of a camp atmosphere as in Camp Curry.  Being originally from the East Coast, witnessing first-hand the enormous stone faces of Yosemite’s peaks really brought home just how different and big everything is out West.

4. Wine Country: This beautiful region – which includes Napa and Sonoma Valleys – is another world-famous spot in Northern California.  And even if, like us, you aren’t interested in the wine, you still don’t want to miss the breathtaking views this area has to offer.  While much of the area is geared towards adults, you can still find great kid-friendly spots, such as Calistoga, and we had a great time exploring the San Francisco Solano Mission in Sonoma. (For more on Missions throughout California, visit our California Missions page).

5. Point Reyes: Point Reyes has gorgeous beaches as well as its famous lighthouse.  There are so many spots to explore and enjoy.  Just beware of all those stairs to get down to the lighthouse if you take the kids!  And keep in mind that if you are driving from inland, there is a significant drop in temperature when you reach the coast.  It is always much colder, so bring a long-sleeve shirt or light jacket, even in the middle of the summer! (If you love the coast, another great spot south of San Francisco is the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve!)

6. Muir Woods: Northern California is renowned for its redwoods, and Muir Woods is one of the premier places to view them.  It is easily accessible from San Francisco, and there are very kid-friendly trails through the woods.

7. Big Sur:  Located south of Monterey, Big Sur offers some of the most beautiful views of the California coast.  You can simply enjoy the scenery from the viewing spots along the highway, or extend your stay with some camping. When I was in college, it was a popular spot for retreats.  It contains a number of state parks and a federally protected marine area.

8. Santa Cruz: Despite the fact that Santa Cruz is more accurately part of Central California, it is typically included in Northern California, and in any case is worth a mention as a great place to visit!  There are, of course, the beaches, but it is also known for its old-fashioned boardwalk, with carnival rides and games for the kiddos.

9. Monterey: From the beaches and aquarium to Cannery Row, Monterey is not to be missed.  There are lots of areas for families to explore, and personally I enjoyed the beautiful drive along the coast almost as much as the destination itself!

10. Mount Shasta: If you drive along I-5 heading to far northern California, you can’t miss Mt. Shasta, which rises up suddenly and dominates the view for miles.  This potentially active volcano is at the southern end of the Cascades.  Beyond exploring the mountain itself, the surrounding area is beautiful and provides plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family.

11. Sierra Nevadas: This gorgeous mountain range stretches throughout much of Northern California, and includes Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.  And thanks to the California Gold Rush that took place in its foothills, it is also dotted with real ghost towns!

12. Apple Hill: For many families in the Sacramento area, it is an annual tradition to visit Apple Hill in the fall.  This beautiful collection of orchards and farms offers apple picking, pies, petting zoos, and more!  And pie, did I already mention pie?

13. Old Sacramento: This historic part of Sacramento is a fun place to visit with kids, to see what life was like in the time of the Gold Rush.  You can take a river cruise, enjoy the old-timey shops, or visit the State Railroad Museum (always a favorite for kids!)

14. UC Davis Arboretum: The 100 acres of gardens included in the Arboretum are open to the public 24 hours a day, free of charge.  It is a favorite spot for UCD students to study, for professors to spend their lunch breaks, and for families to enjoy a picnic or leisurely walk.  You can also appreciate a great diversity of plants from all over the world included in this wonderful collection.

15. State Capitol and Gardens: The Capitol is an impressive building and has so much history to explore.  (Be sure to check out the paintings of the governors, especially Jerry Brown’s first portrait!).  But the grounds themselves are also worth the trip, with plants from throughout the state.  Our favorite time to visit is at the holidays, when you can enjoy the decorations – including the Christmas tree on the lawn – as well as holiday concerts.

16. American River Parkway: The 23 mile parkway stretching along Sacramento is a wonderful place to enjoy wildlife or recreation and is a favorite place for school field trips as well as family outings.

17. Russian River: The Russian River is a treasure tucked into the redwoods outside Santa Rosa.  Kids will enjoy swimming or kayaking in the cool river water.  Don’t miss these great tips for your visit.

18. Lassen Volcanic National Park: This park, established nearly 100 years ago, is a cauldron of geologic activity innocently situated in the peaceful wilderness of Northern California.  Make sure to hold the little ones’ hands as you cross the plank walkways over boiling mud, evidence of Lassen’s past as an active volcano.  And be prepared for that rotten-egg smell from the sulphur – of course, if you have little boys like mine, it will just add to the atmosphere as far as they are concerned!

What are your favorite places to visit in Northern California?

Oct 232015
 October 23, 2015  family, Kid Fun, Sacramento Comments Off on Disney On Ice Dare to Dream Review

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream | Alldonemonkey.com

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

My son is really into zombies and Star Wars, so I have to admit I was worried about whether he would like a Disney on Ice show that focuses on princess stories, but I was pleasantly surprised at how entertained he was.  (Which is good, since his mama was having a great time!)

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream | Alldonemonkey.com

With all the pageantry and action, it’s hard for any child not to get caught up in the show.  While most kids really love the princesses, beautiful ice skating, and fancy costumes, others like mine might be more interested in the villains and many funny parts.  Either way, everyone will have a great time.  My personal favorite was Rapunzel and Flynn’s amazing high flying act, and little ones will love seeing Mickey Mouse and friends!

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream Review | Alldonemonkey.com

So whether you go for Cinderella and Snow White or for the evil witches and bumbling stepsisters, Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream is a wonderfully entertaining show for the whole family, with favorite moments from Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog. Get a discount code below!

WHAT: Nothing can stop a princess from a celebration of royal proportions when Rapunzel, Tiana, Snow White and Cinderella star in the sensational ice skating production of Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt. Relive memorable moments from Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog as a cast of world-class skaters brings the romance, humor and adventure of the films to life in this contemporary skating spectacular. Join your hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse for a princess-packed adventure, Dare to Dream whisks audiences away on exciting journeys where dreams really do come true!

The big finale with all the Disney princesses! #disneyonice2015 #disney #sacramento #arcoarena

A photo posted by Leanna Alldonemonkey (@alldonemonkey) on

Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream WHEN: Thursday, October 22 – Sunday, October 25, 2015

o Thursday, Oct. 22 7:00 PM
o Friday, Oct. 23 7:00 PM
o Saturday, Oct. 24 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
o Sunday, Oct. 25 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

WHERE: Sleep Train Arena – 1 Sports Parkway, Sacramento CA 95834

TICKETS: Ticket prices start at just $17 with limited quantity of VIP and Front Row seating available Kids (age 2-12) tickets are only $10 for all shows (not valid for VIP/Front Row Seating) Special Opening Night Discount tickets available for $12 on select seating (not valid for VIP/Front Row Seating) All seats are reserved; tickets available thru Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the Sleep Train Arena Box Office. *Tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees. Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream DISCOUNT CODE: Save $5 on Select Seats Code: MOM5 Valid on: $23 & $17 seats Valid on all shows Restrictions, exclusions, and additional charges may apply.

Mar 052015
 March 5, 2015  Kid Fun, Sacramento Comments Off on Marvel Universe LIVE comes to Sacramento!

Marvel Universe Live Comes to Sacramento!

Do you have a little super hero in your house?  Then you won’t want to miss Marvel Universe LIVE when it comes to the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento this month!

What:  Live stunt show with more than 25 Marvel icons – including favorite Marvel Super Heroes like Spider-Man and The Avengers (Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk and more) plus menacing Villains – in Sacramento for the first time ever.  With an original story, cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and stunning video projections the audience will be completely immersed in the action.  An excitement-filled evening for Marvel fans of all ages!

When: Thursday, March 12 – Sunday, March 15

  • Thursday, March 12 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 13 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 14 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, March 15 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Where: Sleep Train Arena – One Sports Parkway, Sacramento, CA 95834

Tickets: Available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office

COUPON CODE: Use Code ESHQ25 to Save 25%!

Marvel Universe Live Comes to Sacramento!

Jan 242015
 January 24, 2015  Kid Fun, Sacramento Comments Off on Monster Truck Show: 5 Tips for Attending with Kids

Monster Truck Show: 5 Tips for Attending with Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

I was provided with complimentary tickets to Monster Jam®; 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.

Don’t miss the last Monster Jam show at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on Sunday, January 25!

To be completely honest, if you had asked my pre-child self to rate her interest in going to a monster truck show, she would have put it somewhere above spending an evening flipping channels at home, but quite a bit lower than say, an evening spent catching up on Downton Abbey.

How having children changes you!  Especially having children with interests that are very different than yours.  With two very active young boys, I don’t spend many evenings either flipping channels or catching up on Downton Abbey; yet, thankfully I have found that I really love monster truck shows!

There is a visceral thrill that even the most tea-sipping among us feel watching those gigantic machines roar up into the air and land with a bounce on those improbably big wheels.  How do they not flip over?  Especially when, like Grave Digger, they drive along almost sideways on just two wheels?

And, of course, there is the joy of attending with kids who are big-eyed and open-mouthed throughout the show.  It is hard to miss just how much fun these shows can be when you are sitting with someone bubbling with excitement over every jump and turn.

Monster Truck Show: 5 Tips for Attending with Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

So do plan on going to a monster truck show with your kids – if you are in Sacramento, you can still catch the last Monster Jam show tomorrow, Sunday, January 25, at the Sleep Train Arena! – and keep in mind these tips before you head out the door:

5 Tips for Attending a Monster Truck Show with Kids

These tips are based on my experience with the Monster Jam® show at the Sleep Train Arena and may vary from other shows.

1. Bring ear plugs/headphones: If you remember nothing else from this article, be sure to bring some protection for your kids’ ears (and yours!)  Monster trucks are LOUD, and the kids will enjoy the show much more if they don’t have to keep covering their ears.

2. The house lights are always on: Since we are still at the stage of taking frequent bathroom breaks, I really appreciated that this was not the kind of show where the stands are constantly in the dark.  The house lights were up through the entire show, making it easy for us to make our way through the aisles; plus, this is much less scary for kids.

Monster Truck Show: 5 Tips for Attending with Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

3. The atmosphere is laid back: A monster truck show is very relaxed, so if you do have to get up to get a drink or go to the restroom, you don’t feel awkward about sneaking out.  Of course, you don’t want to jump up and block someone’s view during a performance, but these are all relatively short, as each truck takes a turn around the arena before a slight break as the next gets ready.

4. The show is family-friendly: Before attending, I did have an idea that most of the audience would be beer-soaked men, but this was far from true.  Even at the Saturday night show, the vast majority of attendees were young families.  At 5 Monkey was far from the youngest there – I even saw a number of babies – as well as older kids and teenagers.  Everyone is very friendly and careful of the many kids in the crowd, which was especially nice when it came time to move with the everyone toward the exit at the end of the show.

Monster Truck Show: 5 Tips for Attending with Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

5. They save the best for last: If you do need to take a break, try to wait until the end of that segment, since the stars always perform towards the end of each.  Of course, all of the trucks are fun to watch, but you really don’t want to miss someone like Grave Digger!

Have you been to a monster truck show?  What are your tips for going with kids?

Jan 232015
 January 23, 2015  family, Kid Fun, Sacramento 1 Response »

Monster Jam, Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento: This Weekend Only! January 24-25, 2015

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the Monster Jam®; however, all opinions are my own.

Does your child love trucks and vehicles and anything that goes vroom?  What about monster trucks, those massive vehicles that roar around an arena and crush other cars like pancakes??

If you answered yes, then don’t miss the Monster Jam, an amazing monster truck show going on this weekend at the Sleep Train Arena this weekend!

I am so excited to take my little monster truck lovers to this show!  They love watching monster trucks on TV, so I can’t wait to see their faces when we go to watch these twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines live!

But you have to act quickly, as the show is only in town this Saturday and Sunday (January 24 & 25, 2015).  If you can be sure to check out the pre-show party in the pits before the afternoon shows.

Saturday January 24 – Sunday January 25, 2015

Show Times
January 24: 2 PM & 7:30 PM
January 25: 2 PM

Ticket Information (Pricing)
Gold Circle – $65.50
Lower Level – $34
Upper Level – $23.50 (Adults) & $13.00 (Kids 2-12)

(Price Includes $2.50 fee and 5% City of Sacramento event fee)

Prices subject to change
Parking Info (Time and costs)
$12 (CASH ONLY)- Toll Plazas Open 2 Hours Before Start of Show

For more information, see the main event page.


Oct 312014

Mustard Seed School: A Haven for Kids in Need | Alldonemonkey.com

This summer we had the privilege of participating in an amazing contest from One World Futbol and Multicultural Kid Blogs: rather than giving away a book or a toy to a reader, we were vying for the right to give the gift of play to kids in need!

I was so honored to be one of the lucky winners, thanks to you, my wonderful readers!  And as a thank you, I’d like to share with you our trip to donate the special, virtually indestructible soccer ball to the amazing Mustard Seed School for homeless children.

Many homeless children are not enrolled in school because the places their families find to sleep are often not near a child’s school and the family only plans to be there a short time. Sometimes the school needs an address or updated immunizations which homeless families cannot provide.

Mustard Seed School was established in 1989 to help meet the needs of homeless children in the Sacramento area.  Not having a stable address means that many school age children do not attend school.  Some lack immunization, birth certificates, or other documents; some are deterred by the requirement to provide an address in order to register for school; others are so focused on survival that schooling is a lower priority.  Almost all lack a support system and a helping hand.  In spite of their situations these children are eager to learn and to be accepted.

Mustard Seed School: A Haven for Kids in Need | Alldonemonkey.com

This is why a school like the Mustard Seed is so needed.  It truly is a haven for children in great need of a safe, inviting place to learn and thrive.  The tireless workers, volunteers and donors have gone to great lengths to make the school a fun, cozy place for children.  They are concerned with the physical and emotional needs of the children.  In addition to providing support to parents (for example, with documents and immunizations needed to enroll their children in regular public schools), they also provide healthy lunches and snacks – even “weekend bags” with food to take home for those that need it!  (I was very impressed with their emphasis on healthy food for the kids.  This is very clearly outlined in their guidelines for donors).

The Mustard Seed School is designed to be a short-term solution, until the families find housing and the kids can enroll in regular public schools. As a result, their emphasis is less on the academic and more on emotional and social support for the kids.  I love that they have a school counselor who comes once a week to help the kids through tools like play therapy.

Mustard Seed School: A Haven for Kids in Need | Alldonemonkey.com

Yet a school like the Mustard Seed also faces great challenges.  At the time of our visit earlier this month, they had 38 students enrolled, from preschool to 8th grade, but they never know from day to day exactly how many children will show up.  The children typically only stay about 4-6 weeks before they moved or are transitioned to public school.

The children come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and their education has often been done in fits and starts.  Most kids are in shelters, living in motels, or on the streets, so they all have emotional and physical needs crying for attention.

Mustard Seed School: A Haven for Kids in Need | Alldonemonkey.com

How You Can Help Kids in Need:

Do you have a similar school or institution in your area?  A friend from our character building class and I brainstormed with the office manager of Mustard Seed – who kindly took the time to show us around and answer our questions – to come up with these ideas for how we could get involved:

1. Donate supplies.  Do a donation drive to provide much needed supplies.  Call ahead to find out exactly what their needs are.  Often they can send you a list or you can find one on their website.  For the Mustard Seed School, for example, their greatest needs were school supplies but also underwear and socks for the kids.  They were also excited to receive the One World Futbol!

Mustard Seed School: A Haven for Kids in Need | Alldonemonkey.com

2. Provide food.  The Mustard Seed provides healthy lunches and snacks for up to 40 kids every single day.  You could donate lunches for one day, or sign up to do it on a regular basis.  And if you can’t do lunches, perhaps you could provide healthy snacks like granola bars and yogurt cups that they can keep in the classrooms or send home with the kids over the weekend.

3. Volunteer in the classroom.  The hard-working teachers can always use a helping hand in the classroom – whether it’s assisting with daily tasks or providing tutoring/mentorAlling.  Perhaps you have traveled to/lived in another country.  Why not come and do a presentation for the kids?  Or maybe you could do a fun art project with them!

4. Throw a party!  If there were ever kids that needed a party, it is students like those at the Mustard Seed School!  A really fun way to make a difference is to provide treats and activities for a holiday party and bring a smile to a little one’s face.

Thank you so much to the Mustard Seed School for taking the time to give us a tour of the school and to One World Futbol for sharing the gift of play with these amazing kids!

Follow our series Random Acts of Kindness for more ideas for how you and your kids can get involved in your community!

Jul 212014

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the Second Annual Sunshine Kids Blog Hop.  This year we are focusing on great places to visit in California with kids!  Be sure to link up your family-friendly California posts below, and visit my post on Native California from last year’s blog hop!

Fairy Tale Town has been a favorite destination for families in Sacramento for generations.  Opened in 1959, it was one of a wave of storybook parks that opened around the United States during the 1950s and 60s, thanks in large part to the success of Disneyland.  Yet Fairy Tale Town is one of the few still in operation today.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.comClimbing up the beanstalk

It is truly a magical place, where fairy tales and nursery rhymes come to life.  Kids can slide down the beanstalk, climb up to Owl’s house in the 1000 Acre Wood, swing on the jungle gym in Sherwood Forest, and stop to pet the animals at Farmer Brown’s Barn.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.comEven the bathroom breaks are fun!

There are 25 playsets in Fairy Tale Town, each based on a different childhood tale.  In addition there are farm animals, two performing arts stages, and several gardens.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

Since many of the features were built in the 1950s, there is a lot of concrete, but everything is very well maintained and safe for young visitors.  In fact, there are only a few features (several of the high slides) that are not appropriate for very little ones. While older kids will find much to enjoy here, you will also see lots of toddlers moseying around the park.

On a recent visit, my preschooler and my toddler both enjoyed themselves immensely.  The little one loved playing in the bright, colorful play areas just his size.  My older son enjoyed it on a different level now that he is familiar with the stories on which the play areas are based.  We spent an entire morning here and could have easily stayed longer.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

In addition to all the fun attractions available on an everyday basis, there are also performances, special events, and summer camps.  There is a cafe (the Dish and Spoon) plus plenty of picnic tables if you prefer to bring your own food.

If you visit during the summer, I suggest visiting in the morning to avoid the heat.  Thankfully, though, even in the afternoons there is plenty of shade from the many trees in the park.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

I highly recommend Fairy Tale Town as part of your California Staycation!  It is a whimsical, magical place that you and your kiddos will enjoy.  Afterwards you can head next door to beautiful William Land Park or just across the street to visit the Sacramento Zoo!  (Combined tickets are available for Fairy Tale Town and the zoo).

Are you taking a staycation this summer?


sunshine kids blog hop 2014

Places to Visit with Kids in California:

Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014

Summer is a great time to explore with your kids – and you don’t have to travel far to do it! California has so much to offer to families. Take a great staycation this summer by visiting your local treasures! In our second annual Sunshine Kids Blog Hop, we are focusing on our favorite places to visit with kids in California. Enjoy! And be sure to add your own family-friendly California posts in our linky at the bottom. You can also check out even more California posts on our collaborative Kid Friendly California Pinterest board!

Participating Blogs:

Alldonemonkey.com Sparkling Buds baykidsplaybutton
A Mom With a Lesson Plan Little Hiccups EHM Grab Button 250x250
Capri+3 Savvy 3 MeMeTales
SoCalPocketMemories made-with-happy-square-200
365ishdaysofpinterest 2KuriousKids
Adventure Bee

And now it’s time to see what everyone has been up to:

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