Our customers are a pretty savvy lot. You know how to do fun right, and we like that! You know about coupons, and you know if you sign up on our website, we’ll send them to you! But did you know we advertise in other places too?\n\nWell, the next time you’re flipping through any of these publications, keep an eye out for us! (Hint: there may be coupons involved)\n\nCalifornia Kids!: A monthly publication of Valley Community Newspapers. Full of activities, games, fun articles, events, and great info! If you’re a parent, you’ll definitely want to check it out.\n\nOur Neighborhood Shopper: Oh, my goodness, can we talk deals?! And delivered right to your mailbox. Look for us in the March edition!\n\nSacramento Parent: Monthly goodness for the whole family!\n\nTown Planner: This calendar is a goldmine that gives all year long! You’ll find us sprinkled throughout the months.\n\nWe just don’t think an outing with the family should break the bank. It’s our goal to provide affordable family fun that’s close to home. So we hope you take advantage of some of these deals and come on down to see us soon!
Thanks to everyone who came out this Presidents’ Day weekend. We had a blast and hope you did too! We’ve really been enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s getting us in the mood for bright spring flowers, green leafy trees, and warm sunny days.\n\nWhich makes us think of our first big event this year: our annual Easter Bash. It may sound early, but it’s only a month away! This year the Easter Bash will take place the weekend before Easter, March 22-24 from 10 am – 6 pm (weather permitting). And if you bring in a new game or new art supplies for River Oak Center for Children, you will receive free tickets (amount of tickets based on item donated). Plus, there will be:\n\n• Easter Egg Hunts throughout the day ($3.00 per child)\n• Appearances by the Easter Bunny & Happy the Squirrel\n• Face painting\n• Crafts, contests, and more!\n\nWhat better way to usher in Spring?! We’ll have fun for everyone, so mark your calendars now.\n\nUntil then, we hope you take advantage of any nice weather that comes along and visit us often. Remember, we’ve always got nine great kid-sized rides to add a little excitement and variety to any weekend. Our hours this Spring:\n\nFebruary – March 10\nFriday 11am – 5pm\nSat & Sun 10am – 6pm\n\nMarch 15 – April\nWed – Fri 11am – 5pm\nSat & Sun 10am – 6pm\n\nSpring Break (March 25 – April 5)\nMon – Fri 11am – 5pm\nSat & Sun 10am – 6 pm\n\nWe hope you make us a part of your Spring activities and celebrations and look forward to seeing you soon!
As promised, here are the other prize winning stories from our Sherlock Holmes Mystery Writing Contest. We hope you enjoy these as much as our judges did!\n\nThe second place prize winning story from Vitalena L.\n
The Race Car Mystery
\n Once upon a time there was a squirrel named Ryan. He had a nice little home in Funderland park. Everything was great till one day somebody took his favorite toy – red race car. Ryan did not know who did that but he wanted to take his toy back. So he decided to solve that mystery. He was looking all around the city and could not find it. He was very sad and did not know what to do. So he called his friend, a girl squirrel June. She was a detective.\n\n“Hi June, it’s Ryan. Somebody stole my favorite toy. I have looked everywhere and couldn’t find it! Could you help me solve this mystery?”\n\n“Hi Ryan, I’ll be glad to help you find your toy! Glad you called! Let’s meet in Funderland Park.”\n\nJune brought her magnifying glass to the park and started looking for clues. She was wearing a detective hat. She looked, and looked, and looked. Finally she found a first clue – paw prints of some animal by the tree where Ryan lived.\n\n“Ryan, do you know whose those paw prints are?” said June.\n\n“No, I have never seen paw prints like that before,” Ryan answered. “How are we going to find out who stole my toy?”\n\n“I’m working on it,” replied June. “Don’t worry; I know what I’m doing. Let’s open my book of paw prints and try to find who the mystery guest is.”\n\nThey opened the book of paw prints and looked inside. But they couldn’t find the paw prints that would look like the ones by the Ryan’s tree.\n\n“Strange. I thought I could solve this mystery right away. What animal could leave paw prints like that?” said June. “I guess we will have to find out later. Let’s look for more clues!”\n\nRyan and June were walking around the tree when they saw a new squirrel. She was making her house in the tree close by. She smiled at Ryan and June and said hi.\n\n“let’s find out who that is.” Said June.\n\nRyan and June came up to the squirrel and introduced themselves.\n\n“My name is Vita”, said the squirrel. “It is very nice to meet you. I’m new here, just moved from Ukraine. Will you be my friends? Do you want to play together?”\n\nRyan really liked Vita, but June thought that Vita could be the one who had stolen Ryan’s race car. She was new there and nobody knew her yet. Although the paw prints they found did not match Vita’s paw prints she felt like something was very suspicious about her.\n\n“What game are you playing?” asked Vita.\n\n“We are looking for my toy race car. I lost it somewhere and can’t find it anywhere!” answered Ryan.\n\n“Have you seen anyone here today, Vita?” asked June.\n\nVita looked surprised. “NO, I haven’t seen anyone at all. I was busy all day unpacking. I have to go now! It was nice to meet you.” Said Vita and ran to her tree. She jumped inside her little house.\n\n“Ryan”, said June. “I think Vita acts strange. She wanted to play with us, but when I asked her if she saw anyone today, she ran away. Do you think she could have taken your toy?”\n\n“No”, replied Ryan. “I think Vita is too nice to be able to steal something. Why would she do something like that?”\n\n“I don’t know. But I’ll find out!” said June.\n\nThat night June decided to hide in the bushes by Vita’s house. She wanted to know more about Ryan’s new neighbor. It was 3 o’clock in the morning when June saw Vita coming out of her little house. It was dark, but June thought Vita looked scared. She was holding something that looked like a car. June thought that she was right. She jumped out of the bushes and caught Vita’s hand.\n\n“What do you have here Vita?” asked June. Vita screamed! “I didn’t steal this car! It was a dragon. I saw him taking the car from Ryan’s house this morning. He was holding the car when he saw Ryan coming back home. The dragon threw the car in my house and told me to hide it or he would eat me! He told me to bring it tonight to the zoo. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I was scared.”\n\n“Ok,” replied June. “I believe you. I saw the paw prints of some animal that was not in my book. Now I understand that those were dragon’s paw prints. Let’s call policeman Bear. He will catch that sneaky dragon.”\n\nThe policemen Bear was sleeping when he received a call from detective June. “I’ll be right there! Thank you detective!”\n\nHe rushed to the zoo and there he saw a dragon. He caught the dragon and put him in a cage. “Don’t steal things from others. You have to ask if you want to play with someone’s toy. It’s not nice. Why did you take Ryan’s toy?”\n\n“I’m sorry”, said the dragon. ”I really liked it.”\n\n“You have to apologize to Ryan!” said Bear.\n\nSquirrel Ryan was very happy to get his race car back. He rushed out of his house to see June and Vita. “Thank you so much, June, for helping me find my toy. Vita, don’t worry; I can still be your friend. I know you did not steal it. It was the dragon’s fault.”\n\n“I’m sorry Ryan” said Vita. “Thank you for being a good friend.”\n\nBy Vitalena L.\nAge: 5\n\nAnd here is the third place prize winning story from Sara S.\n
Mystery of the Lost Treasure Chest
\nHi my name is Emma Pierre, I have red hair, blue eyes and I’m ten years old.\n\nI live in Elko on Pillsbury Street and my story starts right here at school. “Class, today I would like you to write a five paragraph essays about your… “, pssst,” Emma, let’s go on a trip after school.” “Well, I don’t know Kayley.” “C’mon it’ll be fun.” “I still don’t know Kayley.” “I’ll think about it Kay.” “Emma, Kayley pay attention please.” “Yes Mrs. Gitsgey.”\n\nAfter school Kayley said, C’mon over to my house I want to show you something. This map belonged to my great grandfather. I want to go to this island. It has a jungle. That’s where a pot of gold is hidden. “Great, we’ll go Saturday.” “I still don’t know Kayley.” “Come on, where’s your sense of adventure.” What, are you chicken?” “NO! I am not chicken!” Ok I’ll go. “ALL RIGHT!” Let’s start packing, whoa; whoa, Kayley your sense of adventure is much too big. We’ll pack on Friday.\n\nFinally it was Saturday, we were each packed and ready to go, we were going to “borrow” my dad’s motorboat. All right lets go. Kayley, do you even know where we’re going? Oh sure. First I want to go to the pet shop to get a dog to help protect us. I want a dog Emma; I’ll name the dog Poppy. After we purchased the dog, Emma said sorry Kayley but I forgot the food. What? I guess we’ll be going to the food store. When we arrived at the food store we found that there was no food. When we got back we found a picnic basket. Where’d you find it? In the boat. Do you know how to drive the boat? Oh yeah, it’s easy. You tell me where to go and I’ll go there. All right, let’s go. When we got there we were both very hungry. But the picnic basket was gone. Lucky for us there was fruit in the jungle on the island. But we hadn’t expected anyone but us to be here. We were scared half to death when we heard a guitar outside. When we saw who it was we were speechless. It was the janitor from our school! Kayley thought she knew why he was there, but we needed proof before he got away.\n\nToday we were going to look for the pot of gold. We looked everywhere for Kayleys shovel but we just couldn’t find it. When we finally got in the tunnel we realized we forgot our headlamps, suddenly there was a rock avalanche, and it was on top of Kayley! Then a squirrel appeared and started chirping, Kayley followed him right out. We were scared because the school janitor was there. Kayley catch! Now let’s find that gold Emma. Ok but I already found it. How did you find it?! Well I just kept digging until I heard a big KATHUNK! I just knew it was the gold. But Kayley how did you know a pot of gold was here? My mom’s mom told me.\n
\nBy Sara S.\nAge: 8\n
Thanks again to everyone who participated in the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Writing Contest! The essays were wonderful, and we hope to see all of these budding authors in print someday. And just to get the ball rolling, we decided to feature the winning stories here on the blog. So this week, here is the prize winning story from Katelyn M.\n\nEnjoy!\n
\n It was about 7:30 P.M. when Detective Katelyn was playing with her assistant Jessie when she got a call from her good friend Pastor Eric saying that someone had stolen his family’s painted acorns which were very beautiful. But at the same time I was thinking who would steal some acorns? Then I said I’ll be there in a minute, and I hung up and told my assistant to grab her detective bag and wait for me by the door. She did as I said while I went and got mine. After I got my bag we dashed out the door and headed to his house.\n\nWhen we got there we put our bags on a chair that hadn’t been touched and got out our gloves. Everything in the living room was messy! There was dirt on the piano, nativity scenes had been knocked over, and Christmas presents lying down. After we got our gloves on we took out our magnifying glasses and did not touch a thing because we didn’t want to change anything. We just looked. We noticed that a paper was lying on the ground. After we looked around we took notes about the clues we found and about the suspects.\n\nI thought about the people who were in the house at the time of the robbery and who could have gotten in the house. I talked to Mrs. Shannon and to her daughter to see if they knew anything about the missing acorns. Mrs. Shannon said that she was in the kitchen fixing light bulbs when she heard a crash, but she didn’t go see what the noise was.\n\nI asked if I could take a look outside, and they said “yes”. At first I didn’t see anything so we went back inside and checked the doors and windows and still didn’t see anything. Then I went back outside and looked at the sliding glass door and saw two footprints, but they were not human footprints. They were animal footprints! Then I remembered I’d seen the same tracks on the paper that was on the ground! So we went back inside. While Pastor Eric check the Internet. I went to find the paper with the tracks on it. Pastor Eric searched for dog tracks, cat tracks, chipmunk tracks and squirrel tracks. We compared the tracks on the paper to the ones on the Internet. Finally we identified the tracks on the paper. They were squirrel tracks! Then I remembered my thought about who would steal some acorns? And there was the answer: a squirrel!\n\nA few minutes later we got a text saying that the security camera had taken some pictures of a squirrel. After we saw the pictures on the iPad, we brought our flashlights and iPad outside and checked the places the camera showed the squirrel burying Pastor Eric’s acorns. So we went digging for them. Finally detective Katelyn found all the missing acorns and returned them to Pastor Eric. And so detective Katelyn has done it again!\n\nBy Katelyn M.\nAge: 8