TODAY IS:Friday, November 21, 2014  WE ARE OPEN 11 to 5

Fall Fun at Funderland


It’s that wonderful time of year again. We love autumn with its cool, crisp mornings, rustling leaves, and spooky spectacles!

And speaking of spectacles… mark your calendars for our Spooktacular Halloween event coming up October 27 & 28 from 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. The park will be full of fun, mystery, and spine-tingling adventure. Not to mention trick or treating for candy for just $3 a person. While you are munching on your treats feel free to roam our pumpkin patch, visit our vendors, get creative at the craft tables, or brave a trip on our not too spooky train. Then later you can wander over to our silly haunted house for some hair-raising thrills and chills. Plus, kids who come dressed in costume will get $1 off trick or treating. So plan to join us for candy, crafts, contests, and more!

Also, don’t forget that we are always to looking to help out our friends, and our friends at River Oak need new games and art supplies.  If you can help them out by bringing a new game or new art supplies we would like to thank you by offering you some free tickets for the day.  For more information check out our event page.

Until then, don’t forget about our other October specials. Our After School Special: If you visit the park after 3 pm on weekdays, you can get a wristband for only $7.95 — that’s half off!! And Wristband Wednesdays where you get $6 off the regular price of a wristband.

So many reasons to come out and join us for some fall fun. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Kiss the Back to School Blues Goodbye


Are the back to school blues overwhelming your family? Well, we have a few pick me ups that may ease the pain of hitting the books.

Join us for our Back to School Extravaganza this Saturday, September 1st.  We will have Mister Cooper singing his educational sing a long songs, the Funderland prize wheel where you can win great stuff, games, crafts, organizations handing out great information and more.  The best part of this event is that if you bring in school supplies to River Oak Center for Children you will get an awesome bag and cool stuff from Whole Foods Market, the Sacramento Rivercats, Costco, Nugget Markets, and more! Our newest neighbor, Sunflower Markets, even donated some incredible bags filled with all sorts of goodies for the winners of our bingo game that we will be holding throughout the day. For a list of supplies to donate to River Oak Center for Children visit our event page.

If you can’t make it out this Saturday then don’t worry!  We can cure your back to school blues with our After School Special, starting September 5th!  Our After School Special first ran back in May and June and got such a great response from our guests so decided to bring it back.  The way it works is that if you visit us after 3pm on the weekdays you can get a wristband for only $7.95… that’s half off!  We also have some other cool fall deals in store too, so keep a look out for those.

We figure that between our extravaganza, and our great deals you should be beating those back to school blues in no time!

Thank you Ella!


The other day we got the sweetest email from Ella via her grandmother DD.  I think we may have a number one fan on our hands despite our Train being closed for repairs :)  Take a quick read… any email that starts out with “you rock” must be a good one!

Dear Funderland,

You rock.  My cousin Danica came from Brentwood to spend the day with me.  We are both four years old.   I am Ella, and my Grandma DD does whatever I want her to do and is writing this thank you letter for me.  We know the  place to go is Funderland near the Sacramento Zoo in Land Park next to the pony rides.  It’s a gorgeous hot day and we find a shady parking place right in front under the trees.  

Admission to  Funderland is free there are lots of places to walk around and picnic tables to sit at.  We buy  the all day wristbands  for Ella and Danica, so we can ride anything we want as many times as we want.  We get cotton candy because nobody spins it a better than Funderland.  

First we have to ride the Flying Chinese Dragon roller coaster.  Danica isn’t quite tall enough to ride alone, but she can ride with me, Ella ,because I am two inches taller.  The dragon is  painted all glisteny green, purple and red.  It roars around the curves of  mountainous track.  Swirling force pushes us into our seats.  We stretch our  hands into the air above our heads and scream joyously  as loud as we can. Nobody cares.  At last the dragon stops.  We get out…and we go again and again and again.  Finally we get the front seat right behind the dragon’s head.  We are the dragon.  Wow!

The Carousel horses are elegant. My father used to ride them.   Grandma DD has to stand next to Danica and her horse because Danica is short, but I, Ella, ride alone and choose a pony with a saddle with hearts on it.  All of us glide through the air  to the beautiful music.
We get snow cones.  Cherry and Grape.  Because the temperature is 95 degrees all our snow cones are free!
We want to ride the Funderland Train, but it is closed today. Danica and I spin around on the Crazy Cups till we are dizzy.  We get more snowcones.

Then we go to the Wild Stage Coach for a long, long, ride. We fly small biplanes. Somebody takes our picture.   We ride backwood buggies – we steer our buggy like Mr. Toad’s wild ride.  Then we ride the logs through the waterfall a couple times for a cooling splash.  

Oh dear.  Suddenly it’s 5pm and time to go say thank you and goodbye to Funderland.  How could it happen all so suddenly?  We will be back again before school starts.  This is along letter, but it was our best day of the summer.  

So I guess you know we had a Great Day.  See you again soon

Ella, Danica, and Grandma DD

Bittersweet August


How time flies. Can you believe that it is almost August? In just a few short weeks we will be “Back to School” and missing all of the kids at the park. It also means the end of our summer hours and our summer specials.

Starting September 5 we will only be open Wednesday through Sunday, and in these last few days before you must (get) to let go of your children take that last trip out to Funderland to take advantage of those summer specials.  You can still get unlimited wristbands on Tuesdays for only $10 a person, or 3 wristbands for the price of 2 during our weekdays.  If you aren’t planning on using wristbands, and plan on using tickets, grab a coupon here. Plus don’t forget about our Summer Sizzler… whenever it hits above 95 degrees in the park we give out FREE sno cones.

Once school is back in session you can ease your children’s pain by bringing them to our Back to School Extravaganza on September 1 from 10 am – 6pm.  We will have goodie bags for those that bring in school supplies for River Oak Center for Children, visits from educational sing along sensation Mister Cooper, a number of organizations handing out information, and of course fun prizes and games! And, of course we will be holding our Spooktacular Halloween this year on October 27 and 28.  This staple event at Funderland promises fun and safe trick or treating, a fun haunted house, and a fully decorated park. You can learn more about both on our events page.

The good thing about the end of summer is that we have more time in the park to do improvements. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check them out, we have two new features in the park.  The first is our new information sign that will keep everyone informed on upcoming events and specials.  We are still putting the finishing touches on it, and it should be ready in the next few weeks. What do you think of our progress so far?

New Information Sign

The second is our new seating around our concession stand.  We purchased 10 new outdoor tables made from recycled plastic and steel.  This is a vast improvement from our old wooden tables and we are hoping that in the next year we will be able to replace all the wooden tables and benches within the park with these new types.  If you have ideas on how we can make additional improvements please let us know.  We love to hear your feedback, and have been trying our best to make the park better for you.

Lets kiss summer 2012 goodbye the right way… with some great deals, future events, and promises of a great fall!

Remembering Louanne


One year ago, on July 13, 2011, a kind, beautiful woman was taken away from us when she suffered a sudden hemorrhage in her brain due to an aneurysm.  Her name was Louanne Meekins, and she was Funderland’s face painter.

Louanne and her daughter Allison began their own business, Lillie, LuLu, & Friends, and began face painting in the Sacramento area.  Soon after, Louanne teamed up with Funderland, and started face painting.  She delighted thousands of children with her skills and incredible personality.  Face painting was not merely Louanne’s job, it was something that brought pure joy to her life. She loved the children, putting smiles on their faces, and in the process was able to reveal her vibrant personality… friendly, loving, and fun to be around.  For those of you that had the pleasure of meeting Louanne you knew that a smile always graced her face, and she was always eager to make you feel as though you were sitting down with an old friend.

Today, while her daughter is away at college, and thanks to Louanne’s good friend Kathy, Lillie, LuLu, & Friends is able to continue operating at Funderland.  In honor of her memory we constructed a new planter next to our Red Barons, and planted a Golden Chain tree.  We chose a Golden Train tree so we will always be reminded of her beauty inside and out.  She is missed greatly at the park, but her memories will always be with us.

This poem was read during her celebration service…

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.

Author:  Shannon Lee Moseley

Get Sidetracked!


As I hope everyone is well aware, we are making changes here at Funderland.  We have updated some of our rides, added photo opps, changed our website, and basically tried to make the park better for you, our guest.  Another way that we are making changes is by holding more events at the park. 

We got together with Keilah Woodard from Sacramento Sidetracks to plan our next event, and kick off her Get Sidetracked events.  If you haven’t heard about Keilah, then you have got to visit her website, Sacramento Sidetracks.  She shares about all the best places for families to visit in the Sacramento area, and she has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen (really, it is incredible)!  She will be in the park this Friday, June 29th from 5pm -8pm, and she is bringing her friends Mister Cooper and Great Scot the Magic Dude too!

Mister Cooper & Great Scot

For those of you that haven’t heard, Mister Cooper is a local Parents’ Choice Approved Award winning musician who has been educating children through music for the last 16 years.  He teaches at five local elementary schools, three elementary schools, and can be found at a number of libraries, and local events educating children with his “songs that teach.”  You can even listen to his music at his website.

In addition to Mister Cooper, Keilah has also arranged for Great Scot the Magic Dude to come and amaze us with his incredible magical abilities!  Great Scot is not only a high energy, captivating magician, but is award winning as well.  Watch a video at his website, for a sneak peak of his magical talents.

But wait, there’s more free stuff & discounts too…

In addition to the free entertainment, we will also have free carnival games, free facepainting, and free arts & crafts for everyone!  But wait, that isn’t all!  We are also going to be giving away some really great prizes from our raffle!  We can’t say yet, but it will definitely be worth coming out for!

Of course we will have the rides that make Funderland so great too, but Keilah has talked us into offering you a great deal for the night… all you can ride during the event for only $10!

So come Get Sidetracked at Funderland this Friday from 5pm – 8pm.  Meet Keilah, Mister Cooper, Great Scot, sing songs, learn magic, ride the rides, get your face painted, and more!  You won’t want to miss this fun event!

Welcome to Our New Website!


You may have noticed over the past year that we have been trying to improve Funderland. We have done everything from changing the way we hire, to adding new attractions to the park. In addition to the changes we have made within the park, we are also making changes to our website by upgrading it. In fact, you may have been aware of our new website via our Facebook profile picture contest we just held. It gave us the opportunity to let you know about our new website, chose our new FB profile picture, and we got to give away a pair of 2012 Season Passes to Megan and Chrissy! It was a win-win situation, and helped us reach our goals of changing our website are to make it more user friendly, and just all around better for you, our fans.

We have a number of great new features, but here are our top five.

  1. Our homepage  information bar – This bar gives you a quick snapshot of the park’s open status.  It will be updated daily to let you know whether or not we will be open, the current temperature, and links to our social media. This comes in really handy on those days when the weather is not looking too good (Check out our Weather Bug blog about how we determine whether we stay open or closed due to inclement weather).
  2. Our park map – Another awesome feature that we have included is a park map that will let you learn more about each ride including age and height restrictions. This way you can be better prepared for the rides that you and your children will ride on for the day.
  3. Ride pages – Just like our park map, our ride pages will tell you specifically about each ride, and requirements for riders to ride.  We also think that our new pictures of the rides look pretty nice too!
  4. Blogging – Not only will you be able to learn more about what is going on in the park, and about specials via our new blog, but you get to learn more about how the park works, and the history behind it via our new blog. If you have a suggestion for a story let us know via our Facebook, or Twitter page, or you can email us at
  5. Guest photos – Lastly, we will have opportunities for you, our guests, to submit photos that will be displayed on our Facebook page, and website. How cool is that?! You can currently submit your photos on our Facebook page to be entered into our next contest.  Those that are selected will win tickets to Funderland.

We have also kept some features the same too. For instance, we haven’t changed our already easy to book online birthday parties, and you can still purchase your Season Passes online as well.

Overall, our main goal is to make our website better for you. We want it as easy to navigate, and as useful as possible. Please know that we love hearing your ideas too. If you can think of any ways we could continue to improve our new website let us know, and we will try to incorporate them if possible.

Again, our goal is to make you happy, and provide a fun, magical experience for you and your family. We hope that you enjoy our new website as much as we had fun putting it together!

Tips to Enjoy Funderland


Has this happened to you? You hear about a fun place you want to take the kids, make your plans, and when you arrived find out that you are not prepared for the day? Luckily you don’t have to take that chance when you visit Funderland. We have compiled some tips to help your first, second, and third trip to Funderland be successful!

  1. Check the Weather

Because we are an outdoor venue, we are at the mercy of the weather. So don’t forget to dress accordingly. Bring the sunblock. Even on cloudy days, sensitive skin can get burnt. Also, if it is raining, we may have to close. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates at to whether we are open or closed.

  1. Come Early or Late

Our busiest time is during the middle of the day (noon – 3). Typically the crowds thin out if you come early or late.

  1. Save Those Tickets!

If you didn’t use all your tickets, you can save them for another day. They never expire.

  1. Park on Sutterville During the Weekend

Typically on the weekends parking in the park can get crazy. When this happens, try parking on Sutterville Road. It is just a short walk around our outer gates, and typically there are plenty of spaces. Better when you are done for the day you have an “easy out” of the park.

  1. Don’t Forget Cash

While you can pay for your tickets and food with any major credit card or debit card with the Visa or Mastercard symbol, any other vendors in and outside of the park usually take cash only. This means if you want your face painted or a pony ride you will need to break out the moolah.

  1. 2 Words: Cotton Candy

We spin our cotton candy fresh, and it wouldn’t be a visit to an amusement park without it.

  1. Bring Water Bottles

Water fountains are available, but bring some water bottles too, so you can fill up and stay hydrated on hot days.

  1. Wear Comfy Shoes

One of the most common requests we have at the park is for bandaids to cover blisters that new shoes have created. Making sure that your little one’s shoes have been properly broken in will help avoid tears during the day.

  1. Get Social

We regularly run giveaways and competitions on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow us to stay up to date on important news and fun prizes!

  1. Check In

If you’re on Foursquare or Facebook Places, don’t forget to check in, and unlock deals!

Who is Sam Johnston?


Sam Johnston started as a young boy working for his parents who operated a small amusement business in the 1950’s. His involvement in the amusement business continued through his college years at Sacramento State when he majored in business administration. After college, Sam joined the Army and served in Vietnam with the Army Corp. of Engineers. At his discharge, he had attained the rank of First Lieutenant and was ready to resume his position with his family’s carnival business, Johnston’s Amusements. During these years, Sam and his wife Gail traveled with Johnston’s Amusements, running nearly every aspect of the show. When his father passed away in 1978, Sam kept the dream alive, booking a handful of rides from the former Johnston’s Amusements with several larger west coast carnivals. A short time later, his new endeavor became Sam Johnston’s Midway of Fun, which he owned and operated until 2002.

In 1984, Sam had the opportunity to take over Land Park Kiddie Land, and in 1990 and 1991, he remodeled the park entirely to its present condition. Being as how Sam has always had worked in a family business, he was delighted when both his daughters and their husbands worked in management. With the help of family, Funderland has been able to continually excel and dish up kid-sized thrills for generations. In 1985, he took on another pint-sized park in Lodi and named it Funderwood, and in 1989 he also took over Pixieland Amusement Park in Concord, CA.

Ready to retire, in 2002 and 2007, Sam sold the remainder of his carnivals. He also sold Funderwoods and Pixieland to new operators as well. He currently resides in the Land Park area with his wife of over forty years and enjoys playing with his five grandchildren.

Some of his past accomplishments include serving as President of the prestigious Outdoor Amusement Business Association in 1999, a past Board member of the Western Fairs Association and one of the few carnival operators to be nominated to the Western Fairs Association Hall of Fame in 1996, President of the Showmen’s League of America in 2002 and again this year (Interestingly enough the Showmen’s League was established by Buffalo Bill Cody), and President of the Showfolks of America in 1984. He has also been the guest speaker in fair management classes at California Polytechnic University.

Weather Bug


Ahh… Sunny days in the park. The smell of clover in the air, a soft, warm breeze rustling the trees, and not a cloud in the sky. Days like this make it easy to determine whether Funderland should be open. But come overcast days, dark clouds, and windy weather that decision becomes more difficult to make.

Some large amusement parks are able to remain open during the rain, as their rides are either not affected by the wet weather or are indoors. Unfortunately many of our rides cannot operate in the rain, as they cannot make traction. Additionally, we have found that usually most would rather remain warm, indoors rather than take their children to play outside in the rain.

On days where it has been raining and continues to rain, it is easy to make the decision to close the park, but on days where the weather can change at any moment, the decision is not so easy. The decision was once based on reviewing a number of weather forecasts. However, as of late, many of those forecasts were incorrect, causing us to close the park when in fact we could and should have remained open for our customers.

In an effort to make better determinations as to whether we should remain open or closed, we have implemented a new procedure at Funderland. It is called the “4-hour rule.” We utilize the 4-hour rule by examining the weather three times during a 4-hour period. We call these weather checks, and we do them at the beginning of the 4 hours, 2 hours later, and finally at the end of the 4 hours.

Our first weather check begins 2 hours before we open. If the weather is looking “iffy” but not terrible, we will remain open. However, if it is raining more than just a sprinkle, and the forecast calls for it to remain that way or get worse, then we will usually close for the day.

Once we make it to opening, we will do another weather check. If the weather is still holding out on us we will remain open. Usually just a sprinkle or light mist won’t shut us down, but if it starts to really pour down on us, we will have to close simply because the rides will not operate.

If we make it to the last weather check, then usually the weather remains nice enough to stay open for the remainder of the day. However, if it begins to or is raining we will have to close the park.

Our new procedure isn’t foolproof, and we know that there is no way to predict the weather perfectly. But hopefully, we will be better able to make our customers happy.