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Spooktacular Halloween Event

Oct09

That’s right – our Spooktacular Halloween Event is back for another weekend full of slightly spooky, and certainly fun activities for the whole family! Join us Saturday Oct. 26th and Sunday Oct. 27th for frightfully festive Halloween celebrations!

Our Spooktacular Activities and Attractions:

  • Safe Trick or Treating – $3 each
  • A Silly Haunted House
  • A Happy Little Pumpkin Patch – $2.50 each
  • The Not So Spooky Train
  • Costume Contests
  • Magic shows
  • Face painting
  • Crafts, games & more!

Parents, Don’t Forget – children can come dressed in their favorite Halloween costume and enter into our Kids Costume Contest!

Plus you can get FREE tickets when you bring in new games or new art supplies for River Oak Center for Children (amount of tickets based on items donated)

We Support River Oak Center for Children

Oct07

Here at Funderland, we focus on building strong families and communities. We are always looking for ways to help children and their parents live happier lives by providing support, educational activities, and safe fun for everyone.

Who Is River Oak Center for Children?

One of our ongoing local beneficiaries is River Oak Center for Children, a nonprofit located right here in Sacramento who have been helping families in the greater Sacramento area since 1966. River Oak provides behavioral health and mental health services support for children and their families including those who:

  • suffer from social anxiety
  • suffer from depression
  • have emotional and psychological trauma
  • are facing other life impacting situations

How We Help

Throughout the year we have various fundraising opportunities that support River Oak Center for Children and during most of Funderland’s major park events we collect in-kind donations including toys and art supplies the children they help. River Oak walks away with many new friends, referrals, and lots of community awareness and education about their services. We are proud to be a part of this nonprofit’s efforts to impact the Sacramento community.

Get Involved

If you’d like to learn more about River Oak Center for Children, please visit www.riveroak.org and don’t miss our Spooktacular Halloween event happening on Oct. 26th-27th which will help support our friends at River Oak.

9 Great Fall Activities for Your Kids

Sep24

It’s officially Fall! That means crisp mornings, beautiful turning leaves, and pumpkin…well, pumpkin everything! Now is the perfect time to get your kids excited about Fall with a plethora of seasonal festivities and crafts. Don’t just take our word for it! Here are 9 great fall activities to do with your kids:

Make a leaf collage. Head outdoors and gather up an assortment of leaves that vary in size, shape, and texture. Glue them on a nice sturdy piece of cardstock or paper and arrange to your heart’s content. Finish by coating with a layer of Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray to set your artwork. Tip: display your masterpieces in style along twine attached with clothespins!

Join in the harvest. Head to a local farm or orchard for pick-your-own-produce. There are lots of local farmers who’ve made it easy for your family to harvest your own apples, corn, pumpkins, berries, and more! Tip: it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about the life cycle of a seed!

Give your pumpkin a face lift. Instead of going with traditional carving, give your pumpkin a little style. Cover in black lace and add a bow at the stem. Cut out decals and spray paint black cats, haunted houses, bats, or ghosts! Hammer in brass studs in fun swirls and patterns. Use ModPodge to decorate a white gourd with pressed leaves.

Make your own applesauce. It’s a snap to make, and it’s nutritious too. Peel and dice apples and combine in a large pot with ¾ cup water. Simmer with ½ tsp. cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar until apples soften. Don’t hesitate to play around with some other flavors too like nutmeg, allspice, or pears.

Let ‘em jump in leaves. It’s a Fall MUST for kids! Although it may seem like unnecessary work for you, letting the little ones have some good old fashion fun is worth it. Plus, raking leaves for 30 minutes burns approximately 150 calories! So grab that rake and get out there!

Have a Hoedown. There is just something about Fall that makes you want to make like a farmer! So why not plan a kid friendly hoedown? Have a three-legged race, go bobbing for apples, host a pumpkin pie eating contest, get everyone dancing to some country music, set up a hay maze, or have a build-your-own mummy craft table. The possibilities are endless and sure to provide your kids with some fun memories!

Roast marshmallows. S’mores aren’t just for camping! Build a bonfire (if your neighborhood allows it) or use your fire pit/bbq for roasting marshmallows. Spending time outdoors after dusk plus enjoying a roasted ‘mallow sounds like the perfect way to end the week!

Be thankful. In only a few short weeks, it will be Thanksgiving. To add a little more fun to the holiday, start collecting a daily thankful note from each family member. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you’ll have nearly 60 days of thanksgiving to share with the family! Tip: have your kids decorate their own mason jar that they can add their daily thanksgiving to.

Head outdoors together. With all the brightly colored leaves and milder temperature, Fall is the perfect time to head outside for a nature walk. Tip: play I-Spy on your stroll to keep your kids’ keen eyes busy!

7 Organizational Tips for the New School Year

Sep09

De-stress and keep it simple this school year with these 7 simple tips!

1. Plan ahead. This probably sounds pretty obvious and a lot easier said than done. Don’t get overwhelmed!Taking just a few steps the evening before can make your mornings go smoother and reduce rushed panic. You can lay out their outfit for the next day including socks, shoes, backpack, jackets, and make a “no change” rule to save time.

2. Pack-a-lunch organization system. This will save you so much time and create a useful learning experience for your children. Start by making a list of all the things you would like to see in your child’s lunch box to make a balanced meal. Then get some bins and label them. You can have your child pick items out of each bin and teach them the importance of a balanced diet. Once they do it a few times, they can start doing it on their own which will give them a great sense of independence and accomplishment.

3. Establish and regulate bedtimes. A good night’s sleep for your child during their development (especially in the school year) is absolutely crucial. It can be a very difficult transition from late summer nights and sleeping in, to going to bed early and waking with the sun! If you set a regular bedtime, implement it, and help them understand that it is the same every night, it may save you a lot of grief. Kids crave consistency even if they don’t realize it and their bodies will thank you for it!

4. Launch pad! This can be a fun way to make sure you don’t forget anything on your way out the door. Designate an area in your home and create a launch pad with everything they need to take to school. You can make a whiteboard list that changes depending on what they will need for a certain day depending on projects, etc. You can call items out to them and have them say “check!”. After a while it will probably become second nature.

5. Let know you’re thinking about them. Starting a new school year can be stressful for both student and parent. Try sneaking a family photo in their lunchbox or an encouraging note. This is a good way for both of you to stay connected and help both of you through this stressful time.

6. Create an achievement tree. Turn a fun art project into a productivity incentive booster! Make a big cutout of a tree trunk and hang it up on a wall. Then make some cut outs of leaves and have the kids color them in. Each time they complete an achievement at school, get a gold star, or just get a good grade on something, get together and write it on a leaf and pin it on the tree. The fuller the tree the better!

7.Listen. During the beginning, and throughout the school year, your children are learning so many new things. Their heads are filled with knowledge, and new relationships with friends are being formed. Just the thought of everything that is going to be expected of them this school year can be very daunting and stressful. We all know that “talking it out” can be very useful in processing new information. Maybe create a list of questions to help them talk it out over dinner time to let them express what they are learning/feeling, in a comfortable setting.

Photo Credit

8 Things To Do With Your Kids Before Summer Is Over

Aug12

We always say that summer ends too soon, but this year it seems to be flying by faster than usual. Some of you probably feel like you have been too busy to stop and enjoy the outdoors with your kids or to spend time together as a family. So, we came up with a list of simple ideas to kick up your summer fun before school is back!

1. Go to the beach! This is definitely a summer must. One of the awesome things about living in or near Sacramento is that we are close to so many great beaches! Whether you take a scenic drive up to Lake Tahoe’s beautiful shores, or head to the coast, the whole family will love spending time soaking up the sun and playing in the sand. Don’t forget the buckets to make a fabulous sand castle kingdom. Remember to bring some high SPF sunscreen along too.

2. Start up a weekly Family Game Night! This would be a great thing to start up before the kids are back to school. We love the idea of creating a fun filled evening with the family, especially because you can spend more time together amidst your busy schedules. Ask the kids for some board game suggestions that they would like to play. You can always try a rousing game of charades too. Try creating a really fun environment by combining it with Pizza Night, BBQ in the backyard, or finger foods with popcorn!

3. Have a picnic in the park! This is a classic way to get the kids out of the house and again it is fun for the whole family. Bring along a big blanket and basket full of tasty picnic items. Toss a bunch of salad ingredients into a mason jar for a shake-up salad lunch. You can also bring a frisbee, football, or soccer ball to get some light exercise. Some of you may know that the McKinley Park Playground opened a few weeks ago! It is full of new things that kids of all ages will love! Everything from a rock climbing wall, to a kiddie sand-box!

4. Go camping in your backyard! We understand that the family is probably too busy for a full weekend camping trip, but who says you have to leave your house! No skimping here. We suggest going all out to make this a great camping experience. Get out all your camping gear. Tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, etc…and don’t forget the s’mores. If you don’t have a firepit, try lining clay pots with aluminum foil and filling with charcoal for a fun way to achieve chocolatey-gooey success!

5. Go to a local farmers market and make a meal of it! There are some really fantastic local farmers markets just about every day of the week. So load the kids in the the car and explore the area! You can find a market near you by visiting the California Certified Farmers Market website.

Some markets even have organic vendors too so keep an eye out! Have the kids pick out some veggies they would like to cook and depending on what you find, build your dinner menu around it! Make sure you get the kids to help you cook dinner (this might make them a little more willing to eat their greens). Maybe use this opportunity to talk to your kids about the nutritional and economic benefits of buying locally grown food. We do live in the farm-to-fork capital after all.

6. Go on a nature walk and pick flowers! This is something you can do with the whole family on a weeknight. Get everybody outside for a nice walk after dinner and explore nature. You can find a park nearby your house or even drive somewhere a little farther that has a trail. Once you all pick flowers, you can preserve them by making a flower press in a heavy book! Just getting out and exercising with the whole family will be good for all of you, so don’t get overwhelmed on deciding where to go! Once you are out having a good time, it won’t even feel like exercise, and it will teach your kids a healthy habit.

7. Start a family garden. Maybe you and the kids will get so inspired by the fruit and veggies you found at the farmers market that you will want to start growing your own produce. Ask your kids what their favorite things were, and take a trip to the store for all your gardening needs. You can make DIY labels for each kid’s part of the garden using popsicle sticks, bricks, or even wine corks on toothpicks or forks! Encourage responsible behaviour by creating a design-your-own watering can craft, and teach kids about the importance of keeping plants hydrated.

8. Plan a trip to the Funnest little place in Sacramento…Funderland! Well, of course, we couldn’t leave this out ;-)

Whatever you choose to do with your family before summer ends, we hope you have a blast!

 

Back to School Extravaganza

Aug07

It’s hard to believe it’s August already! This summer has been flying by, and soon the kids will be spending more time in the library and less time at the pool. And, let’s face it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are times and seasons for everything.

But if your family is having a battle with the back to school blues, we’d like to change that tune! So make plans now to join us Saturday, August 24th, for our Back to School Extravaganza.

This year’s event features:

  • Mr. Cooper and his educational sing-a-long songs (11am & 3pm)
  • A special performance by Radio Disney (1pm – 2:30pm)
  • Educational vendor booths
  • Games, Crafts, & more!

Plus, if you donate new school supplies to River Oak Center for Children, you’ll receive a free goodie bag* and help a great organization in the process! (River Oak helps children at risk, troubled teens, and families through mental health services, social services, behavioral therapy, and family counseling).

And to keep you beating the blues, we’ve decided to bring back our After School Special. So starting September 4th any week day you visit the park after 3 pm, you can purchase an Unlimited Ride Wristband for only $7.95–that’s half off the regular price!

So don’t let school get you down! Balance out the new routine with a little fun, and add us to your list of educational experiences. We’d love to see out the summer with you.

*Goodie bags will go to the first 100 people who donate new school supplies.

Photo Credit

Seasonal Fun

Jul29

Thanks to all the Season Pass Holders who came out Friday night! We had a ball, and we hope you did too. And while July may be coming to a close, there’s more fun, food, and games on the way.

Our next big event is our Back to School Extravaganza on August 24th. We’ll have all sorts of cool educational vendors in the park, plus a special live performance by Radio Disney! So mark your calendars now; you won’t want to miss all the fun and goodies.

And you asked for it, so you got it! Staying on by popular demand: our summer specials.

Happy Mondays
Cure your case of the Mondays. Come on get happy with Happy the Squirrel! Happy will be making the rounds every Monday morning, so stop by and give him a high five!

$10 Tuesdays
Wristbands for only $10 all day Tuesday! Come early and ride till the squirrels come home (or 5 p.m., whichever comes first)

The Summer Sizzler
Any week day it’s over 95 degrees in the park, get a yummy sno-cone FREE!

So come to the park in the month of August and finish out summer with a smile.

 

 

 

 

More July Fun & Events

Jul15

First of all, congratulations to Teresa D. J., our Scavenger Hunt winner! You successfully unscrambled the hidden message, and Lady Luck pulled your name out of the hat. We hope you enjoy the Season Passes and our little Funderland goodie bag.

And a big thank you to everyone who entered the drawing. We’ll be having more contests and drawings, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter!

On another note…. have you been practicing Jingle Bells? What, not yet?

Well, now’s the time! This Wednesday we’re having our Christmas in July “flash mob” and we want you to be there! It’ll be some seasonal fun in the sun. If you haven’t signed up yet, click over to our Eventbrite page. The first 36 people to sign up get to ride the Carousel free while we belt out our holiday tune. And if you need to brush up on the song, check out last week’s blog to listen to the version we’ll be playing from the Carousel loudspeakers.

And for all of you Season Pass holders, circle July 26th. That is your night to shine! We’ll be open special hours (5pm – 8pm) just for you. So bring your family and a guest and ride FREE to your heart’s content! Plus, we’ll be dishing up free sno-cones and cotton candy to keep you energized throughout the evening. We appreciate your loyalty and support and are thankful for each and every one of you!

Oh, and make sure you take advantage of our $10 Tuesdays this month. Every Tuesday  in July you can purchase an Unlimited Ride Wristband for only $10. So come early and stay late. But hurry, there are only 3 Tuesdays left!

We hope to see your bright eyes and lively smile in the park soon!

Come Along to Christmas in July

Jul08

Are you coming to our Christmas in July flash mob? We certainly hope so! The first 36 people to sign up get to ride the Carousel while we all sing along to a rousing rendition of Jingle Bells. That’s right, we’re going to blast the music over the Carousel speakers, so the whole park can hear!

Come on, it’ll be fun! And who couldn’t do with a little cool December frivolity in the middle of a hot summer? Even if it’s only in our hearts and minds.

So throw on some of your favorite Christmas togs, and plan to join us Wednesday, July 17th, at 11:30 a.m. in the park.

And for those of you who want some caroling practice, here’s the song we’ll be singing along with.

Lyrics

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
laughing all the way
Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!

(chorus)
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon my laddy boy
was sitting by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
we got into a drifted bank
And we? we got upset

(chorus)

Now the ground is white
So go it while you’re young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed nag
Two forty for his speed
Then hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you’ll take the lead.

(chorus)

Hey, and don’t forget about the Scavenger Hunt!

Have you found the secret scrambled message in the park yet? The Scavenger Hunt ends July 12th, so you better hurry! Find the message, unscramble the words, and enter to win 2 Season Passes. Get the details (and a clue) on our Events page.

Fighting Boredom this July

Jul01

Another Monday, another month. And the summer seems to be floating by. Are you having a case of the summer doldrums yet? One day blurring into the next and the next and the next?

Well, we were idly surfing the web the other day and discovered July is Anti-Boredom Month. Perfect timing, we thought! So if you’re one of our fans on Facebook (and we hope you are!), be on the look out for tips and tricks to combat those “I’m bored!” family moments this month.

One major anti-boredom antidote that we know of is the California State Fair. It’s running July 12-28 over at Cal Expo. There are seventeen days of excitement to choose from, so be sure to take the family out for a day of big fun. You can check out the details on their site, and start planning now. That’s what we’re going to do!

And, of course, we have our own in-park remedies for the boredom blues. Make sure to take a peek at our Events page to see what we’ve got going on in the park this month. From a scavenger hunt to $10 Tuesdays to Happy Mondays to Christmas in July, there’s something for everyone. We’re out to rock this month!

So we hope your July is full and fun-packed! And don’t forget to check out our anti-boredom ideas on Facebook and share some of your own. We’d love to hear what tips you’ve got up your collective sleeves.

We look forward to seeing you in the Park soon!

** And don’t forget this 4th of July military personnel and their family get to ride FREE all day. Come celebrate Independence Day with a bang!

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