TODAY IS:Monday, November 30, 2015  WE ARE Open Friday - Sunday

Family Dinners Have Positive Impact on Kids


With Thanksgiving upon us, food becomes a frequent topic of discussion. What should you make? How long do you bake the turkey again? What is Aunt Ruth’s favorite pie? Regardless of what is made, the time together giving thanks and talking amongst each other as a family is an important time for many and can result in lasting memories.

Family Dinners Aren’t Just for Thanksgiving

Research shows that finding time in the hectic school/work week for regular family dinners can have some rewarding benefits. In fact, there is a direct link between the frequency of family dinners and the quality of a child-parent relationship. The study found that compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners, teens who have frequent family dinners are:

  • One-and-a-half times more likely to say their parents know a great deal or a fair amount about what’s really going on in their lives.
  • Five times less likely to say their parents know very little or nothing at all about what’s really going on in their lives.
  • Almost one-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their mother.
  • One-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their father.

It is important to set the precedent early in life with younger children, so that traditions and expectations are established by the time the teen years are reached. So start having family dinners as soon as you can as parents. And make sure to put those smart phones and tablets down! Your children are so much more important than whatever is happening online.

As you look around the table this Thanksgiving, take notice of the smiles and conversation happening and think about trying to have a smaller scale version of that dinner more frequently. It could be better for the whole family.

Helping Children Choose Honesty


“Honesty is the best policy,” said Benjamin Franklin. It’s definitely one of the top characteristics we want to develop in our children. And sometimes it’s easier said than done! Here are some strategies for helping your children choose honesty.

Model Honesty

It begins with us as parents. Our children are watching us daily and imitating our behavior. They will listen to what we tell them, but more importantly, they will copy our actions, even if they contradict what we’ve said. Think about times when you’ve been dishonest while your children are watching and listening. Have you told somebody that you can’t come over because you’re going somewhere else, but you’re really not? Have you made up an excuse for being late? Have you purchased something for your child and told them not tell the other parent about it?

Stop and think about the ways you model honesty (or dishonesty) throughout the day and make an effort to always show honesty to your children. Point out the times that you wanted to be dishonest, but chose honesty anyway. Share stories from your childhood of how being honest or dishonest impacted you.

Praise Honesty

Rewarding children for choosing the right kind of behavior helps reinforce it. Sometimes we overly focus on “catching” our children doing the wrong things and forget to praise them for doing the right things. By really watching for those times when your child chooses honesty and talking to them about it, you’ll be encouraging them with the positive attention.

Watch and listen as your children go through the day. Try to “catch” the moments when they are honest, especially when you know they struggled to be honest. Praise them for making a good choice.

Explain that Perfection is not Expected

One of the reasons that children are tempted to be dishonest is that they are afraid of disappointing their parents. If they get the sense that perfection is expected, or that parents will think less of them for messing up, they may choose to be dishonest rather than upset a parent.

Explain to your children that while you expect them to make good choices, you do not expect perfection. None of us are perfect! Let them know that you love them no matter what and that you know they will make mistakes. Continually let your children know that they can tell you anything and you’ll help them to be less fearful of being honest with you.

Allow Consequences for Dishonesty

Children learn by having consequences for making poor choices. Some consequences occur naturally, like getting caught in a lie and losing a friend because of it. Other times, we need to give our children appropriate consequences for dishonesty. By having consequences, we help train our children to avoid the poor choices and that honesty is the better way to go.

Those consequences will be different for each child and in each family, but should be something unpleasant or some sort of sacrifice. You can even let your older child have some input (within reason) on what they think would be an appropriate consequence.

Helping your child choose honesty now will help them make better choices in the future. By helping them with their choices, we show them how much we love them and have their best interests at heart.

Play Your CARDs Right: Teaching Children to be Caring, Authentic, Responsible, and Determined


Teaching Children to be Caring, Authentic, Responsible, and Determined

As parents, there are many characteristics and morals we want to teach our kids. But sometimes it can be hard to explain and reiterate those virtues through the years. To help your family out, just remember to Play Your CARDs Right!

C is for Caring

Fostering a caring attitude is to encourage your child to be loving, empathetic, understanding, and thoughtful. For most kids, this is learned from watching how you interact with them. To further help kids see it in action outside of the house, try being conscientious of when strangers are kind to each other, and point it out to your children. For example, when you see someone offer their place in line to a pregnant mommy, you might try telling your child, “Wow, did you see how that nice man offered his place in line to that mommy? That was so kind of him.”

A is for Authentic

Authenticity is about being honest and truthful, without being rude and inconsiderate. It’s important that your children learn to express their thoughts and feelings, but not at the expense of someone else’s hurt feelings. It’s also about letting your kids express themselves, and we know that can be in a variety of ways! If your daughter wants to wear cowgirl boots with her tutu, maybe just let her do it! Remember, childhood is all about discovering the world around you and how you fit into that world!

R is for Responsible

Responsibility – it’s one of the hardest things to teach kids! It’s so easy to take care of everything around the house instead of delegating tasks to the kiddos, because, let’s face it, we’re just faster/better at it! But doing so deters your kids from learning to be responsible for themselves, their belongings, and their surroundings. Responsibility stems from respect and pride in ownership. Here are several great age-appropriate chore lists to help your family get started with delegating responsibilities.

D is for Determined

If you’ve ever played sports or a musical instrument, you know that this is key to success. But it’s more than just learning to be good at something. It’s more about being perseverant and steadfast, even when facing defeat and setbacks. This is an extremely valuable lesson for kids to learn as it is a lesson learned well into adulthood.

As you might have guessed, the best way to teach these characteristics to your kids is to demonstrate them yourself. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. So get your kids on board with this new “game” and you’ll all help keep each other accountable for playing your CARDs right!

5 Strong and Healthy Summer Habits


Sometimes we think of Summer as a time for our children to relax and take it easy, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep our kids healthy and strong at the same time! Use the rest of Summer to help your kids learn healthy habits they can continue through the school year and beyond. They’ll be stronger and feel good about their accomplishments. Here are 5 strong & healthy summer habits to work on now:

Play to be Strong

Encourage your children to play outside every day to get a dose of sunshine and fresh air. Get them away from screen time for a while to run, jump, swim, and more. Give them strength challenges in their games to sneak in exercise:

  • Who can hang from the playground high bar the longest?
  • Who can swim across the pool the fastest?
  • Can you beat yesterday’s time running across the yard?

Eat Healthy Snacks

Help your children get used to healthier choices for their snacks and gradually move away from the packaged snacks that they might be used to. Give them plenty of choices at home and make them fun. They’ll start making healthier choices on their own before you know it! Here are some fun snack ideas:

  • Fruit Kabobs:
    • Layer chunks of different kinds of fruit on skewers
    • Let children choose fruits and make their own kabobs
  • Mystery Veggie Dip Game:
    • Give carrot, celery, and jicama sticks to dip in 3 different dips (hummus, salad dressing, salsa, etc.) making sure one is a child favorite
    • Let kids be blindfolded while you mix up dips
    • They have to take a bite no matter which kind of dip they get each time
  • Cheese Cube Mosaic:
    • Cube different kinds of cheeses and meats
    • Let kids use cubes to create a mosaic on their plate
    • They have to eat all the pieces they use

Take on New Chores

Chores can help children stay strong and healthy, too. Use this time to evaluate what chores your children are doing and add in a new and challenging chore – one that they may have to work at a while in order to become successful and get a sense of pride from accomplishing. Here are some chore ideas for a variety of ages:

  • Clean up spills and dirt
  • Carry in and put away groceries
  • Take trash out
  • Weed, rake, mow or do other appropriate yardwork

Exercise Your Brain

You don’t just need school work to keep your brain strong. You can play games to exercise your brain! Help your children find new games and hobbies that will keep their brains sharp and ready for a new school year. Here are some fun game ideas:

  • Get a new puzzle:
    • Make it challenging enough that the children need to work together to complete it
  • Make a raised salt painting:
    • Use glue bottle to squeeze and create design on thick paper or cardboard
    • Shake salt over to coat top of glue
    • Using brush, dab watercolor paints carefully on salt globs and watch paint spread
    • Dry overnight
  • Create an obstacle course: 
    • Let children use props from around the house to set up obstacle course
    • It could involve climbing over things, running while keeping cotton in a spoon, changing doll clothes, dressing up in a costume, and more
    • Time each child that goes through to see who can do it the fastest

Enjoy Family Fun

Spending time together as family strengthens bonds and renews that feeling of a safe and healthy family environment. Plan out some days when the whole family can do something fun together. Here are some inexpensive family fun ideas:

  • A morning at Funderland:
    • With no admission to get in and the ability to bring your own food into the park, you have control over how much you spend on rides
    • After getting in a few rides, step out the front gate and go enjoy Land Park
  • Nature Walk:
    • Find a nearby trail that isn’t too difficult for children and plan a hike and picnic
    • Take supplies in backpacks
    • Create a list of items for each family member to check off as they discover them – certain colors of leaves, rock shapes, other hikers, and more
  • Family Talent Show:
    • Let each family member come up with something that they want to “perform” for everybody else
    • Plan far enough ahead to give time to practice
    • Enjoy the performances – maybe even film it and watch again later

We hope all of you have a strong and healthy Summer! What new habits are you going to try?

Teaching our Children to be Brave


We all want our children to be brave. Not so brave that they’re not safe, of course! But brave enough to try new things and experience the great adventures awaiting them in Life. There are a few ways that we can help our children learn this kind of bravery.

Be a Role Model

Our children are always watching us and imitating us. It’s up to us to stop and think about what kind of example we are setting for them. Do we show bravery to them when it’s time to try something new or something we’re scared of? Show your child the different ways that you are brave and they will learn to follow your example.

Listen and Talk

Sometimes we assume that our children are scared of something for no reason and try to push them into doing it. Take the time to talk with your child and ask him what his reasons are for being afraid, Show him that you care enough to take the time to listen and help him work through any unreasonable fears.

Expose Gradually

If there’s something that your child is afraid, like roller coasters, consider taking baby steps toward facing that fear. Since Funderland has free admission, bring your child in just to walk around, look at the rides, see other children having fun, and have a picnic. Assure her that you will not be going on any rides during that visit. After that successful visit, come back again, but only try rides that aren’t as intimidating, like the Carousel and the Funderland Train. Stop by the Flying Dragon Roller Coaster only to watch. The next time, try to see if your child is willing to consider giving the roller coaster a try, but don’t push her until she feels ready.


When your child displays bravery in some form, take the time to notice and talk about it. Praise him for making a brave choice and facing a fear or facing something that makes him uncomfortable. As you continue to encourage your child’s brave choices, he will naturally want to try more new and scary things.

We encourage you to bring your brave children out to Funderland to experience the fun to be had in our local amusement park. And don’t forget – we’ve got an after school special going on through June 12!

5 Acts of Kindness in Funderland


Kindness is one of the values that we feel is so important to teach our children in today’s world. We could all use a little more kindness in our day and taking the time to teach our children how to be kind will not only benefit our families, but will also have an impact on the big wide world as well.

At Funderland, we believe in having fun, of course! Being kind to others is a great way to help make sure that everybody gets to have fun.

Here are 5 acts of kindness that your children can practice while having a great time at Funderland:

  1. Let a child cut in line. It may be a true test of patience, but allow your children to let another child cut in front of them in line. Since they have to sacrifice and wait a bit longer, it’s an even better lesson in kindness.
  2. Pick up trash. Teach your children to look for trash on the ground, even if it isn’t their own, and pick it up (carefully of course) and throw away in a nearby trash can. Keeping the park cleaner helps everybody enjoy the experience even more.
  3. Donate a ride ticket. If you’re able to spare 1 extra ride ticket, let your children donate it to a child of their choice in the park – maybe a child who is sad or one who is being especially obedient to their parents.
  4. Share some art supplies. Help your children pick out a new game or art supplies to bring in for River Oak Center for Children during our Easter Bash on March 27th through 29th and receive free ride tickets. (Amount of tickets given based on items received). Children can practice kindness and help a good cause at the same time.
  5. Smile and say hello. Teach your children to make eye contact with other children and adults. Have them smile and say hello to their fellow Funderland friends.

Funderland can be more than the funnest little place in the land. It can be the kindest place, too!

What other ways do you like to teach your children to be kind?

Free Printable Valentines For You From Happy


February 14th will be here soon! That means candy, flowers, hearts, classroom parties, and shopping for Valentine cards for the kids. We’re here to save you time and money and give you a little Funderland fun and coupons to share at the same time with some cute printable Valentine cards!

Click Here For Printable Valentine Cards From Happy


Printable Valentine Card Instructions

  • Download and save the PDF of Happy’s Valentine cards.
  • Print as double-sided color pages, as many copies as you need, on thick or cardstock paper.
  • If you can’t print double-sided try this: Print the first page, then feed it back into the printer with the paper positioned to print the second page on the back. Or print pages separately and let children get creative by glueing fronts and backs onto colored construction paper.
  • Cut out Valentine cards and let children fill in the “To/From” section.
  • Share with friends!

Happy the Squirrel wishes you a happy Valentine’s Day and wants to remind you to take advantage of the coupons on the back of the free printable valentines so you can come see what’s in store this Spring at the park! We are currently open Saturdays and Sundays in January and will add Fridays in February (weather permitting). Come see what we’ve been working on through the Winter!

Click here for hours and days of operation. For more information please email us at

Happy Holidays from Funderland!


It’s hard to believe that 2014 is almost over! If you feel like the years are just flying by (we do!) now is a great time to take a few minutes and reflect on all the amazing things that this year brought to all of us!

Why the Holidays Make Us Happy

There is so much to be thankful for and so many wonderful memories made each year. Whether it’s meeting new friends, celebrating family milestones and achievements, or heading out on a new adventure like a big move, new job, or family vacation; you’ve done a lot this year!

Here’s just a few things that we’ll remember from 2014:

  • We celebrated 30 years of dishing up pint-sized rides and fun for the Sacramento Area. It’s so exciting to see 2nd and even 3rd generation families visiting our park with their kids and grandkids.
  • We added a new baby to our herd. The Funderland Family welcomed a sweet baby girl this Spring and we’re so happy to have a new little to call our own!
  • We’ve made so many new local friends and connected with new families in the greater Sacramento Area. We love being a part of your family’s lives and feel honored to be a part of the memory making.
  • We’ve already started on renovations and in-park improvements that we can’t wait to unveil during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. We know you’ll love them too!

So what memories will you cherish from 2014? We hope you find a moment or two to reflect and be thankful for this beautiful life and all it has in store! Are you ready to make some more memories in 2015? Purchase your 2015 Season Passes here by Dec. 31st and save $15 off each!

Wishing you and yours – Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from your friends at Funderland Amusement Park

See you in 2015!

Spice up Your Thanksgiving Celebrations


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to spend with family and friends and celebrate the season. However, if you’re looking for ways to spice up your Thanksgiving celebrations, we have a couple of festive ideas for you and your family to try this year!

1. Give back this Thanksgiving

There are lots of ways to give back to your community or to local or national non-profits. This is just another great way to help teach kids the art of gratitude and build their character.

2. Get your kids to be grateful

Spend about 10 -15 minutes as a family sharing what you’re thankful for. Encourage your kids to think beyond being thankful for their toys (although these are things to be grateful for too!). Jot down what everyone shares and save them someplace safe. Then next year you can re-read them together and remember all that you were thankful for!

3. Make festive crafts with the kids

Get crafty by making miniature Mayflowers, Turkey Pinecones, & Fun Leaf Fans – perfect for decorating your home and bringing the holidays inside.

4. Pumpki-fy your snack time

Instead of pumpkin pie – try a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. Pumpkins are packed full of good for you nutrients like Vit. A and is low in calories. Your kids will love the smooth texture and sweet comforting flavors.

Special 2015 Season Pass Sale


Take advantage of our early bird pricing for our 2015 Season Passes and save $20 on each! Now through Nov. 30th, get your annual ticket to fun for just $59.95 – regularly priced $79.95 As a bonus, when you purchase your 2015 Season Pass during the month of November – you get to ride the rest of the month free!

With our Season Passes your family will enjoy a year of exciting rides, special season pass holder events, and memories to last a lifetime. Our rides are perfect for kids and kids at heart. Plus we’ll be unveiling brand new rides and updates during the 2015 season – be the first to ride our new swing ride and new buggy car track!

More Perks for Season Pass Holders:

  • Unlimited riding for 1 person for the entire 2015 riding Season (Feb 2015 – Nov 2015)
  • 10% discount on food and birthday party packages
  • Half priced weekday wristbands for 1 friend of a season pass holder during the following days:

Mondays – Thursdays in May
Wednesdays – Fridays in September (after Labor Day) and October

  • Bring a friend for FREE Days. One free wristband for each season pass holder per day on the following days:

Mother’s Day
Memorial Day
Father’s Day
4th of July
Labor Day

Purchase your 2015 Season Passes today at the ticket office or online this month during our $20 off special and we’ll see you at the park!