The letters "SSST" are stamped on the swim caps of the Sacramento Synchronized Swim Team: a group of seasoned coaches and 20–45 youth and teenage swimmers who compete in tournaments across the country. The team, which was founded in 1985, operates as a nonprofit, relying on donations from the community to fuel their tournaments. In an effort to give back, the members of the team host kids synchronized swimming lessons and camps at pools and melted ice rinks throughout Sacramento.
In 1942, a group of women decided that it could raise funds to improve the community. The initial projects included war-effort contributions, starting a children’s theater, and the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. As the decades passed, the women expanded their outreach, and today the Junior League of Sacramento welcomes all women aged 21 and older to engage in volunteerism in the community. Among their many outreach efforts, the group assists nonprofits and community programs through charitable work and fundraising to help programs reach those in need.
Each summer, Sacramento becomes home to a giant dragon, slumbering deep in its lair. Anyone who steps inside vanishes from sight, and plummets through five stories of total darkness before reaching the mist-filled depths of a splash pool.
That wet, wild warren?known as the Den of the Dragon?is just one of more than 25 water attractions that sprawl across Raging Waters' grounds. The best way to survey all the options: drop a tube into Calypso Cooler, a lazy river that winds around the park's center in an 800-foot loop. From here, families can scope the landscape and plan out an exciting itinerary. For example:
Some additional tips for first-time visitors: come before 1 p.m. for shorter lines; be sure to stop for a burger and fries at Coral Cove; and play a couple of games at the on-site volleyball court.
One of the most common bowling game interrupters is the human need to ingest food, a dilemma Country Club Lanes West solves by serving savory snacks and crisp beverages inside their bowling facility. Chili fries drizzled with cheese, 6-ounce hamburgers, and slices of pepperoni pizza spring forth from the snack bar to fuel players caught up in high-scoring games and documentarians chronicling their search for the 11th pin. Postbowling celebrations kick off in the Showtime Lounge, where revelers start games of billiards and darts while sipping on a selection of draft brews, including Yuengling, Fat Tire, and Budweiser.
Fright Planet Haunted Theme Park's outdoor theme park acts as a library of the world's most potent phobias. Every year, cast members reimagine its catalog of haunted environs, crafting new sets, props, and characters to prey on guests. Its dedication to genuine scares calls for only the best actors and the most grisly scenery, which is constructed with the help of a former Disneyland artist and a bulldozer possessed by the soul of a 1700s architect.
The lineup includes eight attractions. Though the houses all have distinct themes and decor, they share two factors: a richly painted backstory and a population of live, ghoulish denizens. Staring toys line the shelves at Hobart's Doll Factory and tight passageways put the squeeze on those brave enough to enter Jatinga: The Forbidden Temple. Other experiences play on claustrophobic fears?for example, Buried Alive: The Ride shuts patrons into a coffin where they endure a simulated hearse ride, burial, and the chilling sound of worms calling dibs on their body parts.
There's something timeless about a classic county fair. There are the attractions such as antique cars and horse carriages, rodeos and livestock exhibitions. And, of course, there are the carnival rides. Midway of Fun makes sure that county fairs all over California stay stocked with the kind of flashing, whirling, fun that families have enjoyed for generations. A safety-focused team of pros sets up rides that range from sweet (the Berry Go Round and the Dragon Wagon) to nail-biting (the Viper and the Ranger). Fairgoers can also compete to win a stuffed toy or a term as mayor of next year's fair at games such as break-a-bottle and baseball toss.