In 1948, Lester and Velma king took 10,000 square feet of property in Elk Grove and turned it into a place where friction has no control and people can coast in circles for hours on end. Today, the King family still runs the King's Skate Country roller rink. Here, visitors strap on classic roller skates or inline skates and coast across the floor, only stopping for a bite to eat or a soda at the snack bar. In addition to open skate sessions, the rink hosts birthday parties and events, including after-school sessions where kids can skate in ovals to fulfill a geometry requirement.
Laguna's Awesome Party Palace immerses kids into a world more vibrant than their imaginations. Here, five colorful, themed bounce houses host sessions of sock-clad cavorting. Beloved cartoon characters, including Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, and Tweety, decorate the inflatable houses, alongside a bouncy slide and a train. A selection of family-friendly arcade games fosters bouts of friendly competition throughout the playroom, which is also home to a variety of toys.
During private parties, parents can kick back and leave the planning to the staff, as invitations, snacks, and setup and cleanup are just a few of the perks included in Laguna's party packages.
As soon as children are old enough to walk, they are old enough to begin honing their coordination, body-awareness, and basic motor skills through engaging and age-appropriate gymnastics lessons. That's the central philosophy driving the instructors at Byers Gymnastics, which has four locations, and a 40-year legacy of providing both basic and competition-level training for boys and girls ranging from toddlers to teenagers. While youngsters learn the fundamentals of jumping, balancing, and rolling, older students can master more challenging routines and learn to safely use various pieces of traditional gymnastics equipment, such as the balance beams, floor, vault, and tumble trak, and the slightly off-kilter stepladder. These year-round programs cater to visitors of virtually all interests and levels, and share the common goal of building stamina and flexibility, while also teaching students the value of perseverance and self-determination.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 weeks) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. The Elk Grove and Folsom locations offer classes for all developmental degrees, including the Tiny Tykes class, a session for parents and babies that focuses on movement, and the Champions class, designed to help 5- to 9-year-olds master sports and gymnastics skills. Exact schedules vary by location; click here to see the Elk Grove lineup and here for Folsom's lineup.
NewSongs School of Music expands instrument IQs with a medley of musical instruction courses for adults and kids age 5 and older, covering everything from the drums to the flute to vocals. Exchange air guitars for solid strings in the four-week Intro to Guitar course ($85), which pairs no more than six students age 9–12 with an experienced-eared instructor, or facilitate a toddler jam band with the one-hour Morning Music for Little Musicians ($15 for one drop-in class), during which tiny superstars develop rhythm, pitch, and industry connections. A musical theater course ($18 for one drop-in class) invites students to practice acting and Broadway-style song, and a week of Talent Camp, held in half- and full-day ($24/day or $108/week) sessions, lets participants experience camp camaraderie without the threat of bunk-bed bogeymen. NewSongs School of Music holds classes at a variety of days and times to accommodate tight schedules, and it employs a bevy of experienced, professional instructors.
If you had a Q&A with Sara Thompson, you'd learn that she loves working with kids and cherishes her own. But children are just part of what drives her. The educator and owner of Kindermusik by Musical Milestones has adored music since she herself was a child singing in choirs and acting in local theater. She passes on her passion to the next generation—including her daughter, the inspiration for Kindermusik—through music and movement classes for kids. From babies to seven-year-olds, students grasp basic musical properties as their social and emotional skills grow like sponges in a sauna.