Ranger Bruce knows the natural world of Sacramento like the back of his hand. As a retired park ranger naturalist, he can take you to every waterfall, towering tree, and historic site as part of his 21 nature classes. The classes focus on topics ranging from California Indians and wild edible plants to astronomy and trees. Gaze upon the past at Coloma, a gold discovery site, or explore how wildflowers and insects interact to create new life every year. For an indoor adventure, try the State Capital or Sutter's Fort tours, or experiment to see why you really can't grow Sequoias in your kitchen.
After witnessing 3-year-old Kathy Pead’s connection to the ponies at a roadside amusement park, the park's owner recommended that Kathy's father enroll her in riding lessons even before the minimum age of 7. Since owning her first horse at the age of 15, Kathy has worked tirelessly to share her enthusiasm for the animals, teaching hands-on lessons and slowly building up her business. After stints in England and Australia, she's settled in the Sacramento area, where her stables sprawl across 2.5 acres that include two well-maintained arenas. She and her staff—which includes her daughter, Jenny—prioritize safety and fun as they teach students how to read a horse's body language and hear the sentences it mumbles in German between whinnies.
Colored lights flash as a disco ball spins and glitters over Sunrise Rollerland's glossy, blond hardwood floor where kids and their families roll along on quads or inline skates. During open-skating sessions, adults relive their childhood and children experience it the first time around as a live DJ spins tunes new and old. At the rink, clubs such as the Artistic Club and Speed Skating club congregate. These clubs are open to anyone, sanctioned by USA Roller Sports, and led by experienced teams of coaches. Additionally, skaters 5 years old and older can take lessons suited to their skill level. To celebrate a birthday, kids can choose from three party themes; the rink can accommodate skaters at any private event. Wednesday night is family night when the entire clan can skate.
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.
The press certainly likes California Family Fitness, granting the exercise venue such awards as a top spot on KCRA-3's 2012 A-List and Sacramento News and Review's Best of Sacramento 2012 Award. The press, however, isn't the top priority for the gym's staff; they believe that, to quote their about CFF page, “awards don't greet you at the door.” Instead, they depend upon their dedicated staffers at the front desk, chaperones at the Kidz Club play zone, and personal trainers to make families of clients feel at home. Certified personal trainers take aspiring exercisers of all ages through regimens that make use of the 16 available locations' ample workout machinery. Seasoned instructors, meanwhile, hold group fitness classes, free with a membership, fostering community as they incinerate calories during high-energy Zumba, step aerobics, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Hustle. Nine of the locations boast pools that host swim lessons taught by certified water-safety instructors.
While hitting the gym, parents can drop wee ones at childcare havens lined with playgrounds and age-appropriate investment manuals. After breaking a sweat on the exercise floor, clients can also shed excess body moisture in saunas and tanning beds.
After spending 10 years as a driving range-only facility, Sunrise Golf Course unveiled its 9-hole course in 1984 and invited players to challenge the par 31 layout. Now nearing its 30th birthday, the course still presents a test for players of all skill levels as they drive their golf balls over rolling hills and try to avoid the creek that intersects the land. Thanks to an abundance of fairway-lining trees, the course also offers plenty of shade, keeping players cool and protecting golf balls from sunburn.