The all-volunteer team at Sacramento Inner City Outings organizes fun and educational wilderness adventures for urban youth and adults who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to experience the natural world. Through these outdoor trips – which might include hikes, camping trips, backpacking, or snowshoeing – the organization promotes appreciation and protection of the environment, as well as personal growth and leadership skills among inner city youth. A part of the Sierra Club’s 50-city Inner City Outings network, the Sacramento chapter has organized nearly 30 outdoor trips in the last two years, and looks forward to upcoming excursions to Echo Summit and the Cosumnes River Preserve.
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"Ornate" and "sweeping" only begin to describe the Crest Theatre, whose rich history extends back to 1912, when it was opened as a vaudeville house. Within its gargantuan auditorium, plush seats perch in subtly curved rows while elaborate lights and a sea-blue ceiling wash the space in ethereal hues. Moviegoers settle into the elegant confines to take in both new and classic films, reading the subtitles in a whisper to stuffed animals that forgot their glasses. Out in the lobby, a richly patterned carpet and bronzed floral motif cover the sprawling space as visitors belly up to the bar and snack on high-quality goodies.
To create Stoney's Rockin' Rodeo in 2007, the owner combined his two passions in life: cooking and country dancing. As a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, he has been adamant about offering hearty eats at affordable prices, which is why Stoney's menu is a line-up of comfort cuisine including barbeque meats, half-pound Angus burgers, and steaks grilled to order. At the restaurant’s front bar saloon, drinks are poured while guests belt out their favorite tunes during nightly karaoke or as they perch on a high-top chair to watch a sports game on one of five flat-screen TVs.
At the back of the house, novice line dancers and seasoned do-se-do-ers participate in free country-dance lessons in a spacious dancehall. Award-winning instructors also guide partnered and non-partnered dancers through workshops. Weekly concerts showcase such artists as Chris Young and Phil Vassar, who deliver the real-deal country music that gets everyone kicking up their heels and high-fiving with their imaginary spittoons.
In the horror films of the 1960s and '70s, zombies were represented as hordes of frightening—albeit sluggish—undead. These days, the typical zombie has a little more spring in his step. During zombie apocalypse–themed tag at Play2Survive, the undead chase after humans who seek shelter at several designated checkpoints. Fortunately, the zombies are only fellow participants, who "infect" the living by tagging them. Meanwhile, racers who retain their humanity must reach a minimum of five checkpoints scattered around the course before crossing the finish line. The first survivors in the team and solo categories to make it back to headquarters receive prizes. The top flesh-eaters among the zombies also get rewards, presumably including a spot as a backup moaner on some pop star's new album.
The touring event is the brainchild of Project TMD, a group of friends who spent their college days scouring California for large-scale role-playing opportunities. Eager to share their passion for fitness and fun with others, the Project TMD crew now stages their own events across the state. The group also does its part to provide local high schools with resources for physical fitness and outdoor play. Project TMD encourages Play2Survive participants to sponsor a local high school of their choice. The school whose sponsors earn the most points receives a portion of the event's proceeds—as does the parks and recreation district hosting the game.
Walking into the weight room at The Capital Athletic Club, visitors may think they’ve stepped into a European cathedral. Vaulted wood ceilings soar above resistance machines and free weights, immersing exercisers in a light, airy atmosphere and allowing trainers to participate in the annual Bring Your Giraffe to Work day. Dozens of classes cater to group fitness in four wood-floored studios and a heated, outdoor pool ensures comfortable laps regardless of outside temperature. Enthusiastic, highly qualified personal trainers collaborate with members, helping craft new programs for beginners or enlivening veterans' tired routines.
The club's amenities mirror its luxurious appointments, with each full member receiving a permanent locker for stashing clothes and parking meters you tore out of the ground with your bare hands. The staff launders workout clothes overnight, freeing up members’ time for relaxing in the expansive saunas and steam rooms. WiFi facilitates impromptu business meetings and spa services offer relaxing treatments.