When Paul and Maureen Messier began their walking tour through the English town of Bath, the guide, a comedian and street performer, immediately captured their attention. Drawing on Paul's background in producing standup comedy at The Improv and Maureen's experience as a theater instructor, they decided to put their own spin on what they'd experienced. Since then, they've traveled extensively and cobbled together eclectic elements from other tours with theatrical flair and a sense of humor.
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.
Laying a hand on a piece of the ornately carved fauna that chase each other around Funderland?s carousel, one can nearly hear the gleeful shouts of the innumerable happy riders who have graced the attraction since it is was built in 1947. A happy chorus of youthful shouts brings the present day back to life, drifting from rides such as the log flume and the Funderland train ride, which chugs slowly past diminutive rustic cabins under the shade-giving arms of evergreen trees. The Red Baron ride whisks youngsters off the ground, granting an improved view of the 2-acre playground as the tiny crimson planes pirouette through the air. Current owner Sam Johnston pays almost daily visits to the family-entertainment emporium and takes pride in the role the park plays in supporting local causes and helping families spend time together amid constant distractions such as work, TV, and the disco dancers that refuse to leave one's living room.
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.
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 10 attractions, headlined by the ScreamMax 3-D movie theater. 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 H?bart's Doll Factory, tight passageways put the squeeze on those brave enough to enter Jatinga: The Forbidden Temple, and cornstalks bear bloodstains on Podunk Farms. 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.