If you think all the fun stuff for children is in the Bay Area, think again: there are numerous great things to do with kids in Sacramento and the surrounding Sacramento Valley. California’s state capital and sixth-largest city is packed with sports activities, cultural institutions, and classes for kids that’ll keep your child from boredom. Scroll down to see some of the fun things to do with kids in Sacramento ... and to see if you can snag a deal while you’re at it.
Packed into 5 walkable acres, Micke Grove Zoological Society is one of Sacramento Valley’s easiest kids activities for younger kids, even those less than 3 years old. Here, they’ll get to see some of animals they’ve seen in picture books, including parrots, tortoises, lemurs, spider monkeys, and the majestic snow leopard. On an especially nice day, you can extend your stay here to include a picnic, plus play time at the onsite amusement park and multiple playground.
For an activity that an older child might enjoy, try rolling skating or rollerblading at The Rink. There, they can chat with their friends (or their loving parent) while skating to the beats of The Rink’s DJ, who tends to play fun and dancey pop music. Plus, a teen can’t roller-skate and text on their phone at the same time (or, at least, they shouldn’t try).
If you have a youngster who’s obsessed with train-themed children’s entertainment (and there’s a surprising amount of train-themed children’s entertainment!), then the California State Railroad Museum might end up as their favorite place in the city. With 21 historical trains and locomotives, the museum will wow kids just through its exhibits’ scope and size. Adults will better appreciate the narrative the museum tells, how the railroad changed 19th century America and brought people looking for a new life in the west to California.
Rainy days are a real drag, especially if you had planned some outdoor activities with the kids. Save the day with a trip to Cali Glo Indoor Entertainment, which was born out of the suggestions of two kids who wanted their parents to take them to both a laser tag arena and a mini golf course. At Cali Go, they’re both in one place, and both indoors. Kids can let their imagination run wild inside the laser-tag arena. Adults will love the glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course, where you’ll putt-putt past recognizable California landmarks like the state capitol building, the Hollywood sign, and Napa Valley wine bottles.
Kids Love Martial Arts offers a great option for a weekly afterschool activity in Sacramento. Learning a martial art has been shown to increase a kid’s self-confidence, enhance their focus, and instill discipline.
You might remember playing dodgeball as a kid. Today’s children do it...a little bit differently. See what we mean at Sky High Sports, where dodgeball games are played inside an arena filled with trampolines (with two-inch thick safety pads). But it isn’t all jumping...the complex’s Ninja Course tests your child’s agility and coordination by making them climb ropes, rappel up walls, and balance tenuously above a fiery pit of lava (just kidding, it’s a pit of foam blocks).
To be specific, there are more than 50 hands-on experiments your kid can be apart of at World of Wonders in nearby Lodi. They can simulate a fiber-optic fireworks display, shine a light through prisms to create a rainbow, examine specimens under a microscope, and even make bubbles (who knew that was science!).
A 50+ year veteran of the Sacramento dining scene, Pancake Circus does much more than excite your children with mere pancakes. The circus-themed diner entrances kids with its carnival music-playing gumball machine and Big Top-focused decor. But did we mention there’s pancakes? Buttermilk pancakes, in fact, topped with blueberries, apples, strawberries, and more. And if that’s not your style, you can wolf down crepes, old-fashioned pecan waffles, or something off the special kid’s menu.