By Michelle Kopkash
You don’t need a lot of money to provide a lot of love or make memories with your children. Take a gander at the selection of local, affordable and fun activities and events below. This is a great $5 bucket list for spring and summer fun.
Taylor’s offers hundreds of milkshake flavors for patrons to try, from Cookie Monster, Death by Chocolate and Worms & Dirt to Pumpkin Cheesecake and Oatmeal Cream Pie. They have just about every flavor you can imagine. This place is a real treat.
Frozen Yogurt at Small Cakes, Rocklin
For $4.50 flat, pile a medium cup as high as you can with frozen yogurt and toppings. This is a cute way to celebrate an accomplishment or brighten your child’s day.
$5 Movie Tuesdays and $1 Children’s Summer Series
Going to the movies mid-week is an excellent idea, especially with $5 specials all day long on Tuesdays at Studio Movie Grill (SMG). Throughout the summer, SMG also offers select children’s movies for $1 per ticket.
Jelly Belly Factory Tour, Fairfield
This free public tour offers loads of fun and interesting facts about jelly bean history. If you want to keep it under $5, try the free samples and stick to an inexpensive treat at the gift shop.
California State Capitol Tour
Self-guided tours throughout the State Capitol are free, and guided public tours are offered from 8 am to 4 pm every hour, on the hour, where your family will learn about California history. Between the museum, murals, portraits and architecture, there is plenty to see.
Free First Wednesdays at the Sacramento Zoo
Children ages 2 to 11 are free with a paid adult on the first Wednesday of each month.
Nimbus Fish Hatchery Tour
Enjoy a self-guided tour through the visitor center to learn about the journey of the Chinook salmon and steelhead, and the environmental challenges they face. Then, head out to the fish hatchery to feed the fish and take a short walk along the trail that runs next to the American River.
Story Time & Activities at the Library
We are fortunate to live in a region that offers enriching library activities for all ages, including dozens of story times throughout the week, free craft sessions, STEM classes, clubs and other cool learning opportunities. Check out the Roseville Library, Placer County Library, Sacramento Library, Folsom Public Library and El Dorado County Library for events.
Mall Day at Galleria at Roseville
Check out story time at Pottery Barn Kids on Tuesdays for free, play on the outdoor or indoor playgrounds, walk the shops and if you feel so inclined, share a yummy treat from one of the many dining options located inside the mall.
Bayside Blue Oaks Indoor Playground
While the facility serves as a church on the weekends, Bayside Blue Oaks opens up to the public during the weekdays to offer access to everyone who wants to come and enjoy their amazing indoor playground structure, cafe and rest area. Kids will have hours of free fun in this gigantic playground. You can bring your own food or grab a quick treat at the cafe.
Destiny Community Center KidZone
This indoor playground structure is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school-age children. There are tables and chairs for parents and caregivers, as well as a neat cafe for those who wish to buy themselves or their loved ones a treat.
Home Depot Kid’s Workshops
On the first Saturday of the month, most Home Depot locations offer a free hands-on workshop for kids. Each month focuses on a different DIY project that teaches skills such as hammering, building and designing. Kids also receive a free workshop apron, while supplies last. Parent participation is required. (Ages 5 to 12)
Kids Fun Zone at Southgate Plaza
On the first Saturday of the month, Southgate Plaza offers free activities, crafts and STEM projects to kids. (Ages 12 and under)
Preschool Playgroup at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center
Hands-on activities and discovery play. Held the second Wednesday of the month through May. (Ages 0-5)
Free First Saturdays at the Museum
Each month, the Sierra College Natural History Museum opens its doors to host an educational morning for children to explore a new learning topic during hands-on activities, ranging from sharks and gold mining to bugs. Families are invited to take a self-guided tour of the museum as well. (Ages 6+)
Movies in the Park
Several cities in our region offer movie nights in the park throughout the spring, summer and fall months, including the cities of Roseville, Lincoln and Fair Oaks. This fun event gives families and people of all ages the opportunity to picnic under the stars while watching a family-friendly movie for free.
www.FORPD.org and www.Roseville.ca.us and www.LincolnRec.net
First Fridays at the Fountains at Roseville
Between May and October, head to the Fountains at Roseville for a fun evening outdoors, featuring a kid’s zone, costumed characters, vendors, a car show and live entertainment.
Kids Bowl Free
All summer long, participating bowling alleys in our region offer Kids Bowl Free, a program that allows children to receive two free bowling games each day of the summer. Find participating bowling alleys online and register in advance.
Park Bucket List
Print a list of local parks from your city’s website and check each one off the list as you visit it with your child. Take a picnic, your bikes and scooters or ask friends to meet you there. Nothing beats outdoor play.
Barnes & Noble Story Time
Each Barnes & Noble location offers free children’s story times throughout the month. Listen to a reading of a popular children’s book, stay to play in the kid’s section and grab a small treat from the cafe.