10 Fun Things to do in Sacramento, CA


In addition to being the Capitol city of California, Sacramento is a cultural hub of much of the Northern California area. The city is located where the Sacramento and American Rivers converge. It was a major center for business and transportation during the famous California Gold Rush. The historic part of the city is one of the best places to visit when looking for good things to do in Sacramento. At one time it was the terminus for the Pony Express, wagon trains, the telegraph, the First Transcontinental Railroad, riverboats and stagecoaches. Its lively history provides inspiration for visitors who come to enjoy a step into the past.

Today, it’s filled with a lot of good old-fashioned fun:

1. Go see the California State Fair

California State Fair

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at the fair. Music, dance, stage shows, cultural performances fill the grounds with music of all kinds. The Blues & Brews State offers Heineken, the Honky Tonk Stage has hot barbecue, the Jest in Time Family Fun Stage, the Sadie on the Farm-Tastic Stage, the SJUD Promenade Stage and Hussong’s Cantina offer “sit back, cool down” big name entertainment. Plenty of street performers rove through the fair, too. There’s a Kids Park with mini-rides perfect for the smaller ones in the family. The Carnival is where the Giant Ferris Wheel, the Zipper and the Ex Scream Machine wait for the brave. Games and food favorites round out the ultimate fair experience. Exhibits by the hundreds from all over the state show off produce, livestock, the forests, cooking demonstrations, county specialties and plenty of educational presentations and information. Add pro rugby, freestyle motocross, high diving, horse racing, and the cornhole championship. Shopping special events and competitions fill the plate. The 2016 fair runs from July 8 through July 24.

Adult Daily Admission is $10 through July 7 and $12 after that. Seniors 62 & better can buy Daily Admission for $8 through July 7 and $10 after that. Youth Daily Admission runs $6 til July 7 and $8 after that. Kids 4 and under are free. There are separate ride wristband prices, a $10 fee for parking, $5 for a Coupon Book and separate Best of California Brewfest prices. Special Bundles are also available.


2. Take Yourself Out to the Ballgame

Raley Field

Enjoy America’s national sport watching Pacific Coast League multi championship winners, the Sacramento River Cats. The River Cats have a full schedule of games lined up for the 2016 season. They play at Raley Field, and there are plenty of promotions every day, plus special theme nights. For fans seeking autographs, the players and coaches are often available in the autograph areas from the time the gates open until 15 minutes before the game starts. These are located on the outer sides of the home and visiting dugouts. Standard tickets range from $20 to $37, and are available through Ticketmaster, online or at the Ticket Office at 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento, CA 95651.


3. Ride the Crazy Dane Coaster

Crazy Dane Coaster

This wild ride is part of the Scandia Family Fun Center. Riders must be at least 48” tall to ride it, but the amusement park has plenty of other attractions to try. The Norway Flier just opened and riders over 36” can ride with an adult. The center has bumper boats, mini-golf, a raceway, batting cages an arcade and a snack bar which opens at 11am every day. An Unlimited VIP Pass for 48” and over is $23.75 per person. An Unlimited JR VIP Pass for under 48” is $15.75 per person. Single attraction tickets are sold at $1.25 each. There are also unlimited golf passes and baseball passes available at varied rates.


4. Explore Old Sacramento Underground

Old Sacramento

Sacramento experienced flooding during the 1860s and 1870s, so streets and buildings were raised to solve the problem. Using jacks to raise the city created an Underground area. The Sacramento History Museum takes guided tours into these hidden places. The tour is a half mile long and led by guides who stepped out of history to lead folks into the city depths. Each walking tour takes about one hour, and there are low ceilings and uneven surfaces along the way. Tour guests should dress for the weather as it is outdoors that day, and part of the tour is outside. The underground spaces are not temperature regulated. Whether its sunny or rainy, tours run regularly, departing from the museum location at 101 I Street in Old Sacramento. No photography is allowed Underground. Tickets are $15 per Adult, $10 for Youth. Children 5 and under are free, but the museum doesn’t recommend taking this age group on the tour.


5. Raft on the American River

Raft on the American River

There’s plenty of thrills on a float trip down the American River. Sacramento is lucky to have two rivers surrounding it, and when it’s warm outside people head out to enjoy the water. Floating is one great way to see the rivers, and its lucky that the American River has portions which are suitable for it, as well as white-knuckle white water rafting. River Rat has been outfitting rafters for the American River since 1974. The company rents inflatable kayaks and rafts. A two person kayak costs $59 a day, and comes with life jackets, a pump, paddles and the raft.


6. Safari Overnight at the Sacramento Zoo

Sacramento Zoo

In June, July and August, the Zoo offers its Family Overnight Safaris for intrepid young explorers and their families. The daily zoo schedule ends at 5:30, but at 6:00 things get wild. Overnight Safari visitors enter the back gate of the zoo and begin their adventure by setting up camp on the reptile house lawn. Dinner is served, and the tour begins. Campers feed the nocturnal animals and spend the evening encountering the animals. Sleeping under the stars or in tents are both welcomed. In the morning, breaking down camp is followed by breakfast with the zoo animals, the Morning Walkabout and feeding the animals. Everyone gets to stay and explore the zoo the next day. The price is $65 per person for non-members, and $55 per person for Sacramento Zoo members.


7. Dine on the Delta King

The Delta King, now a hotel

The Delta King is an authentic riverboat which is permanently moored in the river alongside the dock in Old Sacramento. It houses a hotel, two exceptional restaurants, two professional theaters, facilities for weddings, meetings, and banquets, a variety of entertainment and a wine school. The riverfront dining is delicious and the views of the river are wonderful. Guests can opt to attend an Evening of Suspects Dinner Theater, where dinner is served as part of an audience participation murder mystery comedy. Friday shows start at $39.50 per person and Saturday shows start at $43.20 per person.


8. Ride the Sacramento Southern Railroad

Sacramento Southern Railroad

Departing every hour on the hour on Saturdays and Sundays beginning on April 4 and running until September 27, Excursion Train Rides offer visitors the chance to ride in vintage railroad cars from the California State Railroad Museum’s collection. Included are open-air gondolas, closed coach cars, and a first-class observation car, which are all pulled by diesel locomotives. The rides depart in Old Sacramento from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot located on Front Street between J and K, weather permitting. Regular coach tickets are $12 adults, $6 youth and ages 5 and under ride for free.


9. Play with the Little Ones at Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town has been a Sacramento play space for more than 50 years. It features imagination opportunities for families to enjoy. There are 25 unique playsets with fairy tale and nursery rhyme themes, two performing arts stages, friendly farm animals, and gardens to explore. The Dish & Spoon Café is open around the year, offering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, popcorn, hot dogs, fresh fruit, ice cream and beverages. Little ones love to slide down the Rabbit Hole Slide into Wonderland, and visit the bright pink Hickory, Dickory Dock clock. Adult admission on weekdays is just $4.75 and Children ages 2 to 12 is the same. Weekends & Holidays is just $1 more per admission. Children 1 and under are free. Members are also free.


10. Cruise the Sacramento River

Sacramento River

Take any of a number of cruises tailored to show off the Sacramento city sights and explore the history of the Capitol of California. From 4th of July Fireworks cruising to Gold Rush history, Sacramento is a city with a heritage of river travel and exploration. Prices for individual day tours vary, but average about $30 per Adult, about $28 per Senior and Military, and about $15 per Child ages 4 to 12 years old. Kids ages 3 and under are free.



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