Posts Tagged ‘Christmas 2009’

Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2009

We know you’ll be spending the next few days and (hopefully) on into the weekend immersed in family, good food and celebration. May and I want to wish you a very happy holidays. Enjoy the time with your loved ones. We’ll be back on Monday with more fun and *FREE* or cheap activities to do in and around East Sacramento.

If you need ideas or suggestions on what to do over the holidays, check out our calendar (which can be accessed by the button on the right), the ice rink post, or spend an afternoon at ArtBeast.

We’ll see you there!

What are you and your families doing over the next couple of weeks? Any suggestions for other East Sac Moms for how to entertain kids during winter break? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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FREE Admission to Fairytale Town and the Sacramento Zoo

December 22, 2009

 More *FREE* fun for kids out of school for winter break! This Thursday admission to the William Land Park’s Fairytale Town and the Sacramento Zoo is complimentary. Take some time out from the hurried pace of the holidays and invest in quality time with your family that involves penguins, flamingoes, rides and slides.

Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Drive and for more information click here or call 916.264.5233.

The Sacramento Zoo is located at 3930 West Land Park Drive and for more information click here or call 916.808.5888.

We’ll see you there!

2009 Battle of the Santas

December 21, 2009

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized not all Santas are equal.  Some look more “realistic”, some are friendlier, and some Santas are set in better locations.

This year, my son and I visited two Santas, and have two pictures to prove it.  He is not yet two, so he hasn’t noticed that small inconsistencies between the plethora of Santas floating around this time of year.  Different colored red suits, or real versus fake beards.  And, why do some Santas where glasses, and some don’t?  Does Santa have contacts that he pops in some mornings?

I came up with a rating system, or “rubric”.  Being a teacher the big professional buzzword is rubric, its basically a scoring system with set guidelines.  Here is a simplified version.

Santa’s Location “realistic” appearance

(minus points for fake beard or stuffed belly)

Friendliness of Santa Santa’s ability to stay in character (must use phrases such as “ho, ho, ho” and “have you been good this year?” Time Santa spends with child (including Santa’s patience as child tries to remember what he wants for Christmas) Helpfulness of Santa’s Elves (patience and help getting the perfect child on Santa’s lap pic) Value of Picture Package (cost of pictures and quality of shot, bonus point if they will email the pic to you) Overall Score
Points Possible 5 5 5 5 5 5 30
Comments              

 Below are my ratings:

Santa’s Location “realistic” appearance

(minus points for fake beard or stuffed belly)

Friendliness of Santa Santa’s ability to stay in character (must use phrases such as “ho, ho, ho” and “have you been good this year?” Time Santa spends with child (including Santa’s patience as child tries to remember what he wants for Christmas) Helpfulness of Santa’s Elves (patience and help getting the perfect child on Santa’s lap pic) Value of Picture Package (cost of pictures and quality of shot, bonus point if they will email the pic to you) Overall Score
Country Club Plaza 4 5 5 5 5 5 29
Comments Beard was fake, but tummy seemed real! Awesome!

My son loved him.

Even had candy canes and sang songs. We spend two and a half hours warming up to Santa They were very patient (for two and a half hours) $30 got me a picture on a CD and a $20 credit at Shutterfly  

 

Santa’s Location “realistic” appearance

(minus points for fake beard or stuffed belly)

Friendliness of Santa Santa’s ability to stay in character (must use phrases such as “ho, ho, ho” and “have you been good this year?” Time Santa spends with child (including Santa’s patience as child tries to remember what he wants for Christmas) Helpfulness of Santa’s Elves (patience and help getting the perfect child on Santa’s lap pic) Value of Picture Package (cost of pictures and quality of shot, bonus point if they will email the pic to you) Overall Score
Midtown Santa (Santa’s Toy Shoppe) 5 5 5 4 4 4 27
Comments 100% genuine This Santa even has storytime! A little different from the typical character, but still good A little rushed The staff are not professional Elves and struggled a little $15 for one picture with Santa (they said they would email it, but I am still waiting 2 weeks later)  

ArtBeast’s Winter Solstice Party

December 16, 2009

With all of the other holidays to celebrate, the winter solstice gets lost in the mix. Join ArtBeast in celebrating the official start of the season with yoga, storytelling, art, music and dance. Explore the values of giving, gratitude and joy (we could all use a reminder, especially after all of the last-minute shopping.) After the workshop, join the potluck!

The Winter Solstice Party will take place on Sunday, December 20th from 2-4PM. Admission to ArtBeast is $8 per adult, $8 per child and free for extra adults in the family. Don’t forget that your admission is tax-deductible because all proceeds go to support the Tubman House. Talk about doing good.

ArtBeast is located at 2226 K Street and for more information click here or call 916.441.1233.

We’ll see you there!

Have you been to ArtBeast yet? Taken a class? What did you think? What did your kids think?

P.S. Need a last-minute gift? Why not enter to win *FREE* passes to the California State Railroad Museum? Click here and comment!

Santa visting the McKinley Library!

December 7, 2009

The big guy has a lot of stops to make on December 25th so it only makes sense that he would get all his cameos out of the way earlier in the month. December is his time to shine, after all.

Accompanying Santa at McKinley this Saturday, December 12th will be The Amazing Harmonatras with a fun interactive children’s music program. (In case you have difficulty dragging the older children out of the house, let them know there will be treats too.) The party will have those too. This year marks the 14th annual holiday celebration and is a way for the Friends of McKinley Library to say “thank you” to the neighborhood for your support.

Join the party and say hello to Mr. Clause before his schedule gets even more hectic this Saturday from 11AM to 12:30PM. McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard. For more information click here or call 916.264.2770.

At what age did your kids stop believing in Santa? May and I were talking this weekend about the subject of Santa in general. Do you think it distracts from the real meaning of Christmas? Or do you feel the “spirit” of Santa fosters the feeling of love and giving that the holidays are all about? We’d love to get your thoughts. Leave a comment below!

P.S. Stay tuned for our December giveaway on Friday! Details to come…

Toys for Tots and the Sacramento Zoo

December 3, 2009

Now through December 12th the Sacramento Zoo is offering *FREE* children’s admission with a donation for Toys for Tots!

The best part? The ticket can be used at your convenience. Head down there this week to make your new, unwrapped toy donation (feel good that you have helped make a child’s Christmas special) and leave with a *FREE* zoo pass. Merry Christmas to YOU! (And me, because I will definitely be making a donation this week.)

The Sacramento Zoo is located at 3930 West Land Park Drive and is open daily from 10AM-4PM.

For more information click here or call 916.808.5888.

Santa’s Toy Shoppe (or Story Time with Santa)

December 2, 2009

This will be my baby’s first Christmas and one thing I’ve been looking forward to is taking him to get the traditional “Santa picture”. The funny part is that I’m not one of those parents who wants to raise my child to believe in Santa! My parents have pictures of my brothers and I sitting on Santa’s lap in the mall when we were growing up and they are all hilarious– whether it’s the classic “unknowing baby” picture, the poplar “screaming toddler” shot, or eventually the  “grinning-from-ear-to-ear kid” photo.

Rather than standing in line at the mall (which this East Sac Mom avoids at all costs) we’ll be heading over to Santa’s Toy Shoppe in midtown this year! The Toy Shoppe is sponsored by the Midtown Business Association and is located at 1801 L Street in suite 70. Admission to see Santa is $3 per child (under 12) with a toy donation or $5 without. Proceeds for photos with Santa go to benefit the Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project and the CBS 13/CW31 Good Day to Give campaign. The Shoppe is also a donation location for the Good Day to Give campaign.

Santa’s Toy Shoppe is open this Friday (December 4th) through Sunday, December 20th the following days and times:

Fridays 4-8PM
Saturday 10AM-4PM
Sunday 10AM-5PM

Special hours include Sunday, December 5th after the Parade of Lights (6-8PM) as well as Monday, December 21st through Wednesday, December 23rd (12-4PM.)

Maybe your kids are over Santa Clause? You can still participate and be a volunteer in the Toy Shoppe! Give the Midtown Business Association at 916.442.1500 to see how you can help.

For more information about Santa’s Toy Shoppe click here or call 916.442.1500.

Do you take your kids to have their picture taken with Santa? Do you remember going when you were younger? Know any good Santa’s to get your picture taken with? We’d love to know! Leave us a comment below.

We’ll see you there!

Carnival of Lights and Carnival at St. Rose

December 1, 2009

One of our family’s favorite holiday activities is walking around East Sacramento and enjoying the gorgeous light displays and decorations. We load the thermos with hot chocolate, bundle up with scarves, gloves and beanies, and enjoy the fruits of our neighbors’ labor. Not only is the walk great exercise, it is good for both the environment and our budget (saving money in gas instead of driving.)

If the weather doesn’t permit walking or you’d like to take in some professionally assembled displays you need to make time in the next month to see the Downtown Partnership’s Carnival of Lights!

This holiday season, the Carnival of Lights will delight visitors with a dazzling display of lights throughout the Central City from the waterfront through Midtown. Lights, reminiscent of the historic Grand Electric Carnival of 1895, will be on display November 25 through January 3. Downtown Sacramento will be aglow with colorful lights, twinkling trees, shooting stars, holiday banners and much more!

The promotion, produced by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, will connect holiday events including Old Sacramento’s Theatre of Lights and Carnival at St. Rose with downtown retailers, hotels and restaurants. The decorative lighting will create a magical and memorable pedestrian experience.

The Carnival of Lights is the Downtown Partnership’s effort to make up for not hosting the Downtown Holiday Ice Rink and encompasses the area between Old Sacramento and 7th and K Streets (where you will find the Carnival at St. Rose!)

Complete with classic carnival games, rides and food vendors, the Carnival at St. Rose will “bring the holidays to life at 7th & K streets.” The Carnival at St. Rose is subject to weather restrictions, but is generally open to the public daily through January 3rd from noon to 8PM. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors over 55 and children under 12. The Carnival at St. Rose is located at Lima Park at 7th and K Streets.

Where to park? Parking validation is available for the Westfield Downtown Plaza (garage entrances are located at 5th and J Streets and 4th and L Streets) but you may also find street parking (if you’re lucky!)

For more information about the Carnival at St. Rose click here or call 916.442.5563.

For more information about the Carnival of Lights click here or call 916.442.8575.

Are you planning to check out either of the light displays? Are there any neighborhood displays you would recommend? Share with other readers by commenting on this post. We appreciate your feedback.

We’ll see you there!

Shop East Sacramento

November 27, 2009

Happy Black Friday! I will go ahead and confess that I was up at 2:45AM today in order to join the rest of the crazies who shop Black Friday. It’s not as if I was camped out anywhere days ahead of time though. (Were you? Do tell!)

Now that we are “officially” into the countdown to Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or  New Years Eve) it seems like nearly everyone will be shopping in one form or another. Don’t forget to support local business!

Listed below are a few of our favorites. Which stores to you hit up for holiday gifts? Any can’t miss items we should know about? Leave us a comment on this post!

  • Ivy House: This one is at the top of our list for good reason. The BEST place in East Sac to find gorgeous and unique gifts (or decorating inspiration.)
  • Pulp Papery: Best for fun baby shower gifts, unique greeting cards and specialty wrapping paper and tissue.
  • Koukla Kids: Adorable boutique children’s attire.
  • East Sacramento Hardware: Don’t overlook them for gift cards! Instead of Home Depot why not choose a local small business?
  • Antique Row: Being environmentally responsible is cool– shop Antique Row on 57th Street and teach your kids to give new life to old things.
  • The Yoga Solution: In case you want to give the gift of health and relaxation (and mommy alone-time!)
  • Serendipity Boutique: Specialty women’s clothing and accessories that are perfect for an extra special (um, slightly pricey) gift.
  • Of course there are numerous restaurants in East Sacramento that offer gift certificates, be sure to inquire at your favorite locale.

Come back on Monday to find out how to get a chance to win *FREE* tickets to the Sacramento Ballet’s Nutcracker by visiting local businesses. In the meantime, be sure to check out our sidebar to find some great East Sacramento activities happening this weekend.

Happy shopping!

Thanksgiving Weekend

November 25, 2009

This is a busy weekend in East Sacramento (and we are still catching up from our scheduled outage) so this is a multi-event post. Enjoy!

  • Friday, November 27th is *FREE* admission day at Fairytale Town with a canned food donation. The weather should be beautiful so go check it out! Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Drive; click here for more information or call 916.808.7462.
  • Friday, November 27th is also a *FREE* admission day at the Sacramento Zoo, thanks to Target! The Sacramento Zoo is located at 3930 West Land Park Drive and is open Friday from 10AM-4PM. There is also *FREE* on-street parking. This Friday the Marines will also be on-site to kick off the Toys For Tots program where anyone donating a new unwrapped gift receives a free child’s admission ticket to the Sacramento Zoo to use at their convenience. For more information click here or call 916.808.5888.
  • November 27-29 is Train Time for Santa at the California State Railroad Museum. You and your family can enjoy a variety of operating model train and toy train layouts on display. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 6-17. The California State Railroad Museum is located at 111 I Street and is open daily from 10AM-4PM. Click here or call 916.324.4950 for more information.

Enjoy Thanksgiving with your families and we’ll be back on Friday with more great *FREE* and cheap holiday activities for East Sac families. Also, check back in the coming weeks for the December giveaway!

We’ll see you at the Run to Feed the Hungry tomorrow!