Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Traveling with kids: Sacramento

Two weeks ago, my brother met up with our family in Sacramento for a mini-reunion. Since our group had four kids 4 and under (plus 2 babies), we decided to make it a "kid-focused" trip.

Our first stop was Fairytale Town. I was really excited about this little place. Size-wise, it was perfect for our group. We didn't get separated too easily and when we did, it was fairly easy to track the others down. We arrived right before closing time, although they will let you stay an hour after closing time if you are already in the park. My sister had a coupon for 20% off that she printed from the Entertainment Book, and all but one of the kids were free, so our group got in for a pretty good price.

The downside to going at closing time is that all the animals had already been put away. Bummer. We could peek at a few of them in their cages, but that wasn't quite as exciting.

The biggest hit of the park? There were two: the treehouse slide, which my nephew desperately wanted to tackle head first, and the Crooked Mile. My girls walked that crooked mile half a dozen times and were not one bit tired of it!

Great for little kids (under 5). Perfect price, especially for going with bigger groups. You can easily see everything in about an hour or so, perfect for those short attention spans.

The next day we hit the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. We didn't get in to the museum because the train was leaving. It's an actual train that takes you on a 40 minute ride along the river. We were on the first train of the day and it was a little crowded, but nice to be able to just sit. All the kids were good about staying in their seats. The train does stop at the halfway point and turn around, so you're free to get up and walk around during that stretch, which is good for the kids.

Old Sacramento is so cute. They have lots of different shops (especially candy shops) and even in the heat of the day, the shaded sidewalks are nice to walk down. We stopped to get an ice cream bar from one of the stores as we took in the sights.

A must see. Great for all ages. You can gauge this to suit your budget. Train rides are $9 per person, with kids under 5 free and kids 6-17 for $4. The same prices apply to a visit to the museum. Even if you don't ride the train, it's fun to walk around downtown and see the train leaving from the depot. Several people are dressed in period costume, which is always fun. There is paid parking at the nearby garage, but several stores and restaurants offer validation.

Tune in tomorrow for more on my Sacramento trip, including where to stay and eat.

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