This time of year is unique. The children have just gone back to school and their days are full, but yours has become less cluttered. However, just because they are in school every day is no reason to stop having family days. Below you will find a number of fall activities for the family to enjoy that will only cost you your time and the gas to get there.
Jelly Belly Candy Company
One Jelly Belly Lane
Fairfield, CA 94533
The Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Fairfield will be setting up its annual haunted house beginning Monday, October 12, and will be open through November 1. This is part of the free daily tour through Halloween. In business since 1898, this company has 74 other goodies it offer besides the jelly bean. In 1983, it became the first jelly bean to go into space as travelers on the space shuttle Challenger. The Fairfield Jelly Bean Factory has more to offer than the daily free tour. It also welcomes group tours, has a chocolate and wine tasting tour daily and offers a candy store, café, chocolate shoppe and a conference room that can be rented.
Free Admission Day & Canned Food Drive
3901 Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
On November 29, the day after Thanksgiving, Fairytale Town offers free admission to those who bring a canned food item to donate to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. This is its Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive. Other activities offered that day are free arts and crafts and activities. There is also a puppet show at an additional cost.
CA State Capitol Museum
State Capitol, Room B-27
10th and L Sts.
Sacramento, CA 95814
The California State Capitol Museum has great color sheets for the children, such as the California Seal found here. It conducts public tours every day, starting on the hour, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the Basement Theater, you will find free historical films shown daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is planning daily Holiday Music Concerts starting December 1 through December 23, 2013 in the first floor rotunda. Its newest exhibition titled “The Dust Bowl, California, and the Politics of Hard Times” will run through May 15, 2014. This exhibit covers the impact the Dust Bowl migrants had on California’s cultural, social and political arenas.
Nimbus Fish Hatchery
2001 Nimbus Road, Suite F
Gold River, CA 95670
An exciting place to visit in November or December would be the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. This is the time of year of the salmon run. Here you will be able to see the salmon swimming upstream to lay their eggs. Families can drop in Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In order to feed the fish, it is recommended you bring quarters to purchase fish food from the vending machines.
Thanksgiving Weekend Equestrian Ride
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy
Deer Creek Hills Preserve
What child does not dream of riding a horse? Here is their opportunity. The Sacramento Valley Conservancy invites you to its free Equestrian Ride on Thanksgiving weekend, November 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ride lasts approximately two and a half hours. It is recommended that you bring along a turkey sandwich for this event. The gates open at 10 a.m. and the ride out will be around 11 a.m. You must RSVP online, as well as download and fill out the liability form to hand in when checking in, preferably with emergency contact information in case of emergency. With the approach of autumn, it is recommended that you dress in layers and rain gear. For more information, contact Gina Silvernale.
Related: Best Fall Festivals In Sacramento
Deb Ling is a freelance writer covering all things Sacramento. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.