By Linda Bottjer

How do you protect your sanity when the kids all want to do something different? Well, you can make
everyone under the age of 12 happy, by heading to Land Park.

Tucked into the Park’s southwest corner the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytown Tale and Funderland are
located within yards of each other. This trio of thrilling family fun offers exotic animals, princess
transportation and high-flying rides.

Free parking in shady parking lots or under tree-lined streets helps one’s budget. Further the savings by
picnicking at one of the many tables and benches found outside the three attractions. Each offers the
occasional free admission day during the year.

(credit: Sacramento Zoo)

Sacramento Zoo
3930 West Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except during holidays and
November, December and January opens at 10 a.m.
Price: Ticket prices range from $6.00 – $11.00 dependent on day
Zoo and Fairytale Town combination tickets available.
(916) 808-5888
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With 14 acres this is a small zoo. However, it brings a rich diversity of over 400 animals, from many continents, to its visitors.

The most excited welcome comes from the guttural screams of black and white ruffed lemurs. Other primates include chimpanzees, gibbons and an orangutan.

Further up the pathway auburn and white striped Bongo antelopes observe the observers while slowly chewing their cud. Other African-native ungulates include Grevy’s zebras and giraffes.

For an extra fee meet giraffes at the Tall World deck. Twice daily you can ogle these majestic animals while keepers offer them tree branches. Don’t forget to get your camera ready to snap some photos.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take spectacular shots of prowling African lions, snow leopards and jaquers.

Here’s an insider’s warning: the horrible stench near the Southern Tamandua’s cage is actually the anteaters’ scent. It is four times more powerful than a skunk’s so you better stand back a bit.

Interesting animals facts are available with a free cell phone tour, yellow-shirted docents and scheduled keeper chats.

Hop the zoo train to the Australian Outback, where kangaroos and wallabies flourish or the Claire Mower Red Panda Forest.

Pink flamingos are the most dramatic looking of the zoo’s many feathered friends.

Annual Zoo Events: Boo at the Zoo (October), Holiday Magic (December), Family Overnight Safaris (Summer)

Humpty Dumpty Greets all at Fairytale Town

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Fairytale Town
3901 West Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA
Hours: March 1 to October 31 – Daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
November to February – Thurs to Sun – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Ticket prices range from $4.00 – $4.50 dependent on day
Zoo and Fairytale Town combination tickets available
(916) 808-5233
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In Fairytale Town make believe is encouraged through reading. The magic begins as soon as you enter through Humpty Dumpty’s gate. King Arthur’s Castle spans a moat and across from Camelot old Mother Hubbard’s high-buttoned shoe is accessorized with a slide. Live animals can be found at Farmer Brown’s Barn. His free-range chickens scoot across pathways and under scrubs.

Princesses in training will adore riding in a coach pulled by white horses while would be pirates can board a ship that would have made Captain Hook proud. And younger kids will be inspired to work towards as goal as “Little Red Engine that Could” comes to life.

Sherwood Forest’s gentle giant Little John greets those ready to play in his rustic playground as Mr. McGregor’s Garden allows children to water a summertime garden.

Serenity reigns at the Japanese Garden, and further fun is fueled by a stop at the Dish and Spoon Café.

Annual Fairytale Town events: Humpty’s Western Round-Up (June), Moonlight Costume Ball (August)

(Credit: Funderland)

1350 17th Street
Sacramento, CA
Hours: Open daily (hours vary by day and month)
Closed December and January
Price: Entrance is free
Ride tickets range from $1.75 – $1.95 with discount options available
(916) 456-0115
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Transporting a child’s imagination through spinning teacups, Chinese dragons and high flying airplanes and other rides is a Funderland tradition.

Since the late 1940s a small amusement park has operated at Lands Park.

A sense of times gone by are celebrated here — from old time kiddie cars traversing past early 20th century style gas stations, the mini train that circles the park and a colorful carousel with prancing horses and flower festooned swan boats.

Rides with a local historical slant include the Fort Sutter stagecoach ride and the Log Flume.

Food with vegetarian and organic options are available.

Annual Funderland Events: Easter Egg Bash (Spring), Military Appreciation Days (July)

Linda Bottjer is a full time writer whose natural curiosity buoys her sense of adventure. Her work can be found at