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The 2008 Summer Fun Guide

May 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

This year, our Annual Summer Fun Guide celebrates the theme, “you don’t have to go far to have fun.” We toast our local area’s plentiful opportunities for excitement and adventure, including whitewater rafting, panning for gold, biking down ski slopes, exploring crystal caverns and enjoying a day at the beach.

With so many fun activities available right in our own backyard – all within an hour and a half of Folsom, El Dorado Hills or Placerville – you just may have trouble finding enough days this summer to do them all.

While most prospects listed are suitable for the entire family, we included special sections, one geared just for little ones, and another focused on fun for adults (couples and singles alike).

In Folsom...
Join the fun at the Cummings Family Skate and Bike Park, Folsom’s new BMX track and skate park, which includes a tot-sized playground, basketball court and more. 916-817-2767,

We can’t talk about summer fun in Folsom without taking our hats off to the 48th Annual Folsom Pro Rodeo, July 3-5. Traditional rodeo competitions are joined with a fair, fire works, an aerial show and live music for oodles of fun for all. 916-985-5555,

The City of Folsom offers something for everyone this summer. Day camps focusing on performing arts, fine arts, Mad Science, math, engineering camps, horseback riding and sports will keep kids and teens entertained and engaged. There’s even a Fire Camp for older kids interested in experiencing the life of a firefighter. But the fun doesn’t stop at any age – adult classes and The Edge teen center also offer many exciting activities and opportunities. Discounts for Folsom residents, but open to everyone. 916-355-7285,

Find new animal friends at the Folsom Zoo. This summer, the sanctuary features four different day camps for animal lovers and future counselors, ages four all the way up to 17. 916- 351-3527,

In El Dorado Hills...
Community Services District (CSD) 916-933-6624,
There’s summer fun for young and old in El Dorado Hills. First off, mark your calendars to go camping without packing your car full. Brand new this year is the CSD’s Family Campout featuring a scavenger hunt, a tent decorating contest, family game competitions, a family talent show, and a good old-fashioned campfire. Located at the Community Park, the event includes dinner and breakfast, as well as light snacks. June 7, 3 p.m. to 10 a.m. on June 8.

Check out the Summer Activity Guide for oodles of other camps and classes offered for both adults and kids, including a junior lifeguard program, sports camps and dancing.

The 2008 Summer Concert Series continues at the El Dorado Hills Community Park with tributes to 80s bands on June 6, June 20, July 11 and July 25.

The Teen Center will celebrate summer with weekly field trips for teens June 9 through August 15.

In the Surrounding Areas...
Mark your calendars for the 9th Annual Summer Spectacular at Cameron Park Lake on Saturday, June 28. Festivities start at noon with crafts, carnival rides, games and live entertainment and conclude at dusk with a wonderful fireworks show over the lake. Take a look in the Cameron Park Community Services District Summer Activity Guide to find the schedule for kids' sports camps and adult sports and leisure classes. 530-677-2231,

Stake a claim at Strike It Rich Adventures where you can discover underground mine tours and gold panning lessons for all ages at the historic Gold Bug Park. 530-333-2558,

Check out the City of Placerville's Summer Activity Guide offering a variety of youth sports camps for children of all ages, including Mighty Mites Sports Camps, Junior Lifeguard camp, girls and boys basketball, Cougar football, Jr. football, soccer, cheerleading and tennis. 530-642-5232,

Also in the hills, about an hour south of us, Amador County offers uniquely fun adventures that get to the heart of our area’s rich heritage. Just outside the quaint town of Volcano, the Black Chasm Cavern, designated as a National Natural Landmark, offers a breath-taking display of natural formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and the rare helictite crystals. Guided daily 50-minute walking tours plunge deep underground on often steep and challenging terrain. 866-762-2837,

Just because the snow has melted, doesn’t mean mountain fun is over. A trip to Kirkwood Ski Resort off Highway 88 is a great getaway for the whole family. On weekends between July 1 and Labor Day, Kirkwood runs a climbing wall, ropes course, horseback riding, and a championship disc golf course, and boasts more than 20 lakes within a five-mile hike of the main property. The resort also has a mountain bike park – accessed at the top of the mountain via chairlift for the wild ride to the bottom. 209-258-7360,

Nearby, visit Chaw’se Indian Grinding Rock State Park between Pine Grove and Volcano for a beautifully reconstructed Miwok village, complete with roundhouse, bark houses, acorn granaries, a museum and the namesake Grinding Rock with an estimated 1185 mortar holes. Traditional Native American ceremonies, basket weaving and soapstone carving demonstrations are held throughout the summer. 209-296-7488,

The South Fork of the American River is one of the most popular places in California for whitewater rafting. Whether going for a half-day or a two-day adventure, you can count on Class 3 rapids, beautiful scenery and lots of excitement. The suggested minimum age for children is eight years old. 800-247-2387,

Apple Hill isn’t only famous for picking fall apples, you know. There are plenty of other activities year-round. Summertime is the peak berry picking time and at places such as Patrick’s Berry Farm, picking thornless blackberries is terrific, safe fun for little kids. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. 530-647-2833,

Escape to El Dorado National Forest and Desolation Wilderness for the day or a weekend and enjoy 15 trails, an estimated 150 alpine lakes, and elevations from 7,000 to 10,000 feet. The forest is located just past Pollock Pines and visitor permits are required. 530-647-5415,

As you head back down the hill, peak in at the Sutter Creek Gold Mine, a modern rock mine that offers hard-hat underground tours and above ground gemstone mining – great for families or groups. 866-762-2837,

Kicks for younger kids...
At Funtastic Play Center, in the El Dorado Hills Business Park, Mad Science Camps will keep kids ages 5-8 busy this summer. From decoding secret messages at the Spy Academy to conducting cool experiments at the Science Variety Camp. In addition, daily art, music, Spanish and cooking classes will be offered for all ages. 916-933-1077,

Music Together of Folsom and El Dorado Hills offers a six-week summer session, starting June 30 in both Folsom and El Dorado Hills for babies through kindergartners and the adults who love them. A curriculum pioneer since 1987, Music Together’s enriching and fun-filled classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. 916-716-2844,

In the spirit of the Summer Olympics, Tricks Gymnastics in Folsom is offering several camps such as “Go for the Gold” and “Jumping to the Olympics” for younger kids as well as teens. Want to learn to do a back handspring or master the vault? Hour and a half clinics will teach you how. 916-351-0024,

KidsPark of Folsom, offering daily drop-in childcare for children ages 2-12, is planning a summer full of weekly themes that include ice cream socials and dance parties, and highlight friends, games, art, food and lots of fun. 916-983-5858,

Fun in the Sun...
One of our area’s best-kept secrets is Granite Beach on Folsom Lake, easily accessed off Folsom-Auburn Road. The sandy beach, buoyed swim area and lifeguard services make you feel like you’re at the ocean. Conveniences such as a snack bar, barbeque pits, large grassy spaces and shaded areas make this the perfect place for a family day trip. Equipment and activity rentals include pedal boats, canoes, sailboats and jet skis among other toys. 916-791-8200,

Sacramento State’s Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma, just off Highway 50 at Hazel Avenue, offers beach and barbeque facilities as well as weekly Summer Youth Camps for children 7-17, starting June 9 through August 29. Camp activities include sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, motorboat safety, wake boarding, water skiing, jet skiing, rowing, white water raft trips and the Challenge Course. 916- 278-2842,

Playtime for all...
Let your wild side out at the Sacramento Zoo, located near the corner of Sutterville Road and Land Park Drive. A packed schedule of camps and classes over the summer months teaches kids, ages 2-14, all about the animals, their habitats and ecology in a fun and educational setting. You can even take a Family Overnight Safari on designated weekends. 916-808-5888,

Make plans to do one of “our favorite things,” take the entire family down to Sacramento for a live musical performance that they will remember for the rest of their lives. As part of the California Music Theater Music Circus’ summer series at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, the classic “Sound of Music” plays July 5-July 13 and is recommended for ages four and up. Discounted ticket prices for children and groups are available. 916-557-1999,

Don’t forget to check out our local county fairs. Mark the dates down for the El Dorado County Fair on June 12-15 (, the Placer County Fair on June 19-22 ( and the Amador County Fair on July 24-27. (

Across the street from the zoo, registration is already underway for Fairytale Town’s FunCamps, an interactive way for kids to learn about gardening, animal care, performing arts and more for children ages 4-10. 916-264-5233, Make a day of your outing and include a trip next door to Funderland, a mini amusement park for kids ages 2-12. 916-456-0115,

Grab your mitts and catch River Cats Minor League Baseball at Raley Field in West Sacramento. Enjoy the thrill of a baseball game on a beautiful summer day or under the stars. Coca-Cola Kids Corner offers games and rides for kids of all ages and every week features Nestle Drumstick Family Fun Friday. This year’s River Cats Baseball Camps for kids will be held June 19-20 and July 31-August 1. Don’t miss Dingers Birthday Bash on Sunday, July 20th and Fan Appreciation Night on September 1. 916-371-4487,

Can’t wait to see what type of food gets deep-fried this year? The California State Fair at Cal Expo runs from August 15-September 1, providing games, rides, exhibits and entertainment for all. Live concerts and special events offer bountiful opportunities to grab some fun.

For adults only...
Having fun this summer doesn’t require planning a long road trip or an expensive excursion. There are plenty of events, camps and adventures right here to keep the fun flowing all summer long.

Roll Out The Barrel. Ranked as one of the largest wine growing regions in the state, El Dorado County, ( is home to 50 different wineries that collectively offer a summer full of vintner dinners, live concerts, tastings and tours. And in the next county over, Amador County Wine Country boasts a total of 37 wineries and tasting rooms. After a day of responsible wine tasting, dine at the four-star Taste Restaurant ( in downtown Plymouth, truly one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Folsom-based Broadstone Express ( is just one of the local companies offering affordable, chauffeured town car transportation options for those looking to spend the day touring local wineries.

For those willing to drive just a little over an hour up the hill, Lake Tahoe offers a plethora of activities and events for couples and singles alike. Just some of the festivities on both shores include the Valhalla Renaissance Fair at Camp Richardson, May 31-June 1 and June 7-8 (, the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, July 8-13 ( the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, July 10-August 17 (, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival on North Shore, July 19-August 9 (, Squaw Valley’s Seventh Annual Art Wine and Music Festival, July 19-20 (, Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance, August 7-13 ( and, of course, various Fourth of July Celebrations around the Lake, featuring the largest synchronized fireworks display west of the Mississippi.

At Raley Field, grab some friends and chill with Lynyrd Skynyrd on July 11, and the Dave Matthews Band on August 25. 916- 376-4676,

And last, but not least...
California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights
On July 6, 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a proclamation recognizing The California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, which is a list of activities that every child in California would benefit from experiencing, before entering high school. Numerous studies document that children who do these things are healthier, do better in school, have better social skills and self-image, and lead more fulfilled lives. As outlined, every child should have the opportunity to:
• Discover California’s Past
• Splash in the water
• Play in a safe place
• Camp under the stars
• Explore nature
• Learn to swim
• Play on a team
• Follow a trail
• Catch a fish
• Celebrate their heritage
Find out more at