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Summer Blast: 30 Fun Ways To Beat The Heat

It’s that time of the year again! For our 2022 Summer Fun Guide we’re invoking the great Paul Simon with 50 (or rather 30) Ways to Spend Your Summer: “Just jump in the pool, Abdul / Nosh on some ‘cue, Sue / Go to the Fair, Blair / And get out of this heat!” Summer camps, outdoor concerts, great local food, festivals, brews, and cold treats galore in the pages ahead. But wait, there’s more! Summer reading programs, guided hikes, star-gazing, train rides, and glamping, too! The only limit is your imagination. Slap on some sunscreen, bring a hat, and let’s go get some fun—despite the hot summer sun. Oh, and you can keep the earworm, that’s on the house.


Checking out California’s State Parks this summer has never been easier. Now you can check out a free vehicle day-use pass from your local public library. All you need is a library card. You can get day-use entry to over 200 participating state park units operated by State Parks, valid for entry for one passenger vehicle with the capacity of up to nine people or one highway licensed motorcycle. Visit your participating local library for details and explore some of California’s natural wonders!


Reading just five books over summer can help kids avoid the “summer slide.” Help them stay engaged by participating in one of the many Summer Reading Programs offered through your local libraries. Explore new worlds, win prizes, participate in fun live events, and help the libraries meet their reading goals. You can even track progress with the Beanstack app at participating branches. Programs tend to start in early June and run through July/August.

For announcements, dates, etc. on Folsom Library’s summer reading program, visit
Pollock Pines Library’s reading program begins June 1 through August 31 ( For info on El Dorado County Libraries, check Roseville Public Library’s summer reading program runs June 1 through July 31 (
For dates and more info on other Placer County Libraries’ summer reading programs, check

Folsom Parks & Recreation Summer Day Camps



If you want summer camps, the region has you covered in every way, shape, and form. Folsom Parks & Recreation Summer Day Camps run June through August and offer everything from vacation camp to zoo camp, fitness camps to STEM camps, Girl Power camps, and more ( City of Roseville Summer Camp program includes kids afternoon camps, tot day camps, teen day camps, and specialty camps for cooking, music, arts and crafts, and more ( City of Rocklin is encouraging kids and teens to have fun this summer with a wide variety of camps to participate in ( From mad science camps to fashion camps, swimming, sports camps, and more, El Dorado Hills CSD has summer camps on lock! (

Plus, there are other amazing camps being put on by independent organizations. Here are just a few highlights: Creative summer camps where you’ll get to explore anime, pop art, digital media, sculpture, and more, at Blue Line Arts, Roseville (; enriching week-long nature camps at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Carmichael (; thrill-seeking summer camps at Quarry Park Adventures, Rocklin (; and School of Rock Roseville music camps, including the Imagine Dragons camp (

Quarry Park Adventures



There’s nothing better than a summer night under the stars. How about giving the family the opportunity for a closer look? You can do it for free thanks to the fine folks at Placerville’s Community Observatory. Get up close and personal with the moon and the stars through their 17-inch and 14-inch reflecting telescopes. Open Fridays and Saturdays, 9-11 p.m.

Community Observatory



Holy batcave, Batman. You’ve heard of bats in the belfry but what about bats in the Causeway? True fact: Colonies of migratory bats live under the Yolo Causeway during summer. And it’s far from creepy—it’s super cool! Yolo Basin Foundation’s mission is to encourage all of us to be bat fans and embrace the coolness of bats with summertime Bat Talk and Walk events that help visitors learn all about these amazing and beneficial mammals. Events run mid-June through mid-September,

Yolo Causeway



Enjoy self-guided hikes through Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s Deer Creek Hills Nature Preserve in Sloughhouse every Saturday. There are three trails to choose from: North Pond Loop, 3 miles, mostly shaded; Two Ponds Loop, 4.5 miles, mostly under open skies; Barn Pond Loop, 6 miles with a mixture of open skies and shaded woodland. Cost is $10 and hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Off-road racing may be just the thing to bring the thrills this summer. Hangtown MX in Rancho Cordova is bringing their 53rd Annual Hangtown Motocross Classic on June 4. This is the oldest outdoor motocross race in the country so it’s not to be missed. Come watch the top motorcycle riders in Northern California for the ultimate adrenalin rush!  


You can be a nature-lover and not want to cosplay as Bear Grylls. Thanks to the concept of glamping, getting away from it all can involve comfort and even clean sheets. At the top of the list is the visually stunning option with all the mod-cons. You could be the envy of your social media followers by renting a Geodesic Dome in Pioneer. This groovy, private dome sleeps six, includes two bathrooms (towels and linens provided), Roku-equipped flatscreen TV, as well as a fully equipped kitchen. (Search “Unique and Secluded Dome Getaway near Sacramento, California” on

On the other end of the glamping scale, there’s shelter and location that still preserves the appearance of rugged outdoors—if you want to maintain credibility with your outdoorsy friends. Glamp in an off-the-grid riverfront stone cabin at Consumnes River Ranch in Plymouth. This cute rustic cabin sleeps two (bring your own bedding) and there’s no power or running water, but there is a private swimming hole and an outdoor fire pit.

El Dorado Western Railroad



There are crazy trains, midnight trains, downtown trains, and peace trains. How about a good old-fashioned history train? Check out the El Dorado Western Railroad, offering roundtrip rides on historic gangcars once used by railroad workers. Their 40- to 45-minute roundtrips depart at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m. every first and third Sunday. Tickets are $8 ages 9 and up; $3 ages 3-8; under three are free.


Admire from afar no more. Enjoy an up-close tour of some of the most breathtaking gardens in the El Dorado Hills region with the Gardens of the Hills 12th Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour sensational private residential gardens and the Sherwood Demonstration Garden, enjoy pop-up boutiques, a silent auction, a signature raffle, wine tasting, food for purchase, and more. Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Proceeds help El Dorado County’s disadvantaged and homeless children.

Gardens of the Hills



If you are as sure-footed as a mountain goat and looking for a different type of day trip this summer, take the family to visit Vikingsholm, Lake Tahoe’s secret castle. This true marvel of Scandinavian architecture has re-opened for tours and they’re happening seven days a week through September 30. Prepare for a steep hike down to the castle itself (not advised for those with medical conditions or mobility issues). Conducted by the Sierra State Parks Foundation, tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students 7-17 and with valid college IDs, active-duty military, and seniors. Admission is free for children under seven. Or, skip the hike and go by boat. Mondays through Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., you can cruise the waters of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay, and then tour the magnificent Vikingsholm.




Can you smell it? The faint smell of cotton candy and fried dough wafting on the breeze (mixed with those other specific farm smells of hay and *cough* “barn-aroma”). The fragrance can only mean one thing: It’s time for California State and County Fairs. Where else can you eat your weight in food on a stick, ride a bumper car, squee at baby farm animals, and buy a wonder mop as seen on TV? El Dorado County Fair is from June 16-19 at the Fair and Event Center (; Placer County Fair is from June 23-26 @The Grounds in Roseville (; Amador County Fair at the Fairgrounds is July 28-31, (; California Exposition & State Fair at Cal Expo is July 15-31 (; Gold Country Fair in Auburn is September 8-11 (

Placer County Fair



Get your calming summer vibes in bulk at the 2022 Lavender Festival “Lavender Blue Days” at Bluestone Meadow, Apple Hill. Celebrate summer with Apple Hill Growers in a fun festival featuring lavender (of course), but also blueberries, strawberries, wine, baked goods, jams, treats, activities, and more! This Apple Hill Growers Association event will span the last two weekends in June, 18-19 and 25-26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Some of the participating farms may require reservations, so check ahead with the farms you wish to visit.



Summer fruits are the best part of this season. Berries, peaches, plums—summer memories are made of these. Make a day out of picking your own fruit here in California’s fruit basket, where there’s a wealth of farms and produce to choose from, and the only thing holding you back is how much you can carry. Visit one of many U-pick farms around us: Granny May’s Strawberry Farm in Granite Bay, Patrick’s Berry Farm & Garden in Camino, Berry Heaven in Garden Valley, etc.

Granny May’s Strawberry Farm



Nothing beats the heat like a frozen beverage with an adult kick. Here are a few of our local favorites. El Dorado’s Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q makes their legendary Golden Cadillac: A frosty blend of Galliano, White Crème de Cacao, and cream, complete with a sidecar ( Milestone Restaurant in El Dorado Hills serves a mean Frozen MaiTai: A summer classic of light and dark rum, orange, pineapple, lime, and orgeat syrup ( Roseville’s The Boxing Donkey is famous for their Frozen Irish Coffee, made with Irish whiskey and espresso ( Corner Tavern & Grill in Folsom offers up The Great Blendini: A frosty, fruity, creamy whirlwind of Don Q Passion Rum, Triple Sec, orange juice, seasonal fruit, and vanilla gelato, blended and topped with whipped cream (

Poor Red's Bar-B-Q



Summer treats just keep getting crazier and more delicious. Here are a few from our local flavor wizards. In Folsom, Cià di Gelateria’s Sticky Rice Gelato with Mango Sorbet is truly a flavor combination from the Gods ( Give yourself an ice cream coma at The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs in Roseville. Their ‘The Works’ triple scoop milkshake is topped with a hot Nutella-filled donut, whipped cream, and all the toppings your heart desires ( Folsom’s Sweet Dozen Cones has a concept Cereal N’ Milk Cone which is a cinnamon-sugar “chimney” churro-meets-donut cone filled with vanilla gelato that's topped with your choice of cereal (Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Frosted Flakes) ( Taylors in Loomis makes a Coconut Crème Pie Shake that can best be described with three words: Elvis could never ( Folsom’s Brissa & Co. has an Ice Cream Concha that’s also known as a party in your mouth, and we say Hola! ( Lazi Cow in Folsom has a Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Milkshake that will serenade your tastebuds ( Rancho Cordova’s Arctic Fox Shaved Snow and Desserts is calling with its cool honeydew snow, strawberries, mango, and strawberry popping boba (

Cià di Gelateria



Our local brew masters are truly mad scientists in the summer beer category, and they’re giving the frozen treats crew a run for their money with gummy worms, tiki shakes, key lime pies, and the works—along with summer lagers, as the good lord intended. Make sure you sample some of our favorite drops from the region’s best breweries: Rancho Cordova’s Burning Barrel Brewing Co. for their Tiki Shakes: A Tiki-inspired smoothie sour (; New Glory Eatery & Taproom in Granite Bay for their Gummy Worms: American pale ale chock-full of “juicy” Pacific Northwest hops and “chewy” wheat malt (; Mraz Brewing Company in El Dorado Hills for their Curbside Cerveza: Their first and only Mexican lager (; Moksa Brewing Co. in Rocklin for their All Good Days West Coast IPA with a combination of citra and simcoe hops (; Out of Bounds Brewing Company in Rocklin for their Day Cruiser Light Lager: Their version of an American light lager (; GoatHouse Brewing Co. in Lincoln’s Lime Life: Fresh-hopped light ale with fresh lime (; Crooked Lane Brewing Company in Auburn’s Mandarin Pale Ale: American pale ale with Colwell Farms mandarin orange (; Moonraker Brewing Co. in Auburn for its Key Lime Pie of the Beholder: A tart, zesty key lime pie quick sour.

Crooked Lane Brewing Company



Whether you prefer a nice slow sip or a handcrafted cocktail, your summer isn’t complete without some local spirits. Seek out these local distilleries for a tasting and make a day of it! Amador & Dry Diggings Distillery in El Dorado Hills specializes in vodka, whiskey, and brandy ( California Distilled Spirits in Auburn features gin, bourbon, whiskey, and brandy ( And Gold River Distillery in Rancho Cordova offers gin, absinthe, bourbon, and whiskey (

Gold River Distillery



The barometer may be rising but the barbecue pitmasters are keeping it low and slow this summer. ‘Tis the season to commune with some of the region’s best barbecue heavy hitters including: Hog Wild Bar-B-Que in Placerville: It’s the baby back ribs for us! (; Smokey Pit Barbeque in Auburn: Texas-style smoked chicken for the win (; Back Forty Texas BBQ in Shingle Springs: How can you say no to beef ribs? (But tell the Banana Puddin’ we said hi) (; Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q in El Dorado: We’re all about the pulled pork sandwich (; The Ring of Fire BBQ in Camino: The ‘Hog Pile’ calls our name (tater tots smothered in queso and topped with pulled pork) (; Daddy O’s Smokehouse in Rancho Cordova: Melt-in-your-mouth brisket all the way. (

Hog Wild Bar-B-Que



Sure, you can dance in the park to the music in your head, but it’s more fun to dance to actual music with real people in the summer. Here are some of the free concerts coming your way. El Dorado Hills Town Center’s “Live on the Boulevard” starts June 16 and runs every Thursday through September 8 (no concert on June 30) ( El Dorado Hills CSD Summer Concert Series happens on Fridays (June 24, July 15, August 26) at El Dorado Hills Community Park ( Folsom Parks & Recreation’s "Summer of Music" Concert Series will come to Folsom City Lions Park on Friday nights starting in June; keep an eye on the website for dates and schedules ( There are no sparkly vampires to be found at Historic Folsom’s Twilight Concert Series on Thursdays from June 2 through August. Enjoy relaxed seating facing the outdoor stage and free parking in the parking structure ( Roseville’s Concerts on the Square returns on third Saturdays from June through September at Vernon Street Town Square (; If you’re in the Amador area, ring in Fridays with “TGIF Free Summer Concerts” sponsored by the Amador Arts Council. This popular concert series runs June through September every Friday (

Folsom Parks & Recreation's “Summer of Music” Concert Series



Like, oh-my-God. Dust off your neon legwarmers, frost those bangs, and dress like a total Betty. Rocklin’s Concerts at the Quarry kicks off summer with the Totally ‘80s Concert on June 4 featuring The Motels, Bow Wow, and When in Rome II. Upcoming dance-worthy highlights include Starship with Mickey Thomas on June 17, Spin Doctors on July 8, Lita Ford on July 15, Average White Band on August 12, and many more! (

Tesla with Buckcherry at Thunder Valley Casino Resort



Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain has a brand-new music venue! Hard Rock Live kicks off its first summer with Maroon 5 on June 3, Bret Michaels on June 5, Chris Isaak on June 22, Richard Marx on July 27, and many more heavy hitters ( Lincoln’s Thunder Valley Casino Resort is primed to rock this summer with ZZ Top and Foghat on June 4, Tesla with Buckcherry on June 11, Styx with Nancy Wilson’s Heart on July 17, John Fogerty on August 19, and Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo on August 26, among others (


Get into the swing of things with TopGolf in Roseville this summer. Take advantage of their half-price Tuesdays, or be an early-bird and enjoy unlimited play for $15 per person, until noon every weekday (excluding holidays). And if you’ve got a budding junior golfer in your midst, check out their five-day Summer Academy for kids to harness their inner golfing-fu. (Hey, it could be a thing.) (




Focus on your mind, body, and spirit this summer and check out some of these local yoga and/or wellness retreats. Amador Wellness Cottage in Plymouth offers relaxing overnight retreats in the heart of wine country ( Or do it all from the comfort of your own home. The Art of Living in Folsom offers online Silent Retreats throughout summer ( Serenity Spa | Soul Yoga in Folsom and Roseville have a slew of Mind, Body, & Spirit Rituals ranging from Reiki and chakra balancing to hypnotherapy and ancient Hawaiian Huna (

Sacramento State Aquatic Center



Spend some quality time exploring our region’s beautiful waterways this summer. For kayaking, you can’t do any better than Lake Natoma, and you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere prettier or quieter on those sparkling summer mornings. You’re also bound to see plenty of birds and wildlife as an added bonus. To rent necessary kayaking and safety equipment, visit Sacramento State Aquatic Center ( Head up the hill to Upper Lake Clementine at the Auburn State Recreation Area and enjoy a local hidden gem. The perfect spot for swimming, paddling, even hiking, give Lake Clementine Trail a try ( Further afield, roughly 15 miles outside Redding is Whiskeytown Falls at the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. This gorgeous waterfall was a secret previously known only to loggers and park rangers. Both dog- and family-friendly, hikers can get there via a strenuous uphill but shady 1.7-mile hike on the James K. Carr Trail (3.4 miles roundtrip; careful, some sections are steep!). Make sure you climb the stairs to the upper viewing platform at the base of the waterfall! ( In the less strenuous and close-to-home category, Ancil Hoffman Park (home of the Effie Yeaw Nature Center) in Carmichael is the quiet jewel of the bunch. Perfect for picnics, family walks or just a summer stroll, it’s an underrated beauty that is sure to elicit a smile even from your grumpiest teenager. There are plenty of shaded trails, riverfront hikes, and sprawling grounds—a beautiful reminder of why we love this area (

Effie Yeaw Nature Center



Here’s something right up your alley: Free bowling for kids this summer, thanks to a nationwide program called Kids Bowl Free. As per the program, children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for two free games each day of the KBF program, all summer long, courtesy of participating bowling centers. Local participating bowling centers include: Country Club Lanes in Sacramento (; Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights (, and Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek (, among others found at


Local theater is back! Boy, did we miss them. Show these hardworking folks some love this summer. Folsom’s Sutter Street Theatre presents the Tony-award winning play based on the bestselling novel Peter and The Starcatcher from June 3-July 10. Agatha Christie’s excellent murder-mystery And Then There Were None also comes to life August 27 to September 25 ( Roseville Theatre Arts Academy’s summer season presents Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella in June and The Lightning Thief: the Percy Jackson Musical in August ( The summer season of Rocklin Community Theatre features their production of Catch Me If You Can: The Musical, based on the box-office hit movie and thrilling true story, running July 15-31 ( Good grief! Placerville’s Imagination Theater features the Tony award-winning musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown based on Charles M. Schulz’s classic Peanuts comic strip, running July 22 through August 7 (

Wakamatsu Farm



Enjoy the beautiful grounds of Placerville’s Wakamatsu Farm at their Open Farm Day: Picnic Day on June 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A cultural and historical treasure in and of itself, Wakamatsu Farm is the site of the first Japanese colony in America. Enjoy a family picnic and explore the beautiful grounds at your own pace, stretch out on a spot by the lake or at a table under a shady oak. Docents will also be available to provide more information about the rich history of the site (


Let’s be real. There’s still nothing like a summer night at home with family and friends. How about upping the stakes with a backyard game night? If you’re short on ideas, some of our nostalgic favorites include tetherball, cornhole, skittles, croquet, badminton, ladder toss, lawn bowls, bocce ball, kubb aka Viking chess (Google it and thank us later), and good old-fashioned horseshoes. To the victor goes the comfiest lounge chair!

Face In A Book



You’ve got a pool, a comfy chair, and a cold drink. All that’s missing is an enjoyable book. Pick up a bestseller like Amor Towles’ The Lincoln Highway or Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton (yes, that Dolly Parton) and James Patterson, and support local independent booksellers this summer like Folsom’s Ruby’s Books (, El Dorado Hills’ Face In A Book (, Cameron Park’s The Bookhouse (, Lincoln’s The Book Cellar (, and Placerville’s The Bookery (


How about some summer tunes on wax to go with that book? Maybe some classic R&B, like the legendary groovers Con Funk Shun and their 1982 album “To The Max.” Or go modern and spin some Silk Sonic for a Bruno Mars-Anderson .Paak-led throwback. You can get all these vibes and more at one of these great local record stores. Check out Hi-Tones Record Store in Rocklin (, Cherry Records in Auburn (, The Cave in Folsom (, and The Audio Nerd in Rocklin (

by Sharon Penny

Vikingshom photocourtesy of Sierra State Parks Foundation. Placer County Fair photo courtesy of Placer County Fair. Lavender Festival photo courtesy of Apple Hill Growers. Poor Red's Bar-B-Q photo by Dante Fontana ©stylemediagroup. Granny May's Strawberry Farm photo courtesy of Granny May's Strawberry Farm. Cià di Gelateria photo by Jacob Canteras. Hog Wild Bar-B-Que photo by Taylor Gillespie ©stylemediagroup. Folsom Parks & Recreation photo courtesy of Folsom Parks & Recreation. Ancil Hoffman Park photo by Kristen Angelini. Sacramento State Aquatic Center photo courtesy of Sacramento State Aquatic Center.