Beat the heat with these family friendly places in the capital region

BusyKidz in Folsom

BusyKidz in Folsom feature a little indoor city kids can explore.
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BusyKidz in Folsom feature a little indoor city kids can explore.

If one of your goals is to avoid being outside with the kids during another hot Sacramento summer, some of these family friendly places just might give you something to do when those temperatures reach the triple digits this summer.

Art Beast Children's Art Studio

There are four play spaces for kids to choose from at Art Beast Children's Art Studio in Sacramento. The Studio Floor has an open studio, where kids can find easels, tables, homemade play dough, clay mounds, two self-directed art projects that change weekly and shelves stocked with art supplies, along with sensory play tables, open ended play stations and a fire-station themed play-space.

The Drama Den has a fully-equipped puppet theater and stage, along with instruments, a space capsule and pirate ship. The third floor features a building room, an infant area, story corner and classroom.

The courtyard boasts water play and sand, a bake shop and the "occasional extra-messy workshop." According to the company's website, "every penny raised at Art Beast goes to one of two places: back into Art Beast or into Tubman House, a residential community for homeless youth and children."

Art Beast is located at 2226 K St. and open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sometimes they will close early in the last hour of the day if there are no visitors, so it is encouraged to call ahead if you plan on gong after 5 p.m. Admission for children 12 months old and up is $8, while infants 11 months and under are free. Adults attendance costs $8, with a buy one, get one free option available. The price of admission includes a drop-in class and all-day access, including in-and-out privileges. There are also monthly, summer and annual memberships available, along with a 10-admissions punch card that never expires.


BusyKidz is an indoor miniature play town in Folsom. The little city comes complete with a doctor’s office, post office, bank, school room, restaurant with a karaoke stage, costume boutique, library, grocery store and Lego construction center. There is also the Sandy Toes Coffee Shop, a beached-themed full service espresso bar and cafe. Parents can supervise their kids from the cafe-style lounge area while enjoying free wifi or a book from the bookshelf.

BusyKidz is also available for parties and offers classes and events, such as parents night out, where parents can drop off their kids for a fun-filled night of things like pizza, ice cream, games, popcorn and movies. "Our community events happen weekly and (the) very consistent ones (are) our story time lab and kids yoga, which all happen weekly and are included in our membership," said Thomas.

Regular admission is $10 for the day, $7 for kids under 2 years old, siblings are $8 with one regular admission purchase and parents are free. Membership rates are available as well. Thursdays you can get $1 coffees and teas from the cafe and every Wednesday admission is just $7 all day for every kid. Open play is available daily during the week and most weekends, except when there is a party scheduled, and hours vary by day.

Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum offers family programs and events through its All About Families Initiative, which include “weekly and monthly early childhood programs, a storybook gallery adventure and interactive space for young children, parent education series, drop-in programs for families with school-age children, a lending library of children's books, family-focused gallery tours, free family festivals, and early childhood Art Packs that can be checked out from the Sacramento Public Library.”

Many of the programs are free for members or with general admission for nonmembers, and a full calendar of events can be found on the museum's website.

The Museum is located at 216 O St. in Sacramento and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission to the museum is free for Crocker members and children 6 and under, $5 for youth 7 to 17 years old, $10 for adults, and $8 for college students and people 65 and older, while every third Sunday is Pay What You Wish Day.

California State Railroad Museum

At the Railroad Museum in Sacramento you can get up close and personal with fully restored engines, along with other types of railway vehicles, and learn the history of the California railways through rotating exhibits, which include subjects like nonverbal communication tools used by the railroad and the world of high-speed rail.

Kids ages 7 to 12 can earn Junior Engineer status by completing activities in the museum's Activity Guide book during their visit, and every Monday is story time from 11 to 11:30 a.m. for kids ages 2 to 5. They also have summer excursion trains rides every Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 23 that follow a 45-minute route along the Sacramento River. Ticket prices vary and annual memberships are available.

The museum is located at 125 I Street and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The price of admissions is $12 for adults, $6 for kids 6 to 17 years old, and children 5 and under are free.

Sacramento Children's Museum