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Kid-Friendly Places in and around Sacramento

Effie Yeaw Nature Center Clem western pond turtle

Kid-Friendly Places in and around Sacramento

Post-lockdown, families with young children seek ‘safe’ outdoor spaces to explore and escape their homes’ confines.  Here we compile the list of kid-friendly places in and around Sacrament, CA. 


(Note: We choose facilities and establishments that offer outdoor areas that make it easy to follow the social distancing protocols.) 


Children’s Museum of Sonoma County 

Since April, this kid-centric museum has opened its outdoors on Fridays to Mondays, 9 am to 4 pm. Though walk-ins are welcomed, advance reservations are ideal due to the limited capacity for physical distancing.


The museum boasts child-oriented exhibits like art studios, science labs, toddler play areas, and a large garden. (As of this writing, some of the exhibits are closed.)


The outdoors features a helicopter playground, a farm stand with raised vegetable beds, and a kid-proof playground made from a real farm tractor. This sandpit replicates the Sonoma County coastline, an imaginary playground, a mechanical waterplay area, and an interactive butterfly-themed play area. All these areas are part of the Mary Garden exhibit. 


Other exhibits include TOTopia, Ella’s Art Studio, and Science & Imagination.  


Location: 1835 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Contact: 707-546-40-69


White Rock Splash Park 

White Rock Splash Park, among Northern California’s largest interactive waterplay parks for kids, boasts cannons, two slides, a dump bucket, and a spray area.


As a family-friendly water park, it also has an open grass field and two picnic areas. Meanwhile, its amenities include drinking fountains, restrooms and showers, and snack and beverage vending machines. 


As of this writing, the water park limits the number of visitors to 30 in line with the local government’s COVID-19 protocol. This means that field trips and large groups are not yet allowed until further notice. 


Location: 2729 Prospect Park Drive, Suite 230, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Contact: (phone) 916-842-3300 / (fax) 916-573-3622


Effie Yeaw Nature Center 

Situated along the American River Parkway in Carmichael, this 100-acre nature preserve includes riparian and oak woodlands, meadows, marshes, and other aquatic habitats. 


The nature reserve’s trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, while its center, which houses exhibits, a gift store, and resident animals, is open between 9 am and 5 pm. (Note: The center is closed on Mondays except on public holidays but excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 


Aside from the nature trail, you can also find here a replica of the Nisenan Maidu village, whose people lived along the American River before the European settlers arrived. 


The nature preserve also houses a natural playground that was built 11 years ago by volunteers. It includes large river rocks and flat cuts of wood from local trees (surrounded by a softwood chip ground cover) where children can climb, jump, and practice their balance. Meanwhile, there are nearby picnic benches where you can rest or have lunch. 


In addition, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center has a butterfly garden that exhibits native, drought-tolerant flowering plants and shrubs that attract butterflies such as cabbage white, orange sulfur, monarch, mourning cloak, painted lady, common buckeye, and California hairstreak, to name a few.


(Note: The center does not allow bikes, skateboards, dogs, and horses to minimize disturbance to wildlife.)


Location: 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael, CA 95608 (The Nature Center is located in Ancil Hoffman Park.)

Contact: (916) 489-4918


Sacramento Valley Live Steamers Railroad Museum

The SVLSRM features more than 6,300 feet of a railroad line that includes a truss bridge, a girder deck bridge, and wooden trestles. The “kid-sized” train also offers a magnificent view of the American River. 


Location: Hagan Community Park, PO Box 273 Rancho Cordova, CA 95741

Contact: (916) 361-7140 or


Looking for serene senior living near natural beauty? Situated in Sacramento’s Gold River neighborhood, Mobil Country Club is a serene senior mobile home community near American River Parkway and Lake Natomas.


Our well-maintained 479-space gated community offers ample amenities like park areas, a recreation hall, a pool spa, a dog park, and a laundry area. Experience tranquility with our priority on cleanliness and safety.


Interested in joining? Send us a message today for more about life at Mobil Country Club!

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