By day, Dr. Jeff is your friendly El Dorado Hills orthodontist but by night, well, actually by day too just on the weekends, he can be quite the thrill-seeker – maybe it’s the superhero movies he watches with his kids. He might not dive out of planes or go volcano boarding, but he’ll hop on any roller coaster, log flume or Tilt-A-Whirl in his path. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of Sacramento amusement parks (and some in the vicinity too) that cater to children and adults of all ages.
Ready for an exciting family outing? Here are our recommendations for Sacramento area theme parks:
Scandia Family Fun Center – 5070 Hillsdale Boulevard, Sacramento
Scandia is an excellent place to go for Sacramento kids fun. Play a round on one of the two beautiful, Scandinavian-themed miniature golf courses, work on your swing in the batting cages, rack up prizes at the huge arcade or get your pulse racing on the crazy roller coasters and rides like the Sky Screamer. The park also boasts bumper boats, a go-kart raceway and restaurants. Pay by the activity and ride or get an unlimited pass on weekends, holidays and summer vacations for all the rides and games of golf you can handle.
Fairytale Town – 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento
This is definitely among our favorite Sacramento theme parks for younger kids. It’s small, which is actually perfect for most people with toddlers and the 25 interactive playsets bring different fairy tales and nursery rhymes to life. Take a ride on ”The Little Engine That Could” or slide down Jack & Jill Hill. Gardens, performing arts stages and farm animals round out the attractions.
Since everything is geared towards sparking young imaginations and made for little ones to play with and climb on, you won’t have to resort to the whole “Don’t touch that” refrain. Fairytale Town has become a fixture in William Land Park and hasn’t changed all that much since it opened in 1959, which gives it a lot of charm. As a bonus, admission is affordable. While visitors of all ages are welcome, the park is ideal for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary-aged kids.
Golfland-Sunsplash – 1893 Taylor Road, Roseville
Golfland-Sunsplash is a hybrid of competitive fun and a water park in nearby Roseville. Golfland features two 18-hole miniature golf courses, an arcade, laser tag and a raceway. Sunsplash has water slides, including thrill rides like Master Blaster Water Coaster and Riptide, a lazy river and a wave pool. While most of the rides require kids to be either 42 inches or 48 inches tall, younger children will love Adventure Island, an area with shallow water and little slides.
Funderland – 1350 17th Avenue, Sacramento
Funderland is another small amusement park in Sacramento designed for little children in William Land Park. It’s been open since 1946 and still retains its quaint feel. It’s easy to navigate, has a number of kid-sized rides, such as the Flying Dragon roller coaster, the spinning Crazy Cups, the Log Run and their classic carousel, as well as drivable antique cars and an array of vehicles to play on. You can even bring your own food and drinks into the park. Admission is free and you pay by ride or you can purchase unlimited rides on weekdays or a season pass.
Raging Waters – 1600 Exposition Boulevard, Sacramento
Raging Waters at Cal Expo has more than 25 attractions including an 800-foot lazy river, a wave pool, tons of water slides (there are a few extreme slides that aren’t for the faint of heart) and beach volleyball courts. The Sacramento water park also has the new Treehouse Reef, a five-story children’s attraction with shallow water, activities, secret tubes and kiddie water slides. There’s always something going on like concerts and events. Season passes are pretty reasonable.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – 1001 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo
If you want to make a day out of a visit to a theme park and don’t mind traveling a bit, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo has it all. You can interact with wildlife, including swimming with the dolphins, brave some of the most thrilling rides and record-breaking coasters and enjoy live entertainment. There are also family rides so parents and kids can have fun together, as well as rides for the littlest visitors.