While the rower in your family is busy conquering the water at the USRowing Southwest Youth Championships, there are plenty of ways you can ensure the rest of your family has a fun-filled trip to Sacramento. From exploring museums to finding adventure and getting a taste of America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, here’s our guide to spending your competition weekend in Sacramento.


horse drawn carriage in old sacramento

Spend the Day at the Old Sacramento Waterfront

A trip to the Old Sacramento Waterfront is perfect for families with children of all ages. Experience the time of the Transcontinental Railroad at the California State Railroad Museum, North America’s largest railroad museum, or learn about Sacramento history around the Gold Rush on an underground tour of the Old Sacramento Waterfront at the Sacramento History Museum. After brushing up on your history, treat the kids to a new toy from G. Willikers Toy Emporium or a sweet treat at Candy Heaven.


MOSAC Outside

Visit an Interactive Museum

Children of all ages (and even adults) will enjoy the multitude of hands-on exhibits that prompt them to test, tinker, laugh and wonder at Sacramento Children’s Museum. Those interested in science, technology, engineering, art and math can explore the interactive exhibits and spring seasonal design challenges the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity has to offer.


Punch Bowl Social

Get Active Indoors

Sacramento has plenty of places where you can have fun and get active indoors. Enjoy axe-throwing at one of Smart Axe’s several locations around the Sacramento area, play a round of mini golf at Tipsy Putt, or put your puzzle skills to the test at Enchambered Escape Room Sacramento . If you’re looking for bowling, billiards, darts, ping-pong, karaoke and more, head over to Punch Bowl Social in DOCO for some guaranteed fun.  


DTN - ROS - Quarry Park AdventuresImage Courtesy of: Quarry Park Adventures

Find Adventure

There’s a whole world of adventure waiting for the rest of your family in Sacramento. Peak Adventures, located at Sacramento State’s campus, offers high ropes courses perfect for families of all ages and abilities. If zip lines, climbing walls, and aerial ropes courses are your jam, a trip to Quarry Park Adventures in Rocklin is a must. For the water enthusiasts who aren’t competing, the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma offers equipment rentals in water activities ranging from sailing, kayaking and windsurfing to waterskiing and more. 


McKinley Park

Image Courtesy of: McKinley Park

Have a Picnic and Play at the Park

There’s no better way to enjoy Sacramento’s sunshine than a picnic in the park. Before your picnic, be sure to head over to Selland’s Market-CafeSolomon’s, or Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op to grab gourmet sandwiches for the whole family. Not sure where to enjoy your picnic at? Some of our favorite local picnic spots with great playgrounds include McKinley Park and William Land Park.


Sacramento Zoo family activities

Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town & Funderland

For a guaranteed day full of fun, head over to William Land Park, which is home to the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town, and Funderland. At Fairytale Town, your child’s imagination will come to life as they explore 3D play sets based on all of their favorite fairytales and nursery rhymes. If your family likes amusement rides and attractions, a visit to Funderland is great for children of all ages. For the animal lovers in your family, a trip to the Sacramento Zoo is sure not to disappoint. Be sure to say hello to their new Endangered Masai giraffe calf, Cheyenne, while you’re there!


Arden Fair Mall

Spend the Afternoon Shopping

Spend hours on end shopping at the hundreds of stores inside the Arden Fair Mall  in Sacramento or the Westfield Galleria at Roseville . If keeping up with the latest fashion trends is your style, be sure to check out the Ice Blocks  in Midtown. If you're looking for more local shops and boutiques, don't miss out on a trip to the Old Sacramento Waterfront.


Cafeteria 15L

Grab a Bite to Eat at One of Sacramento’s Kid-Friendly Restaurants

As America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento has plenty of kid-friendly restaurants that offer fresh, healthy, and tasty meals for the picky eaters in your family. Enjoy a delicious Italian dinner at Paesanos where they even offer kids dough balls to keep them entertained while they’re waiting on their food. Cafeteria 15L is another great option for families as they are known for offering all of your favorite traditional, home-cooked comfort foods with a twist.

Looking for other kid-friendly restaurants? Check out our list of kid-friendly restaurants in Sacramento.


Gunther's Ice Cream

Grab a Sweet Treat

After a day full of cheering on your favorite athlete, indulging in a sweet treat is more than necessary. With over 40 flavors of ice cream, fruit freezes, ice cream sandwiches, and beyond, Gunther’s Ice Cream has been a longtime Sacramento favorite since the 1940s.  Other local ice cream parlors include Vic’s Ice Cream in South Land Park, Buffalo Pizza and Ice Cream on 10th Street, and Leatherby’s Family Creamery with locations all across the Sacramento region.


For more event-specific information about USRowing Southwest Youth Championships, click HERE.