Family vacations in Sacramento can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters -- it all depends on pre-trip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are recommended attractions for those planning Sacramento family vacations.
Old Sacramento is a 28-acre National Historic Landmark and State Historic Park located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, Calif. The site is the core of the original city and features a variety of restored or reconstructed buildings dating from the 1850s, including the B.F. Hastings Building, the Eagle Theatre and the Big Four Building.
Address: Downtown Sacramento, CA
Hours: The neighborhood is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individual attraction hours vary.
Price: Free to explore the neighborhood. Most attractions carry admission fees.
Funderland Amusement Park
Located south of downtown adjacent to the Sacramento Zoo, Funderland Amusement Park offers a variety of rides, including Dragon Coaster, Log Flume and a classic carousel. The Funderland Cafe serves a variety of snacks, sandwiches and beverages.
Address: 1350 17th Ave., Sacramento, CA 95822
Hours: Open February through November. Hours vary by season. Check website for current information.
Price: Weekdays: single ticket, $1.75; book of 10 tickets, $15.00; family 30 pack, $39.95; unlimited ride wristband, $15.95; Weekends: single ticket, $1.95; book of 10 tickets, $16.95; family 30 pack, $39.95.
Sacramento Children's Museum
The Sacramento Children's Museum is located in Rancho Cordova, Calif., southeast of Sacramento. The museum features an array of interactive learning exhibits, including waterways and raceways, a world market and a studio of the arts.
Address: 2701 Prospect Park, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Hours: Hours vary. Check website for current information.
Price: General admission, $7.00; 60 and older and military, $6.00; children younger than one and museum members, free.
The Sacramento Zoo features more than 600 animals. Popular exhibits include the Australian Outback and Tall Wonders (a giraffe exhibit). The Sacramento Zoo is also known for its work with endangered animals. Snacks and souvenirs are available at Kampala Cafe, Savannah Snacks and Zoofari Market Gift Store.
Address: 3930 West Land Park Dr., Sacramento, CA 95822
Hours: The zoo is open November through January from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and February through October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Weekdays/Weekends and Holidays: General Admission, $10.50/$11.00; senior admission, $9.75/$10.25; children 2 to 11, $6.50/$7.00; children 1 and younger, free.
The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center
The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center is a fascinating place to explore. The many exhibits include the Challenger Learning Center, where visitors take on the role of NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers as well as Digging Up the Past, where visitors dig for fossils and artifacts and then use current science to analyze their finds.
Address: 3615 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95821
Hours: The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Price: Members and children 3 and younger, free; teenagers 13 to 17 and seniors 60 and older, $5; Adults, $6; children ages 4 to 12, $4.
California State Capitol Museum
The California State Capitol Museum welcomes visitors to view the circa 1869 building and grounds. Highlights include visits to the governor's office, a peek at the California legislature (when in session) and a stroll around the 40-acre grounds surrounding the main building.
Address:10th and L Streets, Sacramento, CA 95814
Hours: The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
California State Railroad Museum
A part of Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is one of Sacramento's most popular attractions. The museum features 21 restored railroad cars and locomotives dating back to 1862, as well as a reconstructed 1870s-era Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station.
Address: 111 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814
Hours: The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Price: Adults, $9.00; youths ages 6 to 17, $4.00; children 5 and younger, free.
What are your family's favorite Sacramento destinations?
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