Bring on the rain

Looking for rainy-day fun? Try these weatherproof adventures.

Make your own warmth

Keep yourself and your loved ones toasty with handmade scarves, hats and sweaters. Knitting provides something to do indoors on chilly days and something to wear when you brave the outdoors. Don’t know your knit from your purl? The crafty staff at Rumpelstiltskin can teach you. Starting in January, the store will offer day and evening in-store classes on basic knitting, crochet, sock knitting, spinning, weaving and finishing. Rumpelstiltskin is located at 1021 R Street. Call 442-9225 for more information.

Expand your culinary repertoire

Did you know that, in addition to being Sacramento’s chief source for faux meat products and Nag Champa incense, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op hosts cooking classes? You can learn to make fancy finger foods in time for your New Year’s Eve party. Take your children to the Kids’ Gingerbread Cookie Workshop while you get your shopping done. If you’re at a loss as to how to feed your vegetarian family members over the holidays, the Elegant Vegetarian Dining class could help. All classes take place at the co-op’s Community Learning Center, at 1914 Alhambra Boulevard. The prices range from $25 to $40 per workshop. Call 455-2667 or visit for a complete schedule or more information.

Break out the Crayolas

Taking in an art show is a good way to get a dose of color when the winter world turns gray. Any gallery in Sacramento will have an eye-catching selection of original visual art, but some exhibits are more fun than others. One of the most entertaining art shows this winter is Artists Coloring Book for People Who Aren’t—an invitational exhibit at the Solomon Dubnick Gallery. The show’s original life-sized paintings have been converted into black and white drawings and bound into a coloring book. Guests are encouraged to bring their own coloring implements and “liberate” the drawings. The show presents a perfect opportunity to introduce children to the art-gallery scene, but adults are especially encouraged to participate. The show runs December 12 through 28, with a reception on Saturday, December 14, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The gallery is located at 2131 Northrop Avenue. Call 920-4547 or visit for more information.

Have yourself a rockin’ little Christmas

Enjoy some non-traditional holiday music with your friends at one of the CD-release parties for the Pus Cavern Christmas CD Volume 2. This year’s compilation features original and classic holiday songs by 21 local bands. In fact, so many Sacramento artists contributed to the CD that it requires four separate parties to showcase them: For a healthy dose of punk-rock holiday spirit, catch Pressure Point, R3D Tap3, Whiskey Rebels, Shop 11 Phoenix and Oddman on Friday, November 29, at the Capitol Garage, at 1427 L Street. Call 444-3633 for more information. Those who prefer jingle-bell rock should attend the Honeyspot, Larissa Bryski, Off tha Wagon and Milwaukee show on Friday, December 6, at Old Ironsides, at 10th and S streets. Call 443-9751 for more information. Try moshing around the Christmas tree with Helper Monkeys, Eightfourseven, Brand X Savior and Smarty on Friday, December 13, at the Capitol Garage, at 1427 L Street. Call 444-3633 for more information. Release your holiday-shopping aggression at a wild show with Contents Under Pressure, Wurkt, Simplistic, Rezyn and Page 29 on Friday, December 20, at The Boardwalk, at 9426 Greenback Lane in Orangevale. Call 988-9247 for more information.

Slide on your belly

Pile the family in the car and take a drive to see the snow! Soda Springs is a great place for families with children (ages 3 and older) to spend the day. The resort offers skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, mini-snowmobile rides and snowshoe trails for kids and parents. Forget hiking uphill with a sled in tow. Soda Springs has four automated lifts, so visitors can spend all their energy on the downhill run. Kids can take lessons in the trickier snow sports, such as snowboarding, or just flop on their bellies for a tube ride down the slopes. Equipment is available for rent at the site. Find Soda Springs at the Donner Summit exit off I-80. Visit or call (530) 426-3901 for more information.

Laugh at it all

Supposedly a time of peace on earth and goodwill towards humanity, the holiday season often loses its charm amid the frenzy of shopping, cooking and rushing between social engagements. If you’re feeling burnt out before you’ve begun, find comic relief at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Christmas—the all-new original show by the hilariously offbeat sketch-comedy troupe I Can’t Believe It’s Not Comedy. The show promises to “unite America’s Jews, Muslims, Christians and new-age pagan-types by mocking all of their holidays with equal affection.” Not even atheists are safe from the ribbing of this group. The evening also includes a screening of the original short film The Santa Problem and music by the SAMMIE Award-winning folk-rock duo Xenophilia. The show opens on Friday, November 29, and plays on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. through Saturday, December 7. Tickets are $10 and are available at The Beat Record Store (1700 J Street) or at the door. Find the fun at Gallery Horse Cow, located at 1409 Del Paso Boulevard. Call 442-1982 or visit for more information.

Find the freebies

Psst! Want to know how to dodge the admission price at local museums? The trick is in the timing. This schedule of free admission days is all you need:
Visit the Sacramento Zoo and watch the animals receive special holiday treats on Friday, November 29, and on Tuesday, December 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The zoo is located at 3930 West Land Park Drive. Call 264-5888 or visit for information. In a stroke of genius synchronicity, Fairytale Town has scheduled its free days to match the Sacramento Zoo’s. The two parks are across the street from one another, so plan to visit both on Friday, November 29, and on Tuesday, December 24. Fairytale Town will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 3901 Land Park Drive. Call 264-5233 for information. Explore an ancient Nisenan village during the Maidu Interpretive Center’s free days on Thursdays, December 26 and January 2, 2003; and on Fridays, December 27 and January 3, 2003. Guided village tours leave at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The center is located at 1960 Johnson Ranch Road in Roseville. Call 772-4242 for information. The granddaddy of all free days, the fifth annual Museum Day, is scheduled for Saturday, February 1, 2003. More than a dozen Sacramento-area museums, including the Golden State Museum, the California State Railroad Museum and the Crocker Art Museum, will offer free admission and shuttle service between locations. Visit for information.

Believe in magic

Members of the Sacramento Theatre Company know they’ve got a good thing in their wacky and whimsical version of Cinderella. That’s why they’re bringing it back for a third holiday run this year through January 5, 2003. The familiar romance of a poor girl’s ascent to princess of the kingdom is loaded with audience participation, dancing animals and a wicked stepfamily like no other. (Hint: The play is performed in British panto style, which is a highbrow way of saying, “Those wicked stepsisters are men in drag, honey!") The play is a hit with people of all ages. Catch it Tuesday through Saturday at 7 p.m., or at matinee shows Wednesday and Thursday at 12:30 p.m. and weekends at 2 p.m. Tickets are $26-$36 for adults and $16 for children. The Sacramento Theatre Company is located at 1419 H Street. Call 443-6722 or visit for more information.

Hang out in a bar

Bars aren’t just for getting drunk anymore. These days, Sacramento’s pubs offer more activities than a cruise ship. Check out these offerings for some cheap fun on a rainy night: Liquid Bar, located at 3348 S Street, has air-hockey tournaments every Tuesday at 8 p.m. and a pub quiz every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. Singles can attend the weekly Liquid Dating Game on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. All events are free. Call 453-8745 for information. The Streets of London Pub, located at 1804 J Street, holds a trivia quiz with prizes every Sunday night. No cover. Call 498-1388 for information. The Tower Club, located at 1517 Broadway, offers swing-dance lessons followed by an open dance every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 443-6199 for information. Every Sunday is Salsa Night at Harlow’s, located at 2708 J Street, with dance lessons and live salsa music at 7 p.m. Admission is $8. Call 441-4693 for information.