Get on up!
Let these summer activities lure you out of your air-conditioned living room
Just because Sacramento is not a coastal city doesn’t mean we can’t get crazy with water sports. Wake boarders on Folsom Lake regularly execute flips and spins to rival any ocean surfer’s display, and the water’s warm enough in the summer to forgo a wetsuit. The instructors at Launch Wakeboarding School can teach people of any age and experience level how to jump wakes and execute backside spins, hoochie glides and air tricks. Ride their boats and borrow their boards for no extra charge, or hire one of the Launch teachers to give a lesson on your boat for a special discounted price. Lessons are taught mornings and afternoons on Folsom Lake seven days a week. Schedule one by calling (916) 532-WAKE or visiting www.launchwakeboarding.com.
Take me in to the ballgame
To see the River Cats play at Raley Field, you might have to endure triple-digit temperatures. You’ll think to yourself, “I can barely move in this blistering heat! How the hell do those River Cats manage to play baseball?” This summer, you can leave the heatstroke to Graham Koonce and the rest of the cats and head to Roseville for some indoor baseball and softball fun. The Arena Softball facility offers a variety of baseball and softball camps for youths, coed and men’s leagues for adults, and batting cages for everyone. The arena is open from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. The fun is waiting at 8288 Industrial Avenue in Roseville. Call (916) 771-3818 or visit www.arenasoftball.com for more information.
Welcome to the concrete jungle
Summer in Sacramento—what can I say? It’s that magical season when our concrete jungle becomes a furnace. Plants help keep temperatures down, so why not head to where the vegetation is? The Sacramento Zoo, with its numerous plants and animals, will host Music in the Zoo. Bring a blanket and spend Tuesday evenings lying on the grass and listening to live music by the likes of Jackie Greene, Mumbo Gumbo and—because it wouldn’t be summer without a Jimmy Buffett tribute band—Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads. Shows are held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. during June and July. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for children 2 and younger. The concerts are held at 3930 West Land Park Drive. Call (916) 264-5888 or visit www.saczoo.com for more information.
The next wave of Timothy Busfields
The Sacramento area is bursting with creative potential, and local theaters are ready to churn out the next wave of great thespians. Here are just a few of the area’s youth-oriented acting camps: The Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre will host a one-day workshop on the basics of acting. The class will be held on June 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $105. Attend the orientation meeting on May 29. Call (916) 444-8209 for more information. The Sacramento Children’s Theatre Camp includes classes in playwriting, acting, and costume and set design, which start on June 21 and cost $100-$275. Call (916) 497-1116 for more information. Garbeau’s Acorn and Oak Theatre offers acting and auditioning classes, which commence on July 19 and cost $75-$150. Call (916) 985-6361 for more information. The Woodland Opera House’s Youth Summer Theatre Camp starts July 19 and costs $250. Call (530) 666-9617 for more information.
The boys—and girls—of summer
Some folks play sports in the summer; some folks sit and watch. For sedentary types who prefer the vicarious thrills (and lack of anything that resembles exercise) involved in spectator sports, summer in Sacramento is a wonderland of opportunity. Cheer all you want; they’ll play harder.
The Sacramento Sirens offer football aficionados a warm-weather alternative to watching TiVo playbacks of last year’s games. Though the Sirens’ last home game is May 29, the first three playoff games will be held in Sacto, stretching the season well into July. The Sirens are undefeated after three seasons, and they’re a shoo-in for the playoffs. Tickets are downright cheap, and the game these women play is all-out full-contact football. Adults’ seats are $10, kids and seniors pay $5, and children under 5 get in free. Tickets are available at www.sacramentosirens.com or by calling (916) 497-1117.
Baseball traditionally sets the summer mood: popcorn, hot dogs, and stars overhead. The River Cats offer tickets with prices from $5 for a spot on “Homerun Hill” (bring your own blanket or lawn chair) to $17 for really good seats. It’s not much pricier than a movie, but Raley Field has far more atmosphere—and cold beer. Tickets are available at www.rivercats.com or by calling (916) 371-HITS.
The Sacramento Knights, no longer “royal” since they ended their affiliation with the Maloof brothers, have a professional soccer schedule that runs through July. The Knights play outdoors at the Cosumnes River College Stadium. With adult tickets going for $10 in the bleachers and $6 on the berm, it’s a bargain for soccer lovers. Tickets can be purchased at www.sactoknights.com or by calling (916) 912-6771.
Now that veteran guard Ruthie Bolton has signed with the Monarchs, it’s an official WNBA season. Also returning are all-stars Yolanda Griffith and Ticha Penicheiro, and Tangela Smith, the often-overlooked power under the boards. A break in August (so some of the league’s players can compete in the Olympics) will stretch the summer fun through September, with playoffs likely to take the Monarchs’ season into October. Like the Kings, the Monarchs are a force to be reckoned with—and like the Kings, they don’t always get the respect they deserve. Still, beating Los Angeles is more than likely, and, provided they can keep the injuries at bay, the Monarchs are a good bet for a run at the Western Conference title and a shot at a national championship. Tickets for Arco Arena games are $8-$32 and are available by calling (916) 419-WNBA.
Art in public
How many times have you passed the fox in the yellow suit, the fountain full of white stone heads or any of the other outdoor sculptures in Sacramento and wondered how they had gotten there? (Or even what on earth they’re supposed to represent?) Embarking on one of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s public-art tours should answer any lingering questions about the city’s art collection. Each of the five tour routes focuses on a different area of the city, including downtown Sacramento, the Central Library and Cesar Chavez Plaza, and the Embassy Suites Hotel. The one-hour walking tours are free and scheduled throughout the summer and fall. Call (916) 566-3992 for a complete schedule or to make reservations.
Icees for adults
Icees are always yummy on sweltering afternoons, but the traditional flavors of red cherry and blue raspberry don’t offer enough variety for most adult palates. If you’re looking for a cool, slushy treat with a little kick, the Hukilau Island Grill is your bar. It has an entire wall of constantly spinning drink machines filled with frozen alcoholic beverages for adults! Flavors include piña colada, strawberry daiquiri, lava flow (a coconut-strawberry hybrid), rum runner, mai tai, margarita and blue Hawaiian—which is only one drop of blue dye No. 1 away from the blue-raspberry Icee of your youth. All come with suitably tropical pineapple wedges and, upon request, a shell lei for the drinker. These candy-in-a-hurricane-glass cocktails are normally $5.25, but they can be had for $3.50 during Hukilau’s happy hour, Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. Look for the mini palm trees and patio on the corner of 16th and O streets or call (916) 444-5850 for more information.
Wet, but only as wild as you want it
One of the best-kept secrets for local water recreation is the California State University, Sacramento, Aquatic Center. A cooperative effort between the university, the University Union, California’s Department of Boating and Waterways, and the state Department of Parks and Recreation, the Aquatic Center is located just off Highway 50 at Lake Natoma. The center offers instruction in sailing, windsurfing and paddling (both kayaks and canoes), as well as jet skiing, wake boarding and waterskiing. Kids’ programs run the gamut from basic water and boating safety to specialized summer camps in paddling and water skiing. For teens, there’s an Adventure Camp, complete with a whitewater rafting trip. Register early for special courses, or just go rent a hydro bike and pedal your way around the lake. Fees are reasonable, with a price break for CSUS students, staff, alumni and members of the Aquatic Center Club. The center’s annual open house is set for June 12, from noon until 6 p.m. For more information, call (916) 278-2842, or visit www.csusaquaticcenter.com.
So fresh and so free
Is it the hot weather or the idea of sporting a swimsuit that causes my hankering for fresh vegetables during summertime? I can’t say, but I do know that I can consume copious amounts of fruits and vegetables. So, if you’re at the Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park, don’t be surprised if you spot me next to one of the fresh-produce stands. If you don’t see me there, check the lawn, where I’ll be enjoying live music. (This year’s lineup includes the Essentials, Driving with Fergus and the Hucklebucks!) Still nowhere to be found? I’m probably with my cousin, watching the jugglers and magicians. The fresh produce, free entertainment and I all can be found on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through October 22 at Central Park, at Fourth and C streets in Davis. Call (530) 756-1695 or visit www.davisfarmersmarket.org for more information.