Sports & Recreation picks

Baseball, climbing, curling: Our writers share the best ways to venture outdoors

the fastest way to get your big-tree-and-flower-gawking fix is at the UC Davis ARboretum.

the fastest way to get your big-tree-and-flower-gawking fix is at the UC Davis ARboretum.

Photos by serene lusano

Meet the night owls

UC Davis Arboretum after dark

Located in a sleepy corner of the UC Davis campus given over to equine research and horticulture, the Arboretum is a stunning 100-acre garden featuring fascinating trees, flowers and shrubs from around the world. Set on either side of a creek (a pond, actually, but we’re not picky), its walkways take you through continent- and ecosystem-specific gardens that harbor birds and butterflies galore. The Arboretum is assertively marketed as being open 24 hours a day and free to visit, which means maybe—just maybe—freshmen come here for their first psychedelic experiences. We hope so. In any event, the Arboretum at night is pretty nice and cool in the heat of summer, no matter which way your molecules are spinning. This is prime owl territory, so keep an eye out. 920 Garrod Drive in Davis. T.H.

Rock on

The Boulder Field

Sac’s newest gym, the biggest of its kind in California, is owned by local / international professional climber Carlo Traversi. As the name reveals, the main feature is a man-made boulder field—picture Tuolomne Meadows built of Legos. Bouldering is a form of free-climbing that does not involve ropes and harnesses, and while this place is designed for experienced climbers to get a work out it is also set up for beginners. For example, the routes are color-coded. (Of course the floors are padded.) Membership includes free introductory lessons. This is also a full-service gym with tradmills, free weights and yoga studios. And: There is Temple Roasting Company coffee and kambucha on tap all day, and local craft beers later in the day. 8425 Belvedere Ave. E.J.

Geek out on nature

Weekend nature programs at Effie Yeaw Center

One hundred acres of wild riparian woodland a mere 15 minutes from the California capital is pretty great. Greater still is having an excuse to go visit. Throughout the month of June, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center inside Ancil Hoffman County Park offers nature adventures on Saturdays and Sundays, kid-friendly but all-ages outings with themes like insects, salamanders and raptors. Indulge your inner kid—or your real-life one—and learn about the critters that have called the American River home for millennia. On most days, entrance is a trifling $5, but on June 9, the center throws its Spring Gala fundraiser, with proceeds from $100 tickets going to support great parks programming at the center. Saturdays and Sundays through June 30; $5 entrance to Ancil Hoffman Park (but donations accepted); see the schedule at 2850 San Lorenzo Way in Carmichael. T.H.

Free your inner rock jock

Peak Adventures at Sac State

Class III rapids have the best names in outdoor recreation. The South Fork of the American River has some of the gnarliest. Meatgrinder. Troublemaker. Satan’s Cesspool. Hospital Bar. The only way to experience these deadly holes, unless you’ve spent a year or two paddling twice a week, is with a whitewater guide. We are featuring Peak Adventures because it’s affordable, and because its affiliation with Sac State means you will be hanging out with the right kind of young people. In addition to whitewater rafting, the program offers climbing, backpacking and other, well, adventures. E.J.

The real America

River Cats night games

the davis arboretum has bridges, tunnels, ghosts, and you: fully lit and ready for adventure.

Raley Field was one of the great minor league ball parks in America even before the River Cats became the San Francisco Giants’ A-team. For baseball fans, it’s even better now. (Sorry, A’s fans.) On three or four nights most weeks, all summer long, you can see something that feels a lot like major-league baseball played in this intimate park for a fraction of what do you pay at AT&T, right here in West Sacramento. And it all comes with something you cannot get in a major-league ballpark: all kinds of fan-friendly hoopla. The dance contest, the Diaper Derby, the ridiculous antics of the dancing dinosaur, the weekend fireworks. If you are not a serious baseball fan, this is still pure summertime Americana and gobs more fun then whatever you might do on a weeknight indoors. Every now and again, a player from the bigs on rehab assignment will show up—just a few weeks ago, Hunter Pence, the coolest baseball player alive, made an appearance for a couple of games. Best of all is the crowd—over the course of a three-hour game, you are likely to make friends with the folks in your seating section. 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento. E.J.

Little Olympics

Curling in Roseville

This is literally the coolest idea ever. (Insert rim-shot). The Wine Country Curling Club, which was founded in Vacaville and moved to Roseville in 2012, offers what it calls “the most mysterious Winter Olympics sport,” and the rest of us call … kinda kooky. But here’s the ting about corling: Like shooting an arrow with a bow, like throwing a Frisbee or driving a golf ball, curling just feels good. Watching as your stone bumps your opponents’ biter toward the hog line and heads toward the button­—this is living! Plus: It’s 108 degrees outside and you are on Skatetown Ice Arena. 1009 Orlando Avenue, Roseville, A.G.

Fitness triple-threat

The Edge

The Edge offers a unique mix of fitness classes you won’t find anywhere else in town: Yoga, cycling and climbing. Though the studio’s name might sound intimidating, The Edge is not only about pushing yourself, but keeping things fun and positive. Upbeat music and club lighting will motivate you and keep you encouraged throughout your workout. Oh, and great news—they offer an introductory month of only $30 for 30 days.448 Howe Avenue. MPE

Nah, Ima’ stay outside

Yoga in the Park

Yoga Moves Us offers vinyasa yoga classes for free many days of the week, such as at McKinley Park on Saturdays at 9 a.m. All you need is a yoga mat and some water to enjoy the benefits of these classes: increased flexibility, strength, lower stress levels and a healthier heart and mind. The classes offered are for yogis of any level, so don’t be nervous. Just roll out your mat, relax and have fun. Yoga in the Park is a great way to get some exercise while also making new friends in our community. MPE

The lion sleeps tonight

Overnight safari at the zoo

Camping’s no longer reserved for the redwoods, mountains or beaches that shine throughout the Golden State. This summer, the Sacramento Zoo hosts a couple of family overnight safaris through June 22 where parents and their children can set up camp and see just what nighttime zoo-life has to offer. Dinner and breakfast are included during this event, and it works comfortably for a family of two or more, with tickets ranging from $55 per person for members and $65 for non-members. This jungle slumber party is the perfect opportunity for animal lovers to explore the twilight behaviors of lions, orangutans and lemurs while listening to the sounds of the wild as you fall asleep under the stars. 3930 W. Land Park Drive; (916) 808-5888; S.R.

Charity race

Race for the Arts

Use your kicking limbs to keep the arts alive. Every year for the past 20, Race for the Arts hosts a 5k run to help fund nonprofits in arts of all sorts, including visual, literary, culinary and theatrical. Serious and casual runners and walkers are welcome on the race course at William Land Park and past the finish line, where an arts festival offers free food and entertainment. Adult registry is $30. Kids are $15. William Land Park, 3800 W. Land Park Drive; M.Z.