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How to celebrate a 7yob's birthday in/near Placerville, CA?

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We've been invited to a dear friend's wedding in Placerville after Christmas. We live in LA.


The wedding happens to fall on ds' birthday. He's turning 7 this year, and we're trying to think of a way to celebrate his birthday if we go on this extended weekend trip.


So what's in Placerville/Sacramento that a 7yob would find really cool to do on his birthday? I know there's lots of stuff in San Francisco, but that might be a stretch. At this point I'd take all kinds of suggestions.


:bigear: TIA!

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I don't know that there's a lot to do in Placerville, although there is the Gold Bug Mine, which is kind of interesting.


In Old Sacramento, there is the State Railroad Museum, if he's into trains. My kids really enjoy it. Plus there is a lot of other stuff in terms of sight-seeing there.


Also in Sacramento, there's the zoo, Funderland, and Fairytale Town, which are all located adjacent to each other in William Land Park.


Near Folsom, there is Monster Mini Golf, which is an indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf place.

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I have never been there, but it has a fun reputation.


Also, Sutter's Fort in nearby Sacramento is well worth a visit. It's a big, fantastic living history site--the start of the California Gold Rush! How cool is that?


Or you can drive on up to Lake Tahoe and take the gondola up to the top of the Mountain at Heavenly Valley and hike around. It sounds like it will be too early for snow, or you could build a snow man up there. The views are great, and the ride is kind of exciting. Or park on the top of the hill by Tahoe's Emerald Bay and hike down to the beach there or up to the waterfall nearby--those are very pretty little hikes.

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The Gold Country is great, if he's into that sort of thing. My dc had fun panning for gold in the American River, and seeing a replica of a gold mining town up at Sutter's Mill (where it all started). I'm such an ogre, we had a California history lesson before we went, and a little review/quiz when we returned..... :)


We were there in Feb. It was cold, but not unbearable. The dc got a good idea of how difficult it was to pan for gold in the icy waters!


If you Google "Cal Gold Country", you'll get lots of info.


Have fun!



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Marshall Gold Discovery State Park: Museum, actually pan for gold, see the original spot where James Marshall found gold and a replica of the mill.


Sierra at Tahoe (ski resort): snow tubing and snow play (about 45 minutes from Placerville) This is where we ski and snowboard and even though it a fairly small resort, we find it adequate. They also have snowshoe trails if you are up for that and you can rent any equipment on site. Take your own lunch. :)


Sutter Gold Mine: If it is open, the tour is fantastic and my boys loved it. You ride down into the mine and then take a tour from there. (about 15 minutes from Placerville)


Moaning Cavern: This is an another activity that my boys loved....a little farther from Placerville...a little over an hour....about so worth it. You can take the normal tour or you can pay an extra fee and actually repel down into the main cavern. Totally fun for everyone in the family.

Squaw Valley: This place has it all and it takes about an hour and a half to get their via Auburn and I-80 from Placerville. Gondola rides, ice skating, tubing, snowboarding, and BEST of all......a very warm lodge with loads of good food and drinks.


Other things:

Placerville has a skateboard park open on Saturdays and is strictly monitored. My middle son is there every Saturday that the weather allows.


There is a great biking and walking trail through Placerville that we take frequent walks on and the boys scooter or ride their bikes.


Placerville Downtown has frequent opportunities for stagecoach rides....check it out on the days you are visiting, usually starting at the downtown bell tower. My boys used to love that. If you are downtown, check out the oldest hardware store in the west at Placerville Hardware. My boys love to go in there and check out all the stuff and they have good "mom" stuff too. :)


There is an actually swinging bridge over the American River that you can drive over. Ask your friends about it....our kids loved to go there for a drive when the weather was bad and we would look the rushing water. (Mosquito Rd to Swansboro)


Apple Hill is pretty much done by this time of year so I wouldn't recommend that at all...too cold and/or wet.


Sacramento has an IMAX theater if that is something that interests your family.


Sutters Fort and Old Sac can be fun if the weather is not too wet and cold.


Those are my really quick ideas. Email me personally if you need more info or you want some other type of suggestions...restaurants or specific activities.


Barb-Harmony Art Mom


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