10 Things to Do in Sacramento Before Summer Ends
At the beginning of summer, it feels like these warm weather days might last forever. But, inevitably, August comes and, with it, the looming presence of fall. While autumn is the setting for a few of our favorite things — pumpkins, flannels, cozy coffee shops — its arrival means we have limited time to finish our summer bucket list.
First things first, read up on 11 Reasons to Love Sacramento in the Summer. Then, when you’ve fallen in love with the city all over again, find out how to experience the best of it before the first day of fall on September 22!
1. Opt outside
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: summer is the best time to enjoy the outdoors. The sun, the longer days and the overwhelming sense of adventure add up to some of the best warm-weather outings. We suggest hopping on your bike and hitting Sacramento’s best biking trails! Or, make it an overnight adventure at one of 31 incredible campgrounds within 2 hours of Sacramento.
2. Hit the town
Merge your warm weather activities with food, drinks and entertainment in the city! Whether you’re looking for a lunchtime brew, date night ideas, or a patio to soak up the sunshine, you can find it all. Check out The Best Places to Grab a Beer in Sacramento, 10 Summer Date Night Ideas in Sacramento, and The Top Outdoor Patios in Sacramento for details.
3. Act like a tourist
Often, it seems locals don’t get the chance to explore their cities like the tourists do. We fall back on our old favorites and forget to explore the historic spots and the new destinations right in our backyards. Check out The Top 10 Sacramento Attractions That Are Not Just for Tourists and see how many you can check off the list before summer ends!
4. Catch the end of a summer series
The Sacramento area celebrates summer with food trucks, outdoor movie nights, concerts and more. As the season wraps up, so do a few of our favorite recurring events!
Float-In Movie Nights
The Southgate Recreation & Park District celebrates warm weather by merging two of our favorite things — swimming pools and outdoor movies! Stay cool in the water or lounge poolside while you watch Toy Story at Rutter Swim Center on August 4th and Aladdin at Fruitridge Aquatic Center on August 18th.
Concerts in the Park
Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District hosts the free Concert in the Park series throughout the summer at Village Park. Before the last concert on August 24th, bring the whole family along to dance to blues, jazz, rock and pop! Check out the lineup for August 3, 10, 17 and 24 to see who’s playing!
Photo courtesy of GATHER
Inspired by signature California nights and the emerging trend of the food culture, GATHER is a take on the city as a dining table. Through October, you can attend monthly events in Rocklin’s Quarry Park and Sacramento’s Oak Park. At each event, you’ll have access to communal tables for outdoor dining, a craft beer area, artisanal food vendors, designers, food demos, interactive art, live music and a modular kids park.
Off the Grid
Off the Grid Markets are food truck events organized throughout Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. Through October, you can attend weekly events at Sacramento Zoo, Rancho Cordova Prospect Park, and Saturday Nights at the Barn in West Sacramento.
If you’re looking for even more events to fill your calendar, check out our round-up of August’s most-anticipated events!
5. Shop at local farmers markets
As the nation’s farm-to-fork capital, we’re not limited to restaurants for farm fresh fare — though we do have plenty farm-to-table spots! Shop local markets while the season’s crops are booming and create your own farm-to-fork masterpiece at home. Even if you’re not shopping, the markets are the ideal place to meet local growers and artisans, experience Sacramento area culture, and meet friends for a morning of fun! Find the closest market to you with our blog post and interactive map, Farmers’ Markets in the Greater Sacramento Area.
6. Cheer on the River Cats
Baseball, beer and burgers are summertime traditions we love. But that also means we have to get through three whole seasons without our Sacramento River Cats! Peruse the schedule online and buy your tickets. Then, catch as many games as you can before the season wraps up with a home game on September 4.
7. Take the kids to Funderland
Photo courtesy of Funderland Amusement Park
Funderland Amusement Park has been entertaining families since 1946 — complete with amusement rides, concessions and characters. Hop on the Funderland Train then get dizzy on the Crazy Cups before flying on the Squirrely Whirl! They’re is open every day through August so take advantage of the fun in William Land Park before the hours change in September.
For more kid-friendly fun this summer, read The Ultimate Kids’ Summer Guide to the Sacramento Area!
8. Eat ice cream
There’s no better season for ice cream so it’s a good thing Sacramento is home to a few of our favorite frozen treats! How many can you try before summer ends?
At The Parlor, they combine creativity with culinary treats to produce an ever-changing menu of Ice Cream Puffs, Donut Presses and more. Get an innovative flavor like Thai Tease, with milky vanilla and Thai tea sweetness, or get your favorite scoop inside a macaron!
Devil May Care
Devil May Care in West Sacramento is all about old-school ice cream — a creamy scoop balanced on a flaky, crunchy cone. Using local ingredients, the team produces every small batch inhouse. You can preview the menu on the website, but for current, seasonal flavors, follow Devil May Care on Facebook.
Gunther’s Ice Cream
Gunther’s Ice Cream has been serving Sacramento families since 1940 and the shop is one of our favorite places for a late-night treat! Open until 10 p.m., you can taste classic flavors or opt for the Flavor of the Month and eat it outside on the patio, illuminated by string lights.
9. Dine out with your pup
Summer is the season of farmers markets, baseball and outdoor dining. At the 20 Most Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars in Sacramento, you can bring your furry friend along to celebrate the fun! Just be sure to keep your well-behaved pup on a leash while you eat under the sun and order him a doggie ice cream. He deserves it!
10. Take off on a road trip
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily something to do in Sacramento, but our city is the perfect starting point for day trips to bustling cities like San Francisco, and charming destinations like Napa Valley. Check out 7 Road Trips Within 5 Hours of Sacramento, pack the car and salute summer with a road trip!
How do you salute the summer?
Share your end of summer bucket list with us in the comments below!
Category Neighborhood Guides
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.