In Sacramento and pretty much most of Northern California, we have a love-hate relationship with summer time. We love the long nights but the triple-digit temperatures we could live without. Despite the sometimes unbearable heat, we experience in Sacramento that’s not going to stop us from having some summertime fun. Last summer we enjoyed the first Our Street Night Market event, which had a whopping 13,000+ people show up. Afterward, several people told us they didn’t know it was happening so we decided we needed to start sharing what we know. We rounded up a list of fun things to do this summer.
1. Concerts in the Park. Concerts in the Park is a great free music event in Downtown Sacramento. The caliber of artists is great, from small town faves to hip hop legends (this year the Souls of Mischief headline). We’re super stoked and highly recommend checking out #CIPSAC. Grab your chairs, some blankets and some cash for some good eats and drinks. For a more adult-focused outdoor music opportunity, you could also check out THIS 916.
2. Watch an outdoor movie. Depending on your neighborhood there are several movies in the park opportunities, from South Sac to Roseville you have options. The one we are looking forward to checking out is “free outdoor movie nights at the Fort” hosted by Explore Midtown.
Photo Credit: Explore Midtown
Something about a movie project on Sutter’s Fort that seems so cool.
3. Fourth of July Fireworks. In Sacramento, you can check out fireworks shows at Cal Expo, Carmichael Park, Elk Grove, Greenhaven/Pocket (including a parade in the morning), Rancho Cordova, and Davis at Community Park. Looking for something a little different, head on over the Folsom Pro Rodeo or celebrate Fourth on the Field. If you are planning to head to the Bay Area, the Fireworks in San Francisco along the northern waterfront are the best show but you can find them in pretty much every area from Pleasant Hill to San Jose.
4. The Fair. There are a variety of county fairs throughout Northern California like the Alameda County Fair, Marin County Fair, or Solano County Fair but they happen across California this summer. For those of us in Sacramento, the California State Fair starts July 12 this year.
Our favorite thing about the fair is the food. There are so many things to buy from bacon-wrapped-deep–fried-everything-on-a-stick to items you can only find on TV (we bought the MyPillow and love it).
5. A food festival. Our first and favorite foodie festival was the 626 Night Market, so we’re super stoked the same folks who brought us this gem will be throwing the NorCal Night Market in July and August at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. If you’re going to go to any food event, this is the one to go to. Locally, we recommend checking out the Banana Festival, Sacramento Donut Festival, Sactown Nacho Fest, and the Sacramento Burger Battle. We can’t wait to try all the amazing burgers from local chefs. Our stomachs are going to love it but our waistlines are going to be hurting. Good thing we’re on a diet. We have to plan our cheat days around these foodie festivals.
6. Get your laugh on. There are great comedians that visit Sacramento. From big stage acts like Jo Koy at Thunder Valley or up and coming comedians at the Punch Line or Laughs Unlimited, there are plenty of ways to have a good laugh with your friends.
7. Drive-in movies. We both have fond memories of going to the drive-in movies – I have fond memories of going to the West Wind Drive-in Movie Theatre with my family. You could also check out the Drive-in Movies at the California Automobile Museum or Two Rivers Cider. It was always so fun to get to hang out with family and watching a movie on the big screen outside.
8. Support local sports teams. The basketball season is over but the Sacramento Kings are having the California Classic in July. You can also catch a Sacramento River Cats baseball game or support our local soccer team, Sacramento Republic FC.
9. Sip on some local wine or beer. Sacramento has so many great options for a wine night in the city, think Revolution Wines or wine tasting at the Sac Food Co-op, or just outside of Sacramento in nearby Clarksburg or Lodi. There are weekly events at the Old Sugar Mill and we love the Silt Winery. There are quite a few wine destinations in Northern California so if you feel like taking a ride, try wine tasting in Amador or the Napa Valley. Plus, the Sacramento Craft Beer scene is insane with new breweries popping up every month. Some of our go-to breweries are Alaro, Device Brewery. and Drakes at the Barn.
10. Get outdoors. The greenery and nature in Northern California is insane. We live in the City of Trees and the Sacramento and American River are both great opportunities to get outdoors and cool off. Boating or rafting down the river are always fun options. We also love all the hiking near and far. The list could go on but there are so many things you could do—biking, hiking, and spending time on the river.
BONUS: Be a tourist in your own city. When we moved back to Northern California 3 + years ago we realized there were so many things we hadn’t done when we were growing up here. That’s part of the reason why we started Modern Day Couple. We love checking out all the art in the region, checking out tourist attractions, and just spending time appreciating our hometown. We just heard today the artists and dates (August 9—19) for Wide Open Wallshave been released and we highly recommend checking it out as you make your way around the city.
UPDATED: June 20, 2019
If you know of anything else you think we should know about or add to the blog, just shoot us a message below in the form.