It used to be Spring Break automatically meant going to Mexico for a week to drink, dance and cavort with an international crowd of attractive strangers. You wouldn't always remember what you did the night before and in some cases, that was a good thing. Now that the college days are long gone, you still want a fun way to spend that time with your family. Why bankrupt yourself with airfare, lodging, souvenirs and meals for four or more when you can be a tourist right here in Sacramento? There's plenty to do and you won't have to contend with mile-long security checkpoints and lost luggage. Just fill up the gas tank and you're on your way to checking out the following recommendations. Have a good time!
1. , 9646 Micron Ave. - Spend two consecutive nights here and get 20 percent off your stay (book by June 15); all the more money to spend on other fun stuff! This hotel offers a free Bear Bite breakfast and, if you can't live without your laptop, complimentary high-speed Internet access. There's even a pool, so bring your swimsuits and get ready for some splishing and splashing. Got a dog, cat or bunny? Pets are allowed as well for just $10 per night—it doesn't get more family-friendly than this.
2. Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd. - Bibliophiles have long sought out this peaceful place, where you can read to your heart's content in a quiet atmosphere. Remodeled at the end of 2009, the library has Internet stations, child and adult programs and magazines, in addition to its vast book collection. More into movies and CDs? You can check those out as well. It's a nice change of pace from the usual coffee house atmosphere. Spend an afternoon here escaping into a compelling sci-fi or fictional read—don't forget your bookmark and no talking!
3. Sacramento Zoo, Land Park Drive and 16th Avenue - Animal lovers will revel in this outing, where you'll get to view a cornucopia of animals from around the world, including tigers, monkeys, lions, red kangaroos, anteaters and giraffes. Reptile fans will get their fill of lizards, turtles and snakes galore. Make a day of it and pack a picnic lunch to eat at William Land Park, right across the street. If you'd rather not bring your own eats, the zoo has Kampala Café and Savannah Snacks to satisfy your hunger. Open daily for your convenience, admission is $6.50 to $11 and kids 1 and younger are free.
4. Old Sacramento - This is a pedestrian's dream come true, with a fantastic mixture of landmarks, shops, restaurants and museums all next to each other. Train lovers can look at old rail cars at the California State Railroad Museum, while historians will get a kick out of the bronze Pony Express Statue at 2nd and J Streets, created by sculptor Thomas Holland. Stop by Garden of Enchantment and Visions of Eden for mystical crystals, candles, beauty products and books or pop into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for gourmet truffles, chocolate-dipped fruit and fresh fudge.
5. Scandia Family Fun Center, 5070 Hillsdale Blvd. - Visible from the Interstate 80, this multi-activity pleasure palace has delighted young and old alike since 1977. With two 18-hole mini-golf courses, a buzzing arcade, Baltic Sea Bumper Boats and batting cages, there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you're into an adrenaline rush, try the Scandia Screamer thrill ride or race cars around the Stockholm Raceway. After all the excitement, revive yourself with pizza, hot dogs and soft drinks at the snack bar. Isn't it awesome to feel like a kid again?