(Credit for the below list has to be given to u/BurritoFueled, who created the original list in 2014 and updated it a year later. Almost two-thirds of the items below are still from that original list. All I’ve done with the list is revive it a little bit by updating dead links and making little tweaks when necessary. Also, thanks to those that submitted new additions to the list last week. Over a third of the below items are new and a lot of the original items have had newer information added onto them.)
People are always looking for something to do around here. Maybe you’re a transplant, unaware of what this area has to offer, or maybe you’re a lifelong resident, tired of the same old thing. Well friend, if you fall into the latter category, do not despair. There’s actually plenty of things to do in the Sacramento area – things of interest to almost any lifestyle, personality, or budget.
So, whether you’re an athlete, geek, eccentric, hipster, weirdo, sexual deviant or just a normal person looking for a new activity, below is a list of activities for you to try. Please note that it includes only activities that take place at least a few times a year – no one-off events or festivals here.
Enjoy this list. If you have any suggestions of your own to add, comment below in this thread. I’ll try to keep this as up to date as possible.
Away we go.
(Note: Due to the current pandemic, some of these activities may be curtailed or not offered at all.)
Cast you some spells and slang them multi-sided dice at Great Escape Games and/or A1 Comics in Sacramento.
Paintball it up at Capital Edge or Davis Paintball,
Take a walk among the tree tops at Tree Top Sac.
Visit the California State Capitol Museum. Or just the Capitol building. They are one and the same. The tour is free!
Rekindle your dreams of being a pilot or astronaut at the Aerospace Museum of California.
Take a ride through automotive history at the California Automobile Museum.
Like to Knit? Enjoy a good chat? Join a Knit and Chat at Knitique: A yarn boutique in Elk Grove.
Play disc golf at one of several courses in the area.
Become the next Tiger Woods (the golf part, not the cheating, getting your windshield smashed by your wife with one of your golf clubs part). Start by hitting up a driving range at Top Golf or Haggin Oaks.
Can’t get enough 2nd Saturday? Try 3rd Saturday in Roseville, 3rd Saturday in Placerville, or 2nd Friday in Davis.
Get your culture on at the Crocker Art Museum.
If you prefer culture that keeps you on your toes, check out the Sacramento Ballet. Want to become a ballet dancer? They offer classes as well.
More into theater? Check out the Broadway shows that come to the Music Circus annually. If your tastes align with smaller productions, check out the B Street Theater calendar.
Go Geocaching for one of the thousands of great hides in the area.
Join an intergalactic war for local landmarks and public art in the Google-produced, GPS-Dependent MMORPG, Ingress.
Tour the live-work spaces of Sacramento artists, and buy some art, during First Friday at Warehouse Artist’s Lofts. They often put on performances during First Friday as well.
Everyone knows about the Kings, Republic and the River Cats. Check out some of Sacramento’s other sports teams: The Sacramento Sirens (women’s tackle football), Sacramento Gold (men’s soccer), or California Storm (women’s soccer).
Enjoy the fast-paced, bone crushing action of roller derby with Sacramento roller derby.
Preserve and explore the area’s unique history and heritage by joining or supporting groups such as the Sacramento County Historical Society, Preservation Sacramento, and Sacramento Modern.
Watch people drive really fast at Sacramento Raceway (drags), All American Speedway (short track), and Placerville Speedway (dirt).
Drive your own car really fast at Sacramento Raceway’s Wednesday Night Street Legal Drags.
Purchase the sweetest sweet corn in all the land at the Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse.
When you’re done in Sloughhouse, head a little further up the Jackson Highway (just past Rancho Murieta), hang a left on Michigan Bar Road, and cross the bridge (it’s safe, trust me!) for one of the most historic, beautiful, and adventurous road trips in the entire area. Make sure you bring a hearty vehicle and avoid during winter and spring.
Play bocce ball at East Portal Park or Sutter’s Landing Park. When Sutter’s Landing skate park is open, you can borrow free bocce balls at the front desk if you give them your ID.
Get your party on at THIS, a free concert series every second Saturday at 20th and K during the warm months of the year.
Grind some rails at Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rocklin, and Citrus Heights skate parks.
Catch some air at Elk Grove, Oak Creek, and Elkhorn BMX parks.
Learn to dominate obstacles with parkour training at Free Flow Academy.
Dominate the boulders at Putah Creek. If indoor rock climbing suits you better, try Pipeworks, The Boulder Field, or Granite Arch.
Spend a day at Sacramento’s only “extreme air sport park”, Defy. Or just spend hours jumping in a trampoline park at Rebounderz in Arden-Arcade, Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park also in Arden-Arcade, or at Rockin’ Jump in Elk Grove or Roseville.
Become a confident public speaker with the Toastmasters.
Learn about some of Sacramento’s history at Sutter’s Fort. (Or you can just follow u/sacramentohistorian).
For a different view of Sacramento history, check out the State Indian Museum. (You can still follow u/sacramentohistorian though).
Of course there’s the “official” Sacramento History Museum. A visit there can include an underground tour of Old Sacramento if that interests you.
After taking the underground tour, take a stroll across this sub’s favorite bridge – the Tower Bridge. Make sure to take a picture and post it. This sub can’t get enough bridge pics.
Beat the summer heat by getting soaked at Raging Waters, getting towed by a cable (wakeboarding) at Wake Island Water Park, or playing on floating inflatable climbing structures at Velocity Island Park. If you prefer to dip your toes in the sand and just lay out in the sun, try Sand Cove Park.
Show off your moves at the downtown outdoor ice skating rink during the winter months. If you need to show them off year round, you can do so indoors at Skatetown in Roseville.
Take a short drive to Rancho Seco Lake for picnics, swimming, fishing, and hiking. Watch out for three-headed frogs.
Attend an event with the cool kids at Sacramento’s DIY artist event space, The Red Museum.
Take a trip out of the city and go visit one of our many state parks in the region.
Or stay in the city and visit one of those state parks – the Leland Stanford Mansion – if 19th century Victorian architecture floats your boat.
Watch some slobberknockers live with Total Wrestling Federation and Supreme Pro Wrestling events. If you’d rather lay the smack down on some jabroni yourself, both promotions offer training.
Join a fraternal organization like the Elks or Odd Fellows for cheap drinks/meals, camaraderie, and old school cool – all for a good cause.
Explore the amazing Vernal Pools of Mather Field – an endangered habitat.
Check out – or offer your services – at the Oak Park Fix-it Café, a community-powered gathering for repairing and maintaining bicycles, clothing, household items, and the ties that bind a healthy community.
Buy some tricks, attend magic workshops, and become the next David Blaine at Grand Illusions.
Go watch some horseracing at Cal Expo. It’s harness racing from November through April and then traditional horseracing during the state fair. Want to end up with small fortune at the end of your day at the track? It’s easy. Just start your day there with a large fortune.
Take in a sultry and sexy burlesque show from these local troupes: Midtown Moxies, Siren Academy, The Darling Clementines.
Learn about wild edibles in the area with the Sacramento Foragers.
Live your Hunger Games fantasies at the Discovery Park Archery Range and Wilderness Archery in Rocklin.
Watch some high school football! The Sacramento region boasts some of the best high school programs in the state. Check out top notch teams like Grant, Elk Grove, Folsom, and Del Oro to see potential NCAA Division 1 and NFL players of the future.
Watch some college football! Sac State had a huge resurgence in 2019 and UC Davis has always had a solid program. You can also check out the JC teams such as ARC and Sac City.
Learn about bizarre and fascinating surgical implements of the past at the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical History Museum. Entry is free.
Partake in Mike Tyson’s favorite hobby with the Fort Sutter Pigeon Racing Club.
If Live-Action Role Play (LARP) floats your boat, Sacramento Valley Amtgard has the battles, weapons workshops, and skills classes you’ve been looking for.
Take a ride on the Sacramento River Train. You can ride the train or power along the tracks yourself with railbikes. They have different train excursions, including beer tasting and wine tasting trips. If you want to book a trip on a weekend, book early.
Want to learn how to fish? Try Fishing in the City from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. After you’ve learned, check out the blog from FishingBooker on where and when to go fishing and what to expect. For some recent local recommendations, check here, here, here or here.
If fishing tours are more your style, catch your lunch on a guided fishing tour of local waterways.
Take in a play at one of Sacramento’s smaller, edgier, more contemporary community theatre companies, like the Big Idea Theatre.
Take acting classes from acting coach to the Sacramento stars, Ed Claudio. If comedy is more your thing, try taking a class at Sacramento Comedy Spot or STAB! Comedy Theater.
Of course, if you just want to drink and watch comedy, there are several clubs in the area, offering both local and national touring comedians.
If movies are your thing, check out the only drive-in theater in the area.
Enjoy some dirt cheap entertainment with one man band Winko Ljizz at the Acoustic Sanctuary.
Party down and help kids with the Women’s Active 20-30 social club.
Take a tour or attend an event put on by the Old City Cemetery Committee.
Do you like beer and visiting breweries, but don’t like driving between them? Midtown Sacramento has got you covered! Make a day of it by visiting these breweries, all within easy walking distance of each other: At Ease, Sacrament, Big Stump, Golden Road, Fieldwork, and Alaro. If you don’t mind walking a few extra blocks, you can add Device and Urban Roots to the list.
Visit a cidery at Two Rivers Cider in Land Park or a meadery (honey wine) at Strad Meadery in Rancho Cordova.
I don’t know any chess puns to make here, but if you’re into chess, you should join the Sacramento Chess Club.
Join a pickup basketball game at one of Sactown’s best streetball courts.
Join a running club. Sloppy Moose Running Club does a three-mile fun run at New Helvetia Brewing on Thursdays. Fleet Feet Sacramento Run Crew meets every Tuesday at Sac Yard Tap House for a three-mile walk or run.
Attend Wonk Wednesday, where policy wonks, planners, developers, urban designers and concerned citizens partake in an ongoing conversation about smart growth, urban planning, and climate change.
Enjoy your favorite horror flicks in a whole new way with Amber’s Sweets – one of the nation’s premier shadow casting troupes.
Attend a conversation hosted by California Groundbreakers – you’ll hear interesting people talking about interesting things.
Do you need a heavy dose of tranquility? Stroll around the UC Davis Arboretum for an afternoon and take in all the flora and fauna. If you really love flowers, you can also visit Horton Iris Garden in Loomis (open April and May only) or Amador Flower Farm in Plymouth.
Ever wanted to learn to sail, kayak or row? You’re in luck! The Sac State Aquatic Center offers lessons for those activities and more.
Antiquing never gets old, right? Visit Midway Antique Mall in Citrus Heights (focusing almost solely on midcentury wares), Antique Trove in Roseville, or the Antique Fair that happens every second Sunday on X Street, under the freeway.
Take butchering classes at Taylor’s Market and become the master of meats.
Learn to prepare fabulous meals at home with cooking classes at Good Eats or Sac Food Coop.
See 1500-4000 year old petroglyphs, rock art, and grinding holes at the Maidu Museum and Historic Site in Roseville.
Take the plunge at SkyDance Skydiving in Davis. If you want the skydiving experience without actually jumping out of an airplane, try iFly in Roseville.
If you’d rather fly the plane than jump out of it, take pilot lessons at Sacramento Executive Airport.
Produce and broadcast your own TV and radio programs at Access Sacramento.
Play that weird sport you always watch when nothing else is on during the Winter Olympics with the Wine Country Curling Club at Skatetown in Roseville.
If playing weird sports on ice isn’t your thing, partake in a weird sport on dirt and grass with the Sacramento Cricket Association.
For more normal sports, with a big time social emphasis as well, join one of the sports leagues at XOSO and make some new friends.
Scratch that adrenaline itch by going bungee jumping.
Join a local car or motorcycle club.
Take a walk along the Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel after parking at the Barge Canal Access near the port.
Become a kingpin…of the lanes! There are plenty of places in the area to go bowling: Capitol Bowl in West Sacramento, AMF Land Park Lanes in Land Park, Punch Bowl Social Sacramento next to the Golden 1 Arena downtown, Country Club Lanes in Arden-Arcade, Bowlero North Sacramento in North Sac, Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights, Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin, or Foothills Bowl in Auburn.
Be amazed or creeped out by more than seven million living and dead insect specimens at the Bohart Museum of Entomology in Davis.
Take your 4×4, dirtbike, or ATV off-road at Prairie City SVRA
If motorcross is your bag, hit the track at Prairie City MX (private track) or Riverfront MX Park in Marysville. Rental bikes and lessons are available at both.
Programmers, coders, entrepreneurs, makers, inventors, and those who aspire to be one of these: find workspace, resources, meet-ups, and classes at the Hacker Lab..
Pub crawls are the past, The Brew Bike is the present. Just ask anyone here. This sub loves the Brew Bike!
If you would rather pedal over water than on land, try The Brew Boat.
Get into a duel at Sacramento Sword School or the Sacramento Fencing Club.
Exercise your 2nd amendment rights on the ranges at The Gun Room in Elk Grove or The Gun Range. Rent one of their hand cannons or bring your own.
Build superior intelligence (or some sort of contraption to feed your cat for you) with the Sacramento Area Robotics Group.
Play a round of Citizens of Catan and enjoy a tasty brew with the Beer and Board Game group.
Go see the cool animals at the Sacramento Zoo. Bring the kids and make it a full day out with a visit to Fairytale Town or Funderland Amusement Park as well.
Go on a walking food tour with Local Roots Food Tours.
Buy some gold pans or a sluice box and head for the hills to pan for gold, just like those that first came to the area.
Join a cryptocurrency group.
If you don’t wanna work and just wanna bang on your drum all day, Sacramento Taiko Dan can help.
Want to become the next Picasso? You gotta start somewhere, so take a paint and sip class at The Painted Cork in Midtown Sacramento or Historic Folsom.
It’s well known that you can play miniature golf at Scandia, but did you know that there are indoor mini golf courses in the area as well? Try SacMiniGolf in Old Sacramento, Flatstick Pub in DoCo downtown, or even glow-in-the-dark indoor mini golf at Monster Mini Golf in Rancho Cordova or at CaliGlo in Elk Grove.
Learn how to manage your mind with Sacramento Insight Meditation.
Play some poker at any one of several local card rooms.
Race your RC cars (or rent one) at LSR Speedway in Sacramento or Speedworld in Roseville. Slot cars run at Fast Track Hobbies in Rocklin.
Find cool stuff that other people lost with the Sacramento Metal Detecting Buffs. Or learn to dive and see if you can meet up with u/Merman_Mike and find stuff at the bottom of rivers or lakes.
Visit tribal-owned Seka Hills Olive Mill in the Capay Valley to taste local olive oils and honeys as well as getting a tour of the mill itself. Check to see if there is an active Groupon before going.
(NSFW) Take it all off and strut your stuff at Gold Club Centerfolds Amateur night for a chance to win $450. Sorry guys…this is for ladies only.
(NSFW) Men and women, if you just like walking around naked in general, let it all hang out at Laguna del Sol nudist resort in Wilton.
(NSFW) Find someone to get freaky with at an Allures Lifestyle swinger party.
Make Mr. Miyagi proud by joining the Sacramento Bonsai Club – the oldest bonsai club in the United States.
Make something quaint and take a selfie next to that giant needle flagpole thing at the Meissner Sewing & Learning Center
Grab your binoculars and admire the hundreds of native bird species in the area – as well as those passing through via the Pacific Flyway – at several recommended locations.
Find true love, or just someone to do all these activities with, at a local singles event.
Rent a raft with River Rat or American River Raft Rentals, or grab some crap from the pool, and participate in a favorite Sacramento pastime by floating on the American River.
For a more invigorating river experience try a whitewater tour
Do a free, self-guided tour of Sacramento history via Anytime Tours, an app and project of the Center for Sacramento History, City of Sacramento and Sacramento History Museum.
Take a coffee-tasting class or brewing/barista class at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters.
Explore the fascinating world of orchid collecting (seriously, this hobby and the people who pursue it are crazy interesting) with the Sacramento Orchid Society.
Race go-karts at K1 Speed in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society meets, and hosts a talk, at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park monthly and welcomes guests. They also do field trips and their Annual Show and Sale is a must-see event for plant lovers.
Take a relaxing cruise on the Sacramento River aboard the Hornblower Yacht.
Go on a scavenger hunt with Urban Adventures Quest, Sacramento Scavenger Hunt, or Let’s Roam. For a cool, unique hunt using your bike and finding stickers around town, follow Sacramento Bike and Seek on Instagram and be on the lookout for their free adventures.
Blow something long and hot in the glory hole at Sacramento Art Glass.. Classes are available.
Shoot your dinner on a guided hunting tour. Potential targets include ducks, geese, turkey, quail, and deer.
Check out some of Sacramento’s murals or see muralists in action during Wide Open Walls, a yearly event.
Take a guided tree tour with the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
Admire the heavens above with the Sacramento Valley Astronomy Society. You can also take a drive up to Placerville and visit the Community Observatory for free (although they do charge $2 for parking).
Explore the history of pharmacy in California at the Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum.
Did you know an “extreme sport” was invented in Sacramento? While the Z-Boys were taking skateboarding to the next level down in Dogtown, Launie Porteous and Mark Robinson were pioneering flatland (or “inland”) skimboarding right here in the River City. Buy yourself a board or make one and give it a try pretty much anywhere you can find shallow water. Paradise and Discovery beaches along the American are this sports’ ancestral home.
Mellow out at a kava kava bar with locations in Rancho Cordova and Davis.
Get the willies watching one of the largest Mexican Bat colonies on the west coast take to the skies at a Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Bat Talk and Walk.
View some famous bikes and learn about their riders at the US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis.
See Sacramento’s drag queen scene at Faces or Badlands.
Take a scenic horseback ride around Lake Natoma led by Shadow Glen Family Stables.
Hang out with feral chickens (yes, chickens!) at Fair Oaks Village Park. In the summer, you can watch live music with said chickens at their summer concerts in the park series.
Not to diminish the concert series at Fair Oaks Village Park, but when you hear “concerts in the park”, everyone knows that is the Concerts in the Park series in downtown Sacramento. Live local and national acts perform on Friday evenings in the summer, and it’s totally free. If you’re not good with crowds you may want to give this a miss because it is packed!
Vacation or day trip so close, yet feel so far away, along the Delta. Rent a boat, jet skis, a cabin or camping spot, buy some bait and tackle, and/or eat out at various locations on the river.
See model railroaders in action once a month at the Sacramento Model Railroad Historical Society. For the real thing, check out the California State Railroad Museum. Both are great for kids or your inner child.
Get into the sweetly rewarding hobby of beekeeping with a starter kit and guidance from Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. Once you’ve got your kit, take a beekeeping class in Davis.
Brew yourself a batch of beer goodness with classes and supplies from various home brewing stores in the area.
Go wine tasting at a couple of the closest wineries to Sacramento: Frasinetti and Old Sugar Mill.
Think you’re good at solving puzzles and mysteries? Try one of the many escape rooms in the area.
If you’re one of those folks that thinks you know everything, see how you stack up in one of the various pub trivia games.
Go see the highest freestanding bridge in California. Bonus: there’s some good hiking in the area as well.
Take a drive around the world’s smallest mountain range: the Sutter Buttes. You can actually drive around and hike the Sutter Buttes in the same day, however hiking is not free, you must do it as part of a guided group and you have to reserve a spot in advance.
Walk or mountain bike Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s Deer Creek Hills Preserve. All visits must be part of a pre-scheduled outing so plan in advance.
Drive to Rio Vista via the only two ferries that are actually part of the state highway system.
Catch a free lunchtime concert every Wednesday at Westminster Presbyterian Church downtown. You can bring a bag lunch!
Go to the top of the Memorial Garage on the corner of 14th and H for some nice views. Watch the sunset or visit on a nice clear night.
Explore some of Sacramento’s nature preserves. Start with Effie Yeaw and Cosumnes River. Camp Pollock is another one, but unfortunately, it is not in the best of areas.