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Find outdoor holiday cheer for whole family

Fairytale Town turns into 'Winter Wonderland'

Raised bed gardens at Fairytale Town
Mr. McGregor's Garden and other areas of Fairytale Town will be open during
the Sacramento site's "Winter Wonderland" event Dec. 18-19. (Photos courtesy
Fairytale Town)

Where does Santa hang out in Sacramento? Fairytale Town, of course!

This weekend, Santa will greet kids of all ages at Fairytale Town’s “Winter Wonderland,” another local holiday tradition that’s back this season.

Adults will enjoy all the outdoor decorations, shopping for unique items and constant cheer. The one caveat: You need to be accompanied by a child to attend.

From 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 and 19, Winter Wonderland will transform Fairytale Town into a holiday destination made for family fun. See holiday lights and festive decorations. Even play in the snow! (Yes, snow in Sacramento!)

Humpty Dumpty's Bridge
Humpty Dumpty welcomes visitors to Fairytale Town.

Tickets are now on sale and also may be available at the Fairytale Town box office during the event. Admission is $10; babies and toddlers under age 2 admitted free.

During the event, vendors will offer a wide range of arts and crafts. Victorian carolers will stroll the park from 4 to 6:30 p.m. A firepit will keep people warm, and guests can make their own s’mores. (Kits for $3 will be available at the Cafe; the firepit will be open for s’mores making starting at 4 p.m.)

As for the big guy himself, find Santa in his workshop from 3 to 6 p.m. Professional photos with Santa may be purchased or take your own. (Note: The Santa line closes at 6 p.m.)

Wrapping up the evening is a holiday-themed performance by the Balance Dance project at 6:45 p.m. and “snow fall” at 7 p.m.

Bring a gift, too. “Fairytale Town has partnered with
Las Madrinas for a Holiday Toy Drive,” adds the organizers. “If you bring in an item, you will be entered in for a prize.”

During the event, the rest of Fairytale Town also will be open to visitors. Check out Mr. McGregor's Garden, the Victorian garden, wonderful trees and other sites as well as the fairytale-inspired landmarks such as Humpty Dumpty's Bridge.

Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento.

For tickets and details:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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