Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Citrus Heights, CA

  • Published 2023/04/30

Citrus Heights draws visitors not just because of the ranches and citrus orchards that spurred its settlement in the 1800s.

In the ensuing years, it developed an urban flavor as an unincorporated community of Sacramento County.

Citrus Heights eventually became a magnet for new residents and new property developments.

Its area’s seismic stability became a welcome haven in the northeast Sacramento area.

The rise of the Citrus Heights community as a residential-commercial enclave became well-pronounced, with major retail centers opening during the 1970s.

Thanks to the continuing growth momentum of Citrus Heights, it was incorporated as a city in 1997.

Its urbanization notwithstanding, the city has retained much of the countryside charm that its pioneer orange groves have endowed to the local community.

Find out more about this charming mix of attractions on the following list of things to do in Citrus Heights, California.

Join the Fitness Walkers of Sunrise Mall

Building sign of Sunrise Mall

The original uploader was J.smith at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunrise Mall, one of the pioneer commercial centers of Citrus Heights, offers more than shopping.

This mall, developed over 100 acres on Sunrise Boulevard, opens early daily to accommodate its Friends-in-Fitness Mall Walking.

In this free program, you can go on a three-fourth mile fitness walk using the south and north main entrances of Sunrise Mall.

This exercise in a climate-controlled environment is an excellent way to start a day or to go shopping in the mall.

The one-story, enclosed Sunrise Mall boasts 90 tenants, including its anchors JCPenney, Sears, and Macy’s.

Interior of Sunrise Mall

The original uploader was J.smith at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the Charms of Bliss Farms

Bliss Farm draws visitors for its immersive, one-of-a-kind experience in a farmers’ market.

Tucked in a cul-de-sac on Bovingdon Lane, this charming Citrus Heights destination declares its presence in the city as driven by peace, love, and hard work.

Bliss Farm holds a nightly farmers market every Wednesday starting in May, during which visitors can pick their veggies.

These days, Bliss Farm conducts cooking demos, cook-offs, and fun games for its visitors.

Live music and farm-to-fork cuisine likewise await you on a visit to this Citrus Heights hidden gem.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Van Maren Park

One of Citrus Heights’ most visited recreational facilities, Van Maren Park, is on Thalia Way.

Its popularity among locals and visitors owes much to its convenient location, nestled between Costco and City Hall.

Van Maren Park also offers several recreational outdoor facilities within its area of about four acres.

The park and its amenities have been masterfully woven into the Stock Ranch Nature Preserve.

This green space of nearly 40 acres captures a stretch of Arcade Creek winding its way through a large section of the city.

Van Maren Park’s facilities include paved walkways, unpaved trails, benches, and a drinking fountain.

The park also has convenient access to the Stock Ranch Nature Preserve’s garden and nature area.

In addition, the park provides picnic facilities, a basketball court, a multipurpose field, and children’s play equipment.

Pick a Sports Field at Madera Park

Madera Park offers a wide selection of sports facilities on its site off Wonder Street.

This park was developed on a parcel of nearly 16 acres between the Sunrise Acres and Hillcrest neighborhoods of Citrus Heights.

The facilities in Madera Park include baseball fields for Little League tournaments, with spectators’ bleachers.

The park also features a lighted tennis court, a soccer field, an outdoor basketball court, a multipurpose field, and a children’s playground with equipment.

In addition, the park provides picnic facilities, concession buildings, paved trails, and unpaved pathways.

Follow the Sensory Trail of the Arcade Creek Park Preserve

The Arcade Creek Park Preserve on Bonham Circle opened a unique Sensory Trail in 2019 on its extensive nature area and garden.

This wheelchair-accessible trail provides recreational and educational opportunities to park visitors with disabilities, including those with impaired vision.

The Sensory Trail of the Arcade Creek Park Preserve provides informative signage and a downloadable audio tour of the pathway.

Non-disabled visitors have much to enjoy too in the park’s fitness stations and zipline.

Other ten-acre Arcade Creek Park Preserve facilities include covered picnic areas and children’s play facilities.

The park is also groomed for a 2.9-mile connector trail linking to other parks to the east, like Tempo and Sundance Parks.

Sharpen Fairway Skills at the Foothill Golf Course

As a purely par three layout, the nine-hole links of the Foothill Golf Course spread off Verner Avenue between Greenback Wood Park and the Calvary Cemetery.

This course offers par 27 regulation play over 1,220 yards, just right for advanced players to perfect their swings and for novices to hone their skills.

The Foothill Golf Course is a facility run by the family of a PGA Tour Pro, Cameron Champ, who began sharpening his game here.

In addition to its daytime play, glow-in-the-dark golf games offered nightly attract many golfers to this course.

The Foothill Golf Course hosts ladies’ and men’s leagues and clinics for young golfers.

It also offers a cutting-edge golf simulator to help golfers improve their game.

Roll Spares and Strikes at Fireside Lanes

Expect good times at Fireside Lanes, an old-fashioned bowling alley on Auburn Boulevard.

The family of PBA Hall of Famer Steve Cook owns and manages this bowling facility.

Fireside Lanes aren’t only the home of competitive league play in keeping with Steve’s caliber.

This bowling alley also sets the tone for open bowling times which are casual and friendly.

It takes pride in its Hall of Fame Bar & Grill, game arcade, and retail shop and accommodates group events and parties.

Play at the Grand Oaks Bingo Center

Established in 2001, the Grand Oaks Bingo Center has grown to become a community hub at Auburn Boulevard.

This facility has grown popular not only for its opportunity for players to enjoy socials and win cash prizes.

The Grand Bingo Center has also generated proceeds for the benefit of charities like the Society for the Blind.

Playing bingo in this facility can be enjoyed in the new electronic mode of eBingo, wherein you use a touchscreen to daub the numbers called.

You also have the option to go the old school way of traditional paper cards and a dauber.

Learn Skating at Sunrise Rollerland

If roller skating fascinates you, but you don’t know how to do it, Sunrise Rollerland has the experts to give you affordable lessons.

The teaching sessions on this skating rink on Sunrise Vista Drive take two and a half hours, and the fee already includes skate rental.

The instructor who may be assigned to you can turn out one of the members of the Sunrise Crusaders, the competitive skating team at Sunrise Rollerland.

This skating rink, established in 1973, is also captivating due to its medieval design.

Besides its 93 × 187 feet well-maintained maple wood staking rink with a great sound system, Sunrise Rollerland also offers arcade games and a snack bar.

See the Public Art around Citrus Heights

Citrus Heights takes pride in its thriving public art that also defines much of the character of destinations around Southern California.

The city has funded several outdoor art pieces, commissioning the creative services of prominent artists.

Citrus Heights’ public art includes the “Celebrate Citrus Heights” on Fountain Square Drive in front of the Community Center, a statue by Philip Sciortino.

At Greenback Lane between Van Maren Lane Park and Oaks Drive, you can view the “Up and Away” statue by Colin Lambert.

City grants also helped fund several murals on the walls of Sunrise MarketPlace business district.

One standout in this area is the mural titled “DESTINATION,” the head of an eagle on a Fibonacci Spiral spanning the rear wall of PetSmart on Sunrise Boulevard.

A colorful butterfly mural is another stunning piece of public art in Citrus Heights, gracing the Marketplace at Birdcage on Birdcage Centre Lane.

Check Out the Dirty Locust Garden Center

The Dirty Locust Garden Center is a small, family-owned enterprise on Oak Avenue that has built up its stature among plant lovers since its opening in 2018.

Photo shoots and events, like meditation and yoga classes, are now bookable at this center that specializes in garden art.

The Dirty Locust Garden Center now lays claim as among Sacramento’s leading businesses for plant ornamentals.

This garden center exudes a serene and captivating atmosphere with its extensive collection of premium bonsai, tropicals, and succulents.

The bonsai classes and other garden services it offers have extended to the Metro Sacramento area.

Pick an Exotic Pet at Aquarium & Reptile Depot

If exotic pets draw your fancy, then a visit to Aquarium & Reptile Depot should be on your itinerary in a trip to Citrus Heights.

The brothers Jason and Jeff Liang run this pet store on Auburn Boulevard, the perfect duo to help you find not only “Nemo” and “Dory.”

Aquarium & Reptile Depot also features 200 different reptile species besides fish.

Its customers can browse the 50 reptile enclosures in this pet store serving the greater Sacramento area.

Of course, the clownfish and the blue tang dory are always in the Aquarium & Reptile Depot inventory.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is located on Stafford Street in Folsom, California, 18 minutes from Citrus Heights.

This attraction in Folsom opened in 1963 initially as a refuge for Smokey, a burn-injured bear cub orphaned in a brush fire.

The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary differs from traditional zoos, as animals aren’t bred, traded, or sold.

Since it adopted Smokey, the sanctuary has become a refuge for about 100 rescued animals.

Among the wildlife now kept in the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary are two tigers from Riverside County in California.

The sanctuary is also home to mountain lions, bobcats, wolves, wolf hybrids, foxes, coyotes, mule deer, squirrel monkeys, macaques, and sheep.

It also keeps raccoons, skunks, and rescued birds like parrots, eagles, and ravens.

Take the Family to the Scandia Fun Center

The Scandia Fun Center is a family-oriented recreational facility on Hillsdale Boulevard in Sacramento, California, nine minutes from Citrus Heights.

Three Scandinavian families founded this amusement center in 1977, hence its name and family-oriented theme.

The Scandia Fun Center in Sacramento became so successful that it has branches in several other locations like Las Vegas and Fairfield.

The Sacramento facilities of this recreational center include a mini roller-coaster, racing car track, and bumper boats.

Visitors of the Scandia Fun Center can also enjoy its mini-golf course, batting cages, air hockey, shooting gallery, and arcade games.

Explore the Gibson Ranch Regional Park

The Gibson Ranch Regional Park spreads over 444 acres in the Sacramento suburb of Elverta, California, 16 minutes west of Citrus Heights.

It offers a pristine parkway habitat conveniently accessible via Gibson Ranch Park Road.

Horse riding is one of the popular activities at the Gibson Ranch Regional Park, wherein horse rentals and riding lessons are available.

Licensed anglers visiting the park can enjoy fishing at its lake, stocked with bass, catfish, and other varieties of fish.

The Gibson Ranch Regional Park is a thriving wildlife habitat, making it an ideal place to observe birdlife and other wildlife.

Visiting families with kids have choices of two separate playgrounds, with one designed for younger children and the other suitable for toddlers of all ages.

Dog owners visiting this park can have their pets play in an obstacle course suited even for small pups.

Final Thoughts

The attractions in Citrus Heights could become the centerpieces of an itinerary of a trip to the Sacramento area.

The residential and commercial establishments that drove the city’s growth have created many recreational opportunities for visitors.

Set your sights on the best things to do in Citrus Heights, California.

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