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A Mix of Outdoor Goodness

Mike and Sara Barlow

Hidden away off of the main strip of Old Town Sacramento is a wondrous store that is all it is advertised to be. Upon approach, the doors read: Educate, Explore and Discover and as you step inside you are greeted by all of the tools to do exactly those things. Owners Mike and Sara Barlow have created a gem of a store that caters to children, adventure and all of the wonderful things about being a curious kid and family out enjoying nature. They have a skillfully selected inventory that offers adventure, excitement, education and of course fun.

Trailmix.net is part outdoor gear and part educational toys, kits and tools to be used outdoors or to spark an interest in our natural world and foster lifelong learning. Both Sara and Mike are extremely educated on the products that they carry and the store is broken out into clearly defined sections. The Barlows greet everyone who walks in, eager to share with them the things that they love and enjoy doing with their own family. They also carry a great selection of things for kids to stay safe in the outdoors such as sun protection and great outdoor safety kits from All Terrain including their awesome lip armor lip balm.

Their location is right across from the CA. State Railroad Museum on I street in Old Sacramento and is ultra kid friendly. As we were walking my son was just drawn to the front door where their mascot, Trailmix the bear proudly sits and greets patrons. Once inside, he was surprised to see all of the things that he was welcome to touch and use. Everything in the store invites kids to come on in and spend some time exploring and learning.   

The store is also a treasure trove for parents who want to get their kids more involved in nature, but aren’t sure how to go about it. They have a fabulous library of books on hand that cover gardening, hiking, camping, rock collecting, bird watching, geocaching…just about anything outdoors. They also offer a great selection of gear and information for geocaching which is an activity that is as much fun for parents as it can be for kids. It is high tech treasure hunting and the Barlow’s know it well. Sara and Mike also created one of the best and free outdoor activities for families in Sacramento; The Old Sacramento Scavenger Hunt. This is a fun and exciting hunt through the wooden sidewalks and shops of Old Sacramento that uses riddles to get the clues with a prize at the end when you return to the Trailmix.net store with your completed hunt. All kids love being super sleuths, and it will get the family out of the house and exploring for an afternoon, all for free. To download the Old Sacramento Scavenger Hunt and map please visit:  http://store.trailmix.net/p-528-old-sacramento-scavenger-hunt.aspx

On top of all this outdoor ingenuity and fun, they have come up with a truly unique 20 seat activity center in their store that is run like a restaurant. It is set up like a welcoming little cafe with wooden tables and chairs in a cheery and sunny room. Kids have a menu of things they can choose to do. Once they choose the activity they take their seat and are served all of the fixings needed to go hands on with their chosen task. My son chose to paint a critter, and was served the paints, brush, and water needed for the painting. Then he was given a little paper cup a la cart with the plastic googly eyeballs for trim after the painting was complete. He loved painting and creating his own dragonfly critter. The best thing…the Trailmix staff do all of the cleanup! It just doesn’t get any better than tableside service and cleanup.

Their activity menu has something to please anyone and includes independent activities for kids, or family driven activities that can be done as a group.  You can make a bean mosaic, paint a critter, plant a plant, paint a masterpiece, create a rock collection…the fun just goes on and on. For a complete downloadable menu of their activities please visit:   http://community.trailmix.net/menu/menu.pdf

They also open the activity center up for birthday parties and it is available to rent. In addition to the daily fun to be had in the activity center  they also host wonderful workshops and classes. Some of their guests have included The Bohart Museum of Entomology, NorCal Bats, and local author Jordan Summers (60 hikes in 60 miles, Sacramento). For a complete calendar of workshops and classes (including online seminars) please visit:  http://store.trailmix.net/t-seminars.aspx

There is always something fun to do at Trailmix.net and Sara and Mike Barlow have created something unique in their store. They have found a way to incorporate all of their adventures and beliefs into a truly enjoyable and educational family business that inspires and teaches a love of nature and learning. They would love to have your family stop by the store to say hello or maybe paint a critter or pick up a Butterfly Bungalow. Go check out the store,  pick up something new to get outside and explore and experience something new.

The Trailmix logo as a bean mosaic

Trailmix.net is located at 116B I street across from the CA State Railroad Museum. Parking is convenient and available in the I street garage and is happily validated with a $5 dollar purchase made at the store. They are open from 9:30am – 5:30pm Daily
Except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter.

For more information please visit: http://store.trailmix.net/

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