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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Discover an unknown side of Davis

Students living in Davis have their own I’m-bored-and-need-a-study-break routine. It usually does not stray too far from dinner, movie and frozen yogurt.

But those who dare to step off the proverbial beaten path are in for a treat. Read on for four hidden ways to have fun in Davis this summer.

Folk Music Jam Session at the Arboretum

The folks at the UC Davis Arboretum know that nothing goes together better than summer, shade and music. It is for this reason that they put on the Folk Music Jam Session, which takes place on alternating Fridays at noon on Wyatt Deck in the Arboretum.

Elaine Fingerett, the Arboretum academic coordinator, came up with the idea for a jam session four years ago.

“A friend of mine and I used to go down to Wyatt Deck and we used to play at lunch. I always thought this would be the perfect place for a big jam session. So I just put the word out, and it’s a lot of fun,” Fingerett said.

Musicians of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Every instrument, from the penny whistle to the accordion, has been represented, she said.

“We basically go around the circle and everyone takes turns choosing what they’d like to play. Some people bring written music and sometimes we just jam,” Fingerett said. “So it’s very inclusive and non-competitive.”

The jam session allows musicians in the community to play folk music in the peaceful shade of the Arboretum.

“It’s a very lovely venue – it’s surrounded by redwood trees, and it’s very cool in the summer and it’s nice to play outside,” Fingerett said. “Everybody has a lot of fun, and I think in the end a lot of people learn from one another.”

The next jam session is on Aug. 6. For a calendar of future sessions, visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.

The Candy House of Davis

Proving that Davis offers more sweet treats besides frozen yogurt, The Candy House of Davis serves dozens of varieties of chocolates, fudge and other sweet confections. Located a few blocks from downtown at 901 3rd Street between I and J streets, this nine-year-old store is a one-stop-shop for any chocolate lover.

The Candy House’s specialty is truffles, and boasts 30 flavors to choose from. Though these include the exotic passion fruit and toasted almond, the most popular is the Gourmet dark chocolate according to employee George Said.

The Candy House of Davis is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Davis International Folk Dancers

Learning how to bust a move like the contestants on So You Think You Can Dance just got a whole lot easier.

The Davis International Folk Dancers meet Sundays from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Davis Art Center and encourage dancers of any skill to join them.

The group originally started over 30 years ago as a UC Davis club, and moved off campus in the 1980s.

“This is international folk dancing, so we do primarily dances that do not require partners. Once in a while we do dances that are couples dances, but mostly we do line and circle dances,” said Barbara Linderholm, one of the teachers in the group. “The majority of them are from the Balkan countries, which would be Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. We also do dances from Israel, Turkey, and Japan as well, and some from other parts of Western Europe and North and South America.”

Linderholm said that members of the group include college students, active senior citizens and everyone in between. Though the dancers have showcased their skills at events such as Whole Earth Festival, performing is not their main focus.

“It’s fun, great exercise, and interesting to learn about different music and dance styles,” Linderholm said. “It also helps build international understanding because you learn a lot about cultures through the music.”

Joining is easy. Head down to the Davis Art Center on Sundays at 7 p.m. Dancers can purchase a dance card for $30, which is good for 10 classes. The first class is free. For more information, visit davisfolkdance.org.

Skydance Skydiving

Daredevils looking for adventure should feel right at home at Skydance Skydiving, located at the Yolo County Airport.

General manager Neil Wathen recommended beginners try the tandem jump, which allows the jumper to remain strapped to an instructor for the duration of the jump. Participants also learn how to pull the ripcord on the parachute before heading out in the P- 750 Xstol aircraft.

Though most people are scared before their first skydive, Wathen said everyone is pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the experience is.

“It’s not flying, it’s floating. People always say afterward that this isn’t scary at all,” said Wathen. “We just had a 90-year-old woman skydive with her grandchildren, and she loved it.”

A basic tandem jump costs $159 and can be scheduled by calling 753-2651, or online at skydance.net/Default.htm.

ERIN MIGDOL can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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