Can you believe it? This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend! Yay for the three-day weekend, and you know what this weekend signifies, right? The unofficial start of summer fun! This post that I did last year (oddly enough almost one year ago to the day) on my old, personal blog was the most popular post I ever wrote there, so I thought it’d be worth re-posting (with updated links and info of course) so those of you who’ve just “met” me through The Full Moxie can benefit from the list as well. I hope you enjoy!
1. Ride the Amtrak train from Fresno to Hanford and eat amazingly delicious ice cream at Superior Dairy cafe. For just $9 for adults and $5 for children (under 2 is free) families can take a 34-minute train ride to Hanford and enjoy some of the most delicious ice cream EVER. Superior Dairy (325 N. Douty Street, Hanford, CA 93230) is known all over the valley for it’s amazing ice cream, retro vibe, great prices and generous portion sizes (skip the spoon, bring a trowel!) This day trip is great for families with train obsessed tots, or skip the train and make the short 40-minute drive by car.
2. Enjoy a Grizzlies baseball game (especially on Mondays!). Grizzlies games are a lot of fun for the whole family and on Mondays, local news station ABC 30 sponsors an AMAZING (no joke, I can’t believe it’s possible) deal. Monday Madness: Get 2 Field Level Reserve tickets, 2 hot dogs, 2 sodas, 2 Wild Water Adventure Park passes, 2 Blackbeard’s mini golf passes and 2 Storyland/Playland Fantasy Day unlimited ride passes, all for just $32! (over $100 value) This year, additional packages have been added for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so be sure to check those out as well. View the game schedule and purchase tickets here.
3. Make memories at Fresno’s own Storyland/Playland (located within Roeding park). Storyland offers a one-of-a-kind interactive park walk through of a multitude of children’s most beloved stories and nursery rhymes and its neighbor, Playland boasts 12 fun rides with enjoyable options for all ages. Pricing options to fit any family budget with value pricing* available for families of 4. *Note entrance to Roeding park is $5 per vehicle. Additionally, families can enjoy Splash Junction, a 3500-square-foot splash park for FREE! (Please check the park’s website for hours and days.)
4. Get your head soaked at Wild Water Adventures water park on a Friday night with a special family discount deal. For $64, a family of four gets admission, a specialty dinner and drinks anytime after 3 p.m. all summer long (excluding July 1). This is a great deal considering the regular price would be well over $100!
5. Live in West Fresno? Try the Island Waterpark instead. Pre-season specials on season passes are still available for as low as $39.99 (M-Th) or $69.99 (any day 20% off coupon available if you like the Island on Facebook) but will end soon. For additional savings on daily passes, consider going after 3 and buying tickets online — you’ll get in for $13.99 vs. $16.99 for pre-paying! Additional prices here.
6. Enjoy a free walking tour of amazing valley art twice monthly at Fresno’s own ArtHop. This fun, cultural and FREE experience is offered on the first and third Thursday of every month. Visit the website for information on venue locations and special exhibits.
7. Join the excitement and take in a NOTown Derby roller derby bout! Home bouts are typically held indoors at the Fresno Fairgrounds and tickets are $10, children 10 and under are free. Free scrimmages are also held at Cary Park and are a lot of fun to watch as well. If you’ve never been to a bout, prepare for fast-paced fun and excitement and an electrified crowd. The local roller derby scene is highly entertaining and growing quickly!
8. Take a drive to Bravo Farms, located in Traver just south of Kingsburg off 99. An ice cream parlor, petting farm and tree house awaits, as does locally made cheese and other goodies. A great stop en route to or from the Preferred Outlet Mall in Tulare, CA.
9. Escape the heat on ice, spend the afternoon skating at Gateway Ice Center. Weekday afternoon sessions from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. begin June 13th. For additional session times and ticket prices, check out their website here.
10. Take your kids bowling for FREE on AMF (locally, Sierra Lanes on Blackstone and Sierra) this summer! Simply register your children online and receive weekly coupons for up to two free games per child per day ALL summer long! To register, click here. Don’t have kids but still like to bowl? Don’t worry, AMF hasn’t forgotten about you! For $27.95, buy a summer bowling pass that allows you up to two games free daily too! Free bowling runs May 20-Sept 5th until 8 p.m. daily.
11. Enjoy a movie for just $1 in a nice, cool theater at participating Regal locations Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. For a list of the $1 movies playing at Edwards Cinema 21 or Signature at Manchester click here. For non-local locations, plug in your zip code here. Note: plan to arrive by 9:15 or so to get in, if you show up just before 10, you may find yourself out of a seat or paying full price for another movie (learned that one that hard way last year).
12. Get down into the water on a guided canoe trip down the San Joaquin river with the River Parkway and Trust. Discounts are available for members, but pricing is reasonable for non-members as well. Click here for additional information. For other fun activities offered by River Parkway including nature walks, river camp and more, click here.
13. Visit your local library! If you live in the Fresno area, click here for a schedule of local library programs and services. The number of programs is so great, I couldn’t possibly list them all here, but a sampling includes infant and preschool reading theater, reading and craft time, computer classes, “read to dogs” program, chess classes, knitting classes and groups, Wii fit sessions, children’s self defense classes, Yu-Gi-Oh game sessions, homework help and tutoring (available year round) and more! Also, remember, you can rent movies as well as borrow books from the library for free!
14. Say hello to the animals at the Chaffee Zoo. Also located in Roeding Park, summer mornings at the zoo before it gets too hot are a great time to see animals active in their habitats. Enjoy the newer interactive exhibits such as the Dino Dig and Stingray Bay touch pool and feed a giraffe! Visit their website for hours and pricing.
15. Relax and enjoy some grown-up time with your spouse or friends on the Madera Wine Trail. Located just north is a treasure trove of local, family-owned wineries with tasting rooms and a multitude of special events in the upcoming months. Visit the website for more information on the individual wineries and tasting events.
16. Take a dip in a local public pool or cool off at a splash park near you. Four public pools will be operating this summer (locations here) and in addition to Splash Junction in Playland, two valley parks built in recent years offer splash fun (Todd Beamer Park in NE Fresno and the Figarden Loop Park in NW Fresno). Water in the splash parks is user-operated, so if you don’t see water running, that doesn’t mean it’s not functional. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. except Tuesdays, water is off for maintenance until 12 p.m.
17. Do your kids know where their food comes from? How about the cotton that makes their clothing? If not, you may want to get to the AgVenture! interactive agriculture museum located in Tulare at the international Agri-Center. All exhibits are hands-on and interactive and are ideally suited for children in grades 2-4, however, I could see them being very enjoyable to other ages as well. While you’re there, check out the adjoining antique tractor museum too!
18. If all else fails, just go bounce off some walls! SkyWalk features over 7,000 square feet of custom steel-frame trampolines including an expansive “open-jump” field, angled trampolines and Olympic Foam Pits. SkyWalk is especially proud to feature the largest Trampoline Dodgeball Court in America. Located just north of Riverpark, SkyWalk can be reserved for private parties, but also takes jumpers on a walk-in basis. Click here for more information.
19. Check out Fresno’s own unique subterranean treasure — Forestiere Underground Gardens. This amazing multi-room underground garden, modeled after the ancient catacombs was dug painstakingly over 40 years by Italian immigrant Baldasarre Forestiere in his spare time. Not only is it an amazing site to see, and a one of a kind local attraction, it is also one of the coolest (literally!) places you’ll find during the hot Fresno summer! Underground temperatures are about 20 degrees cooler than above ground. For tour times, prices and further details, visit the website here.
20. Pick your own fresh cherries and tree fruits at Sumner Peck Ranch! Located just a short drive from Fresno in neighboring Sanger (with local fruit stands in Fresno and Madera), families can enjoy picking their own produce straight from the source at this family own ranch. For more information on picking your own fruit, please contact the ranch at 559.708.9317.
21. If you’re headed to the Bay Area, try to plan your trip around the first Wednesday of the month, when admission to the AMAZING and educational San Francisco Exploratorium offers FREE admission. There is so much to do and see there, I couldn’t possibly summarize it with any justice here — please check out their website here.
[featured images via desktop nexus and AgVenture!]