Daytrips/Local Hot Spots

Here’s a list of family-friendly things to do within Fresno, or the surrounding areas. I’ve included links to websites where applicable. If you have any to add…please email me via¬†the contact page.

Field Trip Ideas
Farms & Pumpkin Patches
Family Fun
Museums

Factory Tours Listings: I found this webpage and thought some of you might be interested in a listing of factory tours for California. The site actually covers the entire US, but I’ve linked you to the CA page. ūüôā

 

FIELD TRIP IDEAS

Since I homeschool, I’m finding out about all kinds of local field trip ideas and booking them for our local homeschool group…I’ll post them here as I learn about them! ūüôā These will be things to do with groups of kids. More ideas for group trips in the sections below as well.

  • Airport–Last I checked, Chandler was the only one that was possible, I will have to check into this and update¬†info when I have it.
  • American Avenue Disposal Tour (Kerman Landfill, where Fresno garbage goes)–846-6138 or 351-0698 Jerry Libecki. They only allow 4th grade and up.
  • Apple Computer Student’s Workshop–Fashion Fair Mall
  • Bakery Tour
  • Bank tour–if anyone knows of a specific bank that gives a tour, please let me know.
  • The Blossom Trail, (800) 788-0836
  • Boyden Cavern Tours, 209-736-2708, email
  • Bravo Farms Cheese Factory–30min south of Fresno,¬†128 N. 9th Street, Fowler
  • Cal Skate Clovis, 2881 Peach Ave, Clovis, 291-0241
  • Chaffee Zoo–¬†Behind-the-Scenes Tour¬†(this is an AWESOME tour! Well worth paying the extra money for!)
  • Chevy’s Fresh Mex–446-1905, 7634 N. Blackstone (at River Park)–They do a wonderful behind-the-scenes free tour, including free food! 25 kids max.
  • Children’s Hospital of the Sierra tour…I went on this tour with my kids and it’s great! (Maybe try another hospital too?)
  • Children’s Museum of the Sierra, 49269 Golden Oak Drive, Suite 104, Oakhurst
    559-658-5656
  • City Water Waste Management Tour (we call this “The Poop Tour”, LOL! Where Fresno sewage goes for treatment.)–Jensens/Cornelia. Call Jim Holmes or his assistant Annette 621-5102. They only book these on the first Wed. of the month, in the morning. 25 kids max.
  • Color me Mine–559-435-7969,¬†River Park,¬†230 Paseo Del Centro
  • Coarsegold Historic Village, 35300 Hwy 41, On the corner of Raymmond Rd & Hwy 41–Turn left at the teepee.
  • The Discovery Center, 1944 N. Winery, Fresno, CA 93703, 251-5533
  • Downing Planetarium, CSU, Fresno
  • Duncan Water Gardens,¬†6901 E. McKenzie, Fresno, 252-1567
  • Fire Station Tour–just about any station will do a tour, just call!
  • Forestiere Underground Gardens, 5021 W. Shaw Ave, Fresno, 271-0734
  • Fossil Discovery Center–19450 Avenue 21 1/2 (Highway 99 EXIT 164), Chowchilla
  • Fresno Art Museum–Artlink is the Fresno Art Museum’s field trip program. For as little as $60 for up to 20 kids and four chaperones (additional chaperones, $5 each) the students get a tour of our current exhibitions by our teaching artists or a trained docent, followed by a hands-on art activity in our classroom (materials included). ¬†For homeschoolers, also check out their homeschool page.
  • Gateway Ice Center Educational Tour
  • Gold Gulch Museum At Yosemite Gallery & Indian Territory, Gold Panning in Coarsegold–On 41, on the right as you go north into Coarsegold.
  • Gymnastics Beat–During our field trips, students learn basic gymnastics instruction from our USA Gymnastics (USAG) certified coaches.¬†5620 West Barstow Ave #103, Fresno,¬†559-271-9400
  • Hillcrest Christmas Tree Farm & Railroad
    2 miles north of the town of Reedley at 6943 Reed Avenue
  • Hilmar Cheese Company, The largest single site cheese manufacturer in the world producing over 1 million pounds per day. Our cheese is sold whole sale and cut and wrapped with a variety of labels. Hilmar is 90 minutes north of Fresno.
    The Visitor Center Theme is Tour, Taste, Shop and Eat open 7 – 7 daily. June 14 – Labor Day we offer guided tours of the Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Every Saturday during June, July and August we are featuring Family Fun Days with an ice cream making activity. Sign up at 10:30 a.m. and tour and activity starts at 11:00. Allow one hour
  • Ice Cream Store Tour
  • ImagineU Children’s Museum, 700 East Main Street ~ Visalia, CA
    (559) 733-5975 or (559) 733-0735
  • John’s Incredible Pizza Making Tour–(559) 323-1111
    The complete tour time is 1 hour and 45 minutes. The cost is $9 for children ages 12 and under, and their parents. Each child will receive an individual sized pizza, the buffet (soup, salad, pizza, pasta, & dessert bar), unlimited beverages, 20 Fun World credits ($5 value), 1 ride of choice, and an official ‚ÄúPizza Maker‚ÄĚ certificate. Children under age 3 are free & welcome to attend with an accompanied paying parent, though they will not receive all of the items above.
  • Kearney Mansion Museum, 7160 W Kearney Blvd, Fresno, 559- 441-0862
  • Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, 661-852-5000
    From a Fresno Family visitor, about the KC Museum:
    “This is one of our favorite places to visit.¬† A little bit of a drive, but they have a nice picnic area and there or there is also a nice Sizzler within walking distance. There¬†is so much to see and do that it is a whole day trip and well worth it.¬† Pioneer Village and the Lori Brock children’s museum, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen.¬† Young kids can spend hours in there alone.”
  • Kings Canyon National Park
  • Meux Home Museum, Tulare & R Streets, Fresno, 559-233-8007, email
  • Millerton Bald Eagle Tours, Calif. Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Millerton Lake (209) 822-2332
  • Petco & Albertson’s Field Trips–visit the Field Trip Factory and book these field trips online!
  • Police Station Tour
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (River Park)
  • Rotary Storyland & Playland, 486-2124
  • San Joaquin River Parkwaycheck out the field trips page
  • Savemart Center Tour–contact Michelle Cassida 559-347-3411
  • Shinzen Japanese Garden, Located in Woodward Park
  • Sierra Endangered Cat Haven, Tours from 9am-3:15pm daily except Wed’s.
    338-1336
  • Sunset Waste Recycling Center Tour (where Fresno curbside recycling goes)–Leah 499-1595
    Also–The city does a recycling presentation that they will bring to your group…Call 621-1111 and ask about the city recycling presentation.
  • Theater tour–movie or stage
  • Tortilla Factory
  • Uncle Harry’s Bagels–Shaw/Marks store! (that’s the only one that makes bagels on site)
  • UPS?
  • Vintage Rose Tea Room
  • Waterhouse Animal Hospital–behind the scenes tour
  • West Coast Waste Tour (where Fresno green waste goes)–Dennis 497-5320
  • Yosemite Park
  • Yosemite¬†Sugar Pine Railroad
  • Young Chef’s Academy–1134 E Champlain Dr. #101, Fresno, California 93720
    “Hour long field trip program for your class to attend, here in our kid friendly, brightly colored kitchen. Your class will participate 100% hands on to create a recipe, answer/ask questions, and of course get to enjoy food made. They will take home a copy of the recipe to share the experience with families at home.”

 

 

FARMS & PUMPKIN PATCHES

  • Berry Lady Farms — 39771 Road 28, Kingsburg, CA
    We are a small family farm that grows and packages blueberries, blackberries and Ruby Boysens. Our berry harvest is typically from mid-May through mid-July. Tours
  • Chateau Fresno Nursery – FOLLOWS ORGANIC PRACTICES, tomatoes, prepicked produce, restrooms
    13505 S. Chateau Fresno, Caruthers, CA 93609. Phone: 559-896-4225.
    Email us at: bosaitaly@aol.com.
    Directions: 20 minute from Fresno. 10 minute from high way 41 Main street MT. View west. Crops are usually available in February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November. Open: Monday to Sunday 8 am to 7 pm We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, only. Organic vine- ripe Tomatoes Greenhouses
  • Cobb Ranch – pumpkin patch, corn maze and more.
    8805 North Highway 41, Fresno, California. Phone: 559-439-0606. Email: jim@cobbranch.com.
    Treat your class to an unforgettable Fall field trip at the beautiful and Historic Cobb Ranch. Visit the largest pick-your-own pumpkin patch in the Fresno-Madera area, located on Highway 41, across from Children’s Hospital. Your students and chaperones will have a great time on the farm as they experience the excitement of picking a jack-o-lantern right out of the field! Next its off on a wagon ride adventure, a visit with our farm animals, and then finish your farm stay with a picnic lunch in the shade of the orchard. FREE lesson plans are included for each teacher and every child gets a FREE return ticket for the Corn Field Maze ($8 value). A visit to our pumpkin patch is sure to be the most fun and educational field trip in the valley!
  • CSUF Farm Tour¬† — early Sept through mid May, $2/child, must be at least 5yrs, and at least 12 students.
  • Hillcrest Christmas Tree Farm & Railroad
    2 miles north of the town of Reedley at 6943 Reed Avenue
  • Huebert Farms – Peaches, nectarines, plums. Scary Corn Maze at Halloween Time.
  • 21570 E Lincoln Ave, Reedley, CA, 93654. Phone: 559-638-5650 or 559-638-4740.
    Email: peggyhuebert@yahoo.com.
    Open: May 15 – September 15. Directions: From Hwy 99 take Manning Ave Exit. Go East through Reedley. Turn left on Alta Ave. Take a left when the road T’s into American Ave. We are the first packing house on left. Alta is the main road taken by buses to go up to Kings Canyon Park. We are one-eighth of a mile off the route.
  • J &K¬† Farley Farm –512 N. 7th Street in Kingsburg
    U-Pick Thompson Seedless Grape business.¬† Open mid-August to the first week of September. Clipers, carts, and boxes are provided free of charge.¬†¬†Boxes¬†are free to take your grapes home.¬† A small assortment of farm animals are provided for the children’s enjoyment for free also.
    Directions: Take Freeway 99 to the Bethel Ave. (Kamm Ave.) Exit,  travel south on Bethel until the road deadends at Elkhorn Ave.,  Turn right (west) on Elkhorn and go a short distance until you reach the intersection with Bethel,  Turn left on Bethel (south) at the PG&E power station, Travel about a quarter-mile and the J&K Farley Farm will be on the right.
  • KMK Farms in Kingsburg–https://www.facebook.com/kmk.farms
  • Organic Pastures–Organic Dairy Farm–Call Leslie 559-351-4544 or email–You may tour the bottling facility, observe dairy operations, and meet the cows.
  • Pumpkin King Pumpkin Patch – pumpkins, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, straw or hay bale maze, child-sized haybale maze, prepicked produce, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, face painting, pony rides, birthday parties, school tours.
  • 100 W. Shaw Avenue N/W corner of Blackstone & Shaw Avenues, Fresno, CA 93711. Phone: 559 658-2006. Fax: 559 658-2015. Email: info@pumpkinsfresno.com.¬† Directions: West of Highway 41 at the Shaw Avenue exit on the North West corner of Blackstone & Shaw Avenues.
    Crops are usually available in October. Open: 9 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week Pumpkin Patch and Straw Bale maze is open from October 1st through October 31st. Payment: Cash, Check, Visa/MasterCard. The Great Pumpkin Blood Drive 8 AM to 6 PM Friday October 11 and Saturday October 12th.
  • The Pumpkin Patch – pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, child-sized hay bale maze
    2901 E. Alluvial , Fresno, , CA 93720. Phone: 559-323-9016.
    Email: thepumpkinpatch1@yahoo.com.
    Crops are usually available in October. Hours are 11am till 10pm. Haunted barn hours are 6pm till 10pm Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard.
  • Rancho Notso Grande – FOLLOWS ORGANIC PRACTICES, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, flowers, nectarines, olallieberries, other berries, peaches, pecans , raspberries, tayberries, walnuts, prepicked produce
    5051 12th. Avenue, Hanford, CA 93230. Phone: 559-269-1152. Fax: 559-589-0420.
    Email us at: RanchoNotsoGrande@hughes.net.
    Directions: South East corner of 12th and Excelsior Avenues in Hanford, CA. This is 30 minutes south of Fresno, 25 minutes West of Visalia.  Crops are usually available in May, June, July, August. Open: We have a refrigerated, pre-picked fruit stand that is open from 7 AM to 7PM for seven days a week during the harvest season. During the season we are open for you pick and roadside sales from 7AM to 7 PM Tuesday through Saturday and all other times by appointment.  We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified.
    Payment: Cash, Check.
  • Riverdance Farm – 12230 Lingston-Cressey Road, Livingston, California 95334.
    ORGANIC, Blueberries – on two annual you-pick weekends
    Phone: 209-761-0081. Email: riverdancefarms@clearwire.net.
    Also, Prepicked: Certified-organic walnuts, almonds, pecans, blueberries, cherries, pomegranates, persimmons, cut flowers, lavender, and, in the winter, oat hay. They host you-pick days during the annual Heartland Festival with the Merced River Fair with a lower key, breakfast, u-pick and farm tour morning on Sunday June 3, 2007. Our second blueberry u-pick will be Fathers’ Day weekend, F-S-S. Call with any questions (209) 761-0081. In the future, they would also like to offer flowers, stone fruits, and pumpkins on a you-pick basis.
  • Satterstrom’s Tree Farm – pumpkin patch, hayrides, haunted house, haunted forest, haunted hayrides
    41255 Road 40, Reedley, CA 93654-9140. Phone: (559) 897-3685. Fax: (559) 897-7120. Email: mikesatterstrom@sierratel.com. Open: October 1st – October 31st from 10 am to 6 pm. Nighttime Events: Open the 2nd Friday in October through October 31st, Sunday – Thursday: Dusk – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday: Dusk – 11 p.m.
  • The Shafer Family Farm – Grapes
    13378 E South Ave, Parlier, CA. Phone: 559-646-2586.
    Grapes for the home winemaker¬†on either a “u-pick” or a “we-pick” basis
  • Simonian Farms–2629 S. Clovis Ave., Fresno, California 93725
    “For 34 years, Simonian Farms has been a fixture in the local area. Every year, they offer educational groups a farm tour that includes one pumpkin per child, a hayride around the farm, a snack of raisins, the “spooky caboose” and a Pumpkin Story: Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. The fee is $5 per child. Young children and older children enjoy this place. Even if hayrides and storytime are not your thing, there are other activities to participate it and view. Minimum for this trip is 15 students. (If this minimum is not reached this trip will be cancelled.) Why not come out, take the tour and bring along a picnic lunch to eat after.”
  • Sweetwater Berry Farm – 42961 Rd 628 , Ahwahnee, CA 93601. Phone: 559-658-8511.
    Email: sweetwaterberryfarm@msn.com.
    –Blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, prepicked produce
    Directions: Highway 41 N. through Oakhurst to 49 to Road 628 (Roundhouse Rd)
    Crops are usually available in September. Open: Monday to Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Blackberries July 14 thru August 20. Raspberries September thru Oct 14. Public bathroom available.
    We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified.
    Payment: Cash, Check.
  • Wiebe Farms TourPeach/nectarines farm…tour the packing farm and packing plant in the spring and summer. School rates are $5/person. Email Lavone Sawatzky, tour director. We have curriculum written for kids to introduce them to what they will see and learn. The school tour takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.¬† The tour also includes a snack.¬†We prefer to do the tours in the morning because it is cooler.¬† Students also enjoy bringing their lunch and eating out under the trees, by the barn and on the tour trailer.

 

 


FAMILY FUN

 

 

MUSEUMS

  • Children’s Museum of the Sierra, 49269 Golden Oak Drive, Suite 104, Oakhurst
    559-658-5656
  • The Discovery Center, 1944 N. Winery, Fresno, CA 93703, 559-251-5533
  • Fresno Art Museum, 2233 N. First Street, Fresno, Between McKinley and Clinton in Radio Park
  • ImagineU Children’s Museum, 700 East Main Street ~ Visalia, CA
    (559) 733-5975 or (559) 733-0735
  • Madera Fossil Discovery Center–19450 Avenue 21 1/2 (Highway 99 EXIT 164), Chowchilla
  • Meux Home Museum, Tulare & R Streets, Fresno, 559-233-8007, email
  • Kearney Mansion Museum, 7160 W Kearney Blvd, Fresno, 559- 441-0862
  • Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, 661-852-5000
    From a Fresno Family visitor, about the KC Museum:
    “This is one of our favorite places to visit.¬† A little bit of a drive, but they have a nice picnic area and there or there is also a nice Sizzler within walking distance. There¬†is so much to see and do that it is a whole day trip and well worth it.¬† Pioneer Village and the Lori Brock children’s museum, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen.¬† Young kids can spend hours in there alone.”
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12 Replies to “Daytrips/Local Hot Spots”

  1. The Artist In Me is a great place for friends and family to be creative together. Create a 16×20 acrylic painting on canvas in just two hours. $25 for a two hour painting class during the day. Go home with a finished painting. All ages paint together.

  2. I am a child care worker supervisor at a group home for kids ranging from the ages of 12-18. We are a non-profit organization. I would like to know if anyone can point me in the right direction for any free tours that we can take our kids for the summer. We have tree boys and 18 girls.

  3. I teach 4th and 5th graders and am interested in the Discovery Center in Fresno. Any comments on this place? Good, bad, awesome?? It is my first field trip so any info would be great.

  4. hi I was wondering if the places that you found for groups of kids if I could take my two little ones there…I’m trying to find places I could take my two toddlers since I’m a stay at home mother…please let me know what you think..thanks..jessica

  5. Does anyone know of a “worm farm” that does tours???? This would be a place where worms are harvested for sale ….

    1. Sorry, Valerie, I’ve never heard of anything like this. Let me know if you do find something! I’d love to include it on my site!

      I can tell you that there is a small worm farm on The Discovery Center’s property, though not for harvesting…it’s to teach kids about worms and vermicomposting.

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