Looking for free things to do in Fresno? Well, at Fresno there are a lot of things you can find yourself doing that will actually cost you less. In this article, we’ve taken our time to outline them for you to know.
Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California and sits in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley. The city was formed just after the California Gold Rush in 1856.
It was named after the large number of ash trees that sit along the side of the San Joaquin River.
The city has mild, moist winters and summers that are hot and dry. It attracts a lot of people as it rarely gets below freezing more than a couple of times a year.
Things You Can Do in Fresno that Won’t Cost Much
1. Forestiere Underground Gardens
The Forestiere Underground Gardens provide a unique view of ancient Roman architecture as well as a variety of trees, shrubs and vines.
Ticket prices range from 8 to 17 USD. With admission, you’re able to walk through underground passages and rooms created in the 1900s by a single Sicilian immigrant.
2. Woodward Park, Fresno, California
Woodward Park is the third largest in the Fresno area, and offers a multitude of activities for visitors. Simply take a stroll along the San Joaquin River, or venture into the five-acre (2 hectare) Shinzen Japanese Garden.
This includes a tea house and more than 100 bonsai plants. The park also offers the perfect picnic spot, with six park shelters, one gazebo and two activity areas.
3. Visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Fresno Chaffee Zoo started its life as a home for unwanted pets rather than an official zoo. The history is a little uncertain as no official records have been kept.
As time went by more animals were donated and an amphitheater was built. In 1929 the zoo became officially recognized and opened its doors as the Roeding Park Zoo.
Recently an ‘African Adventure’ area was created that doubled the size of the zoo and included elephants, cheetahs, and gorillas.
4. Fresno Art Museum
Established in 1940 by a group of local artists where they exhibit and critique each other’s work.
Now, it is an active venue for art exhibitions as well as a host of educational programs and artist talks. Visitors of all ages and skill level can take part in various art classes throughout the year.
Some of the spectacular exhibits found in the museum’s permanent collection include Kenneth E. Stratton’s Collection of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Art: Earth, Fire & Stone and the Andean Pre-Columbian Textiles and Artifacts.
5. Awaken Your Spirit At Yosemite National Park
Every year more than 3 million people come to visit the Yosemite National Park, most of these visit the Yosemite Valley which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The National Park covers a huge 747,956 acres and goes all the way across to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Throughout the world the area is famous for the incredible granite cliffs and beautiful waterfalls.
There is over 800 miles of trails in the park that range from a small easy walk to a multi-day grueling hike over various park mountains.
6. See a Show At The Warnors Theatre
The Warnors Theatre is a historic venue located in downtown Fresno, often presenting a variety of musicals and children’s shows. It is a 2,000-seat venue that originally opened in 1928, and is also well known for its historic pipe organ that was installed with the original structure, also in 1928.
In addition to musicals and plays, the theatre often puts on movie series and comedy shows. The venue is also available for special events and weddings.
7. Get Drenched At Island Water Park
If you are looking for a low cost and fun day out with the family, visit Island Water Park. This huge water park has enough slides and wave machines to keep even the shortest of attention spans busy.
You can explore the Tunnel of Terror or go through the Mumbai Monsoon. When you need a rest from all the fun in the water you can eat at one of the 7 food and drink stalls. The park is not open all year around due to weather so always check online prior to arriving.
8. Fresno Grizzles Minor League Baseball – Chuckchansi Park
Chuckchansi Park, which opened its gates in 2002, is the home of the Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team. The ballpark is an intricate part of Downtown Fresno.
This comes alive in the spring when visitors can enjoy one of the 72 home games played there annually.
Visitors who are not fans of baseball would still enjoy an evening at Chuckchansi Park. This place offers stunning views of Fresno’s skyline against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Mountains.
The ballpark also has a full-service restaurant and bar, 33 luxury suites, a pool, and a spa. A Fun Zone for young Grizzlies fans complete with an inflatable slide, interactive pitching and batting activities, and a carousel.
9. Catch a classic film at the Visalia Fox Theatre
California is all about the sun, beaches, Hollywood glitz, and glam. As well as the historic entertainment background many people have grown accustomed to.
As early as 1930, Fresno has had its fair share of visitors from all over California. This historic movie theatre is managed by a set of volunteers known a the “Visalian Friends of the Fox Theatre.”
This age-old institution continues to host classic and modern movies to date. Some of which include classics like the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947), M.A.S.H. (1970), and The Big Lebowski (1998) among many iconic others.
10. Black Angus, Fresno, CA
The Black Angus Steakhouse has been providing quality meals featuring perfectly cooked steak and prime rib since 1964.
The restaurants boasts certified Angus beef and impeccably seasoned 21-day aged, all prepared using their expert flame-grilled methods.
Visitors can relax after a day of exploring Fresno with a few of the famed steakhouse starters. Though Black Angus is famed for their tender, mouth-watering steak. But visitors who aren’t fans could opt for one of the many chicken, pork, or seafood entrees.
1. How do I pay for my parking citation?
To pay parking fines, please refer to our Parking Fines page.
2. Is smoking allowed inside Fresno Chaffee Zoo?
To provide a safer, healthier and more comfortable environment for guests and animals, smoking, vaping and the use of tobacco products are prohibited at the Zoo.
3. Are service dogs welcome at Fresno Chaffee Zoo?
Service dogs are welcome in most areas of the Zoo. However, for the safety of the animals, service dogs are prohibited in the Rainforest, Tropical Treasures, Australian Aviary, Stingray Bay and Valley Farm.
Fresno has a little bit of something for everyone, whether you’re on vacation with family, traveling solo, or on a quick weekend getaway.
Fresno may not get as much buzz as its neighbors, such as L.A. and San Francisco, but it’s definitely not a city to take for granted. A trip to Fresno will give you all the history, entertainment and culture you desire on your trip.
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