Looking for ways to get in the spirit and celebrate the joy of the holidays with your loved ones this December? Look no further – we’ve compiled the perfect list of 10 awesome ways to enjoy quality time together and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.
Fresno’s 93rd Annual Christmas Parade in Downtown Fresno – THIS Saturday from 1-4pm
Fresno’s long running tradition is a ton of fun, and features floats and festive music from a wide range of groups and cultures represented in our diverse Fresno community. A super fun event for the whole family. And, if you haven’t been Downtown much recently, this is a great time to visit and see how much has changed – there are so many great new businesses and places to eat! Click here for more parade info.
Old Town Clovis Children’s Electric Light Parade – THIS Saturday, December 3rd from 6:30-8:30pm
This event is very popular, and tons of fun. Of note: many, many families choose to go early in the day to set up their chairs and save their preferred viewing spot for the parade, which runs along Clovis Avenue in Old Town Clovis, so you may want to do the same. You can also ride the free shuttle to and from the parade, by parking at Sierra Vista Mall in Shaw and Clovis. More info on the parade can be found here.
Holidrones – December 6th, 7th, & 8th at the Clovis Rodeo Fairgrounds
This ticketed event is a first for our area, and features a high-tech, fantasy light show put on by coordinated drones and featuring synced lights and Christmas music. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks. This event is being hosted by SkyeDreams and Fresno Street Eats. Tickets are available online here (scroll down to where it says events to pick your date).
Run or Walk in the Jingle Bell Run – December 10th at 9am down Christmas Tree Lane
This super fun and family friendly 5K walk/run benefits Toys for Tots and is held on a Saturday morning annually. Everyone dresses up in festive holiday gear, and toy donations will be accepted for the Toys for Tots program. To register, click here.
Food Trucks in Riverpark – Every Saturday in December in the Riverpark Shopping Center 11am – 4pm
Come out and enjoy the fun holiday atmosphere, gift shopping, and amazing food from Fresno Street Eats food trucks and vendors every Saturday, during the day, throughout the entire month of December. Check out Fresno Street Eats online for more details about the vendors attending (as well as other events taking place throughout the month).
The next several recommendations will involve driving around and spending time together in the car to see awesome holiday sights – hot cocoa in thermoses, cookies, or (since this is Fresno!) maybe some tacos will make the experience even more special and fun!
Drive (or walk) Candy Cane Lane – Throughout December, every night from 6-10pm
This beautifully decorated neighborhood off of Peach and Alluvial in Clovis is great to walk or drive. The cars drive slowly, so plan to be there enjoying the lights for awhile. You can also walk the neighborhood if you park off of Alluvial and follow the crowds. Vendors often sell cocoa, churros, and other fun snacks. Click here for more info.
Drive Christmas Tree Lane – Nightly in December from 6-10pm, 6-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Each December, North Van Ness Boulevard in Fig Garden becomes a one-way street lined with hundreds of trees and homes all decked-out for the holidays. Visitors can drive the 2-mile stretch from Shields to Shaw all the way until Christmas Day. Prepare to move slowly and to be on the Lane for over an hour. Click here for more info.
Go on a Synced Lights Tour – Nightly in December, most locations operate between 6 and 10pm
Each year the wonderful people who run the Fresno X’mas Lights Instagram account put together a map of houses featuring extraordinary holiday lights and synced lights and music displays. Keep an eye on their account in the coming days for this year’s map, and take a night or 3 to drive them all!
Award a Homeowner with your Family’s Best Decorations Award – Any night you choose
This family tradition is one we took from a friend (thank you Natalie Farmer and fam!) and it’s super fun. We drive around looking at lights in neighborhoods around town, that are outside of those that are already getting lots of attention for their décor. Prior to our drive, we pick up a wrapped box of See’s Candy and print a certificate of award that we create on our computer to award one house the Carrera Family’s Best in Show: Best Holiday Décor House 2022. We ring the bell and present the certificate and candy as a gift. We especially like to do this on streets where maybe just one house went all out to decorate, so they feel appreciated. One year we awarded a house like this, that had lights way up to the top of very tall pine trees in their yard, and it turned out they paid to rent a crane to make it happen just to bring joy to those who saw the lights.
Visit The Chaffee Zoo’s Illuminature Experience – at 5 or 7pm nightly, with dates throughout December and January
This year is Illuminature’s debut year at the Chaffee Zoo, featuring beautiful, handmade lanterns in the shape of animals, flowers, plants and more – glowing beautifully throughout the Zoo after hours. For additional info, visit our dedicated Illuminature feature story here.
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