I’ve compiled a list of cool activities around town this time of year, and in true Fresno style, they sometimes involve tacos. In true “Me” style, they also involve chocolate.
I took a test in college to discover what my best occupation would be. It told me to be a Cruise Director. Too bad I don’t like boats! However, this proved true in one area of my life: I like to plan adventures. I plan adventures and nothing else, really. I am currently out of laundry soap, because I didn’t plan for dirty clothes. Anyway, I love December because it gives me an excuse to drag my entire family on adventures in the name of CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!
Some Light Entertainment
Christmas Tree Lane , the Chaffee Zoo Zoolights, and Candy Cane Lane (and recently Santa Claus Lane) are the Christmas Light Locations of Fresno. It’s practically a FresYes mandate to visit them during December. In my family, we double down with a once a year trip to the local pancake place. Going to IHOP at night is an adventure unto itself, but we make it extra crazy by letting our children order a dinner of chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream and syrup in the shape of a smiley face WITH a cup of hot cocoa on the side. Does everyone feel sick afterward? Yes. But usually not until AFTER we have checked out the lights (for more tips on how to visit the light displays, click here).
You Can’t Spell “Christmas” without A-R-T
Bring a little beauty to the season and take your family to the Fresno Art Museum. On December 11th, admission is FREE all day! Not only can your family enjoy high quality art, there will be treasure hunts, face painting, and crafts. Santa is a big patron of the arts, so he will be there from 12-2 p.m. If seeing Santa isn’t enough, there will be story time, as well as holiday songs with Nate Butler. Your kids can also check out local 3rd grader’s art work on display. El Premio Mayor, the two time champion of the Taco Truck Throwdown, will be selling food. It wouldn’t be Christmas in Fresno without tacos!
Hop Into the Holidays With Ralphie
If you’re a fan of A Christmas Story, here’s a chance to take your family to see it on the big screen. On December 15th the Warnor’s Theater is showing this classic complete with an organ concert before the movie starts. Children under 12 are free. Anyone, at any age, who is wearing bunny pajamas also gets in free. Doors open at 6 but you may want to be there early, or at least buy tickets in advance because past events have sold out. There are typical movie theater concessions available for purchase. However, adults can “hop” upstairs and buy an adult beverage (but children are not admitted upstairs in the mezzanine bar). This is probably your only chance to watch a classic 80’s movie with strangers while wearing rabbit pajamas while having a holiday drink. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
Mingle with Kat Kringle
This weekend Project Survival’s Cat Haven has a ton of festivities. On December 9th you can go on a Kat Kringle Night Tour. Nothing says “Christmas” like walking by tigers in the dark with your family. This is an event for people who are ages 16 and up, and it sounds really exciting. The tour is only illuminated by red flashlights. The cats cannot see the red light, so “they think you are walking helplessly around in the dark” (according to the Cat Haven Facebook page). If this kind of thrill ride is how you want to burn off some extra egg nog calories, or if you just appreciate majestic, giant felines, buy your tickets here now. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the chocolate: hot chocolate and cookies are included.
If you have kids ages 6-12 who love leopards (but not leopards in the DARK), the Cat Haven is hosting a Family Camp December 10th. For $25.00 per child ($15.00 for adults, which is the usual price for a tour), take a guided tour of the haven. Then kids will learn about animal tracks and make a bobcat foot print ornament. While the children craft, parents get to relax with coffee or hot chocolate and watch a training session for a serval. After the children finish their crafting, everyone gets to enjoy cookies and face painting. Camps are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and tickets are required in advance.
Music and Mochas
On December 17th, hop on over to Mia Cuppa Caffe in the Tower District at 7:30 p.m. They are hosting their 3rd Annual Mia Cuppa Chorale Christmas Concert, directed by George Warren. The songs are preformed a Capella in four part harmony. It’s a great chance to take a break from the cacophony of Christmas shopping and sip coffee, or even grab a late dinner. Their beverage specialties include Spicy Mexican Mochas!
So that’s my sweet (and a little bit savory) list of family friendly adventures in and around FresYes. I hope you have a relaxing and memorable holiday season, even if it involves looking at lions at night. I especially hope you get your fair share of chocolate…and tacos.
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