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For the remainder of spring and throughout summer, the splash park will be open and free to guests with zoo admission. I trekked over there yesterday to check it out for member preview days. Despite the mild temperatures, the kids were out in packs, hopping and splashing with more enthusiasm than a dusty herd of elephants.
Wilderness Falls is located across from the Dino Dig in a designated Children’s Nature Play Zone that also includes a Nursing Nook and bathrooms (and it’s right next to the snack bar). Basically, it’s a one-stop oasis for families with little ones. I have four boys, so things like bathrooms and snacks are key to planning an adventure.
Wilderness Falls is a splash park with a wild twist. The water features are built into rocks, and even the slide keeps the theme with an outlook … look. Overall, it feels like it grew out of the jungle and sort of reminded me of Disneyland.
The splash park area consists of a stream with stepping stones and a waterfall that kids can walk in and behind. Most of the kids I saw were in the stream, playing with the water fountains that would shoot blasts of water into the air.
I can tell this new play area is already a big hit. Although anyone can play, it seems like the ideal ages for this feature is 2-5. The slide is a big, and some small children decided to save their bravery for another day (the slide, however, was my 3-year-old’s favorite part). The water in the stream is shallow, and there isn’t a lifeguard on duty, so even though you don’t need to pack water wings, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your kids.
We all know Fresno is home to dry, hot summers and honestly, trips to the zoo have been less tempting on 100-degree days. With this new activity area, I can envision more zoo visits during the summer, hanging with the elephants and tigers, cooling off between exhibits.
Wilderness Falls at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo will hold its grand opening on Friday, May 4, at 9 a.m. To get the most out of it, pack some water shoes, sunblock, and your sense of fun. The water features will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, weather permitting. It’s a great way to kick off your summer!
Located at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo on 894 W. Belmont Ave,. Fresno
Saturday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Water features run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission ranges from $7.95 to $12.95 and yearly memberships are available for as low as $60. Parking/entrance to Roeding Park is $5 per car.