Here’s a listing of museums, learning centers and zoos that are continually open during the month for family fun in and around the Central Valley.
Agricultural Learning Center
Kids learn about agriculture and have fun too. There are tractors to climb on, a water pump station and even a cow to milk. Open to the public Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call for hours during school tours. Suggested Donation: adults $5, children 12 and under $3. The Agricultural Museum & Learning Center, 4500 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. 688-1030
Applegate Park Zoo
Applegate Zoo specializes in California native animals like cougars, bears, bobcats, birds, coyote, and more. Visit the Kiddie Coral where kids can have a close encounter with smaller animals like chickens, rabbits, alpacas, and more. Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Weather permitting. Closed New Year’s Day. Ages 16-61 $3, Ages 5-15 $2, Ages 62+ $1.50, Under 5 Free. 1045 W. 25th Street, Merced. 209-725-3337
Fairytales & Fun
Storyland is a small themed amusement park where families can enjoy a day of fun, fantasy and adventure. Walk into the pages of a storybook at Storyland and see the old lady who lived in a shoe, the Willis B. Kyle Express Train (additional cost), the three little pigs, or King Arthur’s castle. Storyland admission: adults $6, children ages 11 and under $4, seniors 65+ $5. Storyland is open Wednesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., weather permitting. Playland is open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wristbands: $20, Individual Tickets: $1. 890 W. Belmont Ave., Fresno. 486-2124. storylandfresno.com
Fossils In Fairmead
The Fossil Discovery Center in Fairmead is open! Come see Ice Age fossils from one of the largest fossil beds in California. Call ahead for the Mock Dig, where children can excavate their own fossils! Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission: adults $9, seniors and military $7, students $5, children 3 and under free. Mock dig $4. 19450 Avenue 21 1/2, Chowchilla. 665-7107. maderamammoths.org
The Discovery Center, the museum of science and natural history, welcomes visitors to tour the grounds which include the beautiful Deutsch Cactus Garden, Egyptian Maze, Metal T-Rex, Miwok Bark Houses, Worm Farm, Whisper Dishes, Walden Pond, Wilderness Falls, and other outdoor science exhibits. Special science days occur throughout the year. Park admission is free for families. Museum: $6 per adult; $5 per senior, $8 per child 3-17; Children 2 and under Free; Veteran, and Military discounts. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed major holidays. 1944 N. Winery Ave., Fresno. 251-5533
At Fresno Chaffee Zoo visitors can see more than 700 mammals, birds, and reptiles as they tour the zoo. Don’t miss the new expansion, African Adventure! Zoorassic Park now open through October 31st. Open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Zoo admission: $12.95 for adults, $7.95 for seniors and children ages 2-11, ages 1 and under free. $5 Roeding Park entrance fee per vehicle, $7 on holidays. 894 W. Belmont Ave., Fresno. 498-5910. fresnochaffeezoo.org
Head For The (Foot)Hills!
The Children’s Museum of the Sierra in Oakhurst is home to a world of fun hands-on learning explorations for preschoolers and school-age children. Explore exciting careers at the child-size, authentic fire station, doctor’s office, pizza restaurant, bank and stage. Become a scientist and study gravity, natural history, magnetism and more. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Admission $6; Seniors age 60+ $4; under age 2 free. 49269 Golden Oak Drive, Suite 104. 658-5656
Hidden Homes Trail
Do you know what’s inside a mouse nest? Observe wildlife, complete with five life size models of animal “homes” with signs along the way to tell the stories about animals living around the San Joaquin River. Tip toe through a mouse house, climb inside a caddis fly cocoon, be a baby eagle in our giant eagle nest, then picnic and explore the River Center grounds. Don’t forget to print out the Scavenger Hunt sheet at riverparkway.org! The Hidden Homes Trail located at the San Joaquin River Parkway River Center is wheelchair and stroller accessible, and is specifically designed for preschool children. Open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Historic Ranch and River Center Exhibits open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 11605 Old Friant Road, Fresno. 248-8480
Imagine U Interactive Children’s Museum
A place where children and families can enjoy a hands-on multicultural learning experience which features the “Imagination Center” where children can dress in costumes and play musical instruments. For the small members of the family there is “Toddletown” with crawl spaces and other toys. Also there is science and nutritional learning experiences available. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Groups and schools by appointment. Admission $8-$10, under 1 free. Military discount 25% off, senior discount $6. 210 N. Tipton, Visalia. 733-5975. imagineumuseum.org
Visit some of the world’s most endangered species of cats, including the Bengal tiger and the clouded leopard in natural habitats at the Project Survival Cat Haven. Visitors learn about the cats and efforts being made to save them from extinction. This wild animal park features guided tours Thursday-Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last tour of the day leaves at 3 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission: adults $15, children ages 4-12 $10 and seniors $12. Field trips available. Located on Hwy 180, 45 miles east of Fresno and 15 miles west of Kings Canyon National Park. 38257 E. Kings Canyon Rd. Dunlap, CA. 338-3216
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