Ongoing Educational Experiences

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.

Information is compiled six weeks in advance. In light of recent community developments, many hours have been altered. Please call the telephone numbers provided to verify that the business you plan to visit is currently open.


Expand your knowledge through the exclusive collection and optional tours at the African American Historical & Cultural Museum. You will be exposed to new ideas and different exhibitions that will develop your mind. Visit their website to schedule a tour, reservations are required. Admission: $7. Open Mondays and Wednesday from 4–6 p.m., Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m.–12 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. African American Historical & Cultural Museum, 1857 Fulton Street, Fresno. 544-1857.


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 Mondays–Fridays from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Adults $5, children 12 and under $3. The Agricultural Museum & Learning Center, 4500 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. 688-1030


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. Thursdays–Sundays 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Weather permitting. Ages 14–59 $4, Ages 5–13 $3, Ages 60+ $2, Under 5 $1. 1045 W. 25th Street, Merced. 209-628-7999


Castle Air Museum gives visitors a peek into the past and lends insight into the evolution of aircraft and the past milestones of aviation. It offers visitors of all ages a glimpse of what the future of aerospace might hold. Castle Air Museum has amassed the entire collection of U.S. Air Force jet fighters from America’s first operational jet fighter the Lockheed P-80 to the amazing General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Korean War to Desert Storm. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., daily. Last admission at 3:15 p.m. Adults: $25, Seniors and Military: $20, Children ages 6–17: $15, Children under 6: Free with paid adult. 5050 Santa Fe Drive, Atwater. 209-723-2178


It feels like it’s been an ice age, but the museum is now open and guided tours are back! 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! Checks or cards are accepted, no cash. Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.–4 p.m. One hours slots include the Mock Dig. Admission: adults $12, seniors $10, kids $8, children 3 and under free. Mock dig $4. 19450 Avenue 21 1/2, Chowchilla. 665-7107.


The Fresno Art Museum serves as an art education opportunity, presenter, and repository for the artistic treasures of one of the fastest growing and most diverse areas of California. Exhibitions change seasonally. Thursdays–Sundays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Check their website for updates. Admission: adults $10, kids 5–17 years $7, children 4 and under and military with ID, free. No reservations required. Free parking is available in city-owned lots in front and back of the museum and on side streets. 2233 N. First Street, Fresno. 441-4221.


Visit the Deutsch Cactus Garden, Garden of the Sun, and the turtle and koi pond. Run around and play in the meadow, dino dig, and playground. Don’t forget to check out the interactive exhibits inside the science center including Fresno’s new nanotechnology exhibit! Social-distancing and masks are recommended. Open Fridays and Mondays 9 a.m.–1 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Tickets: $6; Military and ages 2 and under are free. First Saturdays of every month, admission is $1 at front desk only, no reservations. 1944 N. Winery Avenue, Fresno. 251-5533.


Visitors can see more than 700 mammals, birds, and reptiles as they tour the zoo. Reservations not required, but highly recommended. Open 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Check website for early closure days. Zoo admission: $19.95 for adults 12 and up, $13.95 for 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.


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! 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 Saturday and Sundays from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. and Mondays–Fridays from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. 11605 Old Friant Road, Fresno. 248-8480


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 Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed New Years Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Children $15, Adults $10, Seniors $7.50, under 1 are free. 210 N. Tipton, Visalia. 733-5975.


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. Closed Tuesdays. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Last tour leaves 1 hour before close. Adults $17, Children ages 4–12 $12, Seniors $14, Military $12. Located on Highway 180, 45 miles east of Fresno and 15 miles west of Kings Canyon National Park. 38257 E. Kings Canyon Rd. Dunlap, CA. 338-3216


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 Wednesdays–Sundays 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Recommended to call for hours on extreme weather days. Check or on Facebook @storylandplayland for Playland opening date and hours. 486-2124