Public land is a vital part of any community. It provides a space for people to explore nature and engage in physical activity. It also protects local wildlife in a habitat that cannot be breached. The San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust fills all of these needs along a stretch of the gentle San Joaquin River. At this park, locals can hike along a nature trail and spot native birds or canoe downstream and learn about the issues affecting the water. Summer camps give kids an opportunity to be expressive and inquisitive outside with hands-on activities, crafts, and canoeing. Sycamore Island, similarly, recreates that camp experience for adults with wildlife trails, fishing excursions, and picnicking under the Sycamore and Oak trees that aren't already claimed by mischievous fairy-folk.
Thrill-seeking families can choose two of the six available attractions. Settle traffic arguments by challenging an opposing driver to a duel on the go-karts. Or just cruise solo, banking curves and outdriving total strangers in a wild day of rubber-burning and dust-eating. For crashtastic thrills, climb aboard a bumper boat and drift on the waterscape, floating amok and gleefully broadsiding fellow captains. A bit of the briny seeps into the mini-golf range, where it creates a sparkling blue hazard to complement the verdant greens. Channel your inner warrior on the laser tag arena's black-light battleground, or finish the day with a feeling of accomplishment that comes only from climbing the big, giant rock wall, with a 32-foot climbing surface and a variety of handholds and different climbing options. Be sure to check Boomers! Fresno's hours before heading out.
Wielding his signature harmonica, delta-blues artist James Cotton has become a legend in blues circles, having started in the Muddy Waters Blues Band and since performed with B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and other renowned artists. Watch the mouth-harp-playing phenomenon soulfully jam to classic blues tunes, such as “Don’t Start Me Talking” and “Sweet Sixteen,” as well as material from his newest record, Giant. Local blues-rockers Deja Blues will open, playing tunes that pay tribute to every style of American blues, from Mississippi Delta to Chicago shuffle to robot blues-rock, which focuses on the loneliness of 0s and 1s.
Though guests to Island Waterpark might meet humans on their way to the water, they might also encounter Pelican Pete?a giant blue pelican in a floral-print shirt and bermuda shorts. He and an athletic lifeguard staff oversee guests as they wander among fountains and roaring water in attractions designed for everyone from toddlers to adults. Bright-blue tube slides spiral down into splash pools, a giant bucket tips gallons of water onto passersby, and a three-story open slide sends riders on a straight shot into a landing zone that pads their descent with a foot of water and a coral reef packaged in bubble wrap. Aquatic revelers can also float down an endless lazy river and children can frolic under arching fountains and waterfalls in the kids key largo lagoon.
Since 1955, the Rotary Storyland & Playland have sparked young imaginations and earned a place in the hearts of multiple generations. At Playland, classic amusement-park rides, such as a ferris wheel, tilt-o-whirl, and a historic carousel, induce merriment and occasional regret over eating multiple corn dogs immediately before boarding. In the center of Playland lies Splash Junction, a free place for patrons to cool off on hot days under jets of water. Across the lake, Storyland takes a different approach to fun, populating its grounds with themed playground equipment inspired by classic tales, such as the legend of King Arthur and the lesser-known story of Jack and Jill starting a bottled-water business.
In the late 1940s, a group of artists came together to create the Fresno Arts League?a forum for art exhibition and critique. Their inspiration lives on today at Fresno Art Museum, a hub for artistic culture. The museum houses a permanent collection of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican art exhibits by the likes of Norman Rockwell and Ansel Adams. Members get more than entry to the museum; they also receive free access to opening receptions and Conversations with The Artists events, among other benefits.