Tags: Enrichment, Featured Story
Kern County offers a rich and diverse landscape with summer activities ripe for the picking – literally. Whether your children’s summer bucket list contains picking fresh berries, riding whitewater rapids, or summiting an indoor rock boulder, checking them off their list is the fun part. KCFM has compiled 12 things to do in Kern County before age 12.
1. Pick Fresh Berries at Murray Farms
This family-owned farm highlights the scenic San Joaquin Valley and grows the most delicious seasonal fruit and veggies RIPE here. Your children can hop on a hay wagon and venture out to their cultivated crops to pick berries of their very own. While on the farm, you can also visit the corn-filled pool, bounce pillow, petting zoo, peacock hutch, and much more.
Info: Hours: Big Red Barn Store, every day 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Farm activities, every day 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Petting zoo, $2 admission; Call (661) 330-0100 to confirm their seasonal U-Pick fruit and prices.
Location: Big Red Barn, 6700 General Beale Road
2. Create a Ceramic Masterpiece
Let your little artists get creative with unfinished pottery and mosaics at Color Me Mine or Creation Craze. Have a little one-on-one time with your child or plan a full-fledged party. With hundreds of pieces to pick from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you!
Info: Call individual studios for prices and hours.
Location: Creation Craze Studio, 9860 Hageman Road, Suite D; 661-588-7107 or Color Me Mine at the Marketplace, 9000 Ming Avenue; 661-664-7366.
3. Scale an indoor rock boulder at Vert Rock Gym
Adventurous climbers, ages five and up, will find over 5,000 square feet of fun and challenging rock walls. Located inside Action Sports, this gym features full texture and changing routes to provide hours of indoor entertainment.
Info: 1-day pass includes three belays $12.00/$15.00 with rentals; bouldering pass $8.00/$10.00. Call for multiple-day pass information and specials.
Location: 9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 400; 661-833-4000
4. Take a whitewater rafting trip down Kern River
Sign up for a day of excitement with River’s End Rafting and Adventure Company for a Class II-III whitewater rafting trip. With various packages and trips, the two-hour “Blaster” expedition would be the perfect one for your family. Monday is designated family day for a discounted rate.
Info: The Blaster, $40.00; call for more expeditions and pricing; 661-326-7003
Location: 15701 Hwy 178, Bakersfield
5. Sharpen your ice skates and hit the coolest rink in town
Whether you enjoy playing hockey, skating lessons, or just leisure skating, San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center of Bakersfield offers the coolest place in town this summer. Learn how to pirouette or make a slap shot!
Info: Call for public skate times. Admissions: Child $7.00/$10.00 with rentals; Adult $8.00/$11.00; Seniors (55+) $6.00/$9.00; Tuesday is family night, $5.00 admission; 661-852-7400
Location: 1325 Q Street, Suite #100
6. Find your inner Picasso
Engage and inspire your little artists with an art class, a week-long camp, or a visit to see the newest exhibits at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Check out these informative and creative workshops to engage and inspire your budding artist.
Info: Call for workshop and art camp schedules; Admission: Members, free; Adults, $5.00; Students, $2.00; Seniors (55+), $4.00; Free admission every third Friday of the month; 661-323-7219
Location: 1930 R Street
7. Discover bugs, bugs, bugs galore
Find all things creepy and crawly at Insect Lore’s Bugseum in Shafter. You will experience hands-on interactive bug discoveries and get a behind-the-scenes look at its butterfly and pink ladybug-raising labs. You can even take your own caterpillars home to watch them evolve into beautiful butterflies.
Info: Free museum admission; Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; closed Sunday; 1-800-LIVE-BUG
Location: 132 South Beech Avenue, Shafter
8. Experience black gold
Visit California’s best and most interactive oil museum at Kern County Museum’s Black Gold: The Oil Experience exhibit. This permanent, $4 million science, technology, and history exhibition gives visitors a complete overview of how oil is created, different methods of discovery and extraction, and the workers’ changing roles throughout history.
Info: Admission: Members, free; Adults, $10.00; Seniors (60+), $9.00; Students, ages 13-17, $9.00; Students, ages 6-12, $8.00; Students, ages 3-5, $7.00; children under 3, free; Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; 661-868-8400
Location: 3801 Chester Avenue
9. Visit a famous scene from the movies
Just a couple of hours north of Hollywood, Bakersfield had been the ultimate filming destination for hundreds of blockbusters. You can visit some of these famous scenes out of movies such as “North by Northwest,” “Star Trek,” and “Land of the Lost.”
Info: Free; for a complete movie map, visit www.setjettingkern.org.
Location: Various scenes around Kern County
10. Savor a banana split sundae from Dewar’s
A staple in Bakersfield for more than 100 years, Dewar’s Candy Shop features all kinds of tried-and-true recipes from Grandpa Dewar including their delicious chews, chocolates, and ice cream. Their good, old-fashioned banana split is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Info: Downtown Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 7 days a week; Northwest Hours: Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown, 1120 Eye Street, 661-322-0933; Northwest, 2700 Calloway Drive, 661-587-2056
11. Enjoy the great outdoors
Explore one of Bakersfield’s 59 parks, including eight spray parks where you can get wet and have fun. You can attend movies in the park on Friday nights, listen to live music, and even dip into a pool or two.
Info: Free; visit www.bakersfieldcity.us for a list of local parks and amenities; 661-326-FUNN
Location: All around Bakersfield.
12. Catch a fly ball at Sam Lynn Ballpark
Experience an old-fashioned American baseball game cheering for the Bakersfield Blaze at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Bring your mitt to try for a fly ball and sing your heart out at the 7th inning stretch. For $10.00 you can even join the Heater’s Kids Club.
Info: Call 661-716-4487 or visit www.bakersfieldblaze.com for a complete schedule and promotions
Location: 4009 Chester Avenue