Things to do in Fresno this Holiday Season
The season to be jolly is here, and there are a jolly good lot of fun things to do in Fresno during the holidays. Whether you’re traveling alone or coming with the fam, Fresno’s got you! Drive through the Fresno Christmas Tree Lane, visit Christmas fairs in Fresno, or watch the Nutcracker in Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre. We promise a memorable trip.
Not sure what to do in Fresno during the holidays? Here are our top picks:
Central California Ballet Nutcracker
Don’t miss this beloved holiday classic when in Fresno during the holidays. There will be two productions of The Nutcracker this December at the Saroyan Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center. The first is from the Central California Ballet, and the other is by the World Ballet Series.
A San Joaquin Valley tradition, the Central California Ballet will have two exclusive performances on Saturday, December 10, at 2pm and Sunday, December 11, at 2pm.
The other Nutcracker production is a part of the World Ballet Series. It’s a one-night-only performance on December 18, 2022, Sunday, at 6:00pm. Get your tickets here.
Fancy a morning run while on holiday? It sounds tiring, but it’s for a good cause and a great way to burn off all those extra calories from your restaurant hopping in Fresno. The 11th Annual Jingle Bell Run for Toys for Tots will be on the 10th of December, and there are three events you can join: the 5k run, a 2-mile walk, and a virtual run. Tickets are $45 (discounted if you purchase your ticket early), and you get a Christmas-designed sweatshirt, jingle bells, and Christmas goodies. The Christmas event’s proceeds will be used for Fresno’s Toys for Tots Campaign. If you donate money or bring a new unwrapped toy, you will get a Santa hat in return.
This could be the good deed you can do this Christmas. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! Run or walk down a decorated course, and along the Fresno Christmas Tree Lane with Christmas music filling the air and snowflakes to greet you when you reach the finish line. If you don’t feel like doing the run, come out and cheer the joiners on instead!
The Christmas Tree Lane is one of the most popular things to do in Fresno during the holidays. A beloved tradition dating back 100 years, the Fresno Christmas Tree Lane is one of the longest-running holiday traditions in the country! Built by volunteers, neighbors, and donors, North Van Ness Boulevard in Fig Garden transforms into a magical wonderland of twinkling lights as homes and trees get decorated for the holidays. Walk nights have been canceled again this year, as it has been since 2020, but the tradition continues. You can still drive along the 2-mile one-way road starting at Shields Ave to Shaw Ave beginning December 1st through 25th, on Sundays thru Thursdays from 6pm to 10pm, and on Fridays & Saturdays from 6pm to 11pm.
Hit the streets of Fresno on December 3, 2022, from 1-4pm for the city’s 93rd Annual Christmas Parade. Marvel at spectacular performances by local dancers and carolers, and get awed by the handcrafted beauty of the decorated floats. After the Parade, head to the Mariposa Plaza for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
IllumiNature At The Chaffee Zoo
This year, the Fresno Chaffe Zoo is introducing a brand new holiday experience: IllumiNature. From November 25th until December 23rd, the zoo will glow and sparkle as massive, illuminated, handbuilt Chinese lantern displays, designed in all shapes and sizes (although mostly animals), take over the zoo grounds. There will be a number of themed areas for guests to explore, including Christmas, Lunar New Year, and nature. You’ll also be able to enjoy your favorite holiday treats and drinks, live entertainment, and photo ops with Santa.
IllumiNature will run from November 25th through December 23rd. They always sell out, so be sure to get your tickets early. You can purchase them here.
Christmas At Kearney Mansion: Timeless Toys
Christmas At Kearney Mansion is another Fresno holiday tradition you shouldn’t miss when in the city. Thanks to the Fresno County Historical Society, The Kearney Mansion Museum & Gallery will transform into Christmas wonderland again this year. Various local decorators will bring their own takes on classic Christmas carols to life, on trees spread throughout the Mansion. Themed Timeless Toys, you’ll also learn about the history of classic toys listed in the Nation Toy Museum’s Hall of Fame, as well as the history of M. Theo Kearney and the Fruit Vale Estate.
The mansion is open on November 25th until December 31st. Drop by on December 3 to meet Santa and on December 10th for the mansion’s annual Holiday Tea Party. For more information about the mansion’s special events and ticket purchasing, you can visit their website HERE.
Christmas Fairs in Fresno
Shopping is one of the most fun things to do in Fresno during the holiday season. With plenty of Christmas fairs in Fresno, you can easily tick off your Christmas shopping list. Support local vendors and shop at these holiday markets in Fresno. Most markets offer a wide variety of handicrafts and gift items, specialty foods, live entertainment, and more.
- Holiday Vendor Fair – December 10, 2022, from 12nn to 7pm at the Tactical Ops Brewery Tap Room. Bring a toy donation or pay $10 for entry.
- Downtown Fresno WinterFest – Open from November 26th thru December 31st, every Tuesday from 5pm to 9pm, Friday from 5pm to 10pm, and Saturday from 11am to 10pm at the People’s Church in Fresno (corner of Cedar and Herndon)
Make your holiday season a little brighter, and stay with us at Fresno City Inn. We’re located in the heart of the city, so you’re close to everything — from the best shopping and dining experiences to fun local Christmas events in Fresno. We offer superb amenities at affordable prices, so you can stay on budget while still having fun. We have free Wi-Fi and cable TV in every room, plus free parking. Our rooms are spacious, clean, and equipped with kitchenettes, perfect for long-term stays.
Stay at Fresno City Inn this holiday season, and we’ll make sure that your time here is relaxing, convenient… and fun!