What to do in Fresno in Winter

Fresno is an underrated destination. With plenty of coastal cities and towns in California, it’s often overlooked by travelers. But when it gets a little too bleak by the beach during winter, the county offers a door of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Go skiing near Fresno or visit the many museums and galleries around town; here are some ideas on what to do in Fresno when it’s cold outside:

See Yosemite in Winter

Wintertime in Yosemite is magical. Snow-capped mountains, snow-covered meadows, and frozen waterfalls — it’s a winter wonderland unlike any other. From snowshoeing and ice climbing to tobogganing and winter hikes, Yosemite in winter is one of the best ways to experience the park. Badger Pass Ski Area is the best place to do it all. They’ll take care of everything you need, from getting there to the lessons. 

Visit the San Joaquin River Parkway

Not sure what to do in Fresno? Take a walk, jog, or bike at San Joaquin River Parkway. The park is home to many recreational activities, including fishing, golfing, jogging/biking trails, canoeing, and more. They also host regular events and activities, which are usually free all year round, like nature walks, geology hikes, and other educational and family-friendly activities. Check out the parkway’s Facebook page for event updates and more information.

Learn how to ski at China Peak Resort

Winter is a great time to get out of the city and take advantage of the snow in California’s mountain ranges. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains,  China Peak Resort resort offers a variety of activities for all ages. Their ski school is perfect for beginners, and their snow park has something for everyone. If skiing isn’t your thing, but you still want to get out on the slopes, China Peak also has a tubing area where guests can go down slides on tubes instead of skis or snowboards.

Go Hiking

While staying indoors and hibernating is tempting, the best way to fight the cold is to do stuff. Walk… hike… keep your blood pumping! Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in winter, and there are many hiking trails in Fresno County. Make sure to check the weather before you go, though; you wouldn’t want to get soaked in the rain, and you’ll want to dress appropriately for any conditions. As usual, layer up! 

Pincushion Mountain Trail is a favorite among locals. And you can never go wrong with Woodward Park. 

See a show at the Saroyan Theater

The Saroyan Theater is a historic landmark in Fresno and one of its most popular venues for performing arts, with many different types of shows throughout the year. It’s named after William Saroyan, who grew up in Fresno and went on to become an acclaimed playwright and poet. The theater hosts national Broadway productions, symphonies, operas, and other cultural enrichment programs that bring people together for educational experiences or just an evening out on the town!

This January, you can catch the Broadway musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN from the 10th to the 15th and the astounding SHEN YUN on the 28th and 29th. 

Get Inspired at the Fresno Art Museum

If you’re looking for a place to relax, learn new things, and get inspired, there’s no better place to go when in Fresno than the Fresno Art Museum (FAM). The museum’s Permanent Mesoamerican Collection is currently closed for repairs and a reinterpretation, however, you can still catch their current exhibits. They rotate through every few months, which means there’s always something new to see! 

The museum also hosts art events all year round like opening galas and closing receptions, so make sure to check out FAM’s Instagram Page to keep updated on what’s the latest with the museum. 



There’s no shortage of things to do in Fresno, even during winter. When in the city, stay at Fresno City Inn and discover how affordable it is to be at the heart of everything. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood just minutes from downtown and surrounded by parks, museums, libraries, and shopping centers, our  inn is designed especially for those who enjoy peace and quiet while still being close to all that Fresno has to offer.

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