Visit the Bakersfield Museum of Art, tour Bakersfield Crystal Palace built by country music singer Buck Owens, and learn about the local history at the Kern County Museum on your weekend trip to Bakersfield. Best things to do in Bakersfield with kids include California Area Living Museum, Murray Family Farms, Camelot Park, and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. Other popular attractions include the Kern County Raceway Park, the Sam Lynn Ballpark the Gaslight Theatre & Music Hall and the Kern River Parkway nature preserve.
1. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA
© Bakersfield Museum of Art
Located in Central Park at the corner of R Street and 19th Street, the Bakersfield Museum of Art is a fine arts museum that is made up of four galleries. The museum’s permanent collection mainly consists of works by local artists, and this collection is supplemented by rotating art exhibits. Founded in 1956, the museum was mostly funded by the Walter Osborn family in memory of their daughter, Marion Osborn Cunningham.
The museum was originally called the Cunningham Art Gallery and was changed to its current name in 1990. The 17,400 square foot museum consists of two large galleries and two small galleries, classrooms, a banquet hall, and gardens which display sculptures. The Bakersfield Museum of Art is one of the top Bakersfield attractions. Browse our California weekend getaways guide for more ideas.
1930 R Street, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-323-7219
2. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, California
© Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Buck Owens was a country music singer and songwriter. With his band Buckaroos he had 21 No. 1 hits on the country music Billboard charts. He completed his Crystal Palace as a music hall in 1996. Today, it is still a venue for country and Western music, a museum to Buck Owens, and a popular steak restaurant. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is one of the best things to do in Bakersfield, California.
The museum has Buck’s guitars, fancy suits, memorabilia and everyday objects. The restaurant is known for its great brunches and has special menu for concert days; they serve American favorites and comfort food. Things to Do in California
2800 Buck Owens Blvd, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-328-7560
3. Kern County Museum, Bakersfield, California
© Kern County Museum
The Kern County Museum celebrates Kern County' culture and rich history in innovative, fun and entertaining ways, using a range of exhibits, special events and educational programs for children and adults.
The museum was founded in 1941, but the collecting pieces of California history started in 1928. The museum holds thousands of historically and culturally significant artifacts displayed on 16 meticulously landscaped acres, in 56 historic original buildings. Special treasures of the museum are one room school, jail, oil derrick, the general store and seven preserved historic homes.
The museum holds several Native American exhibits, the railroad exhibit and Bakersfield Sound, agriculture, mining and railroad exhibits. This is a great place to learn about Bakersfield and California’s rich heritage through every day’s objects, photos, buildings and documents.
3801 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-437-3330
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4. Places to Visit: California Area Living Museum, Bakersfield, California
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The California Area Living Museum (CALM) is California's Native Zoo and Garden which opened in 1983. This large park lies on 14 acres of land and its natural habitats provide home to more than 80 species of animals. CALM holds only animals that cannot be released or rehabilitated, those which have been injured or who are not able to survive in the wild. If you are wondering what to do in Bakersfield with kids, this is a great place to visit.
The most popular zoo natural exhibits are: black bear open air exhibit, exhibit of birds of prey that includes owls, hawks and eagles; a mammal house with bobcats and foxes; a pond with mallards; deer yard; a reptile house; and an area with domestic animals that can be petted. The CALM also has several endangered native species.
10500 Alfred Harrell Highway, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-872-2256, (website link)
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5. Murray Family Farms
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Murray Family Farms are a delightful mix fun and a true family working farm. Bring the kids for a lot of fun, but also to see all the hard work involved in bringing delicious fruits and veggies to their local groceries.
This 70-acre organic vegetable and fruit farm has been growing strawberries, stone fruit, blackberries, citrus, apples, asparagus, artichokes, melons, tomatoes and pumpkins for the last 24 years. Bring the kids on the tour of the farm on their tractor-driven hay wagons across 43 acres of cultivated fields of citrus, yellow roses, lines of ripe peaches, apricots and apples.
Let the kids pick the fruits, and then head to the butterfly house, cattle train, wagon rides and mazes.
The kids can get close and personal with the petting zoo animals: tame goats, ducks, sheep, chicken, geese, pigeons, peacocks, turkeys and miniature horses.
Before leaving, visit their lovely Red Barn to load on produce, preserves, fresh pies and smoothies. Their Okie Fry Pies are legendary. Murray Family Farms is 2 hours from Los Angeles.
Big Red Barn, 6700 General Beale Road, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-330-0100
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6. What to Do Near Me: Fox Theater, Bakersfield, California
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Located on H Street in downtown Bakersfield, the Fox Theater is a historic theater that opened in 1930. It is the main venue for the city’s performing arts and it hosts many events such as ballets, dance recitals, and pop musicians’ performances. The exterior was built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style while the theme of the inside was Mediterranean: this was changed when the interior was remodeled in the Art Moderne style.
After 47 years, the Fox closed in 1977: it was slated for demolition but a group of business people formed the Fox Theater Foundation and restoration began in 1994. The Fox can be rented for special events such as meetings, parties, weddings, and more.
2001 H Street, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-324-1369
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7. What to Do Near Me: Mechanics Bank Arena
© Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center
The Mechanics Bank Arena is a performing arts venue and convention center located on Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield. Originally built in 1962, it was formerly known as the Bakersfield Civic Auditorium and the Bakersfield Convention Center and was one of the first structures to be built in the modern style in Bakersfield.
In 1980 the Convention Center was completed, and in 1993 the adjacent hotel was finished. Later, in 1998, the center was further expanded to include a 10,000 seat sports arena. The center hosts a large variety of events such as “Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream,” the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, “A Taste of Home,” and many more.
1001 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-852-7300
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8. Kids Activities Near Me: Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
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The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History is located on Chester Avenue in the downtown Arts District of Bakersfield. Founded in 1995, the museum’s collection at first centered around the fossil collection of Bob and Mary Ernst.
These fossils came from Shark Tooth Hill and this is the largest collection of fossils from this area. This group of fossils was originally housed at the California Living Museum, but as the collection grew, it was necessary to move to the current location.
In addition to the fossils, the museum’s collection also includes a replica of a triceratops skull, a model of Yosemite Valley with many buildings, roads, and trails, and much more. The museum offers several tours.
2018 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-324-6350
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9. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: Kern County Raceway Park
© Kern County Raceway Park
Kern County Raceway Park is a 0.5 mile (0.80 km) oval race car track that opened in 2013 as a replacement for the Mesa Marin Raceway. The capacity of the stadium is 5,000 seats, and there are 21 VIP suites in the grandstand for fans to view the races.
There are also 18 concession stands in the park. The capacity of the stadium can be expanded to 17,000 seats for special events. The park holds events such as NASCAR’s Whelen All-American Series as well as the K&N Pro Series West and car shows.
13500 Raceway Boulevard Interstate 5 and Enos Lane, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-835-1264R
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10. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall
© The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall
The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall is a family-friendly theater located on Jomani Drive in Bakersfield. The theater features old-time melodramas with sweethearts, heroes, and villains. Many of the performances are spoofs of things such as fantasy, sports, mystery, the Wild West and much more. After each show the company presents a Vaudeville Review that is filled with funny jokes, comedic sketches, and dance and musical numbers.
The Moosehead Lounge features snacks, light meals, soft drinks, and beer and wine. The theater offers an eight week educational program where children are taught dancing, drama, improvisation, singing, and how to apply theatrical makeup. There are also puppet shows and magic shows.
12748 Jomani Drive, Bakersfield, California, Phone: 661-587-3377, (website link)
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11. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: Kern River Parkway Trail
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The Kern River Parkway is a nature preserve that runs along the Kern River from the mouth of the Kern Canyon as far as Interstate 5. Created in 1976, it is the largest municipal park in Kern County and consists of 6,000 acres.
There are several trails through the park. The trail to the north is a horseback riding trail; the trail to the south is a jogging or walking trail, but it can also be used by visitors with non-motorized forms of transportation. There is also a bike path called the Kern River Parkway Trail.
There are several lakes found in the parkway, and some of the areas within the parkway have been developed into more formal parks.
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12. Things to Do Near Me: Wool Growers, Bakersfield, California
© Wool Growers
Wool Growers is a popular family-owned Basque restaurant that has been around since 1954, located in a part of Bakersfield known as the Basque Block. It is a homey eatery with old fashioned flowery wallpaper and plastic tablecloths where people come for typical Basque down-to-Earth food, and lots of it.
Wool Growers is also the place where you might bump into former President Reagan or any number of celebrities. The specials are old-fashioned Basque traditional dishes such as stewed beans, onion soups, spicy Basque tomato sauce, pickled tongue and roasted meats. Try typical Basque cocktail picon punch in their comfortable bar and lounge.
620 East Nineteenth Street, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-327-9584
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13. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: 24th Street Cafe
© 24th Street Cafe
Who does not have a soft spot for old-fashioned classic diners? At the 24th Street Café, you will find it all: leatherette boots, formica tables, large coca cola signs on the wall, and friendly waitresses running around with big menus.
This popular neighborhood hangout has been around since 1987, serving the classics: big, juicy burgers, hot fresh soups and hearty, huge breakfasts with fabulous biscuits and pancakes.
Their biscuits and gravy are so good they were featured on the Food Network. No wonder locals come regularly and people from all over the country stop by on the way to somewhere else.
1415 24th Street, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-323-8801
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14. Activities Near Me: Sam Lynn Ballpark, Bakersfield, CA
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The Sam Lynn Ballpark is a baseball park located on Chester Avenue in Bakersfield. Built in 1941, it is sometimes called the “Historic” Sam Lynn Ballpark, and it is the oldest ballpark of the Class-A Advanced California League. Once the home of the Bakersfield Badgers, today it is the home of the Bakersfield Blaze.
The ballpark was named after a local businessman who helped to fund local youth baseball leagues. The original grandstand was made out of wood: this was demolished in 1993 and replaced with a concrete grandstand. There were further renovations in 2006 and the ballpark’s current seating capacity is 3,500.
4009 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-716-4487
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15. Things to Do Near Me: Luigi's, Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield residents probably could not imagine their city without Luigi’s. This restaurant and Italian grocery store have been around since 1910 and on its walls you can see the restaurant’s, and the city’s, history in faded, yellowed photos of characters that passed through, famous sport figures and buildings that do not exist anymore.
The restaurant is homey and pleasant and the food is classic Italian at its best. There is a special every day, so if you want Baby Back Ribs with Pasta Rigatoni, you will have to come on a Friday.
The grocery store is foodies’ delight, with rows and rows of olive oils, wines, cheeses, cured meats, spices and sauces. It is impossible to leave this fragrant place without loading your basket.
725 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-322-0926
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16. Weekend Getaway Near Me: The Links at Riverlakes Ranch
© The Links at Riverlakes Ranch
Located on Riverlakes Drive, the Links at Riverlakes Ranch is an 18 hole public golf course in Bakersfield. Designed by Ronald Fream, the course was inspired by golf courses in Scotland. Completed in 1999, the course is 6,800 yards and lies on hilly terrain that was formerly almond orchards, and cotton and vegetable fields.
More than 200 mature almond trees were saved during the creation of the course, and there are also California redwoods and Canary Island pines as well as 12 lakes and three fountains. There is a pro shop, practice facilities, and a club house. Because of the beauty of the course, it is a popular place for weddings.
5201 Riverlakes Drive, Bakersfield, CA, Phone: 661-587-5465
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17. Puzzle Effect Bakersfield
© Jerome Romme/stock.adobe.com
When you book an escape room at Puzzle Effect in Bakersfield you are taking the first step on an immersive adventure requiring clear heads and great team work. Each of the carefully themed escape rooms comes with a fascinating story line to set you on your way. You and your team or family will have just 60 minutes to solve the clues and crack the code to enable you to escape. Each of the rooms can accommodate up to 6 players and all the rooms provide a fun and memorable experience. Puzzle Effect is ideal for parties, date nights and team-building events.
3616 Coffee Road, STE C, Bakersfield, CA 93308, 661-587-3710
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18. Salt 7even Float Center
© Salt 7even Float Center
When you feel the need to escape your bustling everyday routine, a marvelously calming salt float at Salt 7even provides the perfect answer. Salt 7even offers stressed-out individuals the chance to come and spend the most relaxing hour of their day floating weightlessly in a tank of saturated Epsom Salt solution. The concentration is so strong that you will effortless float on top of the temperature controlled bath. There is no light or other distraction to prevent you from achieving a perfectly relaxed state during which your brain releases the feel-good hormone dopamine and various endorphins which contribute to a range of physical and mental health benefits.
1713 20th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301, 661-549-1616
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The top attractions to visit in Bakersfield, California near me today according to local experts are:
- 1. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA
- 2. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, California
- 3. Kern County Museum, Bakersfield, California
- 4. Places to Visit: California Area Living Museum, Bakersfield, California
- 5. Murray Family Farms
- 6. What to Do Near Me: Fox Theater, Bakersfield, California
- 7. What to Do Near Me: Mechanics Bank Arena
- 8. Kids Activities Near Me: Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
- 9. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: Kern County Raceway Park
- 10. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall
- 11. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: Kern River Parkway Trail
- 12. Things to Do Near Me: Wool Growers, Bakersfield, California
- 13. Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: 24th Street Cafe
- 14. Activities Near Me: Sam Lynn Ballpark, Bakersfield, CA
- 15. Things to Do Near Me: Luigi's, Bakersfield, CA
- 16. Weekend Getaway Near Me: The Links at Riverlakes Ranch
- 17. Puzzle Effect Bakersfield
- 18. Salt 7even Float Center
Attraction Spotlight: Kern County Museum in Bakersfield, California
Located in Bakersfield, the Kern County Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture and history of Kern County. In 1929, the Bakersfield Lion’s Club published a letter in the local newspaper to urge people within the Kern County community to donate any artifacts or historical materials to the Kern County Chamber of Commerce. Immediately, hundreds of documents, pieces of art, and other artifacts were delivered to the Chamber of Commerce.
More than ten years later, Kern County officials established the Kern County Museum with the intent to preserve and present anything related and significant to the history and culture of the county. Although most members of the community were excited about the Museum, there were not enough resources to build the Museum’s official building yet. So, the Museum opened to the public within the basement of the Chamber of Commerce.
The Kern County Museum quickly took over the entire building. A few years after it officially opened, the Museum acquired the historic 1868 Barnes family log house, which was located near the Chamber of Commerce. The 1868 Barnes family log house was the Museum’s first outdoor attraction.
Shortly after the Kern County Museum acquired the 1868 Barnes home, the Chamber of Commerce realized they were going to need to move to a new location. So, the Chamber of Commerce moved to a new building in 1952. From then until the late 1990s, the Kern County Museum continued to expand their comprehensive collection. Today, the Kern County Museum is also known as the Kern Pioneer Village.
The Kern County Museum has various attractions that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and significance of Kern County.
Pioneer Village contains over 50 structures and exhibits that are significant to the history and culture of Kern County and the general West. Pioneer Village encompasses approximately 16 acres of land that preserve the traditional way of life within Kern County.
Black Gold: The Oil Experience is a 2.3 acre and 9,640 square foot attraction dedicated to teaching visitors the process of creating and extracting oil. Black Gold: The Oil Experience also provides an in-depth explanation of how the oil industry changed the economy and lives of industry employees throughout history.
Lori Brock Development Center is an interactive attraction where younger visitors have the opportunity to learn about STEM based concepts in a fun and hands-on way.
Neon Courtyard is an extensive collection of iconic neon signs from a variety of stores and restaurants in Bakersfield.
Bakersfield Sound displays a unique collection of artifacts related to the influential artists and music that originated in Bakersfield. Some of the highlighted artists in Bakersfield Sound include Buck Owens and Red Simpson.
The Kern County Museum offers a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. These educational opportunities include guided tours, camps, and programs dedicated to engage school aged children.
One of the most popular and general educational opportunities at the Kern County Museum is the guided tour programs. During a guided tour, participants have the opportunity to learn about Kern County in an in-depth and exclusive way. Also, groups can participate in various hands-on activities throughout their guided tour, such as a scavenger hunt.
If schools are interested in participating in a guided tour, they should reserve a spot within the school tour program. While school tours are guided by the same specially trained employees that guide other tours, school tours have the opportunity to participate in special learning lessons and activities that no other visitor has the opportunity to enjoy. Also, teachers can communicate to the Kern County Museum’s employees, so lessons and activities that take place at the Museum can correspond with what is being taught in school.
The last popular educational opportunity at the Kern County Museum is the extensive summer camp program. During the Kern County Museum’s summer camp, participants aged five to twelve can participate in lessons and activities that integrate a variety of subjects. Participants will learn about STEM topics, as well as topics such as history, art, photography, theater, and even cooking. In addition to learning about a variety of topics, campers have the opportunity to explore and learn about the Kern County Museum in an in-depth and exclusive way.
For more information about the guided tours, school field trips, summer camps, or any other educational opportunity at the Kern County Museum, check out the Kern County Museum’s official website, or contact or visit them during their hours of operation.
3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, Phone: 661-437-3330