We may not get any snow on the ground here in Fresno, but at Raymer Team Real Estate, we still believe “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” This vibrant community boasts a wide variety of annual local traditions sure to make your holiday season one to remember. In the midst of all the shopping, deadlines and parties, we hope you carve out some time to create special memories with your loved ones. We put together this fun little list to get you started:
1. Gather your friends and family and take a stroll down Christmas Tree Lane.
Christmas Tree Lane began in 1920, making it one of the longest-running holiday events nationwide. Many of the area’s most beautiful and historic homes are lit up with twinkling lights and unique decorations all the way down tree-lined Van Ness Boulevard, between Shaw and Shields Avenues. This year’s designated walk nights are December 3rd and the 13th. For more details: http://www.christmastreelane.com
2. Take the kids to go visit Santa at River Park, Sierra Vista Mall or Fashion Fair Mall.
A trip to meet “the real” Santa Claus is a highly-anticipated tradition for many children, and there are several wonderful options in the Fresno area. Fig Garden Village is also offering complimentary photos with Santa at the Christmas tree in front of Pottery Barn from 1pm-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays through December 18th.
Image source: Holiday Magic Studios (River Park Santa)
3. ZooLights- Enjoy the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in a whole new (very festive) life.
Throughout the Christmas season, the entire Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland, fully decorated and strung with miles of colorful lights. Enjoy holiday music, a snow machine, complimentary hot chocolate and a cookie, and of course Santa Claus. For dates and more details: https://www.fresnochaffeezoo.org/event/zoolights/
Image source: Fresno Chaffee Zoo
4. Take in a performance of The Nutcracker at Saroyan Theater.
On December 10th and 11th, go enjoy a highly-entertaining performance of a holiday classic by the Central California Ballet. For ticket information: http://www.fresnoconventioncenter.com/eventlist/central-california-ballets-the-nutcracker-2/ Also at the Saroyan on December 14th and 15th, ELF The Broadway Musical.
Image source: Fresno Convention Center
5. Day trip to Yosemite’s Half Dome Village Outdoor Ice Skating Rink.
National Park visitors have been ice skating in Yosemite since the 1930s. The outdoor ice skating rink at Half Dome Village (Curry Village) features freshly polished ice, a warm fire pit and ample supplies for s’mores making. The 2016 opening date hasn’t been announced yet, but check this website for the latest info: http://www.travelyosemite.com/winter/half-dome-village-ice-skating-rink/
Image Source: Fodor’s
6. Attend a Holiday Home Tour benefitting Valley Children’s Hospital on Friday, 12/2/16.
Tour some of the most prestigious homes in Fresno, all decked out for the holidays, while supporting a good cause. This is such a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday season and discover some inspirational ideas for your home. For tickets and more info: http://lacomidaguild.org/events/la-comida-guild-home-tours/
Image Source: La Comida Guild
7. Enjoy a festive hot beverage and a cronut at Kuppa Joy Coffee House in Fresno or Clovis.
This community-focused coffee house with locations in the Old Fresno High neighborhood and Old Town Clovis is the perfect place to meet up with an old friend and sip an expertly made cup of coffee, or whatever drink strikes your fancy, while supporting a small local business. We hear their Pumpkin Spice Latte is excellent!
Image Source: Kuppa Joy Facebook Page
8. Visit Candy Cane Lane (Cindy Lane) in Clovis- 10 blocks of holiday lights!
Over the past few years, one of Clovis’ best kept secrets has become increasingly less secret. In the Alluvial/Peach neighborhood, you’ll find several blocks of homes decked out in decorations and lights. A pleasantly old-fashioned, festive atmosphere awaits, with homeowners camped out in their driveway passing out hot chocolate, families taking in the sights together on foot and even the occasional group of carolers. Definitely worth adding to your holiday season rotation! More info here: https://www.facebook.com/CandyCaneLaneClovis/
Image Source: Candy Cane Lane/Cindy Lane Facebook Page
9. Help serve a holiday meal at Fresno Rescue Mission or Poverello House.
This time of year, it’s easy to feel consumed by materialism and holiday sale shopping, but the Christmas season is also filled with opportunities for generosity and giving back to our community. There are many wonderful charities in Fresno dedicated to meeting the needs of those less fortunate year-round. Why not connect with them this December and volunteer a few hours to serve the homeless or support a family who’s having a hard time?
Image Source: Fresno Rescue Mission
10. Spend some simple time at home, savoring the season.
Though some may think this one should go without saying, so many of us find ourselves caught up in the busyness this time of year, yet somehow the significance of the season passes us by. Even though the parties and activities are also fun and memorable, make sure to remember to slow down. Sometimes the most special moments are spent simply, perhaps decorating the tree with nostalgic music playing in the background or watching a favorite Christmas movie by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.