Fresno is centrally located in the heart of California, a two hour’s drive from the beach and an hour’s drive from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Fresno was named for the ash trees along the San Joaquin River, which runs through the city. Founded in 1872, Fresno was originally a railway station for the Central Pacific Railroad. It is also the pride of the valley and home to California State University Fresno. CSU Fresno is known for its nursing and agriculture programs, and, of course, FSU sports teams.
With all that hard studying students do, it’s important they have some place to blow off some steam between papers, midterms, and finals. Scattered throughout Fresno and close to Fresno College, it’s easy to take an Uber or drive a short distance to any of these locations.
Gather your friends for a group of problem solving, puzzle debunking, and good old fun. Opened in 2016, Xscape room is a great way to help with team building and test your bond as friends. Choose your room and solve lock boxes, puzzles on the walls, murders, maps, and bones. You can even book your own private party. Often used by businesses to help promote team building and problem solving, you can blow off some steam here as you work to solve your way out of puzzling situations and the who-done-it scenarios. Participants must be 18 years of age or older, or have a parent waver. Located along one of Fresno’s main drags, it’s an easy location to find close to Fresno College.
River Park Shopping Center
River park is the most popular place to blow off steam in Fresno. Not just any old mall or dining center, River Park is located on the east side of Blackstone Ave., a main drag in Fresno. It’s a beautiful shopping center complete with restaurants, a movie and Imax theater, and shops including: Macy’s, H&M, Claire’s, Julia, Bath and Body Works, Tilly’s, Color Me Mine, Barnes and Noble, and Nordstrom Rack, to name a few. The shopping center also hosts a weekly farmers market on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There is often live music and dancing. There are even pictures with Santa at Christmas and the Easter bunny at Easter. It’s a great place to catch a movie, eat some sushi and ice cream, and do some shopping. Many people are also found lounging outside a tea shop. It is the most popular place for Fresno College students to hang out.
It’s easy to feel extra boujee (but for real—it’s pretty upscale) at Standard. Featuring live DJs every Friday and Saturday night, VIP bottle service and late night happy hour, Standard is a great place to enjoy some great dancing, adult beverages and food. They have an entertainment lounge with VIP tables and booths with bottle service where you can choose from a top liquor selection and cigar list. With the best whiskey selection in Fresno, starters, salads, pastas, sea food, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts, feel free to kick back and relax inside or outside with a delicious meal. For those intimate occasions, or special celebrations, gather a group of your closest friends for lounging in the private outdoor cabanas. Standard does enforce a strict dress code, so be sure to check the website for all the do’s and don’ts before you attend.
ApCal is the best summer outdoor music venue in the valley. Here, you can dance, drink, and party to the sounds of cover bands and local musicians, while enjoying great wine tasting. Music will include everything from classic rock and blues to country and Jazz. Bring your own lawn chairs and food as you relax, blow off steam and enjoy the chilling atmosphere. Located just outside Fresno in the neighboring county of Madera, the venue is also home to the historic Solitary Cellars wine tasting room, which has been voted Central Valley’s best winery. The only catch is you have to be 21 to attend.
Fresno Grizzlies Baseball
Relax to the sounds of baseballs flying and fans singing “take me out to the ball game,” as you watch local minor league baseball team, the Fresno Grizzlies. They play in Chukchansi Park, which is the name of a local tribal casino on the outskirts of Fresno. Chill out with mascot, Parker, and down some dogs and beer while you watch the batter run home.
MB2 Racing Go Cart Tracks
The only indoor carting raceway near Fresno, MB2 raceway is located in the neighboring city of Clovis, just down the street from Fresno State. It is easy for Fresno College student access. Using electric carts, MB2 offers 14 lap adult races or weekday specials. On Sundays, they offer Karing Kamp and Racing Academy for all ages. This program helps improve racing techniques by improving lap times and skills in a classroom. They also offer virtual reality and laser tag. Schedule a birthday party, bachelor and/or bachelorette party, fundraiser, or holiday party. Students can literally blow off some steam at this place.
Located under the student union on Fresno State’s campus, Bulldog Bowling offers some much-needed release from the pressure of midterms and finals. Twelve lanes with billiard tables and an arcade, this spot offers cheap fun by the hour (or by the game) for students and staff with valid IDs. There is even a collegiate team you can join (they were even 2015 champions). It’s even a great place to have a birthday party.
All of these local places offer great ways to blow off steam for Fresno college students. While there are so many great things to do in Fresno—including hiking, boating, historical sites, historic downtown Fresno, and college sporting events you can attend—these are just a few of the popular things to do around Fresno, California. Offering great local dining, drinking, movies, shopping, lounging, live music, and challenging puzzles, Fresno is definetly a place not short of entertainment.