Best Things to do in Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, California, often flies under the radar when it comes to popular travel destinations in the Golden State. However, this city harbors a treasure trove of experiences, making it an unexpectedly vibrant destination for all kinds of travelers. It’s no surprise why it’s so hard to find a house in Bakersfield!

From family-friendly attractions to exciting adventures for thrill-seekers, things to do in Bakersfield are as diverse as they are plentiful. This city, nestled in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, blends agricultural heritage with a rich cultural tapestry, offering a unique Californian experience away from the typical tourist trail.

The charm of Bakersfield lies in its ability to cater to a wide spectrum of interests. Whether you are searching for fun things to do in Bakersfield for adults, seeking a peaceful retreat in nature, or planning an educational and entertaining trip with the family, Bakersfield has something to offer. 

Its landscape, marked by sprawling parks and scenic trails, invites outdoor enthusiasts, while its cultural venues and historic sites provide a deep dive into the arts and history. Bakersfield’s evolving culinary scene, influenced by its diverse community, adds another layer of appeal for visitors exploring this dynamic city.

Kern County Raceway Park: A Hub for Motorsport Enthusiasts

When it comes to high-octane entertainment, the Kern County Raceway Park stands out as a premier destination among the things to do in Bakersfield. Catering to motorsport enthusiasts, this raceway offers an exhilarating array of events featuring a variety of racing vehicles. 

From the roar of race cars to the excitement of motorcycle racing, this venue provides a thrilling atmosphere that’s hard to match. Beyond the races, the park hosts family-friendly events, making it a great spot for fun things to do in Bakersfield with family.

For those seeking a more interactive experience, the Kern County Raceway Park also offers opportunities for visitors to get a behind-the-scenes look at the racing world. 

Guided tours provide insights into the intricacies of motorsports, making it an educational as well as an exciting visit. Whether you’re a racing aficionado or a newcomer to the sport, the park’s diverse offerings ensure a day filled with adrenaline and enjoyment.

McMurtrey Aquatic Center: A Water Wonderland

The McMurtrey Aquatic Center is a haven for water lovers and families looking for things to do in Bakersfield. With its Olympic-sized pool and variety of water-based facilities, the center promises a refreshing escape from the Californian heat. The center’s diving facilities and slides make it a popular spot for fun things to do in Bakersfield with family. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely swim, dive into the sparkling waters, or glide down exhilarating water slides.

For those with young children, the center offers shallow areas and interactive water features, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all ages. 

Aquatic programs, such as swimming lessons and water aerobics, cater to a range of interests and skill levels. The center also provides amenities like lockers and showers, making it a convenient and comfortable destination for a day of aquatic fun.

The Fox Theater: A Cultural Jewel in Bakersfield

The Fox Theater is not only a venue for entertainment but also a cultural landmark among things to do in Bakersfield. Its historical significance and architectural elegance make it a must-visit for anyone interested in the arts. 

The theater’s diverse lineup of shows – from concerts and ballets to movie screenings and comedic acts – provides entertainment for a wide range of tastes. The theater’s ambiance, enhanced by its vintage charm and state-of-the-art acoustics, creates an immersive experience for audiences. 

It’s a prime venue for fun things to do in Bakersfield for adults, offering a sophisticated night out. The Fox Theater also hosts special events and community gatherings, making it a central part of Bakersfield’s cultural scene.

Murray Family Farms: An Agricultural Adventure

Murray Family Farms is a delightful addition to the list of things to do in Bakersfield, especially for families. This working farm offers a glimpse into agricultural life, with a variety of seasonal activities and events. 

Visitors can pick their fruits, enjoy tractor rides, and explore the butterfly house. The farm’s focus on organic produce and sustainable farming practices adds an educational aspect to the visit.

Throughout the year, Murray Family Farms hosts special events like harvest festivals and holiday celebrations, making it a continually evolving destination. 

The farm’s animal garden, where children can interact with farm animals, is a highlight for things to do with kids in Bakersfield. Picnic areas and scenic spots across the farm provide perfect settings for a family day out amid nature.

The Park at River Walk: A Natural Oasis

The Park at River Walk is a testament to Bakersfield’s commitment to green spaces. This 32-acre urban park, with its lakes and streams, offers a tranquil escape in the heart of the city. It’s an ideal place for outdoor activities like fishing, picnicking, or just enjoying a leisurely walk along the paved paths. The park’s scenic beauty makes it a popular choice for those looking for things to do in Bakersfield.

The park also hosts various community events and concerts, especially at the Bright House Amphitheater located within its grounds. Whether you’re looking to relax in nature or seeking a lively outdoor event, the Park at River Walk caters to a variety of interests. For families, its play areas and open spaces make it a wonderful spot for fun things to do in Bakersfield with family.

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science: A World of Discovery

The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science is a cornerstone of educational entertainment among things to do in Bakersfield. This museum offers a fascinating journey through the realms of paleontology, geology, and anthropology. Its exhibits, including the impressive Sharktooth Hill Miocene fossils, are both informative and engaging.

For families looking for things to do with kids in Bakersfield, the museum’s interactive zone, the “Oh” Zone, is a highlight. 

Here, children can engage in hands-on activities that make learning fun. The museum also hosts special exhibitions and events, making each visit a unique experience. Whether you’re a history buff, a science enthusiast, or just curious, the Buena Vista Museum offers an enriching day out for all ages.

Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center: A Hub of Entertainment

The Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center is a dynamic venue for a range of events, from sports to concerts, making it a key destination for fun things to do in Bakersfield for adults. 

This multi-purpose complex hosts major performances, showcasing both local talent and international stars. Its state-of-the-art facilities and large seating capacity make it an ideal location for grand-scale events.

Sports enthusiasts will find the arena a thrilling venue, with it being the home ground for the Bakersfield Condors ice hockey team. The center’s diverse event calendar ensures that there’s always something exciting happening, whether it’s a live music concert, a Broadway show, or a family-friendly performance like Disney on Ice. The southern concourse’s Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame adds a historical dimension, celebrating local sports legends.

Sequoia National Forest: A Natural Wonder Near Bakersfield

Just a short drive from the city, Sequoia National Forest offers a breathtaking natural escape, making it a highlight among things to do in Bakersfield. This vast forest, home to some of the world’s tallest trees, provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and nature photography. 

The famous 100 Giants Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail section offer routes for both casual walkers and serious hikers.

The forest’s diverse ecosystems and scenic beauty make it a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. With areas for picnicking and campsites, it’s a perfect destination for fun things to do in Bakersfield with family. 

Whether you’re looking to explore on foot, by bike, or simply soak in the natural splendor, Sequoia National Forest is an unmissable outdoor experience near Bakersfield.

California Living Museum (CALM): A Wildlife Haven

The California Living Museum, commonly known as CALM, is a unique addition to the list of things to do in Bakersfield, especially for animal lovers. 

This zoo and rehabilitation center focuses on California native wildlife, providing a sanctuary for injured and non-releasable animals. Visitors can see a variety of species, from black bears to bighorn sheep, in habitats designed to mimic their natural environments.

CALM’s educational programs and hands-on experiences make it a great place for learning about local fauna and conservation efforts. The zoo’s interactive exhibits and up-close animal encounters provide a memorable experience for all ages. For families looking for things to do in Bakersfield with kids, CALM offers a fascinating and educational day out.

Bakersfield Museum of Art: A Canvas of Creativity

The Bakersfield Museum of Art, a vibrant center of artistic expression, showcases a rich collection of 20th-century California art. Its galleries feature an array of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. 

The museum’s rotating exhibits and touring national displays ensure that each visit offers something new and exciting.

Apart from its visual art displays, the museum hosts a variety of events and educational programs. Activities like Yoga at the Museum and First Fridays Free Admission add to its appeal as a cultural hub. The adjacent Tejon Ranch Sculpture Park is a delightful outdoor space where visitors can enjoy art in a natural setting. For those seeking creative and fun things to do in Bakersfield for adults, the museum offers a blend of inspiration and relaxation.

Panorama Park: A Scenic Spot

Panorama Park, located atop a bluff overlooking the Kern River, is a picturesque location among things to do in Bakersfield. This linear park, with its paved hiking trail, is perfect for enjoying the outdoors while taking in stunning views. The park’s vantage point offers a unique perspective on Bakersfield’s landscape, including the vast oil fields that are a part of the city’s history.

The park’s tranquil atmosphere makes it a popular spot for relaxation and reflection. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk, engage in birdwatching, or simply savor the panoramic views. It’s a serene escape within the city, ideal for those looking to unwind and connect with nature.

Kern River Parkway Trail: Exploring Bakersfield’s Natural Side

The Kern River Parkway Trail is a scenic gem among the many things to do in Bakersfield. This trail, popular for walking, running, and cycling, winds its way through the city, offering a peaceful route surrounded by natural beauty. The trail’s proximity to the Kern River adds to its charm, providing opportunities for wildlife spotting and nature photography.

The trail’s versatility makes it suitable for both casual strolls and more vigorous outdoor activities. It’s a wonderful option for families looking for things to do in Bakersfield with kids, offering a safe and scenic environment for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Kern River Parkway Trail is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Bakersfield’s natural landscape.

Golden West Casino: A Night of Excitement

Golden West Casino stands out as a premier destination for fun things to do in Bakersfield for adults. This lively venue offers a variety of gaming options, including poker, blackjack, and baccarat, catering to both novice and experienced players. The casino’s vibrant atmosphere, combined with its range of dining and drinking options, makes it a popular spot for a night out.

The casino’s friendly staff and welcoming environment add to its appeal. Whether you’re looking to try your luck at the tables or simply enjoy a casual evening with friends, Golden West Casino offers a fun and exciting experience. Its diverse beer selection and delicious culinary offerings provide the perfect accompaniment to a night of gaming and entertainment.

Bakersfield Camelot Park: A Playground for All Ages

Bakersfield Camelot Park is a family-friendly amusement park and a fantastic addition to things to do in Bakersfield. With a variety of attractions, including playgrounds, a baseball court, pools, and car racing areas, the park caters to visitors of all ages. 

It’s a great place for families looking for fun things to do in Bakersfield with kids, offering a mix of activities that keep everyone entertained. The park’s picnic and barbecue areas make it an ideal spot for family gatherings and celebrations. Its facilities are well-suited for hosting birthday parties and other special events. 

For both kids and adults, Bakersfield Camelot Park provides a fun-filled day with plenty of opportunities for play, socializing, and making lasting memories.


In conclusion, Bakersfield, CA, emerges not just as a destination for a fleeting visit but as a place that captures the heart and imagination. The array of things to do in Bakersfield is so vast and fulfilling that it’s not uncommon for visitors to seriously consider making this charming city their permanent home. 

Whether it’s the adrenaline rush of the Kern County Raceway Park, the tranquil beauty of the Sequoia National Forest, or the educational richness of the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science, each experience in Bakersfield leaves a lasting impression.

The city’s unique blend of cultural, recreational, and natural attractions ensures that there is always something new and exciting to discover. 

From engaging in fun things to do in Bakersfield for adults to creating memorable moments with family-friendly activities, Bakersfield offers an unparalleled quality of life. It’s a city where every visit enriches your understanding and appreciation of what it has to offer.

It’s no surprise that after a visit filled with such diverse and enjoyable experiences, one might find themselves reaching out to local movers in Bakersfield, CA, contemplating a more permanent stay. 

Bakersfield, with its welcoming community and vibrant lifestyle, is not just a place to visit; it’s a place to live, grow, and thrive. Whether you’re a visitor or a future resident, Bakersfield awaits with open arms, ready to show you the best of what California has to offer.

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