Fresno Chaffee Zoo is home to approximately 125 species, with more always on the way. We are the only zoo in North America that currently houses Northland green geckos (on exhibit) and Southern tent tortoises (off exhibit).
I love the zoo. We live in Central California and if you are close enough to the zoo that it isn't much of a trek/drive, I HIGHLY reccomend the membership as for two people, it takes three trips in a year to pay off the initial cost. It is not too busy, and there is plenty of shade to escape the sun if you happen to go during the summer. People are friendly, and there are events that happen throughout the day that add to the excitement (feed some stingrays, some giraffs, or listen to animal keeper talk about their exhibits).
I go to this Zoo usually a few times a year. There isn't much to do in Fresno so when ever I have friends or family visiting from out of town we end up visiting the zoo. This is a great activity for people of all ages.
This zoo is medium size but you could spend a few hours if you visit all the animals. The zoo is clean and the staff is friendly. It is very inexpensive to get into the zoo and the food is inexpensive as well (but not very healthy, think burgers/fries/icecream/etc).
I always enjoy watching the seals and the large turtles. Last time we went it must have been turtle mating season and had to explain the little one about the birds and the bees, us adults had a good laugh. I would have to say there have been a few times where other visitor were rude, loud, and annoying but the zoo is big enough where you can walk away and find another animal to watch.
Also, every Christmas my husband and I love to have a romantic night walking through the zoo looking at the christmas lights. My only complaint is they give you a ticket for free hot coca and cookies but the line is always too long so I don't even bother getting ours. Instead I usually find a family with a few kids and give our tickets to them.
This zoo is very small and easy for toddlers to walk around. My 4 year old enjoyed "digging" for fosils in the sand, looking at the Sting Rays, seeing the baby Giraffe, and the really big turtle. You do have to pay to park. We made the mistake and went when there were alot of classes there for a field trip so it was busy and we had to park really far and walk to the enterance.
Been here twice, once during December and it was chilly outside but nice. The zoo was not crowded and all exhibits were easy to see. Then we visited in May when it was warm. Many school children were on a field trip so the exhibits were crowded. Buses lined the parking lots and there was no place to eat lunch. What a disappointment. At least this zoo has large animals like elephants and giraffees. The new baby giraffee is a joy to see.
This is a great size zoo for kids of all ages. Large enough to host big and popular animals, but small enough to not exhaust little ones or their parents.
On a recent trip, my boys' (6,8) favorite activity was climbing the stairs to the "tree house" in the rain forest exhibit. It is so beautiful and lush in this area and well constructed with trails and animals to see. Further on, we were all stumped by the crocodile exhibit because we couldn't see the animal we were most wanting to. Then all of a sudden, as if it had been an optical illusion, we could see the crocodile eyes and calloused skin. He was laying on the sand in clear view but we hadn't seen him. That was just too amazing.
excellent variety of animals to share with my toddler, she is under one year old at her first visit, and came home proudly bringing various animals from her room that she remembered seeing at the zoo. Since then, I think she attempted to hint heavily that she wanted to go back to the zoo, by bringing me a flamingo and looking at me, like "well"?
Want a fun activity for the kids. The Chaffe Zoo is a great way to spend a day together as a family or a moms group wih the kids. Newley remodled animal enclosures with lots to see. My kids always enjoy going and never seem to tire from going so often.
My girls love coming to this zoo. It has a nice variety of animals as well as some small play areas near the inside of the entrance for the kids to burn off steam. It's in the middle of a park and so we usually have a picnic by the pond before going inside.
This zoo is so much fun. There are quite a few animals and the shade around the walk ways is perfect. The new exhibit is the Sting Ray Bay and it's very neat. You can even purchase fish to feed the rays and sharks. Plus when you're done with the zoo you can head over to StoryLand or the amusement rides.
If you are looking for lions, you will be sad to find there are none, but they have quite a lot for the young ones. The giraffe feeding is probably the highlight of the experience. I found the walk-in aviary to be small and pointless, but my 2 year old like it, so that's all that matters. Overall it's better than a big zoo for children who need to nap since it is a half day's worth of activity.
The Chaffe Zoo always seems to be in need of funding, but as of late, the improvements are evident. The cages are larger and they seem to have more animals. This is a medium sized zoo and kids love it. The downside is the zoo is located in a pretty bad part of Fresno. Once on the zoo grounds though, it's great!
What i love about our zoo here in Fresno is zoo boo night. It is in October around Halloween. They have booths with information of things you might need or want to take your children to. The kids get dressed up in their customs and trick or treat around the both and vendors. The coolest thing is seeing the animals at night. I have been going for 3 years now and i am so excited to take my new little one this year
While the Zoo has been doing a lot of things to get more recognition, they really need to do some more upgrades. The exhibits (excluding stingray bay) are all the same from when I was a child (15 years ago). There are great activities inside though including: Giraffe Feedings, Winged Wonder Bird Show, Seal Feedings and more!
There aren't a lot of fun, safe things to do in Fresno. But we had a good time at the zoo where my daughter and husband took their first camel ride. It was affordable and educational. There was a wide variety of animals compared to the smaller zoo near our home.
Update: Nine years later we went again and had a really nice time there. The seal and sea lion pool is new and the seals were active and amusing. The zoo is clean and well taken care of. The animals' enclosures are large and clean.