California Area Living Museum
California Area Living Zoo, also known as CALM, is one of the most interesting places in California to learn about the plants and animals that call California home. Located in East Bakersfield, CALM has built native habitat dedicated to preserving and promoting California’s native and diverse ecosystems. Its mission has been to preserve and promote the native wildlife of California. The 14 parklike acres feature more than 100 species of nonreleasable animals and native California plants. Only animals injured or who could not survive in their native environment are housed at CALM. Natural exhibits include an open black bear exhibit; bird of prey exhibit with hawks, owls and eagles; a mammal round that houses bobcats and several species of foxes; a waterfowl pond with resident mallards that attracts spring and fall migrants; deer yard; an underground reptile house; and a children’s petting zoo with domestic animals. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93306; 661.872.2256
Murray Family Farms
Carrying on the animal theme, Murray Family Farms is a great place to take city kids to enjoy animals and exotic birds. Peacocks wander outside cages. Troll through the handpainted concrete tunnel into the lush and beautiful Auntie Annabell’s Animal Garden—brimming with flowers, abundant foliage and flocks of friendly critters. Don’t miss the old-time water pump rubber ducky races in the animal garden. Watch kids play in the plastic ball pool while enjoying the shade in their central court—with turtle doves cooing in the background. Meet boar crosses, pygmies and kidder goats!
They have a sassy miniature horse you can pet through little petting windows for one-on-one time! Animal feed stations are located in three areas of the garden to delight children and critters alike. Feed pellets take quarters, so don’t forget to bring change! And, if you’re a bit hungry, they always have seasonal fruit to taste. Catch the hayride to tour 43 acres of cultivated fields of citrus, yellow roses, lines of ripe peaches, apricots and apples. This is a total hit for the kids. Choose a warm—but not hot—day to enjoy Murray Family Farms. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. 6700 General Beale Road, Bakersfield, CA 93203. Call 661.330.0100 for information.