Top Picks of Things To Do

  • bidwell-sac-park
    Fish, Kayak, Tube and so much more! California Parks Department (530) 342-5185 www.parks.ca.gov The main activity to be enjoyed at Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park is bank or boat fishing for salmon, steelhead and shad. The next popular activity is “cruising down the river” on inner tubes, canoes, or kayaks.This park preserves a fine example of a disappearing natural resource – the riverine habitat. The river’s various landscapes display great scenic beauty and constant change. The riparian plant and animal communities here depend strongly on each other. Massive oaks and cottonwoods give the dense shade needed for the survival of cool-water creatures. Thick understories of elderberry, wild grape, blackberry, wild rose and numerous perennials provide shelter to a diversified wildlife population. The park offers a great setting for observing and learning about the riparian community.Park Day Use AreasIndian Fishery Day Use Area Indian Fishery is an ox bow lake surrounded by a beautiful oak woodland. This is a wonderful area to picnic, bird watch, fish, hike or simply enjoy the wildlife that abounds in the ox bow lake. It is common to observe river otters darting through the water, turtles basking on a fallen tree or herons stalking a meal. Visit Indian Fishery and enjoy the ...
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  • Laxon1
    California State University, Chico Office of Admissions Tours/Pre-Admission Information West 2nd & Hazel St. 800-542-4426 • 530-898-4428 www.csuchico.eduBookstore: 898-5222 Box Office: 898-6333 Chico Symphony: 898-4607 Athletic Events: 898-4658 Conference Services: 898-6414 Continuing Education: 898-6105 Recreational Sports: 898-5170 Along with education, activities, and live performances, this campus (located adjacent to Chico’s downtown) is also known for its beautiful grounds and its architecture. Laxson Auditorium, along with Kendall Hall and Trinity Hall with its bell tower, was built of red brick in the early 1930’s in a lovely Romanesque style similar to that of Mediterranean cultures. True beauties. The new Bell Memorial Union is home to a huge bookstore (including clothing and gift items in addition to the books,) the Union Express, and the Associated Students offices, and 12 conference and assembly rooms, plus auditorium seating for 1,000 people. Meriam Library, named after Ted Meriam, who was a former university trustee and Chico mayor, is the largest library north of Sacramento and serves as a resource for all of Northern California. Thanks to General John Bidwell, who was an amateur horticulturist, the grounds of the campus contain hundreds of varieties of trees and plants that he introduced to the area. You’ll note, as you walk through the campus, many huge trees; some of these date back to ...
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  • bidwell-mural
    Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park525 Esplanade • 530-895-6144 Sat.-Sun. 11-4, Mon. 12-4 Born in 1819, John Bidwell led the first overland expedition to California when he was 22.  When he struck gold on the Feather River near Oroville, he bought 26,000 acres beside Chico Creek, and in 1860 founded Chico.  In 1868, after having served two years as a Washington congressman, he and Annie Kennedy were married with President Johnson attending. Soon the Bidwells moved to Chico and worked in many causes including Indian education and women’s suffrage.  Mr. Bidwell was also an amateur horticulturist, and planted many varieties of trees and shrubs on his vast land holdings and around the community. The Bidwells entertained prominent Americans, including Susan B. Anthony and John Muir, until Bidwell died in 1900 and Annie in 1918. In 1887 Bidwell donated the land for the state teacher’s college that later became CSUC; and Bidwell Park, about a mile east of the mansion, was donated to the city by Annie in 1905. The three-story mansion is furnished with Victorian pieces, many having belonged to the Bidwells. The carriage house stores four of Bidwell’s carriages. The mansion is home to many annual events including a Christmas Open House each December. Next to the mansion ...
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  • bear-hole
    Bidwell Park 530-896-7800 4th Street and Cypress Avenue www.chico.ca.us (click Park Dept.) Donated to the city by Annie Bidwell in 1905 were the original 2,238 acres, and in 1995 the city purchased and added an additional 1,380 acres, making it the third largest urban park in our nation.  As per Bidwell’s designation, no alcohol, or hunting is allowed. These over 3,600 acres offer picnicking, swimming, equestrian and bicycling trails, golf, archery, pistol ranges, playgrounds, baseball/softball fields, and organized recreational activities year round. It was seen nationally in 1937 when the original Adventures of Robin Hood was filmed among the towering oaks and sycamores.  The park has been designated as an official California Watchable Wildlife site. Because of its large size, the park is divided into two sections: Upper Bidwell Park is a wilderness section along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon. It contains more than 35 miles of hiking trails, 25 of which are open to equestrians and bikers. The canyon of Big Chico Creek has many beautiful swimming holes.  The two major trails are North Rim and South Rim. North Rim Trail (for hiking, biking, and horseback riding) starts at Wildwood Avenue, close to the entrance to Upper Park. Beautiful vistas are the reward ...
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  • Laxon1
    California State University, Chico Office of Admissions Tours/Pre-Admission Information West 2nd & Hazel St. 800-542-4426 • 530-898-4428 www.csuchico.edu Bookstore: 898-5222 Box Office: 898-6333 Chico Symphony: 898-4607 Athletic Events: 898-4658 Conference Services: 898-6414 Continuing Education: 898-6105 Recreational Sports: 898-5170 Along with education, activities, and live performances, this campus (located adjacent to Chico’s downtown) is also known for its beautiful grounds and its architecture. Laxson Auditorium, along with Kendall Hall and Trinity Hall with its bell tower, was built of red brick in the early 1930’s in a lovely Romanesque style similar to that of Mediterranean cultures. True beauties. The new Bell Memorial Union is home to a huge bookstore (including clothing and gift items in addition to the books,) the Union Express, and the Associated Students offices, and 12 conference and assembly rooms, plus auditorium seating for 1,000 people. Meriam Library, named after Ted Meriam, who was a former university trustee and Chico mayor, is the largest library north of Sacramento and serves as a resource for all of Northern California. Thanks to General John Bidwell, who was an amateur horticulturist, the grounds of the campus contain hundreds of varieties of trees and plants that he introduced to the area. You’ll note, as you walk through the campus, many huge trees; some of these date back to when ...
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  • StansburySign
    Stansbury Home 307 West 5th St.  •  530-891-0585 Special Tours: 530-343-6611 Sat & Sun 1-4  •  Adults $4; Students $2, Under 10 Free Built by Dr. & Mrs. Oscar Stansbury in 1883, this home was designed in the Italianate Victorian style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is one of the most original and unaltered homes in California.   Because family members lived here until 1974, it contains many of the family’s original pieces. Visiting here is a step into another era.   Read More
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  • Laxon Hall
      Blue Room Theatre 139 West First St. (upstairs) 530-895-3749 www.blueroomtheatre.com Chico Theatre Company 166 Eaton Rd. 530-894-2CTC • Thurs.-Sat. www.chicotheatercompany.com Rogue Theatre@1078 Gallery 820 Broadway 530-343-1973 • Thurs.-Sat. www.chicorogue.com Laxson Auditorium’s Performances Office: Second & Chestnut Streets 530-898-6333 • Mon.-Fri.,10-4 www.chicoperformances.com   Blue Room Theatre offers theatrical works for children, young adults, and adult audiences. They’ve done extensive upgrading. Increased seating capacity, enhanced sound and visual presentation, a three-quarter thrust style stage, and a new color scheme have added greatly to the ambiance. Chico Theatre Company opened in  2003 in the 244-seat former Eaton Road Opera House location and has staged nearly 700 performances since opening, and has earned the great reputation it now holds. The theatre includes nine shows a year ranging from classics to new shows, both musical and non-musical. Laxson Auditorium celebrated her 80th birthday in 2011.  Always a grand architectural treasure of Romanesque style (can’t imagine the campus without that building just as it’s sat from the beginning),  its national and international entertainment offerings seem to only get better every year!   Read More
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  • patrick-ranch
    Chico Museum 141 Salem Street 530-891-4336 www.chicomuseum.org Hours: Wed-Sun, Noon-4 p.m. Suggested Donation: $3; $2 (50+ & students w/ID) Patrick Ranch 10381 The Midway • 530-342-4359 www.patrickranchmuseum.org www.farwestheritage.org • 892-1525 Hours: By appointment Free Admission, donations accepted Voted Editor’s Pick in 2013 as the Best View of Old Chico by the Chico News and Review, the Chico Museum’s current exhibit, “Chico in Black & White: Historical Photos from the John Nopel Collection,” offers outstanding photographic accounts of historic Chico. Housed in the former 1904 Carnegie Library, the Chico Museum is located at the corner of  2nd and Salem Streets in downtown Chico. The museum offers a permanent timeline depicting the history of Chico from 1830-2000.  Changing exhibits that appeal to all ages, showcase regional cultural and natural history.  These exhibits are always interesting, informative and interactive.  Call for a calendar and newsletter. The 28-acre Patrick Ranch is Chico’s newest historical attraction, reflecting the agricultural, cultural, social, and economic history of the North Sacramento Valley.  Annual events there include an old-fashioned Threshing Bee & Antique Equipment Show held in June, complete with draft horses and vintage farm equipment.  AutumnFest, with free children’s activities, farmhouse tours, an animal exhibit is held there in October­—plus you can pick your own pumpkins.  The ranch has become a popular spot for ...
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  • 54-satava
    Orient & Flume Art Glass 2161 Park Ave. 530-893-0373 www.orientandflume.com Satava Art Glass Studio 819 Wall St. 530-345-7985 www.satava.com Internationally known, Orient & Flume creates intricate, three-dimensional designs encased in clear glass for which the studio is now famous. Their works are in the permanent collections of the Chrysler Museum, Corning Glass Museum, the Metropolitan, and the Smithsonian. The showroom is open Mon.-Sat., 10-5 p.m. Richard Satava opened his studio in 1977 using ancient techniques to create beautiful art glass by combining technical skill and delicate artistry.  Vivid colors and unique nature themes are his trade-mark.  Passion is visible in his creations. Satava’s interesting studio is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9-4.  Glass blowing demonstrations are sometimes available, please call ahead. The studio also carries a large variety of works by other artists from across the nation. This provides works for every taste and budget.   Read More
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  • #55_kids-hand-prints-on-plaque
      All Fired Up­-Ceramic Art Center 830 Broadway 530-894-5227 www.allfiredupchico.org Honey Run Quilters 2418 Cohasset • 530-342-5464 The Rabbit Hole Quilting & Fabrics 2607 Esplanade • 530-345-5015 String Bead Almond Orchard Plaza on Pillsbury Road 530-894-BEAD www.stringbead.com There are lots of ways to be creative, even if you think you aren’t!  Knitting, quilting, creating ceramics, and beading are choices in which many people find that they do have a creative bone or two in their body. There are a multitude of ways to be creative at All Fired Up. There are pottery classes for all ages.  If you are interested in a class of working with wet clay you do need to pre-register, but classes include all materials, tools, glazes and firing.  Very popular currently are the kids’ pottery painting, which are easy and fun, and no appointment is needed for those, unless you have a group of five or more. At Honey Run Quilters, you’ll find many fabrics as well as books and notions.  And they even offer classes for beginners through advanced, so there’s no excuse not to create a quilt.  This shop was designated as one of the top ten quilt shops in North America and was featured in the Fall ‘09 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine, published by Better ...
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  • chico-state-wildcat-logo
    Chico State Athletic Events Call 530-898-4658 Exciting men’s and women’s sporting events are held by Chico State from late August through late May.  This is one of the top institutions in the country competing at the Division II level with nationally ranked teams in soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, cross country, track, and golf.  Taking in one of their over 100 home events is affordable and fun for the entire family! Read More
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  • yoyo
    National Yo-Yo Museum Inside Bird in Hand 320 Broadway  •  530-893-0545 www.nationalyoyo.org Open 7 Days a Week Free Admission Awarded the most popular toy of the 20th Century, the Yo-Yo continues to be very popular with all ages. Visit the largest display of Yo-Yo memorabilia in the nation.  Ninety years of Yo-Yo artifacts are on display here, and you’ll most likely feel like you’re a kid again just experiencing this collection. The display includes photos, competition awards, and Yo-Yo’s from the 1920’s through today, as well as the world’s largest Yo-Yo at 50 inches in height and weighing 256 pounds. Every year, America’s best players wind up in Chico as the museum hosts the National Yo-Yo Contest on the first Saturday of October. Players earn their way to the finals by qualifying in nationwide contests held throughout the country. This exhibit is a fascinating look at the childhood we all have in common. The National Yo-Yo Contest will be held from 9-5 in City Plaza on October 4.   Read More
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  • AVL Loom
    AVL Looms & Weaving School 2360 Park Ave. Ste. 9, 530-893-4915 800-626-9615 • Tours by appt. www.avlusa.com Established in 1976, this company has revolutionized the world of handweaving.  Their looms are found in over 80 countries and are recognized for their high quality and innovative design. Guided tours of their facility are by appointment, and many classes are also held here. In addition, they have a Traveling Teacher program, and do workshops at weaving retreats. Read More
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  • open-studios-art-tour
    Chico Art Center450 Orange St. 530-895-8726 Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m. www.chicoartcenter.com email: chicoartcenter@att.net The Chico Art Center is the largest arts organization in Butte County and has been around for over 55 years.  Boasting a gallery, classroom facilities, a large membership base, and its own vintage rail car, the art center has much to offer. Coming up at the Center is a full schedule of classes for spring and summer. In the gallery is the first of the Discovery Series featuring three incredible artists: Phil Dynan, Marianne Werner, and Jim Woronow—the show runs March 21-April 18.  From April 25-May 9, they will feature the artwork of local junior and senior high schools in their 10th annual Creative Fusion show.  This will be followed by the popular Juried Contemporary Woman exhibition, May 16-June 13, where artists from across the nation vie for recognition and monetary rewards.  The beloved and renown Sal Casa will have a retrospective showing of his works from June 20-July 11.  The second Discovery Series will feature Penny Terstegge, Jann Jones, Dennis Wicks, and Nicolai Larson, and runs July 18-August 8. Visit the website listed at the top for updates on what’s happening in the Chico art scene.   Read More
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  • Downtown Chico
      Chico Murals-Partial ListAicoraGems “Jewerly Box” Gallery – 1334 Mangrove Ave (by Scott Teeple) Robin Hood (by Scott Teeple) – Campus Bikes, 4th/Main Streets The Beatles (by Gregg Payne) – Main St. between 1st & 2nd Sts. The Bidwells (by Teeple) – Near Second & Broadway Giacomo’s Vineyard (by Teeple) – inside Sicilian Cafe, 1020 Main Street New York Cityscape-inside/outside Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works, 2nd St. between Main & Broadway Downtown Kaleidoscope (by Ramirez) in park, 1st & Broadway Racing Bicyclists (by Teeple) Ninth & Main Streets Under the Sea (by Lauri Chiodini)-inside In Motion Fitness 1293 E. First Avenue Pony Express (by Crane) – Broadway near 5th Street Municipal Center Art Walls-inside 411 Main Street Salem Street Art Walls (by Dayton Claudio) 3rd & Salem Fake Windows (by Teeple) – Collier’s, 105 Broadway Victorian Homes – Mid Valley parking lot, 6th/Main Nature Scenes (by Gregg Payne) On bridge supports throughout Bidwell Park You don’t have to be an art lover to enjoy the many murals on the CSUC campus and in Chico’s downtown area.  All you need is a sense of fun. For a bit of Chico history, don’t miss Scott Teeple’s rendering of John and Annie Bidwell on Second Street on the wall facing the art deco building. Commemorating the 1937 filming of “The Adventures of ...
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  • 61-collier-hardware
    Collier Hardware 105 Broadway 530-342-0195   The building was completed in 1871, with the upper story housing the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges, and the ground floor housing a hardware store, along with agricultural implements, wagons, buggies, and, of course, buggy whips.  While the current store no longer carries buggies, it does have an inventory of about 70,000 items. The current owner, Syl Lucena, has worked there since 1956, became a partner in 1963, and purchased it in 1972.  His three sons also work there, along with others; and, it has the feeling of a “real for sure” family-owned, general store, complete with wooden floors and narrow aisles. In addition to the nuts, bolts, screws, wire, plumbing equipment, saws, shovels, hammers and ladders one would expect to find in a hardware store, they also carry kitchen appliances, pots and pans, coffee makers, kettles, teapots, cookingware, grills, garden products, signs (dozens of signs), clocks—well, you get the idea. But don’t go there expecting to buy a buggy whip.  They stopped carrying those in the late 80’s!   Read More
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  • batting-cages
    FunLand 530-343-1601 Hwy 99 & East Park www.funlandchico.com Whether it’s done for the exercise or just for the fun, there’s no denying that roller skating is a popular sport engaged in year round in Chico. We know of some parents who plan their kids’ birthday parties here just so they can get a little extra time on skates. There are others that need to “supervise” offspring’s batting skills at the batting cages here or their putting on the 18-hole miniature golf course, which features a natural setting with rivers and is a challenge for both adults and kids.  Also, it’s a great activity for a date. So, who needs an excuse—just go and enjoy!   Read More
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  • 63-dolls
    Katherine’s Cottage Denise Van Patten Dolls By Appointment 530-898-9400 • 530-864-0242 www.katherinescottage.com www.rubylane.com/shop/katherinescottage Denise Van Patten, the author of The Official Price Guide to Dolls (Random House) and the writer and editor of Doll Collecting at About.com, has been a dealer of fine antique and vintage dolls since 1994.  With customers in over 100 countries and in every state, she offers one of the best selections of dolls in the country with literally thousands of dolls to view.  Denise also buys antique and vintage dolls.  Make an appointment today to come by to see her doll shop beautifully located in the foothills right outside Chico, or to see her museum-quality doll display of dolls from all eras, antique to modern (groups are welcome). Read More
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  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Sierra Nevada Brewing Company 1075 E. 20th St. •  530-893-3520 www.sierranevada.com Tours: M-Th, 12, 1, 2 & 4; Fri-Sat. 12, 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5; Sun. 12, 1, 2, 3 & 4. Tour Desk: 899-4776 Gift Shop Open 10-6 Daily, except Holidays If you’ve never toured a brewery, you’re missing an interesting and informative experience.  And this brewery produces award-winning beer, some of which is known across the nation.  We have a beer connoisseur son in Pennsylvania who insists on a stop at Sierra Nevada each visit. From beginning to end, the sights, sounds, and fragrances of the beer-making process are quite fascinating and educational. Of course, we’re particularly fond of the end of the process, but it’s all worthwhile. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was founded in 1980 and is one of America’s first micro-breweries.  It is regarded as the standard of quality for American craft brewers and has won numerous awards for its beers.  In addition to its award-winning ales and lagers, the brewery boasts an outstanding taproom and restaurant, as well as a large gift shop wherein you can find a multitude of items bearing the Sierra Nevada label.  Caps, t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, glassware, towels, and various other items are available for the Sierra ...
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  • Golfer
    Bidwell Park Golf Course off Wildwood Ave. near East Ave. 530-891-8417 • Holes: 18, Par: 71Sunset Hills Golf Course Esplanade and Garner Lane 530-342-4600 • Holes: 9, Par: 27 Skyway Golf Park 1 Longest Drive, 530-899-8108 Driving Range, 6 target greens Tuscan Ridge Golf Club On the Skyway 7 miles from Chico 530-624-7006 • Holes: 18, Par: 71 www.TuscanRidgeClub.com Bidwell Park Golf Course is known for having one of Northern California’s finest pro shops. It also has hitting cages and a lessons-only driving range. This popular course is less crowded in the summer when college students are gone. Sunset Hills is made up of par 3’s, and is an ideal course for beginners or senior citizens. If the spirit moves you to golf, you can go here on a whim since reservations are not required.  Skyway Golf Park is lighted, which helps if you’re practicing driving at night. There is also a practice putting green, a pro shop, and six practice holes. Tuscan Ridge Golf Club opened in June 2001. You’ll have spectacular views of  the Sutter Buttes when golfing here. Their Bistro offers wine and beer.  A grass practice range and lessons are also available.   Read More
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  • The Senator
    The Senator 517 Main Street The Senator, built in 1928, is home to murals of Syrian Running Deer and a mural of Chico’s Hooker Oak Tree. It’s worth catching an event at this performing arts center (former movie theater) just to see a bit of Chico’s former “Living History.” A wide variety of events are featured in this Chico landmark, including rock, alternative rock, and heavy metal performances, among others. Be sure to check out the newly restored gorgeous tower on the block.   Read More
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  • air-museum
    Chico Air Museum Chico Municipal Airport 530-345-6468 www.chicoairmuseum.org Hours:  Saturdays, 10-4 Free Admission Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology Meriam Library Complex, Rm. 180 on CSUC campus 530-898-5397 www.csuchico.edu/anthmuseum/index.shtml Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11-3 Free Admission, Guided Tours The museum and the History Dept. at Chico State welcome award-winning author Dava Sobel to campus for a lecture on “High Stakes on the High Seas:  The Race to Find Longitude in the 1700s on Thursday, April 17 at 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Bldg. Room 134.  Free and open to the public. Opened in 2005, the Chico Air Museum, has both an outdoor display area and an indoor facility.  The indoor area features four aviation exhibits with additional displays and artifacts being added.  Initial exhibits include Thaddeus Kerns, Chico’s first pilot; the Chico Army Airfield located at the airport during WWII; aerial fire fighting and its evolution; and a display featuring aircraft today. The museum’s outdoor area displays five historic aircraft including a Lockheed “Lodestar,” a Yakovlev-52, a Lockheed P2V-7, an SP-2H air tanker and an Antonov AN-2. In addition to being open on Saturdays, the museum hosts school classes. Chico Air Show 2012 was held at the Chico Municipal Airport. Chico was the only city in northern California to host a Jet team, and Chico’s next air show ...
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  • Sherwood-Forest-Disk-Golf
    Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory & Planetarium Upper Bidwell Park near Horseshoe Lake parking lot • 530-879-0207, 530-513-0135 www.chicoobservatory.com Farm Sanctuary Hwy. 32, 19080 Newville Rd., Orland • 530-865-4617 Open to visitors April 1-Nov. 30 E-mail: farmsanc@farmsanctuary.org Kids In Motion (In Motion Fitness) 1293 E. First Ave., 530-343-5678 www.inmotionfitness.net KidsPark Ross Shopping Center, 2483 Notre Dame Blvd., 530-894-6800 www.kidspark.com Sherwood Forest Kids Disc Hooker Oak Rec Area 530-895-4711 Two by Two Ranch & Petting Zoo by appt. only, 530-893-1088 www.twobytworanch.com If they’ve learned about the natural world at Chico Creek Nature Center, explored the wonders of Bidwell Park, played their way around Chico, and they’re still full of energy, then, maybe it’s time to try one of these. From sunset and for the next three hours, Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory & Planetarium is open to the public. Located in Bidwell Park, near Horseshoe Lake parking lot, check out the planets yourself. Known as “Childcare with an Ocean View,” Kids in Motion’s 6,000 sq. ft. wing serves children from infants through teens with over a dozen programs and is an absolute visual delight.  Kids will view a 150 ft. “Under the Sea” mural; mermaid, sea turtles and octopus mosaics; and salt water aquariums (some of the largest in the Chico area). One aquarium features a living reef with corals and other creatures. Another houses larger, ...
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  • upper-crust-cupcakes
    Shubert’s 178 E. 7th St. • 530-342-7163 www.shuberts.com Powell’s Sweet Shoppe 121 W. 3rd St. • 530-332-9866 www.PowellsSweetShoppe.com Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe 130 Main St. • 530-895-3866 www.upercrustchico.com At Shubert’s, Chico’s oldest ice cream and candy store, they’ve been making these creations since 1938.  We like them all, but two special ice cream flavors are Chico Mint and Mount Shasta.  You can also enjoy milkshakes, root beer floats, freezes and sodas. In the candy department, you’ll find everything from chocolate creams to English Toffee, and you can buy it by the piece or by the pound. Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, has the largest selection of sweet treats in town.  Besides a stock of over 5,000 types of candies, they also serve all-natural gelato, old-fashioned sodas, retro toys, root beer floats, and a huge selection of nostalgic candies.  Treats you have not seen since your childhood—Clark bars, Candy Buttons, Nik N’Lips, Walnettos and more.  A stop here is a walk down Memory Lane and a sweet experience. At the Upper Crust you can expect an abundance of art on the walls and premium baked goods or gourmet deli items from which to choose. Voted #1 Bakery in a local newspaper poll each year for a long time, you’ll understand why once you’ve indulged ...
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  • Rotary-Park
    Diamond Alley From 3rd-4th Sts. between Broadway and SalemDowntown City Plaza 4th & 5th Sts. at Main & Broadway Chico Rotary Plaza On Wall Street between 6th & 7th Opened in 2005 along with the restoration and opening of the Diamond Hotel, Diamond Alley is entered through gorgeous mosaic-pillared arches at either 3rd or 4th Streets, and a walk here features many of the Chico Open Board creations. One of our favorite places to be for lunch, Downtown City Plaza was designated as a park site in 1872. The area here now serves as stage for many events—including free music concerts on Friday evenings May through September. To get a schedule of the concerts, check the downtown merchants’ windows, or ask at the Visitor & Information Center (Main & 5th St.). A 2004-2005 centennial project of the Chico Rotary club, Chico Rotary Plaza is in front of the Boys & Girls Club.  It features a neat sculpture, and be sure to check out the arty cubes!   Read More
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  • nature-center
    Chico Creek Nature Center 1968 East 8th St.  •  530-891-4671 Hours: Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. www.bidwellpark.org Free nature walks with knowledgeable naturalists, classes, and environmental ed programs are all available here.  Weekly day-camps are held June-August and over the holiday break in December for ages 5-11 years. Summer sessions include themes like Aquatic Adventure, Earth Island, Native’s Ways, and Jammin’ Salmon, while the winter session helps kids learn about hibernation, migration, and critters’ food storage, along with what happens to plants during winter. If you want to go on the popular “Owl Prowl Night Walk,” you’ll need to pre-register since space is limited. The nature museum includes a living display of wildlife and features other displays of nature.  Pick up the “World of Trees” brochure and walk the trail to experience Portuguese Cypress, English & Cork Oak, among others.  Entrance is off of East Eighth St. just beyond Cedar Grove.  (Turn off of Highway 32 onto Fir Street, go straight through the stop sign, and Fir St. becomes Eighth St.). Park maps are available here.   Read More
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  • diamond-w-logo
    Diamond W Western Wear 181 E. 2nd St. Downtown Chico 530-891-1650 Winner of the prestigious Golden Rose Award for 2001, owner David Halimi took his time to “get it right” in designing and restoring this building, which is a work of art—done by local artisans. Inspired by the original copper molding of the storefront, discovered under many layers of paint, copper (purchased in raw form, then polished, hand-tooled, and lacquered to maintain shine and color) is used throughout to compliment the custom-cut/designed oak wood also used throughout the interior. But that’s just the beginning; you’ll walk on a copper slate floor, mined in the mountains of India and laid in a diamond pattern.  You’ll admire the Galaxy granite store front and the fireplace hearth that has copper naturally inlaid in it, and you’ll note the diamond-shaped railings and custom-dyed diamond pattern carpet. And if you find yourself downtown with children, they are sure to enjoy Justin’s playhouse with its carnival mirrors in the first room, a playroom, and the very special exit tunnel with black lights. No longer a diamond in the rough, this building is now a shining jewel of downtown Chico!   Read More
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  • Her-Hallowed-Mystery
    Art Galleries AicoraGems “Jewelry Box” Gallery 1334 Mangrove, 530-809-1034All Fired Up Ceramic Art Center 830 Broadway, 530-894-5227 www.allfiredupchico.com Art etc. etc. etc. 122 West 3rd St., 530- 895-1161 Art House, The 325 Nord Ave., 530- 894-1843 Avenue 9 Gallery 180 East 9th Ave., 530-879-1821 Chico Art Center Gallery 450 Orange St., 530-895-8726 www.chicoartcenter.com Chico Art School & Gallery 336 Broadway, Ste. 20, 530-570-3895 www.janetlombardiblixt.com, www.chicoartschool.com Chico Paper Co. Fine Art Gallery & Framing 345 Broadway, 530-891-0900 www.chicopapercompany.com Healing Art Gallery 265 Cohasset Rd. (Enloe Cancer Center), 530-332-3855 Manas Art Space Corner 15th & Park Ave., 530-588-5183 www.manasartspace.comSally Dimas Art Gallery & Studio 493 East Ave.,  530-345-3063 Secret Garden Gallery (Kinkade) Chico Mall, 530-343-1813 1078 Gallery 820 Broadway, 530-343-1973 www.1078gallery.org The Vagabond Rose 236 Main St., 530-343-1110 Third Floor Gallery – CSUC Bell Memorial Union, 530-898-6002 Turner Print Collection – CSUC Meriam Library, 898-4476 www.janetturner.org University Art Gallery-CSUC Alva Taylor Hall, 530-898-5864 We could write a book about the artistic talent and galleries in this  town, honored repeatedly as one of “100 Best Small Art Towns in America.” Chico Visual Arts Alliance (ChiVAA) is a 501c3 umbrella organization linking art groups and individual artists and enabling them to have a united voice, presence, and visibility in Chico. One of their most successful programs is the monthly Second Friday ARTabouts where artists open up their studios and galleries welcome the public.  These festivities take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on a rotating basis in three Chico neighborhoods: ...
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  • mooney-farms
    Maisie Jane’s Unique Gifts & Nuts 1324 Dayton Road Tours:  530-899-7909 www.maisiejanes.com Blue Diamond Nut & Gift Shop 703 Miller Ave. • 530-895-1853 California State University Farm South on Park Ave. toward Durham, Turn right on Hegan Currently not open for Tours Mooney Farms 1220 Fortress St. • 530-899-2661 www.mooneyfarms.com TJ Farms 3600 Chico Avenue • 530-343-2294 www.tjfarmsestates.com As one of the fourth generation of almond growers, Maisie Jane turned a high school FFA project into a na-tionwide business, and in 1999, was the first woman to win the N. American Collegiate Entrepreneur award. A visit to her shop gives one a good sense of the history of the almond business.  You’ll see her great grandfather’s almond draper, an old maul (used to knock the nuts from the trees), a photo series of then/now, and even an armoire taken from Annie Bidwell’s garage that is now used for displaying almond products. At Maisie Jane’s you’ll find a large selection of locally made food products —olive oils, wine, rice, honey, mustards, cheeses, spices, and all the local nuts you could possibly think of.  Nibble at their tasting bar and view their beautifully made gift baskets, which you can take with you or have shipped.  They even have delicious pies— almond butter, pecan ice cream pie, mint julep ice cream ...
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  • DeGarmo Park
    Chico Area Rec. & Park District 545 Vallombrosa  •  530-895-4711 www.chicorec.comCommunity (20th Street) Park Access at east end of E. 16th St. near Chapman School or on Whitman Avenue, a block off E. 20th StreetHooker Oak Recreation Area Corner of Manzanita and Hooker Oak Avenues Chico Skate Park 359 Humboldt Ave. at Flume Info: 530-895-4972 DeGarmo Park Esplanade & Eaton Road If you like wide open spaces to enjoy your volleyball or tennis, we suggest Community Park. Chico’s largest outdoor sports park, its 30 acres provide courts along with ballfields, a large playground, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and lots of space to just sit and reflect or to read a good book. And this is the site of the annual Chico Kite Day held in March. Dedicated in March, 2004, the park’s Ancestor Gates, commissioned by the Chico Redevelopment Agency and the Chico Area Recreation and Park District, created by artist Jenny Hale with assistance from Amaera Bay Laurel and Robin Indar and fabricated by Stan McEtchin and David Barta are a must-see. They can be found adjacent to the play area and Chapman Elementary School.  The mosaics were created in community workshops in the park.  The gates feature four main ethnic groups: Mexican-American, Asian-American, Native American, and African-American. Hooker Oak Recreation ...
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  • Chico Velo
    Chico Velo Cycling Club 530-343-8356 www.chicovelo.org Yep, that’s Chico’s designation in a recent edition of Bicycling magazine, and no one here would argue with that. To say that Chico is “Bike Friendly” is a major understatement. Some folks bicycle because it’s good for them. Some do it because it’s good for the environment. But we think most folks bicycle because they simply love it. Whichever category fits you, Chico’s a great space for bike riding in or out of town. Besides the Bidwell Park paths and multiple other paths in Chico, you can head out of town in almost any direction and have a good ride with great scenery.  Bike trail maps are available at the bike shops in Chico. One ride you shouldn’t miss is the one that parallels the Midway, just off of Park Avenue.  In addition to being a nice ride on a paved surface, it features the 2004 mural by Mabrie Jeanne Ormes and Scott Teeple.  Commissioned by Chico Velo and the City of Chico, this mural is entitled “Celebrating the Wildflower Century Bicycle Ride.”  The mural notes a special thanks to Barbara Castro (botanist), Mike Peavy (pilot), Rocky Niles (owner of Corlin Paint), and Classic Golf Car. The Steve Harrison Memorial Trail, ...
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  • in-motion-pool-3
    Pleasant Valley Pool 2320 North Avenue • 895-4703Shapiro Pool Oleander/Memorial Way • 895-4705 Swimming Holes in Bidwell Park Pools at local sports clubs If the heat’s got you beat, or you just need the exercise, it’s time to take a dip in a swimming hole or pool.  The Chico Area Recreation Department has two pools open late May through mid-August. Both the Pleasant Valley and Shapiro Pools offer swim lessons, recreational swimming and family swim times.  Water Rescue and junior lifeguard and junior swim instructor classes are also offered.  Call the CARD office at 895-4711 for more information on those. If you’d prefer to do your swimming outside, consider Sycamore Pool in Lower Bidwell Park or the two area creeks. Butte Creek is reached by several access points along Honey Run Road off the Skyway, and Big Chico Creek offers many spots in Upper Bidwell Park. A venue for swimming sometimes overlooked are the pools at local sports clubs.  For instance, In Motion Fitness has five pools and the only kids’ Splash Park in town!  They are consistently  voted the best place to swim in Chico and offer year-round swim lessons, too. Read More
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  • plant-barn-class
    USDA, Genetic Resource Center 2741 Cramer Lane • 530-895-1176 Covered Bridge Gardens, National Daylily Display 1821 Honey Run Rd. • 530-342-6661 The Plant Barn 406 Entler Ave. • 530-345-3121 www.theplantbarn.com In 1904, some Chico residents deeded land to the USDA Agricultural Research Service.  That was the beginning of the Plant Introduction Center where plants from all over the world were tried to see if they would grow here. Two of the more well-known are the pistachio, which was introduced around 1917, and the kiwi, which was introduced in 1934. The “mother” and “father” kiwi are still here at the center and are the oldest producing kiwi in the nation. The information gleaned from this center covers everything from producing anti-cancer drugs to improving watersheds, to producing seeds used in reforestation after fires, pest outbreaks, and logging activities. The center has a Nature Trail with picnic tables and benches located throughout, and you can pick up a self-guiding brochure, which will inform you of over 70 species you’ll see along the trail.  Spring is a popular time to visit this official California Watchable Wildlife site, not only for the beautiful spring blossoms, but also to view migrating birds.  I think Autumn is my favorite, though—it’s hard to top their brilliant trees in ...
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  • Sac River
    Bidwell-Sac. River State Park 12105 River Road • 530-342-5185 E-mail: bidriv@norcal.parks.state.ca.us This park offers 243 acres of hiking, scenery, and activities. Fishing, boating, picnicking, wildlife watching, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, and inner-tubing can all be enjoyed. The park includes many areas. Big Chico Creek Riparian Area is known for its shad and salmon fishing, and is popular with birdwatchers, who enjoy great blue herons, egrets, hawks, ducks, and swallows, and with families, who enjoy a day on the beach. Irvine Finch River Access Area has a launch ramp, a 295-space parking lot for boat trailers, six enroute-style campsites for overnight RV camping, restrooms, and is the most popular place to begin a river-floating experience. Pine Creek day-use area has a large boat launch and parking lot. Indian Fishery day-use area features eight picnic sites and a 3/4-mile self-guided nature trail (great place to see pipevine swallowtail butterflies). The many picnic spots make this park an excellent spot for family reunions. Read More
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  • Colman-Museum-schoolhouse
    Honey Run Covered Bridge Five miles east of Chico, Take the Skyway, turn left on Honey Run Rd. Colman (Centerville) Memorial Community Museum 13548 Centerville Rd. 530-893-9667 • Hrs: 1-4 Weekends E-mail:ColmanMuseum@aol.com Built in 1894, the Honey Run Covered Bridge is the only three-level covered bridge in the nation, and it’s one of the few covered bridges left in California. All visitors should see it if they’re in the area, and it seems like they must because all the picnic tables were taken when we were there. It’s also a great spot to go wading or swimming in the creek. Last one in’s a hot tamale! A left turn at the bridge puts you on Centerville Road and on your way to some other gems. You’ll discover the charming 1894 Centerville School and the adjoining museum. Colman Museum houses local Indian artifacts, including a beautiful basket collection, late 1800’s mining equipment, including gold scales and ledgers from the many general stores, tools, and relics of the Civil War era.  There’s also a display on the Centerville Powerhouse, the oldest in California. The old Centerville Cemetery is known for its historic headstones. The drive is nice since it offers a view of Butte Creek Canyon from the other side ...
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  • Gateway Science Museum
    Gateway Science Museum   625 Esplanade, Chico, CA near Bidwell Mansion 530-898-4131 Admission:  Members free; Children (3-17) & Students $3; Adults $6, Hours: Wed.-Sun. Noon-5 p.m.Gateway is where we’ll go next to learn about the natural history of Northern California, past and present. We will compare Northern California’s habitats with others in North America and the world, explore interactions between our region’s environment and the people who live here, including the original Native Americans and participate in the exhilaration of “doing science.” Read More
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  • bidwell-sac-park
    Fish, Kayak, Tube and so much more! California Parks Department (530) 342-5185 www.parks.ca.gov The main activity to be enjoyed at Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park is bank or boat fishing for salmon, steelhead and shad. The next popular activity is “cruising down the river” on inner tubes, canoes, or kayaks.This park preserves a fine example of a disappearing natural resource – the riverine habitat. The river’s various landscapes display great scenic beauty and constant change. The riparian plant and animal communities here depend strongly on each other. Massive oaks and cottonwoods give the dense shade needed for the survival of cool-water creatures. Thick understories of elderberry, wild grape, blackberry, wild rose and numerous perennials provide shelter to a diversified wildlife population. The park offers a great setting for observing and learning about the riparian community.Park Day Use AreasIndian Fishery Day Use Area Indian Fishery is an ox bow lake surrounded by a beautiful oak woodland. This is a wonderful area to picnic, bird watch, fish, hike or simply enjoy the wildlife that abounds in the ox bow lake. It is common to observe river otters darting through the water, turtles basking on a fallen tree or herons stalking a meal. Visit Indian Fishery and enjoy the ...
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  • Tiger
    Durham • 6 miles south of Chico Durham Recreation & Park Dept. 9447 Midway www.durhamrec.com 530-345-1921 Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation 4995 Durham/Pentz Rd. www.kirshner.org 530-533-1000, Open by appt. only If you’ve done all you care to do in Chico and are headed out of town, we suggest that you head south about six miles to Durham. From mid-February to mid-March, it’s a lovely drive because of the almond orchards in bloom, and Blossom Tour maps/brochures are available at the Chamber office in Chico (3rd & Salem). What’s more, you’ll discover a small town with a great deal of charm and civic pride, and one that is known for its high-achieving schools. You’ll find three beautiful parks—the Louis Edwards Community Park has tennis courts and also contains the Dwight Brinson Swim Center with its much-used pool.  The largest park is the Durham Community Park that includes a playground, ballfields, basketball court, and equestrian ring.  Many large events are held in this venue including the Harvest Festival each September and a Spring Festival each May.  Midway Park is where you’ll find ballfields. You can also see endangered exotic live animals in the Durham area. The Barry  R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation was established to promote an awareness of wildlife and their habitats. You’ll see a bobcat, a ...
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 Posted by at 12:59 pm