Students in Clovis Unified School District return to class from Winter Break on January 7th. Many families may be looking for low cost activities to keep kids entertained while out of school.
The Clovis Roundup has put together a list of five local attractions that you may want to consider exploring.
Clovis Rotary Skate Park
Did your son or daughter get a skateboard or scooter for Christmas? The Clovis Rotary Skate Park, on Villa, between Barstow and Bullard is a great place to learn to use it.
The 27,000 square foot park opened in 2005 and has been a gathering place for adventure seekers ever since.
“There are a lot of people in the action sports community,” said Bryan Hines, Recreations Supervisor for the City of Clovis. “We wanted to give them a safe and legal place to enjoy their sport.”
The Clovis Rotary Skate Park features a street plaza with stairs, ledges, rails and banks that’s perfect for beginners to learn on. There’s also a more advanced area with a replica swimming pool and large bowl.
“It’s been awesome,” Hines said. “Everyone is very happy that we have it.”
There is always a city of Clovis staff member at the park and rules are enforced. Everyone must wear elbow and knee pads, along with a helmet. You have to bring your own.
The skate park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., however if there is fog or rain, hours vary. Hines recommends visiting the City of Clovis Recreation Facebook page to see if it is open.
Letterman Park is attached to the skate park. There you’ll find play equipment, grass area, picnic tables and restrooms.
City of Clovis Trails
The city of Clovis is home to three trials. Old Town Trail is approximately 5 miles long and runs from Willow and Nees to Clovis and Dakota. The Dry Creek Trail is approximately 2.5 miles and runs from Shepherd and Sunnyside to Herndon and Minnewawa. Enterprise Trail is about 4 miles in length and runs from Clovis and Shepherd to Temperance and Alluvial.
“It’s important, both mentally and physically, for people to get outdoors and exercise, if they are physically able to do so,” said Eric Aller, Parks Manager for the City of Clovis. “The pressures of day to day life can add up, so the trail systems offer a great way to “get away” for a little while, while never leaving Clovis.”
The trails can be used for easy walks, power walks, running or bicycling. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails.
There is also workout equipment along the Dry Creek Trail between Alluvial and Nees and along the Old Town Trails between Santa Ana and Gettysburg.
“This provides an opportunity for trail users to do strength training for the whole body,” Aller said. “The City and developers have spent a lot of money building trails in order to offer the citizens of Clovis a great recreational venue. It would be a missed opportunity to not take advantage of this.”
The results of a 2018 trails usage study showed that the Old Town Trail is used by about 4,000 people a week and the Dry Creek Trail reaches about 3,000 people per week.
“My favorite place to start is at Dry Creek Trailhead Park on Shepherd and Sunnyside Avenues,” Aller said. “I often will stop there and take a 20 minute walk during lunch.”
Clovis Botanical Garden
There are plenty of great family photo opportunities at the Clovis Botanical Garden, located on the northwest corner of Alluvial and Clovis Avenues in Clovis. It’s free to visit and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It is the mission of the garden to demonstrate what we call San Joaquin Valley friendly plants,” said Pat Wynne a board member with the Clovis Botanical Garden. “That is plants that do well in the temperate zone which is the central San Joaquin Valley.”
The Clovis Botanical Garden was the vision of the late Gorden Russell. In the 1990s he approached Wynne, who was the Mayor of Clovis at the time, about turning what was a city owned lot into a garden.
“After four years of planning the first tree was planted in the Garden in 2002,” Wynne said. “It was a Valley Oak and was named the Freedom Tree in honor of the people who died on 9/11.”
The Clovis Botanical Garden is now developed into three acres with a Mediterranean Garden, a Chilean/South African Garden, a South Western Garden, A Native Plant Garden, and four Home Demonstration Gardens.
“We also promote water conservation through low water landscaping,” Wynne said. “Every plant in the Garden is drought tolerant and has some resistance to drought. Landscaping is the number one use of water, and if you can get people to use mostly low water plants it will go a long way to save water in this area.”
Names like Pollasky, Cole and DeWitt are Clovis famous, but do you know the history behind them? Clovis residents can learn all about the history of the city and the people and places that make it up by visiting The Clovis Museum in Old Town.
“Our museum prides itself in our displays of artifacts from our Clovis township history and families of the surrounding areas that have created our “Clovis Way of Life,” reads The Clovis Museum website. “This history not only celebrates the immigrants to the area from the mid-1800s, but also the local natives that used the area for their livelihood.”
The museum is located in the historical 1912 First State Bank Building at 401 Pollasky. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on most holidays. The Clovis-Big Dry Creek Historical Society runs the museum.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted. A portion of the museum honors Clovis Veterans from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
Sierra Vista Mall
Families can make a day of it at the Sierra Vista Mall. From dining, to movies, to go-kart racing, there’s a lot happening at the shopping center on Clovis and Shaw Avenues.
“Sierra Vista Mall is unique in that we offer retail, dining, and family entertainment in one destination,” said Natalie Worstein, General Manager, Sierra Vista Mall. “You are sure to find something for every member of the family here.”
Sierra Vista is home to the Sierra Vista Cinemas 16, MB2 Raceway and No Surrender Adventure Park.
“Families can enjoy beautiful scenery at our property while they dine at one of our fabulous restaurants,” Worstein said. “It means a great deal to us to be a part of such a close-knit community. We truly enjoy the support we receive from our residents and wish everyone a healthy and happy new year.”