It’s time to slather on the sunscreen, slip on some sandals, and get outside while the weather is hot! Despite the warm temperatures, summer in Butte County is a can’t-miss experience. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated!
Load up with sandwiches from Great Harvest Bread Company
The weather is too nice to stay indoors, so grab some sandwiches to go from the Great Harvest Bread Company in Chico! Serving freshly baked and handcrafted breads, sandwiches, grilled paninis, soups, salads, and even sweets, Great Harvest has everything you need to create a delicious and filling picnic lunch for the whole family!
Picnic at Bidwell Park--One Mile Recreation Area
With kids of any age, Bidwell Park is the perfect place for a picnic. Find some shade in the park to enjoy your lunch, and then relax by Sycamore Pool, which offers a natural and refreshing swimming experience. If you have little ones, you might also want to explore Caper Acres, a whimsical fairytale-inspired spot that will inspire the kid in all of us.
Treat Yourself at Shubert's Ice Cream and Candy
Reward your family adventurers with the most delicious treasure at Shubert’s Ice Cream. Operating since 1938 in the same building in downtown Chico, Shubert’s is made using local ingredients to concoct their seasonal watermelon sherbet. For a real treat try the homemade “Chico Mint” flavor. You definitely don’t want to miss their delectable, homemade ice creams that have been named the second best ice cream shop in the nation by “Good Morning America.”
Stargaze at the Chico Community Observatory
End your day with star gazing at the Observatory at Bidwell Park. Kids and adults alike will love exploring the wonders of the night sky and the universe first-hand free of charge. Just make sure to check their website for weather conditions! Open Friday through Sunday nights.
Friday Night Fun at Silver Dollar Speedway
On most Fridays throughout the summer, you can experience excitement and thrill at the Silver Dollar Speedway. The historic quarter-mile high-banked clay oval race track hosts a wide range of entertaining events, including the popular Friday night point championship season featuring the winged sprint cars, IMCA Sport Mods, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. Other events include Fast Cars and Freedom on July 4th and Dollar Night. Join the crowds, pick your favorite, and get ready to cheer! Check the website for the exact schedule.
Tour the Lavender Ranch
Experience a walk through the rolling hills of lavender at the Lavender Ranch in Biggs, 30 minutes south of Chico. You’ll be carried away in aromatic bliss as you tour the fields. Peak season for tours are from May through July, when the lavender is in bloom. Make sure to reserve your spot 48 hours in advance to enjoy a guided tour. Cost is only $5 each for those 11 and older; children 10 and under tour for free.
Enjoy a Picnic Lunch from the Wagon Wheel Market
Anyone heading out to the Lake Oroville knows that the Wagon Wheel Market is a must for picking up high-quality local products to enjoy out on the water. With a wide variety of meats produced in-house, deli, bakery, and delicious local goods to choose from, you can create a unique and delicious picnic lunch at the Wagon Wheel.
Float on Lake Oroville
With lunch in hand, it’s a quick drive up the hill to Lake Oroville. With 25 square miles of water, it has miles of shoreline and millions of acres of water to enjoy throughout the year, but summer especially. Bring your own boat and inner tubes, or rent watercrafts, a houseboat, or even a unique floating campground to truly experience the lake’s beauty. Whether you want to rent a ski boat for a couple of hours or a houseboat that sleeps 12 for the week, everyone in the family will enjoy their time on Lake Oroville.
Play at Riverbend Park
Looking for a place closer to town to barbecue and relax on land instead? Riverbend Park, a 210 acre site situated along the Feather River, includes four rentable pavilions with a barbecue pit and seating, a rock structure play area, a splash water feature, paved trails, sandy beach, boat dock, fishing ponds, and a Disc Golf Course! With so much to do in one beautiful park, the whole family will enjoy spending an afternoon here. So bring a frisbee and your sunglasses, and have some fun!
Explore the Forebay Aquatics Center
If you changed your mind about being on the water, don’t worry--the Forebay Aquatics Center is a short drive away from Riverbend Park. With kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, peddle boats, and more available to rent by the day or the hour, the whole family will enjoy an afternoon there. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast of water sports, or a beginner looking to learn something new, they have something for everyone! From Memorial Day through Labor Day, visit from 2pm to one hour before sunset on Thursdays and Fridays, or 10am to one hour before sunset on the weekends.