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“A lot bigger than you'd think”

California Area Living Museum (CALM)
Ranked #2 of 39 things to do in Bakersfield
Certificate of Excellence
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A lot bigger than you'd think”
Reviewed July 10, 2014

I went with my daughter in April 2014 and was surprised at just how much they really had there. We saw dozens of birds, lots of mammals that I had never seen in person (including a porcupine) and a reptile house (I was creeped out the entire time we were inside of the reptile house.) We only went through half the park and didn't even make it into the petting zoo area. They also have a pretty nice playground near the offices. All in all, it was a nice place to visit.

Visited April 2014
Thank KenWitham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
70 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“California Animals”
Reviewed July 6, 2014

We went here very very late in the day. The place was only open for 25 minutes more when we arrived and I asked for a discount but none was given. I even asked if we could pay the kids price but still no dice. I had made the trek out to the place and figured I would pay the price anyway.
The zoo was more like a private collection looking place. We made it through half of it in 20 minutes or so however, we could have spent much more time. We were so close to the animals and knowing that they are all animals you could potentially see here in California made it so much more interesting. We saw a couple of animals that we had never even heard of and lots of them that we had never seen in person. I feel like this place is a must see for kids who live in this area and anyone who wants to know whats living in the mountains behind their house.

Visited June 2014
Thank Vanghus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Animal Haven”
Reviewed July 5, 2014

Took in the sites at CALM; California Animal Living Museum. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with family or friends, and so very affordable. A well kept haven for animals native to this area. Can even bring a picnic lunch. Not too long of a tour ( you take on your own), and a beautifully landscaped area with an amazing assortment of animals. CALM will even nurse back to health any animal brought to the facility due to abandonment or injury. So much fun, and the children wont even know that they are learning as they venture through. A minimal fee, unlike the large big city attractions!

Visited June 2014
Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Fun experience”
Reviewed June 19, 2014

CALM zoo it not a zoo that holds animals hostage and keeps them from there natural homes. This zoo protects the ones who can't survive in the wild. Every time is go I have a blast.

Visited April 2014
2 Thank Paige K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“More of a park than a zoo, but fun nonetheless”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

CaLM (California Living Museum) is a good place to learn about native California animal species. It is a permitted rehabilitation facility and has a staff trained to care for injured wildlife. The primary goal of rehabilitation is to release the wildlife back into their natural habitat. The entrance fees are modest, and it's a pleasant way to spend an hour or two, especially for anyone who loves animals.

My kids (11 and 6 at the time of our most recent visit) have been to CaLM a number of times, and they have always enjoyed it. It is not a big zoo, true, but it was established to teach about local species and to help rehabilitate injured wildlife. It's a nice thing to have available in Bakersfield. The zoo walk is manageable for anyone in decent health. Our favorite time to go is in the spring, because the weather is mild -- warm, but not unbearably hot.

Some of the sights to see are an open black bear exhibit; a bird of prey enclosure with hawks, owls, and eagles; a mammal roundhouse that contains bobcats and several species of foxes; a waterfowl pond, a deer yard, and a reptile house. Several endangered species are on exhibit. My kids especially loved seeing the raccoons, badger, foxes, bobcats, and mountain lions (pumas). The porcupines and beaver were also fun to see up close.

CaLM offers "meet a zoo resident" interactions several times a day (check the schedule the day you go for which specific animals you can "meet"). There are labeled native plants all around the property, as well. CaLM also provides animal and environmental education to Kern County schools, both on-site and off-site.

There are snacks and drinks available for purchase. You may also bring your own food in; they have a nice picnic area. CaLM also has a small-ish train that circles a part of the park/zoo. You can see the river from the outer part of the track, and it's fun for little kids. For adults, it's a chance to sit down and feel the breeze on your face.

(CaLM is not the L.A. zoo or the San Diego zoo. And it is off the beaten path, away from Bakersfield proper. Keep these things in mind, and you'll have a great time.)

Visited June 2013
2 Thank BeachBlossom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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