Bethany Clough

New things to do in Fresno area in 2019: From ax throwing and trampolines to ice cream and beer

Acevedo’s Postreria Gourmet opens in North Fresno

Acevedo's Postreria Gourmet brings to North Fresno a unique offering of cakes and coffee drinks
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Acevedo's Postreria Gourmet brings to North Fresno a unique offering of cakes and coffee drinks

“There’s nothing to do in Fresno.”

It’s a loaded, worn-out phrase in this town. As the reporter who covers a lot of new places to eat and fun things to do here, I can tell you it’s also not true.

The year is young, of course, but already in 2019 there are new fun things to do in Fresno. We’ll add to this as the year goes on. But so far, here are five new fun things to do in Fresno this year, in no particular order. See something you think should be on this list? Let us know at

Check out Zack’s Brewing Co. One of Fresno’s newest brewers, this taproom is in a 1911 building in downtown Fresno.

It’s huge – way bigger than you’d expect for a newbie brewery – and features a giant chess board and other games.

Zack’s is known for brewing beer made with cheese, like its IPA made with blue cheese or a porter with smoked gouda. (Yes, it sounds a little odd, but craft beer fans seem to like it.)

Zack’s is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. There are food trucks each night it’s open and live bands play at least once a week.

Zack’s Brewing Co., a downtown Fresno taproom, makes beer made with cheese, like its IPA with blue cheese. Craig Kohlruss The Fresno Bee

If you want to make a beer-themed evening out of it, you can check out Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. and its beer garden, which are just across the street and down a few buildings. Also nearby are the HoP PK brew pub at 820 Van Ness Ave. and Full Circle Brewing at 620 F St.

Details: Zack’s is at 712 Fulton St. (559) 347-4587.

Jayden Eyles, 11, of Roseville ziplines across a bed of foam cubes at Defy Clovis, a new trampoline park that recently opened, on Dec. 28, 2018. CRAIG KOHLRUSS

Bounce around at Defy Clovis. This new place in northern Clovis isn’t just an indoor trampoline park, but one with all kinds of features like zip lines, tight ropes, aerial silks, a dodge ball court, trapeze swings and American Ninja Warrior-style courses. It’s part of a company that was founded in Fresno and now has more than 300 locations nationwide.

It’s a good way to burn off kids’ energy and get exercise (it’s also a great setting for Instagram photos).

Playing at Defy costs $15 an hour. There’s a one-time purchase of a $5 pair of socks with grippy bottoms and customers must sign an extensive waiver. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Details: 636 N. Halifax Ave., Clovis. (559) 345-6410.

Kjai Block, Axe Master and operations manager for Bad Axe, at the new axe-throwing location in the former Stevens Bicycles at Palm and Shields Avenues Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2019 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA

Throw an ax at Bad Axe Throwing. Billed as an “alternative sport” this business with 30 locations nationwide encourages you to throw axes into targets at Palm and Shields avenues.

It’s a lot like darts, with players aiming their axes at a bull’s-eye and trying to outscore each other. A coach teaches you how to do it (Reporter Joshua Tehee who tried it said it’s pretty easy).

There are no age restrictions. Bad Axe Throwing takes walk-ins (check the walk-in schedule for available times) and groups of six or more can reserve a coach and two targets for $35 each. It’s open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Details: 3132 N. Palm Ave. (888) 435-0001.

Ampersand ice cream shop owners Jeff and Amelia Bennett hold a fresh batch of their Whiskey Caramel Swirl ice cream at their new location at Herndon and Marks, Monday morning, Feb. 11, 2019. JOHN WALKER

Get an ice cream at Ampersand. One of Fresnans’ favorite locally owned businesses, Ampersand Ice Cream recently opened its second location at Marks and Herndon avenues.

The original location is also still open at 1940 N. Echo Ave., across from Fresno High School.

The ice cream shops are known for their creative flavors, like the popular whiskey caramel swirl, honeycomb ice cream with chunks of actual honeycomb in it, and bordeaux – a brown sugar flavor with fudge ripples and chocolate sprinkles.

The new location has a glass wall that lets you get a good look at the ice cream being made.

It’s open from noon to 11 p.m. daily. Details: 7010 N. Marks Ave. (559) 264-8000.

Gabriel Acevedo, owner, Acevedo’s Postreria Gourmet in North Fresno, holds a chocolate chip cup drink. JOHN WALKER

Get a treat at Acevedo’s Postreria Gourmet. This bakery and coffee shop at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue has all kinds of goodies. There are cupcakes, doughnuts, cakes, “chocoflan” and more.

It also calls itself a milk dispensary because it carries products from Rosa Brothers Milk Company, the Hanford-based creamery that sells its milk in glass bottles. That includes strawberry milk, salted caramel creamer to put in your coffee and bright yellow or pink banana and strawberry milk, both used in elaborate lattes topped with whipped cream.

The milk is also used in cookie shots, which are chocolate chip cookies baked into shot glass shape. Their interior is coated with a layer of chocolate and you fill the “shot glass” with chocolate milk (or any other flavor milk).

Acevedo’s Postreria Gourmet is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily with 50 percent off the price of baked goods on display between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Details: 1134 E. Champlain Dr., unit 106, (559) 712-4500.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.