40 Best Things to Do in Bakersfield at Night & Late Afternoon | 2024 (with Photos)

Lara Mega

Lara Mega - Head of Content

Published: August 31, 2023

Hey there! I'm Lara, a travel enthusiast with a passion for exploring new places and experiencing the vibrant nightlife. In this article, I'll share the top 40 things to do in Bakersfield at night and late afternoon, complete with captivating photos to inspire your adventure. Enjoy your trip and make the most of your time in this incredible city!

bakersfield name on the road

Bakersfield, California, may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of exciting nightlife, but it certainly has its share of unique and fun things to do after dark.

From exploring its burgeoning craft beer scene to enjoying comedy shows and racing, there are plenty of things to do in Bakersfield at night.

Whether you're a visitor or a local, our list of 40 activities will help you discover the highlights and hidden gems of the city, so you can make the most of your evenings in Bakersfield and create lasting memories.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Mild weather, scenic beauty, and diverse attractions year-round.

Average Temperature

Mild to hot, depending on the region and season.

Transportation Options

Cars, buses, trains, bikes, ferries, taxis, ridesharing, walking

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Explore the picturesque streets of this vibrant city by walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, taking in the breathtaking views of the bay and Marin County on one side, while feeling the ocean breeze on your face; indulge your taste buds with delectable local cuisine at the Ferry Building Marketplace, where you can savor a variety of artisanal foods, from oysters to gourmet ice cream, while enjoying the lively atmosphere of this historic transit hub.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Sunscreen and hat
  3. Light and breathable clothing

What Not to Miss

  1. Golden Gate Bridge
  2. Alcatraz Island
  3. Hollywood Walk of Fame
  4. Disneyland Resort
  5. Universal Studios Hollywood

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist areas
  2. Rush hour traffic
  3. Overpriced restaurants

1. Catch a Movie or a Show at the Historic Fox Theater

group of people on the stage with lighting

Opened in 1930, the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, CA, is a historic venue and one of the last of its kind built in the Gilded Age.

Today, the Fox Theater showcases a range of classic movies, providing an opportunity to experience the glamor and charm of a bygone era.

It also hosts live music acts and comedy shows, providing a diverse entertainment experience for those looking for an exciting night out.

2. Take Your Family to Camelot Park

people walking on the park

Camelot Park in Bakersfield, CA, is a fun amusement park that features a wide range of attractions designed to thrill visitors of all ages.

From delightful kiddie rides and bumper boats to a baseball field, mini-golf courses, and go-karts, there is no shortage of cool things to enjoy at Camelot Park.

So, if you're looking for a day of excitement and unforgettable memories, visiting Camelot Park in Bakersfield is an absolute must.

3. Attend Special Events at Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

group of people in a meeting room

The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History is a fascinating attraction in Bakersfield, CA, that provides an opportunity to explore the wonders of natural history up close.

The museum boasts an extensive collection of real dinosaur fossils and an impressive velociraptor model.

Besides the permanent exhibits, The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History offers unique evening events, such as the "Murder Mystery and Dinner at the Museum" fundraiser.

4. Take a Stroll through Valley Plaza Mall

facade of valley plaza mall at night

Valley Plaza Mall in Bakersfield, CA, is the largest shopping center in the San Joaquin Valley, with an array of stores, ranging from popular national retailers to specialty boutiques.

With over 150 stores and a variety of dining options, Valley Plaza Mall caters to all tastes and preferences.

Valley Plaza Mall has fast food and sit-down restaurants, as well as a movie theater.

Open until 7 pm most evenings; it won’t be a late night at the mall, but surely a satisfying one.

5. See a Light Show at the California Living Museum (CALM)

museum with living plants and animals

California Area Living Museum (CALM) is an award-winning zoo that is part of Kern River County Park.

The California Living Museum showcases a diverse collection of native California plants and animals, such as mountain lions and local amphibians in its reptile house. There is also a petting zoo with domestic animals.

Visiting CALM during their holiday lights event takes you into a sparkling wonderland, adorned with dazzling lights and festive decorations.

6. Bike down the Kern River Parkway Trail

man biking down the road

Kern River Parkway Trail is a scenic trail that is relatively flat and perfect for road biking. Around the trail, you'll find access routes to Beach Park and Panorama Park.

With a total length of 20.5 miles from point to point, Kern River Parkway Trail provides ample opportunities to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the area.

The peaceful ambiance and cooler temperatures in the evening make it an ideal time to explore the Kern River Parkway at a leisurely pace.

7. Try Your Luck at Golden West Casino

group of people on the table of casino

Golden West Casino is a premier destination for those seeking non-stop gaming excitement in Bakersfield.

With 30 gaming tables available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Golden West Casino ensures that the fun never stops.

Whether you're a fan of classic table games like blackjack or prefer the strategic thrills of Texas Hold'Em poker, Golden West Casino has you covered?

8. Watch a Race at Kern County Raceway Park

raceway park with lots of people watching

Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield is a thrilling destination for racing enthusiasts and anyone seeking an exciting night out.

This fast track annually hosts NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series, showcasing high-speed races and intense competition.

The track, rebuilt in 2013, replaced the former Mesa Marin Raceway, offering a modern and well-maintained facility for racing enthusiasts.

Tickets and the latest updates can be found on the website.

9. See a Show in the Park at RiverWalk

stage with red lights

The Park at River Walk is a stunning 32-acre park located just a short ten-minute drive from downtown Bakersfield.

One of the highlights of the park is the Dignity Health Amphitheatre, also known as the Spectrum Amphitheatre, which hosts concerts, festivals, and family events.

Whether you're looking to take a leisurely evening walk, enjoy a picnic, or catch a live show, the Park at River Walk is an excellent destination to enjoy the fresh air and unwind.

10. Visit Murray Family Farms

people in front of the red house

Murray Family Farms is a 70-acre organic fruit and vegetable farm that offers a wide range of activities and fun experiences.

Murray Family Farms is a great place to buy fresh local produce and also features picnic tables for visitors to enjoy a relaxing meal amidst nature.

Children can have a blast on the hayrides and explore the butterfly house, the animal garden, and the petting zoo.

11. See the Cool Neon Lights at Kern County Museum

a collection of neon signs in museum

"Get Lit" is a unique event hosted by the Kern County Museum that takes place under the neon signs at the museum's Mission Bank Neon Plaza.

The Kern County Museum event features 30 restored local neon signs, making it an excellent opportunity to take in some of the city's history.

Besides the neon signs, visitors can enjoy live music, tacos, margaritas, and beer while taking in the vibrant atmosphere.

12. Go Camping in the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area

a truck parked next to a camper on a dirt road

Located just twenty-five miles outside of Bakersfield, the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area is a sprawling man-made lake that offers a multitude of outdoor activities.

Buena Vista is an ideal camping destination, offering picturesque camping sites and picnic areas where you can immerse yourself in the great outdoors.

Whether you're looking to spend a fun-filled day whitewater rafting or embark on a camping adventure under the starry night sky, Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area has something for everyone.

13. Catch a Movie in the Park

aerial drone photography of a crowd of people in a park

Bakersfield presents a delightful lineup of family-friendly films that are currently being shown in various parks across the city.

From beloved superhero movies like Spiderman to timeless animated classics like The Incredibles, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

So grab your loved ones, pack some snacks, and head to one of Bakersfield's parks for a memorable movie night under the stars.

14. Grab a Drink from Crusader’s Brewing Company

a group of people sitting at tables in a room

Whether you're a beer lover visiting Bakersfield, Crusader's Brewing Company offers a selection of delicious and distinct brews that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

As a microbrewery, Crusader's implements the ancient wisdom of brewing, infusing it with modern techniques to create exceptional craft beers.

One of their highly-touted offerings is the Amber (red) beer, known for its rich and robust flavors that are perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot afternoon or evening.

15. Head to El Taco Loco Truck for Late-Night Tacos

a food truck parked in a parking lot

The El Taco Loco food tuck in Bakersfield offers 24-hour service, ensuring that whenever hunger strikes, you can satisfy your appetite with delicious tacos.

Their menu offers a wide variety of options, from traditional fillings like carne asada and al pastor to vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices.

With their flavorful ingredients, authentic recipes, and commitment to quality, El Taco Loco Truck is the perfect solution to your late-night food dilemma.

16. Enjoy Live Music and Drinks at Sandrinis

a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant

During the day, Sandrinis delights guests with its top-class Basque cuisine, providing a taste of culinary excellence for those fortunate enough to venture into its inviting ambiance.

However, as the sun sets, Sandrinis transforms into a lively bar with live music, a packed bar, and a rare smoking room.

With multiple live music events happening throughout the week, Sandrinis is the perfect spot to dance the night away with friends or enjoy a cozy nightcap with that special someone.

17. See the Sunset at Panorama Vista Preserve

a view of a river and a city from a hill

Panorama Vista Preserve, situated on a bluff overlooking the Kern River, is home to a variety of endangered plants and animals, including the Bakersfield Cactus and the San Joaquin Kit Fox.

The park is a beautiful location, especially during the sunset, and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as hiking and horseback riding, to explore the park's natural beauty and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

18. See a Show at Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center

a monster truck is in the middle of a dirt pit

The Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center, formerly known as the Rabobank Arena, is a premier venue in Bakersfield that offers an incredible entertainment experience.

As the home of the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League, The Mechanics Bank Arena hosts thrilling hockey games that attract passionate fans.

In addition to hockey, the arena also showcases high-profile concerts, Broadway performances, and other sporting events like monster truck rallies and Disney on Ice.

19. Explore the Kern County Brewery Trail

a bar with a variety of drinks on it

The Kern County Brewery Trail is a delightful adventure for beer enthusiasts in Bakersfield.

This trail takes you on a journey to some of the finest local breweries in the area, including Crusader Brewing, Great Change Brewing, and Lengthwise Brewing Co.

Each brewery offers a unique selection of handcrafted beers with distinct flavors and styles.

Trying the Kern County Brewery Trail allows you to immerse yourself in the thriving craft beer scene of Bakersfield, discover new flavors, and support local businesses.

20. See a show at Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall

a group of people sitting in chairs in a theater

The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall in Bakersfield is a great choice if you're looking for a night of laughs and drinks.

This charming theater hosts a variety of shows, including lively musicals and hilarious comedy plays, guaranteeing a delightful and unforgettable experience for its audience.

As you immerse yourself in the captivating performances, you can also indulge in delicious snacks and sip on your choice of beer or wine from the theater's bar.

21. Relax in Hart Memorial Park

a couple of people sitting on a bench by a river

Hart Memorial Park is a picturesque park that offers a range of exciting activities and experiences.

Hart Park features picnic areas, playgrounds, two disc golf courses, and two fishing lakes.

One of the things you have to see in Bakersfield is the peacocks that roam freely at Hart Park.

If you want to spend a relaxing evening surrounded by nature, Hart Memorial Park is a fantastic destination.

22. Have a Picnic in Central Park at Mill Creek

a river in a city at night

Central Park is a must-visit destination in Bakersfield, offering a peaceful and scenic retreat for nature lovers.

This expansive park is nestled along the banks of Mill Creek, providing a serene environment to unwind and enjoy the outdoors after a day of exploring Bakersfield.

With lush green spaces, walking trails, and a lovely lake, it's an ideal spot for a family outing, a leisurely stroll, or a picnic with friends. The park lights up at night with a luminescent glow.

23. Rent a Cabin in Sequoia National Forest

a kitchen and a bed in a room

Sequoia National Forest, located just a short 20-minute drive from central Bakersfield, is a true gem on the West Coast that should not be missed.

Nestled within the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, this national forest is famous for its majestic sequoia trees, some of the largest and oldest living organisms on Earth.

You can go hiking and enjoy the scenic trails, head to the camping grounds and spend the night under a canopy of stars, or rent a cozy cabin for a weekend getaway.

24. Listen to Country Music at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace

a group of people are gathered around a stage

Buck Owens' Crystal Palace is an iconic venue in Bakersfield and the home of The Bakersfield Sound.

Named after the legendary Buck Owens, the Crystal Palace offers visitors an immersive experience into the world of country music.

The venue showcases memorabilia that highlights the contributions of Bakersfield musicians and continues to host concerts and dances.

25. Head to Sam Lynn Ballpark

a baseball game is being played in a stadium

Sam Lynn Ballpark is a historic venue built in 1941 and the oldest park of its kind in the Class-A Advanced California League.

Sam Lynn Ballpark serves as the home stadium for two local independent baseball teams, namely the Bakersfield Train Robbers and Wasco Reserve Baseball Club.

Watching a game at this beloved ballpark provides an authentic and nostalgic baseball experience.

26. See an Evening Art Show at the Bakersfield Museum of Art

room with wooden floor and painting on the wall

The Bakersfield Museum of Art is a cultural gem that art enthusiasts should not miss when visiting the city.

This museum boasts multiple galleries showcasing a diverse range of works from regional artists and also hosts engaging temporary exhibits.

The museum features a beautiful sculpture garden and a banquet hall. The Bakersfield hosts fun education programs and various events after hours, including evening art shows and yoga sessions.

27. Go to Family Fun Night at McMurtrey Aquatic Center

a swimming pool at night with people in the water

McMurtrey Aquatic Center is a fantastic destination for families seeking a fun-filled experience in Bakersfield. This outdoor Olympic-sized pool has diving boards and various water slides.

You can enjoy the exciting Family Fun Night, with games, a snack bar, inflatables, and lively music.

Additionally, the center hosts a thrilling Fun Luau Night, complete with Hawaiian-themed decorations, water games, and tropical music.

28. Get Active at Action Sports – Vertical Gym

a man climbing on a rock wall

Action Sports - Vertical Gym is an exhilarating destination in Bakersfield for those seeking a thrilling and adventurous experience.

Boasting over 5000 sq ft of challenging fun, this facility offers a wide range of activities, from rock climbing walls to trampolines and ninja warrior courses.

Whether you're looking for a new and exciting way to stay active, Action Sports - Vertical Gym provides a safe and engaging environment to pursue your passion for adventure.

29. Spend Time by Lake Ming at Kern River County Park

a group of people swimming in a lake

If you're looking for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Bakersfield, Lake Ming is a must-visit destination.

Located within Kern River County Park, this man-made lake is a popular spot for water sports such as water skiing, motor boating, and sail boating.

In addition, visitors can go kayaking and enjoy the fresh air and scenic surroundings. With plenty of picnic areas and shaded spots to relax, Lake Ming is a great place to spend time with family and friends.

30. Check out Guthrie's Alley Cat

room with red and white tiles people playing pool

Guthrie's Alley Cat is a historic and beloved establishment in Bakersfield that holds a special place in the city's nightlife scene.

Founded in 1940 as Oscar's Alley Cat, it proudly claims the title of the oldest surviving bar in Bakersfield.

This iconic venue has been a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike, offering an authentic experience. It is a place where you can unwind, enjoy a cold drink, and soak up the rich history of Bakersfield.

31. Visit Temblor Brewing Company

group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant

Temblor Brewing Company is a cool industrial-chic brewpub that incorporates bricks from the original brewery in Kern County, dating back to 1912, which can be seen in the eastern wall.

Temblor Brewing Company offers a wide selection of craft beers, brewed on-site, allowing visitors to enjoy their beverages just a few feet away from where they were brewed.

The brewery also offers live music and a variety of games, ensuring there's never a dull moment while sipping on your favorite brew.

32. Enjoy a Show at Krush Wine, Bar, and Restaurant

a group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant

Krush Wine, Bar, and Restaurant is known for its exceptional wine selection, allowing guests to indulge in a variety of exquisite flavors.

The bar offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine with friends or loved ones.

In addition to their impressive wine collection, Krush is also renowned for hosting memorable shows.

33. Have a Fun Night at The Mint

a bar with people  with red lights

The Mint is a popular bar that consistently attracts a diverse and lively crowd. It also proudly stands as one of the only two recognized Gay bars in Bakersfield.

Within the walls of The Mint, all individuals are welcomed and accepted, creating a vibrant and accepting environment for everyone to enjoy.

With its buzzing atmosphere and welcoming atmosphere, The Mint is a must-visit destination for those seeking a fun night out in Bakersfield.

34. Take Your Friends to Bakersfield Escape Room

a group of people sitting around a table

Bakersfield Escape Room is an exhilarating and challenging experience that pushes participants to their limits.

This immersive adventure requires effective communication and strong teamwork skills to successfully solve intricate puzzles and escape within the given time limit.

Bakersfield Escape Room offers a unique opportunity to test your problem-solving abilities and bond with your teammates in an adrenaline-fueled environment.

35. Watch a Race at Bakersfield Speedway

a group of people watching a race

Bakersfield Speedway is the ultimate destination for speed enthusiasts seeking an adrenaline rush.

With a diverse range of races and competitions taking place throughout the year, there is always something exciting happening on the track.

From high-speed stock car races to gripping dirt track events, Bakersfield Speedway offers an action-packed experience that is worth every penny.

36. See a Live Show at Stars Music Theatre

people on the stage with yellow lights

Stars Music Theatre in Bakersfield offers an impressive entertainment experience with its three stunning venues for your viewing pleasure.

The theater also boasts a convenient on-site restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious meal before the show.

With a history that dates back to 1969, Stars Music Theatre has established itself as a trusted institution, consistently delivering top-notch shows where you can immerse yourself in the magic of the stage.

37. Try Tropical Drinks at Tiki-Ko

a bar with a bar counter and a bar stool

Tiki-Ko in Bakersfield serves a delightful array of tropical drinks that are not only delicious but also perfect for capturing envy-inducing photos for your Instagram feed.

The bar features The Sinking Ship Room, an underground area with a captivating nautical theme.

From the unique drinks to the immersive atmosphere, Tiki-Ko promises an unforgettable night out in Bakersfield.

38. Have a Cocktail at the Glamorous Foxtail Lounge

two cocktails on a table with a candle

Foxtail Lounge in Bakersfield is a must-visit destination for those seeking a touch of Hollywood glam.

This stylish bar exudes elegance with its striking exterior, adorned with plush velvet couches, luxurious gold accents, and chic patterned wallpaper.

The menu at Foxtail Lounge boasts an impressive range of signature and classic cocktails, offering a memorable experience for those looking to indulge in a touch of glamor in Bakersfield.

39. Enjoy a Night of Laughter at The Well Comedy Club

the crowd at the event

The Well Comedy Club, located in the heart of downtown, offers a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere where both local and national comedians take the stage to deliver hilarious performances.

With its intimate setting and cozy seating arrangement, The Well provides an up-close and personal comedy experience that will leave you in stitches.

It's the perfect place to unwind, share a laugh with friends, and enjoy a night of top-notch comedy talent.

40. Go salsa dancing at Club Odyssey

a crowd of people dancing at a party

Club Odyssey in Bakersfield offers an electric atmosphere where music, rhythm, and movement come together to create an unforgettable experience.

With its spacious dance floor, Club Odyssey provides ample space for salsa lovers to showcase their skills and enjoy the infectious beats of Latin music.

The pulsating energy, skilled DJs, and live music events make Club Odyssey a must-visit for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the world of salsa dancing.

FAQs: Fun Things to Do in Bakersfield at Night

Now, let's also look at some frequently asked questions relating to the fun things to do in Bakersfield at night.

Does Bakersfield have a good nightlife?

Bakersfield does offer a modest nightlife scene with various entertainment options, such as Golden West Casino

There are several bars, clubs, and live music venues where you can enjoy a night out.

Bakersfield's nightlife may not be as vibrant as in larger cities but there are still opportunities to socialize, listen to music, and have a good time after dark in Bakersfield.

What is Bakersfield popular for?

Bakersfield is known for its significant place in the history of country music and is often referred to as the "Nashville of the West Coast."

The city is also known for the historic Bakersfield Fox Theater.

Additionally, Bakersfield is a gateway to stunning outdoor attractions, including nearby national parks and the beautiful Kern River.

Is it worth visiting Bakersfield?

Yes, Bakersfield is worth visiting if you have an appreciation for country music or want to experience the unique charm of a mid-sized Californian city.

It offers a glimpse into a different side of California, away from the bustling metropolitan areas.

What is the nice area of Bakersfield?

Bakersfield has several nice areas to explore and live in.

One such area is the Northwest, which includes neighborhoods like Riverlakes, Seven Oaks, and Stockdale Estates. These neighborhoods offer a suburban feel with beautiful homes, shopping centers, and golf courses.

Downtown Bakersfield has also undergone a revitalization in recent years, with new restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Bakersfield at Night

As you now know, there is no shortage of things to do in Bakersfield at night. 

It is a vibrant city that comes alive after sunset, offering a multitude of unique and fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

From exploring the scenic beauty of the Kern River to experiencing the country music legacy at the Crystal Palace, there is something for every taste and interest.

So plan your trip and visit Bakersfield today to experience the magic that awaits you in this lively city.