Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Stockton, CA

  • Published 2022/11/18

Stockton, a city nestled beside the San Joaquin River, is the county seat of San Joaquin County.

To recognize Commodore Robert F. Stockton, who had successfully seized California for the USA in 1846, the city’s name was changed to Stockton in 1850, making it the first city in the United States not named after Spanish or American Indian words.

The seaport at Stockton, constructed during the California Gold Rush, acts as an entry point to the Central Valley and nearby areas; the port made it simple to carry goods and people to the southern gold mines.

As the Gold Rush ended, the city focused on cultivating and shipping the wide range of agricultural goods that prospered in Central California’s inviting climate.

A diverse population of locals, including Mexicans and Chinese, introduced their distinctive cultures to the region at the turn of the century and turned Stockton into an industrial and transportation hub.

Today, Stockton is a vibrant city with a historic downtown and plenty of outdoor activities.

The city is also home to several museums and attractions perfect for a day trip with kids.

Here are the 15 best things to do with kids in Stockton, CA:

Catch a Show at KUDOS Children’s Theatre Company

If you want to enhance your kids’ appreciation for the arts, catch a show at KUDOS Children’s Theatre Company.

The theatre was established in 2003 and started creating acting lessons for young children during the same year.

In July 2008, as the business expanded, it relocated to its present location on Lucile Avenue, which has more rooms, allowing the theatre to receive more patrons.

Their shows are ideal for kids, featuring relatable characters and entertaining and educational plays.

KUDOS Children’s Theatre Company also offers classes and camps if your kids are interested in learning more about how the theatre works or if they love acting.

Relish the Adrenaline Rush at the Stockton99 Speedway

For a nerve-wracking experience, bring your kids to the Stockton99 Speedway on North Wilson Way and watch them have the time of their lives.

The speedway is a 0.25-mile, high-banked, concrete oval race track, one of the fastest short tracks in America.

Whether you want to watch a Whelen All-American Series race or take your kids for some go-karting, Stockton 99 Speedway is the place to be.

If your kids want to experience what it’s like to be a driver, the speedway offers several driving experiences where they can get behind the wheel of a real stock car and move it around the track with an experienced instructor.

Stockton 99 Speedway also hosts special events from time to time, and you can enjoy one when you visit.

Have a Magical Day at Pixie Woods Amusement Park

Serving Stockton since 1954, the Pixie Woods Amusement Park is an enchanting place where your kids can have fun with rides, entertainment, and animal encounters.

This lovely and well-kept park has been a family favorite for more than 67 years and provides hours of enjoyment for everyone.

Pixie Woods Amusement Park allows your children to travel through Native American territories through the Pixie Express Train, but be wary of pirates along the way.

Let your kids marvel at the classic merry-go-round, the slides, and other playground equipment.

Your children can also play at the mini water park for a refreshing experience.

If you want to experience a truly magical day trip, bring your kids to Pixie Woods Amusement Park at Monte Diablo.

Go Roller Skating with Your Kids at Stockton Indoor Sports Complex

If you want to splash around with your kids on a hot day, visit Stockton Indoor Sports Complex at North Ad Art Road.

The complex also offers skate rentals, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own.

Take advantage of the birthday packages if your kids want an extraordinary celebration.

Choose from different packages, such as Small or Large, so your kids will have the best party.

You can also rent a private room for your family to celebrate a special occasion like anniversaries or graduation.

With special events held throughout the year, you and your kids will never get bored at Stockton Indoor Sports Complex.

Whether you’re new to roller skating or an experienced professional, this is one of the best places in Stockton where your kids can have fun and be fit at the same time.

Explore the Children’s Museum of Stockton

The Children’s Museum of Stockton is an educational organization that provides visitors with hands-on experiences that stimulate their imagination and creativity.

This community-supported museum has been active since 1994, offering a wide range of exhibits and activities housed in a 22,000-square-foot space.

With a focus on science, technology, and art, the Children’s Museum of Stockton is where your kids can learn through play and exploration.

Explore the 40 exhibits that the Children’s Museum of Stockton offers, such as Nature Station, Joaquin County Audubon Society, Art Studio, and Water Conservation Cottage, to help your kids develop a love for learning.

The museum also hosts activities in Story Times, Trunk or Treat, Beats, Eats and Treats.

You can even rent the museum for your private events, as it is available for birthday parties, school field trips, and family events.

If you want your kids to have fun while discovering the world around them, bring them to the Children’s Museum of Stockton on West Weber Avenue.

Enjoy a Fun Day Out with the Whole Family at Oak Grove Regional Park

Head to Oak Grove Regional Park in Stockton for nonstop fun and adventure!

This 180-acre park on West Eight Mile Road is surrounded by a lovely wooded area and is a well-liked destination for picnics, festivities, and fishing competitions.

Start on one of the hiking trails; you can walk along old grove trees while talking to your kids and creating fun memories with them.

Once tired, you can go to the Oak Grove Nature Center, which offers programs and fun activities for kids to learn about the area’s rich biodiversity.

Visit the park’s playground, where your children can run and burn off all their extra energy, or go on a guided tour of the wildlife and native plant species.

With so many beautiful places for you and your family to explore, there is no better place than Oak Grove Regional Park.

Teach Your Kids How to Bowl at the Pacific Avenue Bowl

With 32 bowling lanes, Pacific Avenue Bowl is one of the places where you can bring your kids for a fun day out.

Established in 1958, Pacific Avenue Bowl at Pacific Avenue makes it easy for bowlers of all ages and skill levels to have a great time.

Meet new people as you play with your friends, family, or colleagues, hone your bowling skills, and teach your kids techniques to improve their game.

After a few games, you can relax with a bite to eat at Chuck’s Burger or head to the lounge.

There are seven flat-screen TVs in the Pacific Avenue Bowl, so it’s also an ideal location for watching sports.

Pacific Avenue Bowl also features a pool table and a game of California Lottery for visitors.

Watch a Baseball Game at Banner Island Ballpark

Opened in 2005 with a capacity of 4,200 people, Banner Island Ballpark is home to the Stockton Ports baseball team.

This ballpark at West Fremont Street is a centerpiece of a shoreline rehabilitation plan for downtown Stockton, and it was constructed simultaneously with the Stockton Arena.

It will also be a part of the Stockton Waterfront Events Center, including a beachfront park.

As baseball is one of the well-loved sports in America, you can quickly bring your kids to watch an exciting game live here.

With raised club seating, you’ll have a full view of the game with the Barco video and sound system.

The ballpark also houses luxury suites, picnic venues, and a full bar.

Although Banner Island Ballpark includes various smaller spaces perfect for more quiet and personal parties, it is big enough to handle massive events like concerts and meetups.

Check Out GymStars Gymnastics

Let your kids try their hand at GymStars Gymnastics, a must-visit gymnastics center inside Parkwoods Shopping Center.

GymStars Gymnastics has programs for boys and girls of all ages, so you can enroll your kids as soon as they show interest in gymnastics classes.

They also have a program for babies as young as two months old, which helps your babies through tactile stimulation, encouraging them to explore their bodies and sense of mobility.

Meanwhile, older kids can choose from various fun activities and games that teach them balancing skills, as well as help them improve their strength, posture, and overall fitness level.

GymStars Gymnastics also has other programs, such as karate, ninja, and dance.

With a strong emphasis on safety and fun at GymStars Gymnastics, you can be sure that your kids will have a great time here as they learn new skills and abilities.

Jump High and Enjoy the Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Explore more than 30,000 square feet of fun in the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, where you can jump to your heart’s content.

Perched in Sherwood Mall, the trampoline park has various activities and programs to entertain kids and adults.

From freestyle jumping for those who want to enjoy the trampolines to a dedicated area for kids under five, there are plenty of activities for everyone.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park’s Toddler Zone is also safe for children under five years old, as they can play and learn new skills while you watch them.

Why not let your kids conquer the wall and enjoy bouldering as you put your kids’ strength and endurance to the test?

With a vast foam pit with parkour blox, ultimate volleyball, and skyslam ideal for birthday parties and other celebrations, Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a fun destination for the whole family.

Go Ice Skating at Oak Park Ice Rink

Serving the city since the 1970s, Oak Park Ice Rink is what your kids need for that fun-filled day on the ice.

The ice rink has many activities, including public skating sessions and advanced lessons.

Oak Park Ice Rink also offers sled hockey to cater to those with physical disabilities.

Plus, Oak Park Ice Rink is also a popular venue for birthday and private parties, with lots of activities to keep your kids entertained and socialize with others.

So why not bring the whole family out for some ice skating fun?

Let your kids learn new skills while you enjoy this charming town landmark on Alvarado Ave.

Discover the History of Stockton at Haggin Museum

Introduce your children to the world of arts and history when you visit the Haggin Museum, an almost hidden gem in Stockton.

Located on North Pershing Avenue, this historical museum features artworks from 1800 painters, such as Albert Bierstadt, JC Leyendecker, and more.

Marvel at the 12 paintings by American artist Albert Bierstadt included in the museum’s exhibits.

These paintings have spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, including one formerly on display at the White House.

Families can take a historic journey via the Haggin Museum’s various documents and archaeological collections to discover more about Stockton and the state’s history.

Your kids will also have the chance to explore Victorian-era chambers from a farmhouse in the San Joaquin Valley.

They’ll also see a replica of a nearby mill and a recreation of a California village from the start of the 1900s with a schoolhouse and a Chinese medicine store.

Attend a Concert at Victory Park

Transforming into a concert venue during summer, Victory Park is a great place to watch musical performances in Stockton.

Drop by North Pershing Avenue on Wednesday evenings so you and your kids can listen to different genres of music.

These concerts are free; you can check out the lineup to see if there are any performances you’d especially like to watch.

With tremendous open-air lawn seating, Victory Park is an excellent venue for an enjoyable summer evening with your family.

If you are not into concerts, you can explore the various picnic areas in Victoria Park, such as the Lagoon Picnic, which seats 70 people and features barbecue pits.

You can also rest on one of the benches while watching your kids explore the playground.

Play with Your Furbabies at Barkleyville Dog Park

Let your kids play with your dog at the Barkleyville Dog Park on Feather River Drive for a fun and active day.

As one of Stockton’s most popular dog parks, it offers plenty of space for your kids and their pets to enjoy.

Barkleyville Dog Park’s play spaces are made up of grassy and muddy sections and a few paved paths.

The park features an agility area where your dog can practice jumping through hoops, tunnels, and over ramps to strengthen their muscles and improve their coordination.

There is also a separate small dog area for those with smaller pups who might be intimidated by the big dogs.

Whether you want your dog to play fetch with you or socialize with other pups, Barkleyville Dog Park is a perfect spot for a day of fun in the sun.

It also has dog water fountains and clean-up bags.

Visit the Historic Bob Hope Theatre

Formerly known as Fox California Theater, Bob Hope Theater on East Main Street is an iconic landmark in Stockton.

Dedicated to the memory of Bob Hope, this beautiful theater was first known as the Fox California Theater that was launched in 1930 with a show called Up the River, starring Spencer Tracy.

One of the two remaining theaters in Stockton, Bob Hope Theater, was renovated and transformed into the beautiful and artistic venue it is today.

In the middle of the theater’s foyer is a 1,200-square-foot marble mosaic floor created by a Canadian designer; it features marbles transported from Italy.

Today, Bob Hope Theater is a great place to catch local performances such as theatrical plays, music concerts, exhibitions, comedy shows, and more.

Final Thoughts

With its rich history and plenty of outdoor activities, Stockton is a great place for families.

Whether you want to have outdoor fun with your kids in Stockton or visit historical attractions, these activities are perfect for the whole family.

Include these best things to do with kids in Stockton, California, in your itinerary and start exploring!​

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