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Things To Do in Modesto, CA: Fun Places and Activities For Your Family

Modesto is a beautiful city located in California. It is well known for its many tourist attractions and events. If you are looking for something fun to do, Modesto is the place for you! There are plenty of things to see and do in this wonderful city, such as visiting the McHenry Mansion, Stanislaus County Museum, or taking a stroll through Central Park. You can also enjoy the farmers’ market or one of the many music festivals that take place throughout the year. 

No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to enjoy in Modesto. The following is a list of the top things to do in Modesto, California, to assist you in making travel plans.

Explore the McHenry Museum

The McHenry Museum, a regional history museum, covers the narrative of Modesto’s past and the surrounding area. One block away from the McHenry Mansion, the museum is housed in a former library building that was erected in 1912.

McHenry Museum

This is the McHenry Museum, which opened in 1972 and has since collected and preserved everything that represents Stanislaus County culture and Modesto history. The Museum contains interactive exhibits and displays that emphasize the historical relevance of the Modesto region when you visit.

Interactive exhibits include a general store, a blacksmith shop, a dentist’s office, and other notable artifacts, such as gold mining equipment, firefighting equipment, and more. This museum also has a collection of Stanislaus County’s cattle branding.

Visit the State Theatre to See a Movie

Visit the State Theatre in Modesto, a traditional movie house that screens independent, vintage, and international films, as well as hosts several concerts and other events throughout the year.

In 1934, the State of California officially opened and dedicated the Theatre to the people of Modesto as a venue for cultural events, films, and live theatre.

State Theatre Modesto CA

A prominent architect, Charles Lee, constructed the 560-dear auditorium theater, which has gold-leafed decorations, painted murals, and towering sconces. The theater is a treasure because of its magnificent art.

Digital projection, dramatic lighting, and a public address sound system have all been placed in the theater to make it more technologically sophisticated, making it a more modern venue. In spite of the theater’s constant renovations, it nonetheless exudes a timeless elegance that evokes memories of days gone by.

Go on a Graffiti Cruise Route

The Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, which commemorates the cruise line used in the American Graffiti movie, is another great thing to do when visiting Modesto.

As a Modesto native, George Lucas produced his first major picture. The film depicted the activities of school leavers on their first major sailing weekend after school finished.

Graffiti Cruise Route Modesto CA

Despite being outlawed in 1993, Modesto’s “Graffiti Night” has remained a tradition during the city’s first major weekend. Crowds flock to the town to show off their antique automobiles and share the joy of cruising while the event is in session. 

There is no need to wait for the Graffiti Cruise, you and your friends may perform a copy of the tour by starting at the Modesto Historic Cruise Route Walk of Fame, traveling around the city, and returning to the starting point.

Tour the Gallo Center for the Arts

Since 2007, Modesto’s Gallo Center for the Arts has served as a leading venue for live performances. It features performers from all around the nation, including those from the local, regional, and traveling communities. As a result, it has become a downtown landmark, with a multitude of eateries and entertainment options only steps away.

Gallo Center for the Arts

The Mary Stuart Rogers Theater, which seats 1,248 people, is one of two performing spaces at the institution. Performances span from Broadway blockbusters to nationally traveling lecture series, as well as comedy shows, musical performances, and seasonal celebrations at this state-of-the-art theater.

An educational program for students in grades K-12 is offered by the Gallo Center of Arts, along with alternating production schedules.

Visit the Modesto Arch

One of the popular activities to do in Modesto is to see the Modesto Arch, a centennial slogan arch located at the junction of 9th and 10th Streets. In 1912, Modesto Businessmen’s Association constructed this structure to greet motorists.

Modesto Arch

At the Arch, you will find the city’s motto, which reads “Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health” and is lighted by more than 700 lightbulbs. Historically, the arch was supported by two flagpoles on each of its columns; these flagpoles were eventually removed owing to decay and replaced with two Mediterranean cypress trees.

Get Adventurous at the Escape Modesto

Escape Modesto is a firm in Modesto that provides hours of entertainment via their escape rooms, which are my personal favorite, and if you like puzzles, riddles, and brain-based activities, then this is the place for you.

Escape Modesto

The Escape room activity is a fun and exciting activity in which players use the tips and clues provided to solve a series of puzzles and finish the goal within a certain time limit. Typically, the purpose is to uncover the secret plan buried inside the chamber and to escape the area within a certain time limit.

The time restriction for the whole game is around sixty minutes, and up to ten players are permitted in the room at once.  This is a nice game to play while your stay in Modesto, so have as much fun as possible and enjoy your time there.

Check Out California’s Great Valley Museum in Modesto

The mission of the Great Valley Museum is to educate the public about the region’s natural history and ecology while also fostering a love of learning among its residents.

Great Valley Museum Modesto

Visitors to the GVM can enjoy a variety of science and human physiology exhibits, including a natural history gallery showcasing the Central Valley’s diverse habitats, an interactive Discovery Room where they can get their hands dirty while learning about various scientific topics, as well as a variety of animal displays and demonstrations in the Scientific Community Center on the college’s west campus.

Great Valley Museum also has a planetarium with the best star projectors and projection equipment, which provides stunning night sky presentations and filled planetarium films.

Watch a Game of Baseball at the John Thurman Field

The Modesto Nuts, a minor league baseball club, play their games at John Thurman Field, which can house up to 4,000 people. John E. Thurman Stadium, which was built in 1955 and is named for the California State Assemblyman who was born in Modesto, hosts games all year round.

John Thurman Field Modesto CA

In addition to a large amount of parking space, the stadium has a Nuts Merchandise Store where fans can purchase Modesto Nuts merchandise, a Fun Zone with carnival-style games like the Bounce House, Prize Wheel, Inflatable Slide, and Speed Pitch, as well as several recreation areas along the left field foul line that can be reserved for private events. The Fun Zone is a great place for families to gather.

Visit the Mistlin Gallery

The Mistlin Gallery is an art gallery located in downtown Modesto that was founded so that local artists may exhibit and sell their work.

Another purpose was to build a venue that would educate the community on how to better appreciate art and get active in the local art scene.

Mistlin Gallery Modesto CA

The Mistlin Gallery hosts several permanent and rotating exhibits of art, as well as educational activities and seminars that will appeal to art enthusiasts of all ages.

The gallery is operated by the Central California Art Association, a group of artists and volunteers that collaborate to promote the arts and give art education and opportunities to Modesto residents.

Explore the Tuolumne River Trail

Tuolumne River Path, a Modesto hiking track that spans the Tuolumne River, is one of the area’s most stunning trails. It is a 3.4-mile-long hiking trail that can be used for both hiking and cycling.

Tuolumne River Trail

This track winds through lush riverfront trees and is suitable for a variety of modes of transportation, including walking, jogging, and cycling. On this walk, you’ll pass viewpoints with breathtaking views, so bring your camera along if you’d want to document the beauty of the surrounding country.

It also travels past the Toulumne River Regional Park, which is a great site to visit and is near to the Modesto City-County Airport as well. The optimum time to utilize the path is from May to October.

Have Fun at FUNWORKS

The FUNWORKS is here to provide you with even another fantastic facility! There is an 18-acre amusement park in Modesto that provides families and children with a fun-filled day of pleasure. A fantastic vacation site for the entire family, it’s a great place to spend time together.

funworks modesto

All ages may enjoy the center’s attractions, which include mini-golf and bowling, the Teddy Bear Factory, an XD Theater, and the Splashworks Pirate Ride.

On-site dining options include a pizza joint and a variety of other American favorites, as well as light fare and beverages. Summer camps for children are also available in Modesto, so a vacation there with your children will be one they’ll never forget.

Like Modesto, other California cities offer fun recreation centers too. Visit West Covina for enjoyable things to do for you and your family.

Catch a Game at John Thurman Field

The John Thurman Field, a baseball field with a capacity of around 4,000 people that was erected in 1995, is another worthwhile stop on your journey.

john thurman field modesto california

John E. Thurman, a Modesto-born California State Assemblyman, was the inspiration for the stadium’s name. As a minor-league baseball stadium, Modesto Nuts Stadium plays host to a number of regular season games for the California League’s franchise.

The Nuts Stuff Store, which offers Modesto Nuts merchandise, is one of the stadium’s features that you may want to check out. Several different types of games can be found at the stadium’s Fun Zone, which includes an Inflatable Slid, a Prize Wheel, and a Speed Pitch. This is a terrific spot for your kids to have fun.

Appreciate Natural Heritage at the Great Valley Museum

The Great Valley Museum, often known as GVM, was constructed as one of Modesto’s top museums to honor and protect the region’s natural history and ecology while also igniting a passion for science among its residents.

The museum is situated on the first floor of the Science Community Center, which is located near the West Campus of Modesto Junior College.

Great Valley Museum

Displays on local animals and the history of the California Central Valley are just a few of the many things you may see at this museum dedicated to biology and the sciences.

Additionally, visitors may experience the world of science via interactive activities, live animal performances, and exhibitions at the museum. It is a destination you’ll like. Great Valley Museum’s planetarium, which has a world-class star projector and projection system, is another reason why a visit to the museum is an enjoyable experience.

Dine at the Dewz Restaurant

Dewz Restaurant is the greatest choice if you’re searching for a spot to dine and drink before or after your trip.

For the last 20 years, it has been run by a family in Modesto, California, known for its high-quality food and friendly service. You’ll be impressed with the restaurant’s design and how well-organized it and its staff are, and the food served is always cooked with locally sourced products.

Dewz Restaurant

These delicacies include Crispy Skinned Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast and the Crispy Skinned New Zealand Rack of Lamb with roasted oyster mushrooms and hazelnut ricotta tortellini.

Do not forget to order a drink from their vast wine, cocktail, spirit, and beer menus while you are dining at the restaurant. You may enjoy a romantic dinner and a late-night date at this restaurant, which is known for its excellent wine pairings with various cuisines.

Get Entertained at Mike Grillhouse

Penlandale Avenue is home to Mike’s Grillhouse, a well-known restaurant. It’s a great setting to go on a date, and the staff is polite and helpful, making it a great option for a romantic dinner. Using only the finest, locally sourced ingredients, this restaurant’s chefs create each dish from start to finish.

Mike Grillhouse

You may order everything from fried calamari to hefty burgers to grilled chicken salads, but the restaurant also boasts a dessert menu that’s full to the brim with treats.

You may also sample the wines, soft drinks, cocktails, and craft beers that are available, and you can ask a member of the staff for assistance in selecting one that goes well with your meal. When it comes to catering for special events and occasions, Mike’s Grillhouse is ready to help.


From a distance, Modesto seems little and unassuming, but as you explore, you realize it is full of surprises.

Although it is a tiny city, it has a plethora of entertaining activities and attractions. It’s clear that Modesto residents aren’t able to enjoy themselves to the fullest extent possible.

As a result, this warm metropolis extends an invitation to a feast, a feast of joy. A hearty welcome awaits you at this magnificent feast.

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